Sunday, 30 September 2018

Conservative Party Conference: A Polite Opening


Image: By Source, Fair use,

Over the years and especially this year now I have retired I have taken a great interest in the Labour Party Conference and dipped into the Liberal Democrats gathering on occasion. Watching and writing about the Conservative Party Conference however is a new experience.

In the build up to the Tory gathering there were two issues that seemed to dominate the news and may still prove problematic in the week ahead. Brexit has split the party apart with rumours of Brexiteers joining local Conservative Associations in a not quite "Momentum" style. Then of course there is the continuing question of Theresa May's leadership.

Indeed Boris Johnson has tackled both problems with one very lengthy article in the Friday edition of The Daily Telegraph.  Trouble is whilst he remains the darling of large sections of the constituency parties he has to a large extent shown the side of himself that is not ready or fit to take the job. Whilst a very intelligent man which his "acting the buffoon" style hides to a certain extent, insiders say he does have a very "untidy mind".

So whilst Boris was very suitable for a post such as London Mayor (and got my vote to stop the anti-Semitism of Ken Livingstone) he proved somewhat, well useless a s Foreign Secretary and appeared to have no conception of collective responsibility in the cabinet. His blunder over the British woman being held in an Iranian jail was frankly unforgivable. I felt for her and her family when he blurted out complete nonsense.

Theresa May seemed like a good choice when she first became Prime Minister but let herself down badly by not participating in the leadership debates that took place on the television. At this juncture a strong approach could have knocked the Neo-Communist leader of the Labour Party for six. She didn't and partially because of that the Labour Party has  turned from being an opposition party into a dangerous entity that as a long term Labour voter I and many, many others cannot countenance.

This week Theresa May will likely pull through as leader of the Tories and continue as Prime Minister. The jury is still out on whether she can do so until the next election. Meanwhile conference has begun.

Always a polite affair the first day certainly turned out to be this afternoon and I couldn't help but notice a fair amount of empty seats. This was in stark contrast the the comrades affair in Liverpool. Nothing much was on the agenda, well nothing was on the agenda. No motions or votes. I missed the beginning but watched as entrepreneurs, ex-army officers and two Ministers delivered st piece speeches.

Official portrait of Gavin Williamson crop 2.jpg
Photo: By Chris McAndrew

The only thing of importance that struck me was Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson's announcement that both the navy's landing ships will be retained to enable the marines to carry out their necessary operations. One of the new frigates will be named HMS Birmingham. That's good news if this country is to retain it's military credibility. The RAF will cover the Northern Stretches including Iceland and 800 marines a year will get training in Norway.

The there was Jeremy Hunt the new Foreign Secretary. Now he made references to uncombed blonde hair, not a fan of Boris I suppose. I'm still giggling about Radio 4's "spoonerism". He managed a standing ovation though no cheers at the end of the first day of what was a rally rather than a conference. So obviously stage managed and not the greatest of events to watch. Perhaps later in the week it'll "liven up" and a there will be a few more attendees.

Did someone mention Brexit? Nah not yet, that's still to come!

Sunday Supplement at Howie's Corner

Trans-Censorship Campaign Continues

A dictionary definition of what a woman is has been branded by a Doctor Harrop as "transphobic". Sky news covered this in a piece I missed. Posie Parker took him on and won.

Further reading:

I recommend the following, albeit lengthy piece by Jane Clare Jones:

Twitter, Trans Rights Totalitarianism and the Erasure of Sex

Militant Rehabilitated by Labour

The Socialist issue 1011

Dawn Butler's speech that Liverpool Council was right to "break the law and not the poor" was quite obviously historically revisionist and raised more than a few hackles during Labour Party Conference. The larger of the two groups that were the Militant Tendency, the Socialist Party certainly thought so:

An attack on the Militant-led Liverpool City Council has so often been the go-to line for many careerist Blairites - a way to burnish their credentials as opponents of any alternative to the politics of big business.

Ed Miliband used his first speech as Labour leader to denounce the council struggle. And, ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn, scare stories and lies are shuffled out every few days in an attempt to dent and discredit the growing support for socialist ideas.

If socialism means sending redundancies by taxi to the workers they employ then count me out. I'm sure the "poor" were impressed as more lost their livelihoods.

Trouble is that Hatton bloke responsible for the whole sad affair and was rightfully  expelled from the party for his membership of Militant. Apparently the NEC doesn't think there will be a problem "unless one the local party raises an an objection".

True he's no longer a member of Militant, but their Socialist Party is banging on the door demanding to be allowed in.

Modern British Maoism

When I was a student I went to the only Polytechnic/University where the Students Union was under the control of Maoists. The Communist Party of Britain (Marxist Leninist). It took the side of Enver Hoxher when there was a split between Beijing (we still called it Peking in the seventies) and Tirana (the capital of Albania).

To cut a long story short I am surprised to see that they are still continuing though their numbers must be limited as the CPB(M-L) only publishes a bi-monthly journal The Worker, which was weekly when I last saw a copy. However the production standards are now very professional as is their website. Unusually for a group that comes out of the Maoist tradition their articles are free of the absurd jargon that other organisations in this milieu are prone to.

Their current perspectives document shows a very nationalistic bent:

We have now entered an epoch of fragmentation and chaos, with all the consequences and dangers that implies for our British working class. Over three centuries our class created British society and the nation by a thousand threads and by combining to struggle in the face of exploitation by capitalism. Separatists, Scottish or others, forget this industrial revolution when they hark back to feudal enclaves and regions of a “golden age” that is only myth......

By far the most important aspect of this is to re-establish – and where it didn't exist before, create – a solid sense of working class unity. In the face of bolstered Welsh assembly and Scottish parliament, the resurfacing of regionalism, the imposition of city economic zones, the overthrow of referenda which had rejected city mayors, and the spread of “federalism” across the whole political spectrum, we have to act swiftly and decisively. The Scottish National Party and the Tories collaborate on breaking up Britain in a process of slow independence resulting from their Scotland Bill. Being rushed through Parliament, it destabilises the cohesion of the nation.

The CPB(M-L) joins those on the left who are not only anti-EU but activley seeking Britain's departure. Their perspectives continue:

Our goals to rebuild Britain, re-industrialise, stop war – let alone starting to create a fresh socialist society – cannot be achieved with these dead hands upon us. We can decide to rebuild Britain and reconstruct a fresh industrial economy – and prosper, as we and many writers have proven, outside the EU. A new world is waiting.

The British people's consistent opposition to joining the euro did not emerge just because that disastrous currency would have had destructive economic consequences for us. No – our independent-mindedness as a class created a deep reluctance to abandon all control over our national economy.

However besides being Communists be warned they hold still Stalin in great esteem as these weighty tomes for sale on their website shows:


The CPB(M-L) was formed in the heady days of 1968, The most well known member was founder Reg Birch. The group were 50 years old this year. They state:

Another key impulse to the making of our Party was the negative example of the outfit pretending to be a revolutionary party, the Communist Party of Great Britain. Despite having the word communism stowed in its name, it never acted as a revolutionary organisation. It wanted to be merely a variant or even a member of the bigger social democracy, the Labour Party. It was always a revolutionary fake.

