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Socialist Party of Great Britain Polemic - Expelled for using The Socialist Party of Great Britain in Political propaganda.

Printed below is another document from North West London Branch, who with Camden (Bloomsbury) Branch were expelled in May 1991 for using the full name of the Party, The Socialist Party of Great Britain, in political propaganda as required by Clause 8 of the SPGB's Object and Declaration of Principles.

The document was an appeal by North West London Branch to Central Branch Members to vote against their expulsion for continuing to use the full name of the SPGB in political propaganda.

Events have proved our analysis correct. The membership of the Clapham-based Socialist Party continued to fall and sales of its journal, The SOCIALIST STANDARD continued to decline. Many of the Branches who voted for the expulsion of Camden and North West London Branches no longer exist as is the case for many of those members who voted for our expulsion in the Poll. The only beneficiary was the capitalist class.

The reconstituted Socialist Party of Great Britain who agree with and defend the OBJECT AND DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES have nothing in common with the Clapham-based Socialist Party to whom we are opposed, as we are to all other capitalist parties, "whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist".


15th February, 1991

To Central Branch Members

Dear Comrades,

When considering your vote on the Party Poll we hope you will take the following points into consideration.

a). Despite what has been said to the contrary, in our view the effect of the 1988 Conference Resolution changed the name of the Party for all propaganda purposes. The sole existence for The Socialist Party of Great Britain and our reason for joining, is to propagate Socialism and yet we are forbidden to use the Party name in all aspects of propaganda -Meetings, Literature, Handbills. Lectures etc. and even on the platform in Hyde Park the name has been changed. Only in the relatively unimportant matters of Finance etc is the name to be used. It seems strange that when you join the Party you sign a Form A in the name of The Socialist Party of Great Britain, and yet thereafter this name is never to be voiced again.

b).We were promised that the change of name for propaganda purposes - dropping the alleged nationalistic "of Great Britain" would galvanise the Party's activity. That our membership would increase as those people, who thought we were nationalistic, would now join, having seen our new name. Such is not the case. Membership dropped by 33 between December 1989 and June 1990. Socialist Standard sales are at an all time low.

c). If as is claimed, the name of the Party -The Socialist Party of Great Britain is holding us back, why was it not insisted on that the abbreviated title be used on the DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES? We tell enquirers that these Principles still represent a valid interpretation of capitalist society and the solution, and have been the sheet anchor of the Party since its formation, and yet they include the very name that we are told has held back our development.

d). We were told at the 1990 Conference that we were gradually becoming known as "The Socialist Party" and it would be premature to abandon the experiment. It is somewhat ironic that an experiment has caused the biggest upset in the Party for many years. And when do we evaluate the situation to see if the experiment has been successful or not? We were already known as The Socialist Party of Great Britain, and respected as such, and to jettison all this entails is stupid.

e). Camden and North West London Branches have not been obstructive on this issue. We have been carrying on successful Lectures -some 60 or so over the past 5 years as laid down in CLAUSE 8 of THE DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES. In many of our leaflets we have used both the Socialist Party of Great Britain and The Socialist Party, so we are not treating the Party name as if it were a religious tablet of faith. And, please, do not be misled by the charge that we are undemocratic. Many Conference resolutions are not carried through, and some Party Rules are ignored by some Branches and this is condoned by the Executive Committee.

For the future of the Socialist Party of Great Britain you should seriously vote for proposition B.

Yours fraternally

C. May

Branch Secretary

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