Thursday, 18 October 2018

Lansman, the JVL and the CPGB (Weekly Worker)

Jewish Voice for Labour.jpg
Image: By Source, Fair use

An astonishing but useful insight into the thinking of Momentum's leadership appeared in the Jewish Chronicle yesterday:

Jon Lansman, the architect of Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to power, thinks the “very existence” of pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice For Labour group is inflaming tensions between Labour and the Jewish community, sources have said.

A senior figure in left-wing campaign group Momentum said that its founder, Jon Lansman, believed it is problematic that senior JVL figures claim to speak for the entire community but actually only reflect the views of a small faction of anti-Zionist Jews.

The source also told the JC that Mr Lansman felt it was entirely wrong for leading JVL figures to suggest that their organisation deserves equal recognition from Labour, on a par with the bigger, more established Jewish Labour Movement.
That there is no love left between Lansman and the JVL miscreants is not new. Tony Greenstein and Jackie walker split from Momentum a while back when they did not get their way originally establishing a "Grassroots momentum" which has disappeared and been replaced with the Jewish Voice for Labour groupscule to back Corbyn and cause mischief with the mainstream Jewish community.
There is little support left for the Labour Party in the wider Jewish community other than in the form of the long running Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) that has been an affiliate of Labour for decades.
Labour against the witch-hunt
It's not just the JVL that causes problems. The Communist Party of Great Britain's (Weekly Worker) front organisation Labour Against the Witch Hunt which has overlapping memberships and ties.  Greenstein is a regular writer in the pages of the Weekly Worker and of course is himself protesting about his suspension from the Labour Party. His preferred subject is of course Zionism. This self-obsessed individual presents himself as the expert on this field of course.
LAW also seem to have a problem with Jewish concerns about Labour. When the JLM started to monitor anti-Semitism in the Labour Party the comrades dismissed these concerns in no uncertain terms:
We call on all Labour Party members to stay well clear of the Jewish Labour Movement’s latest stunt. The JLM, which is the sister party of the Zionist Labor Party in Israel, has written to CLP secretaries, asking them to distribute their “survey” on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party to all local members. Many CLP secretaries have quite rightly moved this email directly into their Spam folder. If you have been unfortunate enough to have received the email, we urge you to do the same.

Of course even Corbyn and McDonnell have admitted to the existence of anti-Semitism in their party despite the fact neither of them will do much about it. No other ethnic group would have their worries dismissed so lightly. The outlook of LAW is effectively racist. Our concerns are of no importance whatsoever to them.
Of course LAW is full of entryists from the CPGB (Weekly Worker) a tiny group of around 50 or so individuals who have tried burying themselves in all sorts of organisations from the Socialist Alliance in the early 2000's to the more recent, now failed Left Unity Party project launched by Ken Loach.
LPM 21-web-1
The group present themselves as the Labour Party Marxists who just happen to hold joint "educationals" with the CPGB!  Members of the LPM and some of LAW are in breach of Labour Party rules but it's unlikely anyone will bother to act. The CPGB mob also cause disruption amongst other left-groups hiding inside the Labour Party.
However despite all this Momentum, the CLPD LRC/Labour Breifing & JVL crowd have come together to form a united slate. The JVL write:
We are delighted to report that the existing diffrences between Momentum and a number of other campaigning groups have been resolved.

The united slate of candidates below is currently backed by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD), Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), Labour Briefing Co-op, Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (LCND) and Momentum.


At the end of the day no matter what Lansman may say (and it needs to be remembered he's no friend of ours) for pragmatic reasons his organisation Momentum is at the end of the day a danger not just to our community like the other groups but also a threat to democracy.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Reading The Left Press So You Don't Have to!

The Socialist issue 1014

The most important task for the Socialist Party (Militant) is to ensure that it's boy Chris Baugh currently Assistant General Secretary of the PCS Union gets nominated and re-elected. He has an uphill task despite being in the post for a decade.

Marion Lloyd one of the Militants on the PCS NEC writes:

Meetings to agree nominations and motions are taking place until 26 October. These will be followed by voting meetings during November, culminating in the national Left Unity conference on 1 December.

A key issue will be who the Left Unity candidate is for the union's assistant general secretary (AGS).

Socialist Party member Chris Baugh is up for re-election. He has been the Left Unity candidate on three successive occasions since 2004, and won the union's election each time.

Chris is being challenged by Janice Godrich, the union's president. This challenge was started and is actively supported by the general secretary, Mark Serwotka, supposedly because of personal dislike and alleged inability to work with Chris.


As the rival PCS Independent Left puts it:

What we have is court politics where the King has fallen out with one of his nobles and there is battle to replace the rebel courtier.

Meanwhile the SP are making sure that Baugh is getting a high profile while this all goes on. The Socialist reports that:

Up to 2,000 marched in London against the far-right Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA) on 13 October. Socialist Party members took part in the counter-demonstration where PCS assistant general secretary and Socialist Party member Chris Baugh was one of the speakers.

Whether the Socialist Party will break ranks with the rest of the PCS left and run Baugh against Janice Godrich if he loses remains to be seen. It is certain that Janice will. She has the backing of PCS head honcho Mark Serwotka and he wants rid of the troublesome Baugh.

Front cover for issue 2626

Meanwhile as people prepare to march against Brexit in Central London  they will be happy to know that sellers of the Socialist Worker are for Brexit and won't be pestering them to buy a copy.

The SWP are using one of their front organisations Stand Up to Racism is holding an "International Conference" this weekend. The comrades write:

...a long-term task that has to unite anti-racists whether they are in the Labour Party, the revolutionary left, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the trade unions or have no party. This cannot be left to a Labour Party that has a terrible record of conceding to racism and implementing racist laws.

Now the latter part of that statement is absolutely true. Labour does have a racism problem as an elderly Jewish woman and others found out last night in the heart of Jeremy Corbyn's constituency when they were assaulted outside a meeting defending Corbyn and the Labour Party against racist accusations. Not sure that's what the SWP means but anti-Semitism is rife on the Labour left.

"We are facing the biggest rise in support for fascism, racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism since the 1930s."
Speakers include John McDonell MP who shared a platform with Jenny Manson from which Jews were excluded, Lyndsey German who was a speaker at last nights event in North London. (I have asked her for comments but have yet to receive a reply). Someone from the Muslim Council of Britain which is really a window dressed Muslim Brotherhood banned in so many Arab countries and laughingly someone from the Unite Against Racism organisation which like the SUTR is a front for the SWP.

There are some legitimate speakers such as Gerry Gable of Searchlight magazine but David Rosenberg of the tiny Jewish Socialists Group is hardly representative of the Jewish Community. All this is in order to build a demonstration on November 17th.

It'll be strange beyond belief to see racists of the left marching against themselves....

482

Meanwhile the sole group on the far-left that actually opposes anti-Semitism, the Alliance for Workers Liberty (AWL) has been holding meetings around the country and in an overview Ira Berkovic writes in their newspaper Solidarity:

The aim of the meetings, however, has not merely been to provide a space for debate but to convince comrades of a particular view: that antisemitism does exist on the left, and in a specific and distinct form, and that the way to uproot it is to replace the conspiracist form of anti-Zionism that currently predominates on much of the far left with a consistently democratic policy that upholds the equal right of all peoples to self-determination.

If only there were more like the AWL on the left.