So 50 years ago, at the call mainly of industrial workers in the engineering union led by Reg Birch, our founding chairman, the Communist Party of Britain Marxist-Leninist was founded to rectify weaknesses that had long been undermining the potential of our class to take control of society.

There's that word again "control". That's why socialism/communism has always failed. As that Pink Floyd song puts it "We want no thought control". Quite right. Sorry comrades.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

News from the Judean Peoples Front.....

Socialist Fight

Long term readers may recall "that" TV interview with Socialist Fight leader Gerry Downing after he was expelled from the Labour Party. One on the tiniest of political groups, if not the smallest Downing and his two co-conspirators have had to look for new friends. And they found some in the form of the International Socialist League (R).

Both Downing and the ISL(R) are "breakaway's" from the Workers Revolutionary Party during the eighties when the organisation fell apart following the exposure of Gerry Healy's sexual abuse with women comrades. Numerous groups were formed back then, most of which have disappeared. However a rump WRP does remain and somehow does mange to publish the News Line daily. I have no idea how they manage, finance and circulate it.

However we were treated to the following from the Socialist Fight website:

At its conference in Liverpool on 23 September, 2018 the Socialist Fight Group and the International Socialist League (R) unanimously decided to fuse their two organisations, retaining the name Socialist Fight Group (SFG).

We were quite pushed for time at less than four hours so there was really only time to touch on International Perspectives and some of the more important issues of British Perspectives in any detail. We did not have time to do more than mention the climate change document drafted by Dov Winter.

The conference welcomed two new international supporters, Dov Winter, who lives in Hawaii now, and Wilhelm Speklin, formerly a supporter of the International Bolshevik Tendency in Holland, who sent greetings to the conference, which were read out and applauded (below). These comrades have yet to be properly integrated into the Liaison Committee for the Fourth International, although they are all now on the closed Liaison Committee for the Fourth International (LCFI) Facebook group. We did not have time to discuss international relations in any detail.

The fused organisation now has two branches, one in Liverpool and the other in London. We also expanded the Editorial board of the Socialist Fight magazine by three comrades from Liverpool; Frank Fitzmaurice, John Owen, and Paul Humphreys. It was also decided to produce the Socialist Fight as a 16-page bi-monthly magazine at £1 waged and 50p concessions (benefits and low waged), with balanced coverage of the main class struggle issues in both cities. The prospect of moving to a tabloid format as soon as materially possible was also discussed.
The newly wed comrades talked about the need to relaunch the "Grass Roots Left" to "organise the rank & file against the Trade Union bureaucracy. Relaunch is a bit of an understatement given the report in the February issue of their journal:
The Grass Roots AGM tool place in Birmingham on Saturday 27 January. The attendance was less than a dozen, but important discussions took place and important decisions were taken.
Trade Union leaders must be "quaking in their boots" (not) with this news.

However readers will be thrilled to know that Socialist Fight now has two branches. One in Liverpool and one in London. A well known "Pabloite" mole has informed that Tony Greenstein may be involved in further "revolutionary regroupment. That'll be three branches with one in Brighton and a couple of co-thinkers in Hawaii and Holland.

Apparently the comrades were not able to get around in 4 hours to discuss the burning issues of the hour such as ending the banning of their journal from Houseman's Bookshop in Kings Cross. No idea why they banned, you can buy all sorts of weird and wonderful stuff there. Might have something to do with their alleged anti-Semitism?

Socialist Fight belongs to the Labour Representation Committee which allows non-Labour Party groups to affiliate providing they do not stand candidates against the party. So Downing the rabid Trotsykist joins a group that also contains the uber-Stalinist pro-North Korean New Communist Party led by the remarkably amiable Andy Brookes.

Meanwhile if the paint has dried you can read award winning Professor Gerry Downing's article on why Stephen Hawking is wrong: The-Poverty of Philosophy Why Stephen Hawking is wrong on the Big Bang.

Someone wake me up later...

Friday, 28 September 2018

Labour to oppose banning of terrorist group Hezbollah

Flag of Hezbollah
Photo: By Source, Fair use

Labour Party Conference is only just over when they fall into yet another controversy

The Jewish Chronicle reported yesterday that:

Sajid Javid is to buttress his tough stance against Islamist extremism by proscribing the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah in full, the JC can reveal.

The Home Secretary will use his speech at next week’s Conservative Party annual conference to announce the move, which has long bepen called for by the Jewish community and others concerned with terrorism.

This move will be welcomed by the Jewish Community in this country.  However this is far from for Jeremy Corbyn and not just because Hezbollah are amongst his "friends" (which also include the IRA Sinn Fein, Hamas and Irans dictatorship.)

The Jewish Chronicle reports today:

Labour MPs have been advised not to push for Hezbollah to be banned in Britain because party leaders want to “encourage” the terrorist group “down an effective democratic path”.

“Full proscription could be a move against dialogue and meaningful peace negotiations in the Middle East.”

Such a viewpoint is hardly surprising given their links with the anti-"Zionist" movement. Corbyn has previously even brought members of the group into the centre of our democracy. The Labour leadership wilfully ignore the fact that Hezbollah is an Islamist organisation sponsored and armed by the Clerics who run Iran. These people are genocidal and wish only to wipe Israel off the map.


The briefing was written by that well known intellectual fool Diane Abbot. The growing hostility of the left to both Israel and the wider Jewish Community has been made mainstream by the Labour Party.

There are those in Labour trying to fight back and Joan Ryan MP is to open the debate by saying:

“Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation, driven by an antisemitic ideology, which seeks the destruction of Israel. It has wreaked death and destruction throughout the Middle East, aiding and abetting the Assad regime’s butchery in Syria and helping to drive Iran’s expansionism throughout the region.

“It makes no distinction between its political and military wings and neither should the British government.”

Joan should add that no amount of discussion will change the minds of Hezbollah who are Islamists in the Iranian tradition and will never believe in democracy as it goes against their beliefs. Neither will they accept the presence of Jews in Israel. A pointles exercise pursued by Labour's leadership.

Corbyn knows who his "friends" are. Jews are not amongst them.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Beyond Labour's Fringe: Red Flag

One of the smaller, well tiny little groups that have entered the Labour Party on the back of the "Corbyn revolution" was Workers Power, They set up a publication called Red Flag which comes out from time to time including one for party conference where they might be able to sell a copy or two especially to the new crowd who won't have a clue who these people are.

The clueless are a major component of the Corbynistas so Red Flag joins the Labour Party Marxists (CPGB), Socialist Appeal (Militant) and the Alliance for Workers Liberty to compete for new recruits.

Workers Power is a Trotskyist organisation that got so fed up with so many organisations calling themselves the "Fourth International" (as established by by the "man" himself) that they set up The Fifth International, or at least a league towards it in several countries that have small groups of their co-thinkers. I recall reading it had a split but Trots are always splitting. That's the fun of "Trot Spotting" to coin a term!

They were far too small to blog about before conference but a sponsored advert for them appeared on my Facebook timeline so I had a dip into their on-line myopic world.

