The origins of the International Socialists

The first Marxist Workers Group meeting and the first SWAG conference. Some important achievements. Publishing the battler. Major problems. The Toma dispute. Regrupment discussions. Constitutional crisis. Foundation f the International Socialists.

23.06.2010
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Th rgns f th ntrntnl Sclsts

(ssy)

Whn Dv Ndl nd Chrs Gffny ssmbld smll grup f thr pltcl sscts tgthr n wrm summrs' vnng n Dcmbr 1971, thy hd n pln t stblsh n ntrntnl Sclst tndncy n ustrl. ndd Ndl ws prbbly th nly prsn wh hd vn hrd f th S tndncy. nd frmlly, t lst, Ndl's pltcs t ths stg wr nt ths f S. Bth h nd Gffny subscrbd t th vw f Russ bng wrkrs' stt (thy dffrd vr th ntur f th thr `sclst' cuntrs - Ndl sng thm s `stt cptlst', Gffny sng thm s `dfrmd wrkrs' stts') Hwvr, t wuld b ncrrct t s prtculr nlyss f th Russn Qustn s th bss fr th frmtn f ths nw grup, th Mrxst Wrkrs Grup (MWG). Crtnly, th Russn Qustn hd bn mjr ssu f cntrvrsy nsd th Tcsn grup (t whch thy hd prvusly blngd). nd th ntrncn wrnglng wthn Tcsn hd crtnly bn mjr cntrbutry fctr n prcpttng ppl lk Ndl nd Gffny t lv tht grup. But th mptus whch cusd th frst gthrngs f th MWG ws nt wll-dfnd n ny prtculr ssu. n gnrl, ppl ttndd ths frst mtngs wth dsstsfctn wth th ltrntvs n th Lft n Mlburn t th tm.

Ths dsstsfctn dd, f curs, nclud sm mprtnt thms, f whch ppstn t Stlnsm nd burucrtc mthds f wgng struggls, nd rcgntn f th cntrlty f th wrkng clss n th sclst rvlutn wr th mst mprtnt. n ths bsc lvl, th rly MWG hd cmmn grund wth th S tndncy. But mst f ts prtcpnts hd nthr hrd f th S tndncy nr wr thy ncssrly fmlr r sympthtc wth ll rs f ts pltcs. ndd, th rly MWG culd nt vn b dscrbd s blngng t th Trtskyst trdtn. Ndl nd Gffny, th tw prtcpnts wh wr nstrumntl n gttng th grup tgthr, crtnly dd dntfy wth Trtskysm. But th grup ls nvlvd t lst tw ppl wh hd strng nrchst nclntns, nd thr ws nthr ndvdul wh hd bltnt rcst nd sxst ds, nd h hd hs wn lttl gthrng f frnds wh prtcptd n th rly mtngs wh hd smlr ds wth rgrd t blcks nd wmn.

t th frst MWG mtng thr wr 10 ppl ncludng Ndl nd Gffny. Mny f th thr rgnl 10 sn drftd ut f th grup. n fct, fltng ppultn ws dstnctv ftur f th rly MWG. f numbr quckly drftd ut, mny thrs - frnds nd cntcts f cntnung prtcpnts - drftd n. n th rly mnths f 1972, ttndnc t M1VG mtngs numbrd but 20-30 ppl, wth cnsdrbl turnvr frm n mtng t th nxt. Ths ppl wr mstly studnts nd frmr studnts, nw wrkng s tchrs r clrks. Thr ws ls hndful f blu-cllr wrkrs, mst f whm hd nvr hd ny trtry ductn. rly n 1972, Ndl's tw cmrds frm hs lttl Mnsh dscussn grup, Tss L ck nd Mrk Mtctt, bgn ttndng MWG mtngs. t ws n ths rly prd tht Phl Grffths, ltr t bcm ldng mmbr f S, bcm nvlvd.

n ts rly mnths f xstnc, th MWG ws vry ls grupng. Thr ws n such thng s frml mmbrshp. t ws purly dscussn grup, prtcpnts bng nybdy wh ttndd t ny tm. Thr ws rpd turnvr f prtcpnts, nd th grup ws dng nthng s grup thr thn hvng ts mtngs whr dscussn rngd vr ny ssus rlvnt t `th Lft' whch ny prtcpnt crd t rs. Th n trnd whch dvlpd ws th dvsn f pnn btwn th Ndl-Gffny Trtskyst tndncy nd th smllr nrchst grupng, th mst prmnnt f th lttr bng cupl by th nm f Jm nd Jntt Rb. But ths dvsn ds nt ppr t hv bn prtculrly dsruptv n th rly mnths f 1972. nd whl thr ws smll rcst-sxst lmnt, rstrctd t fw f th blu-cllr wrkrs, nthr ws ths surc f cntntn n th rly prd.

Qut sprt frm thr MWG prtcptn, Ndl, Tss L ck nd Mrk Mtctt hd bgun publctn f rdcl brdsht t Mnsh Unvrsty, whch thy clld Hrd Lns. t ws ssntlly nwssht, gvng rdcl-sclst ntrprttn f vnts, bth n nd ff cmpus. ts gnrl ln ws Trtskyst n, but ts tpcl prsnttn mnt tht t hd lttl n th wy f dtld thrtcl nlyss. Ths tpclty, cnstntly prsntd wth strng sns f humur, gv Hrd Lns dstnctv qulty, rrly fund n Trtskyst publctns, whch nrmlly tnd t b smwht std nd xcssvly thrtcl. By 1972, th studnt mvmnt hd dclnd cnsdrbly snc th lt 60's. Thr ws, hwvr, stll sm rdcl ctvty t Mnsh, nd ths rmnd dmntd by th Msts. thm quckly dvlpd n Hrd Lns ws, thrfr, strngnt crtcl pprsl f th Msts, prtculrly ttcks n thr rbd ntnlsm. Mtctt, bng tlntd rtst nd crtnst, ls ddd t th clur f th brdsht, by cntrbutng mny gd crcturs nd crtns. Frm ts frst numbr n Mrch 1972, Hrd Lns ws wkly publctn, whch md t th mst rgulr brdsht n cmpus. n fct, t prvd t b th mst rgulr brdsht t Mnsh fr th nxt 4 yrs.

