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Alastair Hatchett

British Labour Movement

Towards a Definition of the Problems

(July 1977)

From International Socialism (1st series), No.100, July 1977, pp.36-41.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

This is not the article originally written. The task I set myself was to write a definitive analysis of the labour movement today. This has yet to be written. It will require a great deal of collective effort, debate and analysis. This article replaces a draft which was little more than a summary of the struggles over the last decade with what I thought were a number of insights into the many changes that have occurred.

Over the decade 1967-1977 there have been enormous changes in the scale and nature of class conflict, in the context of the declining fortunes of British capital. Struggle and experience have generally been fragmented, only occasionally linked into a common purpose. A total view of the dimensions of class conflict has been, and remains, elusive. Patterns offering interpretation have seemingly coalesced, only to disintegrate with extraordinary speed and frequency as the level of struggle has changed.

Given the absence of any substantial analysis of these changes anywhere on the left it is necessary to open up the debate and work towards a definition of the problems. Articles have been written, particularly in the pages of this journal, which have examined partial aspects of the whole. But just as our practice as revolutionaries is to link the fragmented struggles of the class into a generalised offensive, our theory must develop through a process of debate and exchange which links the experience and understanding gained from the struggles we’re engaged in. What follows is intended as a contribution to the debate.

A Starting Point

Any overview of the development of the labour movement over the last decade needs to start with the important contributions made by Cliff and Barker in Incomes Policy, Legislation and Shop Stewards (1966) and their consequential writings in the late 1960s. They focussed on the post war growth of the shop steward movement in the engineering industry. The full employment, or near full employment, of the war and the post-war period had given workers new confidence. After the defeats of the 1920’s and 1930’s shop steward organisation had grown again and flourished in the post-war boom. Gains could frequently be won without strike action. Where strikes did take place they were, on the whole, unofficial, short, small and usually successful. But the class consciousness of the pre-war years was largely replaced by a sectional consciousness which fragmented the working class. The place where workers believed improvements in their lives could be won shifted from the national level to the shop floor. It was a ‘do-it-yourself’ reformism which emphasised self reliance and self activity: a partial advance and a partial retreat.

Taking their analysis as a starting point, the theme of my first draft was ‘capital’s needs v. the shop floor response’ as the central dynamic of class conflict over the last decade. But this approach presents problems as the composition of the workforce has changed, with around 50% now employed in the public sector, and as the level of conflict and militancy has grown in this area.

With the end of the post-war boom, capital’s need in, for example, the engineering industry, could be concisely stated: the rate of exploitation had to be increased. To put this into effect employers demanded that labour costs be reduced and that productivity be raised. Firstly there had to be an end to wage drift and shop floor bargaining power had to be curtailed. Secondly there had to be increased productivity, which meant shop floor organisation and confidence had to be emasculated.

In engineering and related sectors capital’s problem was its own product, the confident shop floor movement which had grown out of the boom years. Capital’s economic success had created its own antithesis, a movement whose aspirations were rising as capital’s confidence declined.

But the relation between capital and labour in the public sector is not clear. We do not yet have a theory capable of defining ‘capital’s needs’ when discussing a hospital, a school, or a town hall. In an engineering factory, the question of raising the rate of exploitation is clear – through speed up, cutting manning levels etc. But in a hospital, can we even talk about a rate of exploitation?

So our starting point, the attempt to define the central dynamics of the conflict between capital and labour, leads to our first problem. Ten years ago, when the core of militancy was to be found in the engineering industry we had a working hypothesis, which, tried and tested, has been proved correct. But it has not been sufficient to explain some of the newer struggles in the public sector.

A Turning Point

Our next major problem was posed by the return of Labour to power in 1974. When we fought with the miners for the defeat of the Heath government our expectations were high. Our interpretation of the development of working class consciousness and shop floor organisation led us to believe that after a short honeymoon between Labour and the unions, conflict would build up to the levels of the recent past. We were wrong.

The return of Labour was a turning point whose consequences have thoroughly challenged our theories of the post war working class movement. Some continuities do exist which require renewed examination, together with new developments which must reshape our ideas.

