15/11/2016 by socialistfight
By Gerry Downing
Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union and now chair of the Labour Representation Committee
The essence of the political situation in Britain today is a new movement has emerged which is impervious to the pressure of the capitalist establishment on who they should vote for as Labour leader. The task of the genuine established left is to discover how to not just how to represent the aspirations of this new left but how to win those victories that will give them confidence in their own strength and ability to defeat austerity and open the road to a socialist future. The victories are organisation in democratising the Labour Representation Committee and ending the bans and proscriptions on left groups there and democratising Momentum to its founding conference in February in 2017 is democratically and structurally a workers’ organisation controlled by the membership via delegates elected by local groups. This will give us the indispensable weapons to democratise the whole Labour party, its conference, its ward, constituency General Committees and Regions. To achieve this, we must deselect those Labour MPs and local councillors who are ideologically and practically committed to neo-liberalism and imposing austerity at all costs. And secondly industrially and politically we must mobilise strike struggles and occupations etc. against austerity in Local Councils and the privatisation of the NHS. Housing is another area that is vital to champion by adopting a policy of council house buildings.
These two Corbyn surges represent the new vanguard of the working class, most of whom are politically naive but honest despite, or maybe because of, their lack of experience and political sophistication. We therefore need a dual approach, to encourage the forward momentum of this new Labour membership by broad agitational anti austerity slogans and policies and to win these victories and politically train new leaders for the practical work of the class struggle and to replace sell-out MPs and councillors.
But it the face of these tasks the great fear that sweeps the leadership of Momentum and, to a lesser degree, the Labour Representation Committee, is that in this leftist surge the existing leaders will lose the argument to revolutionists and ‘left sects’ who will only cause trouble and mayhem and destroy the chance of Corbyn getting elected in 2020 or sooner if a snap election is called because of insurmountable difficulties over the Brexit negotiations.
Principled socialist must be absolutely intransigent in opposing all bans and proscriptions on all leftists. . Despite the relatively good Chakrabarti Report anti-semitism witch-hunts continue. The victimisations of the Oxford students, Naz Shah, Gerry Downing and Ken Livingstone was foolishly supported by some. As many have learned conceding to the victimisation of some on the left in the hope of satisfying these witch hunters only whets their appetite for more. We MUST close ranks against the class enemy, and identify these witch hunters on antisemitism and all other issues as such.
Democratising the Labour Representation Committee
The LRC National Executive Committee cancelled the 2015 Conference in breach of its own constitution. A fighting socialist body would have been delighted with the opportunity to give a lead to the new membership and influence Momentum in adopting the type of democratic structures it had itself. But, appalled by the prospect of this new membership surge coming under too much left wing and socialist influence, they cancelled the Conference and called a Special Conference on 20 February 2016 to water down its own democratic structures lest it put undue influence on Momentum and the new Labour leadership.
To our knowledge the Labour Party Marxists (LPM), the Grass Roots Left (GRL), The Irish Republican Prisoners Support group (IRPSG), Socialist Fight (SF) and many others had been refused affiliation on the basis that the NEC were not “satisfied that your organisation represented a body with a national membership base”. So, like Ian McNichol and the Compliance Unit, judgement was passed without a hearing and they could later appeal, after they had lost their votes, delegates and motions at the conference, as expelled/suspended Labour members had in September at Labour’s Conference by General Secretary McNicol’s chicanery.
Motions that were not heard because of this manoeuvre included those from the Grass Roots Left (in defence of Keith Henderson, later elected as LRC joint Membership Secretary). The GRL has proposed motions on vital trade unions issues for the past several years. The Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group was banned, it had proposed motions defending the democratic rights of Irish Republican Prisoners for many years. Most of these motions have passed after lively debates and enriched the political culture of the LRC. We have had motions in the past from the Labour Party Marxists and other which raised what were obviously vital issues for the whole class for discussion at past AGMs. Most of these motions were passed. It is true some motions by Socialist Fight and other groups tended to be more controversial and many were defeated but it is vital to protect minority leftist views in workers’ organisations; they may prove correct and indispensable for the whole movement later as it develops. The LRC leadership has promised all these groups the right to appeal. Socialist Fight’s motion was in defence of Jackie Walker and although Brent Trades Council did this in its motion the detailed and so far more controversial SF motion was lost.