Pakistan is a Sharia Prison

race
Cartoon from: www.jesusandmo.net

Freedom of speech and expression is constantly under attack whether it be in Russia under Putin, China under Xi Jinping or Pakistan under Imran Khan. With the first two it's all about power with the latter it's also about power but with the pretence of victim-hood. The cry of being offended and the issuing of death threats is part and parcel of so much of the Islamic world.

As Islamists murder Christian teachers in Kenya and another is on death row in Pakistan we are expected to believe Islam is the victim when the intolerance and violence of the Islamists is so widespread and the "moderates" remain silent lest they be the next victims as bloggers have discovered in Bangladesh where so many have been murdered for simply expressing a point of view.

First there was the Satanic Verses a controversy artificially kicked up by the mad Ayatollah Khomeini as part of a strategy to spread his evil influence in the Muslim world, then there were the Danish Cartoonists and finally there was the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdoe. I have a copy of the edition of that newspaper to remind me that religious intolerance has become murder. 

Now Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to go to the United Nations to "stop all cartoons of Mohammed". 51 Muslim nations have already attempted to make so-called "blasphemy" a world wide crime. On both counts their suppression of free thought must be opposed. We cannot allow these backward thinking bigots to interfere in our society's freedoms.

Rather we should campaign for the separation of religion and the state everywhere.  No religion should be forced down anyone's throat. 

Pakistan is nothing more than a giant Sharia prison as anyone who is not a Muslim can attest to. Under the pressure of self interested and deranged clerics there is a demand that non-Muslims abroad should face the same punishments Muslims do for offending their religion.

Never should that be allowed to happen. Stand up to the Islamists and their left-wing allies!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Sixty Years of Blue Peter! Down Shep!


Photo: By RockingSummer

There are two programmes from the sixties that used to be essential viewing. The first was Doctor Who of which I recall seeing the first episode of at the age of 7 and have followed the good Doctor to this day. The other programme that we tuned into as a family was Blue Peter.

I don't recall when I started watching this but at tea time twice a week it was always on with mum and dad watching this as avidly as I did. The first presenting team I remember was Christopher Tracey with Valerie Singleton and then John Noakes. Peter Purves came a little later.



This programme had started broadcasting in 1958 before my memory (I was err..one!) and has continued to this day though sadly sidelined onto the BBC children's Channel CBBC. It's viewing figures have dropped which is sad but I haven't watched it in years but will tonight for their anniversary programme.

Pity they don't bring it back to BBC 1 prime time to be the family show it was always meant to be!

There were times when both my favourite shows overlapped as this clip wonderfully illustrates:



I always remember John Noakes now sadly departed taking risks that scared the pants off both me and everyone else who watched. Up chimneys and Nelson's Column years before 'elf & safety really kicked in....



Then there was the Blue Peter garden (once vandalised) and their time capsule!



Along came Leslie Judd and  I gradually grew out of the programme simply because I was never home at the right time due to college and other commitments.

Any readers get a Blue Peter Badge?

BBC website: Blue Peter

CBBC: Today at 5:00 (27 past presenters!)

BBC Radio 2 has a celebration at 9PM this evening. 

Pity they don't bring it back to BBC 1 prime time to be the family show it was always meant to be!

Monday, 15 October 2018

Book Review: Contemporary Trotskyism - John Kelly



Contemporary Trotskyism: Parties Sects and Social Movements in Britain - John Kelly (Routledge) Paperback £23.99

"They have made a fetish of democratic principles. They have placed the workers' right to elect representatives above the party. As if the party were not entitled to assert its dictatorship even if that dictatorship temporarily clashed with the passing moods of the workers democracy."

And so spoke Leon Trotsky at the Tenth Congress of the Russian Communists Party Congress as he attacked the Workers Opposition.  The same man who sent the Red Army to crush the Kronsdadt sailors who rebelled against the authoritarian dictatorship being established by the Bolsheviks. Later Trotsky himself became the victim of "the party" as Stalin turned against him and his Left Opposition ending in exile and then murder in 1940.

Trotsky despite all his obvious faults was a great orator and polemicist renowned for his literary style. Never able to work as part of a team (one of the contributory factors leading to his downfall) the Trotskyist movement that arose out of his later work and the establishing of the Fourth International in 1938 has always suffered from factionalism and splits since its foundation.

This particular history of Trotskyism is of great interest to me as for many years up until the age of 30 or thereabouts I was either influenced by or participating in Trotskyist politics and organisations. In around 1981/2 I joined the Socialist League which was infiltrating the Labour Party (of which I was already a member). The League had been better known as the International Marxist Group "led" by Tariq Ali who had gone by that time. We all had to use "party names" for Internal Bulletins. Amusingly I discovered Tariq had used the moniker "Howard".

The SL/IMG was an affiliate of the grandly named United Secretariat of the Fourth International the largest of the organisations claiming to be the continuation of Trotsky's Fourth International. In fact the IMG paper Red Weekly was the first Trotskyist paper I ever came across when a student at tech back in 1974. The second was Workers Press a daily paper produced by the Workers Revolutionary Party and occasionally on sale outside the college.

Image result for workers press newspaper Image result for militant newspaper

When first attending demonstrations I was amazed at the number of different paper s or magazines on sale all claiming to be "Trotskyist" and returned home with copies of Socialist Worker, Socialist Press, Militant, and Workers Power or was it Workers Fight? Difficult to remember now. There were others and some anarchist and Maoist publications as well but none interested me as much as the Trot papers.

It is with this in mind that I picked up this book as it covered the years I was active in  Trotskyist politics only finally leaving when the Berlin Wall came down and Socialist Worker said this was an "opportunity to show workers what Marxism really was". Unreal. I thought to myself why would people who have been oppressed under the rule of Stalinism want to sign up to something just the same.

Although I threw myself into the Green Party and away from Trotskyism and Marxism this was a difficult action for me to take. It was only the sudden lurch of the Greens to the left that threw me into the political mainstream though I have not belonged to a political party since 1992 and concentrated on trade union work ending up fighting the far-left that I had broken from in the civil service unions SCPS and PCS for over two decades.

Trotskyism is resilient and many groups  still exist though Corbynism has stolen their thunder for now. The two biggest groups the SWP and the Socialist Party (Militant) the largest of the groups from that milieu have ossified outside of Labour. The SWP has barely recovered from a rape scandal and Labour continues to reject advances from the old Militant Tendency.

John Kelly examines the Trotskyist movement in the UK in some detail including background material on Trotsky and pre-seventies groups to concentrate on the period 1970 to the present day well 2017 to be precise.  he covers the politics, sectarianism and influence that these groups have had on wider British politics through "fronting movements".

The Anti-Nazi League owed it's existence to the SWP, The Anti-Poll Tax Movement to Militant and Stop the War Campaign to the SWP and Counterfire. A lot of smaller less known movements could not have existed without the input of Trotskyist politics.

There are still around 20 or so "Trotskyist  groups in the UK ranging from the largest, the SWP which claims 5,000 plus members which no one believes. More likely between 2- 2,500 these days following several recent splits, to the smallest believed to be the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency in Britain which  has more words than members numbering just two. Alongside them are the "Lambertistes" (don't ask) who likewise number just two.

Logo of the Fourth International

Then there are the Fourth Internationals. Kelly asserts that there are Trotskyists in 51 countries. Actually I think there's more but he identifies 23 "Fourth Internationals" which is more than I knew of but some have no group in the UK. There is believe it or not a "Fifth International " represented by the Workers Power group in the UK who organise under the Red Flag label inside the Labour Party. There perhaps 30 of them.

This is a worthy volume for anyone remotely interested in "Trot spotting" and fun for reminiscing for the biggest Trotskyist movement of all those who gave up and left to get a real life. An interesting experience but I for one was hopeless at "toeing the party line" and was always critical of Trotsky's actions over Krondstadt and grew to realise his opposition to internal and external democracy would lead to a form of Stalinism.

All Trotskyist groups have this almost religious sect fervour and the author does compare these groups to religious ones. He has a point. They all have their Icons and "holy texts". Trotsky was the latest "Messiah" and his disciples multiplied through the fifties sixties and seventies. Gerry Healy WRP), Tony Cliff (Yagel Gluckstein) (SWP), Ted Grant (MIlitant/Socialist Appeal), Sean Matgamna (Socialist Organiser/AWL) among them.

There are those that have left such as Tariq Ali (IMG), Frank Furedi (RCP now Spiked!) and countless others around the world.

None of these people have ever led a revolution except Trotsky himself and that was really a coup  d'etat.  Undoubtedly  Trotskyist groups will continue to pop up split, fuse or give up in the future and will be around to "pick up the pieces when the Corbyn project collapses and fails. But that is a story yet to come.

For now read the story of what has been and consider why Trotskyism has attracted so many and disillusioned even more over the years.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Socialist Equality Party but not for Jews?

Socialist Equality Party

One of the smaller groups that came out of the implosion of the Workers Revolutionary Party in the mid-eighties is the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) led by the Hyman clan. Originally called the International Communist Party they aligned themselves with a new guru David North of the US based Workers League.

The crisis erupted after Eileen Jennings, Gerry Healy's long term secretary wrote a letter exposing his abuse of women and young socialists in the party. Combined with a financial crisis the whole group imploded into several different factions and all of a sudden there were (for a while at least) two daily newspapers called the News Line

Whilst the general joke on the left was the WRP split to "double the sales of the News Line" there were serious matters involved. The WRP had long been considered a dagerous sect by all the other far-left groups and had developed a wee bit of a reputation for violence both outside and inside it's ranks. The sexual abuse scandal was something elese and finally pulled the WRP apart.

Healy had his backers including  Vanessa & Corin Redgrave. He died in 1989 and the Redgraves finally went their own way. Out of this mire several groups emerged some long gone and others still plaguing the political scene. Socialist Fight led by Gerry Downing  which has been exposed for what it is and the Socialist Equality Party which is believed to have around 50 or so members.

Like the WRP was the SEP remains heavily "anti-Zionist". They write:

Recent weeks have seen the acceleration of a campaign by the right-wing of the British Labour party to paint Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-Semite, in hopes of driving him from his position as leader of the party.

In its scale and ferocity, these efforts have all the hallmarks of a destabilisation campaign involving MI5 in the UK, Mossad in Israel and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the United States...

Lying accusations of anti-Semitism, endlessly repeated since the failed 2016 leadership putsch by Labour’s right wing, provide the noose with which Corbyn is to be hung. But the goal of this campaign is to discredit socialism in the hope of preventing any challenge by the working class to austerity and the escalating pursuit of militarism and war in the Middle East and throughout the world....


An attempt is now being made by the Zionists, Blairites and Tories to redefine anti-Semitism and equate it with a left-wing critique of Israel and its brutal subjugation of the Palestinians, centred on demands that Labour fully accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Association definition of anti-Semitism. The organization defines as anti-Semitic any description of the founding of the state of Israel as a “racist endeavour.”

The SEP decided to intervene in the dispute with a public meeting in Leeds. When some local Jews tried attending they were told "Zionists were not welcome" and stopped them coming in. However some managed and eventually those left outside were allowed in. One attendee wrote:

On our arrival we were informed we couldn't attend this event, we were told Jews/zionists were not welcome. 

So we stood outside trying to speak to the people hosting the meeting who were lingering in the doorway. They wouldn't answer any of our questions (we remained extremely polite throughout)
Two of the ladies with us did get inside by pretending to not be with us. After a good 10-15 minutes they eventually allowed us in.

This meeting was hosted by Socialist Equality Party.

The only speaker was someone called Chris, who frankly waffled on about everything and nothing referring to Brexiteers as Far Right, and basically referring to anyone right of Stalin as an extreme right winger. All the worlds problems boiled down to imperialism and lack of workers rights.

He refused to acknowledge anyone could have a difference of opinion, and on several occasions was condescending towards the two Jewish ladies sat in the front row. He reeled of a list of people who he felt were victimising Corbyn, this list included Mossad, Rabbi Lord Sacks, MI5, Jewish press in the UK and Rabbis in general. When questioned about this list he couldn't actually provide evidence to back anything up.

Turn out for this meeting was rather poor, if we hadn't attended they'd have been lucky to have 10 people there including the chair and the speaker.

Considering the meeting was about slurs made against Jeremy Corbyn, that really wasn't addressed. The NHS, Brexit and the oppression of the working classes was talked about more. Our group dominated the Q&A sessions which clearly the chair and speaker didn't like, but they opened it up to floor, it's just a pity the others in attendance made no effort to ask any questions.

The Socialist Equality Party may be small but illustrates the degeneration of anti-Zionism into what it has become today. Anti-Zionism is a modern form of racism with the worlds only Jewish state demonised and only Jews forbidden to have a right to national self-determination. The left should hang their heads in shame.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Book Review: Beyond Terror - Anne Marie Waters



Beyond Terror: Islams Slow Erosion of Western Democracy; Anne Marie Waters (Something or Other Publishing (Hardback) £22.95 from Amazon.

Anne Marie Waters has managed to attract controversy throughout her political career. I first came across her when she was being targeted by the Labour left and in particular (a now almost deceased blog) Socialist Unity. At the time Anne Marie was in the running to be a Labour Party PPC. She was also involved in the One Law for All campaign that was run by Maryam Namazie an Iranian ex-Muslim and member of the Worker Communist Party of Iran.

Like others I rushed to her defence in a blog piece that still receives hits almost daily since it was published: Anne Marie Waters resigns from the Labour Party which neatly bring s me to her book.

Published in the USA becuse no British publisher would take it on the book came out a few weeks ago. Having read the book I am not sure why her criticisms of Islam are quite valid and do require public debate without being censored by the so-called "religion of peace" that makes death threats against it's critics.

Salman Rushdie anyone? It was the way the far-left and the liberal establishment acted so cowardly over the fatwa that I for one gave up on the comrades some of whom were preparing to publish a letter supporting Rushdie in the Guardian. Then some snowflake decided it would be seen as "racists" (despite the fact Rushdie is err a brown ex-Muslim) and returned my cheque saying they would not be going ahead.

The journey that Anne Marie Waters describes is one that many people especially post Corbyn will understand she writes:

Leading up to my exit, I was heavily involved in the Labour Party (Britain s main left-of-centre political party)and was co-chairperson of the One Law for All anti-Sharia group. I was perfectly aware that many left wing groups were not only silent on the growth and dangers of Islamism but actively  supported Islamist campaigners and spokesmen. I failed to see the intrinsic link between,  Left-wing thought and that of Islamism and believed the left with persuasion would come to their senses and realise their error.

Of course they never did and most with a few exceptions probably never will. No wonder anti-Semitism so intrinsic in the Koran finds such willing dunderheads in the far-left.

