Brian Pearce

Letter: To the Appeals Commission of the
Communist Party of Great Britain

(December 1957)

From The Newsletter, 4 January 1958.
Transcribed by Christian Hogsbjerg.

Dear Comrades,

I understand from Comrade Mahon that it has been decided to expel me from the Communist Party.

In view of the fact that when I lapsed from membership in mid-October, when I fell thirteen weeks in arrears with dues payments: that nobody since then has subjected me to the régime of ‘repeated visits’ prescribed in the Rules: and that over a month ago I announced my intention not to re-register but to join the Labour Party – the party leadership’s action in expelling me seems to be a work of supererogation, to say the least.

However, I suppose you have your compelling reasons for making this gesture.

I certainly have no intention of wasting your valuable time with any involved discussion about this matter.

Doubtless you will recall, in expelling me, the long list of good communists who have been expelled since Stalinism first set in; and how sometimes those who did the expelling were later themselves expelled – as in the case of J.T. Murphy, mover of the resolution expelling Trotsky from the Comintern.

Incidentally, may I say that one of the things I most regret about my twenty-three years in the Communist Party is that I allowed myself to be miseducated into helping in the vilification of Trotsky, and his ideas – ideas which I now see to have constituted a very great contribution to the treasure house of socialist theory?

If, in the last few months I have done a little, through sundry talks and writings, to encourage others, in or recently out of the Communist Party, to study and discuss the works of this eminent Russian revolutionary, I think that should be accounted to me for merit.

Only through what you call ‘Trotskyism’ can people who have rightly become disgusted with Stalinism be saved, so to speak, for Marxism.

If you were a real Communist Party you would appreciate such efforts, instead of expelling members for them.

All that remains is to wish you the season’s greetings and express the hope that 1958 will see a mighty advance of the working-class movement, in the course of which the numerous honest men and women still in your ranks will at last understand and shake off the incubus of Stalinism, in time to play their part in the real battle for socialism in Britain.


Yours fraternally,
Brian Pearce

Last updated on 10.10.2011