Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

A Privatised Channel 4, a “Netflix for Conservatives” ?

with one comment

Channel 4 may be a privatisation too far: here's why

“There are rumours that Downing Street wants hedge fund tycoon Sir Paul Marshall, a backer of GB News, to buy up Channel 4 and turn it into a “Netflix for Conservatives.””

I would not trust the Tories with the future of Channel 4.

The Channel is a British free-to-air public-service television network with a remit to produce “high quality and distinctive programming”. It has one the best news programmes in the world, Channel Four News, headed by the soon to be retiring Jon Snow. It would be take more than a Blog post to list the Channel’s triumphs which have recently included It’s a Sin. “Humour and humanity are at the heart of this sublime series about London’s gay community in the 1980s, from the creator of Queer as Folk.( Lucy Mangan.) Amongst the non-English language drama it has broadcast this year is Deutschland 89  All of progressive humanity loves the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series and Angel, the programmes, now available on More 4.

Obviously every ‘anti-woke’ loony-bins and Tory spiv in the land loathes Channel Four.

The Government’s determination to sell off Channel 4, restated this week by Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, has been repeated more often than Grand Designs.

This time ministers seem serious, with Dowden suggesting privatisation could be take place within three years.

“It is important when we look across the broadcasting market we consider the appropriate ownership,” he told MPs.

He continues,

Would the BBC, fearful of alienating ministers, have green-lit Brexit: The Uncivil War, Channel 4’s prescient 2019 drama, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Dominic Cummings?

The remit would be cast aside by a Channel 4 responsible solely to shareholders following a full-scale privatisation.

There are rumours that Downing Street wants hedge fund tycoon Sir Paul Marshall, a backer of GB News, to buy up Channel 4 and turn it into a “Netflix for Conservatives.”

The committee examining could allow Channel 4 to offer up a stake, which would interest US giants such as Discovery and Viacom, Channel 5’s owner, while ensuring the broadcaster retains a commitment to deliver impartial news and current affairs, as well as catering for minority audiences under-served by competitors.

Here is this hard right pilferer.

One of the City’s most prominent hedge fund managers is preparing to invest millions of pounds in GB News, the fledgling current affairs broadcasting company which is targeting a launch into British homes next year.

Sky News has learnt that Sir Paul Marshall, the co-founder of Marshall Wace, is in advanced talks about injecting approximately £10m into GB News.

Sources said that an announcement about the new channel’s fundraising could be made in the coming days once it has finalised the line-up of its founding shareholders.

City tycoon Marshall tunes into £60m GB News fundraising


Written by Andrew Coates

May 15, 2021 at 4:05 pm

Norwich community leaders condemn anti-semitic graffiti on city synagogue.

with 5 comments

The racist graffiti was discovered on the door of the Aduat Yeshua Synagogue this morning as it opened for prayers

A Norwich building which is home to a messianic synagogue has been targeted with antisemitic graffiti including swastikas alongside the words ‘Free Palestine’.

Vandals targeted the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue overnight, daubing racial slurs on the synagogue door.

The antisemitic grafffiti, which is being investigated by police, was discovered as the shul opened for prayers this morning.

Jewish News.

Living in East Anglia Norwich is a city dear to our hearts. This response is good to see.

Community leaders unite to condemn hateful synagogue graffiti

Eastern Daily Press,

Norwich community leaders have come together to condemn the daubing of a swastika and antisemitic slurs on the door of a city synagogue.

Members of the Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue were left in shock on Friday morning when they arrived for morning prayer to discover the hateful graffiti on the door of the Essex Street site.

A statement co-signed by councillors and faith group leaders across the city reads as follows:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the cowardly antisemitic attack on Adat Yeshua Messianic Synagogue.

“There is no place for hate of any kind in our community. Hate causes problems across the world, including in the Middle East.

“We stand together in our desire for peace and will not be divided.”