Frm th pnt f vw f ts publshrs, Ndl nd hs Mnsh cmrds, Hrd Lns ws nt ntlly cnsdrd s n ctvty f th MWG. Ths vw ws pprntly shrd by thr MWG ldrs such s Gffny. Th d ws tht, lthugh n ctvst rnttn fr th MWG ws cnsdrd n vntul ncssty, n ths rly prd t ws nly dscussn grup whch hpfully wuld stblsh cmmn unty f thught, whch culd thn bcm th bss f n gttnl rl fr th grup. ny pltcl ctvty f prtculr mmbrs f th grup n ths prd ws, thrfr, thr wn rspnsblty rthr thn tht f th MWG. But ths dstnctn btwn th cllctv dscussn `ctvty' f th grup nd th ndvdul rspnsblty f th utsd pltcl gttn by MWG prtcpnts, ws nt ncssrly clr t th rnk nd fl. Hrd Lns ws, fr xmpl, rgulrly dscussd t MWG mtngs. Whn Phl Grffths bcm nvlvd n th grup, but Mrch r prl 1972, h mmdtly blvd Hrd Lns ws th grup's cllctv rspnsblty. nd, n hs pnn, mny f th thr MWG rnk nd fl thught th sm thng. Ths cnflctng tttud vr cllctv/ndvdul rspnsblty btwn th Ndl/Gffny ldrshp nd th lss prmnnt rnk nd fl prtcpnts, s n xmpl f th mrphus Mtur f th MWG durng th frst 6 mnths f ts xstnc. Nt nly dd th grup cntn ptntlly dvrgnt pltcl dlgs such s nrchsm vrsus Trtskysm, nd ptntlly ncmptbl rcst-sxst mnrty, but ls thr wr dffrng vws but th ntur f th grup's ngng ctvty, th lttr bng bscurd t th xtnt tht ths dffrnc wsn't vn clr t th prtcpnts. Th nly sgnfcnt blfs shrd by ll ths nvlvd n th rly MWG, wr ppstn t Stlnsm nd rcgntn f th cntrlty f th wrkng clss n th buldng f sclsm. nd t ws ths thm f nt-Stlnsm whch ws t prvd th frst turnng pnt n th grup's dvlpmnt.

t th Mlburn My Dy mrch n 1972, th MWG dstrbutd tw lflts, n f whch ws n ttck, frm n ntrntnlst prspctv, n th Mst ntn f `nd' fr ntnlst llnc btwn wrkrs nd `ptrtc' bsss gnst multntnls. Ths lttr lflt, nttld `Kngr Cptlsm', prvd t b th bss f mny subsqunt rtcls nd lflts prducd by th grup, usully wth th sm ttl. Th dstrbutn f ths My Dy lflts ws turnng pnt n th MWG's dvlpmnt fr tw rsns. Frstly, th prductn nd dstrbutn f th lflts ws th frst dfnt cllctv ctvty f th grup. f thr hd bn rlr cnfusn vr whthr prtculr ctvts (.. Hrd Lns nd prtcptn by MWG mmbrs n th Lbr Prty) wr ths f th MWG r just ndvdul mmbrs, n such cnfusn xstd wth rgrd t th tw lflts. ll mmbrs sw ths lflts s th wrk f th grup s whl. S ths 2 lflts mrkd th frst rgnsd publc ntrvntn - lbt mnr n - n th nm f th MWG. nd th scnd rsn ths lflts mrkd wtrshd n th grup's rly dvlpmnt, ws bcus f th ttntn thy rcvd frm n prtculr prsn ttndng th My Dy mrch. Ths ws n mrcn nmd Tm 'Lncln wh hd mmgrtd t ustrl but 6 mnths bfr. Prr t hs lvng th US, 'Lncln hd bn n ctv mmbr f th ntrntnl Sclsts n mrc (SUS) fr nrly tw yrs. Bcus f hs S pltcs, 'Lncln ws nturlly hstl t rdcl ntnlsm, nd s h fund th `Kngr Cptlsm' lflt prtculrly ntrstng. H dcdd t ttnd MWG mtng sn ftr. Hvng dn s, h fund smthng ls whch h cnsdrd ttrctv but th grup. Ths ws MWG's sns f humur, s xmplfd n Hrd Lns, whch md fvurbl mprssn n hm. nd s 'Lncln cntnud t ttnd MWG mtngs, nt bcus f ny xplct ntntn f cnvrtng t t S pltcs, but ntlly bcus h ws mv fvurbly dspsd t t thn ny thr grup n th Mlburn lft, nd h hd th dsr t bcm nvlvd n sm pltcl ctvty.

lmst mmdtly, 'Lncln brught tw nw ppl lng t MWG mtngs. n ws tchr frm th hgh schl whr 'Lncln ws tchng. Th thr ws Jny Stn wh, lthugh n ustrln, hd spnt cnsdrbl tm n th US whr sh hd bn cmrd f 0'Lncln's n th SUS.

Th lng-trm sgnfcnc f 'Lncln's nd Stn's nvlvmnt n th MWG, ws thr nflunc n brngng th grup t dpt n xplct S pstn n ts bsc pltcs. But thy hd n mmdt mpct n th grup, lng bfr t culd b cnsdrd s hvng S pltcs. 'Lncln, n prtculr, s vry cncs nd rtcult spkr. Cupld wth hs cnsdrbl xprnc n ntnl rvlutnry rgnztn, 'Lncln's spkng tlnt (dstnctly bttr thn ny thr MWG prtcpnt) mnt tht h ws mmdtly bl t mk mprssv cntrbutns t th grup's dscussns, dspt hs lck f knwldg f ustrln pltcs nd cultur. nybdy wh ws mmbr f th MWG t ths tm, rmrks n th mmdt mpct 'Lncln hd n th grup. nd ls mmdtly, 'Lncln nd Stn wr t prcptt mnr ntrnl crss. Fr Stn hd n snr ttndd mtng whn sh vcd strng bjctns t th sxsm nd rcsm f th prtculr mnrty whch hrburd such vws. pprntly, t ws cmmnplc t MWG mtngs f ths prd, fr n prtculr ndvdul t mk `jks' but `shls' nd `bngs', much C th mrth f mst ndvduls prsnt, ncludng th Trtskysts, wh wr thrtclly ppsd t such sntmnts. Nnthlss, hrd-cr rcsm nd sxsm ws rstrctd t smll mnrty, numbrng but 3 r 4 ndvduls. Stn nd 'Lncln quckly cnvncd th mjrty tht ths sxst-rcst vws wr qut ncmptbl wth ny gnun sclst grup. nd s th 3 r 4 bltnt sxst-rcsts bruptly dscntnud ttndng MWG mtngs but md-Jun 1972.

