National Sections of the L5I:

An outline of the evidence that reveals how the International Minority Faction planned to split the League

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In the last few days the International Secretariat received leaked documents from the International Faction E-group.

They revealed – leaving no room for doubt - that the International Faction were carrying out a systematic campaign to split the League and inflict maximum damage in their departure.

The International Secretariat acted swiftly passing an emergency resolution expelling the splitters.

The leaked documents will be published in their entirety but with email addresses and surnames removed.

Here we give a summation and commentary of the key breaches of discipline, party loyalty and working class morality the documents reveal.

The agreement they made to split

It is clear from the evidence that the Minority Faction in Workers Power Britain agreed at their meeting on the 10th June that they would split from the League. This is clear from the following emails.

In an email from Bill he makes reference to “implementing the agreement [made] at the faction meeting” and essentially says the Faction list itself exists to implement this plan:

“the only point of having a separate list is so that we can sort anything we may need to in confidence, as and when we come to the point that we need to implement our agreement at the faction meeting.” (Bill J, “Re: Manchester Contact”, June 13th 2006)

Michelle from Workers Power Australia then posts six days later indicating that she is at the very least partially aware of the decision made at the Minority Faction meeting at the Aggregate when she says:

“…I guess that’s one of the reasons I’m posting this - in order to flesh out some of the decisions that have been made, and to be able to guage exactly where we’re at as a faction. I guess the other real reasons are to throw some ideas out, and see what comes back, and to create discussion that will involve/illuminate international faction comrades - we would like to participate and help shape the discussions and decisions that come out of this critical time in the LFI.”

She continues by making it explicitly clear where she, and she argues, the other three comrades from the Australian section, stand when she says:

“I think we are currently faced with a decision - not of ‘do we split’, but ‘when do we split’ - that’s certainly the feeling on this side of the world, anyhow... and if this is the case internationally, then I guess it’s time that we start to discuss this more seriously - particularly the options we are faced with, and how tactically” (Michelle R, ‘Faction Planning’, 19th June 2006)

This is the first explicit reference to the plans to split the League. It is clear from the posts that follow from each International Minority Faction member that this was clearly the “agreement” Bill had referred to in his post on the 13th June (ibid).

When to split? The argument over whether to go to Congress

Michelle’s email quoted above not only was the first in the leaked emails to explicitly raise the question of the split but it also argued very strongly that the split should occur prior to the Congress.

Instead of attending the congress, she argued, the Faction should hold an international founding conference for their new organization:
“I guess the real question at the end of the day is do we wait and attend congress, or do we split earlier and use the time, and the resources otherwise spent in Prague to meet in London and establish a new group? There are obviously benefits to both tactics, but I tend to think that a split sooner, rather than later will serve us better in the foundation of a new Revolutionary organization… We need to use the congress period to have an international meeting of faction supporters - of splitters - to found the new organisation...” (Michelle R, ‘Faction Planning’, 19th june 2006).

This sparks a debate within the International Faction. Jason and James immediately come back and stress their agreement with Michelle in emails on the 19th June, but the following day on the 20th June Stuart K argues against the proposals. He demonstrates that he still knows what principle is in so far as he is able to accurately predict the principled response the League would take to such action:
“I think comrades are being too impatient in wanting an immediate break and not wanting to go to Congress. If we just left before congress we would be rightly branded as failing to take our arguments to the international, the highest body in the group. The IS would brand us as cowards who had so little support that we did not dare to show up and argue our case. And our first period of existence would be having to counter this argument and explain why we left.” (Stuart K, ‘Congress and Tactics’, 20th June 2006)

Stuart then proposes a series of changes to the international perspectives that would have the effect of moving them closer to the majority perspectives and, on the question of the League’s structure, he proposes getting rid of their centrist proposal for a federalist structure for the League’s International Executive Committee.

