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Socialist Action!

January 12, 2017


Shaking off the New Year lethargy, I’ve started to scan Socialist Action tabloid. Starting with issue 1, 18th March 1983, Socialist Action ran for 180 issues. Weekly at first it later became fortnightly and ended its run in may 1988 as a monthly.

sclv-jcThe paper was strongly focussed on activity in the Labour Party and featured regular contributions from key figures on the Labour left. This piece by one Jeremy Corbyn is from Socialist Action no1. I wonder what became of him?

I am told the paper is fondly remembered for its garish cover colour schemes and logo based on the Polish Solidarnosc one, both of which divided opinion like Marmite.

The first ten issues of Socialist Action can be found here:

Socialist Action newspaper archive


6 Comments leave one →
  1. donald6 permalink
    January 12, 2017 9:53 am

    Still the same old vote Labour illusions. Jeremiah may be a raving loonie leftie in the SE of Engerland and Sloan Square. Here in Scotland he is still a moderate and just another Brit Nat leftie, who hasn’t a clue about Scotland. His one remaining Scottish Labour MP is to the right of the Tories and votes with them. Their branch office in Scotland is down to 15% in the Polls, behind the Tories, who are now the official opposition in the Devolved Scottish Parliament. The SNP are the third largest Party in the English Imperial Parliament and Jeremiah is afraid to crack the whip with his own abstainers and Tory votes in the interests of “unity” in the GB Lumpen Party. I may not live to see a Scottish Workers Republic, but Scottish Independence is surely better than this. Roll on the next Independence Referendum.

  2. Mike Calvert permalink
    January 19, 2017 12:17 pm

    Wow Rob, close to the miners strike now
    Do you have a copy of the IVP special with all their major pieces on the miners strike I remember?


    • January 19, 2017 1:06 pm

      No Mike. I had a look previously and could not find any such IVP issue.

      • January 19, 2017 1:16 pm

        Actually, Mike, I just found an email I sent you a year ago:

        “I could not locate a special edition of IV as such- I do have a complete run (and duplicates!) and i asked a few people who could not recollect it either.

        However, issue 72 25th March 1985 contains a balance sheet of the strike- article by Steve Roberts and a couple of shorter pieces on the strike. Could that be it?”


  3. Phil permalink
    March 9, 2018 10:22 am

    Who were these people, broadly speaking? I’ve got a dim memory of there being two Socialist Actions – presumably this one (also featuring the Red Moles of Cowley) and John Ross’s – but I may be misremembering; come to that, I may have been confused in the first place.

    Also, I remember a couple of ex-IMGers telling me once that there were four (numbered) factions by the end of the IMG, but Wikipedia(!) only mentions three – the International group, Ross’s SA and “one guy who sold American Militant” as somebody put it. Was the fourth faction the *other* SA? Was it a non-faction faction, for people who (like my informants) were starting to find it all a bit silly? Or have I got the whole thing wrong?

    • March 9, 2018 3:48 pm

      Socialist Action was the paper of the IMG (renamed as Socialist League). It continued Socialist Challenge which itself was previously Red Weekly and before that Red Mole… And this is the paper of John Ross as he was a leading member throughout this whole period.
      However, prior to S. Challenge becoming S. Action there was another paper- Socialist Action put out by the League For Socialist Action. Soon after the LSA merged (rejoined) the IMG the organisation adopted the SA name for its public paper.
      Later the Ross group continued Socialist Action as a magazine.
      There were many factions in the IMG at various times but, at the end, the three principal ones were as you state- I am not sure there was a fourth public faction with its own press.

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