N snr hd ths ssu bn rslvd, whn nw crss dvlpd. vr th prcdng mnths th dvrgnc btwn th Trtskysts nd th nrchsts hd bcm mr dfnd. Sn ftr th rcst-sxsts dprtd, mtng ws hld whr th mn dscussn ws vr `th rl f th prty' n buldng th rvlutn. Th mnrty nrchst grupng, ld by Jm nd Jntt Rb, rgud tht th cncpt f `vngurd' prty ws ltst nd ncssrly ld t uthrtrnsm nd Stlnsm. Ndl nd th Trtskysts hd lwys blvd n th nd fr dscplnd rvlutnry prty whch wuld grup tgthr th mst mltnt wrkrs nd s prvd th dscplnd rgnztn ndd t ld rvlutn t szng stt pwr. Th nrchsts, n th thr hnd, rgud fr ls fdrtn, blvng ths t b suffcnt n cnfrntng th stt. Nw rnfrcd by 'Lncln nd Stn, th Trtskyst ldrs pntd t th nvty f th nrchst pstn. Th cptlst clss nd stt s hghly rgnsd frc. lthugh ll rvlutns r ssntlly mss uprsngs wth hgh dgr f spntnty, th rgnsd frc f th stt cn nly b smshd by n qully rgnsd nd dscplnd frc whch cn gv drctn nd ldrshp t th mss mvmnt. Ths, rgud th Ndl-'Lncln ldrshp, s th rl f th prty. lthugh t wll rgns th mst mltnt wrkrs nt ts rnks nd thrfr wll n ll prbblty b mnrty f th wrkng clss, th prty wll stll nd t b mss prty n rvlutnry uphvl. Rthr thn bng n ltst grup sprtd frm th `wrkng clss - s th nrchsts rgud dscplnd prty ncssrly wuld b - th prty wuld b n rgnc, but ldng lmnt f th wrkng clss tslf. Thr ws n dngr f Stlnsm, rgud th ldrshp, prvdd dmcrtc structurs wr mntnd wthn th prty. Wth ths sund rgumnts, th ldrshp sly xpsd th nrchsts' nvty - thr prpsls culd nly ld t dsrgnstn nd nffctv ldrshp n rvlutnry crss - nd clrly wn th dbt. Whrupn, th nrchst grupng, numbrng but 6 ppl, ls dprtd frm th grup.

Th MWG ws nw, n July 1972, smllr grup, numbrng but 15-20 ppl. fw thr ndvduls nt ssctd wth th dprtng nrchst grup ls csd ttndng mtngs t ths tm, ncludng Ndl's ld Tcsn cmrd Chrs Gffny. But dfnt pltcl ln ws bgnnng t mrg nd wth t gnrl unty wthn th grup. Th nd fr rvlutnry prty ws nw cknwldgd, nd th nrchst nd rcst-sxst lmnts hd lft.

ndpndntly f th MWG, 'Lncln hd nttd rnk nd fl tchrs' bulltn clld Tchr ctn, bsd n hndful f rdcls wthn hs unn, th Vctrn Scndry Tchrs ssctn (VST). Th cncpt f ths mult-pg bulltn ws t fght fr grtr mltncy, dmcrcy nd scl wrnss wthn th unn by ttmptng t buld struggls vr wrkng cndtns nd mthds f ductnl ssssmnt. Th m f Tchr ctn ws smlr t th SUS cncpt f `mltnt, dmcrtc nd sclly-cnscus unnsm', nd ls lk th SUS rnk nd fl strtgy th bulltn ws ttmptng t buld mltnt rnk nd fl grup t b th ldr n fghtng fr ths m. lthugh 'Lncln's nflunc n stblshng th `Tchr ctn' grup nd ts pltcs s clr, th thr ky mmbrs n t wr wll-knwn tchr rdcls wh rmnd ndpndnt f th MWG. But Tchr ctn dd prvd n vnu f mltnt ctn fr thr scndry tchrs n th MWG wh, thrugh 'Lncln's nflunc, bcm nvlvd n ts ctvts. Th MWG mmbrs nvr dmntd Tchr ctn, but thy rmnd strng nflunc n t, nd t prvdd much vlubl xprnc fr thm. Th bulltn bgn publctn but th tm 'Lncln jnd th MWG n My 1972, nd cntnud t but tw-mnthly ntrvls untl lt 1974. ts hrd-cr ctvsts numbrd but 4 ppl, but t ccsnlly nvlvd up t 15 r 20 n ts mtngs nd ctvts t prtculr tms.

Wth smblnc f unty n th MWG, t bcm vdnt t 0'Lncln nd Stn tht th grup nw hd th ptntl t dvlp S pltcs. n th mnths fllwng th nrchst dprtur, thy bgn cnscus ntrvntn wth th purps n mnd. n numrus csul ncuntrs, 'Lncln tk vry pprtunty t cnvnc Ndl f th S nlyss f th Russn Qustn. Grdully Ndl ws wn vr t th vw tht Russ ws nt dgnrtd wrkrs' stt, but n fct nw xplttv systm wth th Svt burucrcy s rulng clss. Wthn cupl f mnths, Ndl, 'Lncln nd Stn frmd frml fctn wthn th grup, n whch thy / wr jnd by L ck nd Mtctt. Thy clld thr fctn Rd nc. nd ts sttd m ws t cnvnc th grup f Lnnst pstn n ts bsc pltcs.

Th frmtn f Rd nc crtd sm prn wthn th rmndr f th grup. lthugh th nd fr rvlutnry prty ws gnrlly cknwldgd, thr wr stll ppl nvlvd n th MWG wh, whl nt bng xplct nrchsts, hd sm hstlty t wht thy sw s th `rgd' structur f Lnnst rgnztn. nd sm ls blvd tht 'Lncln ws n gnt f SUS, rcvng rdrs drct frm Dtrt n hw t `mnpult' th MWG nt n S grup. Whl th lttr ws ncrrct - 'Lncln nd Stn wr ctng n thr wn nttv - 0'Lncln's `mrcn cnnctn' nd th frmtn f Rd nc dd prvd tnsns wthn th grup fr sm tm.

prlll dvlpmnt ws tht th MWG nw bgn t s tslf s n ctvst grup. Th My Dy lflts hd bn th frst publc ntrvntn. lthugh ths dd nt mrk n mmdt surg f gttn n th `rl wrld' wrk n th Lbr Prty nd th publctn f Hrd Lns wr sn cknwldgd s dfnt ctvts f th grup s whl, rthr thn just prtculr ndvduls. nd tchr mmbrs f th MWG wr nw bcmng nvlvd n Tchr ctn. n mprtnt lndmrk n ths grdul turn t srus unn rnk nd fl ctvty ccurrd n lt ctbr. Fr th grup nw dcdd t prduc rdcl nwssht fr wht-cllr wrkrs. fw MWG mmbrs wr clrks n Mlburn ffcs nd t ws cnsdrd tht wth th ssstnc f mltnt rnk nd fl brdsht, ths mmbrs culd `flush ut' thr mltnts wrkng n th wht cllr r nd s bgn rnk nd fl mvmnt n th ndustry. Th nm chsn fr th brdsht ws Clrk nd Dggr, whch bcm knwn s C&D. Th ttl rflctd th humur f th grup nd ws pt n pltcl sns s wll. t s, f curs, ply n th ld clch clk nd dggr, th full humur f whch cn b pprctd whn t s rlsd tht C&D ws ssntlly n undrgrund nwslttr - undrgrund n th sns tht nthr th MWG nr MWG mmbrs wr cknwldgd s th publshrs, nd ls tht th prncpl mthd f dstrbutn ws frm th `utsd'. Ths ws dn by studnt mmbrs f th grup stndng utsd ffcs nd hndng thm t th clrcl wrkrs s thy rrvd fr wrk. (Thr ws sm dscrt ntrnl dstrbutn by MWG mmbrs nd cntcts). nd th nm ws pltclly pt bcus `dggr' suggsts ggrssn r, n thr wrds, mltncy. Mtctt md gd us f ths wth hs brllnt rtwrk, by drwng vrus ttl hds fr C&D dpctng vry ggrssv lkng fml clrk ttckng n qully frghtnd lkng ml bss wth pncl!

