This is a post by Dave Dudley, former Editor of Leninist Vanguard
It is the fourth (or possibly fifth) duty of every revolutionary to take his case to the enemy, if only to mock their feeble strategies and invite them to take up his cause as a viable alternative. While the lawyers are still going through the small-print, I have some news regarding my future employment which I believe may be of interest to those who frequent this blog. Regular Harry’s Place readers may remember the misguided decision of the editorial board of Leninist Vanguard to cease production and instead rebrand as Jihad Today, a decision I was forced to consent to only because of the demands of democratic centralism (in spite of my much-admired tenure and circulation rises as editor). In the wake of this, I found my political beliefs and revolutionary zeal still very much intact (you won’t catch me selling out), but for the first time since my recruitment to the cause while at Oxford, I also found myself with no platform from which to espouse revolutionary Marxism and, worse still, no meetings to attend or papers to sell.
Though recent defeats still hang in the air – the decision to liquidate Leninist Vanguard, the implosion in Respect at the hands of Cliffites and their Zionist puppet-masters and George Galloway’s unfortunate electoral performance in the London Assembly elections (again at the hands of the so-called ‘Left List’) – it remains incumbent on me to re-evaluate the political situation once more. Why then should I not park my tanks on the enemy’s lawn? In fact, why shouldn’t I just get in the enemy’s tank and advance on others’ lawns?
Let me start by saying that I am not known for my charitable views on other left-wing organisations and have no intention of changing this any time soon, in spite of other comrades I could mention who speak of mellowing with age. I have worn out many an ink cartridge in fighting the SWP and whatever Militant are calling themselves these days (I wouldn’t even waste ink on the superannuated Socialist Party of Great Britain) and I don’t intend for this to be in vain. In short, I have no intention of consorting with those who build electoral alliances on the far left, for this can only bring about more disillusionment and false hope for the new generation of anti-imperialists.
I first came across the Revolutionary Communist Party during the 1980s and while I argued vociferously at the time that no organisation which purported to be either ‘revolutionary’ or ‘communist’ could operate as a ‘party’ among the confines of bourgeois liberal democracy, I did have to admire their sartorial presence on the far left and tight discipline. Our paths had not crossed much in the intervening years, as Leninist Vanguard went from strength to strength in warning the far left about the perils of the inevitable Cliffite accommodation with Zionism (a process which has gone so far that the SWP should be sued under the Trades Descriptions Act!), while their own Living Marxism rebranded like Leninist Vanguard, first as LM Magazine and then as their fearless niche website spiked-online. You can take the magazine away from the revolutionary (by dint of an ITN-sponsored libel action in the capitalist courts) but you can’t take away the revolutionary, goes the saying and it runs parallel with my own trajectory. A chance meeting with one of the former RCP recruiters from the 1980s, who remains as ravishing and flirty as ever, led to a dinner party late last year where I was promised my own column and the possibility of some form of editorial role. In view of recent disappointments, it was my revolutionary duty to explore where this could lead.
I was surprised to receive the invite to act as community relations adviser to the new mayor of London Boris Johnson, though not as surprised as my partner Jo, who is now staying with her parents while we work it out. “How could you?” she cried, “That man! That hair!” Judging people on physical appearance is just the sort of thing the revisionist capitalist apparatus expects as part of their divide and rule and this only hardened my revolutionary resolve to investigate the offer further.
I entered City Hall on my first day with the same strident sense of purpose as during my stints working for socialist London Boroughs such as Hackney, Haringey and Lambeth during the 1980s and 1990s, for which my time in community development was surely recognised by the new administration. We may not have provided ‘a bicycle for every lesbian in Hackney’ as per the ruling group’s manifesto, but sell-out and compromise are always part of the territory when you cuddle up with reformists. There appears to be no danger of that under Boris.
I held no candle for the previous mayor of London, the Socialist Action puppet Ken Livingstone and his admiration for the ghastly lumpen thug Gerry Healy, and would rightly have tossed any offer of employment from that man into the bin. There are, of course, those who sneer at the new mayor for his earlier writings about “watermelon smiles” and “flag-waving piccanninies”, the Bruschetta-munching liberal left Guardian readers who see no similar contradiction in handing over their money to newspapers who employ warmongering columnists as the bodies pile up in Iraq. But was this not a critique of imperialism on the part of Boris? His sentiments merely chided the failures of the faux communist post-colonial military regimes in Africa to actually bring about socialism. Military fatigues do not a Marxist make.
To paraphrase another new recruit, it’s not Leninist Vanguard that’s entered the Tory Party, it’s the Tory Party that’s entered Leninist Vanguard.
The struggle continues, in whatever form the circumstances dictate.