In 1971, one year into the Tory government, with sluggish economic growth unemployment was growing and inflation had risen to 9%. At the same time the Tories were launching a vicious attack on the organised labour movement, provoking a backlash from the working class. Ted Grant pointed out that only a clear a decisive lead given from the Labour Party and the Trade Union movement as a whole for genuine socialist policies, could end this nightmare once and for all.

At the end of 1968 a currency crisis shook the world markets outlining the extreme volatility of the world situation. Here is Ted Grant’s analysis on the processes behind that crisis.

In 1968 revolutionary processes erupted throughout the Middle East. Here Ted Grant provided a first analysis of the nature of the August coup by the right-wing Baathists in Iraq.

In February 1968 massive cuts in social spending by the Labour government were carried out in order to support the increasing burden of military expenditure. The Labour bureaucracy was sacrificing the basic interests and needs of the British workers to cling on to the power politics of British imperialism. In this article Ted Grant provided a merciless criticism of the Labour leaders’ policies.

In autumn 1967 a wave of strikes erupted with the British miners, dockers and printers taking the lead. After years of Labour government the workers were demanding measures against the worsening conditions they were experiencing. Ted Grant argued that the TUC, which had adopted the demand for a national minimum wage of £15, should mobilise the workers to put pressure on the Labour government to enforce it. He also called for the nationalisation of the 380 big monopolies to provide the necessary means for a decisive change.

In this article of March 1967 Ted Grant welcomed the Easter march of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament as a moment for socialists to expose the hypocrisy of imperialist power politics. Although different because of their class nature the Stalinist bureaucracies of Russia and China were not offering a real alternative to capitalist war and put forward the deceptive policy of supporting the United Nations as a means to enforce peace on a world scale.

In 1967 a truce in the cold war between the Western powers and the USSR opened a drive towards the East, to access the markets of the Eastern bloc. Capitalists were no longer afraid of the revolutionary potential of the USSR and the Soviet bloc and rushed to get access to the markets of these countries. Ted Grant explained in this article the reasons behind this.

With concrete facts and figures Ted Grant demonstrated in this article of June 1966 that “Wilson and Callaghan are basing their budget on the interests of the giant manufacturers and combines and not on the interests of the working class.” But this would not stop the inevitable decline of British capitalism and the need for the working class to fight for an alternative to capitalist rule.

In March 1966 the Wilson Labour government was solidly in office with a 13.5 percent lead against the Tories in the opinion polls. In spite of the government’s drastic measures to tackle the payments crisis and the general decline of British capitalism, workers continued to see the Tories as being responsible for the then crisis. Instead of leaning on this tremendous support in society to carry out a programme of genuine reforms, Wilson bowed to the pressures of the capitalist class and strove to make the workers pay for the bosses’ crisis.

Towards the end of 1966 the beginnings of crisis were being felt in Britain and the capitalists were undergoing feverish preparations to make the workers pay for it with the collaboration of the Wilson Labour government. This led to increasing friction between the government and the trade unions. The dreams of the Labour right wing were being proven false by capitalism itself: “So much for the spurious optimism of Wilson and the Cabinet. They thought they could ‘plan’ capitalism. Capitalism is planning them,” sarcastically commented Ted Grant.

In 1970 the outgoing Wilson government lost the elections to the Tories. However, the Labour leaders did not draw any of the lessons from the disastrous experience of 1964-70 when they had been in office and issued yet another ambiguous draft programme for the 1972 Labour Party conference. Ted Grant analysed in detail the LP draft programme, pointing out all the contradictions of the reformist outlook and how this would inevitably lead the next Labour government to being one of crisis, which is what eventually happened in 1974-79.

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