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- Emma Davis: Book Review: 1956 and after
International Socialism Journal nr. 151, jul 16 – side 210
Note: A review of Evan Smith and Matthew Worley (eds), Against the Grain: The British far left from 1956 (Manchester University Press, 2014), £75
The need for a genuine left alternative to cuts, privatisation, racism, war and climate change is urgent. The huge enthusiasm around the election of left winger Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party shows the immense potential for unified struggles. However, a glance at the history of the British left will confirm a record of multiple organisations and groups that can be confusing, especially to those new to the movement.
- Allister Mactaggart: Book Review: The Aldermaston generation
International Socialism Journal nr. 149, jan 16 – side 219
Note: Cal Winslow (ed), E P Thompson and the Making of the New Left: Essays & Polemics (Lawrence & Wishart, 2014) £15.99
This collection of E P Thompson’s writings covers the period from 1956 to 1963, a tumultuous but also highly creative and active period for Thompson as a key organiser in the New Left following the Soviet invasion of Hungary, and the resultant resignation of over 10,000 members from the British Communist Party.
- Andrew Stone: Book Review: From militant to minister
International Socialism Journal nr. 146, apr 15 – side 214
Note: Paula Bartley, Ellen Wilkinson: From Red Suffragist to Government Minister (Pluto, 2014), £11.50, and Matt Perry, “Red Ellen” Wilkinson: Her Ideas, Movements and World (Manchester University Press, 2014), £75
Ellen Wilkinson led an extraordinary life. The daughter of an under-employed insurance collector and Methodist minister in Manchester, she took on many guises in her political life: suffragist, teacher, trade union organiser, Communist, Labourist and ultimately cabinet minister. She was an ardent and persuasive public speaker, and a journalist, novelist and writer of several influential books, including her account of the Jarrow Crusade—The Town That Was Murdered—that has lived on in the popular memory as epitomising depression-hit 1930s Britain. She was also one of the foremost anti-imperialist voices of the inter-war years.
- Alex Callinicos: The left after Grangemouth
International Socialism Journal nr. 141, jan 14 – side 3
Note: The last few weeks of 2013 saw three important events in the life of the radical left in Britain-the defeat suffered by workers at the Grangemouth oil refining and chemicals complex in Scotland, the founding conference of Left Unity, and the third conference held that year of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP). Plainly these events are of a different order of significance.
- Joseph Choonara + Jane Hardy: Neoliberalism and the British working class: A reply to Neil Davidson
International Socialism Journal nr. 140, okt 13 – side 103
Note: Neil Davidson has produced a lengthy piece on the neoliberal era in Britain, which raises important questions for us as revolutionary socialists. We agree with much of his narrative. However, the article is a piece of two halves and there are problems with both.
- Neil Davidson: The neoliberal era in Britain: Historical developments and current perspectives
International Socialism Journal nr. 139, jul 13 – side 171
Note: The world economy has experienced four systemic crises since the emergence of capitalism as a global system; the years 1873, 1929, 1973 marked the commencement of the first three.
- Matt Perry: Frank Henderson 1925-2009: A remarkable and revolutionary life
Socialist Worker nr. 2183, jan 10 – side 6
Note: Frank had a remarkable life: he was in Italy and Greece during the Second World War and encountered those countries’ partisan movements; he saw the last days of British rule in Palestine, the early days of Algerian independence and was at the battle of Saltley Gate in the 1972 miners’ strike.
- Gareth Jenkins: Obiturary: Edward Upward (1903-2009)
Socialist Review nr. 334, mar 09 – side 34
Note: Edward Upward, the last of the 1930s generation of left-wing British writers, has died at the age of 105. It is astonishing to think that someone who was in his late 20s when the Wall Street Crash heralded the Great Depression should live on to see an equally deep crisis begin to convulse the system once again.
- Sheila McGregor: SWP Democracy Commission
Socialist Worker nr. 2137, feb 09 – side 10
Note: The Democracy Commission was set up at the recent Socialist Workers Party (SWP) annual conference. It is made up of ten elected members and four members appointed by the SWP’s Central Committee. Its first meeting will be on Saturday 7 February.
- Mark Serwotka: Union-made: Finding our voice
Socialist Review nr. 329, okt 08 – side 17
Note: On occasion I get mail (some of it signed) telling me to stick to union issues and stay out of politics.
But what a hospital cleaner, tanker driver or civil servant gets paid compared to, say, a commodities trader or chief executive of a bank is political. And the government's policy of holding down public sector wages in a time of rampant inflation has made it doubly so.
- Which way now for the left?
Socialist Worker nr. 2102, maj 08 – side 8
Note: Gordon Brown has concluded that his trashing in local elections earlier this month means that Labour needs to move further to the right. Socialist Worker spoke to a range of leading figures and activists on the left to gauge their response, and to ask them what needs to be done.
