Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A Tuesday Miscellany

Andy Newman update

Nick Cohen has taken up the story about Andy Newman of the far-left Socialist Unity blog being selected as candidate for Chippenham at the Spectator blog. He writes:

All that is left of the far left after the collapse of Marxist-Leninism is the desire to follow anti-western feeling wherever it may lead. If it means supporting atheist commissars one minute and inquisitorial mullahs the next, so be it. The incoherence behind the posturing explains why those trying to set up a new version of the Socialist Workers or Communist Party to the left of Labour are going to face huge political problems. Beyond anti-Americanism, what do they have? Are they going to argue for a central committee that demands absolute obedience all over again, or state control of the whole of society? You only have to ask the questions to know there is no articulate political position to the left of Labour, indeed Labour itself is struggling to define what it means to be left wing in the 21st century. The confusion of our day explains why Andy Newman and his kind can embrace wildly different tyrannies with such promiscuity and without a hint of self-awareness.
The more interesting question is why decent Labour Party members in the Cotswolds selected him as a candidate. Or, to put it more broadly, why does a vast section of opinion from the extreme left well into the liberal mainstream, regard universal human rights and support for the oppressed as distractions from the true political business of condemning the West? Just as you should start to worry about the influence of the far right when apparently sane Tories ape it and send out propaganda vans telling illegal immigrants to go home, so you should worry about the far left when Labour politicians ally with tryannophiles who want to keep Assad in power, as they did during the Syria debate.
Meanwhile over at Tendance Coatsey Andrew Coates picks up on the reasons why Socialist Unity was voted the worst polical blog over at at A very public sociologist by examining the thoughts of John Wight who writing about womens rights in Iran says:
Following the Revolution the status of women changed. The main social group to inherit political power– the traditional middle class – valued most highly the traditional role of women in a segregated society. Accordingly, laws were enacted to restrict the role of women in public life; these laws affected primarily women of the secularized middle and upper classes. The attire of women became a major issue. Although it was not mandated that women who had never worn a chador would have to wear this garment, it was required that whenever women appeared in public they had to have their hair and skin covered, except for the face and hands. The law has been controversial among secularised women, although for the majority of women, who had worn the chador even before the Revolution, the law had only a negligible impact.
No democracy is without its imperfections. Under the Islamic Republic, Iranians, no matter where they happen to live throughout the world, have the right to vote in elections. Women are debarred from standing for office, which is certainly regressive in itself. However, this differs from democratic elections in the West only in the sense that debarment here is based on economic status rather than gender. In effect this ensures that only the wealthy within western societies have any meaningful chance of holding high office.
No wonder Socialist Unity doesn't seem to have any women readers!

Femen party!

Meanwhile the real fighters for women's rights at Femen are celebrating their international expansion. The song is not that bad I have to say!



FEMEN is here! And we are celebrating our 1birthday as an international movement! 

18th of Septemeber 2012 we make our new big step, FEMEN appear in France, after in Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Spain, Nederland, Canada, Tunisia, Brasil, USA, Mexico...
We are in many places already and we will be everywhere! 
Celebrate with us one year of International fight with patriarchy! Support the movement, be part of it. 
We are here for one year and we will be there for centuries! Viva FEMEN!

Finally Just for fun on a Tuesday night!

Spot the celebrity in this short video compared by the much missed Viv Stanfield of  Bonzo Dog Doo Dah band fame!

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