Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Tory confidence leads to pre-election cuts

photograph
Photo: Paul Glazzard CC

As a Prospect union rep in the Civil Service I can vouch for how hard pressed our members are across the various government departments. Overworked, facing changing contracts and anti-social hours with no real gain in pay, poorer conditions of service,falling job security and redundancy payments staff are hard pressed to keep services going.

Things are bad and about to get worse as the government announces more cuts. Mores to the point these cuts are to be introduced in 2019/20, the year running up to the election. A time when Brexit will also be taking place and effecting the country in a way we still cannot predict.

The Times (no link£) reported:

Government departments have been asked to find savings up to 6% in the year before the election it has emerged.

David Gauke, the  chief secretary to the Treasury, has written to cabinet colleagues this week asking them explore efficiency savings based on two scenarios: a reduction of 3 per cent and one of 6 percent from their 209/20 budgets.

Can you imagine?

The year before the election when governments usually spend money to attract support are planning swinging cuts. So confident they must be at winning.

Only the NHS and education are to be exempt and Defence only to face a maximum of 3% due to the NATO commitment of 2% of GDP.

The reason for this is quite clear. Who exactly threatens the government?  The Liberals despite a modest revival will never reach sufficient levels to threaten Tory dominance. Labour is tearing itself apart in internecine warfare as the mainstream attempt to rid the party of this "turbulent priest" one Jeremy Corbyn the most incompetent leader of the party, like ever.

And where is the man at the moment? He sent his deputies to fact the PLP last night as he refuses to face up not just to his personal failures but the monstrosity his followers have created. A rabble of the worst elements the so-called left has to offer.

The anti-austerity movement is nowhere. For nearly nine years we have faced cuts. Where will madame la guillotine fall next? There are no "easy" options left. Those have been used up. People are suffering but the left refuses to face to to the responsibility of actually gaining power.

Still used to shouting on demonstrations and social media buffeted and closeted by similar thinkers alongside them the comrades refuse to acknowledge the complexities of economy, politics and democracy. Their socialism is one that will need to imposed from the top. The world has seen this before. It was called "Stalinism". Dressing up old thinking in new straightjackets and quoting Trotsky or other Marxists does not impress.

The electorate rejected Labour in Copeland despite the threat of the loss of services. The old politics of leftism has passed it's sell-by date. A new social contract, a new social democracy is required to replace the outdated ideology of the last two centuries.

Dinosaurs went extinct for a reason. It's time the the politics of Corbyn to be sent to the rag and bone yard where they belong.

The Conservative party needs to be opposed. We cannot leave opposition to the like of John Major. The Labour Party, the trade union movement needs to be reborn. Awake comrades you only have the chains of Marxism to lose.

Monday, 27 February 2017

The Experiment: Georgia's Forgotten Revolution 1918-1921

Cross-post by Eric Lee


Declaration of Independence by the National Council of Georgia, May 26, 1918.

(Howie's Note: As the 100th anniversary of the so-called Russian Revolution by Lenin and his Bolsheviks approaches his modern acolytes are busily promoting the virtues of the man and his ideology. Recently Tariq Ali and Lyndsey German, two washed out old lefties appeared at an event organised by the Countefire group extolling the "achievements" of the revolution". Put in "brackets" because in reality what Lenin and his co-thinker Trotsky did was organise a coup d'etat. 

Future posts will challenge the accepted narrative put around by the traditional, unthinking left. But first I was lucky enough to attend a talk by Eric Lee at the Georgian Embassy last week where the experience of democratic socialism was tried out by the Mensheviks . This is his speech and gives food for thought and discussion.)

---------------------------------------

I want to thank the British Georgian Society for inviting me to give this talk, and to the Georgian Embassy for hosting it. And thanks to all of you for coming.

I want to begin by saying a few words about the book I’ve written and why I wrote it.

As some of you may know, I have spent most of my life as an activist in the labour movement and on the democratic Left. I grew up in America, during the Cold War, a time when “socialist” was a dirty word, and was closely identified with the regime established by Lenin and Stalin in the Soviet Union.

I was never enthusiastic about that regime and at a young age was happy to discover that there was a socialist movement which did not accept that the Soviet model was a positive one. We called ourselves “democratic socialists” and we challenged the claim that the Soviet Union was in any way a socialist society.

But people would ask: so where is this democratic socialism of yours? It was a difficult question to answer, then and now.

Of course we could point to the Nordic countries, and certainly a few decades ago, countries like Sweden and Denmark did seem to be far more liveable, humane and decent societies than the ones on either side of the Iron Curtain. They were, and are, democracies. They had, and have, very powerful labour movements. They achieved a degree of social justice and equality that was unimaginable in places like the United States. But they remained capitalist countries, and the Social Democratic parties which led them for so many decades had little ambition to transform them into anything other than a decent and humane form of capitalism.

If we were looking for a more advanced model of democratic socialism, there was always the example of the kibbutz movement in Israel. The kibbutzim took socialist ideals and realised them to a degree not seen anywhere else. Communal dining rooms and laundries, collective child rearing, direct democracy through weekly meetings of the entire community – these were revolutionary ideas rooted in classical socialist writings. But the kibbutzim for all their strengths never amounted to more than three or four percent of the population of the small Jewish state. They punched above their weight, providing the country with many of its leading politicians, generals and cultural figures. But the country as a whole was no more socialist than Denmark.

If one looked around for examples of countries where socialist parties came to power and carried out far reaching reforms aiming to create socialism while defending democracy – and that means multi-party elections, freedom of speech and the press, free and independent trade unions and so on – there were hardly any to be found.

There were plenty of interesting experiments in workers’ rule during the twentieth century. Among these were those carried out by anarchists, syndicalists and independent socialists in Spain during the civil war, or Austria’s great experiment in socialist urban living known as “Red Vienna”. But a socialist party carrying out a democratic socialist revolution in an entire country? I know of only one example: Georgia.

I began reading up on Georgia back in the 1980s. At the time, I thought I could quickly pull together a book telling the long-forgotten story of the independent Georgian republic of 1918-1921. A leading figure in the international trade union movement promised that if I completed the book, we could arrange to smuggle copies into Soviet Georgia. It turned out that Soviet Georgia was not long for the world, collapsing by 1991 and any book I might write would no longer play the subversive role I imagined for it then.

Nevertheless, such a book could still be quite useful for a new generation of democratic socialists, people who like me so many years ago wondered if there aren’t any examples of societies that aimed to create socialism while preserving democracy and human rights. I think in particular of the millions of people who supported Senator Bernie Sanders in the US presidential election last year. Sanders described himself as a democratic socialist, spoke about his experience in the 1960s living on a kibbutz in Israel, and pointed to Denmark as an example of the kind of society he aspired to create in the US. I think Sanders’ supporters may be interested in learning about an even more radical alternative than Denmark. I imagine that very few of them will have heard of the first Georgian republic.

Last year I decided to dive back into the subject of the first Georgian republic and was able to persuade Zed Books, an independent radical publisher here in London, to publish the book. We’ve agreed on a title – The Experiment: Georgia’s Forgotten Revolution – and we have a publication date, September of this year.

Let me recap what actually happened in Georgia between 1918 and 1921.

Next month we mark the hundredth anniversary of the collapse of the Romanov monarchy. In March 1917, under pressure from rebellious soldiers and workers in the imperial capital of Petrograd, the Tsar abdicated. A provisional government was formed which held power for about eight months.

