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Young Guard and the LPYS in the 1960s

April 14, 2016

YSPat Jordan, writing in Aspects of the history of the International Marxist Group , notes that the International Group (IG) in the early 1960s agreed that, “In Nottingham, it was decided to orientate towards winning over a base in the Labour Party Young Socialists and in the university Socialist Society”.

The work of what was to become the International Marxist Group in both the Labour Party Young Socialists (LPYS) and National Association of Labour Students (NALSO) is covered by Julian Atkinson in “International” in the 1980s. His articles can be found here Labour’s Youth Movement Part One and Labour’s Youth Movement Part Two, with Part Two focusing on the 1960s.

Young Guard

In his second article Julian Atkinson discusses the launch of the youth publication Young Guard in September 1961. Atkinson states that “At its best Young Guard was an attractive non-sectarian paper of the Left, and played a valuable role in educating a new generation of Marxists. At its worst it was an ill-tempered publicly-sold internal bulletin.”

Members of the Editorial Board of Young Guard included members of what was to become the SWP, Militant and the International Group. Keith Dickinson, of the Socialist Party, has explained that: “It was agreed that Chris Davidson of the I.S. be editor, I would be business manager, and Brian Biggins of the Nottingham I.G. would be technical editor.”

Not surprisingly the legacy of Young Guard is controversial. Those wishing to look at this period in more detail can look at John Rudge’s Rebel, Rebel , a history of SRG/IS/SWP youth papers which includes material on Young Guard and alternatively the view of Keith Dickinson, a participant in the events can be read here:

Red Mole Rising has been provided with a number of issues of Young Guard and we are pleased to make these available to readers. The issues include articles by supporters of the International Group but will be of wider appeal as the journals include articles by many of those who would be prominent leaders of the revolutionary left in the 1960s and later.

Young Guard Issue 7 March 1962

Young Guard Issue 10 July August 1962

Young Guard Issue 13 November 1962

Young Guard Issue 15 January 1963

Young Guard Issue 16 March 1963

Young Guard Issue 21 October 1963

Young Guard Issue 22 November 1963

Young Guard Issue 25 April 1964

Young Guard Issue 27 June 1964

Young Guard Issue 28 September 1964

Young Guard Issue 29 October 1964

Young Guard Issue 30 December 1964

Young Guard Issue 34 July 1965

Young Guard Issue 38 February 1966

Red Mole Rising would like to thank John Rudge for providing us with the issues of Young Guard.

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