George Walford: Doing the Splits (51)

Freedom, the anarchist fortnightly (23 February), reported that British opposition to the Gulf War (it came mainly from eidodynamic movements) fell into disarray. A meeting of the umbrella committee “degenerated into a series of bitter disputes and separate meetings,” the leftist groups involved pursued “their private sectarian battles,” and there was no agreed polity nor even agreement that there should be one.

(From the same issue): “Internal disputes within the Militant Tendency mean that the campaign organiser, a Militant supporter, was not allowed to address the recent (Anti-Poll Tax) Federation meeting by the Federation’s chairperson, also a Militant supporter.”

Speaking of the rise of the Labour Party: “typically, for the Left, the ILP and the SDF were at loggerheads… ” (Peter Bacos in Ethical Record, February 1991 p.22)

“The Communist Party split in the spring between the Eurocommunist majority and the hardline minority, the leaders of the minority being expelled, including the editor of the Morning Star. The Workers Revolutionary Party split. The International Marxist Group, a Trotskyist group within the Labour Party, split into two factions. The newspaper, Labour Herald, split in two, with one faction occupying the offices and locking out the other.” (Guardian 31 December 1985)

The German Green movement’s share of the vote has dropped from 8.3% in 1987 (under PR this gave them 42 seats) to under 5% (no seats at all except for a few specially allotted to East Germany). “They were and remain a spectacularly uneasy coalition of small left-wing groups and the newer greens; their squabbling may have led to their downfall… ” (Richard North, Observer 9 December 1990)

The extent to which divisiveness has come to be recognised as characteristic of the reformers, revolutionaries and repudiators appears in a note from a correspondent. Having first encountered the (A-) SPGB in the columns of IC, he took the two to be different factions of the one organisation.

from Ideological Commentary 51, May 1991.