Ted Grant

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Edward (Ted) Grant (born July 9, 1913) is a Trotskyist politician.

Born Isaac Blank in Germiston, South Africa, he was introduced to Trotskyism by a lodger at his parent's house, and by the Militant publication of the Communist League of America. In 1934, he helped found a small Trotskyist group, but later in the year, decided to move to London where he believed there were better prospects for the movement.

On the journey, he changed his name to Ted Grant, and stopped over in France to meet Trotsky's son, Leon Sedov. Once in Britain, he joined the Marxist Group, which at the time was working in the Independent Labour Party and took part in the Battle of Cable Street against fascists. But when Trotsky suggested the group should turn to working in the Labour Party, and their leadership disagreed, Grant was one of a small group who split to form the Bolshevik-Leninist Group, which soon became known as the Militant Group. The group grew, but in 1937, a dispute about the leadership's treatment of some new comrades led to the expulsion of several members, including Grant.

The expelled members formed the Workers International League, and Grant became its increasingly important theoretician. The group grew, and in 1941, he became editor of its paper. He continued his role in the fused Revolutionary Communist Party. Upon its break-up, Grant reluctantly joined Gerry Healy's faction, but was soon expelled. He formed a new, small tendency in the Labour Party, called the Revolutionary Socialist League which in 1957 was recognised at the official British section of the Fourth International. The group at first grew only very slowly, but by 1983, when it was known as the Militant Tendency, it was a significant force in British politics, and Grant was expelled from the Labour Party.

Throughout this time Grant and his colleagues denied that the Militant/RSL was any sort of political organisation, instead claiming it was merely a group of supporters of the newspaper (also called Militant). In the atmosphere of Labour's long shift to the left in the 1970s, all attempts to take action against the Militant/RSL were successfully resisted and even Michael Foot's action against Grant in 1982 (he was expelled along with the so-called "Editorial Board" - actually the Militant/RSL executive committee) was half-hearted.

But by 1985 the atmosphere had changed - Militant/RSL were effectively running Liverpool City Council as well as having 3 MPs. The grouping was aggressively advancing within the Labour Party but also faced a new leader, Neil Kinnock who was determined to smash the Militant/RSL as a force within the party.

The resulting confrontation saw many leading Militant/RSL members expelled from Labour and created a dynamic within the organisation that led many to question Grant's commitment to entryism. They argued that Militant/RSL was able to grow outside Labour and that the Labour Party's position on the poll tax revealed it to be out of touch with working class opinion.

A debate arose within Militant wherein Peter Taaffe and his supporters argued in favour of abandoning the entrism tactic for open work while Grant and his supporters argued for continued work within the Labour Party. After turmoil in the group, Grant was expelled together with Alan Woods in 1992 after a document allegedly written by their faction emerged which stated that they intended to split Militnat and the CWI. Following their departure they started a |new group publicly known by the name of its publication. The expulsions also left Grant outside the Committee for a Workers' International, but he and Woods were able to found the Committee for a Marxist International with international supporters. Since the split, he has devoted much of his time to writing.

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