Among the leaders of that provisional government were Georgians – because Georgians played a disproportionately important role in the Russian Social Democratic Party. One of them was elected the president of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldier’s Deputies. Another was chosen for a post in Kerensky’s cabinet. These Georgians were Mensheviks, supporters of that wing of the Social Democratic Party which rejected Lenin and his undemocratic ideas.

But the Georgian Social Democrat who went on to become the most famous Georgian of all time was Stalin, who unlike nearly everyone else in Georgia supported Lenin when the party split between Bolshevik and Menshevik factions. Stalin too made his way to Petrograd when the Tsar abdicated.

The collapse of Tsarist rule in Petrograd meant that it collapsed across the empire, even in places where no revolution had taken place. In Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, the Tsar’s representative stepped aside to allow the country’s political leaders to take power. And in Georgia, all those political leaders were Mensheviks. The most prominent of them was Noe Zhordania.



Zhordania and his comrades headed up what was probably the only mass political party of any kind in the Russian empire. The Georgian Mensheviks had been so successful in organising peasants that for several years earlier in the century, they had actually controlled a significant part of the country. This became known as the “Gurian republic” and was a very rare example of direct democracy and self-government in what was otherwise an authoritarian system. The Gurian republic was eventually crushed by the Tsar’s army, but the Mensheviks retained the support of the vast majority of Georgian workers and peasants right up until 1917.

The Georgian Mensheviks never intended to take state power. In their view, no part of the Russian empire was ripe for socialism. They believed that Russia and its constituent parts, including Georgia, needed to pass through what they called a bourgeois democratic phase. This is why they supported the provisional government in Petrograd, and opposed Lenin’s calls to overthrow it. In addition to having no plans to take power, they also opposed Georgian separatism. They were perfectly happy for Georgia to be a part of the democratic federation that they assumed would replace the Russian empire.

So how did men like Zhordania who could not imagine taking state power and who rejected the idea of independence find themselves leaders of the first Georgian republic little more than year after the fall of the Tsarist regime?

The short answer is: Lenin.

Lenin’s faction of the Russian Social Democratic Party, the Bolsheviks, were intent on seizing power from the provisional government and using the power of the state to skip over several historical stages, moving Russia from feudalism to capitalism and finally to socialism. No matter that no one seriously considered Russia remotely ripe for socialism, which Marxists had always presumed to be a precondition for a socialist revolution. Lenin was of the view that Russia’s capitalist class would not play its historic role, so the Bolsheviks would play that role for them. This meant the creation of a ruthless, one-party dictatorship that by an act of will would move Russia forward by centuries at an enormous cost in human lives.

The Georgian Mensheviks were horrified by the news that a small band of Bolsheviks under Lenin and Trotsky’s command had seized power in Petrograd. The Bolshevik decision a few weeks later to physically disperse the Constituent Assembly, which had been chosen in the only free elections Russia had ever held, meant that the country was in the grip of an iron dictatorship. In Georgia, Zhordania and his comrades joined with the moderate left governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan and declared independence. They created a Transcaucasian Federation. Unfortunately, it lasted for barely a month.

The world war was still raging, and Turkey exploited Russia’s weakness to grab some territory from Georgia and Armenia. Azerbaijan, which had a Muslim majority, was not unsympathetic to the Turks, and as a result the federation collapsed. On May 26th, 1918, hours after the Transcaucasian Federation ceased to exist, Georgia proclaimed its independence.

The Mensheviks found themselves ruling a country whose separation from Russia they had always opposed. But under pressure from the Bolsheviks to their north and the Turks to their south, they had no choice. The result was that for the next three years, they were able to make an attempt to create a democratic socialist society, the first of its kind in the world.



The first thing they did was make a commitment to political freedom and human rights. From the outset, the Georgian Democratic Republic was a democracy. A whole range of political parties competed for power, unlike in Russia where Lenin and the Bolsheviks were outlawing the opposition parties one by one, including the dissident socialists. The regime the Mensheviks established in Georgia was characterized by freedom of the press, freedom of association, and universal suffrage (including the right of women to vote).

The first priority of the new government was the agrarian reform. Georgian peasants, like peasants all over the former Russian empire, were land-poor. While the Russian Bolsheviks engaged in open warfare with the peasants, sending heavily armed troops to the countryside to seize food, the Georgian Mensheviks – who had considerable support in the countryside – seized land from the wealthy land-owners, the tsarist state and the church – and gave it to the peasants. As a result the Georgian state was never plagued, as Russia was, by endless warfare between country and city. And peasant support for the Social Democrats never waivered.

In the cities, the Georgian government worked closely with the country’s young trade union movement to ensure that workers and their families were fed and cared for, even during times of economic crisis. The unions thrived, and retained their independence from the state, in sharp contrast to Bolshevik Russia where unions were made into an arm of the dictatorial state.

As one might expect, in a society governed by democratic socialists, the cooperative movement also thrived. Both consumer and producer cooperatives grew rapidly, and there was growing evidence that in some sectors of the economy, the cooperatives were overtaking traditional private businesses. Many saw them as the building blocks of a new society.

But at the same time as the Georgians were busy creating a better, more equal and just society, they were not left alone by the outside world. At first they were threatened by Turkey, and were only able to avert a Turkish takeover by using diplomacy to woo Germany – then a Turkish ally – on board. For a few months in 1918, a German army was present in Georgia, keeping the Turks at bay and allowing the young state to begin to take root.

As the world war ended in November 1918, Georgia faced a new security threat from an unexpected source: Armenia. The former ally expected that with the Allied victory in the war, little Armenia would grow rapidly, getting back large swathes of territory from Turkey and also some border provinces in Georgia with ethnic Armenian majorities. Armenian forces launched an invasion of Georgia in late 1918 which was eventually repulsed by the Georgians, including the newly-formed People’s Guard – a militia that was fanatically loyal to the Menshevik party.

With the Germans forced to withdraw, it was the turn of the British to occupy Georgia. While most historians agree that the German occupation was benign, the relationship between the British occupiers and the Georgian government was not ideal. The civil war in Russia was a big part of the problem. The British supported counter-revolutionary armies, most notably the forces under the command of General Denikin, who were supposed to be marching on Moscow and Petrograd to overthrow the hated Bolsheviks. Instead, Denikin picked a softer target, periodically attacking Georgia from the north. The Georgians protested, but the British were firmly on Denikin’s side. At one point the British threatened to use their ships in the Black Sea to carry out a naval bombardment of the Georgians. Denikin was an ally; the Georgians, who had earlier welcomed the Germans, were people who could not be trusted.

What saved British-Georgian relations and prevented a complete rift was the brilliant decision to send Oliver Wardrop as an emissary of His Majesty’s Governmen to Tbilisi. Wardrop was no ordinary British diplomat. He was an expert on Georgia, had visited the country and written about it. His sister had translated the great masterpiece of Georgian literature, Shota Rustaveli’s The Knight in the Panther’s Skin. It was the best possible choice, and Wardrop’s importance in bridging the gap between the Georgians and the British is hard to over-state.

Meanwhile, the Georgians had to deal with ethnic minorities within their borders. If I mention Abkhazia and South Ossetia as problem areas, that will sound familiar as many of the issues faced by the Georgian government then persist even today. And while some of the ethnic minorities in Georgia had genuine grievances, and while the Georgian military sometimes behaved improperly, the fact remains that the Russians were behind much of the unrest – then and now.

One ethnic minority in Georgia that gave unwavering support to the new republic and that benefitted from it enormously were the Georgian Jews. Jews had lived in Georgia for many generations and Georgia had long been one of the few countries in the world with no history of antisemitism. Jewish leaders played prominent roles in the Georgian government and society.