Under the social contract strike levels have fallen dramatically. For the first time since 1966 the number of strikes fell for two years running in 1975 and 1976 after a decade from 1964 to 74 of rising struggle. Even more important, and more marked, was the fall in the number of working days lost in disputes. From large, officially-led strikes during the Heath government, there was a return to small, fragmented, and largely unofficial strikes under Labour. In 1971 and 1972 over 75 per cent of days ‘lost’ in strikes had been through official action. That figure had gone over 88 per cent in the first two months of 1974, but once Labour took over the percentage fell to 11.5 per cent for the remaining ten months of 1974 (see Table).

Stoppages in the years 1966-1976


No. of
in year

No. of
involved in

no. of days
lost in



No. of
in year

No. of
involved in

no. of days
lost in














































Source: Department of Employment Gazette, January 1977

But the downturn in struggle under the Social Contract has clarified our understanding of the transformed role of the trade union bureaucracy, the further development of state intervention as an integral part of capital’s survival, and the potential for rightward drift in many sections of the established left in the working class.

When the minority Labour government was returned to power in March 1974 the Tory incomes policy had just been smashed by the miners. After two years of falling real income, the pressure of workers pay demands was irresistible. But the 1974 miners’ strike was significantly different to the earlier strike in 1972, which had been much more of a rank and file struggle. In 1974 the miners’ officials played a much stronger role in the running of the dispute and kept a tight rein on initiatives.

The first sections of the working class to confront the newly elected Labour government were the local government workers, teachers and nurses. At practically the same time, in April, the leadership of the engineering workers signed a national agreement that gave almost nothing to the two million workers involved.

The capitulation of the engineers’ leaders delayed but did not stop the action of the rank and file. A few months later numerous strikes broke out in engineering, including the most advanced, best organised, traditionally most militant section- the car workers. With the end of stage 3 of the Tories incomes policy in late July, many groups were determined to restore their real incomes, including lorry drivers, the dustmen, and groups of engineers.

The level of militancy was high as the economy slipped into deeper crisis. Labour’s response was to lead a new ruling class strategy. The government’s first job was to repeal the Industrial Relations Act and the Employment Protection Act. These two pieces of legislation were not based primarily on enforcing the rule of law in industrial relations or on weakening the union machinery. Their purpose was more subtle. They have been attempts (so far, quite successful attempts) to integrate unions with management, to formalise procedures, to reduce conflict through conciliation and arbitration. The net result is to increase substantially the role of the full time union official and to undermine the power of shop stewards. The Arbitration, Conciliation and Advisory Service (ACAS), for example, has been successfully diverting conflict on the shop floor towards arbitration settlements for some time now.

But this was only part of the strategy. Their real concern, having begun to prepare the way, was the launching of a new offensive to increase productivity levels within the national capital’s industrial base.

Raising productivity means disciplining the workforce, and extending the control of management over the shop floor. It means rationalisation, speed up, fewer jobs, and more work for the same money. Above all, it means undermining the power of the shop floor and its representatives, the stewards. It means the reduction of manning levels, the increase of flexibility and the reduction of job demarcation. Centrally they require an increase in the intensity of work.

In addition they needed to increase the attack on the welfare state in order to give new priorities to public expenditure.

And to carry out this offensive they had to sell it, not as a piranha, but as a gold-fish. So they called it the Social Contract. Just as capital gives wages for labour as an apparent exchange of equivalents, so the Social Contract was sold as a swapping of pipes of peace.

It is no accident of history that the Labour Party/TUC committee that drafted the Social Contract sat together for two years prior to October 1974, and drew their solution for the crisis from the level of class conflict in 1973 and 1974. ‘The essence of the new social contract’, they said, was ‘an entirely new recognition of the aims of social justice.’

The Social Contract could not have been perpetuated without the united and active assistance of the trade union leaders. They presented an almost entirely united front to their divided and fragmented members, as the overwhelming TUC votes show. The successful selling of the deal depended on convincing the mass of the working class

  1. that the British economy was in crisis – not difficult given the levels of unemployment and inflation, and the fact that real wages had barely risen;
  2. that wage rises aggravate the crisis – as Wilson’s document put it ‘One man’s wage rise is another man’s job’; and
  3. so that any workers going for higher wages would be acting against the interests of the class as a whole.

Such a tissue of half truths could only be maintained in the absence of any alternative leadership arguing against the barrage of propaganda, or capable of leading struggles to disprove its logic in practice.

