Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Canadian Party of Labour

Laxer, Watkins flop as red-baiters

First Published: Canadian Worker, Vol. 4, No. 6, October 1972
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Who’s going to purge
The man who purges,
The man who purges me?
I don’t doubt my sincerity
But what about what his may be?
Who’ll check the record
Of the man who checks the record
Of the man who checks the record of mine?
Seems to me
There’s going to be an awfully long line.
One more problem puzzles me:
Pardon my strange whim, BUT
Who’s gonna purge
The man who purges
The man who purges him?

“Who’s Gonna Purge?” is a song written by leading Waffler Paul Craven after the NDP railroaded the left-wing Waffle group out of its midst at Orillia. But at the Waffle’s meeting in London, August 19, the song became extremely ironic. There, the shoe was on the other foot. It was the Waffle leadership that was doing the purging and the railroading.

The epidemic of paranoia, pushed by Waffle leaders, added to the already unpleasant atmosphere created by their “set-up” of the meeting. At first, they tried soft-peddling their anti-communist witchhunt with talk about certain left groups like CPL not having the same aims and goals as the new movement and therefore, being destructive elements. (How many militants in MISC have the same “aims and goals” of the Laxer-Watkins leadership which are to tow the NDP line until the opportune time for them to reemerge as leading NDP’ers?)

But when we brought the debate around to politics – raising questions like support for the Toronto Western Hospital strikers, building a fight against work week, international workers’ solidarity, and arguing that the way to build MISC is to support fights like the above while repudiating the NDP and its politics – they refused to debate the political questions and resorted to intimidation and, then, more manipulation of meetings to effect their purge.

Waffle leaders Kelly Crichton and Ellie Prepas presented motions – one to unseat a delegate to the meeting on the grounds that she was a CPL supporter. and one to exclude CPL and other groups in their ground rules for membership. But both had to withdraw their motions when delegates pointed out that such witchhunts were “contrary to the spirit of the new movement.”

Their efforts to abort the challenge presented by CPL to their waffling on the question of the NDP and their nationalism just couldn’t come off.