Persecuted by the left and local Islamic "community leaders" (which as she points out were not speaking for every Muslim) because of her stance on women's rights shows that the left have no "shibboleths" and will dump anything to gain electoral support.

Where I part company with Anne Marie was her decision to join UKIP which surprised me (I am a remainer) and subsequently I wrote to her stating  she was making a mistake but would still take notice of her other work particularly on Islam.

It is this which forms the centre of the book. A step by step dismissal of the oppressive ideology of Islam. In her introduction Anne Marie makes this perfectly clear:

This is a book about Islam as a political force. It is about Islamic attitudes to women, homosexuals and individual freedom. It is about how these beliefs are now impacting on the democratic nations of the Western world.

Anne Marie Waters gained more publicity, some may say notoriety when she for and lost the UKIP leadership battle. Since then she has taken core supporters and established a new political party For Britain. Most commentators place this on the far right but Anne Marie is far from being a fascist.

Being highly critical of Islam does not automatically place anyone on the far-right. It used to be an indicator if anti-Semitism was prevalent but as the video below shows Anne Marie is no such thing, For Britain places itself somewhere on the right because of it's anti-EU stance, though to be fair the Communist Party is also anti EU and the Labour left has become riddled with anti-Semitism thinly disguised as anti-Zionism.

Political labels are becoming more fluid these days it seems.

As part of her conclusion Anne Marie writes:

Democratic states must start walking the walk. It is time to step up and and defend our values and cease apologising and relativising, and stop pretending that brutal tyranny is just another culture.

A worthy read but misguided on Europe. Our nations future does need new politics, new politicians and a new party. For Britain is not that vehicle it will have to come from the centre with some radical ideas which perhaps Anne Marie could have made some contribution but currently her stance would not be acceptable to mainstream politicians.

A shame as I share her beliefs that Islam and the far-left are the threat to our way of life.

Friday, 12 October 2018

Politically Incorrect Comedy with "that sketch"...

The first story I read on line this morning was in The Times (no link£) about Kent University Students Union banning a whole range of fancy dress outfits including Cowboys. They don't like sombrero's much either. It's all about cultural appropriation and stuff.

These are the same tossers who complained about a Japanese themed night club that employed white girls (the horror) to dress as "Geisher Girls.

No fun being a student these days. They might have to get on with their studies...or at least those bits of the course that doesn't "trigger" the little dears and have them running to a "safe space"...

Meanwhile The Daily Express reports that a headteacher was forced to apologise for showing the kids the Shopkeeper and the Sheikh sketch to pupils. Parents complained apparently. Not wanting to be named as humourless killjoys they told the paper this humour from the seventies is now "inappropriate" .

Not sure how many complained but it's usually the entitled lefties that are the type. I think they should be named and shamed myself but just to annoy them here is that "sketch".

(Perhaps I should post some Mind Your Language clips in the future, loved that programme and I still find it funny!)

When comrades fall out...



The Labour left has begun the usual leadership sectarianism associated with the kind of politics they represent. Momentum and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) are both running slates of candidates for some Labour Party disciplinary committee.

Momentum has some 40,000 members but the CLPD is backed by the Labour Representation Committee* (LRC). Both of the latter organisations have been around for well over 40 years and seem jealous that Momentum which has only been around forty minutes by comparison.

At first the squabble appeared to be over Stephen Marks who was a member of the Jewish Voice for Labour a tiny and unrepresentative organisation led by Jenny Manson who says she "self identifies" as Jewish to fight "Zionists". That horrible phrase "self identifies" raises it's ugly head again.

Further Momentum complain that the CLPD slate is "too South East" and they also objected to the inclusion of a former Liberal Democrat, Kaneez Akthar who has now withdrawn.

The CLPD slate appears to have been drawn up by the leadership of the group whilst Momentum sent out an e-mail asking for candidates. No voting has been taken by either groups membership which rather seems to contradict both groups claim to be seeking more democracy.

__________________________________________________________

*The LRC contains groups that are outside the Labour Party like the New Communist Party and Gerry Downing's Socialist Fight.

**The quote used as an illustration is from Sqwawkbox.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Stalinists for Corbyn!

New Worker - 28th September 2018

Jeremy Corbyn gets some support from surprising corners these days. I'm sure he didn't appreciate being endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan but I doubt he or his supporters will blink an ey lid to find themselves endorsed by the New Communist Party.

The NCP was founded by Sid French back in the seventies as he and his followers didn't think the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB/Morning Star) was Stalinist enough. He supported the Soviet Union but was critical of Kruschev for exposing his ideological mentors crimes. The last straw was the "social democratic" and "reformist" British Road to Socialism.



This was the time that the long gone "Euro-communist" movement appeared with a book by Santiago Carrillo promoting a break with "traditional" communist politics. This was taken up by the CPGB's theoretical journal Marxism Today which eventually found it's way into mainstream newsagents and a following of sorts. 

Meanwhile the NCP lurched back to the bad old days of Stalinism and in 1995 Andy Brooks a member of the NCP Central Committee since 1979 became the General Secretary.

Renowned for it's orientation towards the North Korean regime, the party does not stand candidates against Labour which allowed it to become an affiliate of the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) also participated in by the notorious Gerry Downing of Socialist Fight a group that developed the theory of the International Jewish Bourgeoisie and had it's journal banned by the radical bookshop Housemans after complaints about anti-Semitism.

Despite being extreme in it's support for the Palestinian cause the NCP has commemorated the holocaust making it fairly unique on the left.


Photo: Public domain

In their recent issue of the New Worker the NCP praised the Dear Leader :

LABOUR PARTY conference ended in Liverpool on Wednesday with a resounding show of support for Jeremy Corbyn and the programme that Labour will carry out if it wins the next election. Plans to partially restore the old public sector and create tens of thousands of new jobs were spelt out to delegates, who also passed a historic motion supporting Palestinian rights.

The renationalisation of the railways, mail, and energy and water utilities were endorsed, along with schemes to hand power to workers, consumers and local councils. But there was disturbing ambiguity over Brexit and the door was clearly left open for a second referendum.

Labour is ready to start work on a “radical plan to rebuild and transform our country,” Corbyn told conference, vowing to end the “greed-is-good” culture that has dominated politics and to “kick-start a green jobs revolution”.


The NCP as you may notice are anti-EU like the vast majority of the organised left outside of Labour. This may have something to do with their antiquated outlook:

A new and better world -- the world Marx and Engels predicted and a world that will surely come to pass. It is already being built in the socialist countries of today. It is being fought for in every continent and every country.

I'm not sure which countries are "socialist" these days. Cuba maybe, Venezuela (well lets try and forget that failure shall we comrades) and that leaves  err.... North Korea. 

Andy Brookes commiserates with the North Korean people as he writes:

Kim Jong Il was a leading Marxist thinker who made an important contribution to the modern communist theory as well as an astute statesman who led the Korean people through thick and thin to overcome natural disasters, imperialist blockade and diplomatic isolation.

While ensuring the DPRK’s defence against the threats and provocations of US imperialism and its lackeys, Kim Jong Il worked tirelessly to ease tension on the Korean peninsula to pave the way towards the peaceful reunification of Korea.

We are confident that the Workers Party of Korea, and the Korean people as a whole, will continue along the path charted by the first Korean communists who lit the flame of revolution on the Korean peninsula that now burns so bright in the DPR Korea.

