Comrade Steve Wallis, well known on the Manchester left and stalwart of the city’s Left Unity branch, died of a heart attack last week. Having first met Steve at an LU meeting only late last year, I cannot claim to have known him well. But Steve had a frank disposition – that rare type who really do wear their heart on their sleeve – and it did not take long to work out what motivated him. Continue reading
The suggested agenda (to be ratified by meeting) is:
.12:00pm, Sunday 14th September
Calthorpe Arms, 252 Grays Inn Road, London WC1
All Communist Platform members and supporters welcome. There will be assistance with fares for those who need it.
Elements within Left Unity have argued against ‘electoralism’, with the implication that standing in elections necessarily means becoming corrupted by the establishment; LU should instead focus all its energies on bread-and-butter campaigning if it is not to fall into a reformist approach.
This economistic attitude to elections and the state is the polar opposite of the approach adopted by the Marxists who made the Russian revolution, argues ComPlat supporter Mike Macnair. His fascinating review of two books by August Nimtz on the Bolshevik’s electoral strategy also takes in the contemporary debate within Left Unity, and is of interest to all comrades in LU. Continue reading
Two more articles by ComPlat supporters in recent weeks on the necessity of transparency and open debate to any meaningful and lasting unity;
In ‘Confidentiality is a bosses’ tool’, Paul Demarty argues vigorously against the Left Unity Dispute Committee’s decision to conduct disputes in private:
‘Bolshevism was not a safe space for opportunism'; Mark Fischer reminds us that it was the open clash of ideas which forged the Bolsheviki.
After reporting on attempts to censure one member of Manchester LU, Complat supporter Laurie McCauley has been suspended from the branch, on the basis of spurious complaints about ‘privacy’ of branch matters.
As well as another report from Manchester, the Weekly Worker features several articles on transparency, the right to criticise, and the repeated failure of previous attempts to make it big by hushing up, and clamping down on openly expressed political differences:
Karl Marx stood for free speech, in the tradition of the first amendment to the US constitution, writes Eddie Ford
Laurie McCauley reports on his suspension from Manchester branch
Unity requires freedom to criticise, argues Paul Demarty
The precursor of ‘safe spaces’ was unsuccessful and destructive in past movements of the oppressed, writes Mike Macnair
ComPlat supporter Yassamine Mather, who was elected onto Left Unity’s leadership body, the National Council in the recent internal elections, reports on the group’s first meeting in the Weekly Worker:
In the wake of the May 22nd local & European elections, the main topic of discussion at the national meeting of the Communist Platform on May 31st was electoral strategy and tactics.
ComPlat supporter Peter Manson reports, in ‘Dispelling delusions of easy success’ over at the Weekly Worker site:
ComPlat supporter Peter Manson on the results garnered by Left Unity and other left groups in the May 22 local elections:
And Sarah McDonald reports on the failed, bureaucratic attempt by elements of LU in Scotland to impose support for a ‘Yes’ in the upcoming independence referendum:
Though there are real problems to be tackled in terms of ensuring accessibility and fair treatment for members of oppressed groups, the proposed ‘safe spaces’ policy is over-elaborate, non-transparent, and open to abuse. So argues ComPlat supporter Mike Macnair in the article below, in which he also proposes an alternative code of conduct: