Saturday, 28 February 2015

Cults, Trots and Islamism.

The world is full of very strange people who develop cults around themselves and their barmy ideas. Ron L Hubbard, pulp fiction writer is one who comes to mind. Even though long dead his "church" of Scientology still still exists and has been subject of much derision, as has David Ike, former Green Party honcho turned "Godhead" and now promoter of the theory that the Queen amongst others are all "giant lizards" in human form.

It's easy to laugh these two and wonder about the state of mind of their followers who believe in such things. They are of course not alone. Some people still believe the Earth is flat and others say the moon landing was a hoax. These may be less harmful but do illustrate how the human mind can refuse to accept reality.

Then there's religion.

In this country most people grew up with a local church and (mostly) friendly Vicars who formed part of the community. A minority turned to priests of the Catholic faith. Satirising religion was not a problem as programmes like All Gas & Gaiters or The Dave Allen Show were broadcast without too much of a fuss.


There was of course the late unlamented Mary Whitehouse and her followers but there atavistic approach to life was gradually beaten back.

Then a group of people burned the Satanic Verses.

It's likely that until then most people in this country didn't really give Islam a second thought. Now commentary on the rise of Islam(ism) is everywhere, every day as Hate Preachers and terrorists appear in our midst as some kind of satanic nightmare themselves.

The discovery of the identity of "Jihadi John" as the press described him has also focused our attention back to our seats of learning where it appears something quite unsavoury has been going on.

In an article for the Washington Post  Avinash Tharoor, a former student at the University of Westminster observes:

Despite boasting an inspiring academic staff and vibrant student life, the university has a dark side to its campus culture. The ideological climate feels conducive for radicalization; even though the university never intended this, it seems to be a place where extremism can fester. I don’t know if that climate is what turned Mohammed Emwazi into Jihadi John, but Westminster was probably a factor in his radicalization.....

....the longer I spent on campus, the more I noticed strange occurrences and remarks that seemed to fit with an Islamist ideology. Eventually, I realized, these ideas were deeply ingrained at Westminster, allowing individuals to feel comfortable advocating dangerous and discriminatory beliefs.

I recall a seminar discussion about Immanuel Kant’s “democratic peace theory,” in which a student wearing a niqab opposed the idea on the grounds that “as a Muslim, I don’t believe in democracy.” Our instructor seemed astonished but did not question the basis of her argument; he simply moved on. I was perplexed, though. Why attend university if you have such a strict belief system that you are unwilling to consider new ideas? And why hadn’t the instructor challenged her? At the time, I dismissed her statement as one person’s outlandish opinion. Later, I realized that her extreme religious views were prevalent within the institution.

This takes us right back to the start of the wave of Islamism that began with the burning of Salman Rushdie's novel.

A number of people on the left decided to publish a statement defending Rushdie and the right of free speech and like many others I sent a contribution to add my signature. Imagine my surprise when it was returned with a letter that explained they had decided not to go ahead with their statement as it could be constituted as "racist".

Since when was religion a race and in any case how can defending an Asian man against err.. other Asian and Middle eastern men be described as racist?

At the time the big "Islamist" threat came from Iran. The Ayatollah had taken power and the anti-imperialist brigade began it's subservience to the Islamists. 

In Iran itself the Trotskyist United Secretariat of the Fourth International (Tariq Ali's mob at the time) had already split into two groups. One was "pro-hijab", the other anti hijab.

Over time other trots such as Workers Power gave "critical support" to the Taliban, that well know progressive group in Afghanistan with one of their more deranged members suggesting they would literally join the fight if they had the ability in a shameful letter to the Weekly Worker.

The rest is history as we saw the Socialist Workers Party join George Galloway in a rush to ally themselves with sections of the Muslim community, which didn't last but has resulted in the Borough of Tower Hamlets becoming a fiefdom for Islamists. That turned out well.

The new Left Unity organisation even debated support for ISIS at it's conference last year.

Unbloody believable

The seeming alliance of the far-left with the Islamists took a new turn this week with John Rees (Counterfire/Stop the War) leading a press conference for Jihadi Johns apologists in the Cage outfit a supposed "charity" for "human rights". 

As yet another atheist blogger,  Avijit Roy is murdered in Bangladesh for "insulting Islam", the so called anti-imperialists of the left show no sign of changing their dangerous strategy. 

The far-left are assisting the rise of a new fascism. 

You know who the culprits are. 

Stand up to them and build a progressive secular alternative.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Cage & Counterfire exposed as the new far-right

The media has been full of stories tonight exposing the identity of mass murderer "Jihadi John, a former student at the University of Westminster, gang member and criminal as Mohammed Emwazi from London.

In a disgraceful press conference their spokesman described this psychopath as a "beautiful man" whilst John Rees one of the leaders of the Stop the War Coalition and member of the "far left" organisation Counterfire looked sympathetically on as Chair of this gathering of appeasers before the media.

Blaming everybody except the bleeding obvious, these "spokesmen" for a charity tried to suggest it's the security services and alienation that turned him this way.

Nothing to do with fundamentalist Islamism then?

You know a lot of people go through "alienated phases when they are young, usually turning to drink & drugs or just "dropping out.

The time has come for an investigation into the activities of this supposed charity.

And frankly the role of these "Islamic Societies" in our Universities should also come under scrutiny, not just by the student bodies or college authorities, but frankly the very security services these charlatans attack.

Lives are at stake. The proliferation of hate preachers and their ilk is a danger to us all.

The so called "left" needs to take a good look at itself and the activities of some of their comrades.

As far as I'm concerned Stop the War is on the far-right as is Counterfire. I refuse to recognise these groups as part of the progressive left.

The University of Westminster has sadly cancelled it's "hate-fest" with "Sheik" Haitham al-Haddad because of "security fears" and "increased sensitivity".

In plain English they've been rumbled.

The time has come to stand up to the new fascists as this Sky News reporter does with skill!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

70 days and counting down.....


The last few days have proved quite interesting as the countdown to the General Election continues. Two MP's have managed to disgrace themselves through their unmitigated greed, though the Tory Malcolm Rifkind came off worst with his arrogant and selfish view that "people like him cannot be expected to live on £60,000 a year.

Really mate. I'd love to try myself.

It just showed the Tories have no bloody idea about how the rest of us live.

Nobody is against anyone making a decent living or even becoming rich, except perhaps the handful of remaining communists and their ilk*.

But open greed when so many are struggling to make ends meet, unable to rent or buy decent accommodation, choosing between heating bills and eating just isn't acceptable.

Mike Clancy, the General Secretary of Prospect writes:

When the Prime Minister declares that Britain needs a pay rise, you know an election must be around the corner.

David Cameron appeared to make a remarkable conversion when he told February's British Chamber of Commerce conference that "economic success can't just be shown in the GDP figures or on the balance sheets of British business but in peoples pay packets and bank accounts and lifestyle...put it simply Britain needs a pay rise.

This is very close to the TUC's campaign slogan "Brain needs a Pay Rise" so are we seeing a sudden outbreak of of economic consensus, heralding a new drive to tackle the depressed incomes of the last five years sadly not.

Sadly not indeed.

The frozen pay of millions of public sector workers, the proliferation of "Zero Hour" Contracts and basic wages below the "living wage" are not going to suddenly change just because the Prime Minister wants to be re-elected.

And as Mr Clancy points out:

To be fair, all the major political parties lack a coherent programme to redress the imbalance in the workplace, the erosion of workers voices and the decline of pay and employment conditions in the wider economy.

Quite right. So who do we vote for?

Now the Prospect has set up a dedicated website for members to follow the election at:

General Election 2015: Your Vote, Your Voice

A useful resource for all trade unionists.

Meanwhile over on the fringes of politics not all is well. The Green Party "speaker" spectacularly crashed at her Manifesto launch not knowing the answers to half the questions put to her.

And remember this was the divvy who thinks belonging to "terrorist organisations" shouldn't be illegal.


Then there's the question of "greedy MP's".

* Over at Tendance Coatsey our attention is drawn to a little omission by the comrades of the Socialist "Workers" Party who in their article neglect to mention that George Galloway of the misnamed Respect Party has the third largest income of any MP, over £300,000 on top of his job as a mostly absentee MP for the Bradford Caliphate.

If you remove Gordon Brown who came top but donates the lot to charity and good causes the gorgeous one is actually second on the "MP rich list"

The SWP of course are part of the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition, the far-left electoral front supported by the RMT Union (except for their President Peter Pinkney) who is a candidate for the Green Party), the Socialist Party and their Grandees in the declining PCS union.

How much does Comrade Serwotka pocket each year by the way? Anywhere near the "wage of an average worker?


Neither does his useless Assistant GS Chris Baugh who belongs to a (socialist) party that insists on the principle in it's Marxist programme.

Being a realist I know there's no perfect solution, no perfect alternative, but I do know we only have one choice if we are to even begin pushing back against the unfair society that the Tory/Liberal coalition have presided over.

Ignore the carpetbaggers, the sandal wearers and the Trots.

Vote Labour.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Musical Interlude: T'Pau

Time for a little change of pace tonight with a musical interlude from T'Pau, whose lead singer Carol Deker had some very strong and distinctive vocals. Their biggest hit was China In My Hand, but my personal favourite was this little number, Heart And Soul.

Released in 1987 it didn't become a hit until it featured in a Pepe Jeans advert. Do they still make those?

I still have the twelve inch version (remember these?) somewhere.

And as all you Trekkies know T'Pau was named after a Vulcan elder.

Monday, 23 February 2015

"Jihadi Brides" and Hate Preachers are products of religious fascism

The main story on the news today has been about the three schoolgirls who have buggered off to join a bunch of murderous thugs in the fascist enclaves know as the Islamic State.

The parents are reported as being "unaware" of how these girls got radicalised. Really?

All these families attend the East London Mosque which is notorious for hosting radical Islamist speakers. Hardly an institution of moderation.

These girls are not alone, several hundred young men and a few women have already departed these shores to go and join ISIS.

The organisation that we are told is nothing to do with mainstream Islam.

And yet just a few short steps from their homes, the Jihadist extremists have been preaching in East London.

Just where has this radicalism come from?

Anybody with half a brain and not blinded by misguided loyalty to a backward medieval faith could tell you.

And then there's the invitation of "Sheik" Haitham al-Haddad to speak at an event organised bythe University of Westminster Islamic Society.

He's a real charmer this one. The National Secular Society reports:

The Sheikh has a long history of articulating an extremely homophobic ideology. In an online article called "Standing up against homosexuality and LGBTs" he compared homosexuality with adultery, and said "Allah has ordained us to speak out" in order to "combat the scourge of homosexuality". He argued that homosexuality was a "criminal act".

