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Henry Judd

England’s Political Crisis

(June 1942)

From The New International, Vol. VIII No. 5, June 1942, pp. 133–137.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

The people who inhabit the island kingdom of Great Britain, now at war for three years, draw rapidly toward the greatest internal revolutionary crisis in their long history. This crisis, reflecting the internal difficulties of English capitalism, has been brought to a head by the historic decline and break-up of the world British Empire. Because of its sharpness, the current crisis is hardly comparable to previous political crises in England’s history.

This is fundamental, organic. It affects the motherland, the organizing center of the empire, which is itself, in turn, dependent upon its colonies. Among the more important factors accounting for the acuteness of the crisis are the following:

  1. The catastrophic defeats suffered by the empire, which have driven it out of the European continent, expelled it completely from the Far East and now threaten the mid-Eastern imperial heart, India.
  2. The further development toward autonomy and assumption of greater independence on the part of the dominions, or their turning toward American imperialism (a process vastly speeded up since the war in the Pacific began).
  3. The political and economic inroads made by American imperialism into the empire itself.
  4. The inability of the British ruling class to strike a bargain with the bourgeoisie or any section of the bourgeoisie in its colonies.
  5. The bankruptcy and inability for leadership displayed by the metropolitan ruling class of England itself (a bankruptcy which, comparable to that of the English colonial ruling class itself, has a specific importance of its own).
  6. And lastly, the restlessness, uneasiness and discomfort of the English working class vis-à-vis the bankruptcy of its leadership (both bourgeois and proletarian); a growing feeling that continuation of the present situation can only bring disaster upon its head.

It is necessary to elaborate further on the causes and details behind the approaching crisis. The accumulated effect cannot but be profound, nor will it fail to shake metropolitan England from head to foot, placing the English proletariat in the most difficult position of its career.

Britain’s military reversals are known to all. Without Russia’s war front, first of all and the steadily increasing military strength of America, the English war effort would be far more disastrous. As it is, the entire Pacific-Asiatic war action is in American hands, with England restricted to performing limited tasks: bombing the Continent, guarding the Middle East, patrolling sections of the Atlantic lanes, etc. That is, the British military machine occupies a secondary place in the Allied camp and the subordinate nature of this place will become clearer with each passing day as American imperialism assumes, in theory and practice, the direction of the war.

How the Empire Is Disrupted

But these defeats have a far more serious economic than military effect. They destroy the material basis upon which England rests. The fields for capital investment in Asia, Africa, etc., are wiped out; the sources of raw materials (rubber, tin, metals, etc.) fall into enemy hands; the profits and riches of trade, commerce, exploitation of slave colonial plantation labor flow into the vaults of the rivals; the rentiers and coupon clippers of the English ruling class and middle class lose their holdings, dividends and interest in the scorched ruins of Malaya, Burma, Hong Kong, etc. (they must fall back on banking reserves, or, worse yet, seek honest employment!). The entire structure of England – an industrial center with octopus tentacles sucking the resources of its imperialist empire – begins to grow weak and staggers as the sources of its plunder-nourishment trickle away.

Of the so-called “white dominions,” Australia and New Zealand have drawn away most rapidly from the motherland in recent months. Canada’s position, of course, has remained stationary since it is already completely dependent upon the United States, with whom its economy is linked; while South Africa’s internal situation grows more precarious with the possibility of a Nazi-fascist Boer Party revolt aiming at a coup d’état if Hitler wins on the Russian front.

The situation of Australia is clearest of all. Militarily, its existence depends upon American support and American control of supply routes; politically its population has turned against the British and its public opinion advocates either independence or federation with America after the war. With American lend-lease aid, troops and naval protection, it is understood in British circles that Australia’s post-war status will be well within the American imperialist orbit. As for the island dominion of New Zealand, with its minute population, its position with respect to America is revealed in the recently adopted war budget for 1942. Over 10 per cent of the budget ($40,000,000) is financed directly by lend-lease aid! New Zealand’s rulers have already indicated their willingness to fit their pastoral economy to the needs of America by repaying lend-lease loans with exports of their food, shoes, hemp, timber and labor for American military projects on the islands. The four dominions appear to be lost, even in a “spiritual” sense, to the motherland.