Under phase 1 and phase 2, the state and the employers have bludgeoned shop floor organisation through unemployment, the cuts, etc and through the removal of wage bargaining to Cabinet committee meetings.

The social contract has only been the thin end of the wedge. As the wedge has driven deeper, the other intentions have become clearer; the drive for higher productivity, the incorporation of senior stewards, integration sold as democracy, the reduction of manning levels, the disciplining of the rank and file.

To take on the Contract is not just to take on your own employer, but to take on the world – as the 32 strikers at SU Carburrettors found in 1976. Their strike sent the pound careering downwards and threatened two thousand years of civilisation. In such a climate, defeatism is infectious. To an extent, this is true under any incomes policy, but shop floor struggle over the last two and a half years has been on substantially different terrain to three or four years ago. Much more than the, the struggle has not been just with an employer or even directly with the state, it is directly challenged by whole layers of trade union officialdom, both full time and lay, from the General Council down to the convenors and senior stewards in many industries.

The successful intervention of these layers of officialdom has been truly remarkable. Their authority and their persuasive arguments for the maintenance of the Labour Government ‘at all costs’, have been an important legitimating force for all the attacks on the working class. Once committed to the Social Contract the union bureaucracy played a major role in shifting working class consciousness to the right. And this was only possible because the sergeants and lance-corporals of the movement went with them, aided by the rightward drift of the broad left and the Communist Party seeking to maintain their positions of influence in the (rightward moving) machine.

For the organised shop floor the consequences of these shifts could have been disastrous, indeed in some cases, in the many factories that have closed, they have been. But the overall picture is not one of collapse. For two years the struggle has been contained, but it has not been a defeated and demoralised working class that has given up, rather a militant working class that has held off, or has been held off. Since it began the social contract has developed a number of weaknesses, not least the increased distance that has grown in the unions between the leaders and the rank and file. But the weakest part of an incomes policy, the part that makes it most fragile, is its own success. Not its ideological success for that is one of its strengths, but its material success in holding down wages, which has produced smouldering, deeply felt resentment and anger.

The disputes of the first few months of 1977 showed conclusively the remarkable resilience of shop floor organisation. Shop steward organisation has evidently not atrophied during two years of low activity – on the contrary, its strength, and the speed with which old links were reformed and new ones created, showed the potential that could be realised when a lead was given. Meetings of engineering stewards were held around the country to discuss solidarity with the Leyland toolroom workers, new combine committees sprang to life, as at Schweppes.

In the first three months of 1977, 2,331,000 strike days were recorded, of which half took place in March alone.

These disputes have taken place in the traditional strongholds of union militancy amongst craftsmen in large companies. In Leyland it was the toolroom engineers, at Heathrow the maintenance engineers, at Port Talbot the electricians, and at The Times it was skilled printworkers.

On the other hand these strikes have been partly responsible for the flexibility of current phase three proposals – showing as they did the potential revolt against a further rigid pay deal. On the other hand some of the demands they raised were sectional, and therefore vulnerable to productivity and incentives deals.

In the Leyland dispute there was a clear demonstration of a preparedness to fight the Social Contract. Groups of angry stewards led the fight, but they were elbowed out of the way by the established old guard of senior stewards, led by Derek Robinson. The Leyland combine committee, and the broad left within it, allowed management, the press, Scanlon and Jones, and the government to divide factory from factory and bludgeon the toolroom workers back to work. Once the dispute was over, the senior stewards made sure that subsequent initiatives were stillborn. For example they worked very hard to ensure that the April 20th anti-Contract demonstration was made up of small delegations, rather than masses of strikers, despite the fact that they had called it. During the Heathrow strike it took the old guard even longer to re-establish control and wrest the leadership from the militant rank and file stewards who led the strike.

In August 1976, the TUC General Council had ‘persuaded’ the National Union of Seamen not to strike in support of their claim by threatening them with expulsion from the TUC. In the toolmakers dispute at Leyland the National Executive of the AUEW publicly supported management in its threat to sack 3000 workers on unofficial strike. The leadership of the print union NATSOPA went even further. Not only did they support the management of The Times in trying to sack the workers on unofficial strike in March 1977, they went as far as expelling the men from the union and offering to find other men to do their jobs.

The Trade Union Bureaucracy

The most important factor in sustaining the Social Contract has been the trade union Bureaucracy, but the role they have played was not one that we anticipated. Of course, class collaboration is nothing new in the history of trade union officiajdom, but the degree of recent collaboration has rarely been seen outside of wartime.

