A very “Special” surprise

Barry will confirm my utter surprise and delight when I spotted this item in a box of miscellaneous papers! Coming just a few days after the re-discovery of the long lost Class Voice (a sibling of sorts) this was a most unexpected find.

I speak of the “Workers News Special” from December 1972.

Legend tells that this paper was published by former London section of the Workers Voice group. Workers Voice no7 explains that this group had split over parliamentary tactics but there is little reflection of this in the copy of Workers News Special we have. However, discussions over tactics and orientation, and disagreements between London and Merseyside were present from the first issues of Workers Voice.

Workers News Special was the work of Joe Thomas and Terry Liddle (although neither are credited in the paper itself) and ran for only two issues, of which this is the second.

The paper refers to itself as the work of the Workers News Special group but the address given is for the T.U.D.G. and is the same address as previous Joe Thomas vehicles. At a guess this must stand for “Trade Union Discussion Group”…

The “Workers News” header appears to be stencilled or screen printed and is in identical font to that used on the Oehlerite Socialist Workers League paper of the same name in the 1940s.

Did Joe inherit the stencil??

[NB Mark is right to point out they are not identical but the fonts are similar and also similar to the one used on the cover of Workers Review in the 1960s]

The paper also comes with a supplementary Draft Manifesto for a Workers Party. This is printed on four large broadsheet sized sheets of paper and is modeled on earlier drafts issued by the Workers League from the 1950s.

In a concession to the swinging 70’s this version has a few nice cartoons.

Discussions on the Manifesto were to begin in the New Year but might not have happened as shortly after this Workers News Special gave way to a (short-lived as always) lash-up between Thomas and Liddle’s Workers League and the Libertarian Communism group (exSPGB)


What we have and what we now need:

Workers Review– 1967/8 We have v1 nos 1, 2 and 4 and we are looking for nos

Class Voice ran for three issues. We have no 2.

Workers Voice first series ran for 20 issues. We need to track down nos 5 and 8.

Workers News Special. We have no2 and need no1.


1 Comment

  1. Sorry to be pedantic but the masthead isn’t an “identical” font to the 1940s one, O E N and S are all at least slightly different.


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