As for American inroads into the British Empire, this matter was described in great detail in the September and October 1941 issues of The New International. Since that time a very heavy black veil has been drawn over the entire problem, particularly with respect to such concrete matters as liquidation of British holdings in America and South America, taking over of supply routes, bankruptcy of British export companies, extent of lend-lease aid to Britain directly, etc. It is therefore only possible to point out various tendencies and directions, without the advantages of concrete figures or statistics. Certain factors are obvious, as, for example, the fact that the military directive center has shifted to the United States with Washington as the center. In addition, the lend-lease program has continued to mount steadily, with Britain rolling up a huge debt bill to American imperialism. In recent months, with a growing shortage of raw material, a system of international “priorities” has been put into effect. Under this system, America receives first choice of available materials and then, provided its needs are satisfied, balances are sent to England or its colonies. This is an elaboration of the program by which England’s industrial machine is subordinated to that of the United States.

Britain’s Bourgeoisie Is Bankrupt

The recently adopted lend-lease post-war treaty is ominous for British capitalism. Lend-lease articles not lost or destroyed in the process of war are to be returned to the United States. This will hit Britain hardest in shipping. “In the case of shipping it will leave Britain in a very embarrassed position.” (London Economist) The already existing shipping shortage will become even more serious as Britain struggles to regain its economic position as against America. Furthermore, the balance owing from the lend-lease indebtedness is to be repaid in empire goods and values. It is already acknowledged in London circles that, for the accomplishment of this task, America will demand the end of “imperial preference” and the establishment of free trade in the British Empire, or its remnants. The destruction of the existing anti-American trade barriers and the establishment of an imperial free trade system would about complete the economic undermining of the empire, and insure the victory of rival American capital.

Fourth of the factors contributing to England’s crisis has been the inability of the Tory imperialists who head the empire to make an effective agent out of a single one of the colonial bourgeoisies. So intense, so greedy and so short-sighted has been the historic exploitation of the colonial empire by the metropolitan imperialists that the development of a native bourgeois class, sufficiently strong and with enough at stake to make it join hands with Britain against impending aggression, has been prevented. This is what lies behind the failure of the Cripps mission to India. The bourgeoisie of Britain’s empire is either neutral to the fate of the master class (Malaya, India) – preferring to take its chances with Axis imperialism – or it is openly pro-Axis (Burma).

The bankruptcy and lack of leadership displayed by the ruling class of Great Britain is apparent to everyone. We come now to internal causes of this crisis, which requires some elaboration and detail.

“We must break loose from the stupefying magic of Churchill’s oratory ... Whenever we suffer a reverse and whenever news is bad we are treated to a superb example of the mastery of the English language. The nation is being drugged by high-sounding phrases.” (Robert Wallis, Secretary, London Trades Council.)

Raymond Daniel of the New York Times has described the current dissatisfaction in British bourgeois and middle class circles with Churchill and his National Government in such terms as “official muddling,” “procrastination,” “hesitation,” etc. Churchill, says this trained observer, is threatened first and most of all by “bad management” at home.

Naturally, the crisis of the English ruling class has far more profound roots than inefficiency and bungling. It lies in the crisis of capitalism itself and the exhaustion of the empire. But this exhaustion expresses itself in many varying forms. In England, the inability to win serious military victories and then to “make them stick”; the inability to organize a war economy and war production and the inability to formulate a concrete political program around which the bourgeoisie itself and its staunchest middle class backers can rally – all these illustrate and underscore the bankruptcy of the rulers who remain in power solely (a) through the support of the Labor Party and trade union leadership and (b) through the failure of the English proletariat to push them out of power.

What could be more revealing of the true mentality and state of affairs than the fact that after three years of warfare the National Government has yet to say what its war aims are, what it is fighting for, what it intends to do with a reconquered Europe? Can a patriotic Englishman give any other answer than “pious platitudes and glittering generalities” to the simple, specific question: “What is England fighting for?” The England capitalist class and Churchill, its Tory spokesman, have no political or social program for the war, for the post-war period, or even to facilitate the winning of the war. The 464–10–1 vote of confidence recently obtained by Churchill in the House of Commons was, in reality, not a vote of confidence, but a “vote of no confidence,” that is, in the ability of the other parties (Liberal, Labor and Conservative) to offer anything else but Churchill and his John Bull-muddles-through program. The two cabinet reshufflings (with the balance of forces turning up the same in the end – a strong Conservative majority) deceived no one, not even when his nibs. Sir Stafford Cripps was added. The addition of a few Liberals in unimportant posts and the dropping of the most fanatic Conservative-Tories has not advanced the English bourgeoisie a step further toward what, for it, is a dire necessity: the formulation of a political program beyond that of preserving the empire.

