What is a Trotskyist?

BBC News

Labour's deputy leader Tom Watson has said "Trotsky entryists" are "twisting arms" of young Labour members to back Jeremy Corbyn - what does he mean? Some Labour supporters on Twitter were puzzled by his words - they said they had never heard of Trotsky and had no idea what an "entryist" was. Mr Corbyn's team accused him of peddling conspiracy theories. Trotskyism has its origins in early 20th Century Russian politics and the path pursued by one of the founders of the Soviet Union, Leon Trotsky. Trotsky was the head of the Red Army and a key player in the violent revolution that toppled the Russian tsar and established the world's first socialist state.


Jeremy Corbyn accuses Tom Watson of making 'nonsense' Trotsky claims

BBC News

Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed claims by his deputy that hard left activists are trying to infiltrate the Labour party ahead of the leadership vote. Mr Corbyn said Tom Watson's suggestion that "Trotsky entryists" are manipulating young party members to boost his support were "nonsense". But Mr Watson responded saying there was "clear and incontrovertible evidence" to back his claims. The Labour leader is embroiled in a contest with challenger Owen Smith. In an interview with the Observer, Mr Corbyn said: "I just ask Tom to do the maths - 300,000 people have joined the Labour party.


The failed dream of a Russian revolution

Al Jazeera

Exactly one hundred years ago today, in the evening of October 25, 1917, the Winter Palace in Petrograd (today's St Petersburg) was stormed. This event marked the beginning of the Great October Revolution, one of the most significant political events of the twentieth century that shaped the course of history for decades ahead. Leading up to the events of October 25 was another revolution in late February 1917, which brought to power a group of leaders from bourgeois political parties that formed a provisional government headed initially by Georgy Lvov, a liberal reformer, and then by Aleksander Kerensky, a socialist. In early March of that year Tsar Nicholas II, who had ruled imperial Russia since 1894, abdicated. Five months later, Russia was pronounced a republic.


Who is Derek Hatton?

BBC News

For anyone under the age of 40, the name Derek Hatton will probably not mean much - so why has the news that he has rejoined the Labour Party provoked so much comment? Mr Hatton's expulsion from Labour in 1986 was seen as the defining moment in then leader Neil Kinnock's efforts to purge the party of the "hard left". It was a stepping stone towards the creation of Tony Blair's New Labour - and the banishing of Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and others on the left of the party to Labour's margins for three decades. A brash, voluble Scouser, with a taste for Armani suits, Mr Hatton became a national figure as deputy leader of Liverpool City Council, which defied the Thatcher government's cuts to local government by setting an illegal budget. But it was his role as a leading figure in the Militant tendency that made him such a bogey figure for the so-called moderate wing of the party - and a hero to the left.


Misguided Euro Skepticism: The Dangerous Nationalism of Europe's Left

Der Spiegel International

The father of the October Revolution had only been dead for a few months when, with just a few short sentences, his successor turned the state doctrine of the time on its head. Whereas Lenin had taught that communism could only be implemented after a successful global revolution, Stalin gave priority to the socialist development of his own nation. At a party congress in 1925, he held that a proletariat paradise could be created in the Soviet Union together with the farmers under the leadership of the working class, thus establishing his "Socialism in one country" theory, which from that point on would divide the communist movement between the nationalists and the internationalists. If looks aren't deceiving, that bygone conflict has re-emerged within the political left in Western Europe today. As moderate center-left social democrats like France's Emmanuel Macron or Germany's Sigmar Gabriel are working toward a European economic and financial government to shore up the common currency, a growing community of more radical leftists are also pushing for the opposite: a return to the nation-state.