Talk:Peter Taaffe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Old talk[edit]

-- 13:46, 15 September 2006 (UTC):Through having met and spoken to Alan Woods, i can confirm that the "Scottish turn" was not innitially supported by Grant or Woods. I currently do not have an online source, but will try and find one in the coming days. It is correct to say SA membership is around 200, but it is beggining to rise (although i am of the opinion that that is irrelevent to this article)

Taaffe and the majority in Militant supported the Scottish turn and the creation of Scottish Militant Labour whilst Grant and the minority opposed it after being initially in favour. Scottish Militant Labour eventually became the Scottish Socialist Party which has several MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, however, in 2003 the leadership of the SSP broke away from the CWI.

AW Healy removed everything after "opposed it". Taaffe's "Response to Ted Grant and Rob Sewell" claims Grant and the minority initially supported the Scottish turn. Does AW Healy have any evidence that this is incorrect? If not then the material he removed shold not have been removed.

AW Healy also removed:

Grant and his leading supporters were expelled and have reconstituted themselves as the Workers International League. While the Taaffe led majority left the Labour Party, the Grant-led WIL continues to practice entrism despite Labour's embrace of the Third Way under Tony Blair.

Yet the Grant group did reconstitute itself as the Workers International League and does continue to practice entrism despite Labour's turn to the Third Way.

AW Healy added:

Using his control over the beareaucratic structures of the group Taaffe moved to expel Grant and his leading supporters together with the majority of the organisation's leading trade union Cadres internationally.

The use of "bureaucratic structures" is a POV. The claim that the "majority of the organisation's leading trade union Cadres internationally." is, as far as I can determine, disputed. What I've read suggests that while the Spanish and Mexican sections went with Grant the vast majority of the rest stayed in the CWI.

Healy adds:

The Grant group has grown internationally and now has three MPs in Pakistan as well as a daily updated website

but he removed:

The Grant-led WIL, however, has fewer than 200 members though it does have some influence internationally through the Committee for a Marxist International and its In Defence of Marxism webpage.

but does not put forward an alternative to the 200 figure. If it's fair to compare the Grant and Taaffe groups then it is a remiss not to mention that the Taaffe group is ten times the size of the Grant group in England.

Steve asks: what evidence is there for a membership of 200 for the Grant group or 2,000 for the Taaffe group? There is evidence that the membership of the Taaffe group is growing following years of decline but some referencing is needed.

Healy writes:

The Socialist Party had some initial success in council elections based on the personal standing of individuals who had developed positions as Labour Party candidates in the main.

Yet the SP has more councillors today than it did at the time of the split which suggests that the "initial success" claim is inaccurate. As well, as a majority of the councillors were not Labour Party candidates the second part of Healy's statement is also false.

Healy writes:

Membership has continued to decline and the organisation eventually lostits national office in East London.

Yet he removes:

and today has a membership of several thousand, the largest Marxist group in Britain except for the Socialist Workers Party.


However, the party but has experienced a resurgence in recent years.


and like all Marxist groups in Britain suffered from a decline in membership in the 1990s.

The recent resurgence of membership contradicts the "continued to decline" claim and removing the statement that all groups declined in the 1990s removes context. He also removes the current SP membership figure and it's status behind the SWP thus also removing context.

The organisation increasingly competes with the Socialist Workers Party and remains isolated from the mass organisations of the working class, in Britain and internationally.

That is POV and contradicts the SP's recent success in UNISON elections, in union elections in Northern Ireland, the CWI's success in Ireland with the election of Joe Higgins, its success electing councillors in Sweden, representatives in the ex-USSR and growth elsewhere.

AndyL 02:49, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

the majority leadership published documents that it claimed made it clear that the minority was intending to split from Militant

What documents are these? A reference would be useful.