The Inefficiency of the Ruling Class

The disorganization and mismanagement of British war industry is a notorious scandal in England. Outbursts in Parliament speak of the “silent sabotage” by the mine operators. For example, a labor conference in Lancashire-Cheshire speaks about the chaos and inefficiency in the coal fields where “coal production was being deliberately hindered by the employers to maintain profits and keep pits sound for after the war.” Coal owners prefer “to work seams where coal was hardest to get, the productive seams being left for peacetime working.”

As the Socialist Appeal of England states:

“The real root of the trouble is the stranglehold of monopoly ownership over industry, inefficient management and domination of the state machinery by big business ... To take only a very minor item: the pooling of technical knowledge – even such a person as Sir Walter Citrine had to complain that such is the lust of these people for profit that not even the pooling of their technical knowledge has taken place after nearly three years of war. In almost all big factories, extensive alterations are being undertaken and additional structures being built at the expense of a tremendous amount of labor and raw material simply in order to secure new factories at government expense” (April 1942).

Endless time lost through absenteeism due to over-long hours of labor; idle labor due to mishandling of the supply of labor; increase in industrial accidents; all-around inefficiency and inability to plan raw material needs; disorganization within the factories – these are the leading characteristics of English capitalism’s failure to evolve an effective war industry.

And finally, we have mentioned as the basic cause of the crisis the restlessness, uneasiness and revolutionary stirring of the English working class, now that it is confronted with the shameful bankruptcy of the old order. Many reasons lie behind this sharpening of the political and class lines in England. Some we have already indicated: the lack of confidence in the political and military leadership of the National Government; the indecisiveness of the bourgeoisie even within its own ranks and the cowardly capitulation of the trade union and Labor Party leadership to the demands of the English ruling class.

But the workers have been stirred to their depths by other and more pressing problems – primarily the collapse in their standards of livelihood; the disparity and contrast between their war burdens and hardships and those of the ruling class and their doubts and gnawing fears about the post-war England (shall we pass through this terror in vain? What will be our lot in the post-victory period?).

When Hugh Dalton, Churchill’s Labor Minister of Economic Warfare, stated recently that “one more year and then the standard of living will be down to a strict war-economy level,” he struck a chill in the heart of every English worker. To understand this it is necessary to give a brief description of the immense collapse in the level of life that has already occurred. Then we shall contrast this with the effect of the war upon the imperialist ruling class. This will give us the answer to 95 per cent of the problem!

How the Masses Fare

Here are the facts with respect to living conditions in a great imperialist nation whose population has had thirteen colonial slaves laboring for each member of it for two centuries. As the New York Times of March 1 expressed it, the problem of England for the first year of war was “blackouts and boredom”; for the second year “bombs and fear” and for the third year “food and the Black Market.”

Wholesale prices, which stood at 96.6 in 1939 – before the war – had risen to 158.8 by March of 1942. This 64 per cent rise had the following effect upon retail (that is, consumers’) prices: Standing at 70.3 in September 1939 (the outbreak of the war) they had risen to 108.5 by February 1942, an increase of 55 per cent! In a word, not only has there been a terrific rise in the cost of living; not only has the burden been shifted completely to the consumer but the avowed program of the National Government to stabilize prices is clearly a total failure. The most that can be said for Churchill’s efforts is that it slowed up the rate of the rise, but had little effect upon the rise itself.

Here are a few prices in England today. Textile and clothing prices have doubled since the war (clothing rations listed below). Cigarettes, 40 cents a pack; lettuce, 20 cents a head; cauliflower, 32 cents; a good steak, or a good meal, $4.00; as for commodity shortages and rationing, there is no more white flour for bread (a standardized “national loaf” has just been instituted); the weekly meat ration amounts to 25 cents; (horse meat shops are now opening throughout England); a quarter pound per week is the sugar ration; four ounces of soap per person each week; milk is obtainable only for children; three eggs per month are allotted; fish, game and poultry are sold only on certain days of the week; no fresh fruits are at all available.

In addition, coal supplies for heating were restricted as the London winter drew to a close, presaging a severe 1942–43 winter; fuel and electric light are soon to be rationed (and also hot water). The present gas ration expires in July and probably will not be renewed (most private cars are out, anyway); even bicycles are becoming rare! The latest 10 per cent cut in newsprint consumption brought the weekly use of newsprint to a low of 4,350 tons per week as compared with 23,000 tons in the pre-war period. The fifth war budget just adopted (amounting to $21,000,000,000, or two-thirds of England’s annual national income) doubled the so-called “luxury sales tax” on such things as tobacco, drinks, entertainment of all varieties, etc. This sales tax now amounts to 662/3 per cent on objects taxed.

