The socialist workers party 1951-1979

The Socialist Workers Party (the International Socialists) has grown into an organization capable of small but significant interventions in the class struggle, and with a real possibility of laying the foundations for a revolutionary party in Britain.

23.06.2010
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prlll rgumnt rltd t th qustn f wrk wthn th trd unn mvmnt. Sm cmrds rgud fr cnsdrbl mprtnc t b gvn t wrkng wthn th ffcl unn mchnry, cntstng lctns tc. thrs rgud tht th mn prrty must b gvn t buldng wthn th wrkplc.

Ths dvlpmnts nvtbly mnt th rplcmnt f sm ppl wh hd rcrd f lng srvc n th rgnstn. Rgr Prtz, wh hd md n nrmus cntrbutn t th dvlpmnt f Sclst Wrkr snc 1968, rsgnd s dtr fllwng dsgrmnts but th rnttn f th ppr. nd th Sptmbr 1974 Cnfrnc r-lctd lss thn hlf f th utgng Ntnl Cmmtt.

Nnthlss, th tsk f buldng S nt rvlutnry wrkrs' prty s stll vry fr frm bng cmpltd. But th pltcl nlyss nd xprnc bult up vr th frst qurtr cntury f th grup's xstnc prvds th bs n whch ths cn b dn.

Prt 3: Fcng th crss

TH LCTN f Lbur Gvrnmnt n Fbrury 1974 ws t mn, t grtr xtnt thn nyn t th tm rlsd, shrp chng n th rhythm f clss struggl, Lbur hd bn brught t pwr, nt by th pstv vrtus f ts prgrmm r ldrs, but by th succss f th wrkng-clss ppstn t th Hth Gvrnmnt. Whl Lbur rcvd lwr vt thn t ny lctn snc 1945, n nt-Try vt gng t mnr prts thrust Wlsn nt pwr. n ths ptntlly unstbl stutn th Lbur Gvrnmnt tk n lft fc, wth Tny Bnn nd Mchl Ft brught nt th cbnt nd th frmr ldrs f th lft n th TUC, Jck Jns nd Hugh Scnln, brught nt vr-clsr ssctn wth th gvrnmnt. ftr just vr yr f lsly wrdd `scl cntrct', durng whch sm qut substntl wg rss wr wn, th Lbur Gvrnmnt ttckd ts supprtrs hd-n by ntrducng srs f cmpulsry ncms plcs.

Th Lbur Gvrnmnt prducd mjr chng n th pttrn f ndustrl struggl. Shrp struggls cntnud thrughut th Fv yrs f Lbur rul - th Scttsh strks f 1974-75, th wv f struggls n 1977 (ncludng Grunwcks) culmntng n th unsuccssful frmn's strk, nd th s-clld `wntr f dscntnt' n th lst mnths f th Cllghn gvrnmnt. But n sctn f wrkrs ws t mult th mnrs n 1972 nd 1974; ncrsngly struggls wr frgmntd nd dfnsv, vn thugh nrmus rsrvs f fghtng sprt wr stll vdnt. Rsng unmplymnt hlpd t dscpln wrkrs.

n ths stutn slw but stdy mvmnt t th rght ffctd ll lvls f th lbur mvmnt. n th shp-flr, dlgcl nd scl fctrs cmbnd t whttl wy th prphry f th rvlutnry lft. Th grwng rl f full-tm cnvnrs, nd th rvvd ttrctn f rfrmsm s bng t lst lssr vl, rducd th numbr f mltnts wh wr pn t rvlutnry ds. t th 1974 TUC, Kn Gll, th frst Cmmunst Prty mmbr n th Gnrl Cuncl fr vr twnty yrs, wthdrw hs unn's rslutn gnst th Scl Cntrct `n th ntrsts f th brdst unty'. Mny ppl wh n 1968 nd ftr hd bn ctv rvlutnrs bgn t drft bck nt th Lbur Prty.

1974 ws ls yr n whch rprssn gnst th lft bgn t b mr ntcbl. n th pr-lctn prd thr wr mny rprts f plc hrssmnt f ppr-sllrs nd fly-pstrs. n Jun Wrwck studnt, Kvn Gtly, ws klld by plc n n nt-Ntnl Frnt dmnstrtn. Th nxt wk tw thusnd S mmbrs mrchd thrugh Lndn wth plcrds rdng `Murdrd by Plc'. Sclst Wrkr ws cutnd by th plc wth thrt f ctn fr crmnl lbl. nd n ctbr Sclst Wrkr ws fnd 500 wth 5000 csts fr nmng wlthy wtnsss n th Jn Jns blckml cs. ttcks, frm bth th stt nd th trd unn burucrcy, cntnud thrughut th 1970s, mkng t dcddly mr uncmfrtbl t b rvlutnry sclst.

TH prd up t th Fbrury 1974 lctn hd bn n f rpd grwth fr S. Mmbrshp ws pprchng 4000, wth hghr prprtn f mnul trd unnsts thn vr bfr. 56 fctry brnchs hd bn frmd, thugh but tn f ths lstd nly fw mnths. n lctn wk th prnt rdr f Sclst Wrkr hd rsn t 52,000, wth pd sl f t lst 35.000. Thr wr bvusly prblms f chngng gr frm th md f urgncy nd nthussm tht hd chrctrsd th lst mnths f th Hth Gvrnmnt.

ntlly th prspctv dvlpd by S ws tht th Lbur Gvrnmnt wuld mrly ffr `brthng spc', brf `hnymn' prd f fw mnths bfr mssv struggls f th 1972-3 typ wuld brk ut gn. But by rly 1975 t ws bcmng clr tht such prspctv ws tlscpng th rl curs f vnts. dcumnt prprd fr th 1975 nnul Cnfrnc put t s fllws:

`W prdctd, n ur prspctvs fr lst Sptmbr's S cnfrnc, tht th rsng lvl f unmplymnt nd th cclrtn f prcs wuld put th Scl Cntrct undr prssur frm tw ppsd drctns - frm wrkrs nsprd by th succss f th mnrs n brkng th Trs' Phs Thr, nd frm th rulng clss ntnt n pushng dwn wrkrs' lvng stndrds.

`ur cnmc prspctv n gnrl ws crrct. But t ws mstkn n n mprtnt rspct.

`W vrstmtd th spd wth whch th cnmc crss wuld drv wrkrs 10 drw rvlutnry pltcl cnclusns.' Sclst Wrkr, 15 Mrch 1975

n ltrntv pn t S n fc f th gnrl drft t th rght ws t fllw th xmpl f thr rvlutnry tndncs, nd thr ntr, r rnt mr clsly n th Lbur Prty. nstd S chs t dvlp pstn whch cm t b summd up by th slgn `Str Lft'. n ffct ths mnt ttmptng t rlt t ths sctns f th clss tht wr prprd t fght, vn f thy wr n smll mnrty.

Th strtgy rnd S (smtms frm wthn ts wn rnks s wll s frm utsd) th lbl f `ultr-lft'. Ths ws msplcd. t n tm ws thr ny suggstn tht th mss rgnstns f wrkrs culd b by-pssd. But n prd whn th lvl f struggl hd flln (thr wr thrtn mlln dys strk n 1974, nly thr mlln n 1975), cncntrtng ll th rgnstn's ffrts n rutn trd unn wrk wuld hv nvtbly mnt gttng cught up n th drft t th rght. Mrvr, t ws ncssry fr S t dstngush tslf clrly frm th vrus `brd lft' grupngs n th unns whch hd n rl strtgy t lr.

Th mnng f sltn nd f strng lft' ws shwn n Mrch 1975. whn th Lbur Gvrnmnt, llgng `hlth hzrd', snt trps t brk strk by dustcrt drvrs n Glsgw. Trd unn burucrts nd lft MPs spk scrcly wrd f prtst. Whn th Glsgw S ssud lflt t trps skng `Wuld yu hv t ct lk ths f yu hd yur wn trd unn?, th Cmmunst Prty scrtry f Glsgw Trds Cuncl tld th burgs prss tht S wr fls n bd wh turn up t thr ppl's pcktng.' Sclst Wrkr, 29 Mrch 1975

Th chng f tmp dd nt tk plc smthly. Th 1973-75 prd sw th bggst ntrnl crss n th rgnstn's hstry, culmntng n srus splt. Fr th rcrd, sm smllr splts-ffs ccurrd n ths prd. n th summr f 1973 n undclrd fctn ws xplld n th grunds tht t hd dvlpd ttl ppstn t S pltcs (ntbly n rthdx Trtskyst tttud t prgrmm, nd rthr cdmc crtqu f th Prmnnt rms cnmy thry). Sm mmbrs f ths grupng frmd th Rvlutnry Cmmunst Grup, whl thrs dspprd wthut trc nt th Lbur Prty. subsqunt splt n th RCG gv brth t th Rvlutnry Cmmunst Tndncy. Th Lft Fctn, whs pltfrm strssd th mprtnc f th rsh struggl nd crtqu f th S's wrkrsm nd rnk nd fl strtgy wr xplld n 1975. Thy frmd n rgnstn clld Wrkrs Pwr, whch ws t fus wth Wrkrs Fght t fund th ntrntnl Cmmunst Lgu. Mst f th Wrkrs Pwr mmbrs subsquntly lft th CL nd cntnud thr xstnc s Wrkrs Pwr.

TH dsput cn b trcd bck t th summr f 1973, whn th Ntnl Cmmtt, blvng th xcutv t b ut f tuch wth dvlpmnts n th rpdly grwng rgnstn, rplcd t wth nw xcutv whch ncludd numbr f prvncl full-tm rgnsrs. Th dsgrmnts vr ths chng ld t th rsgntn f th ntnl scrtry, Jm Hggns.

Th scnd phs f th dsput ruptd n th ftrmth f th Fbrury 1974 Gnrl lctn, wth dbt but th futur rl f Sclst Wrkr. Th pstn prsntd by Tny Clff, nd vntully ccptd by th ntnl cmmtt, ws, frstly, tht th ppr ws mnly md t yungr gnrtn f mltnts wthut much xprnc f th rfrmst nd trd unn rgnstns, nd thrfr shuld prsnt ts rgumnts n smplr fshn wthut tkng s much fr grntd; nd scndly tht mr f th ppr shuld ctully b wrttn by wrkrs. Rgr Prtz th dtr f th ppr snc 1968, dsgrd shrply, rgung tht th ppr stll hd t rlt t `dvncd wrkrs'.

Whn Prtz's pstn ws dftd, Prtz nd Jm Hggns wr rmvd frm th dtrl Brd f th ppr, wth Pul Fl tkng vr s dtr. Ths ld t n xtrmly strmy tw-dy mtng f th Ntnl Cmmtt n My 1974, ldng t th lctn f nw xcutv skng t rcncl th dffrnt currnts n th rgnstn.

Unfrtuntly tht ws t b fr frm th nd f th rgumnt.

n th run-up t th cnfrnc n th utumn f 1974 grup f cmrds prducd dcumnt clld ur Trdtns, n whch thy brdnd th dbt frm Sclst Wrkr t th whl strtgy tr buldng th rgnstn. Thy rgud tht th currnt S ldrshp hd dvlpd Yuth Vngurd' thss nd ws turnng ts bck n ts trdtnl mphss n shp stwrds' rgnstn.

(t s tru tht ths rgumnt rflctd rlty f th rgnstn's dvlpmnt. n ny rvlutnry rgnstn tht hs grwn bynd th lvl f mnlthc sct. thr wll b sctn f th mmbrshp whch hs cqurd rl rts n th stblshd lbur mvmnt nd s thrby strngly xpsd t ts prssurs; nd nthr sctn f th mmbrshp, ftn mr yuthful nd nwr t pltcs, tht s mptnt f th trdtns nd rutns f th mss lbur mvmnt. srus rvlutnry rgnstn cn b bult nly by rcnclng ths lyrs n crtv tnsn. Th dbt n 1974-5 srvd n th cntrry t frc n unncssry plrstn).

Th nnul cnfrnc n 1975 md numbr f mjr cnsttutnl chngs. Snc 1968 th ldng bdy f th rgnstn hd bn Ntnl Cmmtt f sm frty mmbrs, lctd by cnfrnc, nd cnsstng f bth full-tmrs nd ly mmbrs. Ths n turn lctd n xcutv f full-tmrs whch ctully rn th rgnstn, but whch ws nt drctly ccuntbl t th rgnstn. Th cnfrnc vtd t nd ths sprtn f pwr nd rspnsblty nd stblsh Cntrl Cmmtt f full-tmrs drctly lctd by cnfrnc, wth Prty Cuncl s n dvsry bdy. Th cnfrnc ls vtd t strngthn dstrct rgnstn.

Thr ws sm ppstn t th cnsttutnl chngs, llgng tht thy nvlvd rductn f ntrnl dmcrcy. But th lng-stndng ntrnl dsput fnlly cm t hd n th utumn f 1975 vr th qustn f strtgy twrds th Brd Lft n th UW. Th mjrty f cmrds n th UW trctn hd dcdd tht, n th lght f th dcln f th Brd Lft, thy shuld supprt rnk-nd-fl cnddt fr th pst f UW ntnl rgnsr. numbr f S mmbrs n th Brmnghm r UW rfusd t ccpt ths prspctv, brk dscpln nd wr xplld.

Ths ld t rvvl f ppstn by numbr f ths wh hd bn n dsgrmnt wth th mjrty snc 1973, nd fctn, cllng tslf th S ppstn', ws r-stblshd. Ths rfusd rqurmnt frm th Dcmbr 1975 Prty Cuncl tht th fctn b dsslvd, rgung tht w r cncrnd tht th prsnt lurch t ultr-lftsm wll dstry ny rlstc wrkng-clss bs, whl t my gnrt th srt f slf-prptutng, rrlvnt wrk tht w ssct wth th WRP.' Fcd wth th chc f dsslvng th fctn r bng xcludd frm S, but 150 mmbrs lft, ncludng such frmr xcutv mmbrs s Jm Hggns, Jhn Plmr, Grnvll Wllms nd Rgr Prtz. Th xcludd cmrds stblshd th Wrkrs Lgu, whch fr whl publshd ppr Wrkrs Nws. n 1978 th Wrkrs Lgu, tgthr wth sm thr x-S mmbrs frmd th ntrntnl Sclst llnc. Ths bdy hd s ts sl ctvty vrus mnuvrs fr `rvlutnry unty' btwn th SWP, MG nd thrs. t sn dsntgrtd, wth sm mmbrs jnng th MG.

DSPT dffcults nd dsgrmnts, th cntrl fcus f S's pltcl strtgy cntnud t b th rnk nd fl mvmnt. Th tw lrg cnfrncs n 1974 whch stblshd th Ntnl Rnk nd Fl Mvmnt shwd th ptntl fr rnk nd tl rgnstn. nd bjctvly, th nd fr ths bcm grtr s th Lbur Gvrnmnt's trm drggd n.

Th dcln f th trdtnl lft n th unns ws drmtclly hghlghtd by Trry Duffy's vctry n th UW. Th Lsn Cmmtt fr th Dfnc f Trd Unns cm t lf nc yr t hld rthr brng nd stg-mngd cnfrncs, thn vnshd gn. bv ll, th grwng cprtn f th TUC ldrs wth th gvrnmnt md ndpndnt rnk nd fl rgnstn mprtv. Yt th mv t th rght md t ncrsngly dffcult t mntn ffctv rnk nd fl rgnstn. Th burucrcy, mrvr, tk ny pprtunty t try t slnc mltnts. n 1974 n Gbsn ws rmvd frm th xcutv f STMS fr hvng wrttn n rtcl n Sclst Wrkr crtcl f th unn ldrshp.

n th rly prd f th Lbur Gvrnmnt t ws pssbl fr th Rnk nd Fl Mvmnt t mk numbr f ntrvntns n rl struggls. Whn wrkrs t th Strchns fctry nr Suthmptn ccupd thr fctry n 1974 gnst th thrt f clsur, th UW rfusd t rgns blckng n th grunds tht ths wuld b llgl undr lgsltn rmnng frm th Try Gvrnmnt. Th Rnk nd Fl rgnsng Cmmtt (st up by th frst Rnk nd Fl Cnfrnc n Mrch 1974) crcultd n ppl fr blckng nd hlpd t rgns th nly ffctv ctn tht ws tkn.

gn, n lt 1974, whn th ntx txtl fctry n Mnchstr mbrkd n n ght-wk strk, th sl rspns f th unn ldrshp (th Ntnl Unn f Dyrs nd Blchrs) ws t xpl tw f th strk ldrs frm th unn. Th Rnk nd Fl rgnsng Cmmtt cnvnd mtng f vr hundrd trd unnsts frm th Mnchstr r whch grd t rgns blckng, rs mny, nd dfnd strk ldrs frm thrts f vlnc rcvd frm fscsts.

Th Rnk nd Fl rgnsng Cmmtt ls tk numbr f nttvs n dfnc f th buldng wrkrs' pckts jld t Shrwsbury n lt 1973, nd rn cmpgn t gt wrk prmts fr Chln rfugs. Vrus rnk nd fl grups ld struggls n thr wn ndustrs: thus supprtrs f Rnk nd Fl Tchr ld unffcl strks n th cmpgn fr th Lndn llwnc n 1974. ll ths wr n thmslvs lmtd nd mdst nttvs, but thy shwd th ptntl fr rnk nd Fl mvmnt. Th Cmmunst Prty shwd ts wrnss f rnk nd fl mvmnts nfluncd by S whn ts thrtcl jurnl publshd crtqu f S's rnk nd fl strtgy. Gff Rbrts, `Th Strtgy f Rnk nd Flsm', Mrxsm Tdy, Dcmbr 1976

Yt th mntnnc f rnk nd fl rgnstn bcm ncrsngly dffcult. furthr Rnk nd Fl Cnfrnc ws nt hld untl Nvmbr 1977 - n sz t ws n lrgr thn th tw cnfrncs hld n 1974. Sm mpct ws md by runnng rnk nd fl cnddts fr trd unn lctns, nt n th hp f wnnng pstns, but n rdr t fght fr ltrntv plcs nd prvd bss fr rgnsng wthn th unn. Whn Wll L std fr Ntnl rgnsr f th UW n 1974, h spk t mtngs up nd dwn th cuntry, ntnl lflts wr ssud, nd th frst numbr f ngnrs Chrtr ws publshd. H gnd rspctbl ttl f sm tn thusnd vts. Smlr cmpgns wr run n numbr f thr unns, th mst succssful bng tht fr Tmmy Rly n th lctn fr gnrl scrtry f th TGWU n 1977; Rly cm ffth wth vr 27,000 vts.

NTURLLY mny crtcs n th rght (nd lft) trd t smr th Ntnl Rnk nd Fl Mvmnt by llgng tht t ws smply n `S frnt'. Th chrg wrrd mny S mmbrs, nd thr ws sm ntrnl dscussn s t th `ndpndnc' f th Rnk nd Fl Mvmnt. n mny wys. hwvr, t ws fls dbt. Th rl prblm n th lbur mvmnt ws. f curs, nt th xcssv nflunc f S, but th cntnung dmnnc f rfrmsm. T th xtnt tht S ws lrgly sltd n th struggl gnst rfrmst ds, mst f th burdn f tkng nttvs nd mntnng th pprtus f th Rnk nd Fl Mvmnt fll n th shuldrs f S mmbrs. Fr thm t hv rfusd t tk th burdn, t bstn n th nm f sm mythcl `spntnty' f th rnk nd fl, wuld hv bn nthng but pur pltcl bdctn. Th bst sttmnt f th S pstn f th rltn f th prty t th rnk nd fl mvmnt s n `Twrds Rnk nd Fl Mvmnt', by ndrs Nglt, ntrntnl Sclsm 66

Yt, n prd f ndustrl dwnturn, rnk-nd-fl strtgy ws nt nugh. ndd, thr wr grv dngrs tht crrct mphss n rgnstn n th wrkplc culd ld cmrds t bury thmslvs n th mnut f rutn trd-unnsm. Th S trdtn hd lwys cnsstd f tw cmpnnts--n th n hnd strtgc nsstnc n th cntrlty f th wrkng clss, nd n th thr wllngnss t b nvlvd whrvr sgnfcnt numbr f ppl wr nggd n mltnt ctn. n th 1960s tht hd mnt prtcptng n mss mvmnts such s CND nd VSC nd fghtng fr clss ln. n th 1970s S, whl stll bng tny frc n th stg f Brtsh pltcs, ws bl t tk sm sgnfcnt nttvs, n lunchng mvmnts. Th tw mst mprtnt wr n th struggl gnst unmplymnt nd gnst rcsm.

