Tuesday, 26 January 2021

New research on the Socialist Labour Party and the early British Communist Party

The second of two articles commemorating the centenary of the British Communist Party is now available and should be of interest to all socialist scholars:

John McIlroy and Alan Campbell, ‘The Socialist Labour Party and the leadership of early British Communism’, Critique: Journal of Socialist Theory, 48, 4 (2020), pp. 609–659: https://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/Y2BHVVI5SXIJFQYYABRM/full?target=10.1080/03017605.2020.1850817

Starting from the work of Walter Kendall, Ray Challinor, James Hinton and Richard Hyman, the article addresses a long-standing historiographical issue: the role ex-members of its main constituent organisations, the BSP and SLP, played in the early Communist Party. It progresses past controversy by analysing the 19 former SLP activists who sat on the CPGB Executive in the 1920s. It compares their impact in the party with their comparators from the BSP. The article concludes that the idea of competing political identities based on earlier allegiance persisting into the 1920s has been exaggerated and fails to facilitate our understanding of the development of British Communism between 1920 and 1928.

See also John McIlroy and Alan Campbell, A. (2020b). The early British Communist leaders, 1920–1923: a prosopographical exploration. Labor History, 62, 5–6 (2020), pp. 423–465:



Saturday, 9 January 2021

London Socialist Historians Group seminars Spring 2021

 London Socialist Historians Group seminars

Spring Term 2021

Resistance to the Nazis, Trump & the Christian Right, Memory & Hope in activist movements

Once again socialist history seminars will be via Zoom this term.

Given the amount of on-line events and meetings I’ve stuck to the 3 seminars a term model that worked very successfully in the autumn. That does mean there is a backlog of seminar papers to be presented but we will get round to it!

The link to register and join each seminar will be posted here once the Institute of Historical Research website has been updated

Monday 25th January 5.30pm Merilyn Moos, German working class resistance to the Nazis

Monday 22nd February 5.30pm John Newsinger, Trump and the Christian Right: A Dark Side of American Exceptionalism

Monday 15th March 5.30pm Eibhlín Ní Chléirigh, Asking for the Moon: An investigation of memory and hope in activist movements

link to register


Keith Flett, London Socialist Historians Group Convenor

PS The Spring LSHG Newsletter should, hopefully, be out in early February. Contributions, comments and complaints are as ever most welcome - please contact at the address above