On behalf of the Central Committee of the New Communist Party of Britain we send our heartfelt condolences to the Workers Party of Korea and the Korean people in their hour of grief.

Living in the world most isolated state deliberately cut off from the outside world and facing regular famine I'm sure the oppressed masses of North Korea will be pleased to hear that..if they were allowed. Meanwhile the country runs the world largest slave labour camp for those that dare to dissent or not defer too much.

Fortunately for us they are a tiny and mostly ageing irrelevant sect. 

Opponents banned from McDonnell/Manson Meeting (Updated)


A couple of days back I reported on John McDonnell backing fellow extremists as candidates in the Labour Party. One of these was a certain Jenny Manson the anti-Zionist harridan who chairs the tiny Jewish Voice for Labour organisation which was created to support Jeremy Corbyn when the huge bulk of the Jewish Community protested at the rise of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party.

In the tradition of Lord Haw Haw the JVL and it's supporters have done their best to undermine the legitimate complaints of our community even to publishing pictures of Jews in the conference hall surrounded by leftists waving Palestinian flags. Intimidation was the name of the game.















Now in line with their undemocratic methods, tickets to tonight's meeting where McDonnell will be promoting Manson all opponents have had their tickets cancelled according to emerging reports. Even worse is that Jewish News has had it's press credentials removed.

Obviously those who have tickets may well try to turn up. I would. Will they be physically prevented from entering? Is the road to the new blackshirts truly upon us?

This bodes ill for both the future of the Labour Party and shows McDonnell in a bad light if he does not act against this.

----------------------------------------Demonstrate---------------------------------------------

The Labour Party today rescinded the tickets of Jewish people who had booked to see John McDonnell speak to JVL founder Jenny Manson who is provocatively looking for a seat in Barnet, the borough with the highest Jewish population in the country. 

A Demo is being staged outside the venue...if you are in London and can join us then please do...strength in numbers. Details as follows..

Demo tonight 11/10 7pm with Israel flags, Clayton Crown Hotel, 152 Cricklewood Broadway

Transport:

1. Any bus 4 stops from Kilburn Station (Jubilee Line). Bus going North so stop on same side as station.

2. From Golders Green: 245 or 260 or 460 Bus to Cricklewood Broadway. Then 3m walk.

3. Other buses: 16 32 189 266 226 316 332 C11

4. Parking on surrounding streets

Police aware

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Greens, Swappies and Militants...














The Green Party has moved further leftwards over the years which was why so many of their members and activists defected to Labour when old Steptoe took over. Not so much as an alternative but an adjunct to Labour it's sole MP is very much the Corbynista type.

As for the question of Israel & Palestine the party has been a hotbed of so-called "anti-Zionism" for years so it came as no surprise when the Jewish Chronicle reported:

The Green Party has failed to adopt the internationally recognised definition of antisemitism after their home affairs spokesman told their annual conference the code was “politically engineered to restrict criticism of Israel’s heinous crimes upon the Palestinian people”.

Speaking against adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, Shahrar Ali, who has launched a campaign to lead the party, told the Green’s Spring Conference in Bristol: “Instead of policing thoughts we should be policing Israel.”

The former deputy leader of the Greens, who once compared Israeli actions in Gaza to the Holocaust, also claimed: “Instead of an IHRA-inspired definition, we should be moving motions condemning the new embassy in Jerusalem and condemning the racist nation state law of apartheid Israel.

“We do not wish to follow in the footsteps of Corbyn’s Labour. We should at least learn from their mistakes.”


The motion was "referred back" which in plain English means shoved aside and out of sight without dragging the Greens into accusations of anti-Semitism. A cowardly act on their part so the Green Party has shown itself to be untrustworthy.

There was also Palestinian flag waving which one twitter user alleged was deliberately done close to Jewish delegates. A Part for the environment but not for the Jew.


Socialist Worker continues to have a bizarre and twisted view of the world as it makes accusations the "Tories and others claim that they can undermine the far right by being more racist. I don't recall any Tory saying that and though one might disagree with an element of policy here or there the Tories have a Home Secretary in the form of no nonsense Sajid Javid who won't let questions of race get in the way of legitimate investigations like the left did in Rochdale.

He made a legitimate if uncomfortable remark about Pakistani cultures attitudes to women that lay behind the problems arising from their "culture". I wonder what Socialist Worker would make of this report from The Metro:

Hundreds of dead newborn girls have been discovered in Pakistani rubbish dumps in the last year. 

Since the beginning of 2017 a total of 345 babies were found dead in Karachi with 99 per cent being girls, as parents still prefer boys in Pakistan.

and even worse:

A four-day-old girl was found with her throat slit and another newborn baby was stoned to death after a cleric assumed it was an ‘illegitimate baby’ when it was left on the steps of a mosque.

Let that sink in a minute. A cleric ordered a baby, a baby for fucks sake, to be stoned to death. Seems to me that along with all the honour killing, false blasphemy charges and the rest Pakistani "culture" certainly does have something to answer for and it needs to be stamped out over her.

Socialist Worker, like most of the so-called "left" ignores these issues to their eternal shame!






















The latest issue of the smaller party descended from the Militant Tendency, Socialist Appeal treats us to an interview with PC President Janice Godrich who recently formed Socialist View a breakaway group from the Socialist Party (the organisation that expelled Ted Grant and led to the formation of err....Socialist Appeal). 

Janice is standing against Chris Baugh the widely disregarded PCS Assistant General Secretary (backed by the Socialist Party) because PCS head honcho Mark Serotka wants rid. Janice is the General Secretary's preferred bag carrier. The comrades write:

Janice is now standing to be the Left Unity nomination for the Assistant General Secretary (AGS) of PCS. Socialist Appeal is proud to put its support behind Janice in this election....

Apparently a young Janice cut her teeth in political struggle during the poll tax. Who knew? Today she wants to ensure that the two senior officers of the union work well together Janice states:

I don’t believe the current AGS does that effectively.

Well Janice isn't going to say her opponent is doing a good job is she? The fact Socialist Appeal backs her sectarian breakaway from the Socialist Party has nothing to do with old gripes is it comrades? 

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Corbynistas: Racism and Karma

Maoflag1.PNG


When Jeremy Corbyn unexpectedly won the Labour Party leadership after the huge influx of the far-left and the naive through the £3 recruitment exercise he promised a "new, kinder, gentler politics". With his somewhat false soft-spoken grandpa image many took that at face value.

At first that's how he tried to come over then his facade began to crack as he lost his cool in interviews because old Steptoe was not used to speaking to people who questioned his views or or dug deeper into what he really stood for. A huge tranche of his supporters especially on-line became abusive from the start.

Any criticism or posting of an opinion they did not agree with resulted in reams of abuse from the left who called you everything from a "red Tory" through "traitor" to Zio-fascist", the latter with unfounded accusations of racism thrown in.

Shaun Bailey.jpg
Photo: By Politico1234

With this in mind the Tory candidate for the Mayor of London (who is black) has suddenly found himself being attacked as a "coconut" or "Uncle Tom" on social media by "Labour" supporters or Corbynistas as they have become infamously labelled.

The Evening Standard reports that Shaun Bailey:

The London Assembly member has been called a “vile disgusting Uncle Tom”, a “lying coconut” and a “token ethnic” since announcing he wanted to challenge Sadiq Khan for City Hall. Mr Bailey condemned the abuse and called for the mayoral election campaign to be a “battle of ideas” on issues affecting millions of Londoners, such as housing, transport and crime.

