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LRB · Jenny Turner · Who Are They?: The Institute of Ideas
The Battle of Ideas has been held annually since 2005 by the Institute of Ideas, an organisation that from the outside looks pretty much like a standard right-wing public policy think tank – much talk about ‘free speech, not me speech’ and ‘the crisis in authority’, much condemnation of ‘greenthink’ and ‘meddling policymakers’ – but which also functions as some sort of platform and refuge for people who used to be in the Revolutionary Communist Party, a British Trotskyist sect that had its heyday in the 1980s and early 1990s. The RCP formally disbanded in 1997, but a loose bunch of former members still hang out together, producing the webzine Spiked, setting up media training for teens (Debating Matters, Young Journalists’ Academy, a ‘programme for London state-school pupils who have the passion and the guts, but not “the right contacts”’) and a confusing cloud of other organisations: the Manifesto Club, WorldWrite, Audacity.org, the Modern Movement, Parents with Attitude … Back in the day, members of Trot groups would ‘enter’ – join and manipulate – bigger organisations in order to gear up their influence, on the way, they hoped, to world revolution. These days, though, it isn’t clear what the Continuity RCP is after, except that someone, somewhere, really likes setting things up.
trotskyism  spiked  sects  from instapaper
september 2018 by max_read
A platform for working class unity? The Revolutionary Communist Party’s Red Front and the 1987 election – Hatful of History
Why is the Red Front worth revisiting historically? The RCP, for better or worse, was one of the most infamous left-wing groups in Britain during the 1980s and 1990s and their influence has reverberated far beyond their relative size in the two decades since dissolving. The Red Front was an episode in the RCP’s history when the group attempted to break out of its contrarian persona and whether sincere or not, tried to build links with other leftist groups and activists. Initiatives to build unity across the British far left have occurred throughout the twentieth century (and even into the twenty-first), usually in times of ascendency, and have almost always failed. The Red Front is an interesting example of this at a time when the British left was in retreat in the face of Thatcherism.
RCP  RevolutionaryCommunistParty  Spiked  LabourParty  KinnockNeil  RedFront  LivingMarxism  libertarianism  AIDS  TheNextStep  TheLeft  FurediFrank 
november 2017 by petej
Class struggle: how identity politics divided a campus
At the end of the day, Amanda and 40 other students crowded into the office of President John Kroger and presented him with 25 demands. President Kroger praised them for their ‘tireless work on the critically important issues they have raised’, and sat down on the floor with them, a cup of coffee at hand, as he took notes on a legal pad. The following day, he led a five-hour meeting with students, faculty and administrators to discuss the demands and later detailed his progress in two monthly updates: The college would make efforts to hire more diverse faculty, health counsellors, tutors and mentors, and he announced a new summer internship programme for marginalised students. The college would move up the decennial review of its humanities programme, Hum 110, which protesters claimed was Eurocentric and racist. Henceforth, Amanda and other students who had been placed on academic probation would be allowed to hold elective student office. (The school apologised for being unable to find an appropriate synonym for ‘probation’, which some students found pejorative.)
Spiked  Reed 
october 2017 by nightcrawler

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