Th nd fr n nttv n unmplymnt bcm pprnt n th utumn f 1975. Unmplymnt hd ffclly tppd th mlln fgur (n fct t ws cnsdrbly hghr), wth wmn, blcks nd yung ppl spclly bdly ffctd. t th sm tm th ccptnc f th Lbur Gvrnmnt's ncm plcy by mst trd Unn ldrs mnt dmpng dwn f struggl n th wgs frnt. Th Rght t Wrk Cmpgn ws lunchd n ctbr 1975, s n nttv frm th Rnk nd Fl rgnsng Cmmtt. n fct, fr th nxt cupl f yrs, th Rght t Wrk Cmpgn cm t vrshdw th Rnk nd Fl Mvmnt.

Th Rght t Wrk Cmpgn n prctc dpndd vry lrgly n th nttvs f S mmbrs, nd ws, nt surprsngly, smrd s n S frnt, lthugh sgnfcnt numbr f nn-S mmbrs wr nvlvd. Pltclly th Rght t Wrk Cmpgn sught t put nt prctc thr mn prncpls:

n: Tht th unmplyd hd t hv vc fr thmslvs n th struggl. Th Brd Lft pprch, whch strssd tht vrythng must b dn thrugh th `ffcl chnnls', lft th unmplyd smply s th rcpnts f fn wrds nd prmss. Fr xmpl, n th Sprng f 1976 n ssmbly n Unmplymnt (clld s Brd Lft nttv by th Lndn C-p nd th N. 8 Lndn Cnfd Dstrct Cmmtt) ttrctd thr thusnd trd unn dlgts. Thr wr mny spkrs n th vls f unmplymnt, but th nly unmplyd wrkr wh gt t th mcrphn ws Jhn Dsn f th Rght t Wrk Cmpgn.

n prtculr unmplyd schl-lvrs, sgnfcnt sctn f th jblss, culd nt fght thrugh th unns bcus thy hd nvr bn bl t blng t n. Lcl Rght t Wrk Cmmtts nd Rght t Wrk Mrchs prvdd pssblty fr slf-ctvty by th unmplyd.

Tw: t th sm tm t hd t b rcgnsd tht th unmplyd ln culd nt tght unmplymnt. t ws ncssry t lght fr th unty f mplyd nd unmplyd, t cnfrnt mplyd wrkrs wth thr rspnsblty n th tght fr jbs. Ths mnt tkng th struggl fr spnsrshp f th Rght t Wrk Cmpgn nt th wrkplcs nd trd unn brnchs. Ths ls prvdd mns f cuntrng th rutnsm nd cnmsm nt whch rvlutnrs n trd unns culd s sly lps n prd f rltv pssvty.

Th frst Rght t Wrk Mrch, frm Mnchstr t Lndn n Mrch 1976, ws spnsrd by vr fur ^hundrd trd unn bds, ncludng svnty shp stwrds cmmtts. Ths ws pssbl dspt th mbguus tttud f th Cmmunst Prty. n sm rs Cmmunst Prty mmbrs ppsd th Mrch n grssly sctrn mnnr, but n thr plcs thy rcgnsd tht S ws nw tkng nttvs f th srt th Cmmunst Prty hd md n th thrts, nd gv full nd cnstructv supprt.

Thr: Th Cmpgn hd t b bsd n drct ctn s wll s n prpgnd. t hd t shw tht nttvs, lbt n smll scl, wr pssbl vn n th mmdt shrt trm. Th frst Rght t Wrk Mrch ws sgnfcnt, nt just fr th supprt t btnd, but fr th styl t dptd. Thrughut th curs f th Mrch mrchrs jnd pckt lns nd vn ntrd fctrs whr sckngs wr bng thrtnd n rdr t ncurg wrkrs t tght gnst unmplymnt. Ths mrkd bg stp frwrd frm th `hungr mrchs' f th thrts, whch hd grt dffculty n mkng cntct wth mplyd trd unnsts, nd scrcly vr succdd n ctully ntrng wrkplcs.

Th succss f th frst Mrch ws shwn, nt nly by th 5500 ppl wh turnd ut t grt t t th lbrt Hll, but by th fct tht th Mrch hd suffcntly rrttd th uphldrs f `lw nd rdr' fr th plc t ttck t s t ntrd Lndn. 44 rrsts wr md. numbr f mrchrs wr sntncd t mprsnmnt, but th cmpgn gnst th rprssn prvdd n mprtnt fcus fr th Rght t Wrk n th cmng mnths. Th mst srus chrgs, gnst Cmpgn Scrtry, Jhn Dsn, wr drppd n th scnd dy f th trl bcus f ndqut plc vdnc.

(ncdntlly. Rght t Wrk supprtrs wh hd gthrd t pckt th ld Bly n supprt f Dsn clbrtd th cquttl by trvllng t th Grunwcks fctry n Nrth Lndn nd stgng wht ws t b th frst mss pckt f tht fctry. n struggl thus frd nthr).

furthr Rght t Wrk Mrch, frm Lndn t th Brghtn TUC. tk plc n Sptmbr 1976. nd s unmplymnt cntnud t rs. th Rght t Wrk Cmpgn rmnd cntrl r f ctvty fr S mmbrs.

UNMPLYMNT nd th Lbur Gvrnmnt's btryl f vn th msrbl rfrms t hd prmsd nvtbly brd rcsm. Frm th tm f th Rd Ln Squr dmnstrtn n 1974, whr Kvn Gtly ws klld, t bcm clr tht th Ntnl Frnt ws thrt tht culd nt b gnrd, nd tht th plc culd b rld n t sd gnst th nt-fscsts. n ugust nd Sptmbr 1974 th NF stgd mrchs thrugh Lcstr nd Lndn. n bth ccsns S tk th nttv-n rgnsng cuntr-dmnstrtns: t Lcstr n prtculr th S mblstn ws succssful, wth th S cntngnt frmng hlf f th 5000-strng nt-fscst dmnstrtn.

Th fght gnst rcsm nd fscsm cntnud t b prrty. Th S strtgy ws bsd n tw prlll lns. n th n hnd, t hd t b clr tht rcsm nd fscsm w r prduct f systm n crss. Ppl wuld lk tr blck scpgts f thy culd s n thr slutn t thr prblms. S systmtc nt-rcst prpgnd n th wrkplcs nd cmmunts hd t b cmbnd wth crtqu f th systm s whl, nd bv ll. wth ld n fghtng wht culd b fught hr nd nw. But t th sm tm rgnsd fscsm hd t b cnfrntd physclly. Thr culd b n qustn f `fr spch' fr n rgnstn tht ws buldng mchn tht md t us vlnc gnst blcks nd trd unnsts. bv ll mltrstc mrchs thrugh th strts wr n ssntl prt f th fscsts' ttmpt t buld mss rgnstn: thy hd t b stppd frm mrchng by ny mns ncssry.