The statement was co-signed by:

  • Emma Corlett, county council for Town Close
  • Karen Davis, Cate Oliver and Ian Stutely, city councillors for Town Close
  • Rabbi Binyamin Sheldrake
  • Amal Abdulhalim’d-Douglas, Ishan Mosque and Islamic Centre
  • Iftekhar Alan, trustee of Norwich Central Mosque
  • The Rev Richard James, Holy Trinity Church, Norwich
  • Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council
  • Steve Morphew, leader of the Norfolk County Council Labour group

Written by Andrew Coates

May 15, 2021 at 10:42 am

Tories, Greens and Lib Dems Create Alliance on London Assembly

with 3 comments

May be an image of text that says "12:57 Tweet Cllr Krupesh Hirani AM for Bren... @KrupeshHirani new coalition of Conservative, Green & Liberal Democrat members has formed on the London Assembly following last week's elections. Labour Members have now been shunted out of key positions on the Assembly, but we will continue to play a full role in standing up for Londoners Greens THE NEW RIGHT- WING COALITION Tories Tweet your reply"

Political Confusionnisme Comes Big Time to the UK

Tories, Greens and Lib Dems form unlikely alliance on London Assembly

The ToriesGreens and Lib Dems have formed an unlikely alliance on the London Assembly in a deal that will dramatically reduce Labour’s power on committees.

The Conservatives now dominate City Hall’s committees – which hold Sadiq Khan to account – after an extraordinary deal was done with the Greens and Lib Dems. Two Tories have also been elected to the major leadership posts on the London Assembly.

The three political parties said they tried to secure a four party agreement for chairing committees based around the proportion of seats each group has on the London Assembly.

Their plan would have allowed Labour to chair five committees, the Conservatives four, Greens one and the Lib Dems one in the first year of this administration.

Moral: Never Trust a Liberal or a Green.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 14, 2021 at 2:31 pm

Skwawkbox Blog and Unite to pay £1,3m libel costs to Anna Turley.

with 3 comments

Controversial Skwawkbox founder Steven Walker 'leaves the Labour Party' -  The Jewish Chronicle

Skwawkbox: No Word Yet On this on Walker’s Tool.

Alt-facts left media in further decline.

Unite and blogger must pay £1.3m libel case costs to ex-Labour MP


Judge orders union and Stephen Walker to pay up after they were sued by Anna Turley in 2019

Unite and a blogger who is a supporter of the union’s leader, Len McCluskey, have lost a £1.3m battle over legal costs with a former Labour MP.

A judge ruled that the union, Labour’s most generous backer, and Stephen Walker must hand over the money after losing a libel case in 2019 brought by Anna Turley.

Lawyers told the judge that Unite and Walker had agreed to pay about £1.3m spent on the case by Turley, who lost her seat in Redcar, North Yorkshire, in the 2019 general election.

Judge Andrew Gordon-Saker considered issues relating to legal costs at an online hearing on Thursday, about 18 months after the libel case ended. He said Turley had won and was therefore entitled to have her costs paid by the losers.

Walker always tags his Blog posts with words like ‘breaking’, ‘exclusive’, yet this big breaking story gets not a word, nor exclusive insider information ,on his Factional Tool.

Skwawkbox — an embarrassment to the Left. Bob Pitt 2017

Skwawkbox’s approach is entirely counterproductive. Far from defending Corbyn against right-wing attacks, this irresponsible nonsense just provides ammunition for his enemies, allowing them to portray the Labour leader’s supporters as a bunch of liars and political fantasists. It also degrades the political culture of the left, by sidelining serious analysis and debate in favour of false polemics and crackpot conspiracy theories.

Skwawkbox has a featured post that includes a tweet from an admirer: “This blog is journalism as it should be. True, fair, accurate and in the public interest.” The reality, however, is that Skwawkbox functions as a sort of left-wing mirror image of the right-wing tabloid press, or of alt-right sites like Breitbart News. It employs the same unscrupulous, sensationalist journalistic methods, but for opposite political ends. Skwawkbox appears incapable of grasping that socialist aims cannot be achieved by such anti-socialist means.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 14, 2021 at 8:29 am

Left of Labour: TUSC Beaten by Monster Ravers Hails ‘Modest’ Results.

leave a comment »

Socialist Party :: TUSC builds support in Leicester byelection

Modesty Becometh TUSC.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) stood over 300 candidates in the ‘Super-Thursday’ elections on 6 May, the biggest number of TUSC candidates since the elections in 2016.

