I remember reading the following choice quote in the seventieth anniversary issue of the Socialist Standard in the mid-eighties.** Considered such a badge of honour for the Party, the denunciation was reprinted in the June 2004 special commemorative issue of the Socialist Standard and I bet a Party historian could point to seven or eight other occasions when the quote has been lovingly put in bold within the pages of the SPGB press. Nothing like being noticed:
“The Communist Party has NO dealings with murderers, liars, renegades, or assassins. The SPGB, which associates itself with followers of Trotsky, the friend of Hess, has always followed a policy which would mean disaster for the British working class. They have consistently poured vile slanders on Joseph Stalin and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, told filthy lies about the Red Army, the Soviet people and its leaders, gloated over the assassination of Kirov and other Soviet leaders, applauded the wrecking activities of Trotskyist saboteurs in the Soviet Union. They have worked to split the British working class, and are in short agents of Fascism in Great Britain. The CPGB refuses with disgust to deal with such renegades. We treat them as vipers, to be destroyed”.(Letter from Secretary of the West Ham branch of the Communist Party, 23 February 1943, reproduced in Socialist Standard, May 1943).
Jeez, that bloke on MySpace is an amateur. That's how you denounce somebody; And some pundits will still try and insist that political debate has plummeted into the gutter since the ascendancy of political blogging?
I love the fact that it's the secretary of the West Ham branch of the old CPGB who is bursting a bloodvessel. So much for the myth of the cheery, chirpy cockneys. West Ham fans were frothing at the mouth even back then. No ICF . . . No Alf Garnett . . . and No Calum Davenport playing like a ricket in defence, and yet the Upton Park faithful were still one hammer short of a tool box.
*In fairness to the bloke, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. From looking at his MySpace profile, I think he takes pleasure in being a political wind-up merchant. I can identify with that.
**In the mid-eighties, when you enquired for more information from the SPGB, they were prone to sending people back issues of the Socialist Standard from ten years before. Test the rule: if you hurry quick, you might strike lucky and get the special June 1994 Euro-Election issue of the Socialist Standard. I sold mines for seven kopecks on Ebay about three months ago. It's a collector's item.