Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Labour Party “purges” AWL (Workers Liberty)

The Labour Party has apparently expelled a number of members who are "alleged" to be leading activists in the Alliance for Workers Liberty” (AWL). At least one person who was due to attend last week’s Labour Party conference was not allowed due to the expulsion.

AWL has a somewhat complicated political history as a Far Left Marxist Trotskyite group (see here and below.

It also has long been accused of political entryism into the Labour Party. I do not know that much about the AWL nor whether or not the individuals expelled did in fact break Party rules. Since they may be appealing against that decision I had better not mention any names.

However, I thought that AWL supporters would be in trouble with the Party when I saw that the AWL was supporting non-Labour Party candidates in the local elections in the GLA and local Council elections (they even decided to support the awful SWP/Left List and their candidate German Lindsey - see here). How can anyone do that?

Also, they have also even registered as a political party with the election commission in their own right (see here).

I must admit that personally I have found individual AWL “supporters” to have been on the whole, pretty reasonable and decent folk who you can discuss and debate issues with. Obviously there have been exceptions (You know who you are) and of course I think that their overall politics are frankly bonkers.

But compared to the likes of the vile SWP and its largely deranged brain washed minions....

But if it's activists are in fact organising and standing against the Labour Party then they should either leave or be expelled. End of story. I think that most of them are beginning to realise it is in fact a waste of time to stay. But thanks for the subs for those who do (for now).

A somewhat potted history (since 1966) of the AWL from Wikipeda - Firstly, Revolutionary Socialist League; Militant tendency, then Workers' Fight; then International Socialists; then Socialist Workers Party; then Trotskyist Tendency, Workers Power; Left Faction; International-Communist League; Necessary International Initiative; Socialist Campaign for a Labour Victory; Socialist Organiser; Workers Socialist League; Socialist Organiser Alliance; Socialist Organiser ; Alliance for Workers' Liberty; Socialist Alliance; Socialist Alliance Democracy Platform;Socialist Green Unity Coalition.....nuf said?

"In August 2008 two members left the alliance to form The Commune. Their resignations were part of a wave of discussion triggered by an article by (AWL guru) Sean Matgamna which argued that "The harsh truth is that there is good reason for Israel to make a precipitate strike at Iranian nuclear capacity” .

UPDATE: from a usually reliable source


I saw your post about AWL on LabourHome

Membership of it is automatic grounds for expulsion if proven – there are only 2 organisations that are proscribed for entryism where this is the case – Militant (now trading as the Socialist Party and abandoned entryism anyway) and Socialist Organiser (now trading as AWL and running a 2 track in & out policy as some key members were expelled at the point of proscription in 1988).

The SWP (and indeed Tories!) are not proscribed because they don’t practice entryism".


Anonymous said...

Hello John, good piece.

I found the following earlier this year on a trawl through the blogosphere.

"You may be surprised to learn that the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) has even bothered to register as a political party seeing as how its not come within a mile of electoral success. But there it is - registered with the Electoral Commission under the name 'Worker's Liberty'.

"Which makes the following exchange from the UULunatics email list an interesting read. (I've deleted all the irrelevant crap):

From: Chris Allen (AWL)
Speculation is rife that Tony Blair will stand down from the Labour leadership shortly after the Scottish/Welsh/local elections to be held on May 3rd. John McDonnell is a left Labour MP who is standing against Gordon Brown for the leadership of the Labour Party ... join the Labour Party now to vote for John. Please forward this to your friends and contacts, with a personal note asking them to join.

From: Roger Bannister (SPEW)
Is this for real? I've had to pause during my speeches to AGMs this year due to applause when I call for disaffilation. How out of touch with the mood of the members can you get?

From: Chris Allen
Will UNISON eventually dis - affiliate from Labour? perhaps Will that be this year? Definately not...I don't want to rely on disaffiliation at some future date, I want to use whatever tools at my disposal, to fight now Their is a possibility of a labour movement election of the next prime minister Should we obstain from the process?Are we happy to see Brown elected unopposed?
Getting a Labour Party card seems a small price to pay to get a bigger say, to get democratic rights about what my union does inside the Labour Party. If McDonnell makes it to the ballot paper ( and that remains unknown) this will be the most significant labour movement election since Serwotka stood for the PCS Gen Sec. election

"I apologise for the appalling spelling by Mr.Allen.

"And, of course, it's always nice to see the Lunatics falling out.

"But what is Mr.Allen really proposing? That AWL (and other Trot-party) members resign from their own parties to join Labour temporarily? Or that they try to be members of both?

"And does he really think the Labour Party won't spot all these wild-eyed vermin suddenly buddying up to the party they've castigated for so long with so much venom?

"And, if they resigned from their own pathetic parties, won't that simply hand their own party bureau chiefs a chance to clear out the stables of all their unwanted baggage when they try to rejoin?"

Yes, John, some of the AWL'ers do come across as quite reasonable when compared with the wild-eyed loons of some of the other cults, but they've got their own party and should concentrate on getting on with losing touch there, rather than try to drag our party into a much smaller world of strangeness where because you disagree with someone you have to change the party name.


Anonymous said...

This lot are bonkers.
Look at this froth-mouthed extract from their "Founding document" (which is how they describe it on their website):

Comrades who come to Bolshevism (Trotskyism) in Britain today are faced with the polarisation between the irrational super activists and the contemplative scholastics perched with their telescopes atop a mountain of press cuttings from the Financial Times - and with the mutilating rationalisations that go with both. This is an artificial, a self-defeating division.

Trotskyism is neither Healyism nor Grantism! Both feed off each other and are one-sided inversions, in their development and now; arbitrary overemphasis of different aspects which should be complementary reduces both to the level of political deformities. Natural selection completes this.

It must be said that Healy and God have something in common: they clearly fulfil a vital need for so many people ... Those who have never had contact with the SLL must have a sneaking suspicion that Healy doesn't exist at all but is the product of the need of a large number of people and groups for a bogey-man. If Healy didn't exist Grant would have had to invent him a long time ago! In all seriousness, we think they had a large part in creating each other.

In the whole world the only consistently revolutionary ideology is Marxism - the Marxism of Bolshevism and the Third International is today to be found in Trotskyism: there exists no other proletarian communism. We must not fail in our duty to defend this from the adulterations of Grant, as well as Healy.

We repeat that the division is artificial:


Sean said...

As it happens John I think I would have left a group that made a comment like that!(not that I have ever bene an AWL member anyway)

Anonymous said...

I actually like this group even if their Trots

however, they refused to back Ken in the Mayoral elecetion prefering SWP purged leader German

The AWL I guess was protecting their name a failure Respect SWP and The Socialist Party learnt to their cost

in that other people registered their names ie Socialist party of Great Britain who have great fun in pointing this out to the Socialist Party (Militant)

But at the end of the day I believe we must expel all entryists Blairites such as Charles Clarke and his SDP Mk2 and AWL

A position Dennis Skinner rightly took over expulsion of Militant which he backed and I did not he was right and I was wrong

John Gray said...

Thanks for the contributions folks. I think they are better off outside the Party.


dare I call them “Trot Tankies”?