In one-tenth of the wards or county council divisions contested the TUSC candidate polled 5% or more.

The TUSC results, of course, are still modest.

TUSC contested three regional lists and three constituencies in the Scottish parliament elections; all five regional lists for the Welsh Senedd contest; the all-London list for the Greater London Authority (GLA) assembly and three GLA constituencies; the city mayoral contests in Bristol and Liverpool; and 272 council seats (in 268 wards or divisions) in 89 local authorities. This was the first TUSC election campaign since 2018.

Socialist Party :: TUSC builds support in Leicester byelection

Among the highlights was the TUSC candidate for the mayor of Bristol, Tom Baldwin, polling 3,194 votes, more than double the score achieved when TUSC first contested this post in 2012.

In one-tenth of the wards or county council divisions contested the TUSC candidate polled 5% or more.

The TUSC results, of course, are still modest – the only victory achieved was a candidate elected unopposed to a local town council! But to launch a campaign on this scale, in just over seven months from when the decision was made back in September to stand candidates again, is an achievement nonetheless. TUSC is definitely back.

The funny little group that calls itself the Socialist Party is well happy!


This front had nothing to do with socialism,

Written by Andrew Coates

May 12, 2021 at 5:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

In Defence of the ‘Woke Left’.

with 20 comments

As Tony Blair warns that Labour could die under Starmer and the “woke  left”, is he planning a return?

Blair Wages War on Woke.

Tony Blair unleashes stinging attack on ‘woke left’ and says Labour could cease to exist.

Tony Blair
 unleashed a stinging attack on the “woke left” on Wednesday warning that Labour could cease to exist and that Sir Keir Starmer is “struggling to break through with the public”.

In a devastating verdict on the state of his party in the wake of its dismal May election results, the former Prime Minister said Labour needs a “total deconstruction and reconstruction. Nothing less will do”.

Writing in the Left-leaning New Statesman, Mr Blair added: “Keir seems sensible but not radical. He lacks a compelling economic message. And the cultural message, because he is not clarifying it, is being defined by the ‘woke’ left, whose every statement gets cut-through courtesy of the right.”

Blair joins the Spiked, who promote the identity politics of the national populist right. Or as the red-brown front put it, “the swapping of class politics for identity politics, the Britain-bashing..” wokists.

To this the Tendance says, who the bleedin’ hell are you to tell us about our problems and how to fight them.

“White Man In Hammersmith Palais”

Midnight to six man
For the first time from Jamaica
Dillinger and Leroy Smart
Delroy Wilson, your cool operator

Ken Boothe for UK pop reggae
With backing bands sound systems
And if they’ve got anything to say
There’s many black ears here to listen

But it was Four Tops all night with encores from stage right
Charging from the bass knives to the treble
But onstage they ain’t got no roots rock rebel
Onstage they ain’t got no…roots rock rebel

Dress back jump back this is a bluebeat attack

Cos it won’t get you anywhere
Fooling with your guns
The British Army is waiting out there
An’ it weighs fifteen hundred tons

White youth, black youth
Better find another solution
Why not phone up Robin Hood
And ask him for some wealth distribution

Punk rockers in the UK
They won’t notice anyway
They’re all too busy fighting
For a good place under the lighting

The new groups are not concerned
With what there is to be learned
They got Burton suits, ha you think it’s funny
Turning rebellion into money

All over people changing their votes
Along with their overcoats
If Adolf Hitler flew in today
They’d send a limousine anyway

I’m the all night drug-prowling wolf
Who looks so sick in the sun
I’m the white man in the Palais
Just lookin’ for fun

I’m only
Looking for fun

Written by Andrew Coates

May 12, 2021 at 10:01 am

French Communist Party (PCF) to stand Fabien Roussel as Presidential Candidate in 2022.

leave a comment »


French Communists In Presidential Electoral Bid.

After fifteen years of absence, the Communist Party will again be represented at a presidential  election, in 2022: and it will be Fabien Roussel. More than 82% of eligible members voted in favour of the candidacy of the national secretary of the PCF in an electronic vote which took place from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 April. The vote of these 30,000 members(out of 43,000) confirmed the decision of by the national conference of the PCF, where the party officers (cadres), on April 11 backed this candidacy.  According to the statutes of the party, the last word was to go to the members themselves and now they have voted.