However, it is clear that for Stuart this is not perceived as a principled move by the Faction but rather as merely one that would make them appear more reasonable, the Majority more intransigent, and give them the veneer of a moral high ground which would:

“…hold a gun to their heads based on the fact that status quo will worsen the crisis and lead to splits - ie we will be the ones looking for unity and demanding compromises from the IS majority. They will be intransigent and hopefully drive those seeking a compromise to our side.” (ibid)

He continues –
“We will weigh up the results of all this at congress even to the point of putting a slate to the IEC. But if we judge that the perspectives continue to be wrong, the tasks not based on reality and the internal regime guaranteed to exacerbate the factionalism and crisis leading to demoralisation and splits then we will say this openly - call a meeting and explain why we can no longer stay in the League. This seems to me a perfectly principled and non antagonistic way to separate and found a new organisation. We will say the international class struggle will prove who is right and who is wrong.” (ibid)

Following this email several comrades reply, registering agreement with Stuart’s proposals, however, Keith H in particular argues that Stuart does not explicitly rule out staying beyond the Congress and he should:
“Suggesting a minority of faction IS members on an IS (and IEC) presupposes that we agree to work on after Congress as a loyal minority based on the majority documents being adopted. This is not realistic. We will not keep the faction together after Congress in this scenario; comrades will walk. We need to be clear: if the Congress adopts the IS/IEC documents then we will not be part of any leadership; we will be out. The higher good is to put our ideas out into the public domain and let history decide. To suggest parity on leading bodies even on the basis of winning a majority for the faction documents is possible but unrealistic; they will insist on us taking over (assuming they do not walk out in such a scenario). In short Stuart’s scenario assumes another three years as a minority.”

In presenting this proposal it was clear that Stuart was coming close to violating an agreement that already been made at the WPB Minority Faction meeting on the 10th June.

In response to a posting from Lisa (WPA) on requesting that what agreed was explicitly spelt out Bill replies:
“at the meeting held at the aggregate the faction reached a consensus that a split was inevitable. There was no discussion around the timing of that split, essentially the debate was around whether or not we stayed until Congress, but no resolution was reached on this, the general view was it depended on events and our assessment of the value of attending Congress, in terms of who we could win out of it, consolidating ourselves and so on. I agree with Keith there is no value in entertaining the idea that we will remain after Congress. For me Congress is the latest date for a split, whether we go or not before then is a tactical question.” (Bill J, “Re” Congress and Tactics”, 22nd June 2006)

At this stage in the discussion, on the 22nd June, the majority of the International Faction appeared set on going to the congress. Even Mark, who later rallies the Faction into breaking before the Congress, gave instructions to Workers Power Australia for them to put forward all the amendments from Faction members to the congress ‘whether they agree with them or not’ in an email sent on the 22nd June (Mark H, ‘australian aggregate’, June 22nd 2006).

On the 22nd June Stuart also clarified his original post by making it clear that he had no intention of staying loyal to the League after the Congress and his proposals for appearing reasonable were merely opportunistic attempts to appeal to what he calls ‘the middle ground’ and the ‘softs’ (Stuart K, ‘Congress Tactics’, 22nd June).

What was clear from all of this discussion was that it really was a question of when and not if for the International Faction. Furthermore, Kirsty goes as far as saying that breaking with the League was ‘the logical conclusion of their struggle’ (Kirsty P, ‘Re: Congress Tactics’, June 22nd 2006) perhaps indicating that at least some of the International Faction had a split as a goal from the moment they commenced the tendency struggle in Workers Power.

Making preparations for a ‘new organisation’

In a post from Dan on the 13th June it was clear that they had begun preparing contact lists for their new organization when he boasted he had “spent the last two hours taking down all the email contacts from the Revo UK and World Revo egroups.” (Dan J, “Re: Manchester Contact”, 13th June 2006).

In the minutes of the Faction leadership they confirmed that they planned to raid League and Revo contact lists for future use in their new organization:
“All comrades must make sure they can collect as many contact lists that they have access to as soon as possible. Some comrades have already done this.” (Dave E, ‘minutes of meeting held 19th June’, 22nd June 2006)

The same minutes also showed that the Faction had made preparations for a new website: “Helen and Keith H to organise team to start web site. Michelle has necessary skills for this as well. Dave E is also able to be part of a web site team.” (ibid) Furthermore, they had plans for a new journal and had begun collating their ‘documents of struggle’ for publication (ibid). Their new journal would be produced in September (Keith H, ‘Re: congress and tactics’, 23rd June 2006 and Stuart K, Congress Tactics, 23rd June 2006).

