Splits and Fusions- an archive of Trotskyist publications in Britain

This is the post excerpt.


Welcome to Splits&Fusions.

Here we will showcase documents from the various tendencies of what can broadly be described as the Trotskyist movement in Britain (with a nod to Irish, US and other publications in the English language).

In most cases items will be presented without much in the way of editorial, beyond a brief (and hopefully factual) description of the group. Continue reading “Splits and Fusions- an archive of Trotskyist publications in Britain”

Keep on Keeping Left, with the SLL Young Socialists

In January 1970, as I was busy being born in a Lancashire hospital, those Wiganised youth of the Young Socialists were busily selling their paper Keep Left with a headline “Forward to the Revolutionary 1970s!”


Originally the paper of the Labour Party Young Socialists, when the Socialist Labour League withdrew from Labour Party work in 1965, taking with them a large number of LPYS branches, they also maintained Keep Left as the organ of the ‘new’ Young Socialists. The paper then continued until the WRP disintegration of 1985.

The MIA / ETOL already has a small collection of Keep Lefts online to which we can now add a further nine issues from the 1969-70 period


Thanks again to Bruce for these.


The Marxist Party- Gerry Healy’s last stand…

The Marxist Party was formed in 1987 by Gerry Healy and close supporters including Healy RedgravesVanessa and Corin Redgrave, following Healy’s break with the Sheila Torrence led WRP (Newsline).

Bob Pitt offers a detailed account of those turbulent times.

At first the new group styled itself the Workers Revolutionary Party, but it renamed itself later in the year. The party maintained its own version of the International Committee of the Fourth International, along with Spanish and Greek sections, meaning no fewer than three versions of the ICFI were in existence at the time!

After the death of Healy in 1989, the party declined, and in 1990 expelled a group which became the Communist League.

According to Wikipedia, in April 2004, the Marxist Party announced its dissolution. However, no sources are given for this assertion and the Marxist Party was still publishing its journal later that year (see below). In November of that year the Redgraves did announce the formation of a new group named the Peace and Progress Party.

In our MARXIST PARTY ARCHIVE we have the following:

The Marxist- v1 nos 1-4 This is the theoretical journal of the Healy version of the ICFI

Marxist Monthly theoretical journal of the Marxist Party- A5 pamphlet format- from volume 1 no 1 March 1988 to volume 6 no10 October November 1997 (some 50 issues).

At this point its name changes to The Marxist whilst maintaining the same volume / issue sequence- reflecting the fact that the journal was appearing with less frequency and greater irregularity than could be justified to continue to call it a ‘Monthly’.

The last issue we have is Volume 9 no9 Summer 2004


Workers Fight & Workers Action


Since posting, last year, a general overview of the publications of the Matgamna tendency we have been working with Martin Thomas of the AWL and can now bring you near complete runs of the tabloid newspapers Workers Fight and Workers Action.

Workers Fight in newspaper format, continuing the name of its pre-IS magazine predecessor- first appeared in January 1972 and ran for 114 issues to October 1975.

The last issue carries a cover announcement of the intention to merge Workers Fight with the groups magazine Permanent Revolution and re-launch a more popular paper.

Workers Action was launched in January 1976 and clocked up 182 weekly issues, that last of which appeared in magazine rather than tabloid format. Several pamphlets were also put out under the Workers Action name.

Watch this space for further updates…

The spectre of the Revolutionary Marxist Current

Re-blogged from Red Mole Rising

The IMG Pre-Conference Bulletins for 1973 indicate the formation of a large number of tendencies within the organisation, including “the Tendency”, the Workers Opposition Tendency and the Left Opposition Tendency amongst others.

rmc cover.jpgIt is from members of this latter tendency that the independent group Revolutionary Marxist Current was to form early in 1975.

The LOT’s key contributions in 1973 were the “Communique” from its Provisional Steering Committee and the platform document “The Mass Struggle”

In late 1974 Martin Thomas, on behalf of Workers Fight, wrote a critique of “The Mass Struggle” which, when the RMC entered into a period of discussion with Workers Fight, was retrospectively designated as RMC WF Joint Discussion Bulletin no1. Two further discussion bulletins were issued: two and three.

We also have a copy of the RMCs response to Workers Fights Open Letter on Revolutionary Regroupment which is reproduced in Bulletin 3.

Following the breakdown of discussions with WF, the RMC also briefly had talks with the WF split Marxist Workers Group. However, the ultimate trajectory of the RMC was towards the group Big Flame as discussed in this post. This document from 1977 gives a good overview of the history of the RMC.

Between mid-1975 and the end of 1976 the RMC produced 16 issues of a paper The Spectre.

This phantom has proved very elusive and we currently have none in our collection, despite repeated attempts at a seance.

Thanks to Martin T for the RMC / WF bulletins, to Barry B for the RMC reply to WF and to Steve G for the IMG Pre-Conference Bulletins.





Socialist Correspondence- the British “Right Opposition”?

We have received 15 issues of Socialist Correspondence – all volume 3 from 1939. It is a duplicated bulletin of four or six pages on blue paper.


This was a British Branderlite publication and one of its supporters was Frank Allaun later to be Labour MP for Salford East.

There is little mention of this group or publication on the internet nor in Alexander’s book on the International Right Opposition. However, we have gleaned a couple of snippets by way of George Orwell’s diaries:

“Of these sources, Socialist Correspondence… (is) worth some attention. The first was run by a ‘right-wing opposition’ within the left-wing ILP.  Members were followers of Nikolai Bukharin, victim of a show trial in 1938 and then executed. Among its members was W.W. Sawyer, a mathematician at Manchester University and author of the popular Penguin book, Mathematician’s Delight. Socialist Correspondence was an octavo of eight to sixteen pages, some which were blank but marked ‘To Let’, and described itself as ‘An Organ of Marxist Theory’.”

“Soc. Corresp. Prints long statement on war issue by Comm. Opp. setting forth hoplessly complicated programme of supporting anti-Fascist war & at same time disillusioning the working class etc., etc. But makes statement (probably true as Thalheimer & others would have knowledge of Russian conditions of at any rate a few years ago) that tho’ the Red Army is now more or less as other armies, the reserves still receive more or less the training of a revolutionary army. Also violent attack on I.L.P. signed by 3 sets of initials one Audrey Brockway’s[2], launching slogan of 4th International. Socialist Correspondence”

Any further information would be very welcome!

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