Présidentielle 2022 : Fabien Roussel officiellement candidat pour le Parti communiste. France Info.

Vote des communistes des 7, 8 et 9 mai 2021 sur les choix du PCF pour les élections de 2022

Not long ago this was published in the US left populist magazine Jacobin,

In Northern France, A Divided Left Is Finally Coming Together.

On top of all that, MP Fabien Roussel — national secretary of the Communist PCF — has declared his own presidential bid within his party. On Sunday a PCF national conference endorsed the idea of an independent presidential run, which would be the party’s first since 2007. The wider PCF membership, slated to vote on the project from May 7–9, will also likely have the option to vote for a competing resolution which calls on the party to build unity before the first round of the presidential electionFor what it’s worth, PCF members have bucked party leadership before: In the fall (autumn) of 2016, they voted to endorse Mélenchon’s campaign, rejecting the national conference’s vote for a PCF candidate.

Cole Strangler.

One understands the wish for left unity, one shared by friends of the French left across the world.

But while there are moves on the French left reach more than a “non agression” pact between themsleves, is as clear as day that many people and groups on the organised French left are not prepared to abandon their own parties and politics to subordinate themselves to Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Libération’s report on the decision notes, “The divorce with Mélenchon is confirmed.”

In an appeal which many would consider disingenuous Mélenchon said on the 4th of May,

TO THE COMMUNISTS This week the Communists will decide if they break the alliance that has united us since 2009 in the elections and present a candidate for the presidential election. Or if they decide to wait to take a stand to see the landscape become clearer. Their decision will be imposed on us and we will have to face the serious consequences that it will inflict on us in the event that the choice is made to break up.

The rest evokes words like “dialogue”, “union” and joint work in ‘struggles’.

Activists observe that Mélenchon and his rally/movement, La France insoumise, is not a party with a democratic structure. Subject to the will and whim of its leader and inner circle, without members, only supporters. Its shifting programme evokes a new ‘era of the people’ a fight against the elites and oligarchs, and LFI has not been above adopting sovereigntist postures, if not worse in contradiction with support for ” l’intérêt général humain.” Mélenchon s unbounded admiration for President François Mitterrand (who helped him, a cadre of the Lambertist Trotskyist Parti communiste internationaliste, OCI) become a Parti Socialiste MP) is not universally shared.

Then there is this, only recently, “While Pierre Roussel was to lead a unitary list including Communists, “LFI” and Socialists, the local leaders of LFI caught him our by a deal with Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV), forcing the entire left to line up behind the ecologist MEP Karima Delli. (Présidentielle 2022 : Fabien Roussel, candidat pour le Parti communiste

Mélenchon continues to believe in Mitterrand and the 1981 victory, backed, he observes, by the French Communists. Unity (‘Union’), that time, he suggests, worked.

The last time the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) stood a candidate, Marie-George Buffet, in 2007 she got 1,93% Opinion polls at present put Roussel at 2%,

Critics still maintain it is too early to announce a candidacy from the left – though that has not stopped Mélenchon.

Today in an interview with Le Monde the Leader of LFI attacks every other group on the French left. The ‘old apparatuses’ (vieux appareils), the Parti Socialiste, social liberals doomed to extinction, Greens, “capitalisme écologique”, Benoît Hamon (Génération. s), nice guy but wrong on Universal Basic Income (his main platform), Communists PCF), they have chosen a diminished role (un rôle diminué.) in politics, other figures: M. Jadot, ni Olivier Faure ou Mme Hidalgo do not want to share their candidacies and have a “common candidacy” (whatever that means…) with him.

HIstory is on his side….

la désagrégation du champ politique produit des effets qui peuvent m’être favorables.

The beak up of the political landscape is producing effects which could be favourable to me.

If this is true, asks the interviewer, who will face you in the second round of the Presidential elections?