In contrast the 29 October LRC AGM was a dull and boring affair, with safe, uncontroversial motions most of which were all passed without opposition. We were all opposed to racism, sexism and homophobia, climate change, Trident the Tories and all other right wing and anti-leftist ills. Matt Wrack, Gen Sec of the Fire Brigades Union (later elected Chair of the LRC) was the one really bright spot of the proceedings when he came out strongly against the attempted coup by John Lansman the previous night, of which more later. John McDonald told us that now that Corbyn was re-elected even though there were differences, “they can be accommodated and debated out”. Wrack had correctly pointed out a few hours earlier that this was just not going to happen. McDonnell’s assurances on the purge of Corbyn supporters was less that reassuring: “natural justice” would prevail, and even though he couldn’t say too much he was “on the case”.
John McDonnell, founding Chair and now President of the LRC.
David Shearer of Labour Party Marxists reported In Weekly Worker 1119, 3 Nov on what was the only other highlight of the AGM, the motion form Brent Trades Council moved by Pete Firmin (later elected to the LRC NC):
“it was comrade Firmin who had taken the lead in moving an amendment on behalf of Brent Trades Council. The amendment was critical of the Momentum leadership for its “lack of internal democracy”, and it was greatly strengthened by an emergency motion/amendment, reading: “The LRC AGM condemns the decision of yesterday’s Momentum SC to cancel the scheduled NC for November 5 and its decision to abandon a delegate conference in February.”
A couple of comrades were less than happy with the last-minute amendment criticising the Momentum leadership. Mike Phipps, a member of the LRC’s NC, was against it, as we ought to realise that “Momentum is not the enemy”. After all, as the NC had pointed out, Momentum is a “work in progress”. Another comrade said it was “very dangerous at this stage” to express criticisms. He admitted that he himself was “not happy about Momentum”, only to add: “I’ll say it here, but not publicly.” I’m afraid your thoughts are now public, comrade. Then there were the usual calls for action rather than debating our differences. “Let’s come together,” said a comrade. “Don’t shoot ourselves in the foot.” We should “stop thinking about this or that matter – think about the people out there”.
But others took the opposite view – “Comradely criticism should not be seen as an attack”; “We are part of Momentum and have a right to put our point of view”. Pete Firmin was correctly scathing about the Lansman leadership: Momentum “hasn’t prioritised opposing the right”, it “didn’t campaign against the purge” and in fact, when it came to the Jackie Walker case, it had “completely capitulated to it”.
I am pleased to report that, despite the reticence on the part of some on the LRC leadership, both the Brent amendment and the emergency addendum were passed overwhelmingly.”
This was the only controversial motion.
Momentum’s February Conference
Momentum made no serious attempt to organise for the September Labour party conference in line with its pathetic outlook of not upsetting the right wing. Consequently, the right-wing Zionist Mike Katz, National vice-chair of Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), and the treacherous Deputy Tom Watson got standing ovations. That is an indictment of the cowardice of Momentum’s top leaders.
The LRC and, with LRC assistance, a democratised Momentum must not relegate the Labour party membership to the status of a stage army just to get Corbyn elected in 2020. To win it must become ideologically coherent itself. Therefore, it cannot have Jon Lansman as its leader. His victimisation of Jackie Walker with the disgraceful assistance of the Zionist Alliance for Workers Liberty, because his friend Jeremy Newmark was “upset” is intolerable. In April 2013 the employment tribunal judge Anthony Snelson said Jeremy Newmark’s evidence to it was “false, preposterous, extraordinarily arrogant and disturbing” after the failure of the attempt to sue the University College Union for harassment and institutional antisemitism.
Momentum’s prime task should be winning wards and GCs, electing Conference delegates, etc. and deselecting the Blairite MPs and councillors. With this must go the struggle to democratise the TUs by rank and file bodies and defeating the Blairite bureaucrats there.
Then we can have a left wing NEC actually supporting the leader and members. Corbyn will then be elected by a mass movement growing ever more confident in their demands for socialism because of victories won. Holding back so as not to frighten the middle-class conservatives and the capitalist establishment is a cowardly outlook and a sure receipt for defeat.
Lansman’s attempted coup of 28 October was thwarted by the initiative of Matt Wrack.