Th dcsn tht C&D shuld b undrgrund pprs t hv bn fr tw rsns. Frstly, t wuld hv bn unws fr MWG mmbrs t hv bn ctully nmd snc t wuld hv lft thm pn t vctmstn. nd scndly, thr pprs t hv bn sm pprhnsn but hvng th brdsht cnnctd wth n utsd pltcl grup; t ws hpd t wuld ppr s bng prducd purly by wht-cllr wrkrs. Ths ws nt ltgthr nccurt snc t ws th clrcl wrkrs n th MWG wh wrt mst f th rtcls, bsd n nsd nfrmtn frm thr wrkplcs nd unns. Th m ws t mk cntct wth thr mltnts n th hp tht rnk nd fl grups culd b stblshd n prtculr wrkplcs, r wthn prtculr unns, whch culd thn wg thr wn struggls, ncludng prducng thr wn brd shts. nd C&D culd cntnu s gnr1 brdsht fr th ndustry, rprtng n struggls n vrus plcs nd thrfr ctng s fcl pnt fr (hpfully) grwng rnk nd fl mvmnt crss th clrcl ndustry. rtcls n C&D xpsd pr wrkng cndtns n prtculr wrkplcs nd th rlvnt unn's lck f ntrst n fghtng fr mprvmnts, rgud fr struggl gnst bsss' ttcks n wgs nd fr hghr wgs, mphszd th nd fr rnk nd fl nttv n wnnng dmnds, nd ls crrd sm rdcl cmmntry n tpcl pltcl vnts such s th Frnch nuclr tsts n th Pcfc. Mltnts wr bl t cntct C&D thrugh publshd pst ffc bx r, n css whr t ws dstrbutd ntrnlly, by drct cmmunctn wth th prsn hndng t dscrtly rund th ffc.

Thr wr but dzn ffcs wthn Mlburn's cntrl busnss dstrct whr C&D ws dstrbutd, th numbr f ffcs cvrd by prtculr ssus bng lrgly dpndnt n th numbr f studnts vlbl (usully 4 r 5). Th crtrn fr slctng plcs f dstrbutn ws usully hvng smbdy n th nsd' - .. wrkng n th ffc cncrnd: thr n MWG mmbr r smbdy wth whm th grup ws n cntct. Th vrg dstrbutn f ch ssu ws but 1000-1500, pprxmtly 2/3 t 3/4 f wrkrs ccptng thm whr t ws hndd t thm frm th utsd. frtnghtly prductn ws md t, lthugh th tm spn btwn ch ssu ws ftn clsr t thr wks.

Thr wr tw ky MWG mmbrs nvlvd n C&D prductn. n wrkd s clrk t th Hsptl Bnfts ssctn (HB) ffcs, th thr wth n nsurnc cmpny. Th lttr ws Phl Grffths wh sn bcm th drvng frc f th publctn. t ws thrugh hs gd ctvst wrk wth Clrk nd Dggr nd n th nsurnc ndustry unn (ustrln nsurnc Stffs Fdrtn - SF) tht Grffths dvlpd nt ldng mmbr f th MWG. rly ssus f C&D cncntrtd n th ppllng wrkng cndtns t th HB ffcs nd ttmptng t mbls cmpgn fr qul py n th nsurnc ndustry. thr rs cvrd ncludd Cmmnwlth publc srvnts, nd bnk wrkrs.

Durng th lttr hlf f 1972, Stn nd sm f th thr MWG wmn wr nvlvd n grup f mltnt wmn clld th Wrkng Wmn's Grup. Th m f th grup ws t gthr mltnt wrkng wmn t c-rdnt struggls fr qul py nd gnst ll frms f sxst dscrmntn n wrkplcs nd wthn unns. ctv prtcpnts n th grup vrgd 10-20 wmn drwn frm numbr f dffrnt ccuptns nd ncludd sm studnts s wll. Stn, wh ws rdcl rsrch tchncn t Mlburn Unvrsty, hd lrdy bn th nttr f th Unvrsty's frst wmn's lbrtn grup t th bgnnng f th yr, prr t jnng th MWG. Ths hd quckly stblshd hr s ldng prtcpnt n th dvlpng wmn's mvmnt n Mlburn. Bng strng prpnnt f th nd fr th mvmnt t hv wrkng clss rnttn. Stn ws ls prtculrly nfluntl n th frmtn f th Wrkng Wmn's Grup. lthugh th MWG nvr dmntd th grup, ts nflunc ws prsnt thrugh Stn's ldng pstn nd th MWG gv much ssstnc wth th prductn f th grup's brdsht, Brd nd Rss. Lk thr ctvts n whch th MWG bcm nvlvd durng ths prd, ts prsnc nd nflunc n th Wrkng Wmn's Grup rflctd turn twrds srus rnk nd fl ctvsm; th dys f th MWG s purly `dscussn grup' hd nw dprtd.

nd th dvlpng cmmtmnt t ctvsm ld t nthr mbtus prjct. Prr t th bgnnngs f Clrk nd Dggr, th MWG dcdd t ndd ts wn publc nwsppr. Th m ws t prduc th frst ssu n tm fr th cnng Fdrl lctns n Dcmbr. Th nm chsn fr th ppr ws Th Bttlr nd t pprd ftr n rduus 8 wks f prprtn, n 17 Nvmbr 1972. Th ld rtcl ws hdd: ` vt fr Lbr s TH FRST STP T FGHT TH LBR LDRS.' ssntlly th rgumnt ws tht bcus th Lbr Prty hld th llgnc f mst wrkrs, ts pr-cptlst dlgy culd nly b truly xpsd f wrkrs xprncd Lbr gvrnmnt nd ts subsrvnc t cptlsm. Th ngtv rtnl ls hd pstv lmnt n t:

Lbr, thugh t srvs cptlsm, dpnds n th wrkng clss fr ts pltcl xstnc, nd cn b fught by ts rnk nd fl nd th Trd Unn mvmnt. W cn wn crtn bsc dmnds frm th Lbr Prty, but nly f w fght thm.

nd s Th Bttlr clld fr mss mvmnt nsd nd utsd th LP t frc th Lbr ldrshp t dfnd th wrkng clss.