GO writes : in answer to the above question, no references will be given, because, quite simply, these documents do not exist. The Minority in the British section, led by Grant and Woods, did not intend to split, but to fight for internal democracy and against the ultra-leftist "turns" in Liverpool and Scotland. They were expelled as a result. Grant and Woods warned that the methods pursued by Taaffe would lead to a collapse of the influence of the organisation. This is exactly what has happened. The claim of the SP to have "thousands" of members is clearly a wild exageration. Where are they ? The position they had in Scotland has been lost, and in Liverpool also (following further expulsions). Their available forces in London are widely known to be less than 100 people. So in what region are the "thousands" or even "hundreds" hiding ?

In relation to their international position, the claims of Taaffe supporters in relation to their alleged base in Pakistan are pure invention. One will not find any evidence of any significant activity by supporters of Taaffe in Pakistan. Information published by Taaffe about "mass demonstrations" his supporters supposedly organised have proved to be utterly false. They do have a certain base in Nigeria, apparently, and also in a few European countries (Sweden, Germany, Belgium). Of the 80 people (members of the JCR) they affiliated in France in the 1990's, about 20 remain, almost all of whom are students in Rouen. While it is possible to contest the exact position in terms of numbers and influence in this or that country, one unmistakable fact remains : following the explusion of Grant and Woods, the Taaffe-led tendency entered into a process of decline and disintegration.

Then, irrespective of whether the above POV is correct and whether the Woods Grant faction intended to stay or go, we would all be happy to remove the line "until the majority leadership published documents that it claimed made it clear that the minority was intending to split from Militant"? The more important point, however, is how one would document an "expulsion" since everyone implicitly acknowledges that the Grant Woods faction treated themselves as effectively expelled, a point of view, as there were no expulsion procedures, because the Grant Woods faction ceased to operate within the Militant at any level. Andysoh 22:00, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Andysoh 01:10, 26 January 2007 (UTC) : re "Scottish turn" just a little niggle re the otherwise very helpful remarks above: in the first para of this discussion page, I think this opening assertion is wrong. Peter Taaffe quotes from the executive committee of 10/4/91 in his book, 'The Rise of Militant' [1] to indicate that initially the Open Turn was not at first an issue. Even more conclusive is the report from Alan Woods which pre-dated the dispute by a few months on the Spanish section which is quite specific about the need for an open turn in Spain which is here: [2]

At the time of the outbreak of the dispute, it was an issue of the apparent promotion of a younger comrade, to speak on a CWI platform, when Ted thought it should be himself, that was the trigger for the dispute.


Hi, it seems that this page and the discussion has been edited by those who are trying to attack Taaffe rather than give a NPOV article. The biggest point of this is the talk about the decline of the CWI and the Socialist Party since the split between Woods and Taaffe. Even if this is true, I think the article should also point out the recent resurgence that the Socialist Party has had and the recent rapid increase members.

Also, should an article on Peter Taaffe have so much stuff on it about what Woods and co have done since the split? Shouldn't that be on a differnt page with its own article?

Hi. I find myself very uncomfortable with the NPOV policy, anyway that's how this site works and if somebody comes here, he needs to follow the rules. I think that much material on the rival group both on this page and Ted Grant page (and in many other pages being related, too) should be cleaned away. Moreover, while myself convinced that the 1500 figure of SP membership doesn't really seem to be correct, the solution is not to wage an edit war about that number: the solution is to use the magic verb to claim, as somebody correctly did with the Socialist Appeal membership figure. If a group claims a true figure and another group doesn't, shame on the liars, the page will ridiculize them to everybody knowing the true situation while still preserving its informational value and correctness. MauroVan 16:31, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Mauro Trious 23:49, 25 August 2006 (UTC)
Some effrot made to re-balance along the lines of these points. The break was significant, in point of marxist theory, but it is not the only issue.Andysoh 21:43, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

CWI Pakistan?????[edit]

I find it a bit odd to refeer to Pakistan as a big "colonial" section of CWI, it's quite a sham. But keep it on if you like, the jokes on the people who wrote it, especially when it quite obviously is out of sync with reality. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Marxistviking (talkcontribs) 16:50, 25 January 2007 (UTC).

Quite right. Colonial changed to neo-colonial as per your discussion

Andysoh 21:41, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Clean up[edit]

It seems to me that the Peter Taaffe entry has gained more balance with references along the lines indicated in the discussion here.

