Marxists and the British
The 'Open Turn' debate
How To Influence The Independent Labour Party
(September 3, 1933)
On the question of the Independent Labour Party, the Secretariat has altered so much of my proposition that it suggests to our English section—if my information is correct—that some comrades should not enter the Independent Labour Party, so that they can continue publishing the paper.
This plan, after a long conversation with Smith (who makes the best impression personally), seems to me of no use. The Independent Labour Party, and this is to its credit, has expelled two members because they were also members of the Communist Party. The Independent Labour Party will also distrust us for the same reason. This distrust can only be overcome if our people get into the Independent Labour Party with the desire to influence the party as a whole and to become powerful there but not to work toward breaking away a small part from the whole party.
The publication of a small, monthly paper under the circumstances is senseless, because the same articles are published at the same time or earlier in The Militant. We can make good use of The Militant as a 'central organ’ for our internal work within the Independent Labour Party.
Comrade Wine is travelling to England, and it would be very good if he would discuss and examine the whole question from this point of view with the English comrades.
I am of the opinion, under the given circumstances, that the English section in relation to the Independent Labour Party must use the tactic applied by the Brandlerite minority toward the SAP.
If we only send a part of our membership into the Independent Labour Party and keep a publication going outside of it, then we are in danger of getting our members expelled from the Independent Labour Party in a very short time. Our mutual relations would be poisoned by this, and we would lose, because of our outside action, the possibility of gaining considerable influence.