Workers Power has put it's own website on hiatus whilst the comrades bury themselves in the Labour Party but the fact they are in breach of Labour Party rules is quite clear and Red Flag link to their own international links which are just happen the same as Workers Power. Lucky for them the NEC has more important things to worry about and has now lurched to the far left following the electoral purge by Momentum.

Workers Power/Red Flag was one of those groups that originated from the International Socialists (Socialist Workers Party) after the inevitable faction fight that groups like these indulge in. It was expelled in 1974, briefly fusing with another refugee group from the IS/SWP, Workers Fight, predecessor of today's Alliance for Workers Liberty.

Neither group was suited to each other so they divorced and went their separate ways. The group was never very large and appears to never had more than 50 or so members. Incapable of working with other groups for long or constantly changing it's strategy to attract new members the inevitable happened in 2006 and expelled a group which became known as Permanent Revolution. They published a "theoretical journal of the same name until they gave up and dissolved themselves in 2013.

Permanent Revolution

Further reductions in Workers Power membership took place in 2012 when two groups left with one group taking a third of the membership into the Anti-Capitalist Initiative group. I have no idea what happened to the second group.

Workers Power threw themselves into Left Unity before finally "dissolving" themselves into the Labour Party where they have reconstituted themselves as "Red Flag".

There aim is to:

To carry out a radical transformation of society, we need a radically different kind of party; a party led by its members, rooted in working class campaigns and communities, and committed to a revolutionary break with the British state and the capitalist class it serves......

Internationally, we work with our sister sections in the Americas, Asia and Europe as part of the League for the Fifth International to strengthen the common struggle of the world working class against capitalist exploitation, oppression, environmental crisis and war.

Another entryist organisation on the block.

Another Politically Incorrect Comedy Interlude

Covering Labour Party Conference took a wee bit of an effort to report on the political fringe and there have been days where I've blogged twice. It's been worthwhile as the readership of Howie's Corner has risen by a third already and there's still a few days left in September!

However I have also taken delivery of quite a few books and graphic novels that need reviewing. So I need to do a wee bit of reading between now and Conservative Party Conference.

There is already good news ahead of the Conference. The Jewish Chronicle reports:

Sajid Javid is to buttress his tough stance against Islamist extremism by proscribing the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah in full, the JC can reveal.

The Home Secretary will use his speech at next week’s Conservative Party annual conference to announce the move, which has long been called for by the Jewish community and others concerned with terrorism.

Mr Javid will say next week that, following formal reconsideration of the UK’s position on the Lebanese-based political party and militia, he will be taking action to ban all parts of the group.

That'll rattle Comrade Steptoe who is proud to be mates with this Iranian backed terrorist group.

Anyway while I dive into some reading material and already have one book to review over at my other blog Howie's World of Comics, here's a short sketch from the days before everyone got offended by everything.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Steptoe's Sermon

"And lo the Dear Leader ascended the platform and spoke to the faithful assembled around him. Like those who have gone before "him", his speech was praised with the new religions hymn Oh Jeremy Corbyn. "

Unlike the attendees of Labour's Conference which alienated me yesterday, there was nothing special or even new in Corbyn's address to the party faithful. Lots of bribery. Green jobs and free child-care joined the £500 bonus promised by his deputy John McDonnell.

Corbyn will lead the workers to the "promised land", which of course will be purged of unbelievers and those pesky Jews Zionists. Palestine will be recognised and Labour would "work for peace", which will be interesting to see as Corbyn has only ever talked to one side so how will he approach a nation that all his life he's been helping to destroy.

One can only hope the government has sorted out the border problem with Eire before Corbyn ever gets his hands on the reins of power. He'll solve it all-right by handing over Northern Ireland for the benefit of his special friends in the IRA Sinn Fein who he's kowtowed to all his miserable life.

With Business leaders and employers pointing out the flaws in his and McDonnell's "5 Year Plan it seems clear that Corbyn is looking to the Venezuelan model of socialism in which case wheelbarrow manufacturers will become rich as these will be needed to carry currency for a loaf of bread....

Wild speculation? Perhaps, but one thing is certain the economy will collapse under Labour.

Then there's defence. Old Steptoe says he will "have to consult" before using our nuclear option. Fuck knows how this idiot will cope in crisis. Just surrender?

The thought of this party taking power is a frightening prospect.

And I can't help thinking of that Beer Garden....

Corbyn's Labour Threatens Democracy

If John McDonnell's economic proposals which will bankrupt the country very quickly and turn us into the European version of Venezuela were not enough, there are large elements both in Corbyn's inner circle and even in the Parliamentary Labour Party who are prepared to forgo democratic measures and take a much more "Bolshevik" approach.

First the BBC reported that "former" member of the Communist Party Andrew Murray told a meeting:

The former head of the Stop the War coalition has promised mass protests if the "deep state" tries to thwart Jeremy Corbyn's foreign policy agenda.

Andrew Murray has previously warned that unelected forces are out to undermine him and the Labour leader.

As a Communist and supporter of the former Soviet Union he should know about the socialist way of suppressing opponents in great detail. Difference is that Britain is a democracy, something he and his mates oppose.

Worse still Laura Smith MP for Crewe and Nantwich told a Momentum rally that:

“Comrades, we must topple this cruel and callous Tory government as soon as we can. And if we can’t get a general election,” she told the crowd, “we should organise with our brothers and sisters in the trade unions to bring an end to this government with a general strike.”

For this she gained a standing ovation which frankly exposes the far-left for what they are. Those that stood included other Corbynite loyalists:

Shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon, shadow work and pensions secretary Margaret Greenwood and the MPs Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Dan Carden, Chris Williamson, Cat Smith and Emma Dent Coad. 

All this talk of "deselection", as being democratic is just smoke and mirrors for a purge of all those who oppose their Marxist agenda. Motivated by one thing, the ideological drive for power the comrades, most of whom are new to the Labour Party and come from the failed far left groups of the past or are just blinkered in their outlooks are actually totally contemptuous of democracy.

Andrew Murray, who "resigned" his membership of the CPB has been schooled in the tradition of Lenin's so-called "Red October", a "revolution" that in reality was a coup that overthrew the first democratically elected Government.

Just like Hitler later on, Lenin had no time for the democratic process. The fact the Bolsheviks (like the Nazi's) never achieved a parliamentary majority shows the methods of both the far-left and the far-right are in practice the same. Both did it in the name of an amorphous mass either "the workers" or the people". 

The individual is always subservient to the cause.

That's what motivates both Corbyn and McDonnell. Their supporters are the new Militant with a momentum to the unsustainable communist nightmare.

They must be stopped. It is time for a new party.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Labour Party: Not for the Jew?

Proud to fly the Israeli Flag!

The trouble with trying to debate the Middle East conflict is that it raises hackles of those on either side of the debate. That said despite the innate controversy of the issue there has been some unsavoury discussion of both Facebook and Twitter from mainly "left-leaning" individuals which crossed the line into Zionist World Conspiracy theories and then ended up sharing anti-Semetic tropes and links to dubious websites that even referred to Holocaust denial.

