In the middle of the war the ILP was floundering. Not having
a fully worked out Marxist programme, it combined opportunism and sectarianism
at the same time. They could not understand the method as outlined by Ted Grant
at the time, which was not to issue mere denunciations of the Labour Party
leaders. It could “only be done by demonstrating to the masses, by their own
experience, that their leaders are incapable of representing their interests.”
The Labour leaders were in the wartime coalition, but not as “equal
partners”. What the bosses wanted came first and the Labour leaders bowed down
to this pressure. But pressure was also building up from below to meet the
needs of the workers. Ted Grant looked at how all this was reflected in the
Labour Party conference.
making rapid advances on all fronts, shocking the British and Americans. On
this basis Mussolini decided to back what he thought was going to be the
winning horse. This forced the USA to speed up its decision to actively
participate in the war and also to woo Russia into the Allied camp. As Ted
Grant predicted “Armageddon is upon us. Millions will be crushed under the
advancing tanks and warplanes.”
More than halfway into the Second World War the mood among the British workers was changing. The bourgeois could feel the changing mood and attempted to manoeuvre by making false promises. All this was putting pressure on the Labour Party, where the contradiction between the leaders in the coalition government and the workers in general was becoming ever more evident.
While every effort was being made by the Labour (and
Communist) leaders to uphold the national government, the mood among the masses
was changing. A series of local elections in May 1942 revealed that radical
left mood was developing of opposition to the government and where left
candidates stood they got good results.