While that government commanded massive support, as shown by the results of free elections held in 1919, one group never did accept the legitimacy of the Georgian Menshevik leaders. I’m speaking about the Georgian Bolsheviks, members of Lenin’s Russian Communist Party, who worked day and night over three years to violently overthrow the elected government in Tbilisi.

There were two attempts at a coup, both thwarted by the Georgian security forces. The second of these was followed almost immediately by the signing of a peace agreement between the Russian Soviet government and Georgia, recognising Georgian independence. The Georgians agreed to legalise the previously-underground Communist party and to free any jailed Bolsheviks. The Communists agreed to behave themselves.

Shortly after this happened, leaders of democratic socialist parties from across Europe converged on Georgia as guests of the Menshevik government. These included leading figures in the British Labour Party, among them the future Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald. The most prominent member of the delegation was Karl Kautsky, from Germany, who was the most famous Marxist of the time and was known as the “Pope of Marxism”. As the other delegates returned to France, Belgium, and Britain, Kautsky lingered for a few more weeks in Georgia and wrote a short book on what he learned there. All the participants agreed that the Georgians were carrying out an enormously significant experiment in democratic socialism.

But it was not to last.

The Communists won the civil war in Russia, and then easily seized control of Georgia’s neighbours, Armenia and Azerbaijan. In Georgia, they brought in large numbers of “diplomats” and huge amounts of cash to fund subversion against the regime.

Red Army in Tbilisi Feb 25 1921.jpg

In February 1921, the Russian Army invaded Georgia. Trotsky, who was the commander of that army, knew nothing about it. Nor did Lenin. The invasion was ordered by Stalin and his cronies, ostensibly to come to the aid of local rebels. After the fact, both Lenin and Trotsky endorsed Stalin’s actions, and Trotsky wrote a particularly dishonest book rebutting Kautsky and trying to paint Georgia in the most negative light.

Georgia did not fall easily, as Armenia and Azerbaijan had done. It took weeks of bloody fighting before Tbilisi fell, and the Georgian Government retreated to the port city of Batumi. There, on the shores of the Black Sea, the Georgian Constituent Assembly met for the last time and finalised the drafting of the country’s constitution. It was a remarkable document, but unfortunately it described a state that would never come into being.

Even with the evacuation of Zhordania and the others onto Allied ships, heading off to western Europe for a life in exile, the Georgian struggle was not over. Just three years later, the Georgians rose up in a massive rebellion, under the leadership of the Mensheviks, in a desperate attempt to throw off Soviet Russian rule. It nearly worked. Some of the top leaders of the Georgian government, including the founder of the People’s Guard and the architect of the agrarian reform, came back to the country to lead the rebellion. But they were captured and executed and the rebellion drowned in blood.

Leading the local Bolsheviks in their ruthless suppression of the Georgians was the young Lavrenty Beria, who went on to become the head of Stalin’s secret police across the Soviet Union.

Looking back after nearly a century, what was the significance of the Georgian experiment?

Karl Kautsky 01.jpg

Let’s start with Karl Kautsky’s evaluation after his 1920 visit to the country. He wrote: “In comparison with the hell which Soviet Russia represents, Georgia appeared as a paradise.” He went on to call the Georgian Democratic Republic an “important social experiment” that constituted “the antithesis to Bolshevism”. The other members of the international socialist mission to Georgia in 1920 made similar comments.

Historian Stephen F. Jones sums up the achievements of the Georgian Republic in these words: “For all Georgian democracy’s flaws in these years, the First Republic was an outstanding achievement. Civil rights and dissent were recognized and, on the whole, legally protected. Society gained autonomy from the state. It preserved the two cardinal institutional guarantees of democracy – the right to participate and the right of public contestation – which includes freedom of expression, freedom to form and join organizations, the right to vote, and the existence of free and fair elections. This was truly remarkable, given the conditions and the times.”

What makes the Georgian experiment significant is that it was run by orthodox Marxists, it covered an entire country and it lasted for several years. Obviously a longer period and a larger country would have been better for purposes of testing democratic socialist ideals, but Georgia will have to do.

Why did it end?

The Georgian experiment did not end peacefully but it did not end in failure. So long as the Social Democrats held power, the country was largely at peace, a free society with an accountable government and a powerful civil society with independent trade unions and a strong cooperative movement. All this came to end not due to an internal collapse, but due to the invasion of a foreign army.

From a purely military perspective, the Georgians failed to defend themselves against the Russian aggressors. Some other former Russian provinces did better, most notably Poland and Finland, when faced with similar attacks. But Georgia had nothing like the resources of those countries. Still it can be argued that the Georgians invested too little in national defence when they had a chance, their army was far smaller than it needed to be, and they were therefore unnecessarily vulnerable when the Red Army crossed their borders in 1921.

They had also allowed the Bolshevik Party to thrive in the months following the peace treaty signed with Soviet Russia the previous year. That Party, now well funded and directed from the newly-opened Soviet embassy in Tiflis, played a key role in supporting the invading Russians. The Georgian Social Democrats remained committed to a multi-party democracy even when one of those parties was actually an arm of an aggressive foreign power. In their defence, it should be pointed out that the phenomenon of Communist Parties funded by Moscow and acting as their agents was a relatively new one.

Over the course of their three years of independence, the Georgians did not manage to settle the inter-ethnic conflicts that were exploited by Russia, Turkey and others. Due in part to blunders made by the Georgians in their suppression of local revolts, South Ossetians provided some forces to aid the Russian conquerors, and many, including the Abkhazians, welcomed the Russians when they arrived.

The Georgian state also failed because of its fundamental economic weakness. The Georgian Social Democrats and the Russian Bolsheviks both came to power in poor and backward countries. Both faced enormous tasks of reconstruction just to bring the economies back up to pre-war levels. The Russians did so with the aim of skipping several stages of history and creating socialism. The Georgians understood that their role was the creation first of all of a liberal democracy — socialism would wait. In neither country had the economic crisis ended by 1921. Georgia’s economic weakness was certainly a factor in its vulnerability first to Bolshevik subversion and later to military aggression.

By February 1921 the Georgians had also demonstrated an over-reliance on diplomacy, and in particular on the Great Powers, as part of their survival strategy. Lacking armed forces that might be able to repel a Russian invasion, the Georgian diplomats worked at a feverish pace to secure recognition from individual countries and the newly-formed League of Nations. They achieved some notable successes, but the fact remains that when the Russian armies crossed their borders, no one came to Georgia’s aid.

I think there are three principle lessons we can learn from the Georgian experiment of 1918-1921.

First, the Menshevik argument that an impoverished, backward societycannot skip historical stages and proceed to create socialism was right. The Bolsheviks in their hasty race to create a Utopia instead created a hell on earth for millions, not only in Russia, but in China, North Korea, Cambodia and elsewhere. The Georgian Social Democrats during their short period in power, showed that an orthodox Marxist approach — no skipping of stages, but a patient building up of society in preparation for an eventual transition to socialism — worked. Above all, the Georgian agrarian reform showed that a humane alternative to the Russian experience of forced collectivisation was always possible.

Second, another kind of revolution was possible. E.H. Carr, the great British historian who in his younger years was a diplomat who supported Georgian independence, wrote that “History is, by and large, a record of what people did, not of what they failed to do: to this extent it is inevitably a success story.” The Bolsheviks were the success story; but their revolution led to the nightmare of totalitarianism. The Georgians proved that this was not the only possible outcome of the 1917 revolution in the Russian empire. Their imperfect experiment showed that a Socialist government could also mean a multi-party democracy, free elections and a free press, a thriving civil society including powerful independent trade unions and cooperatives, and more. Socialism did not inevitably mean the creation of the GULAG system of slave labour camps, the Cheka secret police, the show trials, the purges, or the terror-famines and forced collectivisation that followed.

