Socialist Fight, Ian Donovan and the Trotskyist Faction


24/02/2020 by socialistfight

Gerry Downing 24-2-20

Let us not ignore the outright fascism of Gilad Atzmon: “Fascism, I believe, more than any other ideology, deserves our attention, as it was an attempt to integrate Left and Right: the dream and the concrete into a unified political system. … It was “overwhelmingly popular and productive for a while because it managed to bridge the abyss between the ‘fantasy’ and the ‘actual.’”

We have been now forced to set up a new bank account because Ian and Turan have control of the Socialist Fight bank account and this, they believe, should give them control of the group. Ian has refused to accept the votes of the majority of the group. He has decided that John Carty is not a member and his membership subscriptions are ‘donations’ and not subscriptions. My daughter, Ella, Gareth Martin, and Charlie Walsh cannot join as candidate members for six months because he disagrees with them over what Gilad Atzmon’s politics are. He has refused to bank their subscriptions that I sent to him, said I was buying their membership and he was keeping the cheques as evidence of my ‘corruption’.

Let us not ignore the outright fascism of Gilad Atzmon: “Fascism, I believe, more than any other ideology, deserves our attention, as it was an attempt to integrate Left and Right: the dream and the concrete into a unified political system. … It was “overwhelmingly popular and productive for a while because it managed to bridge the abyss between the ‘fantasy’ and the ‘actual.’”

He vilely abused Gareth Martin, a Trotskyist militant South African anti-Apartheid fighter of more than two decades standing  as a, “little white colonial boy” and therefore a supporter of Zionism in an ad hominem attack with no evidence at all apart from his ridiculous ‘cultural heritage’ notions, gleaned from the far-rightist Gilad Atzmon, that your politics depends on who your parents and ancestors are and where you are born.

Labour MP Jess Phillips has spoken of her determination to see Labour win the 2020 general election, saying she would knife Jeremy Corbyn “in the front, not the back” if it looks like he is damaging the party’s chances of electoral success.
That should have resulted in a criminal prosecution as an incitement to violence. For Ian Donovan to compare my daughter to this vile woman is an abomination.

He has vilely abused my Trotskyist daughter Ella as a ‘Zionist infiltrator’ into Socialist fight and a supporter of Hilary Clinton and right wing Zionist witch hunter Jess Philips because she grew up with Jewish children as neighbours and did not hate and despise them as Jews, apparently. He has vilely abused Dov Winter, a Jewish Trotskyist militant of some half a century standing as a supporter of the genocide of the native Americans and wrote that he had “pulled that out of your arse” stuff when he pointed out apologising for Gilad Atzmon’s support for the KKK man Davis Duke was unacceptable in a Trotskyist group. He had likewise roundly abused our supporters Alonso in France, also of Jewish heritage, and Wilhelm in Holland.

If comrades who support the Trotskyist Faction want to remain in Socialist Fight they must break with Ian. We cannot put up with those who support the defenders of fascists and far-rightist Holocaust deniers. The evidence is there since the issue first emerged in September 2019 and we have made our positions on this very clear, as have our supporters in Holland, France and the USA. We are sorry that those comrades in Britain have gone along with Ian in his increasing open flirtations with fascism, we are sorry comrades in Brazil and Argentina have not take a position on this yet, but we urge them to do so now without delay. All the material is there online on which to make their decisions.

I have blocked Ian and Turan from all groups I administer because this endless conflict is going nowhere, and we need to get on with the class struggle internationally now. And Ian’s diktat has made it impossible to resolve the issue democratically; he does not recognise democratic votes.  No further clarification is needed, the majority of Socialist Fight has now decided that the time had come to openly split and expel those former comrades who decided that the “Jewish-Zionist bourgeoisie” rule the world and the dangers from them was far more important than the dangers from the state itself and outright fascist forces now being actively encouraged in the USA by Donald Trump, by Boris Johnson in Britain and many others like Viktor Orbán in Hungary.

