Workers Fight and the Democratic Centralist Faction

dcfThe Democratic Centralist Faction (DCF) emerged within Workers Fight in the mid-1970s.

The genesis of the DCF can be found in Workers Fight bulletins of the period- the contributions of John Strauther and Roy Ratcliffe in particular and the discussion around the reorganisation of the Manchester branch and the proposed fusion of Bolton branch with it (Bulletins 22 and 24). (This was later to lead to the Bolton branch (a DCF stronghold) breaking from Workers Fight to form the Marxist Worker Group.)

The DCF then declared itself in January 1975 and published its wide-ranging Platform.

A response came from Workers Fight in the form of a Special Bulletin- Marxism Or Quackery.

This (?MWG) document is a later with hindsight response to some of the charges in Marxism Or Quackery.

One key battlegound in the faction fight was WFs line and intervention in the Womens Liberation Movement which led to leading WF cadre in the WLM Eileen Murphy’s suspension for indiscipline for refusing to sell an issue of WF with an offending article…

Further suspensions and expulsions followed- here are DCF statements on the suspensions and then expulsions of RR and JS:

Doc 1

Doc 2

Doc 3

As mentioned above, subsequently Bolton based DCF supporters were to form the Marxist Worker Group, of which more soon.



Whelanism revisited- the Revolutionary Marxist Current

Joint post with Red Mole Rising


Chapter two of Mike McNair’s study of the internal politics and factions of the IMG is titled “Whelanism” after Tony Whelan / Chris Marshall.

He suggests that under a “generic term of Whelanism may be grouped the 1972 Fusion Conference majority, the Left Opposition Tendency (LOT) of 1973-4, Tendency D at and after the 1975 Conference and the Current X at the 1976 Conference; also, the public organisation the Revolutionary Marxist Current (RMC), formed 1975 from the LOT split from the IMG, fused with Big Flame 1978.”

Having previously looked at the RMC here and here, we are now able to add a substantial number of new documents to our collection.

Firstly we have the document of Liverpool comrades resigning from the IMG in 1974- part of the group which became the RMC.

Then we have the Political Platform of the RMC published as a duplicated pamphlet

We also have a substantial number of RMC Internal Bulletins covering the period April 1975 to October 1976. These detail the political clarification of the RMC and its relations with other groups including the fusion discussions with Workers Fight and the Bolton based Marxist Worker Group.

Three issues of a joint WF-RMC discussion bulletin were produced. The first of these was “Notes on the Mass Struggle” a WF critique of the Whelan tendency within the IMG. This retrospectively became bulletin no1, followed by Bulletin 2 and Bulletin 3.

We do not have later period documents relating to the discussions with Big Flame.

Many more related documents here:


The Marxist Group and the ILP

osloThe Marxist Group had its origins in the Communist League minority of Denzil Harber which joined the ILP as a Bolshevik-Leninist Fraction.

We have a small number of Marxist Group pamphlets and documents- some put out under the Marxist Group’s own name and others as publications of various ILP branches.

Thus the pamphlet Stalinist Bureaucracy and the Assassination of Kirov is published by the ILP Marxist Group whereas Trotsky on the ILP Leadership is published by the Islington ILP Branch and Trotsky Replies to New Leader Attack by the Clapham ILP branch- albeit with a forward by the Marxist Group.

Both of these pamphlets use the same cover illustration of a signpost.

Less a pamphlet than a duplicated document, Trotsky on Centrism was circulated by Acton ILP. And finally, the pamphlet Stalin’s Treason and World Revolution is put out by Henry Sara but also has an advertisement for the Clapham Socialist Bookshop which address also doubled as the address of Clapham ILP.

Readers will note that many of these pamphlets are marked as for internal (ILP) circulation only.


Once more on the Chartist tendency

chartFurther to our previous update on the Chartist group we are able to bring you a further 32 issues of the Chartist newspaper from the early to mid 1970s – series 2 issues 1 – 34.

We have renamed some of our archive folders to reflect the fact that there were two series of Chartist. The first series, beginning as the bulletin of the Young Chartists ran until September 1972, issue 17.

Thereafter, series two starts with this (somewhat dishevelled) issue headed Monthly Journal Of The Socialist Charter Movement.

By issue three this had changed to Labour’s Only Revolutionary Voice. However, by the next issue, and subsequently, this became simply Labours Revolutionary Voice- perhaps other revolutionary entrist groups had threatened to sue!



Seeing out 2018, 2- an update on the RCG

In October we posted on the Revolutionary Communist Group with some 45 issues of its paper “Fight Racism, Fight Imperialism”

Now, I am racing the clock to add an additional 50 or so before the year is out and bring the total scanned to around 100 issues!

Many thanks to Richard H for loaning his copies.

In the new year I will also scan a dozen or so issues from the early 2000s, from my own collection.

We do still need a few early issues, as well as some later gaps…


Seeing out 2018, 1- an update on the RSO

Back in April we commented briefly on the short lived Revolutionary Socialist Organisation

At the time we received a detailed resume of the RSO from one of its participants, Bastian O, which we reproduce here (and will also add to the original post):

I guess an obscure footnote in a book on British Trotskyism is exactly where the RSO belongs. For the sake of Sectariana I can give you a brief account of that group, which I was a member of for pretty much its entire existence.

I personally did indeed leave the League for the Fifth International’s youth group Revolution in 2006 together with the people who are now RIO in Germany. There was a Czech group too, all very sound people but unfortunately I have completely lost track of them. I left iRevo, as we called ourselves unwilling to give up the Revolution franchise due to a personal fallout with another comrade in late 2008 and joined the RSO which at that time had groups in Switzerland, Germany and Austria and did a sort of intellectual orthodox Trotskyist thing without most of the madness and self-grandeur you usually find in small Trot groups. Continue reading “Seeing out 2018, 1- an update on the RSO”