And the third lesson is that democracy is not one aspect of a socialist society; it is the very soul of that society. Karl Kautsky wrote a short book entitled The Dictatorship of the Proletariat in August 1918, just nine months after the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia. This was not yet the totalitarian regime of Stalin, and yet Kautsky’s criticism of the Bolsheviks was sharp and unforgiving. He wrote: “Socialism without democracy is unthinkable.”

The society the Georgian Social Democrats created was an inspiration to socialists at the time. But as the years passed, and as Soviet rule seemed to become permanent, fewer and fewer people took an interest in what the Georgian Social Democrats had achieved.

And yet the dream of a more equal society, a fairer one, in which people could also be free, persisted. That dream found its advocates in the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and again in the Prague Spring of 1968. It took the leadership of ordinary working men and women in the shipyards of Gdansk to turn it into a reality in Poland in the 1980s. It is a dream that continues today as people look for alternatives to capitalism while rejecting the legacy of Stalinism.

The ideals of democratic socialism, of a fairer, more equal society, in which people remain free and in which human rights are respected, are still quite potent ones. But people still ask if such a society is possible. To them we can say, paraphrasing what Engels once said about the Paris Commune, do you want to know what democratic socialism looks like?

Look at the Georgian experiment. That was democratic socialism.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

How long can we wait for real Labour to assert itself?


Photo: By Source

The forensic examination of the loss of Copeland and the decline of the Labour Party continues. Baroness Chakrabarti was interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show this morning stating that "her party" was "the establishment" in Copeland and had neglected the constituency for years.

The fact is she has only been in the Labour Party for like five minutes and done very well out of it. Chakrabarti obtained an unelected seat seat in the House of Lords by helping Corbyn cover up the problem of anti-Semitism within Labour's left-wing.

Chakrabarti is herself very much part of the establishment and took her pieces of silver to get in to it. Why should I or anyone else take her seriously?

The result of Corbyn's tenure on the Jewish community has seen support drop to just 7%.

Yet this woman, like McDonell calls for unity.

Since the rise of Corbyn social media has become toxic with the aggressive comments of his worshippers. Anyone who dares to disagree is a Red Tory or Blue Labour and these are least offensive comments I have seen. Only yesterday I saw a comment posted to a Labour Party activist that needed to be reported to the police because of it's clear threat.

So much posted from the supporters of what was promoted as the "new, kinder politics" has been not just threatening, but misogynistic and racist, particularly towards Jews.  The left are frankly a very intimidating lot prone to bullying. I fought against these kinds of people in the PCS union for years.

If you are not with them, you are worse than the Tories according to their twisted outlook and they all deny where "Stalinism" actually comes from. The far-left themselves with their fundamentalist, intolerant outlook.  In power they would be a nightmare as we saw in Russia and China and still today in North Korea.

Unity is their call, but real unity has been destroyed by their project. The Labour Party has always been a broad church of opinion from Methodists to a few Marxists. What the left call "unity" is in fact toeing their line. Falling behind their idiot messiah Corbyn.

That's not how it works.

Unity for the left means deselecting MP's who have different ideas to them. Purging the party of anyone who dares to speak out. The long history of their kind of politics shows this from the gulags to the cultural revolution.

The return of David Miliband and the recent comments of Dave Prentis about how Labour is becoming an irrelevance gives some hope that the tide against the new blackshirts may be turned, but such a prospect seems fr off in the dim future after another decade of Tory rule.

Ordinary people need a government that will help them now. Not some half-baked ideological purity that will keep Labour in opposition indefinitely.

Thing is the comrades don't care about ordinary people. As Stalin once put it; "One death is a tragedy. A million is a statistic.".

That's not the road any decent Labour member would ever seek.

The time is fast coming when people will have to make a choice. There are now clearly two parties within Labour. How long can we wait for the right one to reassert itself?

That is the question.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Musical Interlude: Battle Beast

With all the trials and tribulations of the Labour Party dominating the news and social media I decided to take a break from politics today and post some good hard metal music.

Tonights band of choice is Battle Beast, although this song is from a few years back with their original singer Nitte Valo.

Well it is Saturday night! Rock Finnish style!

Friday, 24 February 2017

Labour loses Copeland, UKIP loses Stoke

KL* The loss of Copeland was the fault of the years of Blair, Brown and their apologists in the PLP.

😕

It was only by chance I found out the result of the two by-elections early this morning after deciding to turn on the TV after visiting the water closet. The outcome seemed inevitable. Labour lost Copeland as everyone seemed to expect, but hung on to Stoke.

Or did they?

The loss of Copeland, a parliamentary seat held by the Labour Party since 1935 was a major blow to Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters who seeming have done nothing but blame everyone but themselves all day on social media. So much so I can't bring myself to read any more.

It's all "Blair & Brown's fault", It's the "coup plotters", the MSM (main stream media) and laughingly according to the now clearly deranged Baroness Chakrabarti, it was a vote "against the establishment. Excuse me? A vote for the Tories is a vote against the establishment? Words fail me.

Others still claim Jermey is the "most popular politician in the country. Oh please wake up and drink some coffee. This all comes from the claim that the Corbyn movement has "won the war on social media".

No they haven't and what's more it's the war on the doorstep that needs to be won.

Labour is still some 18 points behind the Conservatives in the polls.

Then there's Stoke.

Until Paul Nuttall was exposed as a fantasist and political charlatan he was expected to win Stoke, but the UKIP vote surprisingly held up and many appear to have turned to the Tories rather than Labour as a result.

The future for the Labour is bleak and Corbyn despite an online fan club remains toxic for the party. It is in no position to move forward and win the next general election.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Institutionalising Censorship



I was rather disturbed to read in today's Times (no Link£) that:

Researchers and  lecturers at the University of Sussex held a departmental meeting entitled "dealing with right-wing attitudes and politics in the classroom".

Unsurprisingly  there has been (quite justified) criticism of this event on the grounds it suppresses freedom of thought and speech. This is at a time when the easily offended snowflakes within today's student unions are seeking to ban all those who have different ideas to themselves and want to be prevent being "triggered" into having a major upset and resorting to watch puppy videos in a safe space.

I'm not quite sure what the thinking was behind this meeting and amongst other things would like to hear their definition of what actually is "right-wing". There doesn't seem to be a rise of book burning fascists in universities...oh wait...except from the censorious new left who many of us see as the new fascists but I'd take a bet that the seminar wasn't about this.

Do they mean Conservatives, Liberal Democrats. mainstream Labour or what? I'm not being sarcastic either. The formerly respected Hope not Hate organisation went right off the rails when they started labelling secularist critics of Islam as "Islamophobes". According to the massed on-line ranks of the followers of Jeremy Corbyn anyone who isn't with them is a "Red Tory" or "Blue Labour". To be labelled a Blairite is well to the right of acceptability in their myopic world.

Who knows?

Apparently any student wanting to put up any kind of notice has to have it approved so that the wording doesn't offend.  Given the ease which some people take offence these days they'll just have blank pieces of paper on the noticeboards.

At this rate nobody will say anything to anybody for fear of denunciation by the new Red Guard.