The Faction had also begun transferring money into the Manchester branch’s bank account in preparation for their new organization (John C, ‘Finances’, 21st June 2006).

Most scandalously, Stuart argues that no matter when they decide to split they should claim all the money for their airfares to Prague including the airfares for the Australian Faction members, effectively a proposal to steal money from the League (Stuart K, ‘Congress Tactics’, 23rd June 2006). He also proposes canceling their July subs, a clear intention that he is only in favour of delaying rather than avoiding a split with the League (Stuart K, ibid).

They also planned to send a 4,000 word statement to the Weekly Worker when they split from the organization (Stuart K, ibid, 23rd June).

All of this showed not only their complete contempt for the League’s democratic highest organ the congress, which they sought to use merely as a platform with which to maximize the numbers for the split campaign, but also the bankruptcy of their political arguments and their own confidence in their ability to win those arguments. Indeed, they question of politics or principles guiding their actions appear nowhere in the leaked emails.

Mark H’s disgraceful email on the 23rd June

Up until the 23rd June the postings on the International Faction e-group showed that they were clearly divided as to when to split with Stuart and Keith pushing for them to attend the Congress and Michelle arguing that they use the time to hold a founding meeting.

It was the intervention of Mark H, who, like Stuart K and Keith H, has been a leading cadre of the organization over its life, which changed the course of the debate. His email revealed that, despite once being a respected and honourable revolutionary, the factional struggle had led not only to his political degeneration but his moral degeneration too.

He showed his complete disregard for the League’s democracy by claiming that Congress would be “meaningless. By my reckoning we will have 11 definite delegates. The majority will have at the very least 20 hard core immovable supporters. There may be in the region of three or four waverers (at most). That means we have lost, in advance. The maths are that simple.” (Mark H, “re: Congress and Tactics”, 23rd June 2006).

In a stroke the congress is declared ‘meaningless’ because… the Faction have lost the political argument within the League. What a disdainful approach to working class democracy.

He continues by putting forward practical arguments for them having meeting to form their new organization during Congress and stresses the need to ‘hit the ground running’ (Mark H, ibid). Curiously, he claims that one of the central tasks of their opening conference would be to agree a ‘unified approach to the new workers party tactic to cement the unity of our new organisation’ (Mark H, ibid). How this is possible when they have been consistently divided on the question we wonder, but this not our problem anymore.

Mark then, in response to Stuart argues incredibly, that the ‘vast majority of the left won’t give a monkey’s uncle about the formalities of exactly when we split and whether we observed the niceties of procedure. They will want to know why we split” (Mark H, ibid). This is an incredible statement, to claim that the working class and the left have complete disregard to how political arguments are conducted, whether they are done so in comradely and fair fashion, with respect to the norms of working class democracy and morality. All these questions seem reduced by the Faction to ‘tactics’.

Mark H then claims the Majority will be reduced to a ‘desperate rump’ when they leave! Incredibly, he says the ‘opportunities for growth lie outside the League’ when the great majority of the International Faction have not recruited anyone for years.

However, it is his concluding statements, on the ‘tasks for July’ where he makes his most contemptible proposals. He argues the Faction face two tasks:
“1) the formation of a viable new organisation
2) the maximisation of chaos and disarray in the ranks of the organisation
we leave behind.” (Mark H, ibid)

He concedes the ‘second objective requires a strong stomach’ before proceeding to make list of morally reprehensible tasks. All class conscious militants and anticapitalist activists will be rightly repulsed by what he proposes driving comrades out of politics:
“conducting as ruthless a war on every majority individual between now and the date we set to split in order to disorient and demoralise them. We should be particularly aggressive towards the majority’s extremely flaky base of support. We should make them ask themselves whether or not politics is really for them;” (Mark H, ibid)

He expresses the hope that their departure will financially cripple the League, wishing homelessness and the doll-que on our full timers:
“depriving them at a single stroke of the bulk of their income and pushing them towards financial ruin, forcing them to sack their full timers, cease their publications, give up their office etc.” (Mark H, ibid)

It is incredible that a comrade who served as a Workers Power full timer for twenty-two years could look forward to the sacking of full timers with such glee.

