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International Socialism, June 1977


The British Road: A Debate


From International Socialism (1st series), No.99, June 1977, pp.22-27.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The new draft of the Communist Party programme, the British Road to Socialism, has provoked deep controversy within the CP. The columns of the Morning Star and the CP fortnightly Comment have been filled with the debate, which will culminate at the Party Congress in November. There are even rumours of a projected spilt by the unreconstructed Stalinist faction within the CP under the leadership of the Surrey District, which has said that if the draft is approved the CP will become ‘a left socialist-democratic party with a left social-democratic programme’ (Comment, April 30 1977).

Undoubtedly the draft raises major questions both about socialist strategy in Britain and about the specific role of the Communist Party. Alex Callinicos broached some of these issues in an article in International Socialism 97, A New Road for the Communist Party?. In this issue Geoff Roberts, a member of the Communist Party, defends the draft programme. He also takes up points made by Duncan Hallas in The CP, the SWP and the Rank-and-File Movement (International Socialism 95), itself a reply to an earlier article by Geoff Roberts in the December 1976 issue of the CP monthly Marxism Today which attacked The Strategy of Rank and Filism of the SWP.

Alex Callinicos’ rejoinder does not close the debate on The British Road to Socialism in this journal. Any reader, and in particular any member of the Communist Party, is welcome to contribute.

The CP, the SWP and the Strategy for Socialism in Britain
by Geoff Roberts

Revolutionary Strategy in Britain
by Alex Callinicos

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