The Communist Platform statement about my candidacy in Bermondsey and Old Southwark for the May 7 general election starts by noting in point 1: “He is standing as a Republican Socialist.”

True. Then it says: “He is therefore opposing Kingsley Abrams, a candidate jointly backed by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Left Unity.” I am no more “opposing Kingsley Abrams” than he is opposing me. To say that we are both opposing each other would have been more balanced. But even this shows bias.

The main point for Republican Socialists is to oppose the three main loyalist capitalist parties and the UK Independence Party. It is not about “opposing Kingsley Abrams”. Of course, Republican Socialists are critical of Tusc and if we are to be criticised it is surely for not opposing ‘trade union socialism’ or Labourism hard enough.

The Communist Platform then says: “Politically this amounts to sabotage.” The underlying idea is that communists should not stand in elections against Labourite programmes because this sabotages Labourism.

The CP statement continues:

2. “Comrade Abrams is a former local councillor and was the official Labour candidate in the 2001 general election. He lost to Simon Hughes, but got 30% of the vote. Comrade Abrams fell foul of the Labour Party machine after speaking out against austerity. He describes himself as old Labour and recently resigned from the party after 30 years of membership. Comrade Abrams then offered to stand under the banner of Tusc and LU - an offer that was eagerly accepted at both a local and national level. Southwark LU officially endorsed him on February 25.”

This is fine - comrade Abrams is the perfect candidate from a Labourist perspective. He has all the necessary credentials that the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party have been looking for as a Labour councillor and prospective Labour MP. He resigned in February after failing to be selected as the parliamentary candidate for Edmonton. He then replaced April Ashley as the Tusc candidate.

3. “Though comrade Abrams is not a member of LU, he is without doubt the right candidate to back. He is not only challenging Simon Hughes once again, but mainstream Labour hopeful Nick Coyle. His central slogan is ‘No to austerity.’”

Comrade Abrahams is not a member of LU and therefore cannot be selected through the LU candidate selection processes. The communists say he is “without doubt the right candidate”. Well, he is the right candidate for the Labourite Tusc. He is not a communist and therefore cannot be the right candidate for a communist party. He is not a republican socialist and is therefore not the right candidate for a republican socialist party.

4. “Comrade Freeman is a member of Left Unity. Till recently he was in charge of its constitutional commission and put himself forward for its national council in internal elections. His criticisms of old Labour and Tusc are well founded. The idea of a Labour Party mark II is illusory and doomed to fail.”

This is correct. The Communist Platform then says: “However, comrade Freeman’s ‘republican socialism’ amounts to little more than a leftwing version of English nationalism.” This is incorrect. Republican Socialism in England is an expression of English internationalism. English nationalism is expressed through Great British nationalism: for example, in Ukip.

5. “Even if he advocated a politically principled socialist programme comrade Freeman would be wrong to stand. The left in Britain is woefully weak and dividing our forces in the general election can only but damage our cause. Political criticism is perfectly legitimate - indeed it is required. But when it comes to the May 7 general election our motto should be ‘Unity in action’.”

This is thoroughly opportunist. Suggesting we should surrender to opportunism is one reason why the left is woefully weak and divided. Socialism cannot become strong by promoting economism and Labourism. On the contrary, the left can only become strong by combating economism, not by surrendering to it, as the Communist Platform advocates.

As for ‘Unity in action’, there are two Labour Parties in action (mark I and mark II) and they should surely be talking to each other to secure a united Labour candidate. Republican Socialists are not going to unite with Labourites in an election. On the contrary, it is the best time to put forward an alternative to Labourism.

6. “We urge comrade Freeman to behave in a responsible manner and immediately step down as a candidate. If he refuses then it is clear that the national council is duty-bound to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him under clause 18(a) of the constitution.”

The whole thrust of the CP statement reeks with opportunism and surrender to Labourism. Advocating disciplinary action in this way damages the reputation and credibility of the CPGB. The national council is not “duty-bound” to do anything under the constitution clause 18(a).

Steve Freeman
South London

Trick questions

Despite the predictable characterisation of my thinking as infantile ultra-leftism, I have tended to argue during parliamentary elections for revolutionary abstention. My aim is to expose the undemocratic nature of bourgeois institutions and to campaign for proletarian democracy. The latter includes workplace elections of managers and the creation of soviets or workers’ councils.

As far as I know, no Marxist candidates have stood in UK elections on a platform of boycotting Westminster for many years. This has meant my abstentionism has been isolated and negative. It has consisted of spoiling my ballot paper with socialist slogans.

However, in the coming UK national elections, I shall try a new approach. This is the dialogical method used recently by contributors to the Weekly Worker.

I intend to ask any Labour, Green, Left Unity or Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates standing in my constituency the following questions:

1. Do you describe yourself as a socialist and/or a communist?

2. If you answered ‘yes’ to question 1, how do you conceive of socialism or communism?

3. Do you agree with the statement that a classless alternative to capitalism is a realisable goal in today’s world?

4. If you answered ‘yes’ to question 3, how would a vote for you (and/or your party/group) support the working class to achieve this goal?

Given the prevailing levels of education and knowledge in the UK, I will be surprised if candidates have an understanding of socialism that is not confused in some way with Labourism or social democracy. It is also unusual to find activists engaged in electoral politics interested in continuing to make a sharp distinction between communism and Stalinism. Moreover, I have rarely noticed anti-capitalists linking their critique to a positive, classless alternative (or, if they do, hear them arguing that a classless world is not some kind of utopian dream).

Nonetheless, I am looking forward to my prejudices being overturned. I can no longer rule out a priori the possibility that there exist class-conscious candidates, whose commitment to proletarian democracy and the revolutionary communist alternative will attract my vote.

Paul B Smith

Not supportable

An aggregate of the CPGB recently endorsed Fabian Hamilton as one of a small number of supportable Labour candidates. I believe this is a profoundly mistaken decision, in all probability based on inadequate information.

Before becoming a Labour MP, Fabian Hamilton ran a series of what were said to be ‘phoenix companies’. Typically a phoenix company goes bust, leaving its debts unpaid, including staff wages and even national insurance payments, and a new company is set up, acquiring the assets, but not the debts, of the old. According to Wikipedia, there was “an unsuccessful private prosecution against Hamilton under the Companies Act in connection with his printing business” back in the 90s.

I would also point out that there is a supportable socialist candidate - indeed a trade unionist of great integrity - standing against Fabian Hamilton in Leeds North East: Celia Foote of the Alliance for Green Socialism, a lay official of the NAS/UWT union. This is one of the two Leeds constituencies where the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and Left Unity have agreed to give the AGS a clear run in return for AGS endorsement of the Tusc candidates in the two Leeds constituencies where they are standing - which should serve as an indication of the view of the entire local left about Hamilton.

Toby Abse


I am delighted to have been directly elected for the second year running by Left Unity’s membership to one of the 15 positions on its national council. I stood on a bold socialist platform, and was critical of a lack of democracy within Left Unity, particularly around its failure to join in electoral coalition with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. I also promoted my positions in, and support for, Tusc. This clearly wasn’t a problem for Left Unity’s membership.

I came fourth out of 39 candidates in this internal election - in itself a justification for the policies I have been putting forward within both Left Unity and Tusc. I am a national officer of Tusc and part of the leadership of Left Unity. That puts me in a unique position to try and deliver unity on the left. I am elected to the Tusc national steering committee by the Independent Socialist Network, which works within both Tusc and Left Unity, as I do. Recognition for independent socialists is unusual on the left, but could be the mechanism to bring about real political change.

My main political aim is the creation of just one, united, mass-based socialist party. This would include Left Unity and Tusc becoming part of the same organisation. Last year, I persuaded the Left Unity conference to agree that Left Unity would be part of the largest ever left challenge in the 2015 general election. This didn’t exactly materialise, but Left Unity did agree to have joint LU-Tusc candidates - and all but two of the 10 LU general election candidates selected so far have agreed to stand under that joint banner. This is a massive step forward in terms of unity on the left, and I will use that to try and move both organisations closer together. Tusc is more than happy for Left Unity to join its electoral coalition. I see both Tusc and Left Unity as stepping stones towards a new socialist party.

I am committed to encouraging even greater cooperation between the two organisations, and I will use my positions within both to influence that process if I can. I see both groups as being complementary to each other. Locally, Rugby Tusc members helped form the local Left Unity branch two years ago and many remain active within it. There is definitely no conflict of interest. I am proud to be Tusc’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Rugby and an officer of its national steering committee, and I am also delighted to have been re-elected to the leading body of Left Unity. I look forward to helping bring these two significant forces on the left together.

Pete McLaren
Rugby Tusc

Help needed

Milton Keynes Left Unity is standing in the Wolverton ward in the local elections. Our candidate, Ann Parker, is LU branch secretary and is well known in the local area. The sitting councillor in the ward, and our main opponent, is Peter Marland, who as Labour’s leader of Milton Keynes council has been leading the push for millions of pounds worth of cuts locally - while councillors debate giving themselves a pay rise!

Our branch has been holding meetings and street stalls in Wolverton since the weeks after Ken Loach’s appeal for left unity was issued. People regularly respond positively to us, as they are sick to the back teeth of the establishment party politicians. Some were even suggesting that we stand a candidate before we had made the decision ourselves. We are under no illusion though that we will make any kind of breakthrough in this election. But we are planting a flag for Left Unity and socialism: we are giving voters a choice, and we are starting the hard work of building roots in this working class community.

Some local people remember the stand we took when Railcare workers were brutally made redundant at the historic Wolverton works last August. With patience and consistency we can start to build a socialist organisation that working class people can call their own.

We have already delivered an initial leaflet to many houses in the ward and from last week we upped our tempo to three leafleting sessions a week. We hope to deliver at least two leaflets to every resident and get some canvassing done too. However, we are not a big branch and all this work is falling on the shoulders of too few people. So I am appealing to any readers of the Weekly Worker who live close enough to Milton Keynes to lend a hand. Please consider coming over to help with some of the leafleting/canvassing. We really could use it. We also need money to pay for leaflets, posters and other expenses - and you don’t need to live close by to send us some of that.

If you can help please get in touch with Neil, our election campaign coordinator, at neilwilliams1952@gmail.com.

Dave Isaacson
Milton Keynes


Comradely thanks are in order for Lars T Lih’s letter (March 26), explicitly outlining the contemptuous logic behind Trotsky’s ‘theory’ of permanent revolution, using the man’s own, extremely undemocratic words. The notion of a proletarian demographic minority staying in power by force against a majority population of by and large the urban and rural petty bourgeoisie is contemptuous - not just by the standards of revolutionary social democracy back then, but by the standards of Marxist strategy for the third world today!

The same Lenin, whom Trotskyists say was won over to Trotsky’s take on permanent revolution, wrote later ‘On the trade unions, the present situation and Trotsky’s mistakes’ (1920) for a very good reason. “Our state is in reality not a workers’ state, but a workers’ and peasants’ state” was Lenin’s definitive expression of opposition to Trotsky’s take on permanent revolution.

Also, having read the works by Stalin, Zinoviev and Kamenev opposing Trotskyism after Lenin’s death, why these individuals didn’t use those same words against Trotsky comes as a surprise to me. ‘Civil war with the peasantry or Bolshevism?’ would have been a more suitable title to critique Trotsky’s take on permanent revolution, starting off by juxtaposing Trotsky’s extremely undemocratic words (cited by Lih) with Lenin’s words above.

Jacob Richter

Loonar theories

Andrew Northall may be too concerned about alienating people who are closed-minded, so he avoids the main question when discussing the nature of the moon (Letters, March 28). The question is: is the moon a natural body or not, or only partly? This is a valid question for anyone who has examined the evidence relating to the moon.

As Andrew points out, rocks have been found on the moon containing metals which do not occur naturally, and it is not only uranium 236 and neptunium237. The outer surface of the moon has rocks with 10 times more titanium than titanium-rich rocks found on Earth. Scientists claim that the oldest rocks found on the moon are millions of years older than anything found on Earth. This undermines the theory that the moon was a spin-off from the earth. Scientists studying lunar rocks have discovered chromium and zirconium. These, they say, are metals which are refractory, mechanically strong with anti-corrosive properties. These extremely strong metals, scientists say, have the ability to stand up to means of aggression. It has been found that the velocity of sound from objects striking the moon speeds up at low levels, suggesting that the moon has a tough outer shell, but is hollow inside.

Credo Mutwa told researcher David Icke that, in Zulu legend, the moon is hollow and is a reptilian base, which was brought to earth long ago. Soviet scientists Vasin and Shcherbokov came to the conclusion that the moon was artificial. In Who built the moon?, Christopher Knight and Alan Butler came to similar conclusions. The ancient Greeks knew of a people called the Proselenes, which means ‘before the moon’.

According to some researchers, Nasa has withheld information about alien activity witnessed by their astronauts. A contact said to me he was baffled when the Apollo missions were curtailed. The logical progression should have been the establishment of a moon base. Were the Americans warned off or is there secret collaboration going on?

In a previous letter I referred to how a reptilian race has manipulated human society for thousands of years. The way they do this is mainly by using their human-reptilian hybrids, who look human, but at the genetic level have a higher infusion of reptilian DNA than the general population. These illuminati bloodlines claimed descent from the gods (ie, the reptilians) and the divine right to rule. Researchers say these hybrid bloodlines still control society and they are in turn controlled by the reptilians. The moon plays a role in this story.

Tony Clark


For clarification of the incident at Susann Witt-Stahl’s book presentation in Leipzig on March 13, which you covered so fully (‘Antifa means air raid’, March 26), we have now translated our press statement, originally published on March 16. The translation can be found at https://akgesellschaftskritik.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/keine-unterstutzung-fur-die-antisemitische-propaganda-des-ak-nahost/#EN.

Arbeitskreis Gesellschaftskritik