He then proposes using the investigation being carried out by the Workers Power leadership into accusations of bullying and oppressive behaviour by the Manchester branch towards two supporters of the Workers Power and League leadership as a pre-text to launch a split (Mark H, ibid).

Mark’s call to be ‘particularly aggressive’ to the Majority’s members to drive them out puts these accusations of bullying and oppressive behaviour in a new and deeply incriminating context. As if he could not go any lower, he continues:

“Comrades in London should, if at all possible, get everything of any use to use from both the office and from any stores, branch organisers etc (materials, contact lists, equipment etc) in the week between the NC and the faction meeting and all comrades should cancel their subs to WP and to the paper account in that same week.” (Mark H, ibid)

Mark also, following on from others argues that they should take thier factional warfare to Revolution, the Independent Socialist Youth Organisation that works in political solidarity with the League.

“Fighting for Revo to break completely from the L5I”
Prior to the League’s forthcoming Seventh Congress Revolution will be holding an International Delegate Conference.

In the leaked e-mails the International Faction show their disdain and disregard for Revo and the work the League has done to build it. Dave E disdainfully refers to it as their (i.e. L5I Majority) ‘big project’ (Dave E, Congress and Tactics, 23rd June 2006) and sees this as the reason to attack it.

In the ‘secret minutes’ of Workers Power Australia’s aggregate it is revealed they agreed, in complete contradiction to the League’s agreed policy of fighting to build and support Revo groups, to:
“pull back from Revo for the moment, except where needed internationally. We only have one non-WP member of Revo and hope to recruit them in coming months.” (Lisa F, WPA aggregate/faction meeting, 27th June 2006)

It is clear from this that Revolution does not exist in Australia (one ‘other’ member in addition to the two WPA members?!) and moreover that these splitters do not endeavour to build it at all but rather ‘pull back’ from it.

It is clear from the rest of the emails what they mean by ‘where needed internationally’ and that it to use it to build their new organization. Their intent to split underpins their whole approach to the Revolution International Conference.

In her opening leaked email Michelle argues that she could ‘do a lot more good there as a Revo member not under the discipline of the LFI’ (Michelle R, Faction Planning, 19th June 2006).

The intervention into the Revolution International Conference is then presented by a series of comrades as a major factor in the timing of their split from the group. They join Michelle in arguing that the split should come prior to the Revolution International Conference so that they can take advantage of the varying degrees of opposition that exists within the Czech and German sections of Revolution to the development of its international democratic centralism.

Over the last eighteen months the League has argued within Revolution for it to undertake to set up a democratic centralist political leadership, something the Opposition have presented as voluntarist. They have argued for a retreat from this course, while at the same time proposing federal structures for the League’s own leadership.

What is startling about the posts on the e-group is this political criticism barely figures in their plans, it is presented purely as a question of maximizing influence for their new organization and destroying the L5I. Mark argues with this clearly when he says:
“allowing Michelle, to stand up - hopefully alongside Nikola and others - at the Revo conference and push for it to break completely from the L5I, undermine its attempt to impose democratic centralism (which would in effect mean its governance by an unelected, inactive, ageing lawyer - Richard) and call on its sections to collaborate with us in the future without any preconditions about having to agree with us or act under our discipline.” (Mark H, ibid)

Mark shows how deluded he is by presenting Revolution, a self governing organization with a young international leadership, as being merely the plaything of a member of the League’s International Secretariat.

Anyone with any knowledge of Revolution and the League youth’s work will know this is absurd, indeed, many people on the international left have been impressed with the evidently self organized and youth led interventions Revo has made into the social forums over the years. All Mark is revealing in this post is his complete detachment from the successful work of the League over the past five years.

