From Fourth International, vol.5 No.1, January 1944, p.16.
Transcribed, marked up & formatted by Ted Crawford & David Walters in 2008 for ETOL.
From a letter from England we extract the following lines:
London, Nov.2 1943.
At the moment here it is like living on top of a volcano. Nothing of any magnitude is happening on the class war front but any moment violent eruptions can and will take place.
The Barrow strike dealt the bourgeoisie a sharp blow. It came as a shock to them and it scared them. At the same time not only the ruling class influence but also the authority of the Labor leaders is being undermined in the tremendous radicalization that is taking place.
Even extreme reactionaries like Viscount Suirdale are being compelled – not without trepidation, it is true – to evoke the support of the Stalinist party in by-elections. The Barrow strike, however, showed the true value of the Stalinist party. They are completely exposed and have earned the bitterest hatred of the workers there.
A member of the strike committee visited a plant owned by Vickers-Armstrong near London to appeal for support for his striking comrades in the Barrow Vickers plant.
He was attacked by the Stalinist shop stewards who, it can be said, wielded large influence if not control over the workers there. After he had defended the action in Barrow and explained the strike-breaking role of the Stalinist party, the workers voted a not inconsiderable sum of money (I can’t recall the exact amount – over 400 pounds) which had been collected for the Stalinist Daily Worker fund to the Barrow strikers! On hearing of this our comrades went down to the plant to sell our press and were well received. In the Notts coal fields we got a similar reception in hitherto Stalinist strongholds ...
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Last updated on 28.8.2008