RIP Steve Wallis

steve wallis

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

Defend free speech in Left Unity!

first-amendment-us-little_art_fullAfter 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:

Free speech: The permitted shades of grey

Karl Marx stood for free speech, in the tradition of the first amendment to the US constitution, writes Eddie Ford

Left Unity: Freedom to criticise must be defended

Laurie McCauley reports on his suspension from Manchester branch

Left Unity: A matter of political health

Unity requires freedom to criticise, argues Paul Demarty

‘Speaking bitterness’ and Left Unity

The precursor of ‘safe spaces’ was unsuccessful and destructive in past movements of the oppressed, writes Mike Macnair

Report on Manchester LU, & the Gerry Adams controversy


The current issue of the Weekly Worker carries two articles concerning Left Unity.

In the first, ComPlat supporter Laurie McCauley reports on worrying developments in the Manchester branch, where a motion of censure has been brought against one comrade, for comments on the internal email list expressing polite disagreement with other members:

In other news, the writing of a fairly innocuous press release by the LU leadership on the arrest of Gerry Adams, in a rare display of initiative, has kicked off a huge barney on the article’s comment thread. Paul Demarty attempts to explain that avoiding disagreements is a road to nowhere in this article: