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Weekly Worker 495 Thursday September 11 2003


Ukraine scam

The prominent coverage given by the Weekly Worker on the events in Ukraine should be warmly welcomed. Nevertheless the article, ‘Global party, not international fraud’, by Peter Manson contained discrepancies which requires correction (September 4).

Amongst the list of organisations affected by the counterfeit left in Ukraine Peter Manson cites the “Committees of Correspondence (publishers of News and Letters)”. The Marxist-humanist organisation in the USA which publishes the monthly paper News and Letters is in fact the News and Letters Committees. The Committees of Correspondence is an entirely separate organisation. This may be an error due to the name of the sister organisation of News and Letters in England - the London Corresponding Committee - or perhaps the predecessor paper of News and Letters being Correspondence (pre-1956, that is). However, this sloppy journalism continues with the assertion that News and Letters Committees, with the other organisations, were “stung for thousands of pounds - cash that was channelled into the Ukrainian section of the CWI via its shadowy ‘international department’”.

News and Letters Committees has already made clear to one other group on the left in the UK that it made no financial contributions to the Ukrainian Workers Group. This is not a minor issue. Peter Manson is surely aware of the current difficulties faced by revolutionaries in the USA following the introduction of the Patriot Act. However, even before Bush’s attacks on civil liberties, there were repressive laws in place to hinder international cooperation of American Marxists with comrades in other countries. Therefore, even if it were true, to publish such information without discussion with the organisation concerned or regard for the consequences displays negligent disregard for the position of Marxists in another country.

On one final note there is no such place as “the Ukraine”, any more than there is ‘the Ireland’, or ‘the France’. This is a common error of English-language authors who ignorantly mimic Russian historiography, which, in the interests of past and present Russian imperialism, treat Ukraine as a mere geographical locality of Russia - ie, ‘little Russia’, as opposed to a nation.

Chris Ford
London Corresponding Committee

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