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International Marxist Group

I will post links here to documents about the history of the IMG and the FI.

Lets start with this one:

And also this five minute video:

I would also like to publish recollections and memoirs of former IMGers on this page or as guest Blog posts.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2010 2:52 pm

    I am surprised about this offer.

    You yourself seem to have Internet access sometimes, just like those people reading this page.

    Why don’t you simply save the environment and once and for all scan your copies of Red Mole?

    BTW: Red Mole should be included completely in the Microfiche-collection of the British left that is available in better libraries.

    I might help out with some missing numbers, but I am mostly busy scanning all the German stuff… and there is just countless of files ahead for that. Also it is high time for you litte German offsprings on the British isles to stay on your own feet…. hehe

    Kind regards


  2. September 11, 2010 3:04 pm

    I was talking about the photocopy offer only. Your site otherwise is a great start.


  3. damien permalink
    October 15, 2010 11:36 pm

    This is an absolute gold mine!!!!I am just overjoyed to see this material for the first time!!!!

  4. Brian Slocock permalink
    December 2, 2010 7:08 pm

    As an IMG member from c. 1971-1983 with some fond memories and a generally positive evaluation of the times, I am delighted to see your site and all this material. Keep up the good work – can’t wait to see more.

    • December 2, 2010 8:12 pm

      Thanks Brian. If you would like to submit any recollections you may have- either as a comment or a longer piece- you are more than welcome. Please spread the word about this site!!


      • December 14, 2013 1:27 pm

        I lived in the Lancaster Womens Centre begun by David Riddell then Carol Riddell and was close to Margaret Coulson, in 1971, and am a poet, writer, and kept a daily diary of all we did – so maybe my thoughts could be of use to others, I remember everything.

        Was at a lot of firsts, first women’s liberation art show, etc. I also lived with my other good friend Monica Sjoo who was known in Bristol.

  5. Keith White permalink
    December 3, 2010 9:05 am

    I was a member of the IMG from April 1972 until December 1974. The bulk of that time I was in the Birmingham branch and have very vivid memories of the period and people involved. I gave away almost all of my stuff years ago but I have a few pamphlets and I’ve never been able to part with Socialist Woman, though I can’t recall if I have a complete file of that.

    I was a member of the ISG from its foundation until January 1990. If I can be of any help to you please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Take care


    • December 3, 2010 9:18 am

      Thanks Keith.
      Any comments you would like to submit would be very welcome. As would loans of documents for me to scan and upload (you’ll get them back!)
      All the best,

  6. December 3, 2010 1:32 pm

    Brian S, I just noticed an article by you on CAV Fazakerley dispute whilst scanning-in issue 60. It will be uploaded this evening.


    • Brian Slocock permalink
      December 6, 2010 11:03 pm

      Thanks for the tip – and for the scan. I remember being involved in solidarity with this occupation quite well, but had forgotten the details. I look forward to your getting around to Red Weekly, if you manage it, as I was the first editor.

  7. Jason Hill permalink
    October 29, 2011 7:52 pm

    I was a member of the IMG from 1970 to 1975 in Kele University and Stoke-on-Trent. I still have a lot of papers, documents etc from that period. I will be happy to give any assistance to this project.

    • October 30, 2011 4:16 pm

      Hi Jason,
      Good to hear from you.
      If you have a list of stuff, I could arrange to loan items from you to be scanned.
      Cheers, Rob

  8. April 17, 2012 11:44 am

    does anyone know if “Vanguard” was related to the 1950ies section? … I’ve scanned one of their pamphlets Hands of Suez! Hands of Hungary!

  9. Robert Greenwood permalink
    October 19, 2012 3:18 pm

    It’s sad to wonder what happened to all the IMG members I knew in Stafford 40 years ago. Dead or disillusioned or both? The only names I remember are Maurice Wintle, Graham Jones, and Mike Martin, and a guy called Colin. Most of the Stafford branch lived at a house in Lovatt Street. Those who could drive shared a very unreliable Morris van to ferry the comrades around and in which I was collected at 6.00 am one morning to do secondary picketing (and sell some Moles) at Lea Hall Colliery in Rugeley.

  10. October 19, 2012 4:34 pm

    I was in the IMG in Stoke, and worked closely with the Stafford comrades. The guy you remember as Colin was presumably Collin Higgs: I still see him around from time to time. One of the leading members died recently: I saw his obituary in the Guardian. His first name escapes me, but his surname was Palethorpe.

  11. October 19, 2012 4:38 pm

    It was Chris Pailthorpe. Sorry, I should have given my name: Jason Hill.

  12. Keith White permalink
    October 19, 2012 5:16 pm

    I was away from Birmingham in Leeds from late 1972 until summer 1973. At my first branch meeting after returning I was told Graham and Maurice had resigned and joined Divine Light. Graham had been down in Birmingham from before I joined the Birmingham branch in April 1972. I recall his van very well.

    Keith White

  13. Bingo Little permalink
    December 12, 2012 10:19 am

    Anyone recall the RED MOLE headline


    sucking up to the Semtexoids of the Provisional IRA [?]

    • December 12, 2012 10:50 am

      Which issue would that be in? They are all scanned here but I cannot see or recall that particular one.