Universities will become re-education camps churning out the types that cannot think for themselves and only toe the line of whoever is pushing the latest anti-phobia campaign.

It's time for universities to get a grip.

And grow a pair.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Fiddler was in Guantanamo Bay for a reason

Black Standard flag[1]

The biggest threat to the world today comes from Islamic extremism in various forms whether it be the "Trojan Horse" or the Suicide Bomber", these are simply symptoms of the same evil that threatens freedom, life and limb from the killing field of Iraq and Syria to the streets of Malmo or Paris.

The Times reported today that:

The residents  of Mosul say Islamic State fighters are killing anyone who resists recruitment to their ranks or ties to escape from the city...

and more:

Islamic State in Egypt  has threatened to carry out further attacks on Christians in a video featuring a man the terrorists claimed was the suicide bomber who killed 29 at cathedral in December.

Which brings us to today.

A certain Ronald Fiddler who adopted the name of Abu-Zakariya al-Britani blew himself at an Iraqi Army base today.

A man who used to be imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. One of those released and paid it is said a million pounds in compensation.

A man who was and died a terrorist.

One of those championed by Cage and the deranged Counterfire leader John Rees. Just like that "nice man", the mass murderer and psychopath Jihadi John.

Those that argued for his release should be ashamed of themselves. He was in Prison for a reason. Fiddler was a terrorist and he should have stayed behind bars.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Diane Abbott stands by her man

Diane Abbott, 2016 Labour Party Conference 1.jpg
Photo: By Rwendland

Diane Abbott the Shadow Home Secretary and MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington has been in the news rather a lot lately.  Ms Abbott has (rightly) been complaining about the abuse she gets on line and elsewhere because she is black and a woman. All political activists should condemn this racist and misogynist behaviour.

That doesn't mean Abbott is beyond criticism far from it. I lost all time for her some time ago, not just because she's far too left wing for my tastes but also because she's a hypocrite. Ms Abbott sent her kid to a private school in 2003 after criticising some of her colleagues for sending their children to selective schools.

No excuses, just plain two-faced. The kind of stuff which makes ordinary folk contemptuous of the political class.

The recently there was her rather timely migraine during an important Brexit vote in parliament. Not hat it stopped her tweeting...cue derision.

Ms Abbot has also been defending Jeremy Corbyn, the failing leader of the declining Labour Party. Despite fears Labour might lose Copeland and maybe just hang on in Stoke or possibly losing she told Sky News that:

If we lose one or both, I think the party will go forward. It has to go forward. 

When questioned about whether old man Steptoe Corbyn had a future as leader:

No, no. I mean there are people who have been opposed to Jeremy from the beginning, I'm not one of them and I think we have to move forward.

Today we see that the latest opinion poll puts the Tories ahead of Labour by a clear 18 points. This does not bode well for the future either for Corbyn or Labour.

It is not Diane Abbott's race or gender that is at fault here. It is simply her clueless far-left politics.

Time for Abbott to go.

And take Jeremy with her.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Musical Interlude: Ghost

Time for a musical interlude tonight with a slightly controversial Swedish band called Ghost. Their satanic themes meant that when they recorded an album in Nashville none of the local choirs would perform, so they had to head for Hollywood.

None of the bands members names are known and their lead singer Pope Emeritus III is backed by just the 5 Ghouls all of whom wear masks.

This particular number is from their 2015 album Meloria. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Maureen Lipman dismantles Israel Apartheid Week



We need you!

Every so often we ask you to join us in a campaign. We don't do it often, only when we feel the need is great. Today we are asking you to help us and the Israel/Britain Alliance-and many other groups around the UK-to ensure that the annual hate fest that is 'Israel Apartheid Week' does not go unchallenged. I can't believe anyone reading this can't find, literally, 30 seconds to add their name to the growing list that find IAW abhorrent. Full details below and if you don't want to take my word for it-listen to 'Beattie'

With your support we can tell people the truth and demonstrate why IAW breaches our country's equality legislation.

In the coming days and weeks students in universities across the country will be urged to participate in Israel Apartheid Week (IAW).

The worst example of an apartheid regime was South Africa, where people were denied their basic rights because they were not white.

It’s unacceptable to compare Israel with South Africa.

Every person in Israel has full equal rights, 1.6 million Arab Israelis have the same rights as the 6.8 million Jewish Israelis, in Israel incitement to racism is a criminal offence, people have freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and they enjoy universal adult suffrage.

Israel is a place where women enjoy equality, religious minorities are free to practice their creeds, the media is unfettered and critical, an independent judiciary protects the powerless from the powerful, educational excellence and scientific innovation are pursued and a welfare state supports the poor.

Israel is a fully functioning and vibrant participatory democracy.

Organisers of Israel Apartheid Week wish to distribute offensive and mendacious propaganda to students in university campuses across the country and in doing so they break the law.

Here’s why.

Universities in Britain and Northern Ireland have a legal duty to foster good relations between students of different nationalities, ethnic groups and/or religious beliefs.

Israeli students are protected as a nationality and Jewish students are protected as an ethnic group, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

To comply with this important duty universities must refuse to allow university property to display false and inflammatory propaganda that includes the phrase “Israel Apartheid Week”

Please join our campaign and e-mail the President of Universities UK and your constituency MP to ensure that British universities comply with the law.

All you need to do is follow this link to make a difference:

Friday, 17 February 2017

Time to bury Lenin...and his ideology


Victims of Lenin's New Economic Policy

The founder of the nightmare that became the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin died in 1924 and yet to this day he has never been buried. Preserved in an almost Pharaoh like fashion his mummified remains have been on display over the years in a mausoleum where visitors are not only banned from taking photographs but also from taking.

The ideologue Lenin was canonised by the Communist Party. His collected works became the "New Testament" of Marxism, the word of the workers "Messiah". His body displayed in perpetuity to be worshiped by the proletariat.

Yet this is a man who overthrew not the Tsar but the nascent democracy developing in Russia along with his "Lieutenant" Trotsky suppressing all political opposition outside the Communist Party and then turning on the dissidents within. A process continued long after Lenin's death as even Trotsky was exiled, expelled and expunged from the "workers state" by Stalin.

Stalins crimes are legion but Lenin's overlooked as were Trotsky's. Famine erupted as a result of the "New Economic Policy" in the early twenties resulting in untold deaths. A process simply enhanced and repeated by Stalin in the Thirties.

Purges, persecutions, executions the hallmark of Communism all began under Lenin and Trotsky. The Gulags were Trotsky's idea as were the methods used to suppress opposition within the party. The Trade Union Opposition, The Workers Opposition all met their fate before Stalin came to power.

Trotsky's "Left Opposition", both hypocritical and deluded as it was became the next victim. Stalin simply completed the process of dictatorship of the proletariat becoming not the dictatorship of the party but of one man himself.

Stalin was the role model for Chairman Mao, Kim Il Sung  and Pol Pot. between them the greatest mass murderers in modern history.

Yet despite the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 there remain difficulties in removing the influence of the man and his ideas from Russian consciousness. Despite a majority being in favour of internment there remain far too many to make such a simple act an immediate possibility.

Lenin's legacy is one of brutality to the extreme, exceeding even the Nazi's in terms of those killed in the name of "socialism". It's time not just to bury the man but his ideas too.

History has proved the Marxists lacking. Compassion, kindness and basic human rights are alien to their creed.

Time to move on. Nothing to see here.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Student Islamists try to censor secularist Maryam Namazie



The University of Westminster is in the news again. Readers may recall that this is where the mass murderer Jihadi John seemed to be "radicalised", if that's the right term to use for these psychopathic individuals who go around beheading people.