In the post-war boom the trade union leaders played a relatively quiet collaborationist role. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, officials played very little part in the majority of disputes.

The majority of the strikes of those years were fought out in individual factories between the workers concerned, led by their stewards, and the management. The disputes were won so quickly that the officials rarely knew of them before they were settled. But collaborate they did. The number of governmental committees on which the unions sat rose from 60 in 1949 to 81 in 1954 and the trend continues. And in a number of cases the union bureaucracies managed to smash rank and file organisation – for example at British Light Steel Pressings (1961) and Ford Dagenham (1962).

But the scale of the change since 1974 is unprecedented. When the capitalist class decided to cut the miners’ wages in 1926, they had to defeat the General Strike first. In the last two years, the Wilson and Callaghan governments have enforced the biggest fall in real wages since the nineteenth century with the active support of the trade union leadership.

Paradoxically, the struggles in the late 1960s and early 1970s helped to make this possible. The shift from localised disputes to national confrontations with the government thrust the trade union leaders willy-nilly into the centre of the stage. And they found themselves forced, in order to ride the tiger of rank-and-file militancy, to lead their members in these confrontations. So Scanlon and Jones led the opposition to Wilson’s incomes policy and In Place of Strife in the late 1960s and even right-wingers like Gormley found themselves leading the two great miners’ strikes that broke the back of the Heath government. Where the leaders acted they did so to divert the militancy into official channels and to prevent it from escaping control, but nonetheless they acted.

It is worth quoting what Tony Cliff wrote in 1969:

‘The vacillation of the trade union bureaucracy between the state, employers and the workers, with splits in the far-from-homogeneous bureaucracy will continue and become more accentuated in the coming period. Hence its ridiculously impotent and wretched position. It dreams of reforms but fears to settle accounts in real earnest with the state (which not only refuses to grant reforms but even withdraws those already granted) and it also fears the rank-and-file struggle which alone can deliver reforms. The union bureaucrats are afraid of losing what popular support they still maintain but are more afraid of losing their own privileges vis-à-vis the rank and file. Their fear of the mass struggle is much greater than their abhorrence of state control of the unions. At all decisive moments the union bureaucracy is bound to side with the state, but in the meantime it vacillates’. (IS 36, 1969)

It wasn’t Vic Feather calling demonstrations that stopped the Industrial Relations Act, it was the revolt of the rank and file over the jailing of the Pentonville Five. The state learnt that lesson and so did the union bureaucrats. But pushed by the rising militancy of the rank and file, the union bureaucrats were on new terrain. The union leaders were products of the 1950s and 1960s. The consciousness and activity of the rank and file is the product of their everyday experience in the present. The gap grew wider as the struggle grew. Cast in a new role, the bureaucrats flexed their muscles: not to do battle but to maintain their position. Their commitment to the Labour government/TUC social contract policy arose from the years 1968-1974, when they had been left behind by the militancy of the unofficial movement.

After 1974 the trade union leadership were able to demonstrate their loyalty to the interests of British capital. Their pleas for concessions that would enable them to sell wage controls to their members, which had been brushed aside by Heath, were answered by Wilson and Callaghan. And the theme of the TUC’s proposals to the government (and the slightly more left-wing version advocated by the Tribune group, Alan Fisher and the Communist Party – the so-called ‘alternative economy strategy’) has centred on building up the strength of British capital against the inroads of foreign competitors. Hence the General Council’s demands for import controls and support for the NEB as the instrument of the reorganisation of British capital under the aegis of the state.

In enforcing the Social Contract on the rank and file the trade union bureaucracy has been at an advantage. The shop stewards’ weakness was their fragmentation and the narrowness of their horizons – the fight over wages, hours and conditions in individual shops and plants, rarely even at combine level. The struggles of the early 1970s had increased the power of the national leaderships and thrust politics onto the shopfloor. So far, most shop stewards have failed to adapt to this new situation.