He also used the article to praise the president of Liberia for "defending a law that criminalises homosexual acts" and commended "the many Christian bishops and ministers" who opposed equal marriage. He called on Christians "to refer back to the original teachings revealed by their creator, Allah" and said he prayed to Allah "to preserve this country from evil practices" and to "keep us steadfast in enjoining good and forbidding evil".

Al-Haddad has also been recorded discussing the "proper way" to conduct female genital mutilation, andsaid that domestic abuse should be sorted out between a husband and wife, because Islam "is looking for the bigger picture in order to keep the relationship between the husband and wife together."

So much for "safe spaces" so heartily promoted by today's student unions.

Only applies to secularists, readers of Charlie Hebdoe or the odd rugby player who's a bit drunk and leery.

Hate Preachers? That's fine it would seem.

Not very safe for Gays or women, which must account a large section of the student body.

And has no none rally noticed that the University is just about to host a huge Pride event with people coming from all over the country?

A deliberately provocative act by the Islamists hosting this fascist speaker.

The event must be peacefully picketed and the Islamic Students cordially invited to take up an equal opportunities course as part of their studies.

As an ex-student when it was called the Polytechnic of Central London I am ashamed that this institution has allowed itself to sink to this level.

The PCLSU had a policy of No Platform for Fascists.

I would have thought this fake Sheik fitted the bill.

There is a glimmer of hope though. Two thousand students have signed a petition against this charlatan preaching his evil message of hate.

Time for students to stand up against the real enemy. 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Stop the War Coalition pickets US Embassy as Russia invades Ukraine

Stop the War Coalition

22 Feb / London / Protest: Stop Nato's War in Ukraine - Peace for the Donbass

There are times when the actions of the left/far-left beggar belief. The totally misnamed Stop the War Campaign along with the pro-Russian "Solidarity with the anti-fascist Resistance in Ukraine" have decided to respond to the annexation of Crimea and invasion of the Donbass region of the Ukraine by erm..picketing the US Embassy today.

Not the Russian Embassy, the American one.

Apparently this is a "NATO war", even though the only troops invading the independent nation of Ukraine are Russian.

Never has a political campaign been so misused. 

Well I suppose there is the Unite Against (certain types of) Fascism which has more or less the same participants and supporters which met yesterday in London allowing the comrades to stop over and mislead the public over yet another issue.

With these anti-imperialist types only the West is to blame, even where the evidence flies in the face of their nonsensical ideological outlook.

And ordinary trade unionists are helping to pay for this nonsense. Unite, PCS, UCU, CWU and others are paying towards supporting pro-Russian, pro-Putin aggression.

Russia is the aggressor.

The Stop the War Coalition is nothing of the sort.

Their leaders pick and choose which wars to oppose and which aggressors to cover for.

This organisation must be opposed.

The anti-imperialists cannot be trusted.

Trade Unionists must demand their unions cease funding this ridiculous outfit. 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Charlie Hebdo: a perspective one month on

Cross-post from the National Secular Society

By Sadikir Rahman

Charlie Hebdo: a perspective one month on

25 years after the Rushdie Affair, one month after the atrocities in Paris and days after the attack on a free speech seminar in Copenhagen, Sadikur Rahman looks at what lessons free expression activists and opponents have taken.

Another European city, this time Copenhagen, has been attacked because it had the temerity to host a small talk about free speech and cartoons. Two more people have lost their lives, and two more families have been left devastated. One person was killed at the event, whilst the other was targeted because he was Jewish, a recurring target for Islamist fundamentalists.

The reaction in the UK press to the Copenhagen attack has been muted, perhaps because we're getting so used to these attacks and it is no longer a surprise. Much of the reporting has been deeply troubling. The BBC, for example, constantly referred to the "controversial" cartoonist Lars Vilks. Despite the fact that only those objecting to freedom of expression would find him controversial, they deliberately chose to use this terminology. One LBC reporter even asked "whether it was wise to host a debate on free speech". It seems to me that nothing has been learned from the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

The Charlie Hebdo murders were a critical moment. We will reflect back on the attack as a turning point. In the future, those bemoaning the loss of free speech and expression will say we should have taken more action now, been more robust, less scared of the fanatics, and less polite and squeamish about printing the cartoons. But now it is too late. Instead, the attacks could have been a turning point in getting blasphemy laws repealed around the world.

It is much like the Salman Rushdie Satanic Verses protests in 1991, one can trace many Islamist movements and the increasing religious awareness of British Muslims from that moment. It was then that the forces of Islamism and the anti-blasphemy lobby cut their teeth. Many now look back at that pivotal moment and believe that we should have been less willing to tolerate the protests against that book. Had society and the press been more willing to defend the right to offend and freedom of expression when these movements were still in their infancy, perhaps we would not be where we are today. Instead, most of the press seemed to blame Rushdie for having written 'offensive' material in the first place.

Although there was initially an outpouring of solidarity and sympathy in the Paris marches it has still not led to any sense of safety in being able to publish simple pictures. On the contrary, there seems to be a new turning away from support of the cartoonists, with statements qualifying the right to free expression by saying that we should be sensitive to religious and cultural feelings.

Apart from one or two exceptions, few mainstream papers in the UK or America published the pictures. This shows how much success the killers have had. The position has now been reached whereby no one will publish these pictures both because of safety fears and because it will be seen that unless the story deserves it there is no need to cause 'offence'. They are being constantly published on the internet, but mainly by campaigning groups in support of free expression and of course to some extent that can be done anonymously. Without strength in numbers and spreading the danger around, so few are expected to shoulder the burden of free speech for so many.