This time the rather notorious Islamic Society that has taken control of the Students Union is attempting to prevent  Maryam Namazie the well know former Muslim and secularist from speaking at the University. Maryam is also a refugee from the Iran, a country ruled by fascist clerics. She can hardly be described as "right-wing" since she is also a member of the Worker Communist Party of Iran.

Maryam Namazie 2014 Bread and Roses.png
Photo: By Nano GoleSorkh (BreadandRosesTV);

Maryam is hardly "Islamophobic" and can be seen on Twitter condemning Trump and others like him. She is simply an atheist who has rejected Islam as is her fundamental right as a free thinking human being.

A vociferous campaigner for human and women's rights in general Maryam has been at the forefront of many campaigns including One Law For All.

The Islamic Society has in the past invited hate preachers such as Haitham al-Haddad. A Wikipedia entry explains his reactionary and inhumane views such as:

“the scourge of homosexuality”, which he calls a “criminal act”.[15] On women, he declared that “a man should not be questioned why he hit his wife, because this is something between them”.[16] In addition to this he has also claimed that “the most honourable and worthy role for a woman is striving to be a fine wife...this role does not only secure the best for a woman in the hereafter, but also fits perfectly with her natural disposition”[17] He has claimed that there is a "proper" way of performing FGM,[10] further saying "it is consensus of all the scholars that female circumcision is sunnah [proper]".[18]

There is a strong need to stand up for secularists and ex-Muslims in particular from these fundamentalist hate mongers.


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Goth Metal Interlude from The Land of the Rising Sun!

One of the great things about You Tube is the ability to explore music from around the world. As a result I've come across some great bands like Battle Beast & Nightwish (Finland), Sabaton (Sweden), Epica (Holland) and others like Scandal, Aldious and Band Maid from Japan.

However I am rather taken with Yōsei Teikoku a Goth Band led by the rather eccentric and beautiful Yui Itsuki. Their music is a little different and I've included one official video plus a live performance.

I do hope you try these tracks out.






Follow on Facebook here

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Labour left go far-right conspiratorial

Labour Representation Committee

It's often said that at the end of the day there is little to differ the far-left from the far-right and a couple of recent articles published on the websites of two long existing Labour left sites seem to confirm this. The first article brought to my attention by Dave Rich author of The Left's Jewish Problem was from the website of the Labour Representation Committee, the Chair of which is a certain John McDonell.

The article, Al-Jazeera Lifts the Lid on Israeli Subversion claimed that:

"the Labour Party has become a pawn of Zionist organisations"; "the most senior members of both main parties and the Liberal Democrats [are] part of the network of Israeli influence"; and Theresa May does Israel's bidding "as reciprocity for previous career assistance from the Israelis."

A "pawn" of the "Zionists". Sounds like something out of the far-right Der Sturmer. The threat of the worldwide Zionist conspiracy, for which if it were a far-right organisation would really mean Jews. So one has to ask what were the LRC thinking in publishing this.

Actually we'll never know. The post has mysteriously disappeared from the LRC website. As has the same article from The Labour Briefing website. 

No explanation given.

The editor of Labour Briefing is one Graham Bash who just happens to be the partner of Jackie Walker who needs no introduction to regular readers.

Labour Briefing

Meanwhile an article remains on the Briefing website which has this to say:

Corbyn's rise to the leadership of the Labour Party created panic in both the British establishment and the Israeli lobby, whose counter-attack resurrected antisemitism, the historical weapon of political Zionism.

Resurrected? 

Anti-Semitism hasn't gone away and exists not just on the far right but very much in the ranks of the anti-imperialist brigade and the far-left.

The new blackshirts are rising comrades. Your flag is not so red anymore...

Monday, 13 February 2017

Corbyn: A Cult to nowhere


Photo: By Nancy Wong

With less than two weeks to go to two crucial by-elections for the Labour Party all remain focused on Jeremy Corbyn who as polls show is considered inept, useless and even scruffy by the majority of voters in all age groups.

Corbyn's inability to control his own party over Brexit comes as no surprise to anyone since Corbyn was himself a serial rebel against the party line. Over 400 time in fact, so hardly the person to discipline a party, one he has successfully divided with nearly everything he says or does.

Even the hard-core Corbynistas are waning, The boy Owen Jones has already disowned him and others are drifting away. Yet a certain persistence remains amongst some as one quite deluded friend said on Facebook "Corbyn is the best thing to happen to the Labour Party".

Really?

Labour has never been further away from political power than now. The thousands of on-line supporters that elected Corbyn have not materialised as activists on the doorstep and moderates remain in control of much of the Labour Party despite being theoretically outnumbered. Soon the three-pounders will need to renew their passive membership but how many will drop out and not be seen again?

Thousands of members left Labour as a reaction to Corbyn's election, thousands more left over his Brexit stance. Len McCluskey seeking re-election (again) is treading wearily despite his ultra-left sympathies for old Corbo as he knows his members in Unite are not happy with the politics, let alone the performance of the Labour leader.

Although unlikely to win, a strong performance for Gerard Coyne in Unite's General Election would be a real blow for the Corbynistas.

Thene there's the by-elections.  The loss of one would be a blow. The loss of two would be a disaster for the party. Corbyn's tenure will have proved to toxic for the electorate.

However the left such as it is isn't going to disappear over night. All the rumours of his "replacement being sought" may just see renewed internecine warfare when what is needed is a complete extirpation of the movement around Corbyn.

Meanwhile Corbyn's lickspittle, Baroness Chakrabarti the shadow Attorney General continues to embarrass the party by praising the previous "good work" of disgraced lawyer Phil Shiner whose campaign undermined our soldiers. The "socialist" Baroness is "sad". Most of us are not. Shiner should be forced to pay compensation out of his lucrative earnings to the soldiers that suffered as a result of his falsehoods.

Frankly Shiners previous good work should come under close scrutiny.

As should a certain report about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Just saying....

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Bigotry within Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Cross-posted from: Campaign Against Anti-Semitism



Full report: https://antisemitism.uk/

Draft resolution for your Trade Union

This Union notes:

This Union has a proud history of fighting antisemitism and enforces a “No Platform” policy against racists.
  • On 12th December 2016, the British government adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism as widely adopted around the world and by institutions such as the National Union of Students and the UK College of Policing. The definition is published at antisemitism.uk/definition).
  • The Palestine Solidarity Campaign states that it is “opposed to all forms of racism, including anti-Jewish prejudice”.
  • A report by Campaign Against Antisemitism, an apolitical, cross-denominational charity concerned with protecting Jews from antisemitism, has reviewed one month of comments on the Facebook page of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Their research found evidence of horrific antisemitic hate speech, including calls for Jews to be murdered. Over 7% of all user comments and replies on PSC posts were antisemitic, and there was very little counter speech by PSC supporters. PSC moderators removed other forms of hate speech, but not antisemitism.
This Union believes
  • That all forms of bigotry, including antisemitism, must be vigorously opposed by our Union.
  • That our Union must not be associated with or affiliated to any organisation that promotes or tolerates anti-semitism.
  • That political discourse about Israel or any other issue can only be truly free and open when it is conducted in the absence of bigotry.
This Union resolves:
  • To end all association with and affiliation to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and not to renew it until the Palestine Solidarity Campaign adopts and enforces the International Definition of Antisemitism.
  • That the Secretary is mandated to write to the Chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Chairman of Campaign Against Antisemitism, informing them of this Union’s resolution.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Now Midwives banned from saying "fellas".