The Faction are also deluded about the support they could gain at the Revolution International Conference, Bill in particular argues that they could use the conference to found groups in German and the Czech Republic:
“I think there is a contradiction between attending congress and maximising our impact on Revo. Revo have a meeting just before congress, there are already sympathisers for a similar line to us there, quite independently of us, in the form of Susi (Nikola’s partner) as a representative of the Czechs and the Germans and Swiss and no doubt others who we don’t know about. I think maximising our support amongst them could be an important impetus for us in founding new groups there as well as consolidating support among younger critical L5i members. Therefore I think everything should be subordinated to our need to advance at this conference. Therefore I am in favour of Michelle announcing the split there (if she’s willing obviously) and inviting an rebel Revo elements to the founding conference the following weekend” (Bill J, Congress Tactics, 26th June 2006)

We will see how Nicola, a member of the League who is not a member of the International Tendency nor Faction but sympathetic to their politics, feels about be used at the Revolution International Conference to provide the springboard for a split from the League. We will also see what the Revolution sections feel about their organization being used as a playground for these splitters who do not even intend to build Revolution in Australia.

Far from the Revolution International Conference having been stitched up and its outcome decided a priori, the question of Revolution’s international tasks, structures and perspective will be openly and clearly debated by the delegates elected from Revolution’s national sections. The splitters, will, if they are delegated, be able to argue whatever they want, and we will oppose their arguments. We will wait and see whether the will be able to rally the levels of opposition they hope too particularly after this disgusting and unprincipled split campaign has been exposed to Revolution and the International left.

In her posts Michelle makes several factual errors regarding Revolution internal life over the last year including arguments with John a leader of German Revo and the League’s approach to Revo sections where it is in a minority. We do not have time here to answer all of these points but we must clearly refute the notion that: “The Majority look set to try and split the non-LFI German & Czechs out of Revolution at this conference, or in the near future” (Michelle R, ‘Faction Planning’ 19th June 2006). On the contrary, we are arguing for Revolution to be more united, with a stronger leadership and clear goals. We have no intention of splitting or purging anyone.

Interestingly, on the question of Revolution both Keith H and Stuart K both again demonstrate their cautious, if still not principled, approach to the split. Keith H warns that if Michelle breaks discipline at the Revo Conference this is likely to ‘receive short shrift from Luke et al’ (Keith H, ‘Re: Congress and Tactics’, June 23rd 2006) and Stuart also argues that Michelle should be more subtle in her approach to Susi and Nicola (Stuart K, ‘Congress and Tactics’, 23rd June 2006).

The worst methods win the day in the Faction

Mark’s awful email of the 23rd June changed the course of the debate. Despite Stuart and Keith’s initial caution in the timing of the split and the intervention into the Revolution International Conference they were both clearly defeated in the E-group discussion that followed Mark’s email. Indeed, Stuart himself said that he had ‘come round to Mark’s way of thinking’ on going to Congress (Stuart K, ‘IBs and Stuff’, 26th June 2006).

Following a meeting of the ‘Faction Steering Group’ in London (Helen W, ‘Minutes of London Meeting’, 26th June 2006) an electronic vote was initiated by Helen W that gave two options. Option 1 was to go to Congress and Option 2 was:

“Decide now not to attend Congress, but still attend the revo conference. In the case of option 2 we would have to keep up the pretence of going to congress until after the Revo conference (ie tell the office that we have tickets etc) If we do not go to congress we should hold a meeting in London on 22-23 July of as many international faction members as possible to launch a new organisation.” (Helen W, ‘Vote Please’, 26th June 2006).

Here it is completely evident that Helen and the rest of the Faction Steering Group advocated lying to the organisation concerning Congress tickets.

In the votes that followed the great majority of the Faction favoured the ‘Option 2’. This was a clear victory for Mark and his post of the 23rd June that changed the course of the discussion.

In no email that followed did any member of the Faction disagree with the deeply immoral tasks he proposed and in particular a) driving young comrades out of politics, b) stealing from the organization in the week before they split, c) using the investigation into Manchester to create the illusion of a which hunt and a pre-text for a split.

Silence on this issue was clearly consent and the votes for option 2 were clearly a support for this course.

We had charted the political degeneration of this opposition in the course of the two year long struggle within the League but even when we received these leaked emails many of us were shocked by what was clear moral degeneration too.

We feel it necessary to publish this article to expose this to the workers and social movements and the left and put forward the evidence that led to us taking the action we did.


We believe that the emails – the originals of which we are making available to all members – are incontrovertible evidence that this Minority were planning a unprincipled attampt to destroy the League. The IS therefore had no alternative but to expel the Faction immediately.