Just last week there was a demonstration organised by the Muslim Action Forum outside Downing Street against the publication of the cartoon by Charlie Hebdo- the organisers in fact gave thanks to the British press, which had respected the protestors' views. The prevailing mood seems to be that although we have the right publish these pictures, we should not in fact exercise that right and specifically we should not criticise religion. Whether that is because of fear or a genuine wish not to offend is irrelevant. It means that, in fact, the right to free expression is lost and we have truly censored ourselves.

After the Charlie Hebdo incident there was much talk that somehow secularism itself was to blame. It was implied that the French state in its insistence on secularist principles was too aggressive and played into the hands of Islamist militants, by banning the Niqab in public for instance. It was argued that this somehow led to a sense of alienation which nurtured fundamentalist, nihilistic attitudes amongst some members of the Muslim population. This all ignores of course the fact that it was cartoonists who were specifically targeted, which suggests that it had nothing to do with alienation or racism, and everything to do with Islam's prohibition on depictions of the Prophet.

Of course there are no easy solutions, but I would suggest two ways of moving forward. The first is of course an internal debate within Islam, which to some extent outsiders will have very little input on, other than to wholeheartedly support the likes of Majid Nawaz and other reformers. Many Muslims have tried to show that the depictions of the Prophet were common in the past and that certainly seems to be the case. However, it is telling that often those articles are for the 'West's' consumption, namely an attempt to lecture the non-Muslims about the tolerant ideals of Islam and also to repeat the mantra that the murders had nothing to do with Islam. What these writers actually need to do is convince their many co-religionists (Taliban, Al-Qaeda, ISIS) that Islam can be a peaceful religion; Western leaders don't really seem to need much convincing of that.

There is now an articulate lobby which demands obedience to a de facto blasphemy law. We need to re-educate ourselves and be equally articulate and argue against such encroachments. This is even more important amongst the young, who are less religious but perhaps more politically correct, and who seem to view all ideas as equally valid. One need only view the actions of various student unions around the country in evidence of this.

Some of this needs to take place in the classroom and schools where fundamental ideas about our society are inculcated, ideas like free speech, human rights, democracy and secularism. We need to tackle all forms of non-violent extremism, because it is clear that this can lead to violence when left unchallenged. That is not to say we should ban things such as the veil, but we should be free to openly criticise the religious ideas behind them

Surely the lesson from France is not that there was too much secularism but there wasn't enough. It is simply not enough to have a secular government and secular policy, to solely concentrate on who is in power, or who is in government and to think that a change there will lead to a more secular society or the absence of religion from public life. That seems to me to be elitist. We need to disseminate and propagate secular principles to the public at large and be willing to engage in debate. We need to be willing to risk stating the obvious, starting from first principles- for example, explaining what it means to have freedom of expression. The French state has to convince many French Muslims of the values of secularism- they are not engaged; they are not challenged and they have been left to their own devices and many have fallen for fundamentalist ideas. We in the UK and Europe generally need to push secularism into the private sphere. And at risk of using religious language, we need to proselytise the values of secularism on a wider scale.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Bromley council to withdraw all trade union facility time

  Image result for bromley council logo

In an astonishing attack on the fundamental right to organise and represent members in trade unions Tory controlled Bromley council is to withdraw all facility time for union reps.

This comes in advance of mass privatisation of Bromley council services.

Image result for unite logo

Local Unite representatives are circulating the following motion for your organisation to support and send messages of solidarity:

This meeting notes that:

Bromley Council has notified Unite that all trade union facility time is to be withdrawn. This appalling attack by the Tory Council is a political one aimed at attacking the organised worker opposition to its cuts and privatisation programme.

The Council is implementing a mass privatisation programme. The impact on staffing will be a reduction from 3000 to 300 employed staff. This programme is moving ahead with pace.

The Council have now announced cuts to essential car user allowance and pay increments. This follows the withdrawal from national pay bargaining.

This meeting agrees to:

Send a message of support to Bromley Unite members (please send

Send a message of protest to Bromley Council Leader ( and the Chief executive ( Please copy any messages to Kathleen smith.

Send a donation to the Bromley campaign fund

Support protests called by Bromley Unite

This represents a clear signal of what will happen to working peoples rights if the Conservatives win the next general election.

There must be no distraction from the need to work for a Labour victory.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Time to fight back against the enemy within.

The BBC reported tonight the conviction of yet another radicalised youth turned terrorist:

A teenager who was on his way to behead a British soldier with a 12in knife when he was arrested, has been found guilty of preparing a terrorist act.

Brusthom Ziamani, 19, was also carrying a hammer and an "Islamic flag" when he was arrested in London in August 2014.

The court heard he had been inspired by the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in 2013, researched Army c adet bases and boasted of a plot to "kill soldiers".

Ziamani, of Camberwell, London, will be sentenced on 20 March.

He was arrested in east London at about 16:30 BST on 19 August as part of a joint police and MI5 intelligence operation.

Earlier that day, police say he visited his former girlfriend, where he showed her the knife and hammer and told her he intended to attack and kill soldiers.

Meanwhile the main recruiter for Islamist hate in this country remains free to spread his vile message. Just watch this video nasty.

