January 3 2011 at 1:04 AM
Eye witness 

Response to Re: What Griffiths said

Oh, and by the way, what is this "Griffiths faction" that defeated Mike Hicks in January 1998?

It was simply the majority of Executive Committee members (17 out of 30), who had had enough of dishonesty and disruption (especially over the process to appoint a new Morning Star editor after Chater). It included comrades such as Mary Davis, Richard Maybin, Kevin Halpin, Kenny Coyle, John Foster, Martin Levy etc. - none of whom were in any "faction" (although Hicks accused various of them of being in Straight Left or "Kevin Halpin's faction", as he once put it). They had no shared programme and were not party to any secret meetings, mailings etc. - but had all come the conclusion at different points in time that Hicks should be replaced.

In fact, if memory serves, John Foster was only finally persuaded to oppose Hicks at the January 1998 EC meeting itself - by Mike Hicks! John had seen all the falsificiation and disruption at first hand on the EC and Political Committee, but was understandably worried about the consequences for party unity of changing the General Secretary. But one more display of lying and attempted bullying was enough - especially when Hicks accused him at the meeting of being a Straight Left plotter! That's when Foster realised that there was no alternative but to elect a new GS.

There was a strong feeling, too, that politically the Hicks leadership was submerging the independent profile of the Party in the Morning Star and through mostly Labour Party-orientated joint campaigns with Socialist Action.

No more than two or three dozen people left the CPB with Hicks and Rosser. Most of their other supporters remained loyal to the Party. The Morning Star dispute exposed the lies told around the sacking of John Haylett, and a detailed report showed the extent to which agendas, minutes and financial records had been falsified. That persuaded most of the Hicks-Rosser sympathisers that the change of General Secretary had been necessary.

"Tell the truth and trust the comrades!" - that was the motto which proved successful.

Today, only Hicks and a few anti-CPB elements still pretend not to know the truth about the events of the period.

While the CPB pays tribute to Mike Hicks' role in the latest Party history pamphlet, and Griffiths acknowledges Mary Rosser's role in his Morning Star letter, Hicks wants to use Mary's death to peddle his failed lies. Pretty low, in my book. Why should those of us who know the truth let him get away with it?

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