by Steve Wallis
December 2004 – March 2005
The following is the contents of one side of a leaflet, or part of a document that I have often distributed (sometimes with minor editing differences):
Oppose the fascist BNP students
(who infiltrated the Socialist Workers Party and led their student society last year)
Manchester University student Joe Finnan and Manchester Metropolitan University student Diane Stoker are both members of the fascist British National Party (BNP) who infiltrated the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) – linked to the Socialist Worker platform of the Scottish Socialist Party – for the whole of the last academic year, and played leading roles in the SWP’s student wing, the Socialist Worker Student Society (SWSS). Both of the infiltrators attended the SWP’s national conference, and they were seriously involved in the most important organisations the SWP got involved with: Respect from its formation, the Stop the War Coalition, Manchester Against Racism, Unite Against Fascism (UAF) and Globalise Resistance. BNP infiltrator Finnan became the treasurer for Respect North West (which accumulated a debt from the European elections of about £300,000 that forced the SWP to sell their printing press that they had used to obtain a lot of money from commercial printing over the years, so that their largely middle class membership didn’t need to pay high levels of subs, and they are now trying to sell their centre and are appealing for £150,000 to move somewhere smaller). The SWP allowed them unlimited access to membership lists, petitions, email groups and other internal information of all these organisations at quite a high level, and put them in charge of recruitment for the anti-capitalist organisation Globalise Resistance at the SWP’s summer event Marxism 2004. UAF national secretary Weyman Bennett regarded them as close friends and often contacted them for advice, according to the BNP.
I got most of my information on the BNP’s infiltration of the SWP from the internet, since I am not aware of ever meeting them. Visit the archive of www.socialistunitynetwork.co.uk and a Workers Power page for left-wing perspectives on their infiltration, and a page on the BNP's website gloating about their achievement. [Some anti-fascists may object to me providing a link to a page on a fascist website, on the basis of “no platform for fascists”, but it is important to know your enemy and it is so straightforward to search the internet that anybody who wanted to could search out this page (which is actually informative enough to be worth looking at). Besides, I cannot imagine anybody except the most die-hard agent of big business reading my material and becoming converted to fascism by reading the BNP’s simplistic policies.]
Both of the fascists have returned to university this year and they must be prevented from building a BNP branch in Manchester. Both lecturers’ unions, the AUT and NATFHE, are opposed to teaching fascists, but whether the local branches of those unions or of the National Union of Students are able to take strong action against them remains to be seen. The main aim of fascism is to attack organisations of the working class, which is why the Nazis were funded in Germany by big business.
Infiltration and wrecking of the Militant Tendency
It is only to be expected that any serious political organisation would face infiltration by conspiratorial organisations opposed to it in order to spy on its activities, gather names and addresses, etc. However, it is generally assumed that the infiltrators only indulge in spying on it rather than subverting it from within. Nevertheless, if a left-wing organisation/party was of a sufficient threat to big business (or was thought to be likely to become such a threat in the future if left unchecked) then it would clearly be desirable from their point of view to try to wreck it by any means possible. The most serious infiltration would be undertaken by an organisation more secretive than MI5 or the CIA, so that a whistleblower like Richard Tomlinson or David Shayler could not spill the beans.
The Militant Tendency was a very serious threat to big business in the 1980s and early 1990s, due to its roles in leading Liverpool’s Labour Council and the mass poll tax non-payment campaign, which inflicted on Margaret Thatcher her only two serious defeats – winning extra money for Liverpool in the first year, and defeating the poll tax sweeping her out of office. Huge ‘mistakes’ were made in both campaigns – redundancy notices were sent out to the entire workforce in Liverpool supposedly to buy time, and after the poll tax riot in 1990 the Anti-Poll Tax Federation Secretary Steve Nally said on national TV that there would be an investigation which would ‘name names’. In my opinion, big business had predicted that Militant would become strong, planted infiltrators within the organisation and kept most of them in place as it (now called the Socialist Party) massively shrunk in size, largely due to the actions of the infiltrators. Its failure in 1998 to support the proposal of Scottish Militant Labour (SML) to set up the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), and the irrational reasons used to justify its opposition, indicated that the infiltrators were dominating that once powerful organisation. However, the Socialist Party is still quite strong in some areas, particularly where it has councillors, so a revival cannot be ruled out. More significantly, I believe that the platform of the SSP that arose from SML (the ISM) will play a leading role in enabling the SSP to lead a revolution in Scotland, and that the Scottish socialist revolution will quickly spread around the world.
Although the BNP have toyed with a bit of infiltration, quite possibly for the first time, another fascist organisation called the National Revolutionary Faction (NRF) have been doing it extremely seriously for years. A few years ago, it was revealed on the “UK Left Network” mailing list that two members of London Socialist Alliance, who were leaders of the South London Republican Forum and called themselves revolutionary socialists, had been collaborating with the NRF for about a year. Somebody else on the list found a page on their website (which has since been removed) giving advice to fascist cadres for infiltrating organisations in society, including those of the left (but also others in society such as the police, the NHS and education). The NRF had (and presumably still has) a complicated hierarchical structure with several layers corresponding to different depths they had reached within the organisations they were infiltrating. I produced a draft resolution against state/fascist infiltration based on the discussion, which you can find on my website. This discussion proved very useful in starting to publicise my ideas about the infiltration that takes place in society and I wrote the first version of my “Socialism and Conspiracies” document soon after. Unfortunately, I have since been chucked off that list (and another list on which the discussion took place). If you have enjoyed reading this message, and want to read more of my views about infiltration by conspiratorial organisations on the side of the two key classes: big business (to try to stop a world socialist revolution) and the working class (to neutralise those on the side of big business enabling a revolution to take place), as well as other vested interests such as fascism, the middle class and Islamic fundamentalism, you can read the most recent version of that document.
Note: I have placed the text of a web page taken from the now defunct National Revolutionary Faction website (nationalbolshevik.com) providing their “advice for cadres engaged in subversive activity”, which I retrieved from a message on the UK Left Network, in a file on this website. The Wikipedia (on-line encyclopaedia) describes the NRF as a “national-anarchist” organisation and says it no longer exists. However its founder Troy Southgate has set up an organisation called the Cercle de la Rose Noire, which also describes itself as national-anarchist but incorporates some weird mystical ideas and produces a journal called Synthesis; its home page credits the NRF as a contributor and it seems that the NRF still exists but is operating underground. It would obviously be ridiculous to wind such an organisation up, when its methods look so effective...