Hope not Hate have launched a campaign to stop this man and you can support this by simply adding your name to this letter to the Home Secretary:

Act Now. Sign Today!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Say NO to anti-Semitism in our classrooms

From  Campaign Against Anti-Semitism UK


Despite being found guilty on Tuesday of praising Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust on Facebook, London teacher Mahmudul Choudhury has walked free with only a £465 fine, £132 of other charges and no restriction on his ability to teach children.

Choudhury posted an image on Facebook of Hitler with the caption “Yes man, you were right” and a further caption saying “[Hitler] could have killed all the Jews but [he] left some of them to let you know why [he] was killing them. Share this picture to tell the truth a whole world [sic].” Choudhury added his own comment: “Yes now we could see why...” He claimed that he posted the image by mistake, but the fact that he edited the post to hone his message of hate shows that this cannot be true.

Although not mentioned in the charges, on his Facebook page Choudhury also ‘likes’ extremist Islamic preachers highlighted by anti-extremist groups as highly controversial. Having already seen Islamic extremist infiltration into other schools around the country it beggars belief that this man is still able to teach London’s children.

It must also be asked how a Nazi-admirer came to be teaching children in the first place despite the trail of red flags raised by his online activity. It is important to note that he was exposed not by an investigation but by former pupils with whom he was friends on Facebook.

Whilst we are thankful to the police and CPS for their zero-tolerance response to Choudhury's antisemitic hate crime, the criminal justice system has today betrayed parents by allowing a convicted antisemitic Nazi-admirer to walk free and continue to teach. It will now be left to his school to take any further action.

We are contacted by concerned parents often and will always help those who wish to protect their children against indoctrination, but ultimately we rely on the courts to dispense justice and the Ministry of Justice must review its sentencing guidelines. The CPS has not yet announced whether the ruling will be appealed.

Teachers have a special responsibility in our society and shape the minds of our children. Mahmudul Choudhury cannot plead ignorance and has today been spared any meaningful punishment for spreading a hateful message which helps create the climate in which Jews are currently being killed across Europe. We commend the police and CPS for pursuing this case with zero tolerance but unreservedly condemn this inexplicably lenient sentence and now expect an investigation into how someone who spread Jew hatred online came to be teaching London’s children.

Please contact the Rt Hon David Laws MP, Minister of State for Schools at or by calling 0370 000 2288 to ask what the Department for Education will now do to ensure that Mahmudul Choudhury can no longer teach and how it will ensure that people like him will be exposed and dealt with by the Department for Education instead of by former pupils taking action themselves.

Please also contact the Sentencing Council at or by calling 020 7071 5793 to bring the case to their attention, noting that hate crime has been escalating and that a public consultation on sentencing guidance in relation to hate crime would be timely.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Unite Against Fascism? A misnamed organisation if ever there was one...

Unite logo.png

The growth of anti-Semitism in both this country and elsewhere has become a real problem which so many people are shy of confronting, especially if they are on the left.

The reason?

The bulk of anti-Semitism comes from substantial elements of the Muslim community, particularly the Hate Preachers and their apologists.

And the terrorists who attacked both Charlie Hebdoe and Lars Vilks made sure they attacked Jewish targets in tandem with their other atrocities.

Hence the deaths at a Kosher supermarket in Paris and a Synagogue in Denmark.

Where are the protests?

In an unrelated murderous spree three innocent Muslims were killed by a lone gunman in America.

The left, in particular the Unite Against Fascism organisation manged an emergency protest over this, yet fail to organise protests against Islamist anti-Semitic murders in either France or Denmark.

Call themselves anti-fascists do they.

Not from where I'm sitting.

The misnamed UAF (founded and run behind the scenes by the Socialist Workers Party) is organising a conference this Saturday to discuss amongst other things, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Yet the session devoted to anti-Semitism does not have one Jewish speaker.

Not one.

Yet one of the advertised speakers for their Conference includes  a certain Azad Ali who once sued the Daily Mail for exposing his extremist links and lost.

Tells me a lot that does.

In fact the conference isn't really about anything else except  the far left vying with each other to say how much they are opposed to Islamophobia, especially those nasty Charlie Hebdoe people and why the "Muslim Community" should line up with their "anti-imperialist" agenda.

There's all the usual charmers present, Ken Livingstone (fan of "progressive" Cleric ,Yusuf Al-Qardawi"  Luftur Rahman (who is in trouble in his personal caliphate of Tower Hamlets),Weyman Bennet (SWP), Lindsey German (Stop the Western Democracies War Coalition) amongst others.

Why Gerry Gable of the long-standing Searchlight magazine is participating is beyond me.

Here's putting money on the fact that anti-Semitism amongst Muslims will either be ignored or laughed off as just "anti-Zionism" 

Certainly the rise of religious Islamist fascism will not be tackled.

And yet that is the most pressing problem faced not just in Europe but across the Middle East today.

Remember the 21 Coptic Christians beheaded just because they didn't believe in the "Religion of Peace".

Who exactly is exterminating the ancient Christian minorities in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere?

Peoples who lived there before the Arab/Muslim invasion of the area centuries ago?

Who will stand against anti-Semitism and the murder of Christians or Kurds.

Certainly not the UAF.

Their agenda is an anti-democratic one. A dangerous mixture of Islamism and Communism.

Put Human Rights before religious rights or ideology first.

All the time.

UAF are part of the problem and should be ignored by those seeking a solution to the rise of the new fascism. 

