Sunday, 4 December 2016

Momentum's Divided Steering Committee

Although Momentum and it's supporters are far from all being traditional "Trotskyists" (there are some like the AWL inside) it seems the old adage that "if you put three Trots in a room you get two parties and a faction" still applies.

Their long awaited and disputed Steering Committee took place yesterday and what a confusing and disorganised meeting it turned out to be with Matt Wrack the FBU General Secretary querying who actually had voting rig rights since a lot of "poorly" identified people and volunteers packing the room out.

The Clarion reports:

At the start of the meeting there was controversy about the new delegates from the regions and equalities groups, elected by online ballot of members, with uncertainty who had the right to vote. Delegates also questioned the representatives from left groups (CPLD, Compass, LRC, Labour Briefing Coop, Open Labour, Labour Assembly Against Austerity, Labour CND; it’s not clear if anyone was there this time from the blog Left Futures which previously “delegated” Jon Lansman). These organisations have not chosen to affiliate; Open Labour refused to back Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election – so why are they represented on the Momentum NC?!

It turns out that there is a "conservative wing" of momentum:

In summary: the left, more radical, pro-democracy wing of the NC won on some democracy issues including the structure and powers of the upcoming national conference, passing policy for a conference of delegates from local groups that can meaningful decide Momentum’s policy and plans; as well as on some other issues (eg defending freedom of movement and migrants’ rights, and fighting expulsions and suspensions). But the more conservative wing managed, by one vote, to block holding a new election for the Steering Committee, even though it was elected seven months ago, before many events, debates and controversies.
Who knew? 

Momentum Tories. That'll be a new on-line insult for the more deranged wing of the Corbynista movement.....

The comrades apparently held some "key votes":

• That this conference should make policy and establish a constitution.

• We voted down the proposal from the SC majority that we could only discuss three key areas.

• We voted that the conference would be on 18 February, 25 February or 4 March (25 February clashes with Scottish Labour conference).

• We voted for a composite from the Northern, London and Midlands regions advocating motions can be submitted one each from local groups, liberation groups, students and youth, affiliated unions, the NC and regional networks; three weeks before conference; with compositing, an e-forum to discuss motions and an online priorities ballot.

• Two delegates for every 100 members or part thereof (at least gender balanced and groups sending more than four must send at least one young person).

• Those not covered by a group can send at same rate elected by ballot.
• If not covered by a group 30 people can submit a motion.

• Liberation groups and students and youth can send delegates, to be agreed by NC in consultation with these groups subject to verification of structures and elections.

• We elected a Conference Arrangements Committee of seven people: Alec Price, Huda Elmi, Josie Runswick, Delia Mattis, Lotte Boumelha, Jackie Walker, James Elliott.

• We voted against complicated formulas for voting and instead for simple delegate voting at conference.

• We voted that group delegates should be elected at face-to-face local Momentum group meetings.

According to the author of this report he does not trust the Momentum leadership to not "void" these issues, by which he probably means they'll ignore it. After all Momentum remains a private company with Jon Lansman as it's proprietor.

Momentum are and remain a bloody mess. If these people represent the future of Labour the party is truly doomed.

Corbyn the false messiah has not chosen his disciples very well.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Corbyn's hypocrisy on the far-right

Gays being executed in Iran. Photo: By Source

Jeremy Corbyn has been attending a meeting of European Socialists and is reported as saying that the "left" must "stand up" to the growing threat of the far-right across the world.  In theory we should all support his stance, but there is a real problem with what Corbyn says and what he does.

Jeremy Corbyn is a man who sees the anti-Semites of Hamas and Hezbollah as "friends" despite the fact they themselves are extreme right-wing Islamists, mourns the loss of Castro despite the persecution of gays, execution of opponents and suppression of democracy.

Corbyn appeared on Press TV and has never apologised for giving credence to the fascist clerics who fund the channel and suppress Baha'is, Christians, gays, women, want to commit genocide on Israel, the worlds only Jewish state. Refused to condemn the terrorism committed by the IRA and has shared platforms with the extreme nationalists of Sinn Fein.

This is a man who despite the problems of anti-Zionism morphing into outright anti-Semitism in sections of the Labour Party amongst his own supporters who then refused to visit the Holocaust Museum when invited by his socialist counterpart in Israel. He was "too busy" apparently.

Jeremy Corbyn and his far-left supporters are just as much part of the problem as the far-right is.  For those of us fighting the rise of anti-Semitism, the far-left is as much an enemy as not just the alt-right/neo-Nazi's  but also the Islamists.

Corbyn cannot be trusted. No wonder Labour is losing deposits.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Music interlude to start the weekend with Billy Idol

The weekends here at last and time to party and rest for a couple of days. I noticed that eighties star Billy Idol was 61 today. My how time flies.

So here's a little number to start the party!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Unite members need to ditch McCluskey

Unite logo   

The fight for the control of the Labour Party took a new twist as The Times (no link£) reported today:

Figures across Unite believe that Len McCluskey, it's general secretary is considering a snap election early next year. A win would keep him in control of Britain's biggest union until 2022.

The reason for this is simply that Unite is central to keeping Corbyn in control of the Labour Party especially with the union having several seats on Labour's NEC. According to The Times:

One Labour Source said the union bosses future was the "absolute central feature of Labour politics for 2017.

McCluskey is of course notorious for suggesting that the secret services had a hand in the rebellion by Labour MP's. Utter bollocks of course but the far-left is paranoid to the extreme. Some have even suggested that the Israeli Embassy had a hand in the attempted coup, certainly a lot of the comrades see the "Zionist Lobby" behind Labour's woes over the exposure of anti-Semitism inside the party.

Meanwhile Unite's  members are put at risk because support for Corbyn is a conflict of interests over the security of their jobs as the Labour leader opposes Trident, Heathrow expansion and the defence sector.

Unite members also may recognise the need for a Labour Party that can actually get elected, if so not only Corbyn has to go but McCluskey too. Unite members in the threatened sectors are already waking up to this fact.

The far-left has to be beaten, but the fight cannot take place just inside the Labour Party. It also has to be taken up inside the trade unions.

Our futures cannot be left in the hands of deluded Corbynistas who prefer their ideological purity to actually achieving real, if limited gains that a modern, democratic and broad based Labour Party could bring.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Militant's campaign flounders

Socialist Party logo

The campaign by the Socialist Party to gain readmission to the Labour Party is really floundering quite badly. Most people on the left don't take their petition and protest seriously let alone anyone else. The latest edition of their rag The Socialist contains pleas from "trade unionists, who like the signatories previously published are all members of....well you can guess.

Hannah Sell writes (in all seriousness):

Earlier this month a joint application for Labour Party membership was submitted to the Labour Party NEC. It was from 75 people, with a combined Labour Party membership of over 1,000 years. A petition in support of their application has been signed by hundreds of trade unionists and activists.

All the applicants have previously been expelled or excluded from the Labour Party because of their socialist ideas.

Besides the fact that these expelled "members had all been members of the Revolutionary Socialist league (Militants, real name) at the same time and were trying to take over the structures of the Labour Party to turn it into a revolutionary Trotskyist organisation is not mentioned as the reason these "socialists" had been expelled. Nothing to do with their ideas, they were simply conducting a secret project as part of a distinct and separate party.

The totally useless Deputy General Secretary of the PCS union, Chris Baugh is quoted as saying:

"From my teens I was a Labour Party member for over 20 years before being expelled in 1995. For PCS members, Blair and Brown meant widespread privatisations, job cuts and attacks on pay and conditions. Blairism nearly destroyed Labour as a voice for working people. The election of Jeremy Corbyn is a chance to change things. In a personal capacity and alongside those who were unfairly expelled for our socialist ideas, I hope the Labour Party will agree our application to rejoin."

No Chris you were expelled for being part of an organisation that was trying to take over the Labour Party. You were and remain a member of Militant, now renamed the Socialist Party.

The real reason for the Socialist Party's new (re)turn to Labour is the simple fact their Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition has collapsed. Their projects have been ignored by everyone else on the left who have turned to Corbyn.

The TUSC has ceased standing candidates but the comrades are having a formal conference about the future direction of their electoral front in January next year not that it has one.

The Socialist Party campaign remains ignored except by inveterate "Trot Spotters".

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Oh god...another song for Jeremy Corbyn

Last I heard the Jeremy Corbyn Christmas song was 80/1 for the number one spot for the holiday. Phew what a relief. Now I have had my attention drawn to this dirge that came out in September.

Words fail me. Well actually they don't. I just can't print them on this blog....

Momentum is not a cult. Just a bunch of them.

Pass the bucket.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Turkey: Press freedom is essential for democracy, set journalism free!

LabourStart Campaign

Photo: Set Journalism Free

Hundreds of journalists have been arrested, sacked and harassed following Turkey's attempted coup - set them free. Turkey experienced a bloody coup attempt on July 15 killing more than 250 people and targeting basic democratic institutions like the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM). 

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) unreservedly condemn the coup and the use of force against citizens, journalists and media companies. The failed coup was followed by a state of emergency and excessive and indiscriminate measures to purge all individuals believed to be connected to the attempt. The Turkish authorities are now jailing journalists, shutting down radio and TV channels and censoring the internet in an attempt to silence criticism. 90 journalists are in jail and more than 130 media have been banned since mid-July. 2500 journalists have lost their jobs and arrest warrants have been issued for dozens of media workers. 

Some families of journalists, who are in hiding or have fled, have been arrested to force them to surrender. Media workers, journalists and press freedom campaigners all over the world have joined protests calling for the release of all jailed journalists in Turkey. Press freedom is essential for democracy. 

We demand Turkey sets the journalists free. Journalism is not a crime - Gazetecilik suç değildir!

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