In our fourth and final look at the Workers International League of the 1980s / 90s we present two issues of a newspaper produced by the WIL minority.
As is noted in Workers Action no 3, this group at first used the names Workers Fight, WIL-Workers Fight and WIL minority. However, by the time WF number 2 was published, they appear to have adopted the name the Trotskyist Group.
The group remained sympathisers of the Leninist-Trotskyist Tendency.
Workers Fight number 1 incorporating The Trotskyist discussion journal of the WIL-WF
Workers Fight number 2 (double issue) incorporating The Trotskyist discussion journal of the Trotskyist Group
It is not clear to us whether Workers Fight published any further issues.
As mentioned in a previous post, the Workers International League was a prolific publisher of pamphlets through its Prinkipo Press imprint.
These included reprints of classic texts such as Sergei Malyshev’s How the Bolsheviks Organised the Unemployed Roman Rosdolsky on Lenin and the First World War, Christian Rakovsky’s Roumania and Bessarabia and Trotsky’s What Next?
Also commentaries on the contemporary left such as the Crisis in Militant or the Socialist Alliance and strategy towards the Labour Party. Also two texts by Jack Gale originally written whist a member of the WRP- his account of the 1944 police raid on the RCP. and a document on the WRP and the Revolutionary Situation
We have nine pamphlets in our collection. If you have any other WIL / Prinkipo Press pamphlets not in our archive, please let us know!
In 1997 the Workers International League suffered an acrimonious split.
The majority, claiming continuity with the WIL’s politics, founded Workers Action magazine whilst a minority went on to publish a paper Workers Fight.
Both sides of the split considered themselves supporters of the Leninist-Trotskyist Tendency.
Workers Action ran for 30 issues until 2006.
A complete run of WA can be found here Workers Action folder
The Socialist Group was formed in 1984 by Alan Thornett, John Lister and others who had been in the original Workers Socialist League before its ill-fated fusion with Sean Matgamna’s International-Communist League.
We will cover the WSL in both of its incarnations in the near future.
The Socialist Group published 16 issues of its magazine Socialist Viewpoint- all of which can be found here: Socialist Viewpoint folder
Socialist Viewpoint issue 1 gives their version of the events of the split in the WSL in an editorial and then on pages 20 – 24 which cover the faction fight in some detail.
Operating within the Labour Party, the Socialist Group worked closely with the International Group which itself derived from the International Marxist Group.
In 1987 the two groups fused to form the International Socialist Group.
We are here concerned with the Workers International League which, according to its Wikipedia entry, split from the Torrance-led WRP (Newsline) group in 1987.
The Encyclopedia of Trotskyism Online has a page here on the Leninist-Trotskyist Tendency, of which the WIL was the British affiliate.
We present a near complete run of the WIL’s paper Workers News which ran for 60 issues and was notable for its combination of agitational articles and movement reports with long theoretical, historical and polemical articles which ran over several issues- including Bob Pitt’s monumental series on the rise and fall of Gerry Healy in no fewer than 26 parts!
Additionally, the paper issued at least ten Theoretical Supplements, of which we present 8.
In a future post we will look at the pamphlets issued by the WIL, under its Prinkipo Press imprint, and also the magazine Workers Action which superseded Workers News.
If any reader should have a copy of Workers News 47 or 60 or the theoretical supplements 3 and 4, we invite them to get in touch!
The second of our posts on the Lambert tendency covers the newspaper / magazine Socialist Newsletter, later Fourth Internationalist of which we present around 30 copies, together with a copy of Unite and Fight.
Also issue no1 of Bulletin of Trotskyist Discussion from February 1986
If any reader should have any ‘missing’ copies of Socialist Newsletter, Unite and Fight or subsequent issues of the BTD, you can get in touch using the contact form on this blog.
We would also be interested to know more about later publications, in English, of the Lambert current.
Whilst few in number, a current supporting the positions of Pierre Lambert and the Organising Committee for the Reconstruction of the Fourth International existed in Britain from the early 1970s.
The Wikipedia entry for its later incarnation, the Socialist Labour Group, gives a detailed history of the current which counted amongst its adherents Betty Hamilton, John and Mary Archer, Robin Blick and Mark Jenkins.
Here we present copies of The Bulletin and, later, Marxist Bulletin which gave rise to the name Bulletin Group, as the Lambertists were then known.
Issues 1, 2 and 4 of The Bulletin, at least, are missing and we would be pleased to hear from anyone who may have them.
A later post will present the Socialist Labour Group’s Socialist Newsletter and Fourth Internationalist newspapers.