Religious fascism

Sunday, 15 February 2015

PCS: Serwotka gets paranoid, Mcinally gets mauled at reps meetings

The crisis facing the main civil service union continues unabated as two new on line reports this week outline.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka was invited to speak at a meeting of reps from across the North West earlier this month. In a forthright report PCS Bootle Taxes Branch tell us that:

By May PCS needs to make a saving of £332,000. The Union was not in debt this time last year, but successive departments withdrawing check off has put us in this situation.

That statement is blatantly untrue. Reps and members discovered there was a £7.5 Million pensions deficit on the unions book early last year.

Mark said that as we need to keep the budget cuts in proportion to spending, it will be split so that 55% comes from staffing costs and 45% from everything else. The plan is to make £3 million in savings from employment, so redundancies are inevitable. There will be 118 job losses which equates to nearly half of staff.

This no doubt is because the sale of PCS HQ in Falcon Road has run into trouble. Serwotka states:

The sale of PCS HQ at Clapham Junction does not cover everyday costs but will help plug the overall deficit. There is no intention to drop asking price. However the interested developers have offered £6-8 million less than they had previously bid due to there being another development plan that may affect how far they can dig into the foundations. Mark said that this couldn’t be agreed and that as it would have been foolish to assume the sale would have gone through quickly, the need remains to have a plan to fall back on for making savings elsewhere.

This doesn't include "campaigns" though. Political activities will go on regardless he says.

"Business as usual" for the activists who run the union. 

Projections for signing up members look bleak even from the "Dear leaders" view. PCS is likely to drop below 200,000. Despite "smoke and mirrors" this huge drop is not just down to "cuts" and job losses. 

Sources indicate as many as one third of PCS reps have not yet signed up for Direct Debit. At the same time growing numbers of members are joining other unions or simply waiting for check off to end before they make a decision.

In a tirade similar to that of PCS Vice President John McInally of the Socialist Party Serwotka attacks the other unions:

There has been encouragement by management for staff to join other unions such as Unison, Prospect, and FDA. Francis Maude is on record as saying Unison are a more sensible union who understand when deals need to be done. To illustrate this, they have already gone behind our back to sign up to a dilution of an agreement over redundancy, even though it affects many PCS members and few Unison members. This has cut us out of negotiations, to the detriment of our members.

PCS is notoriously difficult when it comes to working with other unions due to the political sectarianism of the unions leadership. Serwotka & Co forced the closure of the Council of Civil Service Unions and behaved badly at meetings with other public sector unions during the pensions dispute.

Serwotka does not know how to negotiate. Its an "all or nothing approach" hence the loss of so many members from two major departments, a still on-going affair in the HMRC where a new union formed by those driven out of PCS by the far-lefts shenanigans is in the process of being set up.

Meanwhile at a London DWP Reps meeting John McInally faced a hostile reception as a report by the Independent Left website illustrates:

The debate went on for over an hour. The first twenty minutes was him (John McInally) saying how awful the Tories were and they really hate us.....

He said that we have to make £6.5m savings this year. This is the first time I’ve heard that figure. I asked whether that was based on a 75% re-sign rate? He didn’t respond.

He talked about Unison poaching our members and was particularly scathing about Prentis whom he said was refusing to meet with Serwotka despite repeated requests. 

So Serwotka thinks other unions picking up members is "encouraged by management" and Unison are "poachers". 

Nothing to do with the way you lot have run the union into the ground.

PCS members have a few weeks to decide their futures. 

There ARE alternatives.

Prospect: Union for professionals 

RCTU Logo_Colour_Strapline_LARGE_MASTER

For HMRC staff:

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Islamic fascists attack freedom of expression convention

Copyright the artist/source Wikipedia

It seems being a cartoonist anywhere in the world is becoming a dangerous occupation as another violent attack is made on a freedom of expression convention in Sweden where Lars Vilks was speaking.

Lars has received death threats for several years after publishing a cartoon depicting Muhammad as a dog.

Back in 2008 two brothers were imprisoned for attempting to burn down his house.

copyright Lars Vilks (wikipedia)

The right of free speech and expression needs defending against these Islamic fascists and their apologists.

Human rights always come before religious rights.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Steve Hedley: Bringing unions into "disrepute".

Image result for rmt logo

Trade unions are an essential part of a democratic society and exist to obtain better terms and conditions and defend it's members from unfair treatment. Despite the general decline in membership and influence there still exists a strong trade union movement in the public sector.

One of those unions is the RMT, a very successful, if at times unpopular body with sections of the public due to the impact they can have when the London Underground has a strike.

The RMT are currently led by Mick Cash, a Labour supporting man who replaced the late Bob Crow. The union continues to exert it's not inconsiderable industrial muscle to protect it's members.

Currently the union has just completed a ballot for strike action to defend one of it's members from dismissal by 299 to 221 votes. The RMT Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley was invited to give the unions case on LBC Radio.

Then everything went pear shaped.

Wading in with unreasoned belligerence, Hedley managed to lose the plot with very strange remarks about "are you still beating your wife" to presenter Nick Ferrari.

You can listen to the three minute sequence here:

LBC Radio: Interview 

This is now to be the subject of legal action which will distract badly from the sacked drivers case.

Now Steve Hedley is not one of the most pleasant individuals and has attracted more than a little controversy in the past, not to say the least an accusation of "domestic violence" from a former partner. This was a subject of much debate across the Internet.

(See here: Caroline

Now whilst the police did not proceed with any action over this, the RMT did have an investigation in which they found that Hedley "had no case to answer".

