Socialist Action
1983-1984

This newspaper was published by the Socialist Action in Britain starting in 1983. The group was founded in 1982 when the International Marxist Group entered the Labour Party and changed its name to the Socialist League. It became generally known by the name of its publication, Socialist Action, which first appeared on 16 March 1983.. The group organised around the newspaper, but also had a bookshop The Other Bookshop, in Islington, as well as a printing press, Lithoprint Ltd, in Stoke Newington, which it still owns.

In September 1983, assuming that the Labour Party's actions against the Militant group would extend to Socialist Action as well, the group decided to disappear from public view, closing down the bookshop, and taking other measures to guarantee invisibility. Members were assigned pen names, and after the closure of the bookshop met in an assortment of pubs.. The group adopted an entryist strategy "to protect members from any potential Militant-style purge"..

By the mid-1980s, the group had around 500 members. Working with increasing secrecy in the Labour Party, often under the auspices of other apparently independent organisations, its members became supporters of Ken Livingstone and the Campaign Group of Labour MPs.

The group's character changed in a wave of splits in the mid-1980s, beginning in 1985 when a minority, led by Phil Hearse, Dave Packer, Davy Jones, and Jane Kelly formed the International Group, whose members were recognised by the International as remaining individual members. In 1987 the International Group merged with the Socialist Group to form the International Socialist Group and publish Socialist Outlook. The remaining majority of the Socialist League consisted of two currents. One, led by Brian Grogan, was part of the Pathfinder tendency led by the Socialist Workers Party (United States). The Grogan current was expelled by the Central Committee led by John Ross, and became the Communist League (UK, 1988).

The remainder of the group drew pessimistic conclusions from the fall of the Stalinist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. It continued to define itself as a Trotskyist group. It considers the Soviet model to have been preferable to capitalism for the working class, but it has always criticised that model for its bureaucratic and undemocratic features, accepting Trotsky's definition of the USSR as a degenerated workers' state. Socialist Action participated in the 1989 and 1990 Fourth International Youth Summer Camps but suffered another split after the 1991 World Congress. Small groups of Socialist Action members regularly resigned and joined the International Group, and its successor, the International Socialist Group, between the original split in 1985 and the 1991. At the 1991 World Congress of the Fourth International, the group was given equal status within the International with the International Socialist Group. At the 1995 world congress the ISG replaced Socialist Action as the British section.

These issues of Socialist Action scanned from original copies by the Red Mole Rising Project.

Contents by Issue


Issue No. 1, March 18, 1983
Issue No. 2, March 25, 1983
Issue No. 3, April 1, 1983
Issue No. 4, April 8, 1983
Issue No. 5, April 16, 1983
Issue No. 6, April 22, 1983
Issue No. 7, April 28, 1983
Issue No. 8, May 6, 1983
Issue No. 9, May 13, 1983
Issue No. 10, May 20, 1983
Issue No. 11, May 27, 1983
Issue No. 12, June 3, 1983
Issue No. 13, June 10, 1983
Issue No. 14, June 17, 1983
Issue No. 15, June 24, 1983
Issue No. 16, July 1, 1983
Issue No. 17, July 8, 1983
Issue No. 18, July 15, 1983
Issue No. 19, July 22, 1983
Issue No. 20, July 29, 1983
No. 21, August 18, 1983
No. 22, August 22, 1983
No. 23, September 2, 1983
No. 24, September 9, 1983
No. 25, September 16, 1983
No. 26, September 23, 1983
No. 27, September 30, 1983
No. 28, October 7, 1983
No. 29, October 14, 1983
No. 30, October 21,1983
No. 31, October 30, 1983
No. 32, November 4, 1983
No. 33, November 11, 1983
Volume, No. 34, November 18, 1983
No. 35, November 25, 1983
No. 36, December 2,1983
No. 37, December 9, 1983
No. 38, December 16, 1983
No. 39, January 6, 1984
No. 40, January 13, 1984
No. 41, January 20, 1984
No. 42, January 27, 1984
Socialist Woman supplement August 1984.pdf No. 43, February 3, 1984
No. 44, February 10, 1984
No. 45, February 17, 1984
No. 46, February 24, 1984
No. 47, March 2, 1984
No. 48, March 9, 1984
No. 49, March 16, 1984
No. 50, March 23, 1984
No. 51, March 30, 1984
No. 52, April 6, 1984
No. 53, April 13, 1984
No. 54, April 20, 1984
No. 55, April 27, 1984
No. 56, May 4, 1984
No. 57, May 11, 1984
No. 58, May 18, 1984
No. 59, May 25, 1984
No. 60, June 1, 1984
No. 61, June 8, 1984
No. 62, June 15, 1984
No. 63, June 22, 1984
No. 64, June 29, 1984
No. 65, July 6, 1984
No. 67, July 27, 1984
No. 68, August 31, 1984
No. 69, September 14, 1984
No. 70, September 21, 1984
No. 71, September 28, 1984
No. 72, October 5, 1984
No. 73, October 12, 1984
No. 73a, October 19, 1984
No. 74, October 26, 1984
No. 76, November 2, 1984
No. 77, November 9,1984
No. 78, November 16, 1984
No. 79, November 23,1984
No. 80, November 30, 1984
No. 81, December 7, 1984
No. 82, December 14, 1984
No. 83, December 21, 1984
No. 84, January 11, 1985
No. 85, January, 18, 1985
No. 86, January 25, 1985
No. 87, February 1, 1985
No. 87, February 8, 1985
No. 88, February 15, 1985
No. 90, February 23, 1985
No. 91, March 1, 1985
No. 92, March 8, 1985
No. 93, March 15, 1985
No. 94, March 23, 1985
No. 95, March 30, 1985
No. 96, April 5, 1985
No. 97, April 12, 1985
No. 98, April 19, 1985
No. 99, April 28, 1985
No. 100, May 3, 1985
No. 100, May 3, 1985 Socialist Women Supplement

 


 

Last updated on 19 January 2017