US Navy midwife checks on a mom.jpg

It's only been just over a week since the news broke that the BMA was banning the use of the term "expectant mothers". So why should I be surprised at the latest ban, this time on Midwives.

The problem?

Apparently a lesbian couple complained about a midwife using the term "fella's" in her antenatal class. So upset were this couple that they have been offered one-to-one sessions after saying they were "too upset" to go back.

Now I don't think the Midwife meant any form of discrimination whatsoever and the over-reaction of this couple is actually more than a little disturbing. It smacks of the kind of "snow-flakery" currently developing in our universities.

Whilst discrimination against gay women undoubtedly exists  there is a time and place for complaints and this really wasn't one of them. This couple are going to be raising a child in a world that is mostly but far from entirely accepting of such relationships. Problems will unfortunately arise.

Fighting discrimination and prejudice is a continuing struggle but focusing on such a trivial remark really won't help.

Meanwhile the root of this problem in our centres of learning (or not as one can sometimes feel these days) continues. According to a report in The Times (no link £) some "94% of campuses having some restrictions on freedom of expression.

Bans exist on "dressing up in Village People outfits, Vicars & Tarts, dressing up like chavs (?), gangsters or Mexicans even Pocahontas outfits. Didn't know they made adult size Pocahontas outfits then what do I know. Oxford Union "discourages" cross-dressing in case it upsets a trans person.

Being a student sounds no fun these days.

In fact students don't even seem to want to learn since they can be excused from any lecture that could potentially "trigger" them which can range from classes about the crucifixion to law studies on rape cases (how they will be any use to a victim they represent in such circumstances is beyond me).

Even white philosphers as far back as Aristotle and Socrates are highly suspect according to the new wave of intersectional safe-spacers or whatever it is they self identify these days.

This new wave of activists are actually quite dangerous and will provoke a strong counter-reaction that will cause far more problems than they realise. Time for these people to grow up.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Nobody expects...the Church Police?

York.mstr..jpg
Photo: By Ertudu

An odd story caught my attention in Thursday's issue of The Times which reported that the private constables employed by York Minster Cathedral were to regain powers of arrest as a result of the growing threat of terrorism. To be honest I wasn't even aware the cathedral had it's own police force.

Just seven Cathedrals around the world have police forces including St Peters Basilica in the Vatican (which isn't so surprising) and the National Washington Cathedral. In the UK one other, Hereford has it's own constables  but they do not have any such powers.

The rationale behind this is the fear of atrocities such as the murder of Father Jacques Hamel in France by Islamist terrorists. However the private Constables will only be issued handcuffs.

These private police were actually established in 1106, though vanished for a while after a fire in 1839 until being revived in 1855. They are responsible for the security and fire safety and the movement of cash around the Minster. Oh and they direct tourists.

On it's own the decision to empower these constables does not raise any particular concerns. The problem is that this may set a precedent at a time when the encroachment of religion into public life is growing rather than retreating. Vigilante "Sharia Patrols" have been and continue to be a problem, especially when despite their condemnation by most Mosques, a network of Sharia Courts is known to be operating outside the country's legal system.

The Jewish Community has an organisation known as the Community Service Trust which cooperates with the police in order to prevent and deal with anti-Semitic attacks. They also have Beth Din courts which are quite often used by non-Jews for small financial disputes as they have a reputation for being fair and are a lot cheaper than the main legal system.

With the growth of Church run schools, Islamic academies and even the Prime Minister Theresa May foolishly suggesting that Sharia has a "place" in society there has never been a time in my living memory when the underlying secular nature of our society has been under threat.

One only has to look at the Islamic world to see why religion and the state must be kept separate. Saudi Arabia imprisons its women as second class citizens, suppressed religious dissent while Iran does much the same and executes gays on an alarmingly regular basis. Blasphemy laws are used and abused in Pakistan by individuals seeking to get out of debts and groups persecuting Christians. In Bahrain Christians are subject to Sharia Law which results in outwardly Christmas celebrations being illegal.

Not for one minute do I suggest that a handful of constables run by York Minster are going to take the role of the religious police in Islamic Countries and start whipping immoral women in the street or arresting passers by for blasphemy but since the "Rushdie Affair" the need to stand for secularism has never been greater.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The far-left IS the new far-right

Jews on selection ramp at Auschwitz, May 1944
Photo: By Bundesarchiv

Last night on social media I saw speculation that Jeremy Corbyn was face another challenge, including one from the "left", that is from within his own supporters. The Metro has now speculated about Corbyn telling his "inner circle" that he was planning a time to go. None of this has been confirmed though it is clear despite the near messianic fever that many of his followers seem to show that there is a growing feeling Corbyn has been and is a failure.

Even George Monbiot and the boy Owen Jones are clearly disillusioned.

The last week has seen a terrible handling of the Brexit vote in parliament by Corbyn and his team. An unnecessary three line whip has even cost old Steptoe one of his key supporters in parliament, Clive Lewis. The absence of Diane Abbot who claimed she had a migraine and couldn't attend the vote has attracted derision from all quarters. Hardly surprising as she managed to tweet throughout the bloody vote.

Abbot is exposed not just as a hypocrite (over private education) but also as a political coward not suited for public office. Her actions have damaged not just the left (if you can call it that any more) but the Labour Party as a whole.

The failure of Corbyn to do something about growing and frankly dangerous anti-Semitism which sometimes doesn't even try to hide behind the facade of "anti-Zionist" amongst some of his councillors and on-line strolls has long angered many and totally alienated the Jewish community in this country.

Tonight one of Corbyn's key allies in the protest movement that he is so keen about, Bruce Kent insulted and denigrated the memory of the Six Million by stating:

The trouble is that many of us suffer from a guilt complex, certainly at my age.

We have all had terrible sufferings in history – all of us. But we actually have to overcome that and start to live like human beings together.


These words are not just unsavoury in themselves but when taken in the context he was addressing the Palestine Solidarity Campaign who with their slogans were calling for the destruction of the worlds only Jewish state puts him firmly amongst the new black shirts. A disgrace to his church, to this nation and to humanity. I am disgusted.

The movement that has sprung out of, and around Corbyn and Corbynism can never be allowed anywhere the reigns of power because they are dangerous to the extreme.

First they came for the Jews.

Next will be the moderates Red Tories and then those that disagree.

The far left IS the new far right.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Assad and the silence of the left

AndrewMurrayBook200

Although it comes as no surprise the evidence that President Assad has had at least 13,000 people executed through torture and murder is shocking. This comes at a time when Assad with Russian and Iranian backing is gaining an upper hand in the Syrian civil war. A conflict that has seen the deaths of over 400,000 people and the creation of the worst refugee crisis in recent history.

Yet as always the professional protesters of the Stop the War Coalition and it's allies including Jeremy Corbyn remain so silent they are all but complicit in covering for Assad's barbaric regime.

There is plenty on the StWC website about Trump who for all his obvious reactionary faults hasn't actually killed anyone yet. This from an organisation that says it exists "only" to criticise our country.
America, Israel and the rest of the free world are their targets.

Andrew Murray, former long-term member of the Communist Party and now lurking in Labour to please his paymaster Len McCluskey has issued a riposte to the critics of the StWC's "progressive politics. If by progressive they mean brutal dictatorships like Syria, genocidal anti-Semites on Hamas and Iran and aggressive nationalist Russia then frankly their definition of "progressive is different to mine.