However, before the clean up tag can be removed, at least one important remaining issue on this page is the question of the unsupported statement:

"until the majority leadership published documents that it claimed made it clear that the minority was intending to split from Militant"

This has been criticised in the discussion, and is indeed inadequate. The Grantites deny it, and the Taaffe supporters feel that it suggests an organisational approach to resolving the dispute, which Militant supporters always claimed was never the method of the Militant. Let's simply cite the material, and give as full a context as the reader will bear.

There is no question of the importance of the 'open turn' debate. But it is still the case that the article is biased towards this one event. So let's add something of the role Taaffe played in the major events of the period.

It must be more concretely placed in the historical circumstances that surrounded it, which I have tried to do here.

I propose the following update to the para beginning: "The dispute between the Taaffe-led majority and the Grant-led minority continued within Militant for some time with an important exchange of documents, until the majority leadership published documents that it claimed made it clear that the minority was intending to split from Militant."

Replace with:

Militant had up to now played to a wide audience. The Liverpool struggle and the Poll Tax struggle of 1989 - 1991 were truly epic battles. The Liverpool struggle forced the British government into a temporary retreat, causing apoplexy in some of the media ("The august Times (11 July 1984) thundered: 'Danegeld in Liverpool'." writes Peter Taaffe in Liverpool - A City That Dared to Fight, chapter 8 [3] ). The Poll Tax non-payment campaign (or else the Poll Tax Riot which ensued) has been widely credited for causing British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s downfall. (See for instance Poll Tax Riots or the BBC report: “The unpopularity of the new charge led to the poll tax riots in London in March 1990 and - indirectly - to the downfall of the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the November of the same year.” [4] )

In the four year Liverpool struggle, Taaffe, the Liverpudlian General Secretary of the Militant Tendency, was intimately involved with developments, discussing with close friends and leading Liverpool Militant supporters, such as the former print worker Tony Mulhearn. Mulhearn co-authored with Taaffe the 500 page book 'Liverpool - A city that dared to fight' and was President of the Liverpool District Labour Party during these events, in which the Liverpool City Council declared it was "Better to break the law than break the poor", agreed an illegal budget, and built 4,800 houses and bungalows, and improved 7,400 houses and flats (amongst other works), before the 47 councillors were surcharged and removed from office [5].

Their opponents however claimed that Liverpool was in chaos. At the 1986 labour Party conference Labour leader Neil Kinnock became famous for his impassioned denunciation of the Labour-led Liverpool City Council, ("one of the most famous of any post-war British politician's" as the wikipedia Kinnock entry expresses it). the speech had many airings on television, and was replayed by the Labour Party in its party political broadcast during the 1987 general election campaign. however, whilst many commentators expressed great praise of the speech in programmes, articles and columns throughout the media, "the [Labour] party was again defeated in a landslide" (see reference in Labour Party), the Conservative's overwhelming majority reduced slightly from 143 to 102. At any rate, however the events were judged by the population at large, there is no denying the impact the Liverpool struggle had throughout British political society at the time.

Taaffe's role in the Poll Tax battle was also significant. "In April 1988" he writes, "I visited Glasgow for a one-day conference with delegates from every area of Scotland where Militant had supporters and influence." (The Rise of Militant' p312 [6]) This conference decided to adopt the tactic of mass "non-payment" of the Poll Tax, a strategy which was clearly in tune with large swathes of the population (see note 1. above). In fact Prime Minister John Major reported that 17.5 million people had either not paid or were in serious arrears (Danny Burns, Poll Tax Rebellion, p176) just before abolishing it.

The Anti Poll Tax Unions, set up around the country, which brought Tommy Sheridan to prominence and which are described in detail in Taaffe’s 'The Rise of Militant', had to be built outside, and essentially in opposition to the Labour Party, which was implementing the Poll Tax at local level, and expelling Militant supporters, such as Militant supporting Labour MP Terry Fields who refused to pay the Tax.