Nevertheless there remained some disquiet on the left about the whole affair which blew up not long after the "comrade delta" affair which ended up ripping the Socialist Workers Party apart.

Hedley ended up resigning from the Socialist Party so as to avoid the on-going case at the time having a detrimental effect on the SP. He remained active in the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition, standing in the local elections which led to a campaign being launched against his candidature (see here).

It was therefore quite astounding that Steve Hedley would even choose this line of "argument" (if you can call it that) to try and get one over on Nick Ferrari, who's original question was not actually unreasonable.

RMT members were seriously let down by Hedley's blustering incoherence.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

PCS Vice President attacks other trade unions

Public and Commercial Services Union (logo).png  Image result for Socialist Party logo

The continuing financial and political crisis inside the main civil service union PCS continues unabated as one of it's main leaders John McInally (Vice President & Socialist Party member launches into an astonishingly sectarian tirade against both other unions and internal critics today:

While recognising debate between unions, sometimes sharp, is a vital part of the democratic life of our movement, reflective of the serious nature of the struggle in which we are involved and which arises from differing perspectives, PCS is nevertheless entitled to demand solidarity and unity from the rest of the trade union movement in the face of this attack. Sadly however, disturbing evidence is emerging that Maude has the tacit support of some union leaders in his attempts to isolate our union.

McInally starts with having a go at Unison for having the temerity to accept negotiating rights in the civil service without "asking permission from the other unions", by which he actually means PCS. None of the others seem to be concerned.

Later in his faux rage McInally complains about an article in Civil Service World:

More worryingly, union leaders from Prospect and the FDA lined up with one of the 'leaders' of the state-supported HMRC staff association RCTU, scandalously portrayed as a legitimate union, to repeat the lies that PCS does not negotiate, is purely politically motivated and that by fighting to defend its members against cuts and privatisation has brought the attacks upon itself.

This would be the PCS that amongst other things demanded and got the closure of the Council of Civil Service Unions (COCSU) back in 2011 because the Socialist Party led union expected the other unions to do it's bidding because PCS was the largest union and didn't like the other unions disagreeing with their policies no matter how insane.

This would also be the same PCS that bought the "Sword of Damocles" down on trade unionism in the civil service when they attempted to organise a strike the  day before the Olympics started on the basis of the support of 11%, that's right just 11% of the members in the Border agency.

The other unions were furious with Mark Serwotka and rightly so.

To say PCS has inflicted damage on itself is an understatement. The Socialist Party led union has also damaged the other unions which still reverberates today.

As for breakaway union, why do they never mention the mass departure of PCS members in the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)? Back in 2013 SOCA was subsumed into the police force and as a result lost the right to strike. The PCS reps in SOCA negotiated a very good compensation package which was summarily rejected on the order of Mark Serwotka and the reps suspended.

The result? Nearly the entire PCS membership in SOCA broke away and formed their own and very successful union. The National Crime Officers Association (NCOA).

McInally now turns his attention against dissident (and expelled) members in the HMRC who are busily setting up a new union to get away from the mad antics of the likes of Militant fanatics who control the PCS union. The notion they are a "state controlled union" is an absurd notion. A fantasy peddled by the far-left in PCS to try and discredit their former opponents.

McInally also takes time to attack his opponents to the left inside the union. He rants:

But even during the hardest battle, opportunism from some people is never far below the surface - the decision is under attack from the sectarian left within the union itself. The reaction of some in the so-called Independent Left, controlled by the Alliance for Workers Liberty, has been shameless.
Rather than unite to face this attack they have used the issue of suspending the elections as an opportunity to attack the leadership in an attempt to turn the union into a battleground for their own political advantage. 

Demanding accountability for the leaderships actions in selling off the unions property, cutting staff jobs and membership services through democratic elections is sectarian?

McInally continues his fallacious argument:

It is a feature of left sectarians that when big class battles are in progress they are simply incapable of rising to the task. The role of some on the left during the great miners' strike of the 1980s is brought to mind, who echoed the ruling class and right-wing union demand for a ballot to be held in the midst of that battle.

The Socialist Party is not and has never been interested in democracy. Only control.

That's the whole history of the followers of Lenin & Trotsky which the Socialist Party proudly proclaim they are part of.

How did Russia turn out exactly comrades?

No wonder so many of us finally gave up on the PCS union. It's a bloody mess and the leadership have no one else to blame but themselves. 

The current and continuing demise of PCS through the actions of the Socialist Party and their allies is a salutary lesson in how political activists destroy trade unions by trying to use them for their own political gain.

PCS members would be better served by joining other unions.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Eurovision: Australia to join the fun. Will Japan be next?

There will be two big events in May this year. A General Election that may be worth while staying up the night to watch an uncertain outcome and of and then as we  recover from the shock comes the Eurovision song contest.

This year has a little surprise in store!

Eurovision TV announces:

This year, the Eurovision Song Contest celebrates its 60th anniversary. To give the anniversary celebrations an extra dimension and to walk the talk on this year’s theme Building Bridges, the EBU and host broadcaster ORF invited Australia to compete in the Grand Final of the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. This brings the total amount of represented countries to 40

Australia will announce it's entry shortly.

This will only be a "one-off", but there are several non-European countries already taking part. Armenia, Georgia and Israel are regular participants.

I thought it would be fun to speculate on a future Japanese entry. 

Baby Metal?

Why not? We've had the contest won by the "bearded lady" from Austria and a Goth Metal band from Finland.

