Re: Where they Are Now

August 26 2006 at 12:21 PM
TA Jackson 

Response to Where they Are Now

I think that to say that only three Straight Left faction members remain politically active is an exaggeration on "passing throughs" part....But equally the assessment by "anonymous" seems ridiculously upbeat. As another former "footsoldier" for SL I can think of at least three people within my own former personal/political circle who would not consider themselves "communists" any longer, significantly they all followed the Nicholson line of having no truck with the reformist- Morning Star faction. I would say that the Nicholson followers whilst ostensibly still committed at the time, in effect decided the "game was up" and felt permitted to develop their lives in whatever way they felt appropriate.

This is a not entirely surprising development, most Straight Left faction members devoted an enormous time of energy to activity, each being active in their trade-union, numerous community campaigns, plus the attendant time and commitments arising from international solidarity work...Quite honestly it was perfectly normal for the diary to be full months in advance with meetings of committees, branches, etc etc Also I can understand why so many comrades decided not to enter the CPB with Communist Liaison,although at the time I disagreed and still do. For most of us the 1980's had been a grinding inner party struggle which is extremely wearing -combine this with the extraordinary fact that most faction members also remained deeply involved and often prominent in mass movement work throughout the 1980s it should come as no surprise that a significant number decided to join what we laughingly used to refer to as the "allotment faction". This may help to explain the sudden disappearance from view of so many, understandable I think, but one thing we always prided ourselves on was remaining in touch with reality.

Top marks to those who remained active in the CPB, but the lure of free personal time after so long a sacrifice of personal space is not surprising. One thing that all those who became inactive have in common is a fond affection for the comradeship of that time, yes it was hard work and extremely trying at times, but being shoulder to shoulder in a proper communist organisation, with attendant discipline and commitment of all comrades,was an experience many I know have good memories of. I recently met up with three former comrades and we spent a lot of time laughing about those days, one woman comrade, said she missed the laughter...and amidst all the seriousness there was a lot of cheer and a good amount of excellent social life also..

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