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Socialist Appeal
Leader Collective leadership (Central Committee)
Founded 1991
Headquarters London
Newspaper Socialist Appeal
Ideology Trotskyism
Political position Far-left
International affiliation International Marxist Tendency
Website
http://www.socialist.net/
Politics of the United Kingdom
Political parties
Elections

Socialist Appeal is the publication of a British Trotskyist organisation operating within the Labour Party which was founded by Ted Grant and Alan Woods after they claimed they had been expelled from the Militant tendency. The organisation is popularly known as the Socialist Appeal group, and publishes a monthly newspaper of the same name. It is the British section of the International Marxist Tendency.

Contents

History

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Militant Tendency had been an influential Trotskyist force within the British Labour Party. Ted Grant had been "one of the founders" and a major theoretical leader of the Militant tendency [1] but claims to have been expelled with other supporters after the 1991 debate on the "Open Turn".

A special conference decision to endorse the Open Turn by 93% to 7% entailed Militant supporters abandoning the entrist strategy of working within the Labour Party and leaving to form an independent party. The new party known as Militant Labour later changed its name in 1997 to become the Socialist Party in England and Wales while in Scotland Scottish Militant Labour instigated the formation of the Scottish Socialist Party.

The split was due to the Militant Tendency's majority adoption of the "Open Turn", Grant's continued support for the tactic of entrism within the Labour Party and what Grant and Woods claimed was the bureaucratic centralist degeneration of Militant's internal regime [2]. After the debate and conference decision, the Militant Tendency claimed that Grant and Woods had begun a separate organisation and had split from the Militant Tendency, whilst Grant and Woods claimed to have been expelled. The Socialist Party drew the conclusions that due to the adoption of right wing economic polices by the Labour Party, it was effectively a bourgeois political party. Socialist Appeal argued that the Labour Party's funding was based on trade unions, and the Labour Party retains support amongst the working class. The Socialist Appeal group claims that they focus on educating their members.

As Labour under Tony Blair has embraced the Third Way and moved away from its socialist roots, most Trotskyist tendencies in Britain that employed the tactic of entryism have left Labour and either run candidates under their own banner, such as the Socialist Party, or joined electoral coalitions such as the Scottish Socialist Party or the Socialist Alliance. Supporters of Socialist Appeal have rejected this turn and they are the best known Trotskyist group in Britain which maintains the entrist tactic in the twenty-first century. Socialist Appeal began publishing their own journal in 1992. In 2009, the monthly publication Socialist Appeal changed from a magazine journal format to a full colour tabloid.

International Marxist Tendency

The banner of the International Marxist Tendency. Socialist Appeal is the British section of the IMT.

Although they remain relatively small in Britain, their international group, the International Marxist Tendency, has grown significantly in number, especially in the Indian subcontinent and Latin America, where they are enthusiastic supporters of the Bolivarian Revolution (they instigated the formation of the Hands Off Venezuela campaign group). As well as publishing their magazine Socialist Appeal, the group has also published a number of books by Leon Trotsky, Ted Grant and Alan Woods. The group has devoted much of their time to developing the multilingual website In Defence of Marxism.

Publications of the Same Name

Socialist Appeal was also the name of two British Trotskyist newspapers associated with Ted Grant in the 1940s: one was the newspaper of the Workers International League and immediately following that of the Revolutionary Communist Party.

It was also the name of the paper of the Trotskyist Workers Party of the United States during its period of entrism in the Socialist Party of America in 1936-38.

Socialist Appeal is the name of the English-language newspaper of the Workers' International League, the US section of the International Marxist Tendency, and a newspaper in New Zealand which is also affiliated with the IMT.

See also

References

  1. ^ Grant, Ted, The unbroken thread, Introduction, page ix
  2. ^ Against Bureaucratic Centralism

External links

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