By popular demand we bring you…
March 1979 saw the expulsion of a number of members of the Workers Revolutionary Party, including Newsline journalists Stephen Johns and Royston Bull. Johns’ expulsion was reported in the WSL’s Socialist Press (back page) and the WSL later issued an open letter to the expellees.
Some months later, this group of ex-WRP members were to launch the Workers Party with its founding conference in July 1979.
Socialist Press issues 165 and 166 carried a two part reply to criticism of the WSL in issue 5 of the Workers Party Bulletin (which we do not have). However, we do have another un-numbered issue for 9th June 1979. This is interesting for its article against feminism- a theme for which, along with its homophobia, the WP would become notorious.
Politically the WP started in the Trotskyist camp- as evidenced in the Workers Party Draft Manifesto and in Workers Party Book no2 on the struggle to re-establish the Bolshevik tradition. The Draft International Perspectives are more critical of Trotskism as a whole but still within that framework.
However, very quickly, the WP evolved towards a position of left-Stalinism, (eventually re-styling itself the International Leninist Workers Party) and in the process threw off its own split- the Workers News Group.
In the 1990s the ILWP Bulletin became the Economic & Philosophic Science Review and shortly afterwards the group entered Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party. They were eventually expelled but some of their members went native and left to remain in the SLP.
Despite the death of its founder, Royston Bull, in January 2005 the EPSR continues to this day, issuing its bulletin approximately fortnightly. This is available in printed form and also as a text file on its website.
Also available are the ‘Books’ which are useful in tracing the early political development of the group. Members of the EPSR occasionally avail themselves of the Weekly Worker letters page, on occasion, to put their views.
If anyone can supply us with more, please get in touch.
If readers come across further articles on the Workers Party in the left press, please post them in the comments below.