He told the Evening Standard: “We cannot have a contest that is plagued by racial abuse, mud-slinging and identity politics.....

The attacks include: 

A Momentum-supporting Labour member tweeting: “Shaun Bailey is the biggest Uncle Tom to walk the planet” and a “vile disgusting Uncle Tom”. It is a derogatory term for a black man considered to be “excessively obedient or servile to white people”.


Another Labour member from London messaged: “Shaun Bailey is the new token ethnic ... ”

A third Labour member claimed: “The Tories simply can’t find a candidate with any experience for London Mayor to go against @SadiqKhan @MayorofLondon so they’ve chosen an Uncle Tom @ShaunBaileyUK.”

A Labour supporter tweeted: “Shaun Bailey’s a lying coconut.” The term “coconut” is used to accuse individuals of betraying their race, or culture, by implying that they are “brown on the outside but white on the inside”.

Added to the huge on-going row over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party no one can have any illusions about "kinder politics any more.

Official portrait of Chris Williamson crop 2.jpg  Lavrentiy Beria (close-up).jpg

Meanwhile Chris Williamson the "Lavrentiy Beria" of the Corbynistas has been touring the country encouraging the deselection of recreant MP's by the newly recruited faithful. However Williamson now has a problem of his own making. The unions are unhappy with him. 

The Huffington Post reports

The Labour MP for Derby North, Chris Williamson, will “definitely” be challenged under new party rules that have made it easier to oust sitting MPs, several sources have said.

Williamson is expected to face a “trigger ballot” in his marginal Westminster constituency as local activists take advantage of changes that mean just a third of union branches are needed to force a contest.

One fellow MP said he will “get a taste of his own medicine” after spending months campaigning for some members of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) to be effectively booted out.....


The issue flared up at the party’s conference last month, with some Momentum supporters shouting “shame on the unions” after they blocked more radical attempts to open up every Parliamentary seat to automatic selection.

“He’s definitely going to be triggered,” a source at one of the big trade union told HuffPost UK. “No doubt about it.”

A key figure in another major union, who preferred not to be named, confirmed Williamson would be targeted, as members wanted an MP who was less divisive and who was fully committed to the union link.


Apparently he's not too popular amongst ordinary members back in his constituency. 

Oh dear comrade. Karma!



The Revolutionaries Who Gave Up And Went Home



One of the more interesting and certainly the most stylish Trotskyist group to ever exist in this country was the (now defunct) Revolutionary Communist Party. Originating as part of a faction then led by David Yaffe inside the International Socialists (now the Socialist Workers Party) who split to form the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) in 1974.

A section around Frank Furedi was expelled from the RCG  for opposing the organisations attempt to influence the Communist Party (CPGB) & the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM). This group went on to form the Revolutionary Communist Tendency.

 

At first the RCP published a theoretical Journal Revolutionary Communist Papers which was similar to the RCG's equivalent Revolutionary Communist, with the purpose of creating a revolutionary propaganda group.

The group like so many others the RCP became obsessed with Ireland, specifically supporting the republicans setting up several front campaigns including  Smash The Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Irish Freedom Movement. Their propaganda was from the beginning provocative calling for the "war" to be brought to Britain!

Surely that caught the attention of the security services as bombs were occasionally being used on the mainland. It's difficult to remember that once terrorism was from dissident Irish rather than fanatical Islamists of today .

 

The group then announced with a least a modicum of humour that they were "a tendency to become a party" as the organisation changed it's name. The main publication of the organisation was by then The Next Step which suddenly morphed into designer communism which actually was widespread amongst middle class fashionistas in the eighties.

This period saw an expansion of membership and influence amongst a particular social strata of the trendy. There were exceptions such as the rather old fashioned writer Paul Flewers, but taken as a whole they were stylish and developed a reputation (unproven) for "horizontal recruitment".

They launched a annual bash called Preparing For Power designed to compete with the SWP's annual Marxism event. Attendance exceeded the 1,000 mark and led to their developing a distinct ideology that was out of step with the rest of the left.

Rather than participate in existing campaigns they set up their own. Workers Against Racism which was condemned by other leftists for "kidnapping" immigrants. Their shocking policy of rejecting the aids crisis showed the beginnings of their "contrarian tendency"

  

The RCP also established a short lived electoral alliance in the form of the Red Front but only attracted the attention of a couple of tiny groupscules. They last stood in the 1992 general election fielding 8 candidates who got derisory votes.

There was one area where the RCP became  a bit more successful when they got their glossy well produced magazine Living Marxism into WHSmiths. Only the CPGB with the daily Morning Star and Marxism Today had succeeded prior to that.

There are no other journals of this type on general sale today as far as I know.



Then the organisation began to wind down. Their last Campaign Against Militarism was the least successful not recalled by even the most diligent of the trot spotters around at the time and then came the dissolution of the RCP over a gradual period.

Not that they told anyone for a while! One of their number, James Heartfield wrote:

Since the end of the Cold War, we were involved in discussions about the appropriateness of a democratic centralist organisation in today's conditions. The decision to wind down the party is not a ruse or subterfuge, it is the practical outcome of those discussions. If you follow the articles in LM, such as the one you posted on Pen-L, you can see the debate we had, re-presented for public consumption. I'm sure I have already argued on these lists that the Leninist style of organisation just is not appropriate when there is no substantial struggle for working class leadership.

In plain English: there will be no revolution in this country.

Living Marxism had been sold to one of their own and re-branded as LM., denoting a move away from their origins. LM continues for a while until their continuing contrarianism finally got them into real trouble and denounced the ITN programme about genocide and concentration camps in former Yugoslavia as fake.



ITN sued and won bankrupting the magazine and the publishers which cost them around one million pounds! The last issue of LM appeared in the summer of 2000.

However although the RCP and it's legacy journal had gone it was not quite the end.

The same core group of people including Mick Hume, Brendon O'Neill and Frank Furedi went on-line to form the Spiked! website where their distinct contrarianism developed into a form of libertarianism. A story for another day!

You can find Spiked! here!

Monday, 8 October 2018

McDonnell Promotes Extremist Candidates for Parliament

John McDonnell 2011 (cropped).jpeg
Photo: By Transition Heathrow

John McDonnell certainly seems to be picking and choosing who to support for the future of his version of the Bolshevik Labour Party. First up he's been promoting the reprehensible anti Zionist Jenny Manson who recently got into trouble with the party leadership.

The Jewish Chronicle  reported:

Labour has given the co-chair of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn Jewish Voice For Labour group a written warning about her conduct - days before she appears at an event with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

Jenny Manson was rebuked over her comments she made at a Finchley and Golders Green Constituency Labour Party meeting in July, where she compared Section 28 legislation, which prohibited the promotion of homosexuality in schools, to the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

The letter sent by Labour's complaints team to Ms Manson reminds her of the conduct expected of members and warns that any repeat of such behaviour might result in disciplinary action.


Jane Aitchison
Photo: Twitter

Next up was the amiable but very hard-line ex-member of the Militant Tendency (and lay preacher) Jane Aitchison who fell out with the Socialist Party when it was revealed she had sent her child to a private school.

Back in 2013 I wrote:

Jane Aitchison used to be not only a member of the Socialist Party, but also DWP Group President. That is until she had the temerity to think for herself. A dispute erupted over the direction of the unions campaigning over a year ago which led to her quitting the SP and then being purged as Group President by the John McInally led Socialist Party Grandees, albeit after two attempts.