S fr th nxt cupl f yrs S mmbrs tk t th strts t cnfrnt th Ntnl Frnt whnvr thy trd t dmnstrt. ftn ths hd t b dn n lmst ttl sltn, s mst f th rst f th lft stll tndd twrds th vw tht f th NF wr smply gnrd thy wuld dsppr.

But th lvl f th rcst thrt rs shrply n My 1976. vcus prss ttck n Mlw sns llgd t b rcvng hug stt bnfts ws fllwd by n utburst frm nch Pwll nd n upsurg f NF ctvty, n th curs f whch thr blck yuths wr klld nd scrs f thr blcks wr subjctd t physcl ssults. Sclst Wrkr tk n th whl qustn f mmgrtn cntrls hd-n, wth frnt-pg hdln `Thy'r Wlcm Hr' Sclst Wrkr, 29 My 1976 Ths ws fllwd by fld f prpgnd. n n wk n Jun 1976 th S prntshp turnd ut 1200 plcrds. 30,000 pstrs nd 80,000 stckrs t crry th nt-rcst mssg.

vrywhr th Nzs pprd thy wr cnfrntd n th strts. n July 1976 Nz, Rbrt Rlf, chvd prss ntrty by dsplyng n hs hm th sgn `Fr Sl t n nglsh Fmly'. Th Ntnl Frnt, Ntnl Prty, Brtsh Mvmnt nd thrs plnnd t cptls n th mptnt lbrl prtsts t ths by usng t s fcus fr mjr rcst dmnstrtn n Lndn.

But mmbrs f th ntrntnl Sclsts tk pssssn f th ffndng sgn nd publcly burnt t, thwrtng th Nz plns.

FR nthr yr th thrt f rcst vlnc prsstd, cupld wth grwng lctrl succss by th NF. wth mr nd mr f th lft bcmng wr tht th Nz mnc culd nt smply b gnrd. Th turnng pnt cm n 13 ugust 1977 t Lwshm. Hr mssv cuntr-dmnstrtn t n NF mrch succdd n physclly stppng th Nzs, lthugh th succss ws fllwd by vcus ttcks by th plc n th nt-fscst dmnstrtrs.

Th succss f Lwshm ws md pssbl by numbr f fctrs. Mny f th ppl wh hd prtcptd n th xhlrtng mss pckts t Grunwcks rlr n th summr jnd th nt-Nz prtst t Lwshm. But fr mr mprtnt ws th fct tht th nt-fscst frcs wr n lngr cnfnd t th rgnsd xtrm lft. Lrg numbrs f lcl nhbtnts - bth blck nd wht - jnd th struggl n th strt.

Fr th prss ths ws sgnl fr n ll-ut wtch hunt gnst th Sclst Wrkrs Prty. Th S hd chngd ts nm t th Sclst Wrkrs Prty n Jnury 1977 SWP cmrds wr ccusd f nctng vlnc, nd f usng knvs nd mmn gnst th fscsts (n-n trubld t rcll tht mnth rlr Nzs n Lwshm hd ttckd n nt-rcst dmnstrtn wth th ddly psnus wdkllr Prqut). Th Cmmunst Prty, whch hd ssud lflt urgng ppl nt t tk prt n th `prvctv mrch plnnd by th Sclst Wrkrs Prty', ls hlpd t suggst tht th SWP ws rspnsbl fr th vlnc. nd th Nzs thmslvs wr n n dubt s t wh hd bn rspnsbl fr thr stbck. t th nd f ugust th Cttns Grdns wrhus, whch hd bn th S/SWP hdqurtrs snc 1969, ws ptrl-bmbd nd prtly dstryd.

Lwshm hlpd t stblsh th SWP's crdntls s n nt-rcst frc. But mjr dffculty rmnd. Whl mny wht nt-rcsts wr drwn t wrk wth nd vn jn th SWP, th Prty md lttl mpct n th blck cmmunty. Durng th svnts Chngr, n sn ppr publshd n vrus sn lngugs, nd Flm, ppr md t Wst ndns, hd bn lunchd, but hd fld t buld ny substntl bs f supprt. Thr wr t b n shrt cuts r sy gns hr. Th dp dstrust flt by mst blck mltnts twrds th wht lft n Brtn culd nly b brkn dwn by lng prd f ptnt nd rgulr nt-rcst wrk.

By lt 1977 lctrl supprt fr th Nzs ws lrdy bgnnng t dcln. clr ndctn tht th strtgy f cnfrnttn hd bn justfd. But th succss f Lwshm ls crtd th cndtns n whch much wdr nt-fscst mvmnt culd b bult. n Nvmbr 1977 th nt Nz Lgu ws lunchd. Th rgnl nttv ws tkn by Pul Hlbrw f th SWP, wh pprchd rn Rbrts nd Ptr Hn: th thr grd t lunch mvmnt. Wthn mnth r tw th NL hd cqurd wd rng f spnsrs; s wll s mny ldng Lbur Prty MPs nd trd unn ldrs, t ws ls bckd by wd rng f wll-knwn jurnlsts, wrtrs nd ntrtnrs - such dvrs fgurs s Brn Clugh, rnld Wkr, Kth Wtrhus, Wrrn Mtchll nd mny mr. ftr ntl hsttn th Cmmunst Prty gv ts supprt.

Th NL hd thus succdd n crtng fr brdr untd frnt thn hd vr bn pssbl fr th Rght t Wrk Cmpgn. But th succss f th NL ws nt t b msurd smply by ts blty t wn supprt wthn th xstng lbur mvmnt. t ws ls bl t wn vry wd msur f supprt mng yung ppl wth hthrt n pltcl ffltns. Ths ws substntlly du t th xstnc f Rck gnst Rcsm. RR hd bn lunchd sm tm bfr th NL, n utumn 1976, by S mmbrs nd thrs n rspns t pnly pr-rcst sttmnts by pp muscn rc Clptn nd pr-fscst rmrks by sngr Dvd Bw. Sclst Wrkr, 2 ctbr, 1976

t ws th cmng tgthr f ths dffrnt strnds tht md t pssbl tr th NL t brk ut f th wry ld dmnstrtn rutn. n 30 prl 1978 th NL hld Crnvl n Lndn, wth mrch t Vctr Prk whr th Tm Rbnsn Bnd, th Clsh, Stl Puls, X-Ry Spx nd thrs ntrtnd crwd f sm ghty thusnd. t ws mblstn cmprbl t th pks f CND nd VSC. scnd Crnvl ws hld n Sptmbr 1978, nd th nvlvmnt f yuth ld t th sttng up f such rgnstns s SKN (Schl Kds gnst th Nzs).