Ths frshdwd dfnd ntrst plcy nt th LP dptd by th grup th fllwng yr, whch md t buldng mltnt lft ppstn wthn th Lbr Prty, whch, t ws hpd, wuld vntully splt ff t prtcpt n th frmtn f rvlutnry prty.

thr rtcls n th frst 8-pg Bttlr rgud fr mltnt rnk nd fl cmmtts n th Mrtrum mvmnt nd n th Vctrn Scndry Tchrs' ssctn (VST); nlysd th nd fr wrkng clss rnttn n th fght gnst pllutn; nd cvrd such tpcs s sxul rvlutn, th rctnry ntrgus f th Ntnl Cvc Cuncl, lng wth nlyss f th lmttns f th Wmn's lctrl Lbby nd th Cmmunst Prty. Th ppr ws sld t lctn rlls nd chvd surprsngly fvurbl rspns fr nw rdcl ppr, prtculrly n th wtrfrnt whr t sld qut wll.

Cncurrnt wth ts publctn f Th Bttlr, th MWG chs nw nm. t nw bcm th Sclst Wrkrs' ctn Grup, usully knwn s SWG. Th nw nm rflctd th grup's mv t srus ctvst wrk. nd lng wth ths cm nthr chng. Fr SWG bcm frml mmbrshp grup - mr ttndnc t mtngs n lngr mnt utmtc mmbrshp. T bcm mmbr prsn nw hd t py mmbrshp dus nd b cmmttd t th grup's ctvts n utsd gttn.

S n th lttr mnths f 1972, th MWG xprncd sgnfcnt chngs. lthugh t dd nt hv by ny mns dfnt pltcl ln n ll crucl ssus, th dprtur f th rcst-sxsts nd th nrchsts dd mn grtr pltcl chrnc nd unty. t hd mvd frm dscussn grup t hghly ctvst n; t hd thr publctns f ts wn (Hrd Lns, Clrk nd Dggr, Th Bttlr) ncludng th smwht mbtus prjct f prducng ts wn nwsppr. nd t ws nvlvd n 2 thr rnk nd fl grupngs/publctns: Tchr ctn nd th Wrkng Wmn's Grup. n tp f ths thr ws sm ntry wrk n th LP. Wthut dubt, prtty hgh lvl f ctvty fr grup f but 15 ppl. Th grup whch gv brth t SWG hd cm cnsdrbl dstnc snc ts bgnnngs yr bfr.

Sm Stbcks

n th rly Nw Yr, hwvr, th grup cm t xprnc sm stbcks. Thr ws furthr dcln n mmbrshp, ncludng 2 mmbrs lvng t jn th rcntly frmd nd dctrnr Sprtcst Lgu, th mst pdntc hr-splttng tndncy f rthdx Trtskysm. n ddtnl mmbr t ths tm ws yung wrkr wh hd rcntly cm frm Sctlnd, whr h hd bn mmbr f th Brtsh ntrntnl Sclsts (SGB). Ths prvdd th frst cntct btwn SWG nd SGB. Th mn stbck ws th dcsn t dscntnu publctn f Th Bttlr. Thr wr 2 bsc rsns fr ths rtrt. Frstly, t ws flt tht th grup dd nt hv nugh pltcl chsn t publsh nwsppr wth dfnt pltcl ln. Bttlr n. 1 hd cknwldgd ths lck f chsn pnly, sttng tht SWG ws nt dscplnd grup nd nt ll rtcls wr rflctn f cllctv vws. Snc th bjct f th grup - t lst, s fr s th dmnnt Rd nc fctn ws cncrnd - ws t bcm dscplnd rgnztn wth pltcl ln, t ws dcdd tht ppr whch dd nt rflct ths wuld nt b f ny grt us n buldng th grup n dfnt drctn.

nthr thng ws tht t hd tkn ght wks t prduc th frst ssu. bvusly, t tht rt th grup culd nt publsh rgulr nwsppr. nd ppr tht pprd nc vry tw-r thr mnths wuld hv bn n us t ll n buldng struggls. Th tm nd ffrt ndd t prduc th ppr t ths stg dd nt ppr t b wrth t. t ws blvd tht f nd whn SWG hd grtr pltcl unty, whn mmbrs wr clrr but rgumnts thy wshd t put frwrd, prductn wuld b much smthr nd mr rpd.

Th scnd rsn fr drppng th Bttlr ws dcsv. Fr t ws dcdd tht th grup dd nt rlly hv th fnncl rsurcs t cntnu prducng t nywy.

n th rly mnths f 1973 prblms rs n th Wrkng Wmn's Grup, Sm wmn frm th Sprtcst Lgu hd bcm nvlvd n th grup nd thr mthds f `prtcptn' wr xtrmly dvsv. S dctrnr wr thy n pushng thr xcssvly thrtcl dgm tht thy wuld rfus t rcgns th uthrty f th chrwmn nd just cntnu t spk fr ncrdbly lng prds, ncludng ncssnt hrngus n th `ptt-burgs' ntur f ll ds but thr wn. Functnng f th grup ll but csd. Plns fr ctvty culd nvr b md snc th Sprtcsts lft n tm fr prpsls t b dscussd. Fnlly, ftr svrl wks f ths nr-ttl dsruptn, Stn succssfully mvd tht th Sprtcsts b xplld. But th hrrwng xprnc f th prcdng wks hd lft th Wrkng Wmn's Grup vry dmrlsd, nd t cllpsd sn ftr th Sprtcsts' dprtur.

n ths prd SWG's mmbrshp hd dwndld t but 10 ppl. n cntrst t th lttr mnths f 1972, ctvty ws ls dmnshd. lthugh nly n ssu f Th Bttlr ws publshd, th 8 wks tkn t prduc t, nd th 2 succdng wks f nrgtc sllng, hd mnt th ppr hd bn mjr ctvty fr vr 2 mnths. Ths nw ws gn. nd lthugh th Wrkng Wmn's Grup hd nt bn mjr ctvty fr th MWG s whl, ths ws nthr r f ctvty whch bcm dfunct. Th nw smllr SWG wth fwr rs f ctvty ws ntrng qutr phs f ts hstry. n ffct, t ws prd f cnsldtn - srt f `hrdnng up prcss' - whch grdully dvlpd, wth th ncurgmnt f th dmnnt Rd nc fctn, sught ftr pltcl chsn.

Dspt th fwr rs f gttnl wrk thr ws stll plnty f ctvty t ccupy th smllr mmbrshp. Th 3 Mnsh mmbrs, cllng thmslvs th Rvlutnry Cmmunst Club (RvCmms) hd bult Hrd Lns nt wdly rd brdsht, ts vws cmmndng cnsdrbl rspct frm numbr f cmpus mltnts. Sprdc ntrvntn ws mntnd n th Sclst Lft f th Vctrn LP by th rsng f mtns t rgnl nd gnrl mtngs f th SL.