The Failed Coup
There was an attempted coup by Jon Lansman and his followers on the Steering Committee of Momentum on the night of 28 October. Carla Roberts of Labour Party Marxists reported:
“Thirty-four people, including observers, attended the unofficial meeting for members of Momentum’s national committee, which was held in Birmingham on November 5 on the initiative of Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union.
This a was an important attempt to stand up to the decision by a small majority at a hastily called emergency meeting of the Momentum steering committee on October 28 to cancel an official meeting of the NC, which was supposed to take place on November 5 and make decisions on how Momentum’s first ever conference in February should be run. Instead, the SC – by a vote of six to three – decided that it should also make one of the most crucial decisions on the matter: namely, that conference should be organised not on the basis of local delegates, but ‘one member, one vote’ of the entire membership. A coup, in other words.
No wonder then that Momentum regions and branches up and down the country were livid. They had, after all, held meetings to discuss and make – mostly critical – amendments to the proposals put out by the Momentum office in early October on how to run conference. In the absence of a ‘horizontal’ line of communication between Momentum members or branches, it is difficult to know precisely what all the regions and branches decided, but, judging from posts on Facebook and the occasional report or set of minutes published, it looks like most regions favoured changes to the proposals (which, it should be stressed, did not come from the elected steering committee itself, but from Jon Lansman and a couple of his allies on the SC).
For example, many regions criticised the Omov plans and instead argued either for a delegate conference or a ‘hybrid’ and there were lots of proposals to lower the threshold needed to submit motions to conference. According to Lansman’s suggestion, a motion would need the support of 1,000 members before it could be heard at conference – an impossibility for any motion that is not supported and pushed by those having access to the database. The proposals criticising such nonsense seem to be the real reason why the NC was cancelled.
…A range of proposals were put forward in a useful if rather wide-ranging brainstorming session on how to democratise the organisation in the run-up to conference: they ranged from the need to publish the SC’s minutes and to clarify that the steering committee is subordinate to the national committee; that a new SC should be elected at the next NC meeting; that the Momentum office should help setting up local groups; to, crucially, the need to challenge the current company set-up, which gives Jon Lansman as the sole director total control over Momentum’s database – and money. Michael Chessum told the meeting that he happened to be in the office when he “overheard that Momentum had given a substantial donation to the Jeremy for Leader campaign and had seconded staff and equipment”. Chessum is the treasurer of Momentum, we should add. He should – at least – have been informed of such a decision.
It seemed to me obvious that the four members of the SC who were present should take a lead in cohering these proposals into a range of motions that regions and branches could move locally in order to give direction to those calling for more democracy. However, there is so much bad blood between the four that this is not going to happen. So the proposals are now being shared online in rough format by those who attended the meeting, with people naturally stressing those things that they found most important. An unsatisfactory outcome.
Very interesting – though with an even less concrete outcome – was the discussion on ‘Omov versus delegate structure’ for conference. Speakers correctly identified that there are “two distinct visions” for Momentum: One, personified by Jon Lansman, is the idea that getting Jeremy Corbyn elected was the main thing that Momentum should do. From now on, it should exist as a centrally controlled organisation with lots of money and lots of staff that can organise lovely Facebook campaigns. Members of such an organisation can occasionally be activated to organise phone banks when the next coup or general election comes – but otherwise are nothing but “silent foot soldiers”, as Jackie Walker put it. Omov probably does look attractive to all those members who have so far been denied a real voice in running the organisation as a direct result of the lack of democracy in Momentum, as one speaker put it.
The other vision was supported by pretty much everybody in the room. This understands that “we are not a Jeremy Corbyn fan club”, as Matt Wrack put it. According to this outlook, Labour lefts need to actively organise in every ward and every Constituency Labour Party in order to remake the whole party from top to bottom if we are serious about fighting for a socialist future. Jeremy Corbyn is not going to do it for us.
A top down conference, followed by an Omov vote some time later, is, of course, designed to support vision 1, whereas a delegate structure is based on the need for active branches, discussion and debate amongst members – vision 2. These two visions are now openly clashing, with Jill Mountford warning that “Jon Lansman could not be more dismissive of local groups. He utterly rubbishes them at every opportunity – that is no secret.”