Marine Le Pen évidemment. C’est la pente de l’histoire.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon : « Je n’ai pas l’intention de transiger »

Not everybody would agree that this is the likely direction historical events will take.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 11, 2021 at 3:49 pm

George Galloway to Stand in Batley and Spen By-election?

with 5 comments

May be a Twitter screenshot of 2 people and text that says "vodafone UK 20:27 26% Thread Patrick Maguire @patrickkmaguire George Galloway threatening to contest Batley and Spen... 18:55 10/05/2021 Twitter Web App 17 Retweets 36 Quote Tweets 56 Likes Patrick Maguire @patrickkmaguire. 1h Replying to @patrickkmaguire Would be his eighth Westminster constituency: Glasgow Hillhead 1987,1992 Glasgow Kelvin- 1997, 2001 Bethnal Green and Bow- 2005 Poplar and Limehouse 2010 Bradford West- 2012, 2015 Manchester Gorton- 2017 West Bromwich East 2019"

Red-Brown Workers Party of Britain.

EXCLUSIVE (to all Social Media). Breaking News…..

The @WorkersPartyGB will be contesting the #Batley and #Spen parliamentary by-election as the patriotic working-class alternative to #StarmerMustGo We fought for #Brexit we fought for the #Union. We will fight to unite all communities, for the working people of all backgrounds.

Galloway is not a dark horse. Look what this site says about him,

There’s only one George Galloway. Six-term Parliamentarian, freedom fighter, man of the world. Writer, broadcaster, film-maker. Football and boxing enthusiast, movie-goer, box-set binger. Husband, father of five children, Scottish of Irish background, honorary Palestinian, Iraqi, Syrian, Egyptian… Friend of Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Benazir Bhutto, Yasser Arafat, Tariq Aziz. Trembling with indignation at any injustice, anywhere.

George Galloway.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 10, 2021 at 10:14 pm

Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Beaten by Monster Raving Loonies. More Results trickle in.

with 6 comments


Monster Raving Loonies beat Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Chessington South (Kingston) by-election..

Gumshoe David reports, “Savastio, Italo Marco (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) – 7 votes. Brunskill, Undertaking Director (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 16 .(https://www.kingston.gov.uk/…/andrew-mackinlay-)

Full Result:

Akintoye, Michelle (Kingston Independent Residents Group) – 378Bamford, Charles St John (Labour Party) – 451Brunskill, Undertaking Director (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 16 Chinners, A.Gent (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 12Coily, Captain (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 13Corinthian, Casual Count of (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 6 Cramps, Colonel (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 14Dodd, Duke Diddy (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 8Lucky, Landlady (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 2Lulham, Adrian Thomas (The Green Party) – 139MacKinlay, Andrew Stuart (Liberal Democrats) – 1,387Newt, Kingstonian (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 6Pither, Lady Dave (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 2Rover, Landlord (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 3Savastio, Italo Marco (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) – 7 Squatch, Sam Joshua (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 1The Radical Recyclist, Rev. Robbie (The Official Monster Raving Loony Party) – 1Towner, Sue (Conservative Party) – 1,278

TUSC has yet to update its site (well established rumour is that a few carrier pigeons got lost on Sunday) but says,

A full report of the campaign, with the detailed results of every TUSC candidate, will be prepared for the next TUSC national steering committee meeting on Wednesday May 12th, and will be posted promptly on the Candidates page as a public record as has been the case every year since 2011.

After this eagerly anticipated result TUSC’s scores are beginning to trickle in. 0,7% in Scotland

Will TUSC learn this lesson?

2019 Monster Raving Loony Party ‘finishes off’ UKIP by beating them in by-election.

Not only did the Official Monster Raving Loony Party manage to increase its vote share by a percentage point to a whopping 334 votes, it also beat UKIP who mustered just 242 votes.

Fat chance.

The militantly pro-Brexit More Borders Socialist Party is now pinning its hopes on building another frontier, this time between Scotland and England.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 10, 2021 at 11:02 am

Exclusive: Breaking News, Communist Party of Britain celebrates 13,300 Votes.

with 7 comments

May be an image of text that says "London 8777 votes!"

Communist Party of Britain Gains 0.3% of London Vote!

