Who We Were
Big Flame were a Revolutionary Socialist Feminist organisation with a working class orientation in England. Founded in Liverpool in 1970, the group initially grew rapidly in the then prevailing climate on the left with branches appearing in a number of cities. One of the key sentences in the platform published in each issue of the newspaper was the statement that a revolutionary party was necessary but that “Big Flame is not that party, nor
is it the embryo of that party”. This had the advantage of distinguishing them from some small groups who saw themselves as much more important than they were, but posed the problem of the ‘party’s’ real reason for existence.
They published a magazine, also entitled Big Flame, and a journal, Revolutionary Socialism. Members were active at the Ford plants at Halewood and Dagenham. They also devoted a great deal of time to self-analysis and considering their relationship with the larger Trotskyist groups. In time, they came to describe their politics as “libertarian Marxist“. In 1978 they joined the Socialist Unity electoral coalition, with the International Marxist Group.
Please add your memories of Big Flame by adding a comment below.
This web site has been created after a reunion held 25 years after Big Flame dissolved. In a pub on the Grays Inn Road, 15 ex-member came together, reminisced and discussed the very positive role the organisaiton played in the politics of the 70s and 80s.
It was decided to set up a Facebook page and a web site to carry information, memories and discussions about Big Flame.
Notes: (1) This page originated as a post. See Who We Were, where you’ll find the same text, but an entirely different set of comments.
(2) This page was put together quickly to launch this website. It largely draws on the Wikipedia article on Big Flame (as far as I am aware not written by someone who was ever a member). Some of the comments below take issue with the contents. Rather than revise the page, readers are referred to the much more comprehensive account in the Episodes in Big Flame History.