Misc

DID BRITISH TROTSKYISTS SPY FOR SADDAM?

“In the late seventies, Workers Revolutionary Party photographers took pictures of demonstrators outside the Iraqi embassy in London and then passed the photographs on to its paymasters sitting inside the building. The consequences could have been tantamount to a death sentence. This must rank as one of the worst atrocities ever committed by an ostensibly socialist organisation in Britain.” Weekly Worker, April 24, 2003

Given those demonstrators would have been Iraqi exiles and their supporters in the UK this is shocking. It is a rumour that has been circulating on the left for years but I have never seen in it in print before.

edit: However the author of the above article, Dave Osler, has been in touch and says the matter has been published in some obscure left journals in the past.

Dave was kind enough to furnish this:

The following is a verbatim quote from an “International Committee of the Fourth International” internal document, which was a report of their commission of inquiry into the financial affairs of the WRP. It is dated 16 December 1985.

“The Commission has not yet been able to establish all the facts relating in the case of the photographs that were handed over to the Iraqi embassy. We do know that two WRP members were instructed to take photos of demonstrations of opponents of Saddam Hussein.
“One of the members, Cde. [name suppressed], refused the order. A receipt for £1,600 for 16 minutes of documentary footage of a demonstration is in the possession of the Commission.”

An appendix adds that payments to the WRP from Iraq totalled at least £19,697.

So it appears I was mistaken to believe this was merely a rumour and my apologies to Dave if I suggested originally he had not done his homework – he clearly has. There appears to be no doubt that Saddam’s regime was funding a British Trotskyist group as long ago as the 1970’s – which is very interesting in the light of current events.

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