In 1962 bye-election results revealed the profound discontent of the middle class and workers with the policies of the then Tory government. Ted Grant underlined that the big swing to the Liberals was because they presented themselves as a radical alternative to the Tories. The Labour Party instead was bogged down by the right-wing policies of Gaitskell and his clique.

A wave of strikes, starting with the Asturian miners, challenged the dictatorship of Franco in Spain in the spring of 1962. Ted Grant argued that this heroic struggle represented the beginning of the end of the regime, but at the same time highlighted the limits of the positions put forward by the leaders of the Socialist and Communist parties and the need of building solidarity action with the Spanish workers by the international working class.

In October 1962 Ted Grant summed up the contradictions posed by the post-war arms race between the major powers and the proliferation of nuclear armaments. The working class should never trust international institutions like the UN to address this or any other fundamental problem but should mobilise its own forces around a socialist programme, the only means to put an end to all wars.

In 1942 Ted Grant and Andrew Scott exposed the farcical call on Indian people by British rulers of a “war for freedom” while hundreds of millions were kept in chains. British imperialists promised the Indian masses freedom, but “after the war”, while cynically fostering the divisions on religious lines that would eventually lead to the bloody partition of India. British Marxists demanded Indian workers to be armed and to be granted immediate freedom from colonial rule.

“The government has proclaimed a crisis, exhorted the workers to greater exertions and sacrifices, only for them to be faced with the same situation in the next 2 years.” Back in 1961 Ted Grant analysed how the British ruling class constantly attempted to throw the weight of British capitalism’s decline onto the shoulders of the working class.

In 1961, the sixth economic crisis in Britain since the end of the Second World War was used once again by the Tory government to justify a policy of cutting taxes for the rich and introducing indirect taxation which affected the standards of living of ordinary people. Ted Grant exposed the ruthless class nature of these policies and invited the trade union and Labour leaders to action.

In this 1971 article (produced as a special pamphlet) Ted Grant exposed the capitalist character of the Common Market and explained that the EEC was nothing more than a “glorified customs union” to protect the interests of the European capitalists against the USA and Japan. This Europe would not carry out policies in favour of the workers of any country. While taking sides clearly against the EEC, Ted Grant also exposed the nationalist character of the arguments put forward by the Labour “lefts” of the Tribune.

 

“The arguments of the anti-marketeers in the labour movement have had no more substance than those of the pro-marketeers themselves. They have adopted a narrow nationalistic outlook, appealing against the loss of British ‘sovereignty’… Neither nationalism nor pseudo-Europeanism is a solution in the interests of the working class… The solution to the problem lies in the unity of the workers of Europe and the world against the capitalists of Europe and the world. A socialist Britain, in a socialist united states of Europe.”

In 1966 the Labour leaders after opposing entry into the EEC (the old name of the EU) on a nationalist basis did an about turn seeking entry on a capitalist basis. The Marxists opposed entry into the EEC on a socialist, internationalist position, as Ted wrote, "for the working class neither entry nor non-entry would solve their problems or lead to an increased standard of living...There is no road to the union of Europe except on a socialist basis, with full national autonomy, the abolition of tariffs, national armies and government state machines."

A general strike erupted in Belgium in the winter of 1960-61 against the austerity measures of the government. The movement lasted six weeks exposing the impotence of the ruling class. Ted Grant drew the lessons of this epic struggle and polemicised with those leftists who had written off the revolutionary potential of the European working class because of “high standards of living in the welfare state”.

 

In April 1960 savage repression of student led protests against rigged elections sparked off revolution in South Korea. The students were joined by the workers and within 10 days the semi-dictatorial rule of US-backed president Rhee was overthrown. Ted Grant pointed out that US imperialism had no alternative other than to grant substantial concessions to the masses in order to stem the tide of revolt.

In May 1961 Ted Grant replied to an article in the Tribune by Michael Foot who alleged that the Second World War could have been avoided, had the British ruling class understood that Hitler was “bluffing”.

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