Not Waving, RA Vol 3, Issue 4, Dec '98/Jan '99

The Decline of Workers Power

While the trotskyist outfit, 'Workers Power', is infamous amongst the British left for their various theoretical twists and turns; Red Action will remember them for different reasons. During the now famous, 'Battle of Waterloo', as chaos ensued all around them, they gathered for what looked to be an intense emergency meeting. All of a sudden, one of them reached inside their coat; jeez we thought we've got this lot wrong, they're seriously tooled-up. But no, they didn't disappoint, as they pulled out a bundle and attempted a papersale!

This was also the outfit that confidently predicted the IRA would be handing-in their weapons, even before the first ceasefire broke. What was needed, we were told, was an armed workers militia to defend the people the provies were about to abandon. It would have been worth the IRA offering Workers Power some gear, just to see their faces!

Since Workers Power abandoned AFA for ANL back in 1992 it has gone remorselessly backwards. Like the rest of the left, it has found it hard to come to grips with the fundamental political changes in Britain and is seriously floundering. Struggling with internal feuds and falling membership, it has in a last throw of the dice relaunched its paper.
The relaunch issue of includes such radical and innovative headlines as: "Welfare State: Safe in Labour's Hands?"; "Fight Straw's Racist asylum White Paper"; "Imperialists Support Nigerian Military as it clings to Power"; "Education as a right means No Fees and Full Grants".

As they explain: "From this month, Workers Power has a brand new look. Our new Workers Power, in stark contrast to New Labour, still champions the old principles of socialism'. The purpose of the 'new design', we are told, is 'to remove any confusion with the 'red top' tabloids which many left papers have modelled themselves since the 1970's. Yes, including Workers Power until September 1998! The new masthead instead of being white on red is now red and black on white (see above). "We think the look now reflects the fact that Workers Power is the only really revolutionary paper in Britain." This from an outfit that demanded we all vote to put a right of centre party into government. Amazing what a simple change of mast head can achieve.

Despite the radical overhaul, evergreen is the need for a 'revolutionary party and programme for the working class and youth. What follows is what can only be described as worrying.
'The International youth movement, Revolution, held its first European Youth Camp in July. Between the meetings we had the chance to play football, volleyball, ping-pong and late-night matches of table football, which nobody involved will forget! In the evenings we had music, dancing and general partying, as well as a campfire, where we shared experiences with other youth from every corner of Europe.
The camp finished with a rousing speech... There was just enough time to sing the Internationale and have group photos taken before we had to say goodbye to our newly made friends and comrades and head home, with our heads still buzzing full of ideas'.
Now not even Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five' had that much fun.

Colin O'Brien

Reproduced from RA Vol 3, Issue 4, Dec '98/Jan '99