Reactionary is actually the word best suited to describe them. Brownshirts, blackshirts, red fascists anything but "progressive". Their slogan that the "enemy is at home" is so far removed from not just the truth but reality itself means that this unholy alliance of "anti-imperialist, Stalinists, Islamists, Trotskyists and many blind feminists and LGBT activists are the enemy at home. Opposed to democracy and free speech.

These people lobbied the West to prevent the arming of the very people who stood as an alternative to both Assad and ISIS. They even told the Kurds not to accept "imperialist weapons" as John Rees tried to argue at one demonstration.

The people of Syria have been let down by the new appeasers.

Assad should be tried not just for war crimes but  crimes against humanity, but these activists will never demand this preferring silence to supporting democracy and reason against the savagery of Baathism, itself a bastard child of "socialism".

Monday, 6 February 2017

Down Memory Lane with..... adverts?

Taking a wee break from politics tonight, even on Facebook where some of us have been reminiscing about old chocolate adverts for Cadbury's Flake (yes, that one!), Texan Bars, Cabano (I'd forgotten about those) and of course the Milk Tray Man!

So here's a few you may recall or not depending on your age. Me? Old git now I'm afraid!

Firstly one that made me laugh out loud.....



Then there's the classic Hamlet Cigars man.......



It's frothy man? Don't think they make this stuff any more do they?



Pinching milk can be dangerous....



Sunday, 5 February 2017

Rebellion against readmission of alleged anti-Semites into Labour

Yellowbadge logo.svg

The Labour Party has long developed a problem with the rising presence of of both actual and border-line anti-Semites into its ranks since the rise of Corbynism. Mostly, but not always disguised as "anti-Zionism", Corbyn gave the job of investigating anti-Semitism to his collaborator Shami Chakrabarti who cleared the party of such accusations in a highly contentious and disputed report.

Chakrabarti was awarded both a Peerage and leading role in the Labour Party by Corbyn for her "sterling" work of whitewashing the whole affair.

Meanwhile Jackie Walker is finally to get a disciplinary hearing next Friday with the Labour Party which will either reinstate her or confirm her exclusion. Given that so many of these hateful people have been readmitted there is little hope this hateful woman will be expelled.

News has broken that one such individual, Terence Flanagan has been readmitted with a "warning" which he says clears him. This has not gone down well with his local party who have written to the Camden New Journal:

• WE are writing as local Labour Party members, activists and councillors to clarify one point following your article about Terence Flanagan (I’ve been vindicated, says Labour member readmitted to party after anti-Semitism row, online, January 26).

It is clear to us that Mr Flanagan has not been vindicated. In fact, far from it – he has been given a formal written warning by the Labour Party.

The party clearly upheld the complaint of anti-Semitism and other abusive behaviour against him, or else he would not have been suspended in the first place, nor would they have felt the need to give him a formal warning. If you get a final warning at work, this doesn’t mean that you can carry on as if nothing happened or that your boss thinks that everything is fine. The same is true here.

Some of us may have wanted to see a harsher punishment for a very serious offence, in order to demonstrate, as Jeremy Corbyn has rightly said, the Labour Party will not tolerate anti-Semitism or any kind or racism or hate speech. Nevertheless, this can’t be passed off as some sort of endorsement of Mr Flanagan and his past behaviour.

We would have preferred not to have to write this letter and discuss Labour Party membership issues on your pages. While we didn’t rush to publicise this, we couldn’t leave New Journal readers with a false impression of the facts.

All forms of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, are abhorrent and have no place in the Labour Party. When anyone, including our members, engage in racist hate, we won’t stand by – we will stand up and condemn it.

CLLR PHIL ROSENBERG
TULIP SIDDIQ MP
ANDREW DISMORE AM
CLLR SARAH HAYWARD
and all CAMDEN LABOUR CLLRS

Editor’s note: Terence Flanagan denies racism and the allegations that were made against him


The question is how long can this continue? Support for Labour in the Jewish community is at an all time low, just 7% last time any survey was conducted. 

The Corbynista movement is a disgrace and has no place in the Labour Party or frankly the trade unions. 

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Music for Saturday night

I came across this track whilst listening to You Tube on auto-play. I couldn't make up my mind whether to just post it to Facebook or my blog. Decided on the blog because I can share it on FB. Problem solved.

The reason? It's simply an excellent piece of music from a Ukrainian symphonic metal band IGNEA with full orchestra which I hope you will enjoy as much as I did.

As for politics? That can wait until tomorrow. Well it is Saturday night......



IGNEA can be found on Facebook: Here

Friday, 3 February 2017

Greenstein accuses Lansman of being a Zionist.....

It's not often I bother reading the deranged rantings of Tony Greenstein, the self appointed "expert" on all things Zionist, but his latest article in the Communist Party Of Great Britain's newspaper the Weekly Worker has to be seen to be believed.

In his self indulgent polemic Zionism cannot be appeased Greenstein targets Jon Lansman with one of the strangest interconnections of the Qatari run Al-Jazeera series of documentaries which were hardly the product of balanced journalism with Lansmans "coup" inside Momentum.  It's all to do with the "Zionists" it would seem.

Greenstein rants that:

To date Momentum has not fought the anti-Semitism witch-hunt, because Lansman and his coterie have tried to reach an agreement with the Zionists. To Lansman, Zionism is a bona fide political current rather than a racist settler-colonial movement. In Left Futures he defended the Nakba, the Zionist ethnic cleansing of 1948. He also argued that the left should not be talking about Zionism at all. Lansman argued: “There is every justification for talking about the rights of Palestinians ... and for criticising the actions and policies of the Israeli government, but there is no defence for anti-Semitism.” Yes, that is true, but it is comparing chalk and cheese. Talk about anti-Semitism in the context of defending Palestinian rights is completely irrelevant, unless you believe that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are interchangeable.

The existence of anti-Semitism, not so well disguised as anti-Zionism on the left and within layers of Corbyn's supporters is clear to all who come across their hateful posts as soon as Jews and/or Israel are mentioned. 

The existence of anti-Semitism is also prevalent amongst those that claim to support the Palestinians. Greenstein conveniently forgets the expulsion of the former chair of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) for promoting Holocaust denial.

In fact Holocaust denial is very much at the centre of both indigenous Palestinian and Arab anti-Israel movements precisely because they seek to deny history to undermine Israel's legitimacy. There are so many within the anti-Israel camp from the British left who wilfully ignore such blatant anti-Semitism

The fact is all anti-Semites are anti-Zionists and whether it suits Greenstein's vainglorious grandstanding the two are very much interchangeable and always have been.

World Zionist conspiracy anyone? 

Promoted by Nazi's, fascists, and so many anti-imperialists alike, who complain constantly about Zionist control of the media, the Zionist lobby and so on.

Currently Greenstein has organised a petition to expel the Jewish Labour Movement from the Labour Party, an organisation he is currently (and rightly) suspended from.

What any of this has to do with the internal faction fighting in Momentum is anyone's guess. Just another stick to beat Lansman (of whom I'm no fan either) with. Greenstein talks about the "dimmest" Momentum supporters yet allies himself with chief dim-wit Jackie Walker who manages to put her foot in her very big mouth every time she opens it.

Tony Greenstein is a member of the "green ink brigade" who should be shunned by the sane and rational who actually want a peaceful and lasting solution to the Middle East.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Late Night Interlude: Buddy Rich & Jerry Lewis

Is that the time? Left it too late to even consider blogging tonight, so here's something for those of you still on line as I head for my bed!

From 1965 Buddy Rich & Jerry Lewis. The drummer and the comedian!

This is a fantastic performance from Buddy. Enjoy!