Australasian Spartacist No. 213

Winter 2011


Socialist Equality Party: Political Bandits

The following is excerpted and adapted from Spartacist Canada No. 169 (Summer 2011), newspaper of the Trotskyist League/Ligue trotskyste, Canadian section of the International Communist League.

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP), best known as the “World Socialist Web Site,” today writes critically of Gaddafi and states opposition to the imperialist military intervention in Libya. We urge anyone who takes the SEP’s “Marxism” for good coin to take a closer look at these political bandits, who comprise a special category of renegades from Trotskyism.

The SEP self-servingly disappears its history as participants in the squalid pro-Gaddafi machinations carried out by the then-dominant party in its “International Committee of the Fourth International” (IC), the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) in Britain led by one Gerry Healy. After years of hailing the mythical “Arab Revolution,” Healy’s IC openly championed blood-drenched bourgeois regimes like Gaddafi’s in its press. The mercenary nature of this is a matter of public record.

By their own later admission, Healy’s IC received at least well over £1 million from a variety of Near East sheiks and bonapartist butchers over a period of years beginning in the mid 1970s, including over £500,000 from Libya (see “Northite Blood Money,” Workers Vanguard No. 523, 29 March 1991). And this was really for services rendered. In “Healyites, Messengers of Qaddafi” (Workers Vanguard No. 158, 20 May 1977), we noted of Gaddafi’s Libya, “where communists are to be jailed and butchered and their books burned, ostensible leftists would have to do some pretty peculiar things to survive—and [Healy’s] News Line has made it clear the WRP would be more than willing to do them.” The Healyites went on to hail the murder of Iraqi Communist Party members by Saddam Hussein’s regime in 1979, the small American and Australian IC sections reprinting News Line’s laudatory articles.

The current leader of the Australian SEP, Nick Beams, was censured in 1986 by the Central Committee of the Socialist Labour League (SLL)—as they were then known in this country—for failing to report receipt of money from Arab regimes to the IC. A former SLL cadre noted that the SLL’s relations with the Gaddafi regime “were more productive financially thanks to an even more slavish public relations job in the pages of Workers News and such things as the memorable, Libyan-financed brochure entitled Libya—the true story” (Socialist Press, December 1986). As part of their turn to “commercial enterprise,” the SLL in Australia also took money to print The Bell of Saigon, mouthpiece for the fascistic Vietnamese thugs who were then attacking left and labour meetings celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Vietnamese Revolution. During the 1980’s Cold War II they supported every counterrevolutionary force that sought to destroy the then Soviet degenerated workers state. Today they refuse to defend the Chinese deformed workers state against capitalist counterrevolution. They also declare that the trade unions, the basic defence organisations of the working class, “have been transformed ...[in]to instruments for the outright disciplining and suppression of the working class” (, 16 October 2007) an open apologia for strikebreaking.

As we wrote in “Healyism Implodes” (Spartacist [English-language edition] No. 36-37, Winter 1985-86): “Once you discard the struggle for the building of Leninist parties to lead the working class in the liberation of mankind, and take off in search of get-rich-quick schemes, you will end up in a despicable place—if not a Healy, perhaps the more ordinary kind of scoundrel voting war credits for his own ruling class.”