It was in this atmosphere that the Jewish community became alarmed. Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell the two leaders of the huge growth of the Labour left were well known supporters of not just the Palestine cause, but Corbyn himself was on far too friendly terms with Hamas which has a genocidal policy towards Jews and Hezbollah, a proxy for the Iranian government which also wants to wipe Israel off the map.

Corbyn of course was also someone who worked for Press TV, the station run by the Iranian clerics who oppress all and sundry in their own country and for which the comrade has never spoken out about. Press TV was of course banned for it's constant one-sidediness and use of an interview with a man under the gaze of his torturers.

Corbyn of course is supposedly a man of peace.

But where were the calls for peace and negotiation at Labour Party conference today? The mover of the motion on Palestine Colin Monehan was full of rhetoric with not a fact in sight. His bullying attitude to the (Jewish) Chair, Rhea Wolfson that he "represented the Palestinians and she would need security to remove him was both disturbing but also typical of how these anti-Israel types operate.

The waving of Palestinian flags was an unnecessary and oppressive act against Jewish members present or watching that already felt under threat from the left. A point of order raised by a delegate that there were "double standards" as he had be told in no uncertain terms not to wave a European Flag earlier was booed by sections of the audience.

The seconder of the motion Mohamed Ali started his contribution by stating he represented the area where Enoch Powell made his "rivers of blood speech" as if that had anything whatsoever to do with the matter in hand but simply to implant the falsehood of Israel being a racist state.

Emily Thornberry spoke for the leadership stating that the party opposed the "racist actions of the Netanyahu Government" without being specific and called support for the Palestinians but warned conference that there were those on the fringes  who used this issue as cover for their anti-Semitism who should be expelled from the party. The cheering switched to polite clapping at this point.

She seemed to indicate that the party leadership (at least formally) did not seek the destruction of the Jewish state. Not sure of the wider membership whose acceptance of extremist propaganda seems heavily built in to their blinkered view of the world.

The Palestinians do need a state. There should be a two-state solution. However nobody on the Palestine Solidarity side seems to seek this. Just demonise Israel, spread so-called "anti-Zionism"". Why is it the left support all national aspirations except the Jewish one. Zionism is simply just Jewish nationalism no worse than the pan-Arabism that unites the world which the Palestinians come from. After all Palestinians are Arabs.

The mover of the motion, Colin Monehan bemoaned the withdrawal of aid to the Palestinians via UNWRA from the USA. A better question would have been to challenge Hamas, and the PLO/PLA about where all the aid money was going.

Over the years not only have the Palestinians been donated billions of dollars but receive more aid than any other "refugee" group in the world ever has. Where has it all gone. Why are their leaders multi-millionaires?

If the aid had been invested wisely Gaza would have been a prosperous settlement and tourist attraction. On the West Bank other Palestinians could have developed their own industries and developments. Peace and compromise could have been reached a long time ago with the Jewish state.

Why has this scenario never come to fruition? Simply because it's been useful to the Arabs and during the cold war to the Russians to keep the Palestinians as a tool in their conflicts. Even today the border with Gaza has another country sealing it.

Egypt, but you never see the left or the Palestine Solidarity Campaign or the Stop the War Campaign demonstrating outside. But then then that applies to the Syrian conflict which has cost more lives and destroyed much more than in the wars with Israel.

This is because the destruction of Israel is central to the lefts conception of the downfall of capitalism. The destruction of Israel will have a domino effect in their  brain dead Marxist view.

All that would happen would be a second genocide that's what Hamas promise, that's what Hezbollah and Iran wants. These people are enemies of humanity.

The slogan NEVER AGAIN should be raised in defence of Israel.

Build a Palestinian state but not over the bodies of Jews.

Labour, Momentum and Trans-Censorship

One of the issues that continues to raise it's ugly head is the suppression of women (and men) who have strong reservations and opposition to some of the aspects of the proposed Gender Recognition act. A former activist in Momentum, Venice Allen has founded We Need To Talk and was interviewed on the American feminist website Feminist Current:

Her group founded a year ago resulted from her experiences on the Labour Left:

I was part of Momentum at the time, which is a sort of [Labour Leader] Jeremy Corbyn fan club. At the time, I didn’t think legislation allowing individuals to self-identify as the opposite sex would come to the UK, so I was shocked when I heard a speech by Corbyn in July, saying he fully supported British Prime Minister Theresa May’s intention to update the existing Gender Recognition Act.

As one does when querying aspects of forthcoming legislation Venice raised her objections:

I posted an article from Fair Play for Women in a popular Jeremy Corbyn Facebook group, saying: “I’m a bit concerned. How can we stop predatory men from abusing the system?”

Guess what happened:

In a couple of hours after posting this, I got 700 replies. People called me a bitch and a cunt. At that point I would never have expected that sort of language.

Not having expected such a response she went ahead and:

A friend and I organized a local Momentum meeting to talk about it. I booked the local library under the Momentum name but then Momentum refused to have anything to do with it. I was so naïve.

Bad move. Despite getting speakers arranged from groups like Stonewall what happened next is an attack not just on Women's Rights but the concept of Free Speech as well:

The event was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, September 13th. The two Stonewall speakers pulled out on Sunday, three days before the talk was due, but we decided to go ahead with Julia and Miranda anyway. Goldsmiths’ University and LGBT Lewisham found out what the venue was on Tuesday and called us; we agreed to meet them on that day to resolve any issues. The issues could not be resolved so they phoned up the library, protesting, and at 9pm that evening the library contacted us to say they had undertaken a risk assessment and were cancelling.

What was particuarly disturbing is the following tweet from a "Sue Pascoe" a trans-activist:

WPUK together with their connected We Need to Talk group have been reported to the police counter terrorist unit as a hate group under the UK Prevent programme. They are regarded in the same category as Britain First. This is not listening and debating with a reasonable group.

I try not to swear but FFS a "terrorist" organisation that needs reporting to the police? This is beyond any kind of reasoned response. It is people like this who are a danger to rest of us. Male aggression hidden in women's clothing.

No wonder there are so many women (and men) who oppose the GRA and are more than disturbed about the aggression of trans-activists.

It boils down to one simple fact it is not hate speech to say women don't have penises. 

At the moment only 18% of the British public support so-called "self-Identification"

The full interview can be read on Feminist Current: Here

Monday, 24 September 2018

Labour Conference: Uncomfortable Viewing

Red on white word "Labour" in sans-serif font to the right of white on red silhouette of a rose

Image: Fair use

Watching the first day of Labour Party conference made very uncomfortable viewing. The adoration in which Corbyn is held by so many delegates was disturbing and began to remind me of Michael Palin's visit to North Korea where he got pulled up by his minders watchers for having his hand in his pocket whilst looking at a statue of one of their "Dear Leaders".

Their were a huge number of first time delegates who seemed oblivious to the real world and one in particular caught my attention, Dave Mallon (Blythe Valley CLP) whose contribution about MP's standing in working class seats was bizarre to say the least. I don't think even he knew what point he was trying to make.

Speaker after speaker wanted automatic re-selection for every MP at every election stating this was democratic. Nobody is fooled by this. The whole process has been overtaken by the influx of new members who have been in the party for just five minutes, see everybody that doesn't agree with them as a "Red Tory" or worse a "Zionist & Racist" not understanding that Labour has always been a broad church and has always had a range of people across the left and centre left spectrrum.

No more it would seem. The requirement for MP's to "toe the line" as activists judge their actions will see Labour turn into a narrow ideologically blinkered party. There is very much the Leninist concept of "democratic centralism" either consciously or sub-consciously behind this. Labour is becoming something it was not intended to be. Not quite yet, but is certainly on the road to.

Even outside conference there is general unpleasantness being circulated. The comrades voted to prioritise "Palestine" (not Israel/Palestine) on the agenda over the NHS, Local Government Funding and Social Care. Entirely to get revenge for the NEC agreeing the IHRA statement. Add to ultra-leftism a hefty dose of anti-Semitism, which singling out Israel certainly is.

Photo: Oliver Boyland Twitter

The hate on for Israel has spilled over to the point whereby a Jewish Labour MP, Luciana Berger has to have police protection due to threats at a Labour Party Conference.

Let that sink in a minute.

It isn't safe for a Jewish MP to go back & forth to a Labour Conference in the 21st Century. And the new left tell us they are not anti-Semetic.

 Yet the hate for one country sees the Labour Party Marxists break the IHRA definition by hawking their bigotry splattered all over the groups literature. Of course the Labour Party Marxists are in breach of Labour Party rules anyway being an entryist front for the Communist Party of Great Britain (Weekly Worker). See: Labour Party Fringe (2) : Labour Party Marxists

This far left zealotry even saw Dawn Butler MP defend the Militant run council in the eighties. "It is better to break the law not the poor". This issue came up on Adam Bolton on Sky News this morning when this was put to two young activists at conference, one from progress the other from Momentum.

Guess what? The Momentum guy repeated the slogan "Better to break the law not the poor". The young lady from Progress tore him apart in her response pointing out you do not help the poor by sacking workers and closing services rubbing it in by sending redundancy notices by taxi. People want food on their table not some principle made from a stage.. The Momentum guy just shut up and moved on.

And that's the problem with the new breed of Labour Supporters they are a mix of the naive young, the regular attenders at demo's who can only spout slogans and tired out old lefties like Corbyn who just never grew up.

And we are only on day two of this awful gathering.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Labour Party Fringe (3) : Labour Against the Witch hunt

Labour against the witch-hunt

One of the more sinister fringe groups active inside the Labour Party is the Labour Against the Witch Hunt (LAW). This group contains, defends and promotes some of the worst individuals in and around the Labour Party.

Closely associated with the Jewish Voice for Labour which contains many of the same individuals either in or about LAW or their defence campaigns. These include two well known and rather unpleasant individuals like Jackie Walker and Tony Greenstein.

LAW is gearing up to be very active during Labour Party Conference and inform their supporters:

We are at a crucial moment in the civil war in the party, with the witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and the left in the party reaching ever new heights. We understand that in addition to their plans to force Corbyn’s hand on Brexit (there is a demo planned on Sunday afternoon) and the ongoing smears around Anti-Semitisn, the right is also planning on sabotaging conference wherever possible.

LAW use the totally unreliable propagandist Skwawkbox website to claim that the "right-wing" plan to disrupt meeting including ones with Chris Williamson the "Beira" of the Corbynista left:

Right-wingers hope to force conference delegates to ‘run the gauntlet’ of a placard-waving demonstration that will claim to be about antisemitism, but in reality is about undermining and removing the party’s leader.

Usually of course conferences and meetings are surrounded by hordes of left-wing newspaer seller and other leftie protestors complaining about this and that. The fact that others might dare protest against them is so galling to the comrades ego's. 

They further claim:

The right has a fourfold plan for the Conference fringe and the parallel ‘The World Transformed‘ (TWT) event. Disruption is planned at any fringe event that Corbyn is expected to attend, or that involves the Jewish Voice for Labour group or its supporters. In addition, any appearances by Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, Labour general secretary Jennie Formby or Chris Williamson are on the hit-list.

Not a shred of evidence of course though any attempt by someone who attends one the meetings run by the Corbynites that attempts to disagree will of course be fingered as a disruptive right winger. Of course the fact it's usually the left that engages in planned disruptions of "right-wing" (by which they mean anyone the left disagrees with) meetings is an irony lost on the comrades. Perhaps they should be the ones pointed out by the Dear Leader as those who do not understand history or the British sense of irony. 

Oh yeah, that's Jews Zionists of course..........

LAW advises the comrades: not let right-wingers provoke you. We know they will try and they will in all likelihood have somebody with a camera nearby. They will want to make us look like dangerous lunatics..

Not that they aren't already of course.

Talking of Zionists LAW take a strong view  of the National Exective adopting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, personalising it around the unsavoury types who have been excluded, suspended or expelled from the Labour Party:

For the last three years, vastly exaggerated claims that the Labour Party is awash with anti-Semites have been used to attack the left. But Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Tony Greenstein and hundreds of other Labour Party members were little more than collateral damage.

This vicious campaign, orchestrated by the pro-Zionist lobby and the right in the party, never had anything to do with fighting anti-Semitism – but everything with getting rid of Jeremy Corbyn. His pro-Palestinian views and socialist policies make him unacceptable to both.

It's all about them and their precious ego's. The destruction of a nation to satisfy their ideological mores of course is not bigotry. But then these people, like Corbyn have never worked for peace. Ever.

Oh and they want Lansman (who recognises anti-Semitism but remains an "anti-Zionist") "dealt with and call for:

Instead of defending Corbyn, Momentum owner Jon Lansman has sided with the witch-hunters. He has thrown Jackie Walker and Pete Willsman to the wolves and is now ready to abandon Corbyn, too. He wants the term ‘Zionism’ banned. He runs Momentum like a dictator, having abolished all democratic structures.

Not a bit like the Bolsheviks then?

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Labour Party Fringe (2) : Labour Party Marxists

 Labour Party Marxists  Communist Party of Great Britain

The Labour Party Marxists are a front organisation for the Communist Party of Great Britain (Weekly Worker) and hold joint "educational" meetings.  Oddly enough one of their number, Jim Grant writes in the latest edition of the Weekly Worker that:

This year’s event looks set to see fierce controversy, in the hall and the hallways. It is now the job of an outsider-left leadership to keep the whole show on the road.

This is no small matter. Even allowing for the fact that the standard method for the right to roll back the gains of the left in this period is to keep the atmosphere at a perpetual level of crisis, it is a particularly fraught moment for a conference.

There's no love lost between the LPM and Momentum as Grant takes a swipe at Lansman:

Particularly obvious is the cooling of relations between the leader’s office and Momentum, with the outlines of a sharp disagreement discernible during the fiasco of John Lansman’s abortive tilt at the general secretary’s job.....

Lansman, by ensuring Momentum developed merely into a factional machine under his own tight control, played this role in an earlier phase - a small matter which rather puts his sudden democratism in perspective. Yet his internet irregulars are small fry compared to the institutional power of the major unions, so Corbyn has good reason to shelter with them instead, if shelter is forthcoming. So much the worse for the rest of us.

And here's the crux:

The bottom line is that the struggle for the transformation of the Labour Party must escape the shackles of unconditional Corbyn-loyalism" 

That's because the LPM want subordination to "a programme of Marxism".

The LPM distributes both a free 4 page propaganda sheet and produced a daily bulletin for conference delegates last year:

WednesdayLPM20 - web-color-1

Their leading writer "James Marshall" writes:

In 2015 Labour members had the temerity to elect Jeremy Corbyn as leader, and our party is, as a consequence, riven by civil war and faces unremitting media lies, mockery and attack. Such a leader was never going to be acceptable for the establishment. Corbyn’s past statements on Marxism, the monarchy, Nato, nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union, Iraq, Zionism, Palestine, etc, rule him out as a trustworthy prime minister. No wonder, once he was elected Labour leader, there were stories of unnamed members of the army high command “not standing for” a Corbyn government and being prepared to take “direct action.

Not acceptable to the majority of right thinking people is correct and his "policies" based on slogans and wishful thinking from his student days are not only unworkable but would leave the country defenceless and promote another holocaust in the Middle East. Corbyn's defence policy is summed up in two words: "We surrender".

James Marshall in a seperate article outlines the military policy of Labour Party Marxists and:

.. a Jeremy Corbyn government would be best defended by abolishing the standing army and the formation of a popular militia.

Popular with who is my first question and do their supporters openly admit that this would lead to a civil war, the worst kind of war where neighbour would be set against neighbour. I doubt it. Marxists only ever see workers as a tool to achieve their ideological aims.

Their distorted and somewhat utopian view of history betrays them as their analysis of the Second World War shows:

...the looming clash between the German-Italian axis and the Anglo-French alliance had every appearance of being a classic inter-imperialist conflict. The correct slogan under these circumstances would therefore be ‘defeat for both sides’. Britain and France were going to fight not for democracy, not for national freedom, not for the anti-fascist cause. No, they wanted to preserve their position at the top of the imperialist feeding chain.

A classic Leninist proposition of "Revolutionary Defeatism" that worked so well for the Bolsheviks who ended up giving away swathes of Russian territory to the Germans. In any case the Nazi's HAD to be defeated whether the followers of the LPM liked it or not. Imperialist this country may have been but the British made huge sacrifices inspired by Winston Churchill to defeat fascism.

The working class must develop its own militia. Such a body grows out of the class struggle itself: in the fight to protect picket lines, in defence of Muslims from fasc­ist attacks, in guarding our print shops, meeting places and demonstrations. With a workers’ militia it becomes realistic to split the state’s armed forces. Fear of officers, sergeants and court martials must be replaced by rank and file mutiny. Certainly, army regiments, airforce squadrons and naval crews declaring for our side provides us with the military wherewithal needed to safeguard either an expected or a recently established Marxist majority in parliament.

There are already rumours swirling around of unnamed members of the army high command “not standing for” a Corbyn government and being prepared to take “direct action”

First I've heard of it. Sheer paranoia on their part. Gerry Healy's Workers Revolutionary Party spent year after year warning about the dangers of a military coup. Never happened of course. It was and is a product of a deranged mind polluted by ultra-leftism and cultism.

LPM conclude:

...let us put our trust in a “well regulated militia” and the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Two words: Bugger that!

Friday, 21 September 2018

Labour Party Fringe (1) : Alliance for Workers Liberty


Over the last couple of posts we have seen how the larger far-left groups the SWP and Socialist Party (Militant) outside the Labour Party and Socialist Appeal (also Militant) inside Labour are swinging behind Jeremy Corbyn and in the case of the SWP attacking the trade unions. Now it's time to have a look at the smaller groups that have entered the Labour Party.

The highest profile of all these is the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) a small group of around 150 activists led by veteran Trotskyist, Sean Matgamna. It publishes a weekly newspaper Solidarity. This group stand out from the other as they  both recognise and oppose left-wing anti-Semitism:


Certainly “left-wing” antisemitism, expressed as “anti-Zionism”, is a malignant and powerful force on the left. Especially among the would-be revolutionary left, who on many other things say what we say.

The core of the antisemitic infection is denial that Israel has a right to exist — insistence that it is a historically illegitimate state which should be done away with if it continues to refuse to dismantle itself. A whole cluster of attitudes and positions have their roots there.

It is an infection carried by the “revolutionary” absolute anti-Zionist left into broader areas. These ideas need to be stigmatised and driven out of the labour movement. The political, intellectual and moral health of the labour movement demands no less than that....

Those who want the destruction of Israel and advocate, or would support, an Arab or Islamic war of extermination against it should not be members of any working-class or socialist party. It is necessary to educate and re-educate the left and the labour movement, to get the movement to see, reject, and fight their “left-wing” antisemitism....

Blatant and persistent antisemites should be expelled from the Labour Party. But more than that is needed.

They till support Jeremy Corbyn though and call on him to:

.. take the lead in initiating an educational campaign in the Labour Party and in the broader labour movement on the complex of questions involved, including Israel-Palestine.

Wishful and wrong thinking as Corbyn is incapable of intellectually or honestly conducting  a balanced view on the Israel/Palestine conflict. He is considered by many to be inherently anti-Semitic especially after his remarks about British Zionists not understanding history or irony.

For all their efforts they are accused by the rest of the left of being Zionists!

They are active in Momentum where they came into conflict with Jackie Walker and her supporters who left to create a Grassroots Momentum that seems to have died a death. The AWL are involved with the semi-official Momentum paper; The Clarion. The by-lines of leading AWL activists Jill Mountford, Janine Booth, Rosie Woods and Sacha Ismail regularly appear.

The latest issue of The Clarion has just been published and will be hawked to delegates outside the conference centre along with a plethora of other Trotskyist rags.


The group used to work under the Socialist Organiser banner which was proscribed by the Labour Party in 1992. Several of their more prominent members were expelled.

At one time the AWL were registered with the Electoral Commission as a political party however in 2015 they "de-registered" in order that their members could join Labour. 

The AWL/SO has a number of well known former members including PCS union General Secretary Mark Serwotka. 

My how people change......

Socialist Party pushed aside by Labour and Momentum

Socialist Party logo

Yesterday I took a look at the former Militants two factions preparing for Labour Party Conference. Socialist Appeal (the smaller of the two) is already inside Labour pretending to be just supporters of a newspaper not that anybody is fooled. Meanwhile cult leader Peter Taffe has been desperately writing to Jennie Formbie trying to get his party affiliated to Labour.

Back in April he wrote:

We would like to meet with you to discuss the possibility of our becoming an affiliate of the Labour Party. From the beginning we have enthusiastically supported Jeremy Corbyn's election as leader of the Labour Party, which has offered the possibility of transforming Labour into a clear anti-austerity party, based on the trade unions and the working class. Clearly, your appointment as general secretary, replacing Iain McNicol, is an important step towards the renewal of the party along these lines.
and then went on to state:

..we are sure you will agree, measures to democratise Labour's structures are therefore urgent. We would argue this should include the readmittance of all those socialists, including ourselves, who were expelled in the past as the pro-capitalist wing of the party 

The reply from Labour's new General Secretary was blunt and to the point and sent with obvious urgency at the end of July:

Thank you for your letter on behalf of the Socialist Party requesting affiliation to the Labour Party.