ttmpts wr md t smr th NL s n `SWP frnt'. But lthugh SWP ctvsts ftn plyd ky rl n buldng th NL t lcl lvl, th brdth f supprt wn by th NL ws s grt tht such smrs nvr lkd t ll cnvncng. Th prblm fr th SWP ws rthr t dstngush ts wn rvlutnry pltcs wthn th brdr mvmnt. Thus, fr xmpl, th NL dd nt hv pstn f ppstn t mmgrtn cntrls.

t s undubtdly tru tht n th rly stgs f th buldng f th NL, th SWP hd such nflunc tht t culd hv frcd th dptn f such pstn. Hd t dn s, hwvr, t s unlkly tht th NL wuld hv bn bl t grw s fst. SWP mmbrs, hwvr, rgud fr thr pstn t th brdr udnc ffrd by th NL. Thus Sclst Wrkr vgrusly crtcsd Sd Bdwll, spnsr f th NL. fr hs supprt fr mmgrtn cntrls n th Prlmntry Slct Cmmtt n rc nd mmgrtn. Sclst Wrkr, 1 prl 1978

Lkws th SWP cntnud t cll fr physcl cnfrnttn wth th Nzs whr ncssry. Thus durng th summr f 1978 SWP mmbrs fught t clr th Nzs ut f Brck Ln, Bngl r n st Lndn.

n gnrl th NL ws n mprtnt nd vlubl xprnc f hw rvlutnrs cn wrk n brdr mss mvmnt. But n srus mstk ws md. t th tm f th Scnd Crnvl n Suth Lndn n Sptmbr 1978, th NF nnuncd tht n th sm dy thy wuld mrch t Brck Ln. bvusly thy hpd t wrck th Crnvl by ttrctng lrg sctn f th supprtrs t th dfnc f Brck Ln. Th SWP lk th pstn tht th Crnvl must g hd, nd tht th SWP wuld nt h splt frm thr frcs n th NL; but tht suffcnt frc shuld b mblsd t dfnd Brck Ln. Th ln ws rght but th rgnstn rthmtc ws wrng; t fw cmrds rrvd t Brck Ln nd l lt. S Sclst Wrkr, 30 Sptmbr 1978 fr slf-crtcsm

Th NL's wrk cntnud up t th Gnrl lctn n Sprng 1979, nd prtculrly th mblstn n Suthll n 23 prl. Hr, s t Lwshm, th dmnstrtrs wr jnd by lrg numbrs f lcl yuth dtrmnd t drv th Nzs ft thr strts. Hr, t. Blr Pch, n st Lndn tchr nd n SWP-mmbr, ws btn t dth by th plc Spcl Ptrl Grup (SPG). H ws th Prty's frst mrtyr. t hs funrl n Jun, ttndd by svrl thusnd ppl, Kn Gll f th TUC Gnrl Cuncl nd Tny Clff f th SWP spk frm th pltfrm. Clff cncludd `t s n us buldng mnumnts f brss nd stn ...lt us murn, but lt us rgns nd mbls.'

Dspt th cntnud gttn, t ws nt pssbl t xps th full truth f hw Blr Pch ws murdrd.

TH md-1970s ws ls u prd n whch S xtndd nd dvrsfd ts ctvty. n th rly 1970s S ws ftn ccusd by thrs n th lft f `wrkr-sm', f n xclusv prccuptn wth ndustrl wrkrs t th xpns f thr struggls nd thr pprssd sctrs f scty. Th crtcsm ws sy t mk: t suggst n ltrntv ws smwht hrdr. smll rvlutnry grup f ncssty hs t hv prrts; f t sks t b prsnt vrywhr, t s ffctv nwhr, nd rpdly dmrlss ts mmbrshp. T trnsfrm S frm n vrwhlmngly studnt rgnstn, s t hd bn n 1968, nt wht t ws by 1973, n rgnstn wth sm rl rts n th rgnsd wrkng clss, culd h chvd nly by `stck-bndng', by cnscus nglct f thr tsks.

But thr ws prc t b pd fr such nglct. mprtnt rs f struggl wr mssd, nd th sds f futur dffcults wr swn. n prtculr S cn b crtcsd fr th fct tht n th rly 1970s th rgnstn s whl fld t rcgns th mprtnc f th rs f th Wmn's Lbrtn Mvmnt nd t mk srus nugh ntrvntn n t.

S wmn wr, f curs, nvlvd frm th bgnnng. Sm ffty S wmn ttndd th xfrd Wmn's Lbrtn Cnfrnc rly n 1970, whch cn b sn s n f th strlng-pnts f th mvmnt n Brtn. Thr ws mjr dbt n Wmn's Lbrtn t th str Cnfrnc f S n 1970. n Jun 1971 S wmn rgnsd Cnfrnc n Wmn ttndd by sm 300 ppl, lthugh rprt ntd tht `lmst ll f ths wh spk wr studnts, lcturrs r tchrs.' nd n th summr f 1972 th frst ssu f Wmn's Vc pprd.

Hwvr, th wrk tndd t b lft t th smll grup f wmn wh tk th nttv, wth lttl gudnc r ncurgmnt frm th cntrl ldrshp f th rgnstn. Thr ws tndncy fr mny cmrds t suggst tht nly wmn wrkng n fctrs wr f ny rl ntrst t th rgnstn; nd tht Wmn's Vc ws dvrsn frm gttng dqut cvrg f wmn's struggls n Sclst Wrkr.

n f th mn fctrs ldng t chng f mphss cm n 1975, wth th mrgnc f mss mvmnt gnst ttmpts t cut bck n wmn's rght t brtn. n Jun 1975 dmnstrtn f frty thusnd wmn nd mn n Lndn dmndd rjctn f th brtn (mndmnt) Bll. S cmrds wr ctv n th Ntnl brtn Cmpgn, lthugh ths psd sm prblms, snc NC dd nt hv n ffctv structur wth n lctd nd rspnsbl cmmtt; ts `pn cmmtt' frm mnt tht t ws cnstntly lbl t rvrs ts wn dcsns, nd ld t wd pn t pckng by vrty f tndncs. Ths md NC, ftr Jun 1975, ftn unbl t tk th ncssry nttvs. t tms n 1976-7 Wmn's Vc supprtrs fund tht thr ws n wy f gttng prpsl fr ctn cnsdrd by NC xcpt t tk th nttv nd nnunc tht t ws gng t tk plc.