Here is what the clothing ration (60 units) permits a man to purchase during the course of one year:

1 suit


26 units

1 coat

18 units

1 pair shoes

  7 units

1 suit underwear

  8 units

1 pair socks

  1 unit


60 units

For women, the allotment is similarly shrunken.

With a continuation of merchant shipping shortages and losses (the New York Times estimates that Britain has lost 40 per cent of her pre-war tonnage – March 1, 1942); and with the growing militarization of the island in preparation for invasion of the Continent, it is clear that the situation can only grow tighter and more restrictive.

Nothing has caused greater indignation among the workers than two major factors which incontestably prove the class character of England’s war and give the lie to the myth of a wartime “socialized” England, in which all classes alike share the burden of the war. These two factors are (1) the Black Market and (2) the question of the excess profits tax

The Black Market and Profits

The Black Market in England has become a gigantic war racket by means of which the rich manage to retain fairly well their pre-war standard of luxury. It is estimated now that the Black Market has a yearly cash turnover amounting to $600,000,000 – and this business is definitely on the up-and-up! All sorts of foods, clothing, textiles, gasoline, cigarettes, whiskey, cooking fats, etc., are handled on the Black Market. Naturally, the prices are prohibitive to the working class (cigarettes, 50 cents a pack; a bottle of Scotch, $7.00, are a couple examples). One of the cleverest (and these British aristocrats are clever) means devised to evade the stringencies of rationing is hotel life. A member of the English bourgeoisie, with money, can live almost in accord with his customary standards by moving to a hotel “for the duration.” The hotels have become a beehive of Black Market and illicit sales activities. In addition, the characteristic pleasures of the British ruling class, dog racing, horse racing, fox hunting, boxing, etc., have been restricted and curtailed, but not liquidated. All in all, the Tory set thrive infinitely better when it comes to eating, housing conditions, entertainment and special privileges.

“Profits,” we are informed, “have practically vanished in England.” Dorothy Thompson and her “White Cliffs of Dover” crew have sung us the song of Britain’s all-out war production, for use only.

All of this is so much cynical lying. Every week the British New Leader – as does Labor Action in the United States – publishes long lists of English monopolist concerns (Imperial Chemicals, Ltd., Vickers-Armstrong, etc.) with reports of their annual profits, dividend payments, etc. The New Leader has proved that, so far as the combines are concerned, their gross profits have steadily increased since the war.

More important is the myth of the 100 per cent excess profits tax. According to this law, all profits above a given amount are taxed 100 per cent, that is, taken by the government. But the English Socialist Appeal, publication of the English Fourth Internationalists, has neatly exposed this fraud:

  1. This law does not affect “normal,” “below excess” profits. As pointed out above, these continue to flow in for the big companies.
  2. Excess profit consists of all profits above the following three methods of computation (that is, the company has three choices or ways of picking out what is most favorable to it):

    (a) Average profit for the years 1935, 1936 and 1937;
    (b) average profit for the years 1936 and 1937, or
    (c) profit for the year 1935, or 1936.

It is noteworthy that the (c) method gives two years (1935 and 1936) when English industry had pulled out of the decline and had a good record for profits!

  1. The government is to pay back 20 per cent of the total excess profits collected when the war is over. That is, a one-fifth rebate!
  2. The companies are permitted to set aside 20 per cent of their gross profits in the name of “depreciation.” This contributes to reducing the “excess profits.”
  3. “Excess profits” are likewise reduced by putting relatives on the payrolls; voting enormous salary increases to presidents and firm executives; running entertainments and establishing “general expense” accounts; building unnecessary plants or making unnecessary expansions, etc. Our British cousins are no less shrewd than the American business man when it comes to the question of tax evasions and profiteering on war contracts.

The effect of having this imperialist inequality and capitalist robbery practiced upon them for three years of war has made the English proletariat increasingly skeptical about the “New England” that will exist when the bloody struggle is concluded. Probably more than any other people the English have insisted upon discussing the problem of what will be in the future. Questions of post-war unemployment, wage and hour conditions, housing reconstruction, indemnification of the soldiers who fought, have constantly agitated their minds. Naturally, the National Government has never attempted to provide any specific answer but has, instead, relied upon the Labor Party bosses and the trade union functionaries to smooth the rough edges of the workers’ doubts with honeyed promises. “Never shall we return to pre-war England, with its class and caste rule,” guarantee the lieutenants of the Churchill government. They will find this is more true than their hypocritical expectations.