Jane has been replaced by the more loyalist Socialist Party puppet, Fran Heathcote. The DWP Group is the largest section of PCS with over 74,000 members and is central to the Grandees control of the union as a whole. The purge of Jane (and her partner Rob Williams who was a member of the PCS National Executive Committee) is a salutary lesson in how the Leninists operate within the unions. Always the party's interests are put before the members.


Nowadays after a brief flirtation with the SWP as she sought support within the PCS to retain her Presidency of the DWP section of the union, she's found some new chums in the form of Momentum.

The Yorkshire Post reports:

A “proud socialist” who once described Prince Charles as “benefit scrounging scum” was yesterday selected as Labour’s parliamentary candidate for an ultra-marginal top target seat. 

Jane Aitchison was selected in a members’ vote as Labour’s general election candidate for Pudsey, held by Conservative MP Stuart Andrew with a 331 majority.


Apparently her "out of context" tweet "could look bad" as she admitted to the Yorkshire Post she had deleted the comment, a "reference to Prince Charles tax affairs. 

However not all is well in the constituency. The Post continues:

But Mr Andrew said her “pretty appalling” comments called into question her judgement.

He said: “I’ve had decent longstanding members of the Labour Party complain to me that the hard left are taking over. “It sort of confirms that is the case, we’ve got someone who represents the hard left of the party. 

He added: “People in the constituency are known to be very supportive of the Royal Family and the hard work they do.”

No longer head honcho of the DWP group Jane remains a union rep though civil service rules preclude her standing for Parliament whilst she is a civil servant. 

What Do Voters Want?


In yesterday's Observer the Prime Minister, Theresa May offered those Labour voters who were disillusioned or disgusted with Jeremy Corbyn a place with the Conservative Party. The fact it appeared in what is generally considered a left of centre newspaper along with it's stablemate the Guardian is an obvious ploy towards at least the "thinking" centre-left that the Tories now hold the hallowed "centre ground".

This morning one of John McDonnell's propositions that we should all have a four-day week is in the news again. Combined with the proposals to give all workers free shares in the companies they work for with a bonus of up to £500 every year with the sate taking any excess may seem attractive to many.

Jeremy Corbyn promised free childcare for the nation in his end of conference speech. Directly aimed at families, particularly lone parents  the proposition is attractive.

How the conservatives will trump Corbyn is not clear to see. Theresa May talking about home ownership isn't a great help but the promise to let councils spend their funds more freely to enable  the building of social housing is something that is really needed.

Meanwhile what do the activists, those that canvass concentrate on. The big issue is Brexit but talk to the average punter and people are simply fed up of the argument. Massive pressure on social media and by activists has not really motivated people. Most people are just fed up of it. The Tories will need to move on very quickly after Brexit without letting the buffoon Boris take the Premiership,

Meanwhile over at Labour the huge battle over anti-Semitism has not motivated huge numbers of people despite it's prominence in the news. Labour has totally alienated the Jewish Community and those that sympathise but will not effect the vast majority of voters. But the left should beware most ordinary folk aren't interested in Palestine either. 

It's bread and butter issues that count and even a substantial number of Tory voters accept that.

The other argument taking place amongst activists is the question of trans-rights. Just putting the somewhat violent at times debate only 18% apparently agree with the demand for self identification.

The opinion polls are finely balanced, though the Tory lead and core vote is probably more solid. The fact is with the government in chaos and Theresa May seen by many as weak, though no one shines through as a replacement and at least she is seen as a decent person.

At this stage Labour should be rocketing ahead in the polls. Had it not been for Corbyn it's actually likely Labour would have convincingly won.. They didn't though the government was surprisingly weakened.

Like most voters it is not ideology or empty promises that motivate, but realistic and sensible and sometimes radical policies that may work. Personally I would prefer a new radical but centre party. That is unlikely to happen, but like so many others see Corbyn as the danger and will vote accordingly.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

A Step Forward for Jews In Morroco


Photo: By UN Climate Change

Morocco has been a safe place for Jews especially since the darkest hour during the Second World War. Back in 2015 the Jerusalem Post reported:

The late King Mohammed V of Morocco was posthumously honored for protecting his country’s 250,000 Jews during World War II.

During World War II, King Mohammed V kept the lives and property of the country’s Jews under his protection, and did not subject them to the Vichy Laws. Later on, in response to anti-Jewish rhetoric in the wake of the creation of the State of Israel, Mohammed V warned Muslims not to hurt Moroccan Jews, reminding them that Jews had always been protected in Morocco.

Today the country took another step forward for the Jewish community:

The Jerusalem Post reports:

On Wednesday, the Moroccan news website Le Desk reported that King Mohammed VI of Morocco ordered to incorporate Holocaust studies into the educational program.

According to the report, the message was delivered via his Education Minister Said Amzazi in a high-level round table discussion on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Antisemitism is the "antonym of freedom of expression," the message from the King explained. "It manifests the negation of the other and is an admission of failure, insufficiency and inability to coexist."

"This is the anachronistic return to a mythical past. Is this the past that we want to leave as a legacy for future generations?" the sovereign questioned.

"For all that, the battle against this plague can not be handled carelessly. [The battle] is fought neither with the military nor with money, it above all depends on education and culture," he added, explaining that, "This battle has a name: education. And in the interest of our children, it is important for us to win it because they will be the beneficiaries and our ambassadors in the future."


Michael Oren
Photo: Twitter

This was welcomed by Michael Oren former Israeli Ambassador to the USA in a tweet:

Morocco’s King Muhammad V sent a profound moral message to the world. Anti Semitism & Holocaust denial is rising in the West, the leader of a proud Arab country is introducing Holocaust education into Moroccan schools with the goal of fighting anti-Semitism. There is indeed hope.

Quite.

Pity the Labour Party won't be listening! 

Sunday Supplement at Howie's Corner

The Return of Billy Bunter



Rebellion, the publishers of 2000AD have recently been purchasing the rights to old British Comics and have published collections of Von Hoffman's Invasion (from Buster  & Jet) and Misty (a girls horror comic from the seventies). Now they have purchased a huge back catalogue of British comics including one of my old favourites from the sixties the Valiant. Included is material dating back  130 years!

 

Included in that is that irascible greedy schoolboy Billy Bunter who started off in The Magnet in 1908 but also will be remembered from the BBC TV series which ran from 1955 to 1962 and for slightly younger readers like me in Valiant.

Bunter was just one of many school boy characters that older generations grew up with like Just William (the TV version of which introduced us to the dreadful screaming Bonnie Langford), the books of Jennings and Derbyshire, and The Clithoroe Kid on the BBC Home Service. Apparently Billy Bunter needs a makeover for the 21st century as he was a fat greedy bastard. Can't 'ave that in the age of snowflakes can we.

The revival of British comics is close to my heart and if you are interested I have a blog that covers both old and sometimes new British and American comics.

Please go to: Howie's World of Comics




Green Party Conference

Caroline Lucas 2010.jpg
Photo: By Tanoshimi

One of the smaller but more visible fringe parties are the Greens. They have one MP in Brighton, a female version of Jeremy Corbyn only more intelligent in the form of Caroline Lucas. The Greens have elected representatives in the Scottish Parliament, a couple of MEP's and a number of local councillors so are in a more leading position than many small parties.