The Labour Party rules about affiliation are very clear.

Chapter 1, clause ii, part 5 (A) states:

"Political organisations not affiliated or associated under a national agreement with the party, having their own programme, principles and policy, or distinctive and separate propaganda, or possessing branches in the constituencies, or engaged in the promotion of parliamentary or local government candidates, or having allegiance to any political organisation situated abroad, shall be ineligible for affiliation to the Party."

As the Socialist Party is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition who stood candidates against the Labour Party in the May 2018 elections, it is ineligible for affiliation. Furthermore, it is not "associated under a national agreement with the party".

Taffe wasn't having none of it and attempted to raise the question again:

You suggest that we cannot affiliate because we are not currently "associated under a national agreement with the party."

They want such an agreement however their response to the thorny question of the TUSC candidates:

...TUSC did stand candidates in the May 2018 local elections. We stood 111 candidates, with none standing against Jeremy Corbyn-supporting councillors but only against a few of the many Labour councillors...

Jennie Formbie replied at the end of August:

Thanks for your further correspondence about the Socialist Party affiliating to the Labour Party under a national agreement.

Whilst the Socialist Party continues to stand candidates against the Labour Party as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, it will not be possible to enter into any agreement.

The leader of a political party is judged by their electoral success. Standing candidates against the Labour Party is damaging not only to local Labour Parties but also to Jeremy. You will therefore understand why there can be no discussions given that TUSC stood candidates against the Labour Party in May this year.

Spurned once more the Militant comrades turned to Momentum and tried to participate in the World Transformed  "fringe event". This time Tony Mulhurn (expelled from Labour decades ago) wanted to highlight the struggle of the Liverpool Councillors. (You now the one's that sent taxis around the city delivering redundancy notices to their workers which ended in Neil Kinnocks famous speech):

This was initially greeted with enthusiasm by the Liverpool TWT liaison officer who wrote that it was exactly what TWT was formed to showcase and who confirmed that she would recommend its inclusion to the national body.

However, we learned that bureaucratic Momentum leadership who control TWT had other ideas. The response was - sorry, no can do.

The Liverpool TWT liaison officer was probably too young or too mad to remember but the Momentum leadership knew about this disgraceful episode and were having none of it.

Mulhern bemoans this and concludes the struggles were:

not important enough for TWT to include in its programme. I think labour movement activists will draw their own conclusions.

Yes. Militant was useless then and is now. Next!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

The Two Wings of Militant Prepare for Labour Party Conference

 Socialist Appeal Latest Issue!

The two wings of the old Militant Tendency are gearing up to back Corbyn at the Labour Party Conference. First up is the Socialist Party, the larger of the two groups which remains outside Labour. They proclaim:

The Labour right's summer of slander is drawing to a close. As parliament reopens and the party's conference approaches, the Blairite fifth column is preparing the next phase in its relentless anti-Corbyn campaign.

Right-wing MPs are anxiously weighing up their options. They are considering possible scenarios and reflecting on which lines of attack have thus far proved most fruitful.

There will be no respite for Corbyn. The key question being discussed by his enemies is what comes next: how can they best escalate the attacks, how can they inflict the maximum possible damage?

and further: votes are an important symbolic indication of the mood of ordinary Labour members and Corbyn supporters. No-confidence votes have no real power in and of themselves.

But they must be the starting gun for the battle to deselect the pro-capitalist Labour saboteurs. In particular, it is vital that Corbyn comes out clearly and boldly in favour of mandatory reselection of MPs ahead of a vote on the question at the upcoming Labour Party conference.

The Socialist Party concludes with it's ongoing and totally ignored demand it be allowed back in Labour's playground:

Part of taking on the right must mean opening up the Labour Party to all anti-austerity, pro-worker forces. A spectre that seemingly hangs over Blair, and which he repeatedly references in his BBC interview, is that of the Militant tendency - forerunner to the Socialist Party.

What makes the Socialist Party a 'bogeyman' for the right is our implacable determination to fight in the interests of working class people. That's why we call for the Labour Party to adopt a modern federal structure - which could allow the participation of all pro-working class forces, including the Socialist Party - as part of a full programme to redemocratise the Labour Party, restoring trade union rights, and refounding the party along democratic, socialist lines.

With barely 2,000 members, the influence of the Socialist Party wing of the old Militant Tendency is limited. Only in the PCS union do they have any kind of base and even there they have fallen foul of the General Secretary who seeks to purge his Assistant GS a member of the SP with a member of the breakaway from the SP, Socialist View.

The smaller wing founded by Ted Grant when he split with the Tendency that he had built since the fifties is Socialist Appeal. This group is believed to have around 200 to 300 members and is buried in the Labour Party in the same parasitical manner that the original Militant was.

Socialism Today 221 - September 2018 In Defence of Marxism Issue 14

Socialist Appeal (the name of it's paper is a formally organised group just like Militant was and the Socialist Party is today. They are part of their own version of the Fourth International, The International Marxist Tendency.

Their website declares:

Responding to the pressure from below, for example, Momentum has come out in favour of shaking up the existing system for selecting Labour’s parliamentary representatives, backing calls for “open selections” of local candidates.

Yesterday’s pre-conference meeting of the NEC, however, has thrown a spanner in the works and left this question hanging.

Following a gruelling nine-hour long meeting, the recommendation that will likely go to conference from Labour’s ruling body is for a fudge that lowers the trigger ballot threshold, but which falls far short of mandatory reselection or an open selection process.

Most notably, the NEC proposal maintains the unions’ influence over candidate selections, with a reselection process being set in motion if backed by either 30% of local LP members or affiliated (e.g. union) members.

This will provide rank-and-file members with a greater chance of turfing out unrepresentative right-wing Labour MPs - but only if activists are well-organised on the ground locally.

Just like the Socialist Workers Party (see post below) they are afraid of the trade unions pragnatism and argue:

but more conservative elements of the labour movement - in particular, the leaderships of the unions - are afraid of the Pandora’s Box that might be opened by setting the bar too low.
With militant left-wing MPs like Chris Williamson becoming more vocal and gaining in popularity, the union leaders (who only reluctantly backed Corbyn in the first leadership election) are keen to maintain their grip in deciding who succeeds Jeremy.
Socialist Appeal conclude:

That is why the demand for mandatory reselection must remain at the fore. We need to complete the ‘Corbyn revolution’ inside the Labour Party, kicking out the Blairites and replacing them with genuine class fighters. We cannot let our movement be derailed by the malicious actions of these right-wing renegades.

Whilst the Socialist Party will be reduced to shouting slogans and trying to offload their dull rag on to delegates, Socialist Appeal will be present inside the party working with others to end the Labour Party as a broad church and turn it into something more than sinister, a new communist party.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Socialist Workers Party Attacks Trade Unions

Trade unions exist for one reason; to protect their members at work. When they were first formed the unions tended to be representing very skilled groups of workers and were hostile to Marxist and Socialist movements. That partially changed at the beginning of the twentieth century and the unions became a primary force for the creation of the Labour Representation Committee and this transformed into the Labour Party responsible for the setting up of the Labour Party.