Acting as a brake on the workers’ restlessness, the official labor representatives have completely merged and compromised themselves with the Tory-Conservative government. Among the masses of workers, particularly among the rank and file Labor Party men, this surrender and appeasement of Churchill has not gone unnoticed. Bevin, Attlee, Greenwood, Morrison and the other mediocrities of the labor movement are well aware of this, but can propose nothing. This profound distrust of labor’s rôle in the National Government is a contributing factor to the dissatisfaction among the English working class.


English political and social life at the moment is marked by comparative quiet and peace. The professional journalists in England attribute this to the character of the English people, and their “determination to see it through,” despite “family” differences. But they are simply fooled by the temporary quiet that precedes every revolutionary crisis, when the opposing class forces (and groups within the classes) probe out one another’s positions and deliberately strive to formulate programs of action and combat. It is a quiet before the storm.

Yet even within this relative calm there have been many signs and symptoms, all of which point to a turbulent future. The crisis in the National Government, with the ousting of Lord Beaverbrook and the hocus-pocus cabinet re-shuffling, has been England’s most significant political event since the war. In addition, the large popular vote received in three by-elections by the British Independent Labor Party candidates and the popularity of the ILP’s “Socialist Britain Now” campaign; the resounding defeats administered by voters to two government Churchill-endorsed candidates on April 30; the releasing of the Welsh coal miners who were imprisoned for strike action; the nationwide proletarian indignation when the trade union bureaucrats accepted the shameful decision of the National Arbitration Tribunal granting the munition workers a weekly wage increase of five shillings ($1.00); the resignations of various Labor Party leaders from the parliamentary bloc; the insistence of others upon more freedom of criticism and less dictation of Labor Party policy by the National Government – all of these are facts indicating the growing tempo. It is not generally known in America, but the English proletariat has not abandoned strike action despite the strike-breaking “labor-management committees” the Stalinists have vainly tried to impose upon the unions. In 1940 there were 850 strikes involving 284,000 workers; in 1941 this had increased to 1,162 (30 per cent rise) involving 334,800 workers. The 1942 record shows no signs of any abatement and will probably surpass the 1942 statistics.

Basis for a Workers’ Victory

It remains to be seen how England will take the Russian success. But one has a feeling now – to me it is a very painful one – that England will take anything; that overcautious and somewhat sordid counsels will always prevail. On the Continent, certainly, her ancient “prestige” is gone. But I must say that even the decline of England seems to me a tremendous and, even, almost an inspiring spectacle, and if the British Empire is once more to shrink up into that plethoric little island, the process will be the greatest drama in history. (Henry James, 1877)

Like every great ruling power and imperial class whose sun is setting, the English bourgeoisie suffers from an amazing blindness and lack of perspective. Assuming its eternal existence, it lives upon the glories and achievements of its past. In its outermost reaches (the distant colonies of Asia and Africa), it first reveals the startling degree of its decrepitude and impotence. This phenomenon, well described by Gibbons in his study of the Roman decline, has taken place with a particular sharpness and brazenness in the colonial Empire of Great Britain, the rapidity and facility of whose loss (Malaya, Burma, etc.) only underscored the extent of the imperialist decay and filth. No world empire ever felt the grave’s chill in so short a space. Every political ideology in the world today recognizes this extinction. The question is: what shall replace it?

Naturally, England’s crisis has special features of its own. Writing from America, without access to much valuable material and without the needed first-hand acquaintance with the situation, it is difficult to probe into these special characteristics. Some are obvious and have already been mentioned – the political impotence of the ruling class. This ideologic castration (best exemplified by the windy Churchill) has led to another special feature: the complete dependence of the state upon the English proletariat. Other factors helped this along: the tremendous industrialization of the islands, plus the fact that the working class is the overwhelming and decisive section of the population – but it is mainly due to the bankruptcy of the ruling strata that the proletariat is in the featured position of “running the country”; actually keeping it going, despite the sabotage of the bourgeoisie.

