Peter Graham a Revolutionary Militant.
By Mick Healy
“In 1966 we in Ireland celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rebellion (1916). The writings of James Connolly, which prior to then had been read little, and then only by the older hands’, began to be read more widely. The younger generation found through his writings that he was not quite as the Christian Brothers in school taught – “only the 7th leader’ of 1916.” They found in his writings Connolly the revolutionary, the worker, the union organiser and Marxist”. Peter Graham Workers Fight, June 1968.
Comrades who have read about the Irish Revolution know something about the contributions made by Nora Connolly O’Brien , Michael Davitt, Liam Mellows and Frank Ryan, but many do not understand the important contributions made by another, lesser-known Revolutionary Marxist Peter Graham. Peter came from 46 Reginald Street in the Liberties of Dublin and attended Bolton St, College of Technology. Working as an electrician in CIE he was a shop- steward for the Electrical Trade Union. He joined the Labour Party and later joined the Communist Party, before becoming involved with the League for a Workers’ Republic, an organisation openly declaring itself Trotskyist. Read more…
From Socialist Action 78, 16th November 1984
Fifty years ago, today, what was, in effect, the founding conference of the International Marxist Group started in the ballroom of the Albert Hotel in Nottingham.
The conference was held over two days and was described in one conference document as being “in a certain sense…the launching of our group on a national scale.”
The account of the IMG in this period, in Ernie Tate’s Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s & 60s. Volume 2. Britain 1965 – 1970, is essential reading and covers the 28-29 January 1967 conference which we focus on here.
We present here some of the conference documents:
Britain 1967: The Need for a Transitional Programme
Perspectives 1967 by Kork (Ken Coates)
The Politics of Organisation by John Walters (Ken Tarbuck) which is a response to IMG Organisational Report October 1966
Draft Resolution on the Group and the Fourth International
International Marxist Group Draft Constitution and suggested amendments from Ken Tarbuck.
Thanks to Mike P for the 19th August 1983 edition of New Statesman which carries substantial coverage of the Cowley sackings.
The issue carries articles by John Salmon and Brian Slocock on Cowley and John Rentoul on the CND witch-hunt against the Socialist League/IMG
Paul Foot makes a sympathetic comment on Steph Grant and a premature one on the Socialist League’s response…
And Roger Woddis manages to rhyme Stephanie Grant with Cowley Plant:
And finally, the steering committee of the Socialist Society weigh in with a letter on the wider implications of the Cowley witch-hunt:
We now reach issue 50 of Socialist Action- 23rd March 1984.
The US have invaded Grenada, there is war in El Salvador and Andropov has been replaced by Chernenko. Unions are banned at GCHQ and Liverpool council is on a collision course with both the government and the Labour leadership.
Meanwhile, the miners begin their long and bitter strike. I think I’ll find it tough to scan the next year’s issues…
Another 20 issues of Socialist Action added.
It’s 1983: Thatcher wins a second term in office and one Neil Kinnock assumes the leadership of the Labour Party…
Issue 21 for 18th August breaks the story of the sacking of 13 socialists from the Cowley car plant which is covered extensively in subsequent issues and linked to the unfolding political witch-hunt of the left inside the Labour Party.