Here's a sample track from the girls if you have not heard from them before.

Monday, 9 February 2015

The Greens and the Trots are no alternative

The news that Peter Pinkney, President of the RMT union is to stand as a Green Party candidate in the forthcoming general election was surprising given his unions long backing for the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition.  The Daily Mirror reports:

This weekend the RMT rail union’s president announced he will stand for the Greens in Lib Dem seat Redcar.

Peter Pinkney said he was attracted to the party by its plan to ­renationalise the railways and other left-leaning policies.

According to the Mirror the Greens were attracting more than a few "hard left activists" and is now claiming a membership of some 60,000. It's hardly surprising that Pinkney would choose a the Greens with a large membership and a growing number of councillors around the country, especially when some polls show the Greens attracting as much as 14% of the vote.

They also have an MP in the form of Caroline Lucas and a couple of MEPs as well.

This stands in stark contrast the TUSC where the RMT has developed a long standing alliance with the Socialist Party (nee Militant) which is believed to have around just 2,000 members and doesn't even register in polls.

Given that the new RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash is a Labour Party member the TUSC looks set to lose the backing of tthe only trade union in it's so-called "coalition.

How much longer will RMT activists wish to spend their time and considerable amounts of cash on a tiny "organisation" of losers? 

The other union that is semi-officially involved is the rapidly declining civil service union, the PCS. Unable to get the union on board the TUSC on a formal basis, the Socialist Party have instead installed two PCS Grandees on it's National Committee. 

Chris Baugh the rather useless PCS Assistant General Secretary and Socialist Party "fixer John McInally sit on the TUSC in a "personal capacity" but make sure their rank in their union is well to the fore to try and bolster the standing of the TUSC.

Add the discredited Socialist Workers Party and  the Independent Socialist Group the TUSC would amount to even less without the RMT.

The Socialist Party, like many others on the far-left have tried to jump on the "Syrzia" anti-austerity bandwagon, but the Greens are far better placed to attract "socialists" and other activists of their ilk than the tiny TUSC.

Indeed the Mirror continues:

....the anti-austerity message seems more important to the party than its green roots these days – Ms Bennett barely mentions the environment once in our interview. It’s a winning formula which has chimed with Greek voters, and the Syriza coalition’s poll victory there last month is a big boost for the radical left.
Of course some voters may wish to recall the nonsensical statement of the Greens "leader" Natalie Bennet that "membership of terrorist organisations should not be illegal."

Tell that to the victims of 9/11 and 7/11 and the family of Lee Rigby.

Not the sort of people I'd trust wit the security of this country.

As for "anti-austerity", the Greens record in the one council they control in Brighton has hardly been a beacon of resistance, something their far-left rivals are often keen to point out.

However those considering the TUSC should be aware that the Socialist Party run PCS union has been instituting a cuts programme that is terminally damaging the largest of the civil service unions. PCS staff have got a worse deal on pensions than the one demanded by the union for it's members.

On top of that a substantial job cull is about to take place inside PCS because the "anti-austerity" crowd have err.. been unable to balance the books.

They blame the end of "check-off" but the financial crisis faced by the PCS goes much further back than that as was discovered when a panicked Socialist Party tried to get Unite to literally take over PCS.

A move still on the cards

Of course the Socialist party has a bad track record when in control of Liverpool Council as see a few decades ago.

Neither the Greens nor the Trots have a real answer to austerity and frankly Syrzia doesn't inspire despite its rhetoric anyway.

At the end of the day whilst the TUSC will probably fail to even get noticed, the Greens could if their surge turns out to be real help the Tories back into power by cutting the Labour vote.

That would be the worst of all scenario's.

All these false dawns on the fringes of politics are a distraction from the real task.

Kick out the Tories and their Liberal allies.

That means voting Labour.

There is NO other alternative. 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

French religious leaders asked to sign free speech declaration

Cross-post from the National Secular Society

Reporters Without Borders is asking French religious leaders to sign a statement declaring that "everyone is free to express criticism… of any system of political, philosophical or religious thought."

The Declaration on Freedom of Expression is part of the "Freedom of expression has no religion" campaign.

The push comes amid widespread fears about de facto Islamic blasphemy laws in Europe, and after the Pope made clear his view that freedom of expression has limits where matters of faith and religion are concerned.

The declaration states that "no one's concept of what is sacred may be imposed on others."

The campaign is asking leaders of many different faiths to sign the statement, including Muslims, Christians and Jews. Reporters Without Borders state that they have "sought the support of representatives of France's leading religious organizations" and that several senior figures have already signed the statement, including Dalil Boubakeur, head of the Paris Mosque and the French Council of Muslim Worship; François Clavairoly, who leads the Protestant Federation and Marie-Stella Boussemart, president of the French Buddhist Union.

Grand Rabbi Haïm Korsia is said to support the declaration in principle, and is calling for a "collective response from all members of the French Conference of Religious Leaders", including the "French Conference of Bishops and the French Assembly of Orthodox Bishops."

Reporters Without Borders explain that their goal is "to draw attention to the close relationship between freedom of expression and religious freedom" and "to combat the temptation to restrict freedom of expression."

Jean-Louis Bianco, president of the Secularism Monitoring Centre, said: "This important declaration stresses that freedom of conscience and freedom of expression are closely linked and complementary. Secularism is what unites them because it constitutes a framework that allows the expression of any opinion or belief, within the limits of the freedom of others."

Highly recommended article: