Who We Were
Posted by happyhenry on April 3, 2009
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.
The name ‘Big Flame’ came from a television play, The Big Flame (1969), written by Jim Allen and directed by Ken Loach for the BBCs Wednesday Play season. It dealt with a fictional strike in the Liverpool Docks.
Please add your memories of Big Flame by adding a comment below.
Angus Jardine, April 2009