Moreover, we have decided to distance ourselves from Ian as far as possible. He is showing signs of mental breakdown again and the violence of the verbal abuse directed against Socialist Fight and our supporters has raised fears within the group that we might be in for a repeat of the 1999 Bloody Sunday incident as recounted by Workers Hammer:

Ian Donovan is a dangerous lunatic!

Condemn violent assault by pro-imperialist “socialist” at Bloody Sunday demonstration

In a 2 February Spartacist League (SL) statement, distributed widely among the left and workers movement, we condemned the physical attack by Ian Donovan against our comrade Eibhlin McDonald at the 30 January Bloody Sunday demonstration in London. Donovan publishes Revolution & Truth and is the chair of the London Socialist Alliance. Tile argument preceding the attack was over the politics of the Socialist Party (SP), an organisation which Donovan defends and which we have scandalised for their outright pro-imperialist line on Northern Ireland. Our statement described how:

“Unable to politically defend the Socialist Party’s support to the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Northern Ireland, Donovan responded by driving his fist into McDonald’s face, in the midst of a 500-strong protest against British oppression in North-ern Ireland. When McDonald shouted that she had been hit, demonstration stewards came quickly, found the cowardly bully Donovan and cautioned him. Dripping blood from the gash over her right eye, McDonald was taken to a nearby hospital where she was x-rayed and given stitches.”

At the time of the attack we made it clear that we refuse to involve the capitalist state in the affairs of the workers’ movement. As an act of principle and as a service to the left, we remain determined to widely expose and condemn Donovan’s thug attack. Donovan is mentally unhinged and dangerous. Acts of violence against political opponents on the left have no place in the workers’ movement.!

“Socialists” for the RUC

Northern Ireland is a litmus test for revolutionaries in Britain. Karl Marx insisted that the working class in Britain must oppose imperialism in Ireland and must understand that the ruling class uses chauvinism over Ireland to maintain its rule in Ireland and in England. We fight for immediate, unconditional withdrawal of British troops and we have opposed the imperialist “peace” fraud from the outset.

In the argument preceding the assault, McDonald cited the Socialist Party’s grotesque line on the RUC, whom they described in the wake of the Omagh bombing as “a bunch of scared young men, thrown into a horror they couldn’t cope with” (Socialist Voice Special bulletin, August 1998). She suggested that Donovan should form a contingent with the Socialist Party and write on their banner “‘Socialists’ for the RUC!” As our statement pointed out, “Politically [Donovan] is a Labourite toady and apologist for British imperialism, in the tradition of Arthur Henderson who led the cheering in parliament when James Connolly was shot by a British firing squad. The Labourite Socialist Party which Donovan defends upholds this chauvinist tradition – they are notorious for refusing to call for British troops out of Northern Ireland and for sponsoring fascistic Loyalist Billy Hutchinson in their meetings.” Donovan’s assault was designed to silence political exposure of these wretched politics. He enthuses over the SP saying, “A key task of a revolutionary tendency in Britain at the moment is to establish comradely political relations with Socialist Party militants” (Revolution & Truth Issue I, Sumner 1998).

From Workers Hammer No 167 March/April 1999 Newspaper of the Spartacist League

2 thoughts on “Socialist Fight, Ian Donovan and the Trotskyist Faction

  1. Ghost of Sven Gøllÿ says:

    Ian, it’s too late for you to make a graceful exit, but it’s not too late for you to make an exit.

    The idea that being the treasurer of an organisation vouchsafeth upon you a sudden unilateral power to determine at whim who can or cannot be a member of that organisation by whether or not you personally feel like depositing their subscriptions that day —

    Have you considered the possibility that you’re simply unsuited for organised expressions of Marxism? Because your track record at it is a tale of woe from top to toe.


  2. Ghost of Sven Gøllÿ says:

    Ian Donovan’s new motto: “To Obscurity — and Beyond!”


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