Dave Dudley

Dave Dudley on the new political situation

Long-time Harry’s Place readers may recall occasional guest poster Dave Dudley whose past communications with the masses are collected here. Dave recently called to explain to us that he has been too busy to contribute to Harry’s Place recently because of an exciting new development in his political life which has been taking up his free time and which shares with us below.

The ‘Leninist Vanguard’ journal which I was the editor of for nearly four decades is no more. An inability amongst the proletariat to digest the difficult theoretical ideas in the journal has led to the situation where it now makes more sense to sell the Vanguard printing presses than keep on printing it week after week. Reports had been reaching me for years from my District Organisers that the space under comrades’ beds was filling up with yellowing copies that just couldn‘t be given away. The sad decline of this once proud Trotskyist journal still doesn’t make much sense to me – young people are supposed to be getting cleverer and cleverer every year but the circulation of the Vanguard just kept falling.

But let’s organise, not mourn as the old saying goes. I’ve got a cheque in my pocket signed by the purchaser of the printworks – a nice chap called Desmond who’s going to be producing specialist glossy publications on the old machinery – and I’ve got some good ideas on how the financial legacy of the Vanguard should be invested.

As you know ever since I graduated from St.Cake’s college Oxford I’ve always wanted to be in the thick of the struggle against US imperialism. “Paris, Rome, Sevenoaks, Berlin – we will struggle, we will win” I used to chant in those heady days. But where is the epicentre of revolt now? Where is the contemporary cockpit of revolution?

Back in Autumn 2001 some of the Comrades on the editorial board of the Leninist Vanguard went for a coffee with their fellow protesters after the demos against the disgraceful imperialist intervention against the sovereign state of Afghanistan. They had some interesting things to report afterwards. According to them a worldwide movement for change had been developing over the last decade or so, almost unnoticed by the Western Left. Implacably hostile to US Imperialism, it was also anti-Zionist and believed in spectacular direct action to change the rotten society we live in. At the time I didn’t really see the opportunities for much beyond joint activity with the new social force these people represented because I had failed to understand the movement of the dialectic amongst semi-imperialist neo-colonies since the fall of Stalinism. After a protracted political struggle at the Vanguard, threats of a split by others on the editorial board, and a series of self-criticism sessions I finally saw the light and am pleased to announce some exciting new changes at the journal which will be printed by Mr Desmond just as soon the latest print run of Dusky Tottie is ready for the shops.

From September’s edition the Leninist Vanguard will be renamed ‘Jihad Today‘. ‘Jihad’ means, er, ’Struggle’ in Arabic which I am sure you know is the contemporary language of the oppressed and insurgent worldwide. There will be a wider focus to the contents at the magazine and we have dispensed with our previously narrow understanding of what the working class actually consists of. From now on if you are against the incursion of infidels into the Dar al Islam you are a member of the proletariat. Readers will also notice a less dogmatic attitude to questions of faith in the pages of the magazine and I’m sure you will all welcome our new guest contributors who write deliberately provocative articles on the place of women , Jews and non-believers in post-capitalist societies. I’m sure most readers will welcome the new look journal – those who don’t are kindly requested to keep their mouths shut, please, as we have invested a significant amount of political capital in the relaunch and we don‘t want anyone rocking the boat.

On a sadder note I have to announce the departure from the editorial board of my long time political and life partner Josephine Tamara De Bourgeois who has been involved in various capacities with the Vanguard since she was sent down from Lady Eleanor Hall back in ‘68. Jo was not able to grasp the exciting possibilities of the new political terrain and has decided to join the Labour Party instead of continuing her work at the renamed journal. It wasn’t as if she had to wear the headscarf all the time I explained to her – only when our friends from our new sister magazines visited.

Anyway, let’s not live in the past – onward to the future.

Until Victory, Until Victory, Until Victory in Jerusalem !