Her fellow AWL traveller, Michael Chessum, unsuccessfully tried to calm the waters by insisting that “I don’t think a lot of it is an active conspiracy, but there are also a lot of genuine mistakes and cock-ups. I don’t want this to become too personalised around Jon Lansman, who is not just a control-freak. Let’s show some good will.” He was openly laughed at and stopped talking after noticing that “everybody is rolling their eyes at me!” “You are kidding yourself if you think that Jon Lansman has learned a lesson,” warned Jackie Walker.
She is right. Vision 1 and vision 2 are clearly incompatible. Which is why it is a shame that about half the attendees in Birmingham supported the idea that conference could be run on a “hybrid” between Omov and a delegate system. A few seem actual fans of Omov, though most seem to think that “the genie is now out of the bottle”, as the SC had already agreed on such a method. “Now we have to make it work, otherwise we will have an insurgency on our hands if we try to overturn this decision at the next national committee”, said comrade Chessum (to the disdain of some AWL members, who heckled him).
The devil, of course, is in the detail – how on earth would it work? Would those at the “physical delegates conference” vote on the proposals before them on the day? If so, what if the ‘clicktavists’ at home subsequently overturned the decision of those they had delegated, many of whom are actually running Momentum locally? Who is going to implement such decisions? Would that not make Momentum even more undemocratic and ineffective? Everybody at our meeting argued against such a use of Omov.
Overall, this was a useful gathering, but it painfully underlined the need for the left within Momentum to start organising. The recent ‘mass amnesty’ of those suspended by Labour and the real possibility of an early general election make it imperative that the left gets its own house in order. This is still somewhat hampered by the fear of some in the room that this could be seen as a “split” within Momentum (which nobody argued for) or the forming of ‘a party within a party within a party’ (which is, in fact, just what is needed).
A powerful fight against Austerity
Here we must demand that leftist councillors ally with the local anti-cuts campaigns and others to fight the imposition of austerity. The borough wide trades councils are vital here to bring the council unions on board and counter possible opposition by regional and national union officials to coordinated struggle, particularly strike struggle and occupations. And the local ward Labour Parties and General Committees must pressurise those council leadership who have made only token opposition to cuts.
Central also here are the housing campaigns, anti-deportations struggles and other justice campaigns; once we get a real movement going we can integrate all these campaigns with the anti-cuts campaigns, the local TUCs, the Labour ward branches, the Labour CLP General Committees and Momentum. Of course, all individual campaigns should continue to fight their own issues but the need is now to coordinate all campaigns, to ensure that as many activists as possible participate in at least the most important mobilisations of all campaigns and direct their struggles at local councils, and at national government, by pressurising local, regional and national union, Labour party and government structures so the effect is understood in the wider context.
Such work requires real planning and a local/regional Coordinating Committee, perhaps a subcommittee of the local TUC or other formation, depending on local circumstances and those prepared to take part in such an initiative, if they have acquired the political weight and authority to have wide support and acceptability. The aim must be to include the whole labour movement and community groups. There should be no bans or exclusions in these coordinating committees, all individuals and groups who support Corbyn and/or are leading campaigns should be eligible for participation if they are willing to donate the time and effort in a non-sectarian way to advance the struggle. Ideally the Chair and Secretary should be from local TUC and/or Constituency Labour Party who are willing to coordinate what must inevitable be diverse and sometimes fractious forces. Momentum, the Labour GC, the local TUC or LRC may initiate that move to set up the coordinating body, depending on the balance of forces in individual boroughs.
However, the events in the Labour party since May 2015 prove Trotsky’s point beyond a doubt; not only are the trade unions the first level organisations of the working class the Labour party is its representative in parliament. Of course, the trade unions are in the stranglehold of the trade union bureaucracy, a layer alienated from the working class and dedicated to the preservation of capitalism. And all Labour leaderships and governments, including the present Corbyn-led one are dedicated to the defence of the capitalist system as the representatives primarily of the trade union bureaucracy in parliament in order to achieve this.
