Together with the companion volume of essays, Against the Grain, Waiting for the Revolution, both jointly edited by Evan Smith, has built the start of a history of the small, vocal, fractious, and sometimes very influential far left in the UK since the major break in the Communist Party over Hungary in 1956. This opened the way for a “New Left”, growing Trotskyist groups and the rebirth of an anarchist movement. The far left led opposition to the Vietnam War, the Poll Tax, campaigns to defend abortion rights and against the far right. And yet, even when bringing hundreds of thousands onto the street over the Iraq war, most of the groups involved failed to grow.
This talk weaves through the highways and byways of the left, ending with a discussion as to whether, with a more left wing Labour, an active Green Party and a direct-action orientated Extinction Rebellion, the far left as it used to be constituted has had its day.
Evan Smith teaches at Flinders University in Australia, and writes on the left, anti-racism and anti-colonialism. Phil Burton-Cartledge teaches at Derby University and writes about the lives of Trotskyist activists.
Tickets: £4.00/£2 students, including refreshments