- Chris Bambery: Debate on the Left: Charting the way ahead after 1 May elections
Socialist Worker nr. 2101, maj 08 – side 5
Note: “Where do we go from here?” is the question being asked by tens of thousands of people on the left, in the movements and in the trade unions after the 1 May elections.
- SWP party council: Fighting on all fronts can help create an alternative
Socialist Worker nr. 2101, maj 08 – side 5
Note: Delegates from across the country came together at a Socialist Workers Party (SWP) national meeting last Sunday to discuss the 1 May election results and the way forward for socialists.
- Lindsey German: London mayoral elections: Why I'm standing
Socialist Review nr. 322, feb 08 – side 7
Note: The election for London mayor is shaping up to be a celebrity clash between the incumbent mayor, Ken Livingstone, and his main rival, the Tory Neanderthal MP for Henley, Boris Johnson.
- Mark Serwotka: Building an alternative to New Labour
Socialist Review nr. 321, jan 08 – side 10
Note: As Gordon Brown's neoliberal attacks on workers intensify, Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS civil servants' union, outlines his vision for a fighting left in Britain today.
- James Dean: Victor Grayson: remembering an independent socialist MP
Socialist Worker nr. 2065, aug 07 – side 13
Note: A militant and independent socialist who was elected to parliament a century ago, shouldn’t be forgotten, writes James Dean.
- Barry Conway: Feedback: 1956 and Labour
International Socialism Journal nr. 113, jan 07 – side 206
Note: Response to Stan Newens: Memories of a seminal year (1956) in International Socialism 112.
- Paul Blackledge: The New Left’s renewal of Marxism
International Socialism Journal nr. 112, sep 06 – side 125
Note: The birth of the New Left in 1956 marked an important turning point in post-war British history. For the first time since the Second World War a political space opened within which socialists could hope to make headway building a movement independent of both Labourism and Stalinism.
- Stan Newens: Memories of a seminal year (1956)
International Socialism Journal nr. 112, sep 06 – side 155
Note: Stan Newens recalls what it was like to live through that tumultuous year as a young socialist.
- Ian Taylor: Respect: the view from below
International Socialism Journal nr. 108, sep 05 – side 57
Note: Interviews with candidates and activists from East London
- John Newsinger: An inferior brew (A review of Neil Redfern: "Class or Nation: Communists, Imperialism and Two World Wars" (Tauris Academic Studies, 2005), £47.50)
International Socialism Journal nr. 108, sep 05 – side 200
Note: Academic discussion of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) has in recent years been dominated by attempts to minimise the organisation’s subordination to Moscow.
- Respect: the record so far
International Socialism Journal nr. 106, mar 05 – side 111
Note: What is the shape of Britain after eight years of New Labour? What has happened to industry, the working class, the schools, the urban landscape? How badly damaged is Labour's base? Jane Hardy, Jacob Middleton, Terry Wrightly, Alex Law, Gerry Mooney and Charlie Kimber provide insights into these issues in a special section.
- Chris Bambery: Scottish Socialist Party: Why did they dump Tommy Sheridan?
Socialist Worker nr. 1930, dec 04 – side 4
Note: TORY LEADER Michael Howard was made to look a fool recently after sacking Boris Johnson for having an affair. The private life of a politician carries few surprises for most people, and doesn’t rate on the same level as telling multiple lies to justify war.
- Paul Langhoff: England: Sejr til ‘Røde Ken’
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 183, jun 00 – side 4
Note: Den venstreorienterede kandidat, Ken Livingstone, vandt en overbevisende sejr ved borgmestervalget i London den 4. maj.
- Tony Cliff 1917-2000: En revolutionær kæmpe
Socialistisk Arbejderavis nr. 182, maj 00 – side 11
Note: Kampen for et socialistisk samfund har mistet en meget inspirerende og engageret kraft, da Tony Cliff, grundlæggeren af IS-tendensen, døde d. 9. april.
- Alex Callinicos + Paul Foot + Mike Gonzalez + Chris Harman + John Molyneux: Open letter to New Left Review
International Socialism Journal nr. 50, mar 91 – side 101
- Donny Gluckstein: The last of the reformists? – A review of Tony Benn’s Diaries 1963-1980
International Socialism Journal nr. 50, mar 91 – side 105
Note: Tony Benn has been the standard bearer of the Labour left for more than a generation. He is one of the few Labour MPs who stood out against the Gulf War. Here Donny Gluckstein reviews all the volumes of the Benn Diaries that have been published so far. He explains why Benn became a socialist, examines his record and charts his ultimate failure.
- Ian Birchall: Raymond Williams: centrist tragedy?
International Socialism Journal nr. 39, jun 88 – side 139
Note: Ian Birchall assesses the work of Marxist critic Raymond Williams, who died earlier this year.
