The Paradoxes of Tony Cliff, 1917-2000: A Critical Memoir

Submitted by dalcassian on 1 December, 2007 - 9:22 Author: Sean Matgamna

"The miners' strike is an extreme example of what we in the Socialist Workers Party have called the 'downturn' in the movement."

Tony Cliff, Socialist Worker, 14th April 1984


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AWL versus SWP

Submitted by AWL on 11 November, 2005 - 10:55

Material for an AWL day school, November/ December 2005, and other stuff on the political differences between AWL and SWP.

Download all the stuff for the dayschool as pdf (570 Kb), or read individual items below.

"AWL vs SWP" day school, November/ December 2005

Discussion points for the day school

1. Transitional programme vs fake ultra-leftism

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SWP "stewards" police debate

Submitted by AWL on 7 July, 2018 - 9:25 Author: MS
over turned stall

Today (Saturday 7 July), a group of Workers’ Liberty supporters went along to the SWP’s annual Marxism festival. We wanted to talk to attendees and challenge some of the SWP’s politics, and especially their support for “Lexit” during the European referendum.

We were leafleting for a fringe meeting hosted by ourselves – The Left Should Oppose Brexit. One of the guest speakers was from Another Europe is Possible/Left Against Brexit.


Submitted by lefty (not verified) on Sat, 07/07/2018 - 22:43

it should also be taken for granted that the left should not support israel and make it a flag about anything it does, let alone defending the european union, a capitalist construction that fills every day the sea of the mediterranean with human bodies

Submitted by Mikey (not verified) on Sun, 08/07/2018 - 16:55

There is nothing new in this when it comes to the SWP.


Submitted by Stuart (not verified) on Sun, 08/07/2018 - 20:51

Where on this website have you found support for Israel or the EU? The Awl’s attitude to Israel and the eu is pretty much identical to Corbyn’s. Two states for Israel and Palestine; antiEU as a neoliberal institution but also anti Brexit. Awl have a difference on tactics, strategy etc but on these issues it is basically in line with mainstream labour movement opinion. Groups like the swp have more far more bizarre (and bloodthirsty) positions. Perhaps if there was a more healthy culture of discussion and debate on the left, rather than boneheaded thuggery, then people like you, lefty, might get your facts straight. In the meantime maybe read the website before posting the thug’s propaganda?

Submitted by TyBy on Mon, 16/07/2018 - 16:49

During the form up for the anti far right demo on Saturday I was giving SWPers our leaflet asking their CC to investigate the incident.

First young SWPer says we are too big to be concerned about small groups and also that SWP had paid for venue so they could allow/disallow anybody they wanted. He said maybe it was inexperienced comrades but later I learned that a full time organiser was part of the offending group. I said that at some stage of the class struggle I hoped that all the socialists would be in one organisation but for that to happen the SWP would need to learn how to debate its differences with the rest of the left without resort to violence. I pointed out that they had done this to kind of thing to us before and that they’d also done it to the Sparts.

Second young SWPer quite apologetic genuinely didn’t seem to know anything about it. Older SWPer sees us discussing it, comes over and says in all his 30 years in the SWP he never heard of any SWPer doing anything like this. I said it had happened before; shrug of shoulders. When I asked if he would condemn it if it had happened then he said it was out of order that I should be discussing this on a day when we had all come together against the fascists, I replied that I was still intending to march with him against the far right but as we were all just standing around waiting for the demo to set off I didn’t see how that detracted from our ability to counter Robbo’s gang. He then changed tack and asked me how many people I had brought to the demo. I said I had only brought myself to which he triumphantly replied that he had brought 50 and having thus demonstrated his superiority walked away without once engaging with the issue on the leaflet.

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Cliff's "55 years a revolutionary" in Socialist Worker Review 100 (Jul-Aug 1987)

Submitted by martin on 8 June, 2018 - 6:56
Socialist Review 100

Tony Cliff's interview, "55 Years A Revolutionary", in Socialist Worker Review (July-August 1987) is often quoted in discussions of SWP history (including by us), but that issue of the SWP monthly magazine (called Socialist Review for most of its life) is not among those archived online. Here it is.

Socialist Worker Review 100.

The 1980s and left antisemitism
WRP discovers world Jewish conspiracy
SJWWed, 30/05/2018 - 11:28

Consider Ken Livingstone and the Labour Party, Al Capone and the US government. They jailed Alphonse Capone, a multiple-murderer gangster, for tax evasion. That was odd, but I think it better they got him for that than that they didn’t get him at all.

So with Ken Livingstone’s separation from the Labour Party on antisemitism. Livingstone has for nearly four decades been a public purveyor of political antisemitism.

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Going coalition-ready

Submitted by Matthew on 14 February, 2018 - 11:39 Author: Clive Larkin

Dublin Central TD Mary Lou McDonald has been elected unopposed as President of Sinn Féin, replacing Gerry Adams who held the job for almost 35 years. McDonald joined Fianna Fáil in the late 1990s, before switching to Sinn Féin. She was elected as the party’s first MEP in 2004, before gaining a seat in the Dáil in 2011.

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Catalonia: right to choose yes, new borders no!

Submitted by Matthew on 11 October, 2017 - 11:13 Author: Martin Thomas and Tony Holmes
catalonia dialogue

As Solidarity goes to press on 10 October, Carles Puigdemont, the president of Catalonia, has announced his response to the referendum on independence in Catalonia his government called on 1 October.

The Spanish government declared the referendum illegal, and deployed heavy Spanish police force to try to stop it, but it largely went ahead. 92% voted yes, on a 43% turnout. A series of opinion polls carried out by the Catalan government since 2011 has in recent years shown a slight majority against independence, most recently 49%-41% in July this year.

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How Israel came to be the world’s hyperimperialism

Submitted by AWL on 26 August, 2017 - 10:14 Author: Sean Matgamna
Middle East map

“For the... Arab-chauvinist logic, we need look no further than the [second] main ‘world Trotskyist’ group, the International Workers’ League. They want a ‘democratic, secular and non-racist Palestine’ — but with no rights for Jews!

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Support ex-Muslim LGBT peoples’ right to protest

Submitted by Matthew on 26 July, 2017 - 8:40 Author: Simon Nelson

The presence of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) on London Pride has caused a politically awful backlash by the left and others. Counterfire commented “Islamophobic placards have no place at Pride”. Socialist Worker state, “a small group of around ten racists also joined the parade with placards attacking Muslims.” This was followed by an official complaint against them by the East London Mosque.

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