"The experience of mass struggles outside the Labour Party, above all in the Poll Tax", writes Taaffe, "were to convince the majority of Militant's supporters and leaders that the old tactic of concentrating most of its forces in the Labour Party had been overtaken by events." ( 'The Rise of Militant' p344 [7])

New section , "A parting of the ways"

Update continues...

Yet it was in 1988, as Militant's Poll Tax strategy was being shaped, that Taaffe first notes a major rift appearing in the Militant, between Taaffe and the majority on the Militant executive who believed capitalist restoration was possible in the Soviet Union, and Grant, who disagreed (The Rise of Militant, p328 [[8]]). The ‘Open Turn’ debate took place essentially between April and October 1991. In April 1991 the Militant executive body decided to support the "Scottish Turn". The Rise of Militant p433-4. Very shortly afterwards the dispute broke out.

A special national conference was organized in October 1991 in which the two factions presented their arguments. There was a final document of the exchange, which came from the minority also in October 1991. Between April and October discussions were held at branch, district and regional level with speakers from both factions taking part. At an all-London meeting, for instance Ted Grant addressed a packed meeting to respectful silence, but failed to gain the support of the meeting. After the October conference there were no more meetings of this nature, and no more documents were exchanged.

In January 1992, the majority leadership claimed that the minority was intending to split from Militant. Peter Taaffe published an editorial in the Militant (24 January 1992) entitled “A parting of the ways” which announced that following the 'Open Turn' (or more precisely the "Scottish turn") decision, Tommy Sheridan had been put forward as "candidate for Glasgow Pollock in the approaching general election."

Taaffe reminds the reader that the past ten months had been one of "profound debate" culminating in a special October conference in which the "vote was 93% to 7% in favour of our proposals". Many opponents of the 'Scottish turn' will remain loyal supporters of Militant, Taaffe predicts. But

“…it has now become clear that immediately after our conference, Ted Grant and his group abandoned any idea of acting as a loyal opposition. Instead of continuing the debate within our ranks, as they had claimed they would, they took steps to set up their own, rival publication. They have plans to launch a monthly magazine, moving, as soon as possible, to a fortnightly and weekly. They now have their own small premises and their own staff and are raising their own funds. We regret Ted Grant has split in this way. He made a vital contribution...”

In December 1991 Grant, Sewell and Woods were formally suspended from the national committee in the light of these allegations, pending an appeal. They made no attempt to appeal, claiming that they had been expelled. Grant and his leading supporters reconstituted themselves as the Socialist Appeal tendency, after its paper...etc

Andysoh 23:44, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I've given the article quite a go through, mostly copyediting. I've added a [citation needed] tag to various statements which appear to need one - many of these references should be easy to find. I've also tried to remove most of the external links from the body of the article; these should usually be in reference tags, or placed under external links at the end.
In general, the article looks reasonable to me, but it is quite short on information on Taaffe, while it has some information on Militant or the Socialist Party with no obvious connection to him. Either the links should be made more explicit, or the information should be moved to the relevant article. Warofdreams talk 00:14, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Reference to Matgamna's recollections removed.[edit]

I've had to remove reference to Sean Matgamna's recollections. They are very detailed and valuable. However, the wikipedia biography of living persons guide is very clear: "Be very firm about high quality references, particularly about details of personal lives. Unsourced or poorly sourced controversial (negative, positive, or just highly questionable) material about living persons should be removed." Matgamna makes clear that these are his recollections, which are largely (though not exclusively) by their very nature unsourced. He makes a great many controversial claims in sweeping acerbic terms, as well as a few personal and contradictory remarks about Taaffe either being very "intelligent" or being "very thick", which are out of place here. Andysoh 21:48, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Just to add, (whilst going through the early issues of the Militant to reseach additions for the entry on the Militant Tendency), Matgamna's claim that "After a few issues Protz left, and the paper became a very clumsily laidout, underedited, and amateurish four pager" is not true, or rather, only true only in relation to the number of pages. The last article by Protz appears in issue five, though whether he laid that issue out (he was "technical editor", meaning in charge of laying out the paper, and so forth) could be disputed. But issue six, May 1965, when Protz's name disappears and we can assume he is not longer laying out the paper, introduces the front page cartoon which was a feature of Militant from then on, and the use of photos is good and the structure of the page is solid, comparing well against, for instance, issue three, which leads with a lengthy article by Protz. And as for the drop in the number of pages, an appeal on the front page of issue two says enough. "Alas, if only alll this enthusiam could be translated into hard cash! Money, we regret, is already very short..." Andysoh 22:27, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Political rant and Taaffite praise.[edit]

