Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The New Vanguardists: an analysis of Militant Tendency and its involvement in Liverpool in the 1970s and 1980s

Ferguson, James

The New Vanguardists: an analysis of Militant Tendency and its involvement in Liverpool in the 1970s and 1980s Thumbnail


Authors

James Ferguson



Contributors

Robert Ladrech
Supervisor

Abstract

The case study describes and analyses the taking of power by a Trotskyist entryist group in the Liverpool Labour Party and subsequently Liverpool City Council in the 1980s. The case study looks at the model of a vanguardist party and how it takes power and then how it exercises and retains power in a pluralist society.

It analyses the confrontation between the Conservative Government led by Margaret Thatcher and the Militant led Council. Militant claimed that it was a second oppositional front along with the miners’ strike, both ending in failure in 1985. The conclusions are a critique of how the leadership of the national Labour Party failed to construct political boundaries thus allowing Militant to grow unchecked, reaching a membership of approx. 8,000 before action was taken against it. A selected number of members of Militant were expelled and together with others left the Labour party in 1991. Militant then operated as an independent organisation in various forms until 1997 when it created the Socialist Party of England and Wales and renamed its paper “The Socialist”. This thesis is a case study into how a Trotskyist administration functions, albeit in one city and how the application of Trotskyist theories shaped these events.

Thesis Type Thesis
Publication Date 2021-06
Publicly Available Date May 30, 2023

Files








Downloadable Citations