For rarely has a proletariat been so powerful and so essential in the economy of a capitalist nation as that of England! It runs all the war industry and transportation; its agricultural laborers keep the small agricultural industry alive; it mans the divisions and forces of the war; it constitutes the bulk of the ARP forces; it suffers under the bombing raids; it puts out the fires; it takes the volunteer posts, etc. Its specific weight in the life of England is more than decisive, it is crushing. All the more criminal and treacherous then, are those Labor Party and trade union fakers who bind this mighty class to a comparatively insignificant group of dodo Tories and imperialist bankrupts. These “labor lieutenants of capital” are truly responsible for keeping capital in power!

An additional factor in England’s crisis is the absence of a fascist movement with either a mass-appeal program, or a base in the middle class. The fact that there is no fascist organization worthy of the name at the moment is decidedly an advantage in favor of the English workers, provided they utilize it. Regardless of the reasons for it, it is enough that there is neither a fascist party nor tradition favoring one, nor does a favorable field seem to be developing for its birth. The existence and continued practice of democratic liberties during England’s war period (not due, as the petty bourgeois intellectuals inform us, to the generosity and “superior culture” of the English ruling gentry but to the power of the working class) is another indication of the special importance, alertness and combativity of the English proletariat. The rulers dare not yet impose fascism upon the masses, let alone the fact that they as yet have no homogeneous, seriously organized fascist group to which to turn. But they will not hesitate for a moment to take that path.


The Impending Class Crisis

A section of the monopolist British bourgeoisie is actively engaged in formulating its plans to meet the internal crisis. The beaverlike energies of the supremely reactionary Lord Beaverbrook, lately ousted from the war cabinet, are bent in this direction and already bear close resemblance to the sinister plottings of the ex-Kaiser’s officerdom against the Weimar Republic. (Secret meetings with high army officials, sensational speeches putting out “sensational” ideas, gathering together of the anti-Churchill, anti-Labor cliques, etc.)

It is possible that the plotting of the bourgeoisie, and even the discontent of the workers, may momentarily be safely channelized by American imperialism along the lines of the establishment of a “second front.” The pouring in of American troops, offensive war weapons and supplies (transforming the islands into the European invasion base) can slow up the development of the crisis, but the reactionary imperialists will continue to lay their plans for the inevitable assault on labor. If their dictatorial and militarist plans are not needed for today, then tomorrow will do. For, it is around the objective of establishing a military dictatorship over England that the bourgeoisie will seek to rally its confused and hesitant groups. Fascist-minded politicians, army and naval chiefs, banker-monopolists, etc., these are the individuals who will attempt to destroy the English labor movement as a preliminary to its inevitable post-war economic struggle with American imperialism.

Sir William Beveridge, a banker’s economist of repute, has tentatively outlined the “program” for such a combined military-political movement, whose leading aspirant today is Beaverbrook.

  1. Give up party government and Parliament;
  2. Abolish the profit system for the duration of the war and run industry on totalitarian production lines;
  3. Do away with autonomous trade unions.

Here is a typical military-fascist program, meant to appeal to the imperialist vanguard of the British bourgeoisie.

Forces of the Left

In this situation there are only two working class political organizations in Great Britain – the Independent Labor Party and the Workers International League (Fourth International) – that have shown any grasp of matters. Unfortunately, neither group (although the ILP has grown considerably in numbers and influence) has the necessary revolutionary socialist clarity, without which there can be no revolutionary success.

The ILP – the original “grandfather” of confused, centrist political organizations – has shown little sign of learning from the great and tragic lessons imposed by history upon the Spanish POUM and the French PSOP. Its composition is as heterogeneous as ever; its domination by the Parliamentary group (Maxton, McGovern, etc.) in combination with the Fenner Brockway group continues; its multitude of conflicting tendencies (including English patriots, pacifists and conscientious objectors) has failed to jell into a majority revolutionary tendency.

The English Trotskyists (WIL) are correct when they criticize the “Socialist Britain Now” campaign for the opportunist and reformist manner in which it is conducted (that is, aiming primarily to increase the electoral vote of the ILP). The WIL, for its part, doubly misguided by its blind “orthodoxy” and adherence to the policies of the Cannon group in America, has centered its program around the slogans of “Arms to Russia,” and “Military Training Under Trade Union Control.” It has failed to work out a program specifically applicable to the crisis in England itself and has allowed its political sectarianism to throw it considerably off the track. This alone can account for its failure to grow during a very favorable period. A program of mutual revolutionary collaboration and clarification between the Workers International League and the left wing of the ILP is needed if another favorable revolutionary situation is not to be tossed into the laps of reaction.

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