Saturday, 18 August 2018

A new "Anti Nazi League" will have to picket itself!

Anti-Nazi League (logo).svg
Photo: By Source, Fair use,

Back in the seventies political extremism was on the march. Literally. The rise of the National Front coincided with the transformation of the International Socialists into the Socialist Workers Party. The left tried to emulate Cable Street with running battles against the fascists in Lewisham and elsewhere.

The SWP then the largest "socialist" organisation succeed in getting backing from mainstream political figures like former Young Liberal and anti-apartheid campaigner Peter Hain on board. Signing up trade unions and left leaning (and some not so left) MPs they founded the Anti-Nazi League.

Rock Against Racism.jpg
Photo: By Source Fair use

The ANL was a major success spawning Rock Against Racism (RAR) utlising the services of radical and not so radical bands and budding stars who needed the publicity. Lots of people attended RAR's events but large numbers only ever went for the music. Fortunately the ANL marches were large enough to justify the groups on-going existence.

The ANL was still going in 1990 when I attended it's AGM as a trade union delegate and money was still being paid into ANL funds by at least one major union (the PCS) until only a few years ago when the question was asked about where this money (£500) was actually going.

Recently John McDonnell was contemplating whether:

.... it’s time for an Anti-Nazi League-type cultural and political campaign to resist” because “we can no longer ignore the rise of far-right politics in our society” at a time when his party is embroiled in an anti-Semitism role. (Guardian 7/8/18)

One of the issues cited was the "attack" on Bookmarks (the SWP bookshop, see here) which whilst unpleasant for the staff was somewhat exaggerated by the Socialist Workers Party in order to solicit support in a milieu that has left them isolated because of the "Delta" scandal.

Stand Up To Racism

The SWP is now grasping the opportunity to re-enter centre stage. It's current campaign "Stand up to Racism" has floundered because it is and is seen as just an SWP front organisation. The ANL is a brand they could use for their own benefit and get the "useful fools" that Lenin spoke of to give them undeserved credibility.

The Guardian published a letter which spoke of:

"As founder members over 40 years ago of the original Anti-Nazi League (ANL) and its sister organisation Rock Against Racism, we think that Stand up to Racism, Love Music Hate Racism and Unite Against Fascism have been established firmly within this tradition, and indeed these organisations have already provided essential and much-needed rallying points of opposition to the rising far right.

This is a process that, as John argues, now urgently needs to be deepened and extended, uniting all people and organisations of goodwill against the huge challenges we face over the next few years from the far right and fascists.

This will involve applying the ANL's tactics of mass propaganda, unrelenting opposition...."

Their intended target seems to be the self publicising Tommy Robinson and his band of supporters whose profile is kept alive by precisely the tactics currently deployed by the far-left. Denied the oxygen of publicity the former EDL leader would remain very much on the fringes

There is no far-right party riding high in the polls like the National Front was in the seventies where in London alone the fascists polled 100,000 votes. Even the BNP has disappeared. For all it's faults UKIP cannot be considered a "fascist" organisation. 

Then there is the new threat of racism emanating from the left itself.  The Labour Party has a problem with anti-Semitism. To a large  extent the SWP & Stop the War have contributed to this atmosphere with their rather extreme anti-Zionism which has in so many cases morphed into anti Semitism and attracted anti-Semites.

How would the ANL deal with widespread anti-Semitism in sections of the Muslim community. It does exist and also originates (in part) from anti-Zionism, however sections of the Koran are often quoted to justify such notions. The left tries (very hard) to ignore this preferring to ally with "Islam" against the West. 

Jeremy Corbyn is part of the problem. He's never been a "man of peace" as his supporters claim in a Goebel-like fashion. He takes sides with whoever issues a T-Shirt denouncing "imperialism whether it be Hamas, Hezbollah or the IRA.

There is no need for an organisation like the ANL. Hope Not Hate and Searchlight keep an organising eye on the "far-right", but the alt-right is a different beast that will require less belligerent and more considered forms of opposition.

The ANL would be part of the problem as it would biasedly pick it's targets. As with much of the rest of the so-called left, the "Jewish Problem" would be ignored at best an inconvenience or at worst in the service of a foreign government.....

Never Again! Means what it says comrades. We Jews have rights that you ignore at our peril.

Campaign Against Antisemitism

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