Saturday, 21 June 2014

Political dinosaur spotted in Peckham

A large number of far-left political groups have emerged and disappeared over the years, some of which are not well known but still active. One of these was spotted protesting outside Peckham Job Centre in a quite sad video found on one of the Left Unity branch Face Book pages. The rare and endangered species known as the Revolutionary Communist Group, one of whom was fanning herself with a revolutionary weapon known as a tambourine whilst selling their turgid rag Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!

The RCG are a small group believed to have a membership around 100 or so that originated as an opposition inside the International Socialists, forerunner of the Socialist Workers Party. The group led by guru David Yaffe has long been seen as an ex-Trotskyist organisation that has become "more Stalinist than the Stalinists", an expression coined by the now defunct Permanent Revolution group.

Slavishly devoted to the workers paradise known as Cuba, about the only act they are actually remembered for was their marathon picket of the South African embassy which lasted for years if I recall correctly, so long it didn't actually even attract any attention by the end of its's run.

Like most groups of this type the RCG concentrates its limited resources on anti-imperialism on the usual campaigns; Palestine, Venezuela and has an unusual take on Tiananmen Square as they write:

4 June 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the ending of the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing, China. Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! located the events in the context of China’s trajectory along the capitalist road and away from socialism. They signalled a crisis for the working class and the construction of socialism in China. We warned then that, ‘There is a very great danger that counter-revolution will flourish both within and without the CPC [Communist party of China] if past policies are continued.’ The reversal towards capitalism has continued in China.

Charming stuff indeed.

The other notable contribution that the RCG has given to the left was that it gave birth to the infamous Revolutionary Communist Party led by Frank Furedi in yet another of the inevitable doctrinal splits that regularly occur on the Marxist left. The RCP became larger than its parent organisation to the point where it held an annual bash Preparing for Power that tried to compete with the SWP for hegemony on the far-left.

Eventually they actually disbanded at a special conference citing the impossibility of revolution and walked away from socialism. These days a large group of former RCP members write and organise around the rather contrarian website Spiked!

The RCG still blunders on though, attaching itself to whatever campaign it can latch on to.

Should give up the bloody tambourine though....

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