Monday, 7 December 2015

When comrades fall out


With the far left currently in ascendancy within the Labour Party it's hardly surprising to see many outside formations try and get in on the act. Workers Liberty (all 100 or so of them) have "disbanded" their electoral front (such as it was) and entered "en-mass" as have the even tinier Workers Power group now re-branded as Red Flag.

Ken Loache's Left Unity Party is on the verge of disintegrating as LU members realise there is more to be gained in either joining or re-entering the Labour Party as have most of their "leaders" leaving just a few die-hards including the Weekly Worker crowd to fight over the leftovers.

However event the CPGB (Weekly Worker) mob have their adherents at work "inside" the Labour Party as a local blog the Hammersmith & Fulham Forum has noticed:

Mr Keable, a UNISON convenor, re-joined the Labour Party from the Communist Party of Great Britain. But he makes no pretence of any philosophical change of heart. This Labour Party Marxists bulletin gives a bit of flavour. His is critical of Len McCluskey, the Unite leader for not being left wing enough. He supported his rival Jerry Hicks. But he does urge Mr Hicks to pitch in with shifting the Labour Party towards Marxism.

No pretence at all. The CPGB promotes and publishes the unreadable bulletin published by it's "front" organisation Labour Party Marxists. Since the CPGB (Weekly Worker) is said to have at most 50 members it's unlikely that many people will take notice of this outfit.

However despite the small numbers of actual organised Trotskyites, the "leader" of Momentum has got into a row with what is probably the largest of the Trot groups in the UK, the Socialist Party who have been turning up to his organisations events..making their demands.

Socialist Party logo

On Left Futures Jon Lansman a long time hard left activist in the Labour Party bemoans the attacks on Momentum and includes one of the reasons as:

..hostile or opportunistic members of other parties like Nancy Taafe of the Socialist Party who stood against Stella Creasy in May (winning 394 votes for TUSC, good for them but, at less than 1%, an utterly pathetic vote for anyone who lives in the real world) but goes on BBC Daily Politics to demand her deselection

This prompted a shrill cry of foul from the Socialist Party (formerly known as the Militant Tendency) on their website:

The Socialist Party responded to a community event called by Walthamstow Labour Party members who support Corbyn, as we do. We are outraged and appalled that Jon Lansman, a director of Momentum, would write such an article, in effect pandering to the right wing press and the right wing in the Labour Party.

Nancy Taaffe is a long-standing campaigner against cuts and privatisation. She participated in this demo and went on national television to step forward to defend that demo, the local community and the organisers.

It is a serious mistake and an outrage for Jon Lansman to echo the sort of accusations that have been leveled at Corbyn's Labour Party. The Tories say Corbyn and his supporters in opposition to the bombing of Syria are terrorist sympathisers. The Labour right wing call Momentum a rabble and bullies and now a director of Momentum echoes that and calls Nancy Taaffe hostile.

But Lansman does have a point. 

The Socialist Party have been promoting their alternative to the Labour Party, the Trade unionist and Socialist Coalition for some years now. A couple of local and Parish councillors does not a success make.

One of it's constituent groups the Independent Socialist Network has already bunked off to join Labour and the main backer of the TUSC, the RMT union is now led by a General Secretary who is a member of the Labour Party so it's backing cannot be relied on for much longer as the battle for hegemony continues in Labour.

Of all the groups outside and to the left of Labour, the former Militant group will struggle to survive and jumping on the Corbynista bandwagon would seem to be the only way they might survive.

Certainly the infighting inside the Labour left as well as the main struggle in the Party itself will be fascinating to watch.

The downside, regardless of the Oldham by-election, is that on-going internal Labour's power struggle will only benefit the Tories in the long term. The comrades will get a one party state as their ideology demands, but it wont be them.

It'll be a Tory one.


  1. as daft as a sack of frogs...........
    I just despair........