Also, we should rule out the notion that Corbyn should fight the next election on the platform of reversing the referendum. Brexit is done, the battle now is within Corbyn’s Labour to turn to anti-austerity and the Labour Councils to begin resisting the cuts. Already Theresa May has openly abandoned fiscal rectitude on the deficit. All Tory candidates will go with that. Right wing populism is on the agenda strongly now because of the right anti-immigrant turn in the north of England, the Midlands and South Wales, etc. That is overall a fraud, of course, but now the pressure must be on to resist the cuts locally.
Anti-imperialism Labour and the British working class
Internationalism must consist in taking strong anti-imperialist positions, first of all on Israel and anti-Zionism and against that witch hunt. The Chakrabarti report was surprisingly good in the questions of disciplinary procedures and democratic structures and, despite its obvious softness on Zionism, is very helpful to Corbyn. The battle must begin to make sure the Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement have no place in Corbyn’s Labour.
But there is a further betrayal by the TU/Labour party leaders that is equally if not more pernicious than selling out the domestic class struggle. More correctly it is inextricably bound up with that betrayal; absolutely inseparable from it. In fact, it is the most important service the Labour lieutenants of capital perform for their imperialist masters; their support for every foreign war and imperialist adventure to maintain Britain’s place as the prime ally of the global imperialist hegemon, the USA. It is this ideological enslavement inculcated into sections of demoralised workers by their own organisations, the direct opposite of “workers of the world unite”, that lay behind the successful onslaught on Labour’s heartlands in the north of England, the Midlands and Wales by the forces of petty bourgeois reaction. Very noticeable in this is the huge opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 supported by wide sections of the Labour party and trade union bureaucracy, despite the chicanery of Tony Blair and the spinelessness of the Labour MPs, and the collapse of any opposition to the imperialist-sponsored attacks on Libya and Syria by the so-called Trotskyist left apart from the Stop the War and a few small left Trotskyist groups like Socialist Fight.
The last time the Labour Party had more than half a million members was in the early 1950s when it was almost a million and the Tories had 3 million. Now the Tories have only 155,000 members. Back in the 1950s pride in Empire and defence of atrocities in Greece, in Egypt, in Kenya and Malaysia to mention a few were widespread not only in Tory ranks but in Labour too. That appalling anti-Communist bigot Ernest Bevin, former leader of the Transport and General Workers Union, who banned all communists from office in the union, had been Labour Foreign Secretary from 1945 to 1951, as jingoistic a scoundrel as ever held the office. He too was a part of the “Spirit of 45”, we might remind Ken Loach. 
Today the Chilcot Report and the whole Iraq invasion of 2003 has greatly dented support for imperialist adventures and national chauvinism in Labour ranks. And let us be clear about it. Like Vietnam in 1975 it is the mauling, if not outright defeats, in Afghanistan and Iraq, even though they achieved regime change there, that has produced this. And even though their interventions succeeded in regime change in Libya via proxy pro-imperialist rebels and failed in Syria nonetheless they have no clear-cut victories to point to where their great finance houses and transnational corporation can extract the vast profits needed to restore their rate of profit, the real source of the crisis of capitalism, particularly since 2008. Regardless of how reactionary the forces were that have inflicted this mauling on the US, the UK and the rest these are progressive defeats which strengthen the ideology of revolution by weakening national chauvinism in the ranks of organised workers in imperialist nations. The main enemy is ALWAYS at home in these metropolitan countries.
In response to Chilcot David Cameron defended the principle of invading semi-colonial nations if the circumstances warranted it in the House of Commons. Had imperialism won and imposed their will on Libya, Syria, Ukraine and Afghanistan it would they would all have been “A Splendid Little War” as the letter of Secretary of State John Hay to President Theodore Roosevelt described the 1898 Spanish American war which gained domination for the US over Cuba (Guantanamo), the Philippines and a string of islands spanning the Pacific. 
The Marxist principle still holds; we are always for the defeat of our own and every other imperialist power in its conflicts with the colonial and semi colonial countries. No exceptions and never support the ‘civilising mission’ of US-dominated global imperialism or their hired proxy armies. And absolutely no talk of any ‘dual-defeatism’ in these conflicts. That is the vital lesson we must try to bring to this new Labour Party membership.
We must also fight for strong anti-imperialist positions on Ireland and the republican POWs, wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Libya and the struggle over Ukraine. So the appeal against the ban on the IRPSG is crucial here.
