Posted: 04/01/2012 by zandtao in Struggle
Tags: , ,

As an erstwhile communist a major strategy was to counter splitting. In theory what they did was to work hard at trying to keep the movement as integrated as possible. In fact tyhis theory was far from their own practice as at the time I was active a small communist party was split into CPGB – a party that worked to get votes for the CP, CPB(Morning Star)? – forgotten the name of this one but it was a party revolved around the paper, and the NCP. Now the CPB and the NCP were revolutionary in the sense that they saw the only solution was a revolution as opposed to the CPGB being electoral. I am guessing the numbers at the time were 5000, 600, 600, and I was one of the NCP’s 600. So they were anti-aplitting yet there were only approx 6200 UK communists. That says enough.

Here is what the NCP told me to do. I was NUT and the NUT leadership were reactionary. Within the NUT the leadership had formed a group called the “Broad Left” that was primarily there to counter the “Socialist Teachers’ Alliance”. Because teachers are primarily intellectuals this socialist teachers group were relatively strong. Now in truth they didn’t function well. Conference was the main forum for both these groups and you could tell an STA motion by the inclusion of the words “up to and including strike action”. Conference was a battle about whether motions would get passed that included these words. The leadership didn’t want strike action because strikes usually lost members, the STA pushed strikes. Neither addressed the problems in education, and these groups were locked in a conference battle Broad Left vs STA. Now my sympathies were more strident than many in the STA, but I was told to join the Broad Left to prevent splitting. This strategy was completely wrong, I should have been in the STA trying to get an approach that wasn’t splitting. I was always in favour of an Education Charter that dealt with Conditions of Service, and that the union shoulod mobilise behind this charter. But that was unlikely to happen because teachers are mostly concerned about paying their mortgages. If your battle is with Trottish egos, that’s where you have to work – stopping splitting whilst showing genuine commitment to the struggle.

My point here is simple, you fight the splitters but do not support the 1%. NUT leadership supported the 1% by its actions. I suspect there were similar approaches in all unions at the time. Crazy. These compromises have led to a worsening iof the situation in the last 50 years. Its is time to throw out compromise whether that is splitting or not.

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