The present political situation in the Workers Revolutionary Party has produced the biggest crisis in the International Committee of the Fourth International since its formation in 1953.
What is in danger are all the achievements made in the decades-long struggle to build the Trotskyist movement in Britain and internationally. None of those gains would have been made without the protracted and difficult struggle against Stalinism and Pabloite revisionism in which the leadership of the WRP and its predecessor the Socialist Labour League played the decisive role.
All the sections of the ICFI were formed as a result of the struggle by the British comrades against the attempt of Pabloite revisionism to liquidate Trotskyism.
At the root of the present crisis which erupted with the exposure of the corrupt practices of G. Healy and the attempt by the WRP Political Committee to cover them up, is the prolonged drift of the WRP leadership away from the strategical task of the building of the world party of socialist revolution towards an increasingly nationalist perspective and practice.
Once the corrupt practices of G. Healy were revealed in the June 30th letter of Comrade A. Jennings, the WRP Political Committee refused to confront the crisis in the Party in a principled manner.
Rejecting collaboration with its international comrades, and co-thinkers in the ICFI, the WRP Political Committee began a systematic campaign to cover up Healy’s corruption both from the ICFI and the WRP Central Committee.
A meeting of the ICFI scheduled for July, to which evidence of Healy’s corruption could have been presented, including his signed statement acknowledging the truth of the allegations, was cancelled.
The ICFI meeting of August 17th was given a false report of the financial crisis of the WRP. This bogus report was used to obtain pledges from the ICFI sections totalling £82,000 to assist the WRP. Not a word was said about the allegations of Healy’s corruption, although all members of the WRP Political Committee knew them to be true.
Had the issue of Healy’s corruption been brought to the ICFI, a proper investigation could have been carried out through the committees of the WRP and the ICFI.
The WRP Political Committee opposed this course of action, and instead worked to suppress the Jennings’ letter, and prevent Party members from exercising their constitutional right to have a Control Commission investigation into Healy.
As a result there is now within the WRP a justified mistrust of the leadership, a breakdown of discipline in Party bodies, and the disruption of Party work.
The first step towards overcoming the crisis in the WRP is the recognition by its leadership and membership that it requires the closest collaboration with its co-thinkers in the ICFI.
In the past the WRP has correctly urged its international comrades to always begin from the needs of the world party and not from narrow national considerations.
Now the ICFI calls on all leaders and members of the WRP, whatever their legitimate differences on perspective and programme, to subordinate themselves to the discipline of our international movement and uphold its authority.
If this is not done, there is the imminent danger of a split without clarity on issues of principle and programme. Such a split would severely weaken the Party and create the conditions for provocations against the WRP and other sections of the ICFI.
Certainly the section which has played the leading role in exposing the activities of the agencies of imperialism and Stalinism in the Trotskyist movement cannot be unmindful of the dangers inherent in the present situation.
Political differences should be neither suppressed nor concealed. They exist and must be openly and fully discussed in a Party united under the leadership of the ICFI and the Central Committee of the WRP. In this way the cadre of the WRP and the entire international movement can be educated and the present crisis overcome in a way which will bring gains for the ICFI as a whole.
The ICFI puts forward the following measures:
(1) The re-registration of the membership of the WRP on the basis of an explicit recognition of the political authority of the ICFI and the subordination of the British section to its decisions.
(2) Full collaboration by every member of the WRP with an International Control Commission to investigate, but not limited to, the corruption of G. Healy, the cover-up by the Political Committee and the financial crisis of the WRP.
(3) All charges against members of either the minority or majority factions, which have arisen as a result of the eruption of the crisis in the Party shall be referred to the International Control Commission.
All disputes are internal to the WRP and the ICFI, and must remain so. The operation of this agreement shall be regulated by the ICFI and all violations shall be promptly reported to the International Control Commission which shall complete its report by 1st January 1986.
Upon acceptance of these proposals preparations must be made for the 8th Congress of the WRP early in 1986, starting with the circulation of documents by both the Majority and Minority tendencies.
We recognize that our British comrades work under enormous class pressures generated by the ruling class of the oldest capitalist country. These can be surmounted only on the basis of a truly internationalist practice.
We again appeal to all members of the WRP to recognize their historic responsibilities to the Fourth International, the international implications of their decisions, and to therefore accept these proposals.