Sorry, but I just couldn’t resist…
The International Bolshevik Tendency (IBT) is a tiny splinter from everybody’s favourite Trot group the (not-much bigger) Spartacist League, a/k/a the international Spartacist tendency (iSt), a/k/a the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist). So what? Well: a) my old mate Bill Logan (Counsellor and Celebrant) established the New Zealand chapter of the IBT — via the Permanent Revolution Group — and; b) back in 2003, it was one of a number of Trotskyist groupuscules duped by a group of Ukrainian scam artists, or as the IBT puts it: ‘Fraud against the workers’ movement: IBT Conned in Kiev’ (August 2003).
The scam artists in question — of which the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) claims there were five (or possibly seven?), variously known as the ‘Young Revolutionary Movement’ / ‘Communist Struggle Group’ / ‘Radical Communists’ / ‘Workers Revolutionary League’ / ‘Ukrainian Trotskyist Opposition’ / ‘Ukrainian Workers Committee’ and more besides — managed to milk a number of competing Western Trot groups simultaneously for cash and other resources through their ability to convince the groups concerned that, with their generous assistance, a Ukrainian Trotskyist movement was a bankable proposition. According to the IBT, and prior to the fraud being discovered, the scammers:
…derived from a circle of Kiev teenagers who, in 1989, obtained a copy of Leon Trotsky’s The Revolution Betrayed, and discovered that it contained a wealth of political insights profoundly relevant to the events taking place around them, as the forces of capitalist restoration gained momentum in the Soviet degenerated workers’ state. From that original grouping, a broad spectrum of leftist organizations, all critical of Stalinism and, in most cases, identifying themselves as Trotskyist, has reappeared in Ukraine.
— 1917, No. 24, 2002
Ah yes, drop a copy of Leon Trotsky’s The Revolution Betrayed and voila!, the political consciousness of teenaged workers is magically transformed. Well… maybe not.
For further details on How to Make Ukrainian Alphabet Soup, see Internationalist Group / League for the Fourth International (Est. 1988), ‘A Band of Political Impostors and Swindlers in Ukraine’, The Internationalist, August 2003; Workers’ Liberty (Est. 1993), ‘Scam in the Ukraine’, August 23, 2003.
‘Attack of the clones’ (Weekly Worker, No.493, August 28, 2003) appears to provide the most coherent account of the fraud, which apparently involved both the above groupuscules as well as a number of others: the Committee for a Workers’ International, the Workers Revolutionary Party and its ‘Fourth International’, the (US-based) League for the Revolutionary Party, the Committees of Correspondence (publishers of News and Letters), the Socialist Party of Great Britain and Workers Power, along with its “burlesque” League for the Fifth International.
See also : John Percy, ‘The Ukraine scam, internationals and internationalism’, Links, No.25, January-June 2004 | ‘Ukraine Deception Exposed’, Socialist Labor Party of America Statement, September 2, 2003 | ‘Radical Communists of the Ukraine’, International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party Statement, September 9, 2003.