COMMUNIST ELECTION CAMPAIGN A FRESH BEGINNING – ‘One Communist Party’s biggest election campaigns since the early 1980’s has won more than 13,300 votes for our candidates in England, Scotland and Wales’, Andy Chaffer announced today (Sunday).

COMMUNIST ELECTION CAMPAIGN A FRESH BEGINNING’ – ‘One of Communist Party’s biggest election campaigns since the early 1980s has won more than 13,300 votes for our candidates in England, Scotland and Wales’, Andy Chaffer announced today (Sunday).Addressing an online meeting of CP candidates and organisers, the convenor of the party’s Election Committee paid tribute to their work and thanked electors for their support.’The dynamic contribution of the Young Communist League played a vital role in compensating for the restrictions placed on campaigning by the Covid-19 emergency’, Mr Chaffer remarked.He pointed to increases in the party’s vote to nearly 9,000 London and 3,000 in Wales, with much higher than expected tallies in the Glasgow and Lothian lists and in Motherwell & Wishaw.’Electors also had the opportunity – in most places for the first time in many decades – to vote Communist for a real left alternative in Luton, Felixstowe, Bury St Edmonds, Leicester, Manchester, Sunderland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne’ he added. Across Wales, the Communist Party’s television and radio election broadcasts in English and Welsh received a warm response from Labour, Green and Plaid Cymru supporters. In London, the Communist candidates campaigned prominently on a number of important local issues.’Millions of people had the opportunity to hear the working-class policies set out in our revolutionary programme “Britain’s Road to Socialism”, marking a fresh beginning for the Communist Party’s electoral work’, Andy Chaffer concluded.

increases in the party’s vote to nearly 9,000 in London and 3,000 in Wales, with much higher than expected tallies in the Glasgow and Lothian lists and in Motherwell and Wishaw.

It’s no secret that the campaign created a big stir:

Felixstowe Coastal (two seats): Graham Newman (C)* 3,335, Steve Wiles (C)* 3,073, Seamus Bennett (LD) 1,256, Margaret Morris (L) 1,223, Richard Reaville (L) 897, Jan Candy (LD) 874, Lesley Bennett (G) 748, Mark Jones (Communist) 173. Turnout: 39.3%. Con hold. 

Hold the Front Page of the Morning Star: the Newshawks Have a Scoop! Over, roughly, 300 votes on average where they stood. Upwards and onwards for the “revolutionary programme” !

Seasoned Psephologists say, multiply these votes on a national scale, and subtract a little bit for potential backsliders. and apply them to a General Strike and Revolution and you will have 864,5000 backers of the CPB.

Update, Hot off the Press!

Written by Andrew Coates

May 9, 2021 at 7:28 pm

Laurence Fox (1,9%) Beats Binface (1,0%) and Piers Corbyn (0.8%)

with 7 comments


Lozza Fox Loses.

KHAN 1 013 721 40.0% (-4.2) BAILEY 893 051 35.3% (+0.3) BERRY 197 976 7.8%. (+2.0) PORITT 111 716. 4.4%. (-0.2) OMILANA 49 628 2.0%. (new) FOX 47 634. 1.9%. (new) ROSE 31 111. 1.2%. (new)HEWISION 28 012 1.1% (new) BINFACE 24 775. 1.0% (new) REID. 21 182. 0.8% (-1.2) CORBYN. 20 604. 0.8% (new) HUDSON. 16 826. 0.7% (new) GAMMONS 14 393 0.6%. (-3.0) LONDON 11 869. 0.5% (new) KURTEN 11 025 0.4%. (new) OBUNGE 9 682. 0.4% (new) BALAYEV 7 774. 0.3% (new) FOSH 6 309 0.2%. (new) BROWN. 5 305. 0.2%. (new)

Candidates have to achieve five per cent of first-preference votes to have the money returned.

Mr Fox, the actor and “anti-woke” campaigner, was only polling two per cent, despite a well-funded bid for City Hall.

In March, Mr Fox told the Standard that his campaign was being funded solely by the millionaire financier Jeremy Hosking, a former Tory donor who has also funded the Brexit party. 

