John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

How did Communist parties handle issues of internal discipline and democracy in Lenin’s time? The recent intense discussion within the British Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) and beyond has heard claims that the SWP rests on the traditions of democratic centralism inherited from the Bolsheviks.

John Riddell: Democracy in Lenin's Comintern

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Some extended thoughts about Stephanie Bottrill, the woman who committed suicide because of the bedroom tax.

Richard Atkinson: Death and the Bedroom Tax

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the killing of Blair Peach by the police. David Renton looks back at Blair Peach’s life as a poet, trade unionist and committed antifascist

Dave Renton: Who Was Blair Peach?

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Bunny La Roche of RS21 on Nigel Farage's visit to Kent

Bunny La Roche: Nasty Little Nigel gets a rude welcome to Kent

Financial Appeal

We're up and running! An appeal for funds to kickstart the IS Network

Financial Appeal

Call for submissions for October policy conference

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The International Socialist Network has been in existence for nearly six months. Necessarily much of our initial period has been spent establishing working structures, and working through the consequences – theoretical, political and personal – of our departure from the SWP. The circumstances of that departure were not chosen by us, and the nature of the crisis that precipitated it meant that we were united on at least two crucial principles (the centrality of feminism and of internal democracy to socialist organisation) but differed on questions of the current political landscape and the place and priorities of the IS Network within it.


The existence of a spectrum of opinion within the network is not a weakness: our experiences of an organisation superficially united around monolithic “perspectives” has taught us that. What we have lacked so far, however, is the opportunity to answer some crucial questions such as:

  • What is the IS Network for?
  • How do we see the current terrain of class struggle, and what do we aim to do within it?
  • How much of what we describe as “our tradition” remains relevant, and what do we need to rethink?
  • What should be our attitude to developing initiatives on the left, and within the organisations of the class?


To give such an opportunity, the IS Network will hold a “Policy and Politics Conference” on 19-20 October. The list of questions above is only an indicative one, and comrades will seek to answer and raise many others. Nor do we expect – or desire – a single line, enforceable on all members of the network, to arise from this conference. Instead we invite comrades to submit motions, articles and visions for the network to be published both on the website and in hard copy. To ensure a fair chance for everyone to read them, we ask that comrades submit these to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 20 September for the first bulletin or 13 October for the second bulletin. (Note: these are the revised dates and deadlines.)