Left groups and people

Other slants on the ISO collapse

Author

Martin Thomas

At Socialist Alternative's (S Alt's) "Socialism Sydney 2019" event I was able to talk with some people from S Alt about the collapse and disappearance, in March-April this year, of the International Socialist Organisation USA.

The ISO was the biggest group outside Australia with which S Alt had links. With maybe 900 members, the ISO was, and had been for a while, the most active revolutionary socialist group in the USA. Its political history could be traced back (with twists and shifts along the way) to the Workers' Party of Max Shachtman (from 1940).

“After Johnson’s Brexit, us”

Author

Sacha Ismail

Reprinted from Labour for a Socialist Europe (labourforasocialisteurope.org)

A new “left-wing” campaign for Brexit, “Leave – Fight – Transform” (LeFT), has been launched with great fanfare from the Morning Star.

The initial signatories, too, confirm that this is an initiative of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) and other bits of British Stalinism. More on that below.

The rise of the DSA: hopes and limits

Author

Simon Nelson

The DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) – a group founded in 1973 as a left social-democratic splinter from the then-decaying “Shachtmanite” Heterodox Trotskyist tradition, and long with little profile - has recently grown to over 50,000 members.

The DSA convention this year (2-4 August) had over 1,000 delegates, an increase from 700 in 2017. Admirably, the conference was livestreamed. It may have seemed overly procedural at points, but it reflects well on the DSA that their conference is accessible to the membership and a wider audience.

New Tory “Brexit coup” plan: make Labour fight!

Author

Pete Broxas

Paul Mason, one of the most influential journalists and writers in the pro-Corbyn left, has called for “a progressive pact with Greens and Lib Dems” as Labour’s “only option” against Boris Johnson and his rush for Brexit.

In Parliament, as against Johnson’s government as against other Tory governments in the past, Labour MPs will of course walk through the same lobbies as Lib Dems and the SNP and rebel Tories.

They will even coordinate parliamentary tactics with them.

New setback in USA
Author

Rhodri Evans

There is no public announcement about this yet, but we reliably hear that the conference of the US revolutionary socialist group Solidarity on the weekend 29-30 June voted to set up a committee to explore converting it from an organisation into an educational centre.

This follows the decision by the larger International Socialist Organization (ISO) in March- April to dissolve itself.

Labour shifts on Brexit. Now clinch a victory!

Author

Colin Foster

“No matter what deal is on the table, and which party has negotiated it, our position must be to remain in the EU and oppose any form of Brexit”, declared shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry at a “Love Socialism Hate Brexit” meeting in Parliament on Monday 15 July.

Diane Abbott, Dawn Butler, Jon Ashworth and Keir Starmer also spoke. John McDonnell and Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard sent messages of support.

Corbyn in the 1980s

Author

Sean Matgamna

The Times of 6 July 2019 ran an article by Dominic Kennedy, "Corbyn's hard-left blueprint revealed", attacking Jeremy Corbyn for his links in the 1980s with Socialist Organiser, a forerunner of Solidarity. Sean Matgamna, editor of Socialist Organiser in the period described, talked to Solidarity.



We have serious political differences with Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.

Greece’s election: end of a chapter

Author

Theodora Polenta

The 7 July election in Greece confirmed the trends that emerged in the Euro elections:

• a comfortable ND (New Democracy, equivalent of the Tories) dominance that revolved around engaging the centre right and alt right voters

• a lack of momentum from Syriza (the leftish party that has governed since 2015), which paid the price of its capitulation and transformation into a pro-memoranda, pro-austerity party

• the weakness of the anti-capitalist Left to persuade and inspire

The record of Chris Williamson

Author

Keith Road

The issue with the suspended Labour MP Chris Williamson is not, as some in the Labour Party think, one off-beam remark in a Sheffield Momentum meeting, or a few incautious tweets.

Detailed web postings by RS21 member Dave Renton and socialist blogger “Bob from Brockley” have shown that Williamson has used his position as a prominent Corbyn-supporting MP to give the ideas of a segment of the far right a channel into the labour movement.

Rearguard fight by Labour’s Brexiters

Author

Jim Denham

The wretched Skwawkbox blog, as ever representing the most craven and regressive forces within the apolitical Corbyn fan club, is presently promoting an open letter to Tom Watson, penned by one Chelley Ryan:

“One of the likely reasons we have lost support over Brexit, is because many MPs like yourself, refuse to put the case for our sensible compromise position” bleats Chelley.

Skwawkbox’s editor, the businessman Steve Walker, can scarcely contain his enthusiasm:

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