      • Bingo Little permalink
        December 12, 2012 12:44 pm

        It would have been 1970 or a year or so later


        The caption was accompanied by a photo of a Guinness pint bottle being used as a Molotov cocktail

  14. Brian Leighfield permalink
    December 25, 2012 9:12 am

    Hilary Wykes also lived in Lovat street, fellow travelers include Charles Suddards who later took over ownership of Lovatt Street. That green van belonged to Graham Jones who was in fact the instigator of the Guru Mahaji departures. There were also Members of the IS prevelant in Stafford and attendees at Spartacus evening talks included Valery Wise of later fame as chair of the woman’s comittee of the GLC under Ken Livingstone. I think it was chants of “Victory to the IRA” at some demonstrations which lead fo several members becoming unhappy with the general direction.

  15. May 4, 2013 7:47 pm

    Ah yes, the IMG in Stafford. It wasn’t actually the case that the whole branch could fit into Lovat Street, although it felt like it sometimes. It was always possible to visit the three generations of the Wise family for a decent argument / discussion in another part of town. The grandfather of Val Wise was an ex-CPer from the NE of England who had re-trained as an optician because he was always being blacklisted. Audrey Wise had stood against a vicious right-wing leadership in her Union who had hired detectives to follow her to work to try to prove she wasn’t eligible to join that union and thus stand for elections and Val was in the Spartacus league as I recall; formidable political family.
    I, too, borrowed the famous van to take some non-political friends out to the engaging metropolis of Stoke. Unfortunately, Graham was inclined to paste Red Mole posters to the side of the van and not unexpectedly we got stopped by the police as we ‘had a faulty tail light’. No we didn’t, but two useful lessons, never draw attention to your politics on a car; and the police lie.
    I went to Manchester after 18 months and remained in the IMG for the next two years. One of the breaking points, apart from general political differences, was Red Lion Square. In November the year before, the IMG had tried a similar stunt, to prevent the National Front meeting at the Conway Hall (I think). It was a failure. Another lesson, this time it was that the police can simply crush you in a confined space and that the outcome will be arrests, injuries and a failed stunt. The leadership did not draw this conclusion and tried a variation of the same thing in the summer of 1974. Not only was it a failure but a participating student was killed. Some responsibility for this should be laid at the door of the then leadership.
    I joined the Labour Party at this time and noted that the leadership of the IMG came to the same conclusion 8 years later but not before sending the membership, not the leadership, into manual occupations. I came across some of the casualties of this later. My one good deed was when I was on a selection panel as the TU rep. (different days, eh?) and an ex-member managed to get a job commensurate with her abilities.
    Many years later, I watched a documentary about the cult which built a following in America and decided to try to take over the elected positions in the town where they had built a large property for many of their American devotees. The leadership eventually got arrested for attempting to poison the town officials who opposed them. Unsurprisingly, this did not succeed. However, someone who had left the organisation, made a remark which resonated with me. Something about that for all the problems of life within the organisation, normal life seems a bit flat after the dramas and full-tilt engagement of what is a parallel life to your normal life. I think it is probably the case that the person I am today has been affected by the experiences of those three years.

    • Robert Greenwood permalink
      August 14, 2013 3:46 pm

      I think I remember you, Ken. Did you teach at Stafford CFE?

      • ken burnett permalink
        August 14, 2013 9:32 pm

        Oh yes, as a fresh faced youth.

  16. Keith White permalink
    August 15, 2013 12:39 pm

    I remember you too Ken, though I think I only met you a couple of times.

    When I joined the IMG branch in Birmingham Chris said to me…’ I have just the job for you Keith. The Stafford Branch needs Bolshevising and as you have been in the Socialist Labour League you would be a good person to do it’ So I was dragged off to Stafford and a couple of embarrassing meetings where Chris explained I was to take charge…I must say Maurice was very pleasant about it all. Needless to say it was a quite silly idea, but then Chris had a very lively mind and was continually coming up with notions to improve things.

    I liked Chris a great deal and have very fond memories of him. When I read his obituary in the Guardian, from which I learned that he had become quite rich through shrewd property buying in what appeared to be a fairly effortless way I was not surprised. He was a bright lad.

    For much of the time I knew him in Birmingham he was not a happy person.

  17. Robert Greenwood permalink
    August 28, 2013 1:52 pm

    As far as I can remember, forty-odd years on, the favoured hang-out for members of the Stafford branch was that stronghold of proletkult a folk club above a pub in Eccleshall Road.

    • Brian Leighfield permalink
      September 30, 2013 12:12 am

      That pub was called “The Falcon”, There was also the “Castle” Tavern used for Spartacus Group meetings and the Sun for Sunday night singsongs

      The writings of Guy Debord became very popular in Lovat Street just before the end when almost everybody moved to Gough Rd in Birmingham.

  18. Political Tourist permalink
    January 6, 2014 10:04 pm

    Didn’t the IMG end up in the Labour Party.
    What ever became of the “return to industry”.
    Sure one fella ended up a big noise in Virgin Rail.
    Think he started as ticket collector and ended owning up he had honours degree in history.

  19. Political Tourist permalink
    February 9, 2015 10:38 pm

    Surprised considering the Irish solidarity work that the IMG did, nobody has mentioned the sister party, People’s Democracy.
    Certainly any history of the Civil Rights Movement should mention PD.
    Some serious big names, Bernadette Devlin etc.
    There seems to be two versions of the PD before and after the first shots being fired.
    Believe one of the early PD’s ended up presenting the BBC “Crimewatch” programme.
    Another ended up working for the Daily Mail??? and believed in torture???
    The later version of the PD’s had two councillor elected in Belfast in 1981 at the time of hunger-strikes.
    Think one of the councillors ended up going over to the provos.
    Take it they ceased to exist after that.


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