In 1962, there was an open confrontation between American big business and the Kennedy administration, which provoked chaos and panic in the US and European stock exchanges. Ted Grant pointed out that although Kennedy made it clear that his policies fundamentally sided with the capitalist class, the essence of the conflict was all about showing who was Boss. Ted pointed out that in this there was a warning for the British labour movement, because Kennedy’s so-called “people’s capitalism” was being presented as a model to follow by the Labour Party right-wing leaders in Britain.

A one-day massive strike of the railwaymen against announced sackings and closures on the part of the Railway Commission in October 1962 showed the potential strength of the workers when mobilised. The crisis was the result of privatisation policies, as Ted Grant pointed out, and therefore the working class should fight for a co-ordinated plan of all transport to be placed in public hands. But experience showed that nationalisation was not enough: the workers had to participate from top to bottom in control and management.

In 1961, economic crisis hit the British economy. Ted Grant pointed out that “the only remedy of the Tory witchdoctors is to bleed the victim in the new economic squeeze, for the benefit of their millionaire paymasters.” The attacks against workers’ living standards were a golden opportunity for Labour to expose the class nature of Tory policies and build an alternative, but the bankrupt policies of right-wing LP leaders were not offering the workers an alternative.

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