Sunday, October 01, 2006

Weekly Worker 642 Sept 28th 2006

This Weekly Worker breaks usual practice and has a cover devoted to something other than the far left: Tony Blair, 'Nine years of Blair'. This leads us to a centre-spread by Mike McNair devoted to a leftie booklet on 100 Years of Labour by LLB people Graham Bash and Andrew Fisher. McNair gives a good account of the booklet focussing on their debts to the Anderson-Nairn theory and an underestimation of the role of the 'old' CPGB as a precursor to stating the Weekly Worker line on uniting Marxists into a common party.

Elsewhere, Peter Manson reports on the Sept 23rd anti-war demo in Manchester. In contrast to the STWC/SWP count of 50-60,000 (but with a thing about participating at some point in the day), Manson says that from where he stood it took the demo 50 minutes to pass him and it wasn't going at 1,000 people a minute. Instead he plumps for a BBC estimate of 'up to 20,000'. I'm sticking to my 35,000. Manson does take issue with the STWC taking credit for Blair's premature departure (not as premature as promised!), while accepting that the (wider) 'movement' is responsible for forcing Blair to go and that STW has played a major part in maintaining anti-Blair sentiment. But his deeper criticisms are those of the CPGB line, that STW has been a political failure, emphasising broadness rather than political clarity. I'm not convinced, CPGB just providing a recipe for a much smaller and much more abstract movement. However the call for 'a realsitic assessment of the antiwar movement's strengths and weaknesses' is always welcome. I thought that the anti-war march was a political failure, which always poses the question, what next. Manson does also give an account of a bit of heckling by someone from the Worker-Communist Party of Iran. Nothing about the Sunday conference.

Graham Bash himself says 'Build support for McDonnell', which starts with John McDonnell making the speech of his life at the LRC fringe meeeting. McDonnell has to get the support of 44 MPs, but that formal campaign hasn't started. In the meantime he's running a grassroots campaign. Long way to go.

Chris Knight on 'The science of Marxism' is typically over-blown, but usefully poses a critique by Karl Wittfogel from 1953, which it seems cited partiinost from Lenin to Stalin to justify 'bending' science, falsifying data, to render it suitable for political use, but acquits Marx himself of this distortion. Knight's conclusion: a scientific revolution is validated in theory before passing the final test of practice. But there's another episode to come.

Ted North on Communist students : 'A good beginning' (for such a tiny group of people).

Simon Wells (nice young man expelled with little finesse or politics from the SWP as amply documented in Weekly Worker) on the Al Gore film An Inconvenient Truth, ends up a contrast between the (generally) unsatisfactory SWP approach and the need for a CP. Bless.


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