Th mn ctvty fr th grup s whl durng rly 1973 ws Clrk nd Dggr. n lt 1972 C&D hd crtd str whn t xpsd th bhrrnt wrkng cndtns t th HB ffc, whr mngmnt's rluctnc t prvd prpr clnng srvcs hd ctully rsultd n plgu f lc n th buldng. ls n lt 1972, C&D hd msur f succss n mkng qul py fr wmn n ssu n th nsurnc ndustry. t cntnud ts gttn n th qustn n 1973, nd t rgud th nd C unt ml nd fml wrkrs n fght fr qul py cmbnd wth brdr cmpgn fr bttr py nd cndtns, smthng th unn ldrs f th SF wr xcdngly rluctnt t d:

Ntbl xclusn frm th dmnds s ny frm f WG CLM. S fr, thy hvn't vn dcdd hw much t sk fr! Ndlss t sy, mny cmpgn wry vtrns f lst yr r gng t b lttl mptnt t ths nws. Snc th xcutv cn't mk up ts mnd, w suggst yu dmnd:

flt 29 % rs n th ml rt.

bltn f th fml rt - wmn t gt qul py.

Pd mtrnty lv f 12 wks n full py.

Fur wks nnul lv.

11 vrtm t dubl tm rts.

nd t ws pntd ut hw th SF xcutv ws s cntmptuus f rnk nd fl prtcptn n th unn, tht t culd cncl dlgts' mtng wthut vn gvng n xplntn! S C&D urgd ll rnk nd fl clrks t bcm ctvly nvlvd n thr unn's ffrs. t ws n cnstnt rtcls lk ths tht C&D ws prmtng mltnt nd dmcrtc unnsm. nd sclly cnscus unnsm - th thrd ky lmnt n th S rnk nd fl strtgy - ws ls cntrl thrust f th brdsht. spcl dtn f C&D ws ssud fr ntrntnl Wmn's Dy, ttckng nt nly sxst dscrmntn n th wrkplc, but thrughut th whl f cptlst scty. t urgd clrcl wrkrs t ttnd th WD mrch nd dmnstrtn, ncludng mls, `wh hv vrythng t gn by supprtng thr sstrs.' nd C&D dmndd ndustrl ctn gnst th Frnch nuclr tstng n th Pcfc. n typcl xmpl f hs lvly nd wtty Jurnlsm, Grffths chrtld n C&D hdln:

FRNCH TSTS: USTRL GTS TH SHS.

Puns lk ths rflctd th rr mxtur f pltcl mltncy nd humur whch ws cmmn t th SWG mntlty.

but th mddl f 1973 tw dvlpmnts tk plc. Th cmpgn fr qul py n th nsurnc ndustry bgn t tk ff s mny f th SF rnk nd fl, ncludng mn, strtd tkng n ctv ntrst n th ssu. Grffths mngd t gt fw mltnts tgthr nd nttd th frmtn f rnk nd fl grup clld th Mltnt nsurnc Clrks (MC). lthugh tny grup t frst, t vntully prvd t b vry ffctv frc, bng th chf mblzng gnt fr mss cmpgn n th ndustry. Durng ths prd thr wr numbr f tny rnk nd fl grups n thr ndustrs nd unns, ncludng trmwys wmn nd rlwy wrkrs. SWG hd cm nt cntct wth sm f th grups thrugh ts gttnl ctvts. t ws thrugh th Wrkng Wmn's Grup, fr xmpl, tht SWG hd cm nt cntct wth th trmwys wmn. Hvng cnsttutd rnk nd fl grup f ts wn (MC), SWG tk furthr nttvs by ttmptng t brng ll knwn grups f rnk nd fl mltnts tgthr n crdntng cmmtt, whch wuld (hpfully) ly th bss fr futur rnk nd fl mvmnt. Ths ws clld Rnk nd Fl Lsn Cmmtt (RFL). Hwvr RFL nvr rlly rgnzd nythng f substnc, ts mtngs bng ssntlly frums -fr th tw cmptng pltcl tndncs nvlvd: SWG nd rvl rthdx Trtskyst grup clld th Cmmunst Lgu, wh hd crtd mtlwrkrs' cucus. RFL's n `chvmnt' ws th publctn f tw ssus f mult-pg bulltn clld Rfctn wth cntrbutns frm numbr f th rnk nd fl grups nvlvd, ths cntrbutns bng rprts f ctvty/plns f th prtculr grups. lthugh th RFL ws nvr t munt t nythng (nd sm ts cnsttunt grups wr nt vry substntl) ts frly rgulr mtngs cnsumd cnsdrbl cmmtmnt frm numbr f SWG mmbrs untl th nd f th yr. RFL ws nt rvvd ftr th Chrstms brk.

Th Frst SWG Cnfrnc

s SWG ws tkng ths nw rnk nd fl nttvs n th utsd wrld, th Rd nc fctn ws tkng grtr nttvs wthn th grup. t rgud tht th tm hd cm fr SWG t mk dfnt dcsn s t wht srt f grup t wshd t b n th futur. Rd nc succssfully mvd tht cnfrnc b hld fr ths purps. nd s vr th wknd f 25-26 ugust 1973, SWG hld ts frst cnfrnc. f curs, `cnfrnc' s rthr grnds wrd, snc w r stll tlkng f vry smll grup. t th bgnnng f th cnfrnc mmbrshp std t 12, tw f whm hd jnd wk rlr. hndful f SWG cntcts ls ttndd, 2 f whm jnd t ts cnclusn. Ths nw rcruts ncludd 3 studnts nd n nsurnc clrk frm Glng.

Thr wr 2 mn ssus dscussd t th frst SWG cnfrnc. Frstly, thr ws th qustn f th Lbr Prty. Fr sm tm, mmbrs f SWG hd bn sprdclly ctv wthn th LP. But wht wr thy ttmptng t d thr? Thr ws th gnrl vw tht thy wr ttmptng t buld rdclsm wthn th LP. But culd ths b succssful, nd hw ws t t b mplmntd? Dv Ndl, wrtng undr th psudnym f Grg McCr, prducd dcumnt whch prvdd `nswrs' t ths qustns. t's mprtnt t nt th rsn fr psudnym n ths cntxt. Th ultmt thrust f th `McCr dcumnt' (s t bcm knwn t SWG mmbrs) ws t splt th LP. lthugh Lbr Prty ruls prmttd mmbrs f smll sclst grups (xcludng Cmmunst Prty mmbrs r grups stndng cnddts gnst th LP fr prlmnt) t ls b mmbrs f th LP, n prctc such ppl wr nly tlrtd prvdd thy ddn't `cus trubl'. bvusly, ny smll grup plnnng t ctully crt sgnfcnt splt wthn th Prty wuld hv bn prmptly xplld by th LP mchn lng bfr t culd brng ths pln t frutn. Th McCr dcumnt ws wrttn prmrly fr n ntrnl SWG dcumnt, but t ws ls ntndd s bss fr dscussn wth ntrstd cntcts th grup hd wthn th LP. n cs t fll nt th wrng hnds wthn th Lbr Prty, t ws mprtv tht ts uthrshp ws nt xplctly cknwldgd, s ths wuld prvd prf fr xpulsn f th uthr frm th prty. Hnc th psudnym.