Th grwng mprtnc f Wmn's Vc ws rflctd by th 600-strng Wmn's Vc Rlly hld n Mnchstr n Nvmbr 1975. Th rlly clsd wth Shl McGrgr, th frst full-tm S wmn's rgnsr, dclrng:

`W'v gt t ld th struggl/r sclst rvlutn. W dn't wnt just t b vc n th mvmnt. W wnt t b cntrl t th mvmnt s w cn b cntrl t th sclst rvlutn.' Sclst Wrkr, 6 Dcmbr 1975

nd n Jun 1978 Wmn's Vc Rlly n Shffld ttrctd thusnd wmn.

rcgntn f th nd fr slf-crtcsm n S's ln n wmn pprd n Sclst Wrkr dtrl n 1978:

`Just lk ths ml sclsts 60 yrs g. w n Sclst Wrkr hv tndd t turn ur bck n tht mvmnt: t dnunc t s `mddl clss', t prtst tht w wr fghtng/r th rghts f ll wrkrs nd t gnr th dscrmntn gnst wmn. Th wmn n th Sclst Wrkrs Prty rfusd t ccpt ths bs. Thy ctd, s prt f th wmn's mvmnt t chng th prty.

`Thy rgnsd thmslvs n Wmn's Vc grups nd chngd th fc nd tn f thr ppr Wmn's Vc. Thy lppd grt wll f ngr nd nthussm whch mn-nly sclsm hd nvr cm nr.' Sclst Wrkr, 10 Jun 1978

Th 1978 SWP Cnfrnc dcdd tht Wmns Vc shuld nt b smply publctn, but n rgnstn, nd Wmn's Vc grups wr st up n mny lclts. Sclst Wrkr, 1 July 1978 Ths ws rcgntn f th nd fr cmpgnng rgnstn tht culd tk up vrty f wmn's ssus, s wll s f th fct tht thr ws smll but sgnfcnt prphry f wmn pn t rvlutnry pltcs, but wh culd nt b wn drctly thrugh Sclst Wrkr.

Th succss f Wmn's Vc s n rgnstn n turn ld t shrp but cnstructv dbt s t hw fr Wmn's Vc shuld b ndpndnt f th SWP. Th 1979 SWP Cnfrnc dcdd tht wthn th lmts f th prsnt lvl f struggl Wmn's Vc culd nt b pltclly ndpndnt' f th SWP. s th mpct f th Thtchr gvrnmnt's prgrmm f cuts bgn t fll spclly hvly n wmn, cmpgnng n dfnc f brtn rghts, nd n th qustns f wmn's hlth nd wmn's mplymnt bcm stblshd s n mprtnt prt f th SWP's wrk.

Smlr prblms ffctd th ttmpt t stblsh gy grup n S. n 1973 th Ntnl Cmmtt ssud dcumnt frbddng S mmbrs t wrk pltclly n th Gy Lbrtn Frnt (th mn gy rgnstn t th tm) nd dsslvng th S gy grup, rgung tht ths wrk culd nt b prrty t th prsnt tm. Hwvr, ftr xtnsv dscussn, th 1976 Cnfrnc rvrsd ths pstn. Sclst Wrkr ddd t th Whr W Stnd' clumn:

`W r fr n nd t ll frms f dscrmntn gnst hmsxuls.' nd nw S Gy Grup ws stblshd; snc thn th rgnstn hs cntnud t cmpgn nd mk publcty rund th gy qustn. Cmpr n prtculr Sclst Wrkr, 27 ugust 1978

NTHR mprtnt dvlpmnt f th md- 1970s ws th rcgntn f th grwng mprtnc f th bttl f ds. Th rulng-clss ffnsv ws nt purly cnmc, but thrust whl numbr f dlgcl nd culturl fctrs nt th cntr f th rn.

Bks hv lwys bn crucl wpn n th struggl fr sclst ds. Th S Bk Srvc bgn n 1967 n sutcs. By 1973 bkshp hd bn pnd n Fnsbury Prk, fllwd by sm nn r tn thrs n vrus prts f th cuntry. n 1977 th Bkmrx bk club ws lunchd mkng sclst bks vlbl t lw prcs. Th Sclst Bkbus prvdd mbl bkshp whch turd th cuntry rgnsng shwngs f lft-wng flms.

n 1978, fcd wth nw udnc ffrd by th grwng nt-Nz mvmnt, th SWP rrgnsd ts wn publctns. Fr sm tm th mnthly ntrntnl Sclsm hd bn n unsy cmprms btwn mgzn nd thrtcl jurnl. n prl 197S, Sclst Rvw ws lunchd s ppulr sclst mgzn, cmbnng nws nlyss wth wd culturl cvrg nd frum fr dbt wth thr sctns f th lft. ntrntnl Sclsm bgn nw srs s qurtrly thrtcl jurnl.

rng f culturl nd ductnl vnts wr ls lunchd. 1976 sw th frst f th nnul sr Rlls hld n th Drbyshr Mnrs Hldy Cmp t Skgnss, cmbnng pltcl mtngs wth flms, ftbll nd chldrn's ctvts. nd 1977 sw th hldng f `Mrxsm 77', wklng srs f lcturs nd dscussns n wd rng f pltcl, thrtcl, hstrcl nd culturl tpcs.

n 1977 t th `Stuff th Jubl' cmpgn, wth bdgs, stckrs nd spcl Sclst Wrkr, prvd hghly ppulr mng ths scknd by ryl hypcrsy nd xtrvgnc.

n th rly 1970s S, rctng gnst ts rts n th 1968 upsurg, tndd t dwngrd wrk mng studnts, but by 1974 ths nglct bgn t b crrctd. n 1974 NβSS (Ntnl rgnstn f S Scts) ws fundd (subsquntly t bcm SWS), s n rgnstn f studnts clsly ssctd wth S nd s mns f brngng studnts twrds th rgnstn. NβSS/SWS prtcptd n mny studnt struggls ntbly gnst clsur f cllgs f ductn nd ncrsd fs fr vrss studnts. n 1977 ldng SWP studnt mltnt, ndy Struthus, ws jld fr rfusng t crry ut curt rdr whch wuld hv prvntd hm crryng ut hs jb s Studnts Unn prsdnt t Nrth st Lndn Plytchnc.

nthr r f S's wrk whch bgn t b mr dvlpd n ths prd ws ntrntnlsm. f S's pltcs hd lwys bn ntrntnlst, nvlvmnt n th ntrntnl mvmnt hd bn lmtd; t ws lwys rgud tht t ws pntlss t buld ntrntnl structurs untl th rgnstn hd rl bs t hm. Tw ntrntnl cnfrncs (spnsrd jntly wth Lutt uvrr n Frnc nd th ntrntnl Sclsts n th US) n 1970 nd 1971 br lttl frut.

n th frst fw mnths ftr th Chln cup f 1973 S cncntrtd n drwng prpgnd lssns but th flur f th `prlmntry rd'. By th sprng f 1974 th mphss shttd t mr ctv prtcptn n th wrk f th Chl Sldrty Cmpgn nd S cmrds wr nvlvd n such ssus s `dptng' pltcl prsnrs thrugh th trd unn mvmnt.

