John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.

John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Financial Appeal

We're up and running! An appeal for funds to kickstart the IS Network

Financial Appeal

Towards a strategy for Left Unity: Lessons from the European Left (pamphlet)

This pamphlet was produced by the Left Unity working group in the International Socialist Network. The Left Unity working group is made up of IS Network members who are active in Left Unity. As with most things, there is an extremely diverse range of views within the IS Network on Left Unity and broader questions of left strategy and tactics. The LU working group hopes that this pamphlet will contribute to a debate within Left Unity and the wider left on some of the crucial issues facing us in Britain and internationally.

Download the pamphlet here

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IS Network members standing in Left Unity National Council elections

Voting for the National Council of Left Unity is now open. To vote you will need your Left Unity membership number in addition to a 'ballot code' which you should have received in an email titled 'Left Unity Elections'.

Below is a list of International Socialist Network members that are standing for positions on the council with links to their election statements. We also invite IS Network members to submit statements of support for individual candidates to editorial@internationalsocialistnetwork.org. These will then be published on the site and circulated to members.

IS Network members standing in Left Unity National Council elections:

Tom Walker (Media Officer)
Tim Nelson/Oliver New (Trade Union Officer, jobshare)
Simon Hardy (Directly-elected section and London region)
Steve Freeman (Directly-elected section)
Kat Burdon Manley (Wales)
James Non (Appeals Committee)


Voting closes at midnight on the 23rd March.

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Socialist Resistance: Statement on unity: The way forward for revolutionary unity

In preparation for the meeting held on Saturday 8 Feb as part of the unity process the IS Network is currently engaged in it was decided that each organisation should produce a statement, which they felt would present a basis for unity and realignment in preparation for the upcoming unity conference. The following statement is the product of that.

Divisions on the far left have long been damaging for the wider struggle. The current situation in anti-cuts campaigning (for example) directly reflects the divisions in the far left. The SWP has Unite the Resistance (which actually does precisely the opposite) and the Socialist Party has its Shop Stewards Network. The Peoples Assembly is an attempt to unite across these divides, which is hugely important, but the old disunity still weakens the movement.

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Workers Power: Statement on unity: Towards revolutionary unity

In preparation for the meeting held on Saturday 8 Feb as part of the unity process the IS Network is currently engaged in it was decided that each organisation should produce a statement, which they felt would present a basis for unity and realignment in preparation for the upcoming unity conference. The following statement is the product of that.

For more than a year the crisis of the revolutionary left has centred on the Socialist Workers Party. Sparked by the mishandling of accusations of rape and harassment by women comrades, the leadership’s attempts to suppress opposition resulted in expulsions, factional struggles and two serious splits.

This has led to widespread accusations that the revolutionary left at large is characterised by an abusive attitude to women and dictatorial and undemocratic regimes. It is true that such attitudes and practices are far from being restricted to the SWP: it is not true that all revolutionary organisations and traditions in the UK can be characterised in this way.

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IS Network: Statement on unity

In preparation for the meeting held on Saturday 8 Feb as part of the unity process the IS Network is currently engaged in it was decided that each organisation should produce a statement, which they felt would present a basis for unity and realignment in preparation for the upcoming unity conference. The following statement is the product of that.

The revolutionary left in the UK is at a juncture that presents the possibility of the creation of new and exciting forms of organisation, but that also presents the possibility of further disintegration, demoralisation and ineffectiveness. This juncture has been created not just by the recent crisis in the SWP but by a long-term trend of the shrinking of the revolutionary left, linked to a number of factors but largely influenced by the state of class struggle.

We believe that the right response to this is to try to bring as many individuals and groups together into a new project as possible. We believe that one of the key strengths of the IS Network since its launch has been its openness and its willingness to rethink ideas and practices, within a shared framework, and we want to carry this process on alongside others.

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Workers Power: Toward Revolutionary Unity


For more than a year the crisis of the revolutionary left has centred on the Socialist Workers Party. Sparked by the mishandling of accusations of rape and harassment by women comrades, the leadership’s attempts to suppress opposition resulted in expulsions, factional struggles and two serious splits.

This has led to widespread accusations that the revolutionary left at large is characterised by an abusive attitude to women and dictatorial and undemocratic regimes. It is true that such attitudes and practices are far from being restricted to the SWP: it is not true that all revolutionary organisations and traditions in the UK can be characterised in this way.

Add a comment

Read more: Workers Power: Toward Revolutionary Unity