nd wht nlyss ws ths prjctd splt n th LP bsd upn? Th qustn f hw rvlutnrs shuld rlt t scl dmcrtc prts lk th LP hs lwys bn cntrvrsl ssu wthn th wrld Trtskyst mvmnt. t hd bn th bsc pltcl qustn whch hd cusd th brk-up f th f Brtsh Trtskyst prty, th RCP, n th lt 1940's. Sm sctns blvd n wrkng wthn th Brtsh Lbur Prty, thrs dd nt. Ths Trtskysts wh wr gnst ntry wrk n scl dmcrtc prts, hv trdtnlly rgud tht ths prts r nt wrkng-clss prts, tht thr pr-cptlst plcs nd ncrsngly mddl-clss ldrshp nd mmbrshp mnt tht lbur prts wr ssntlly cptlst prts. ntry wrk wthn thm wuld, thrfr, thr b cllbrtn wth th nmy r, t th vry lst, pntlss wst f tm. Trtskysts wh wr n fvur f ntry wrk hv rgud tht dspt thr pr-cptlst plcs nd mddl-clss cntnt, ths prts rmn wrkng clss prts, nt just bcus f thr mss wrkng-clss supprt n prlmntry lctns, but ls bcus f thr rltnshp t th trd unn mvmnt. nd mng ths wh blvd n ntry wrk, wr tw dffrnt typs f strtgs. n th n hnd, thr wr Trtskysts wh blvd n `dp ntrsm', whch s n ttmpt t push th whl lbur prty t th lft. n th thr, thr wr ths wh blvd n `shllw ntrsm', whch rgus tht pushng lbur prts t th lft s mpssbl, but nnthlss ntry wrk cn b vlubl n rcrutng ndvdul lbur prty mmbrs t Trtskyst ds nd rgnztn.

Th McCr dcumnt rgud tht th LP ws wrkng clss prty. lthugh Lnn wrt n rtcl n 1913 chrctrsng th LP s ptt-burgs (whch nt-ntrst Trtskysts n ustrl hv gltngly pntd t), McCr rgud tht th fundmntl chrctr f th Lbr Prty chngd ftr th cnscrptn splt f 1916. Fr th ptt-burgs lmnts wr, sd McCr, th pr-cnscrptnsts. Wth thr dprtur, th LP bcm frmly bsd n th mss ndustrl unns (th pr-cnscrptnsts bng ntrnchd n th smll, ptt-burgs crft unns) nd dspt th grdul dcln f unn cntrl vr th prty mchn n rcnt dcds, t nnthlss rmnd th cs tht th prty stll dpndd upn thm fr ts fnncl nd pltcl xstnc. Dspt ts pr-cptlst plcs nd ssntlly mddl-clss brnch mmbrshp nd ntnl ldrshp th LP's trd unn bs mnt, sd McCr, tht t ws rspnsv (wthn crtn lmts) t wrkng clss prssur, f th unns dcdd t flx thr muscls, n wy tht burgs prts wr nt.

But th McCr dcumnt dd nt ft nt thr `shllw ntrst' r `dp ntrst' prspctv. n thry, t ws nw frm f ntrsm. Dspt th LP's wrkng clss bs, th pr-cptlst sntmnts f ts ldrshp nd prlmntry mchn wr t ntrnchd t rlstclly xpct th prty s whl t b pushd fundmntlly t th lft. `Dp ntrsm', sd McCr, ws bsd n n llusn. Th bst sclsts culd xpct frm th Lbr ldrshp nd mchn ws fvurbl rspns t wrkng clss prssur n prtculr prgrssv ssus lk, fr xmpl, th Whtlm gvrnmnt's prmtn f prfrnc fr unnsts n gvrnmnt mplymnt. `Shllw ntrsm', n th thr hnd, gnrd th ptntl f th sclst nd wrkng clss mltnts wthn th Lbr Prty. nd McCr sw ths ptntl n th xstnc f th Sclst Lft (SL) fctn wthn th Vctrn LP. lthugh th SL tndd t b mnpultd by th trd unn burucrts n ts ldrshp, ts rnk nd fl hd th ptntl t b mblsd nt mltnt sclst frc. Wht ws ndd, sd McCr, ws ctv ntrvntn n th SL by rvlutnrs - puttng frwrd mltnt mtns nd prpsls fr drct ctn lk dmnstrtns, supprt f strk pckts, tc. - nd mltnt lft ppstn culd thn b bult wthn th LP. nd whn th nvtbl ncmptblty f ths ppstn nd th Lbr Prty mchn rchd n mpss, th ppstn wuld undubtdly splt ff frm th prty. Ths brkwy ppstn, sd McCr, cmbnd wth thr rvlutnry grupngs, wuld thn b th bss f nw rvlutnry sclst prty.

n ssnc, th McCr dcumnt prvdd thrtcl bss, nd n xplct sttmnt f ms, fr th ntry wrk SWG hd lrdy bn dng wthn th LP nd, prtculrly, n th SL. ųght mnths rlr. Th Bttlr hd urgd th frmtn f mltnt mss sclst mvmnt bth wthn nd wthut th LP. Th McCr dcumnt crystllsd ths n bth thrtcl nd prgrmmtc trms. Snc t ws rlly n xtnsn f wht SWG ws lrdy ttmptng wthn th LP, th dcumnt ws rdly ccptd by th frst SWG Cnfrnc. Th nly ppstn cm frm th frmr Brtsh S mmbr, wh rgud, s d th SGB, tht rvlutnrs wrkng wthn lbur prts tndd t rnfrc wrkng clss llusns but th sclst ptntl f such prts, McCr's nlyss f th SL ws sn by th SWG mjrty s n ffctv cuntr t th SGB rgumnt.