Other candidates set to lose their deposit include UKIP’s Peter Gammons, Piers Corbyn, YouTube prankster Niko Omilana and Count Binface.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 9, 2021 at 11:36 am

Labour: The Left Debates Thursday’s Election Results.

with 20 comments


Morning Star Calls Labour Leader ‘No-Hope’.

The Labour leadership must offer a more progressive and bold policy platform if it is to recover after a dire night for the party across England, senior party figures warned today, opines the non-Labour Morning Star. A long list of gripes, groans and demands follows.

“The Labour leadership must offer a more progressive and bold policy platform if it is to recover after a dire night for the party across England, senior party figures warned today.

Sir Keir Starmer has come under fire from the left after Labour suffered a crushing defeat in the Hartlepool by-election, with a number of key council seats being lost to the Tories as well.”



Momentum co-chairman Andrew Scattergood said the result was a “disaster,” calling for a left-wing vision for the party.

He said: “A transformative socialist message has won in Hartlepool before and it would have won again.

“Starmer’s strategy of isolating the left and replacing meaningful policy with empty buzzwords has comprehensively failed. If he doesn’t change direction, not only will he be out of a job — but the Labour Party may be out of government forever.”

Sir Keir Starmer has come under fire from the left after Labour suffered a crushing defeat in the Hartlepool by-election, with a number of key council seats being lost to the Tories as well.

Momentum co-chairman Andrew Scattergood said the result was a “disaster,” calling for a left-wing vision for the party.

He said: “A transformative socialist message has won in Hartlepool before and it would have won again.

“Starmer’s strategy of isolating the left and replacing meaningful policy with empty buzzwords has comprehensively failed. If he doesn’t change direction, not only will he be out of a job — but the Labour Party may be out of government forever.”

David Osland/Osler who unlike the Editors of the Morning Star is a Labour member, writes,

The day Hartlepool found somewhere else to go

But it’s fatuous to get into games of factional yaboo sucks. The decline in Labour’s working-class support is structural and dates back decades. Analyses that focus largely on either Corbyn or Starmer are grossly facile.

Some 60% of the Hartlepool electorate didn’t vote. Labour urgently needs to give them a positive reason to get behind our party

Mike Phipps a Labour activist, comments,

Hartlepool – what went wrong?

Mike Phipps

Investment and jobs that can stop the exodus from the town became important electoral issues. Pragmatically, this persuaded many voters to support the Tories, as the party in power, with the capacity to deliver tangible benefits to the area.

The operation of this US-style “pork barrel politics” by the Tories seems to be part of a more general tolerance, if not enabling, of corruption, where decisions are made not on a basis of merit, but according to who you know.  Hartlepool’s Labour candidate, Paul Williams, described this approach as a “protection racket”.

Sienna Rodgers noted: “The overwhelming feeling I got from the residents was a sense of deep cynicism towards all politicians – one that Boris Johnson is benefiting from. Nobody I spoke to was bothered by Tory sleaze because they reasoned that such behaviour could come from any party.” On Keir Starmer: “The Hartlepool voters I met either didn’t know who he was or expressed disappointment.”

Survation opinion poll ahead of the election found that only 31% of respondents felt favourably toward Labour, and only 22% had a favourable view of Keir Starmer, indicating that the leader was more unpopular than the Party. Why was this?

A truly unifying strategy would find a bridge between Labour’s growing number of metropolitan supporters and the old Labour heartlands outside the cities, focused on economic recovery, green jobs and properly funded public services. It’s not rocket science: it was the basis of Corbyn’s 2017 appeal, before the division over Brexit derailed the strategy.

It will require building a coalition of supporters to rival the Tories, not emulate them. The likely landslide by which Manchester mayor Andy Burnham will get re-elected shows what is possible. It also underlines that a return to the politics of Tony Blair is not remotely feasible in a country transformed by urgent needs – in relation to housing, the environment, the economy, health and much more – that the Tories are incapable of addressing.

Paul Mason pitches another take.

Keir Starmer must face the truth: he needs the left to win

The penny has finally dropped. With Labour’s abject defeat in the Hartlepool by-election, the loss of council seats in working-class areas – both to the Conservatives and to the Greens and progressive nationalists – and a clear majority for independence in the Scottish parliament, Labourism faces an existential crisis.