The central ethos of the unions has always (despite the political views of some of it's leaders like Scargill and McClusky) to protect its members Jobs, conditions of employment and wages. It's the reason the vast majority of union members pay their dues. The union has a responsibility to look after the individual interests of members in personal case work. For the member the union is an insurance policy.

Socialist Worker

Marxists see trade unions as a "conservative force" within the Labour movement precisely because at the end of the day the union leaders have to be pragmatic about policy. This attracts the ire of the Marxist left. Socialist Worker tells us:

...there has often been an antagonistic relationship between union leaders and Labour politicians—especially when workers’ struggle has challenged the bosses or threatened to cost Labour right wing votes.

But politicians and union leaders share an interest in limiting the demands of Labour’s ordinary members, who look to the party to bring real change. So for much of Labour’s history union leaders have acted with the Parliamentary Labour Party against the left.
and continues:
Under Corbyn, union leaders are back in the fold. But they won’t let Corbyn commit Labour to scrapping nuclear weapons because they think defending the arms industry means protecting their members’ jobs.

The GMB union supports fracking for the same reason.

And they don’t want Britain to leave the EU because they believe that what’s bad for the bosses is also bad for their members.

There are limits to what union leaders will accept from the left. And, over some of the most crucial questions, they’ll come down on the side of the right.

With the Labour Conference about to start and sides lining up for what promises to be at least an interesting affair the SWP says out:

This year’s Labour Party conference could mark the moment that trade union leaders reveal themselves as Jeremy Corbyn’s most unreliable allies.

Their actions could play a decisive role in events that dictate the fate of his leadership.

Corbyn has relied on the support of trade union leaders—particularly Len McCluskey, general secretary of Labour’s biggest donor, Unite.

This has always been a shaky alliance.

McCluskey likes to pose as a supporter of Labour’s leadership. But last year—before Labour’s success in the general election—he hinted that Corbyn had just 15 months before he would force him out.

GMB union leader Tim Roache “proudly” campaigned against Corbyn in 2016. And Unison leader Dave Prentis has repeatedly attacked Corbyn and the left.

Socialist Worker berates the union leaders for accepting the IHRA statement and continuing to support both Trident and the defence industry because of the threat to jobs. In other words at the end of the day the far left do not care about workers jobs.

The same attitude is taken to the CLP motions calling for a second vote. The SWP along with the Socialist Party (Militant), the Communist Party and other sections of the Marxist left are anti-Europe despite the possible effects on the withdrawal of  EU legislation that protects workers rights and the dangers of higher unemployment combined with higher prices that working people may or probably will face post-Brexit.

The suffering of ordinary people has never figured high in the comrades ideology. The cause is central, the end justifies the means. This led to the creation of several murderous regimes in the name of "socialism". The Soviet Union, China, Cambodia and many more saw the deaths of more people than Hitler managed.

The SWP illustrate how the far-left actually do not care about workers and only see them as a tool for their authoritarian beliefs.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

An Uninspiring Liberal Democrat Conference

Liberal Democrats

The two main political parties are in the grip of civil war. Labour has been taken over by the hard left and has wandered into territory normally associated with the far-right, anti-Semitism with even Holocaust denial appearing on the Facebook pages and twitter accounts of some of the more deranged Corbyn supporters.

Meanwhile the Tories are engaging in fratricidal warfare over Brexit. Theresa May has shown herself to be an inept and weak leader. The prospect of the buffoon Boris Johnson looms in the background as her successor being the darling of what remains of the blue rinse brigade in the shires.

The Liberal Democrats are Britain's third party and one would think they should be rising in the poles and taking advantage of the situation despite only having a dozen MP's. They were down to just 6 seats when I became active in politics back in the seventies. They survived the Thorpe Scandal, rose up with the SDP Alliance and at one point had 52 MP's in parliament.

Then came the coalition. Clegg dumped support for abolishing university fees and then agreed to a vote on a form of PR that no one wanted including his own party. It all went downhill from there. The Liberals went into government with the Tories and tasted power only to be punished by the electorate who threw out nearly all the Lib Dems MP's.

File:Official portrait of Sir Vince Cable crop 2.jpg

Even so that's the past, but people have long memories and strong party loyalties are difficult to break. Just ask the moderate Labour MP's who remain in Labour despite the growing deselection purge awaiting them.

Watching bits of the Liberal Democrats Conference on the BBC's Parliamentary Channel has proved less than inspiring. Before the conference Vince Cable talked about a new "centre movement" and also invited non-members to sign up for possible inclusion in a vote for their leader which may not be an MP.

Speaker after speaker talks about being "Liberal", "radical" and the need for "Liberalism" but this ideology seems somewhat undefined since others spoke of "social democracy" which is closer to my beliefs.

Other than demanding an end to Brexit which is not possible and would go against the democratic result of the referendum whether I agree with leaving the EU or not. Gina Miller addressin conference (who rejected the notion of her becoming leader  not least because she is not a member) said:

Make no mistake - time is running out. We have just 193 days to go until our scheduled departure from the EU, and, as things stand, we have no agreed plan, no prospect of an agreed plan.

A leader in charge of what looks like an increasingly unleadable party.

An Opposition that is not opposing, and reasonable, sensible, conciliatory voices - such as your own - being all too often drowned out and suppressed by what I can only describe as hysteria.

It’s time for politicians to do the morally and democratically right thing – to let the people decide their own future on the facts before it is too late.

There is a need for a new party of the centre. A recent poll showed no less than 52% of the electorate would "mull over supporting a centre party". That's not definite support of course, but there is hope.

At the moment the will does not exist and the Brexit question needs to be resolved before a new party can be set up.

But set up a new party must be.

The Liberal Democrats are not that party.

60 Years Carrying On!

Carry On logo illustration.jpg
Photo: By Source Fair use

Sixty years ago the first of 29 Carry On films hit British cinema screens and have become a staple of traditional British humour over the years. Their popularity depended more on the quality of the actors as well as the script.

The Carry On team changed from film to film but Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Hattie Jaques, Kenneth Connor, Barbara Windsor, Joan Sims, Charles Hawtry, Leslie Phillips and Peter Butterworth were joined by the likes of  Jim Dale, Bernard Bresslaw, Terry Scott and many others over the years. Some of the very best character actors this country had to offer.

Since a child in the sixties I have grown up both influenced by and enjoying the Carry On genre. The early, mostly black & white films are my favourites though nearly all are worth watching. Sadly most of these fine actors and actresses are long gone. But they have left a legacy unequalled in British comedy.

The later Carry On movies did become a little "naughtier" and had the kind of humour seen on seaside postcards. The series was only spoilt by the very last film Carry On Emmanuel which even the actors didn't like and is rarely seen on TV unlike most of the others which get regular outings.

These films do not seem to have attracted much criticism from the feminist world. Perhaps it's because the women always come out on top.

I'm sure someone will put me right on that if I'm wrong. After all I'm just a man, with a sense of humour and far from having a politically correct outlook on life.