Moreover, since the 1960s a web of links has evolved connecting an upper layer of shop stewards with the trade union officials and the employers. There are now something like 5,000 full-time shop stewards in Britain. These convenors and senior stewards form a distinct layer closer in social position to full-time officials than to lay stewards. They do not work on the shopfloor, are not laid off during disputes, are provided with offices by the management. Their job is to negotiate with the employers, their life is devoted to the reaching of compromise. It is upon this group that the various participation schemes in Leyland and Chrysler have battened in order to incorporate them into the process of rescuing British capital. The evolution of Derek Robinson at Longbridge into a supporter of management’s proposals to cut down on industrial stoppages and introduce plant-wide bargaining shows that participation has had its successes.

In the wake of 8,000 redundancies in 1975, Chrysler management introduced a sophisticated participation scheme, which not only decimated disputes while productivity was relentlessly forced up, but also paved the way for their longer term planning agreements, which smell of American style labour contracts. The senior stewards were crucial in this process. British Leyland built their participation proposals on the seduction of convenors into decision making – but the overturning by mass meetings and ballots of several crucial proposals that senior stewards had agreed to back demonstrates that despite their more intimate knowledge of the workforce senior stewards are no safer from exposure than full-time union officials.

New Unionisation

Union membership grew between 1965 and 1974 from 8.9 million to 10.4 million, despite the growth in unemployment and the decline in numbers employed in sectors with a strong union tradition such as mining and railways, and the growth of areas such as banking and insurance. The proportion of the workforce in trade unions grew from 43% to over 50% or, if workplaces employing fewer than 200 are excluded, to 89%. The most rapid rises in union membership were in 1969-70, when the unions rejected Labour’s incomes policy, and during the years of opposition to the Tories’ Phase Two and Three.

A Department of Employment survey on workplace industrial relations in 1972 showed that shop steward organisation had stood firm against all the batterings of the previous few years. 82% of shop stewards interviewed could hold meetings in the workplace, and 52% could do so in working hours. In the public sector, shop steward organisation was growing apace. Stewards were only officially recognised in local government in 1969 and in the National Health Service in 1971, but the strikes and battles over bonus schemes led to their rapid growth. For example, in NUPE, in 1970, 39% of branches had no union stewards, while by 1974 only 11% had no stewards. In 1970, 21% of branches had five or more stewards, and by 1974 this proportion had risen to 48% – almost half.

Since 1974 trade union membership has continued to grow despite the higher unemployment. The main areas of new recruitment are among women and in the public sector. The reasons for the steady ‘growth are not at all clear and a detailed analysis would need to examine each sector of employment.

The Employment Protection Act and the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act gave certain concessions to the unions in the field of recognition. Some sections of the lower paid have used these in order to gain elementary trade union rights, although this has by no means always been possible: the most obvious case being Grunwicks. The public sector cuts have helped the recruitment in NUPE, but this is not the whole explanation for its growth. ASTMS have launched an aggressive recruitment drive in a variety of areas of lower management where differentials have been eroded, and living standards have fallen.

The growth of unionisation when the struggle was on the up. between 1969 and 1974, can more easily be understood: it was largely a process of learning from the example of others’ success. The growth during the down turn is harder to explain. But what it does show is the degree of ‘burrowing at the base’ that is taking place despite the containment of struggle since 1974.

Public sector unions like NUPE, NALGO, NUT and CPSA have become increasingly important and combative over the past few years. This development has its origins in the incomes policies of previous governments – the dustmen broke through the Labour wage controls in 1969 and then inflicted the first defeat on Heath; hospital workers launched into a tremendously militant attack on the Tory Phase Two in 1972-3; and the 1974 strikewave after Heath’s fall brought sections like the nurses into action. It also reflects the growing weight of public sector workers since the 1950s, who now form 7 million in a workforce of 15 million. The majority of workers expelled from manufacturing industry who found new jobs found them in the public sector.

But the issue that’ has transformed the situation has been Labour’s cuts in social spending. Direct attacks on their members’ jobs have forced the leaders of the public sector unions to organise large-scale protests like the lobby of Parliament on November 17, 1976 which brought 80,000 workers onto the streets. Alan Fisher of NUPE in particular has used the campaign against the cuts to recruit to NUPE on a large scale.

The militancy of the public sector workers is being restricted by their ‘new left’ leaders to protestations rather than any national offensive. The force of the NUPE anti-cuts campaign has been dissipated in a series of localised ‘guerilla actions’. Intervention by the courts was enough to persuade Geoffrey Drain of NALGO to call off his union’s one-day strike in Scotland last March. The ineffectiveness of the official opposition to the cuts has led to a certain demoralisation after the euphoria generated by November 17th.