Far from being an objective, NPOV, entry, this piece is nothing but an open praise of Peter Taaffe as well as a terribble political attack on ted grant and his supporters within the CWI in the late 80's and early 90's. There are many example of parts which ought to be removed, or at least edited for further objectivity, such as :

"On the contrary, counters Taaffe, it is Grant and his followers who have fallen into "dogmatism" and betray an atrophy of thought: "The former minority are political dinosaurs. They operate with outmoded formulas which no longer apply... an absolutely dogmatic, black and white, undialectical approach towards political phenomena, both in Britain and on an international scale." [31].

Lastly, Taaffe says that Grant "publicly asserted his views against the majority of the editorial board on crucial issues, [which] threatened to have a disorientating effect on some of our supporters". [32] "

which, far from being a simple reference to the differences between the majority and the minority of the CWI at the time, is a vicious defence of Taaffe position's against Grant, who is, in this case, presented as Politically incapable and unwilling as well as unable to undertake any serious discussion of an issue - which, Grant's supporters, as well as most of his detractors, would admit to be completely and utterly false.

May I thus suggest that the entire part of the entry covering the differences whithin Militant either be removed, re-worked, or at least re-allocated to the article concerning the Tendency as such, where it could hopefully be discussed/presented with greater objective and respect for the truth.

Furthermore, I feel it is necessary to point out that most references linking to articles presenting Grant's positions on a majority of the above issues are either broken or misdirected. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:08, 22 March 2007 (UTC).

Please keep in mind that the article expresses Peter Taaffe's point of view, because it is an article which is about Peter Taaffe. It makes clear that what is being expressed is Peter Taaffe's point of view throughout, and I think the comments of Taaffe which you quote are best suited to this article. It makes no claim that these views are correct.
I think you have to be a bit careful before calling something a "political rant" and so forth. I think few would agree.
Really, you are taking issue with just a few paragraphs, I think. The first quote from Peter Taaffe to which you object begins by specifiying exactly what the followers of Ted Grant claimed - you omit to mention this, which might appear misleading. The article is reporting what Taaffe said, at a crucial turning point in his life, which is important. And what Taaffe said was itself balanced, since he first specifies exactly what the followers of Ted Grant said, (and continue to say) - that theory was relegated below activism - and offers his own views that this view is wrong.
But I agree that the second quote of Taaffe saying that Grant publicly asserted his views "against the majority of the editorial board on crucial issues" does not provide its own references, as it were. We should perhaps add at least a footnote to demonstrate that these accusations Taaffe makes are worthy of reporting here.
The footnote could note that Taaffe was refering here to such instances as Grant's assertion that during the 1990 Gulf war, "if there is conscription, we have to go with the workers into the armed forces and fight". One instance where Grant broke ranks with the EC on this question was at an annual conference of the Militant, where he expressed this view against the majority of the EC, causing a certain amount of consternation at that conference, particularly amongst the youth, who began coming to the rostrum one after another to protest at the suggestion and put the correct position, losing Grant no small amount of credibility within the party.
It's not the place to discuss it here, but just to note that the Militant's position was that there was no prospect of conscription, but if conscription was introduced, the Militant would organise mass opposition to it, a mass campaign of refusing to be conscripted.
By 1990, Grant was in a minorty on a number of issues, such as Iraq, the collapse of the Soviet Union, South Africa, and so on, but did not put the majority EC position, and did not engage with Peter Taaffe and others about these issues. The truth is he took a somewhat contemptuous attitude towards Taaffe and others, saying that Taaffe had no grasp of theory, etc, rather than trying to understand what Taafe and others were saying, for instance in relation to the possibilities of capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union, or the prospect of the collapse of apartheid in South Africa, and so on, where Grant and Woods dismissed these possibilities. Taaffe indicates these points in the editorial quoted from, but for brevity and balanace, it is not, I think, appropriate to go into great lengths about these issues in an article about Peter Taaffe, as they are about Ted Grant, the false positions he took from 1987 onwards, and in substance they should go on the Ted Grant wikipedia article if anywhere. It really is not a Ted Grant page.
Thanks for pointing out that the Minority document previously at the Grantite appears to have been removed. I have not been able to source this on the, but both the majority and the minority documents are available on the CWI's, and have reset the links accordingly.
I hope this clarifies the issues.