- Ian Birchall: From Benn to Madonna: five years of 'New Socialist'
International Socialism Journal nr. 35, jun 87 – side 116
- Sheila McGregor: The history and politics of Militant
International Socialism Journal nr. 33, sep 86 – side 59
- Ian Birchall: Left alive or left for dead? The terminal crisis in the British Communist Party
International Socialism Journal nr. 30, sep 85 – side 67
- Jon Bloomfield: 'Marxism Today' – a reply to Alex Callinicos
International Socialism Journal nr. 30, sep 85 – side 107
Note: A reply to Alex Callinicos: “The politics of ‘Marxism Today’” in ISJ2:29
(Bloomfield is replying from ‘Marxism Today’)
- Alex Callinicos: The politics of ‘Marxism Today’
International Socialism Journal nr. 29, jun 85 – side 128
Note: Marxism Today, the theoretical and discussion journal of the Communist Party of Great Britain, has been transformed since 1977 from a rather dull monthly of interest only, if at all, to CP members to a lively, attractively produced and controversial magazine widely read on the left.
- Norah Carlin + Ian Birchall: Kinnock's favourite Marxist: Eric Hobsbawm and the working class
International Socialism Journal nr. 21, sep 83 – side 88
- Janet Ure-Smith: The establishment of a Bolshevik newspaper in Britain in the 1920s
International Socialism Journal nr. 18, dec 82 – side 30
Note: Newspapers of the Left today stand within a particular journalistic tradition: that of the ‘radical press’, which can be traced back to the early part of the nineteenth century, to papers like Black Dwarf, The Poor Man’s Guardian and the Northern Star. These were essentially the mouthpiece of working class struggle; they represent a strand of journalism which developed distinct from and in opposition to papers like The Times which by 1850 were well on the way to becoming a fully fledged form of capitalist enterprise.
- Geoff Hodgson: Britain's crisis and the road to international socialism – a reply to Jonathan Bearman
International Socialism Journal nr. 7, dec 79 – side 82
Note: The article that has provoked the greatest interest has been Jonathan Bearman's "Anatomy of the Bennite Left", which was published in our last issue. In this issue we publish the first of a number of responses, this one by Geoff Hodgson, the prospective Labour candidate for Manchester (Withington).
- Jonathan Bearman: An anatomy of the Bennite left
International Socialism Journal nr. 6, sep 79 – side 51
Note: We would like to draw our readers' attention to Jonathan Bearman's Anatomy of the Bennite Left. There is no doubt at all that the politics of the so called 'alternative economic policy' and the forthcoming debates within and around the Labour Party, will attract a lot of attention in the coming months. This article does a great deal to clear away some of the confusions that surround some of these notions.
- Tony Cliff: Interview: Where do we go from here?
Socialist Review nr. 1, apr 78 – side 12
Note: This interview with TONY CLIFF, a leading member of the Socialist Workers’ Party, is the first in a series with socialists of differing viewpoints on the state of the British Labour movement. The interview was conducted by Alex Callinicos.
- Briefing: The Crisis in the British Communist Party
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 101, sep 77 – side 15
Note: On July 17 1977 Sid French, secretary of the Surrey District of the Communist Party, announced the formation of the New Communist Party. The breakaway by the longstanding leader of the Stalinist opposition within the Communist Party marked the most serious crisis in the CP since 1956 when the Russian invasion of Hungary caused at least 7,000 members, many of them workers, to resign in disgust.
- Tony Cliff: On Perspectives
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 36, apr 69 – side 15
Note: On May 22, 1968, the French Prime Minister, Pompidou, told the national assembly: “Nothing will ever be exactly the same.” Today such a statement sounds platitudinous. We shall continue to work and struggle in the glow of the French May events. Just as between 1789 and 1848, the imagery – the personnel, the dramatic events of the first French Revolution – were the terms of reference of all revolutionaries and when one reads Lenin or Plekhanov prior to 1905, the events of 1848 and 1871 are central in evaluating the current events in Russia decades later, so France 1968 will be central to the analysis of the tasks and perspectives of revolutionaries in advanced industrial societies in the years to come.
What is necessary, however, is not a euphoric generalisation about the great days of May and June 1968, but a sober analysis of the lessons of those events.
- James Higgins: Review: Morning Star
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 36, apr 69 – side 40
Note: History of the Communist Party of Great Britain: Vol 1 Formation and Early Years 1919-1924
Lawrence and Wishart, 63s.
- Editorial: The Communist Party
International Socialism Journal (1st series) nr. 31, dec 67 – side 2
Note: Despite belief, the Government continues to declare particularly resistant workers Communist whenever it suits its purpose. This should be of less note than the Communist Party’s reaction to such accusations – self-righteous indignation that so grave a libel should be perpetrated. The response contrasts with the Party’s now very distant Bolshevik past.
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