British Labour movement & English Revolution

1945 Labour Party posterEver since the formation of the Labour Party in 1900, there has been controversy on the left over whether or not to participate in the party. To develop a correct understanding of this question, it is important to look at the experience of the past. Our task is to learn from history in order to avoid unnecessary mistakes. History, after all, is littered with the wreckage of small sectarian groups who attempted to mould the workers’ movement into its preconceived plans and failed.

Different “Marxist” groups have made one mistake after another on this key question. Towards the end of the 1960s, a number of left groups abandoned work in the Labour Party in disgust at the counter-reforms of the then Labour government. They wrote off the party and set about building their own independent revolutionary parties, ignoring everything that had been written on the importance of the mass organisations. The more isolated they were, the more ultra-left they became. Rather than connect with the real movement, they continually sought to tear the advanced workers away from the mass. They saw their prime task as to “expose” the leadership through shrill denunciation. This has been the hallmark of all these different sectarian groups. With such antics they end up playing into the hands and reinforcing the position of the right-wing leaders.

– From Britain: Marxism and the Labour Party – Some important lessons for today

(Separate sections on the British Labour movement and the English Revolution are available)

Title Created Date Author
Britain: Labour victory in Peterborough silences the cynics 10 June 2019 Joe Attard
[Video] Liverpool in the 1980s - how to fight the cuts 12 April 2019 Mike Hogan
[Video] Oliver Cromwell and the English Revolution 15 February 2019 Alan Woods
Book review: Nelson at Naples – how a British ‘hero’ helped drown a revolution in blood 02 January 2019 Josh Holroyd
Mexico: Alan Woods discusses English Revolution at the Leon Trotsky Museum 26 November 2018 La Izquierda Socialista
The Dagenham machinists strike and the struggle for equality 08 June 2018 Natasha Sorrell
Britain: Labour and Clause 4 – 100 years on 28 February 2018 Steve Brown
Britain: for a new 'New Unionism' 17 January 2018 Ben Gliniecki
[Video] Guy Fawkes Night: Gunpower, Treason and Plot 05 November 2016 Alan Woods
Lessons of the 1931 Labour split 12 September 2016 Rob Sewell
[Book] Ted Grant - The permanent revolutionary 20 July 2016 Alan Woods
90 years since the British General Strike: The lessons for today 04 May 2016 James Kilby
200 years since the Battle of Waterloo: A Battle that changed world history 18 June 2015 Alan Woods
The Great Miners' Strike in Britain: Why we fought 13 March 2014 Ian Isaac
Britain: 30 years on: Scargill was right - we were right! 10 January 2014 John Dunn, Justice for Mineworkers
The 1944 apprentices' strike: a reflection by Bill Landles - Part 2 04 November 2013 Bill Landles
The 1944 apprentices' strike: a reflection by Bill Landles 31 October 2013 Bill Landles
Britain: The Matchgirls strike - from a spark to a blaze 08 July 2013 Stephen Domville
1919: Britain on the Brink of Revolution 16 May 2013 Rob Sewell
Poll Tax: “We Won't Pay” - How Thatcher was defeated 19 April 2013 Rob Sewell in 1990
[Audio] The British miners strike and the lessons for today 28 August 2012 John Dunn
[Audio] Britain on the brink - 1972 09 July 2012 Rob Sewell and Ken Capstick
Britain: 1972 - The year of struggle and turmoil 08 June 2012 Rob Sewell
Ireland and the politics of bigotry 20 January 2012 Harry Whittaker
1912: "The Great Unrest" 11 January 2012 Darrall Cozens
1936: The Battle of Cable Street 04 October 2011 Sam Ashton
[Audio] Rob Sewell on the English Revolution 12 September 2011 Rob Sewell
The 1931 National Government and the lessons of the ILP Split 30 August 2011 Rob Sewell
Walton by-election, twenty years on: “Withering on the vine” 19 May 2011 Rob Sewell
The Blitz: Seventy years on 10 September 2010 Socialist Appeal
Remembering Pat Wall, Friend, Fighter and Marxist (1933 – 1990) 06 August 2010 Rob Sewell
Britain: Marxism and the Labour Party – Some important lessons for today 09 July 2010 Rob Sewell
Britain, 1974: Workers kick out Tory government 17 June 2010 Terry McPartlan
Britain: 1972 Miners' Strike - Tories Thrashed 16 June 2010 Terry McPartlan
Book Review: "When We Were Miners" 27 May 2010 Sam Hammersley
Britain: When the Tories took on the working class and lost 16 April 2010 Terry McPartlan, Tynemouth CLP (personal capacity)
The Last Stand of the Levellers 27 October 2009 Dudley Edwards
Bill Landles: 65 years a revolutionary 27 October 2009 Alan Woods
The Early Years of the Communist Party of Great Britain - 1922-1925 16 June 2009 Steve Reynolds
Thatcher: Thirty Years On 09 June 2009 Terry McPartlan
Britain: Remembering the great miners' strike 1984-85 02 April 2009 Mick Brooks
Britain: The Ridley Report. How the Tories planned to take on the miners and the working class 25 February 2009 Anthony Healy
Winston Churchill: a modern myth 15 October 2008 Harry Whittaker
Looking Back: The Lucas Aerospace Plan 24 July 2008 Fred McDowell
Britain: Sixty years of the National Health Service 07 July 2008 Kate Smart and Barbara Humphries
[Audio] The Miners' Strike 09 December 2007 Rob Sewell
Britain: The Act of Union 1707 12 July 2007 Kenny McGuigan
Britain: Trades Dispute Act 1906 and the first Labour MPs 05 December 2006 Barbara Humphries
John MacLean, a working class hero - The story of Scotland's greatest revolutionary figure - Part Three 24 August 2006 Kenny McGuigan
John MacLean, a working class hero - The story of Scotland's greatest revolutionary figure – Part Two 15 August 2006 Kenny McGuigan