Andysoh 21:02, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Though I do agree that an article concerning a political figure ought to include a summary of his ideas, I am not sure whether it appropriate to include Taaffe's POV in the way that it's been done in this entry. The fact that they have been consistently presented in opposition to Grant's positions. Furthermore, the tone in which they are presented, clearly indicates that the author(s)of this entry has made no effort whatsoever to hide that he feels that Taaffe is correct. I am sure many agree. Perhaps it's Peter himself who wrote the article... judging the way in which it has been put, it frankly wouldn't surprise me. In fact, I am sure that many would agree that parts of this entry (I only used the paragraph in question as one specific example of a trend which is to found throughout the entry.) resemble, what I would without a doubt, refer to as a political rant.

Perhaps you ought to provide a link, or links, to a biography, or at least some form of text, concerning Taaffe written by his opponents, though not necessarily by Ted Grant. And, before you say anything, I can assure you that such links have been provided on the page concerning Grant -for the sake of objectivity, if nothing else.

There has always been a link to Rob Sewell's postscript on the role of Taaffe in the Militant at the bottom of the page.
On the one hand, Rob Sewell, as Militant's National Organiser during the period during which he criticises the leadership of the Militant, is an important authority, even if he was part of the leadership which he criticises.
But on the other hand, before you read the postscript I should warn you that there are some pretty strongly worded personal accusations in that document against Peter Taaffe some of which are derogatory, possibly defamatory, unsourced, and strongly disputed by Taaffe. As such the link to this postcript appears to fall foul of wikipedia policy. If it is to be removed, however, Taaffe's reply should be removed as well.
Andysoh 20:16, 23 March 2007 (UTC)


I had actually noticed the link to post-script of History Of British Trotskyism (which, trust me, I have read more than once) but had forgotten about it when I answered you yesterday. So I suppose that's my mistake. Then again, if you pay close attention to some of the footnotes in Liverpool: A City that Dared to Fight , I think you would notice that Taaffe makes no secret of how he felt about Grant. The same feelings on Taaffe's part are equally appearent in his obituary - the "truth-factor" of which those close to Grant have disputed since its publication - in which Taaffe kicks Ted Grant, not only when he is lying down, but once he has actually passed away. That does of course not mean that they should not be provided as references to statements/claims made in this entry. Furthermore, Taaffe's book about the achievements of Militant in Liverpool is a great source of inforamtion for anyone studying the history of the Marxist Tendency, and is, at least as far as know, still presented as recommended reading on the Liverpool "episode" by many of Grants supporter.

As far I can judge, the authoritative weight of Rob Sewell's criticism of Hepscott Road is actually made greater precisely due to the fact that he had been part of the very leadership that he criticises in his post-script - it is unfair to pretend that he still formed part of it in the peiod which he is writing about, given that Taaffe and his supporter had de facto marginalised him from the work carried out by the Tendency and virtually excluded him, as well as other supporters of the Minority, from any discussions conducted by full-timers at the Centre. Furthermore, Sewell's post-scripts puts forward the claim that Taaffe consistently barred Alan Woods and other Grantist from the financial resources necessary for them to be able to publish the Tendency's theoretical journal, the MIR. If, for the sake of informative value, positions defended by, and favourable to, Peter Taaffe are provided, not only as links but as direct statement, in this entry, then, surely, the claims concerning him made by his opponents ought to be treated as more than just references.