Th scnd mn ssu dbtd t th cnfrnc ws cncrnd wth wht srt f structur ws dsrbl fr rvlutnry rgnztn. Th Rd nc fctn rgud tht ultmtly th grup must bcm Lnnst dmcrtc-cntrlst rgnztn. Th rcgntn f th nd fr dscplnd rvlutnry prty hd, f curs, prcpttd th nrchst splt-ff yr rlr. But th MWG dd nt, t tht tm, mplmnt tht rcgntn by dptng Lnnst structur fr th grup. lthugh th dlgcl nrchsts hd dprtd, thr hd rmnd wthn sctn f th grup, nbulus hstlty t frml ntrnl structurs. S th 5 r 6 Rd nc mmbrs hd plyd lw-ky, but dtrmnd, rl n grdully nurturng th ccptnc f Lnnst ds. Ths cnfrnc ws th tm. Rd nc blvd, fr tkng dfnt stp n Lnnst drctn. But vn nw Rd nc ws nt vrly cnfdnt f wnnng SWG t Lnnst pstn. S nstd f rgung fr th dptn f full dmcrtc-cntrlst rgnztn, thy ptd fr th mplmnttn f tw bsc Lnnst rgnztnl prncpls.

Th frst f ths prncpls ws th nd fr pltcl, rthr thn dmnstrtv, ldrshp. rlr n 1973, SWG hd n fct dptd mnml ntrnl structur by lctng n xcutv f but 3 ppl. But `th xc' dd nt hv ny `pwrs' scrbd t t, bng purly c-rdntng cmmtt fr sm f th grup's ctvts. Th nmnl ntur f ths xcutv cn b sn n th fct tht th rl ldrs f th grup, ths wh hd th grtst pltcl nflunc nd ls nttd mst prpsls, th dmnnt Rd nc ppl lk Ndl nd 'Lncln, wr nt vn mmbrs f ths bdy. Nw, rgud Rd nc, th ld `xc' must b rplcd by frmlly lctd pltcl ldrshp. Ths mnt tht t wuld nt nly mplmnt grup dcsns, but wuld ntt pltcl strtgs. Th rl f ths ldrs wuld nt b purly (r vn prmrly) dmnstrtv, but rthr, s ductrs f SWG's rnk nd fl n bth thrtcl nd ctvst qustns. Ths nw ldrshp bdy, t b clld th Pltcl Cmmtt, shuld thrfr, cntn ths mmbrs wh wr sn s bng th ky ldrs n nttng nd mplmntng th grup's pltcs n th utsd wrld.

Th thr prpsl Rd nc rgud fr ws th dptn f pltcl dscpln. t bsc lvl, ths mnt n xplct rcgntn tht th grup hd dfnt pltcl ln n numbr f bsc ssus. Mmbrs wr xpctd t rgu fr, nd ttmpt t mplmnt, th pltcs f th grup n thr gttnl ctvts. Mr xplctly, t mnt tht mmbrs culd nthr publcly pps SWG plcs nr frustrt th grup's mplmnttn f ths plcs. f ny mmbr dd ndulg n such ppstn, thy culd b dscplnd (.. suspndd, fnd r xplld). n thr wrds, th grup ws t put n `untd frnt' n ts publc ntrvntns. Dffrncs btwn mmbrs wr t b n ntrnl mttr; nc n ssu hd bn dcdd by ntrnl dmcrcy, ll mmbrs wr blgd t mplmnt ths mjrty dcsns wthut publc crtcsm. lthugh SWG hd nt hd th xprnc f mmbrs gng gnst mjrty dcsns n publc, Rd nc blvd th dptn f ths prpsls ws n mprtnt stp n buldng dscplnd rvlutnry prty.

ftr th dlgcl nrchsts dprtd n md-1972, th tw dmnnt pltcl ldrs f th grup wr 0'Lncln nd Ndl. ftr th lunchng f Clrk nd Dggr, Grffths quckly dvlpd hs gttnl blts nd ths stblshd hm s nthr vry nfluntl mmbr f th grup. nwcmr t th grup n md-1973, wuld quckly dscrn 3 utstndng mmbrs: Ndl, 'Lncln nd Grffths. mprtnt `scndry-ldrshp' rls culd b scrbd t Stn nd L ck. ll f ths wr mmbrs f th Rd nc fctn xcpt n. Ths xcptn ws Grffths, wh hd rtnd strng rsrvtns but structurs, dscpln nd Lnnsm. S t ws nvtbl tht th dbt vr th futur structur f SWG wuld prmrly b dvsn btwn Rd nc n th n hnd, nd Grffths n th thr. t frst, Grffths ws cnspcuus n th dbt, nt bcus f hs cntrbutn t t, but bcus f hs slnc. t pprd h wshd t vd cnfrnttn n th ssu. But th Rd nc ldrs fnlly chllngd Grffths t stt hs vws nd s h cm ut ppsng th rgnstnl prpsls. Dspt hs cnsdrbl nflunc n th grup, Grffths prvd t b prtculrly uncnvncng n hs rgumnts. Rd nc's prpsls fr frml pltcl ldrshp nd pltcl dscpln wr vrwhlmngly crrd, Grffths bng th sl dssntr. Nnthlss, th `wrry' Rd nc mmbrs hd vr whthr thy wuld wn th dbt, ws vdnt n thr bvus sghs f rlf s thr mtns wr crrd. Prhps ut f surprs t th vrwhlmng ndrsmnt f th prpsls, 'Lncln nd L ck mttd smll chr f vctry s th vt ws nnuncd. nd ths chrs wr t mrk n mprtnt turnng pnt n th thrtcl bss f th grup.

n ntrstng squl ws t ccur t th `Lnnst' dbt wk ltr. lthugh cnfrnc md th dcsn t lct Pltcl Cmmtt (PC), th ctul lctns fr th PC ccurrd t th nxt rutn SWG mtng. ftr t ws dcdd tht th PC shuld numbr 3 ppl, thr ws gnrl grmnt tht ths thr mmbrs shuld b th 3 bvus ldrs f th grup: 0'Lncln, Ndl nd Grffths. But tht gnrl grmnt ws nt unnmus. Grffths prtstd tht h wuld nt srv n th PC bcus h ws gnst ts xstnc nywy. nd thr nsud n xtrmly lngthy nd ntns dbt whr vry sngl mmbr f th grup, sm spkng twc nd vn thrc, urgd Grffths t g n th PC. Lk t r lump t, thy sd, `Grff (s Grffths ws knwn t mmbrs) ws n cknwldgd ldr f th grup; h hd rspnsblty t srv. Th fct tht Grff ws ppsd t th xstnc f th PC, sd 'Lncln, ws ll th mr rsn why h shuld b n t. s h ws n mprtnt ldr f th grup, Grffths' ppstn t th PC ws n mprtnt mnrty vwpnt, nd mprtnt mnrty vwpnts shuld b rprsntd n th ldrshp bdy. Mny tms Grffths rpld; ch tm h rfusd t budg. Yt t ws bvus tht h culd nt hld ut. t ws lk lmp bng drvn t th slughtr. t ws nt, hwvr, n ltgthr unwllng `lmb'. Grffths my hv cnstntly prtstd gnst hs gng n th PC, but h dd s wth n ncrsngly shpsh grn n hs fc. H ws bvusly flttrd by th dstnct vt f cnfdnc th grup hd n hm. Fnlly h ccptd hs pstn n th PC.


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