. Or you build a cross-party political alliance to maximise the effectiveness of the progressive vote, currently split across Labour, the Lib Dems, the Greens, the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

Tendance Coatesy says,

Both Mike and Dave point in the right direction by underlining the long-term unravelling of the working class vote for Labour. Apart from the existence of a Tory vote by workers going back to the time Disraeli (Angels in Marble: Working Class Conservatives in Urban England, by Robert Mc Kenzie and Allan Silver, 1969) the drop in working class participation in the Labour Party (as activist members and as councillors) was signalled in The Decline of Workingclass Politics. Barry Hindess.(1971) Hindess also noted, “the electorate are now less likely to vote out of a sense of class solidarity and more in terms of a sober calculation of material avantages.” (Page 189).

Hindess observed a growing “instrumental” attitude towards politics . This might describe the acceptance of of what Mike Phipps calls ‘pork barrel’ politics. Nevertheless the way in which a section of the electorate admires Boris Johnson, cronyism, and dissembling,  suggests that ideological glue is needed to stick this alliance together. A dose of the deference of the 19th century Angels in Marble, the patriotic glow of Brexit populism, and a willingness by some voters to admire national neoliberalism, is at work. The tolerance for top-level corruption suggests parallels to the way which Silvio Berlusconi kept hold of power as Italian Prime Minister for 9 years. As Donald Trump was later to prove some people admire a wheeler-dealer, the man who can make money for himself, they would think, can help us all make money.

As observed de-industrialisation has undermined the trade union based support of the left across Europe many regions. A book which this Blog has discussed, Retour  à Reims by Didier Eribon (2009/2018) suggests one result,

The left ended up abandoning talk of the “working class”, a political concept through which people could experience fellow feeling with others in the same boat. After the turn in the 1980s and 90s towards talk of individual rights and responsibilities, by contrast, this idea of group feeling, indeed of fraternité, had been atomised. And what took its place was the cynical exploitation and fomenting of anti-immigrant attitudes by the far right, which brought the working class back together but this time under a mood of hostile nativism rather than economic solidarity. The National Front, Eribon asserts, was now “the only party that seemed to care about them, the only one, in any case, that offered them a discourse that seemed intended to provide meaning to the experiences that made up their daily lives”.

Steven Poole

Yet the issue of working class political identity has itself been caught up in the identity politics of the right, which we can see in the UK, from Blue labour patriotism of Paul Embery to the pro-Brexit Red-Brown front Spiked. These confusionniste forces use it as a wedge to divide people into the rooted working class and the rootless cosmopolitan left. Only a few commentators have explored the character of the new working class.

There is still a sizeable working class in Britain today, but it has significantly changed. The occupations of heavy industry, which formed the bedrock of the British working class for a century, have given way to a multitude of jobs in today’s economy. Four in five jobs are now in the service sector. Many of those jobs do not pay enough for people to make a decent standard of living and meet their rising costs. And the people being employed to do them are different, too.

This new working class is made up of people living on low to middle incomes, employed as cleaners, shop workers, bar tenders, teaching assistants, cooks, carers and so on. It is multi-ethnic and much more diverse than the traditional working class. It makes up nearly half the population. Despite significant social and economic progress in the last 40 years, it turns out that we didn’t all become middle class. In fact, as wages and living standards continue to be constrained, it is entirely possible that this new working class will become yet more sizeable.

To win power, Labour must understand the new working class Claire Ainsley.

The last thing Labour needs is an alliance with the more borders Scottish nationalists, whose plans for a frontier with England will create as great a division as Brexit and would have equally damaging effects. I would not relish having to show a passport to visit the land of many of my late father’s family. The experience of European nationalist parties, like the Catalan independentists who gained the support of Nigel Farage, (Who in Europe supports the Catalan secessionists? Leaders of far-right movements are making use of the crisis in Catalonia to attack the EU. El Pais 2017) indicates that these movements are out for their nations, and above all the interests of their politicians. They are not progressive.

Few people are going to listen to the Morning Star, which gives a prominent platform to the Communist Party of Britain a small group that stood candidates, to little effect, in these elections. