The Last Time We Were Heresy Hunted

Submitted by dalcassian on 23 September, 2008 - 3:13 Author: Sean Matgamna

In 1981, the actress Vanessa Redgrave, acting on behalf of the Workers' Revolutionary Party of Gerry Healy, of which she was then the best-known member, sued Sean Matgamna and John Bloxam for libel over things Matgamna had written about the WRP in Socialist Organiser (forerunner of Solidarity) and Bloxam had repeated in a circular letter to the paper's supporters.

The WRP embroiled us in expensive and potentially ruinous legal processes for four and a half years, until it collapsed in 1985 and the case was dropped.

The legal proceedings were supplemented by a public heresy-hunt against us, accusing us of being part of an international "Zionist connection" (although the writing alleged to be libellous had been about matters quite other than Zionism and Israel). The WRP's daily paper carried frequent reports of resolutions from trade-union bodies, and statements by individuals, denouncing us.

These articles tell the story.