The public sector union leaders, and Fisher in particular, find themselves in a quandary. On the one hand, they need to sustain the momentum of the anti-cuts campaign if they are to hold their unions together in the face of the swingeing attacks on their members’ jobs. On the other hand, sustaining the momentum inevitably raises issues that threaten to destroy the cosy harmony of the TUC. Cross-industry rank-and-file unity against the cuts and the Social Contract is a spectre that no trade union bureaucrat can happily contemplate. Fisher and the rest will twist and turn, caught in this contradiction.

Changing Consciousness

Since 1974, the question has not been whether living standards will fall, but by how much. Government ministers talk openly about cuts in real wages and permanent unemployment – which ten years ago would have been unthinkable. The Economist proclaimed the end of the postwar boom in March 1975, and congratulated the government on achieving ‘one object, which should not be undervalued; the education of the general public, left-wing ministers and trade union leaders in the inexorable laws of economics.’

The extent of the impact of this view is very difficult to ascertain: on one level it has produced the generalised notion of ‘the country is in a mess’ but section after section of the working class knows how their own management are ‘not doing that badly’. Overall, however, there is a general recognition that the system is in crisis.

The ideas of the shopfloor that grew up in the 1950s and 1960s were geared to the belief that improvements could be wrung out of the system through rank and file action. But the crisis since 1973 has upped the stakes, there is little room today for militancy without politics. The consciousness of rank and file workers has yet to adapt to this.

The strikes of the last few months suggest that a shift is taking place and that threats of imminent doom are not able to overcome anger at falling living standards. But the seriousness of the crisis has undoubtedly driven many of the militants of yesteryear to the right. Even so the crisis cannot erase from working class consciousness the struggles and tactics of 1969-1974. The major confrontations of the miners, of the Pentonville 5, of UCS were not so long ago. The work-in at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders was important in leading the way for thousands of workers to occupy their factories in the face of belligerent managements. The fact that hospitals have been occupied in the last year is a direct consequence of the earlier occupations in engineering and an example of how a tactic that once was considered extreme has become popular coinage among many sections of workers.

For each section of workers that entered the arena of struggle in the early 1970’s new lessons were learned. Among each group of post office workers, building workers, miners, gas workers, firemen, hospital workers, civil servants, teachers or journalists, there are those who want to take up the fight. Many of the hard core of militants are younger workers whose trade union experience does not go back before the years of rising struggle in the early 1970’s.

But the key problem for militants over the last two and a half years has been the drift to the right of the traditional political organisations of the working class. The Labour government’s shift to the right has been accompanied by the continued organisational and electoral decline of the Labour Party. The growth of the Scottish National Party threatens to condemn Labour to permanent minority status. The parliamentary left’s reaction has been timid even by the standards of their predecessors in the 1930s and 1950s.

The shift to the right of the Labour Party and the trade unions has been paralleled by a slide to the right by the Communist Party and its Broad Left. The policy of the British Road to Socialism makes this a necessary move if the CP is to maintain its spheres of influence in the union machine. For many CP industrial militants this move has created considerable problems. Moreover the CP’s bases of industrial support contribute to this shift. Its most entrenched base, in TASS, depends on a regime of appointed full-timers. Many of its leading stewards have been drawn into collaboration with the employers via participation schemes.

The disintegration of the broad left machine in the CP’s traditional stronghold in the engineers, where the right have succeeded in almost wiping out the electoral advances of the left in the 1960s, is likely to intensify the CP’s shift to the right. To the extent that the CP still serves as the focus for the left in many industries, this shift will cause strains of the sort the Communist Party is experiencing at present over the new draft of The British Road to Socialism.

But if the Social Contract has resulted in a ‘crisis of leadership’ in the British labour movement, this crisis reflects the fragmentation of rank-and-file consciousness and organisation. The post-war boom produced a powerful and self-confident working class. But a crucial problem for us is the degree to which the localised, ‘do-it-yourself reformism of the 1950’s and 1960’s did not create the conditions out of which class wide rank and file organisation and generalised political consciousness could easily emerge when the challenges of the 1970s demanded them. Revolutionary socialists can play a decisive role in changing that situation.

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Last updated: 16.1.2008