There are no footnotes in Liverpool A city that Dared to fight. There are no derogatory remarks of any kind about Ted in there.
Harry Ratner reviewed Ted’s History of Trotskyism and Sewell's postscript. “Sewell’s explanation is superficial and far from satisfactory. Almost seven whole paragraphs are devoted to casting Peter Taaffe as the main villain who organised a faction against Grant ...Sewell seems to allot the real political context a minor role.” ( He calls Sewell’s account “highly partisan” and this itself would be sufficient to cast doubt on its inclusion, even as a “See also” on a wikipedia biography of living persons article. The accusations you repeat, which you take as good coin from Sewell's postscript are more convincingly countered by Taaffe at, together with a more marxist approach, looking at the political context, etc.
There is no evidence of this "marginalising" and "virtually excluding" and so forth, which you repeat as if it were established fact. Sewell's accusations are found to be unconvincing by Harry Ratner and others. They may even be a reversal of the truth. Sewell himself quotes Grant's derogatory remarks about Taaffe made to him, and Grant's behaviour at a national meeting, but his allusions to Taaffe's role are pure assertions with no references.
You may disagree about this. Please feel welcome to post any comments on this question to my personal page, where I would be happy to discuss it - there is a great deal more which could be said. But this is not the place to discuss this, as this is a discussion page about the article, and it is hardly disputable that Sewell's accusations are not referenced.

Andysoh 21:55, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

low income and trotskyist[edit]

Hi Philip,

Here's my reasoning for my minor changes after your very helpful copy edit:

Re "Low Income": I think there are low income working class families and high income working class families, and all places inbetween. Working class people can be very well paid - take for instance train drivers in the UK - and working class communities are not necessarily agglomerates of low income people either. Working class people in the UK might even take offense to be told that "working class" and "low income" went hand in hand. I know that some people think that "working class" means unemployed or on benefits, but this is not the view shared by most:

"Indeed, last year [2003] we found that 68% of the [UK] public agreed with the statement "At the end of the day, I'm working class and proud of it" - Mori [9].

In the period we are refering to - the 1960s - workers won substancial gains. But merseyside was particularly depressed. So I don't think it is a tautology.

Now use of the word "Trotskyist" is not as clear cut. Some, of course, claimed that the Militant were reformists, and not Trotskyist, partly because of its use of Labour movement / working class terminology rather than traditional Trotskyist terminology. I agree that Taaffe is a Trotskyist, but I put mention of it further down by a small margin, in the first section, in a context which should allow for less controversy. The Militant began to call itself the "Marxist voice of Labour and Youth" on its masthead - almost certainly under Taaffe's direction, as the editor, so to call it "Marxist" would be quite correct in this sense. Taaffe also terms himself a Marxist. However, Peter Taaffe also considers himself a Trotsktyist i.e. a Marxist of the Trotskyist tradition. The problem lies in the very wide range of Trotskyist trends, more than a few of which were considered by Taaffe to be 'ultra-left', so that, without some context, in my opinion, the term needs to be used, but used with care.

Then, finally, we must take note of the wiki policy in regards to the biographies of living people, and observe sensitivity. Taaffe prefers to be described as a Marxist. For these reasons, whilst making the situation clear appropriately in the text, I've tried to compromise in this edit.

I hope this helps. Andysoh 19:41, 2 May 2007 (UTC)


Can a section with criticisms be added? Especialy on his role on the destruction of the militant —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:09, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Open Turn[edit]

Please see merge suggection in Talk:Militant_tendency#Open_Turn. - Altenmann >t 02:08, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, it seems too minor to me at first glance - is the new page intended to be worthwhile? e.g. significantly more than a stub? Would involve some careful work. I mean, if there were already existing a full treatment of the issue, then the merge would be meaningful, it seems to me. Andysoh (talk) 21:18, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

There is an RfC on the question of using "Religion: None" vs. "Religion: None (atheist)" in the infobox on this and other similar pages.

The RfC is at Template talk:Infobox person#RfC: Religion infobox entries for individuals that have no religion.

Please help us determine consensus on this issue. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:58, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Peter Taaffe. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 21:59, 29 November 2017 (UTC)