Socialist Action

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Socialist Action is an influential socialist group specializing in infiltrating other groups and parties for their own ends. During the 1990s the Labour Party purged most of the left radicals, especially the Militant Tendency, but SA managed to go underground, even to the extent of denying its own existence. Socialist Action members congregated around Ken Livingstone, and during his term in office as mayor of London, most of his advisors and important appointments tended to be SA members.[1]

Besides incessant factional fighting, far left groups latched on to issues such as race, anti-nazi (BNP) struggle, pro-gay rights and other pet causes. Invariably these groups would infiltrate existing organizations and take them over. The Anti-Racist Alliance became their most visible organization, and source of endless squabbles with other left groups.

Further background about this group can be read in Andrew Hosken's Ken and the rise of Socialist Action.

Of Cuckoos and other Trojan acts

After Hugo Chavez came to power some bona fide groups set up the Venezuela Information Centre, but it soon became the target for a well organized Socialist Action group takeover. The SA activists proceeded to:

  • take up key positions (ever so willing to enthusiastically work), they were eager to work on the website;
  • ingratiate themselves with the union officials funding VIC
  • find and cultivate the contacts that the original bona fide members had made with Venezuelan officials;
  • bring in more of their friends to "help out";
  • proceed to plot against the founding members.

At this point the SA-group operated a parallel organization which would engage in activities unbeknownst the Chairman of VIC and other bona fide members. Finally, the SA-faction started to smear and tarnish the reputation of key members. In October 2008, Gordon Hutchinson, the founding member and Chairman of VIC resigned, tired of incessant squabbles, backstabbing, innuendo, and sheer mean-spiritedness exhibited by the SA-cadre. VIC is now a Socialist Action grouplet.[2] Part of the explanation why VIC became a focal group for the SA cadre has to do with Ken Livingstone's loss in the mayoral elections. Most SA leaders were now out of office and sought an appealing cause/group to latch on; VIC was appealing because it had union financial support. The anti-racist scene was too contested with many far left groups vying for dominance, and so the Bolivarian revolution seemed like a cause/group to exploit.


NB: Most of these operators appear and write under pseudonyms.

VIC Trojan Operatives


  • Socialist Action magazine (weekly)


Contact, References and Resources


26 Shackwell Lane
Stoke Newington



  1. Andrew Hosken, Ken: The Ups and Downs of Ken Livingstone, Arcadia Books, 10 April 2008. Especially Chapter 18: Ken and the rise of Socialist Action, 1985-1994.
  2. Basis for this information: description of events by Gordon Hutchinson, VIC's founder and Chairman. October 2008