But t ws th vnts n Prtugl n 1975, whn th whl qustn f stt pwr smd t b n th blnc, tht prducd th bggst nvlvmnt n ntrntnl ctvty. n ugust 1975 56 S mmbrs wnt t Prtugl n dlgtn rgnsd n cnjunctn wth th Prtugus PRP (Rvlutnry Prty f th Prltrt); n SW Prtugus Sldrty Fund ws stblshd, nd mny snt t th PRP fr th purchs f prntng mtrl.

t th sm tm n ttmpt ws md t rs pltcl dbt but th ssus f th Prtugus Rvlutn. Tny Clffs Prtugl t th Crssrds ntrntnl Sclsm spcl Ns 81-82 ws publshd nd dstrbutd n Prtugus, Spnsh, tln, Frnch, Grk nd Grmn.

Prtugl ld t rvsn f S's ntrntnl prspctv. t ws rgud tht th trdtnl lbls (such s `Msm' nd `Trtskysm') whch hd dvdd th rvlutnry mvmnt wr bcmng bslt, nd tht n dvlpng ntrntnl lnks, S shuld gv prrty t grups whch hd srus prctcl rnttn t th wrkng clss rthr thn ths whch t hd th grtst dgr f frml grmnt but pnts f prgrmm. Fr whl S hd cls lnks wth th tln sm-Mst rgnstn vngurd pr, S ntrntnl Sclsm 84 fr rcrd f th dbt btwn nd S but durng th 1976 lctns mvd t th rght, nd shrtly ftrwrds wnt nt shrp dcln.

Th fll n th lvl f struggl n Prtugl nd tly ftr 1976 md t clr tht th prcss f ntrntnl rgrupmnt tht S hpd fr ws nw-gng t tk lngr thn xpctd. s mns f dvlpng ntrntnl dbt S lunchd n ntrntnl Dscussn Bulltn n 1976, subsquntly t b ncrprtd nt th nw srs f ntrntnl Sclsm.

THRUGHUT th 1970's, th qustn f rlnd cntnud t cnfrnt th Brtsh lft. Whl cndmnng such ctns s th Brmnghm pub bmbngs n Nvmbr 1974, S cntnully cmpgnd fr th wthdrwl f Brtsh trps s th nly slutn t th prblm. S ls dvlpd cls lnks wth th Sclst Wrkrs Mvmnt, n rsh rgnstn fundd n 1971 whch hd smlr pltcl nlyss

n th lttr hlf f 1976 S sw cnsdrbl grwth. Th Rght t Wrk Cmpgn nd nt-rcst ctvty, plus grwng dsllusn wth th Lbur Gvrnmnt, wr prducng stdy strm f rcruts. Thy cm s fllws: Jun 64 nw mmbrs; July 77 nw mmbrs; ugust 100; Sptmbr 174;

ctbr 192; Nvmbr 243; Dcmbr 155; mkng ttl f vr thusnd nw mmbrs. By md-1977 th mmbrshp ws rund fur thusnd, cmprd t smthng nt much vr 2500 yr rlr.

Th dvnc ws nt smply numrcl. S's blty t ntt ctvty, rthr thn smply jn n mvmnts lunchd by thrs, hd nvr bn grtr. ndustrlly, thr wr mr mmbrs thn vr bl t ld dsputs n thr wn wrkplcs, whl dstrcts wr bttr quppd t ntrvn n struggls frm th utsd.

But th mprvd ntur f S's rgnstn n n wy mtchd up t th bjctv nds f th stutn, gvn th vcuum lft by th rghtwrd drft f th Lbur lft, th Cmmunst Prty nd th unn burucrcs. n ldng cmrd dscrbd S s bng `th smllst mss prty n th wrld', such ws th dsprprtn btwn th stll tny rgnstn nd th tsks fcng t.

NTHR fctr n th dvlpmnt f th rgnstn ws th dcsn, n th utumn f 1976, tht S shuld bgn t cntst prlmntry by-lctns. Th frst st chsn ws Wlsll Nrth. th cnsttuncy vctd by runwy Lbur MP Jhn Slnhus. Th bjctv ws twfld: frstly, t ffr gnrlsd pltcl ltrntv t smll lyr f ppl lkng fr smthng t th lft f th ncrsngly dscrdtd Lbur Gvrnmnt; scnd!). t us th pprtunty fr prpgnd t buld lcl brnch f th rgnstn. Th rsults t Wlsll, whl nt strtlngly gd, smd t suggst sm vldty t ths prspctv: 1.6% f th pll (mr thn th Cmmunst Prty hd gt n tht st n ctbr 1974). nd sm twnty fv rcruts t th prty.

t ws n th bss f ths dvlpmnts tht th dcsn ws tkn tht frm Jnury 1977 S shuld b rnmd th Sclst Wrkrs Prty.

Th prspctv ws tht th rsng lvl f struggl (thr ws shrp rs n th numbr f strks up t th dft f th frmn's strk t th nd f th yr) wuld ffr th pssblty fr cntnud rcrutmnt. s Tny Clff put t n n rtcl xplnng th nd fr th prty:

`t s pssbl, nd vtl, t buld th rgnstn quckly. But t s ls fct tht mny f us suffr frm cnsrvtsm n dng tht.

`s rsult f tw tugh yrs, mny f us r puttng th sghts fr t lw. W r frd f bng hurt nd thrfr lk fr sfly. nd. f curs, f yu try t rcrut n n, yu r 100 pr cnt succssful.

`Th prsnt mmbrs f ur prty r nt th slt f th rth, th slct fw. f ny ltsm xsts n ur rgnstn t s ncssry t uprt t cmpltly.' Sclst Wrkr, 8 Jnury 1977

s prpgnd tl fr th lunchng f th Prty, twnty thusnd cps f pmphlt by Pul Fl clld Why Yu Shuld B Sclst wr prntd nd dstrbutd. Th ttl ws sgnfcnt. t strssd tht ths ws nt th tm fr rgung pnts f dtl wth thrs lrdy cmmttd t sclsm, th ky tsk ws t pprch whl rng f ppl prvusly untuchd by pltcl ds, but wh wr bcmng pn t rvlutnry pltcs s rsult f th crss.

n fct thngs dd nt g s smthly. Th ndustrl dwnturn ws nt s drmtc s prdctd, nd rcrutmnt slwd dwn. Mrvr, by rly 1978 t ws clr tht th lctrl strtgy hd, n blnc, bn unsuccssful. ttl f ght by-lctns wr cntstd. n ll css th vt ws, s xpctd, smll; but th ntrvntn f th MG (undr th lctrl gus f Sclst Unty') nd thr fr lft grups mnt tht th rsults wr n sm css much wrs thn xpctd; mrvr, xprnc shwd tht t ws dffcult t mntn ths brnchs bult rund n lctn cmpgn.


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