How relevant they are these days is open to question. Once they seemed the future and were riding high nowadays not so much. With politics similar to some of the Corbynite brigade a lot of members defected to Labour, but there is a definite hard core.

The Guardian reports that:

The Greens have begun their annual conference by setting a target to become England’s third-biggest party while promising to maintain direct protests against policies such as fracking and support others who do.

Somehow I doubt that and fracking is not the issue on peoples minds. Might get them some votes in micro communities for the odd Parish Council but more than that unlikely.

The Guardian reminds us that:

The Greens are fourth by number of councillors, but have only one MP, Caroline Lucas, and still trail behind Ukip as well as the Lib Dems in the opinion polls.

And finally 

Because I haven't posted any music for a while here's a great live number from Aldious's 2018 tour. These girls rock!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Tribune Relaunched Under A Shadow



The Tribune newspaper was once the mouthpiece of the mainstream Labour Party left with famous editors such as Anuerin Bevan and Michael Foot. It began publication in 1937 and has just been relaunched as an expensive magazine by it's new owner Bhaskar Sunkara an American writer and owner of The Jacobin. Hew is a former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Socialists of America.

The launch has come under some unwelcome scrutiny when the Pay Day Report  reorted:

In his bid to take over the historic British left-wing magazine, The Tribune, Jacobin publisher Bhaskar Sunkara is being accused of reneging on wage deal by employees of the paper, who kept the publication alive during struggling times......

In the last few years, the Tribune struggled with financial issues and discontinued print editions in January. During this period of financial distress, a skeleton crew of writers and editors struggled to keep the publication afloat as a strictly online publication as they shopped for buyers of the storied publication. As part of his proposed takeover of the publication, Sunkara promised to pay the writers only 70% of the back wages they were owed and give them their jobs when they were returned.

Now, writers say that Sunkara has reneged on his promise to bring the workers back after they agreed to accept only 70% of his wages owed for the years they spent keeping the publication alive.


Jacobin fall 2013 cover.jpg

In the past Bhaskar Sunkara has been accused of underpaying his writers on the Jacobin. This does not bode well for the future of the magazine despite a good relaunch.

One final little niggle is Tribune's claim to be the "oldest socialist publication" which of course is not true and John D Wight of the Socialist Party of Great Britain (an organisation you take an exam to join) wrote an indignant letter which appeared in the CPGB's Weekly Worker;

The newly relaunched Tribune magazine first issue was printed in September 2018. The first falsehood it contained could not have appeared any earlier, coming straight after the title. Not only that - the falsehood is a major one, a whopper. It carries the subtitle, “Britain’s oldest democratic socialist publication”.

The Socialist Party of Great Britain have published the Socialist Standard every month, uninterrupted, since September 1904. Tribune, by contrast, was first published in 1937 - a detail which is also trumpeted on the cover.

The SPGB is a companion party of the World Socialist Movement, of which all companion parties operate democratically, regarding this as inseparable from socialism. One such companion party, the World Socialist Party of the United States, marked their centenary in 2016, including advertising enquiries with Jacobin, whose owners now also own Tribune.

This sloppy attitude to facts that are easy to check portends badly for the new Tribune.

Oh dear. And there's me thinking about taking out a subscription. Maybe I'll stick to 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine. Now they are worth subscribing to!

Friday, 5 October 2018

Liverpool to get Momentum Taxis?


Photo: By TerriersFan

Liverpool was the scene of one of the most disgraceful episodes in the Labour Party's history where the cuckoo's of the Militant Tendency had run the council into the grounds on the pretext of fighting Tory cuts. They ended up sacking their workforce and rubbed it in by sending out redundancy notices by taxi.

Then there was Neil Kinnock's famous speech  and the beginning of the end for the Trotskyist infiltrators of the Militant Tendency (real name Revolutionary Socialist League) who had hidden themselves inside Labour for decades, and had only risen to prominence as other Trot groups left or got expelled.

During their ascendancy they had taken control of the Labour Party Young Socialists (LPYS), had three MP's and could organise large rallies of up to 8,000 attendees as the manged in the Albert Hall.

But they had to go and off they went, splintering over time into several groups. Even their founder, Ted Grant who had been there since the days of the post war Revolutionary Communist Party, the only time British Trotskyists had been in one organisation (more or less...) was kicked out. The RCP begat Gerry Healy Socialist Labour League/Workers Revolutionary Party, Tony Cliff (Yagel Gluckstein) International Socialists/Socialist Workers Party and Ted Grant Militant/Socialist Appeal.

Today Militant's remains are in the Socialist Party and it's tiny sister Socialist Party Scotland who combined have barely a couple of thousand members. Their electoral front, the Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition has been put on hiatus as the desperately try to gain readmission into the Labour Party. Refused thus far and banned from participating in Momentum.

The Socialist issue 1011

Momentum is the new act in town and has succeeded in making it's influence felt in enough constituencies to gain all 9 seats on the Labour Party's National Executive Committee. They are also encouraging the deselection of sitting MP's and have also been turning against sitting local councillors which brings neatly back to Liverpool.

The Liverpool Echo reports:

Two sitting Liverpool Labour councillors last night lost the right to fight to retain their seats as new party members showed the power they now hold in the local party.

Princes Park Cllr Alan Dean - a former chief whip, Lord Mayor and Deputy Council Leader - was not even short listed to contest a seat he has held for the past 18 years....

Elsewhere in the Riverside ward sitting councillor Michelle Corrigan lost her place as candidate for next year's local elections to new candidate Sarah Doyle - who is believed to have joined the party following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

It was a night of drama that many now believe will be repeated across the city as the influx of new members - many of whom belong to the Corbyn-loyal Momentum group - seek to make changes to the city council...

...former Labour Councillor Richard Wenstone was unequivocal in his thoughts on some of Labour's new membership, stating: "What an appalling way to treat you Alan.

"Not even shortlisting you as their sitting councillor! The nasty, bitter and twisted Militant-inspired Momentum entryists of our Party are showing their true colours. Shame on them."

Deja  vu  Anyone?

As Yazidi Woman wins Nobel Peace Prize Where was Corbyn?

Nadia Murad in Washington in 2018

The Nobel Peace Prize was jointly awarded to two brave anti-rape activists. The BBC reports :

The 2018 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to campaigners against rape in warfare Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege.

Ms Murad is an Iraqi Yazidi who was tortured and raped by Islamic State militants and later became the face of a campaign to free the Yazidi people.

Dr Mukwege is a Congolese gynaecologist who, along with his colleagues, has treated tens of thousands of victims.


Nadia's background is a disturbing story:

Ms Murad, 25, endured three months as a sex slave at the hands of Islamic State (IS) militants. She was bought and sold several times and subjected to sexual and physical abuse during her captivity.

She became an activist for the Yazidi people after escaping IS in November 2014, campaigning to help put an end to human trafficking and calling on the world to take a tougher line on rape as a weapon of war.


The West was slow to respond to the rise of ISIS who could have been stopped a lot earlier had the will been there. The rise of so-called peace movements like the Stop the War Campaign and the actions of banal politicians like Jeremy Corbyn prevented a proper response because they didn't care enough to save lives. Palestine yes, everyone else (except the IRA) no. Disgraceful people.

Peter Tatchell reminded us of Corbyn's cowardice here:





















Jeremy Corbyn must never be Prime Minister. He and his allies would make us weak and just surrender the world to every genocidal movement and dictatorship.