Serious Marxists have been conscious that the political stability of capitalist rule in Britain is underwritten by the trade union and Labour bureaucracies.
United Front and the Transitional Method
The traditional Marxist formulation for United Front alliances is unconditional but critical support for workers’ organisations and leaderships in struggle and for anti-imperialist fighters in semi-colonial countries when they are in sharp struggle with imperialism. If that seems contradictory it’s because it is. You must support Corbyn against the main class enemy unconditionally in order to stay with his leftist followers that are inspired by his leadership. But you do understand his political reformist limitations so you point out when and where he has failed and is failing to inspire and lead. And warn of the dangers of, for instance not giving any leadership to Labour Councils to resist austerity. But emphasis must be to urge him on in so far as he is fighting. And he is obviously doing so now.
You can warn that ultimately a revolutionary leadership is needed and that capitalism is un-reformable but that is propaganda now, agitation is more immediate and must be urging on this fight. Corbyn correctly has not resigned in the face of this attack. That will be a victory for the Blairites. He will win any leadership election by an increased majority if allowed on the ballot paper. And then the struggle will commence in earnest to deselect the right wing Labour traitors.
If he then instructs a real struggle to commence against the cuts by local councils, braving imposition of outside commissioners by local mobilisation to stop closures and save jobs etc. then Labour will sweep the next election. A programme along those lines would ensure the wiping out of Ukip and a left Labour government which would raise the class struggle to a new level.
We must not adopt a syndicalist conciliation of reaction because some workers are going along with it. Here is what James Connolly said about reaction in Ireland this back in 1914, showing his instincts of how to operate a United Front and how not to were better then than most leftists today:
“… But as no good can come of blaming it, so also no good, but infinite evil, can come of truckling to it. Let the truth be told, however ugly. Here, the Orange working class are slaves in spirit because they have been reared up among a people whose conditions of servitude were more slavish than their own. In Catholic Ireland the working class are rebels in spirit and democratic in feeling because for hundreds of years they have found no class as lowly paid or as hardly treated as themselves.
At one time in the industrial world of Great Britain and Ireland the skilled labourer looked down with contempt upon the unskilled and bitterly resented his attempt to get his children taught any of the skilled trades; the feeling of the Orangemen of Ireland towards the Catholics is but a glorified representation on a big stage of the same passions inspired by the same unworthy motives. An atavistic survival of a dark and ignorant past!”
What tasks does this analysis pose for revolutionaries?
- In the first place defence of Jeremy Corbin against the attacks of the entire capitalist establishment and its agents within the labour movement.
- Fighting austerity imposed by local councils, including Labour controlled ones; to achieve this we need local Coordinating Committees to include the whole labour movement and community groups to co-ordinate the struggles against austerity.
- Recruiting to the Labour party to see off the challenges from the Labour right; deselecting these right-wing Labour traitors.
- Recruiting to Momentum and the Labour Representation Committee to build the left in Labour.
- Democratising the structure of both Labour and Momentum to ensure that this second Corbyn surge of membership is properly integrated into these organisations.
- Building the left in Momentum via recruiting and building the Labour Representation Committee.
- Ensuring that the Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement are expelled from the Labour party as agents of a foreign imperialist power hostile to the global working class, which includes Palestinians.
- Ensuring that a proper class struggle programme is adopted to begin the fightback on the question of austerity, particularly against those cuts imposed by Labour Councils.
- Fighting for anti-imperialist policies on Ireland, on the wars in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq within the LRC, Momentum and the wider Labour movement.
 The Spirit of ‘45: What Unity? Revolutionary Class Struggle Or Class Collaboration And Popular Frontism? 17/04/2013 by socialistfight, https://socialistfight.com/2013/04/17/the-spirit-of-45-what-unity-revolutionary-class-struggle-or-class-collaboration-popular-frontism-by-ret-marut/
 John Hay’s letter to President Theodore Roosevelt: “It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favoured by that Fortune which loves the brave.” http://www.nytimes.com/1991/07/09/opinion/l-credit-splendid-little-war-to-john-hay-595391.html
 See Hesitant Comrades, the Irish Revolution and the British Labour Movement, by Geoff Bell Review by Gerry Downing, https://socialistfight.com/2016/04/23/hesitant-comrades-the-irish-revolution-and-the-british-labour-movement/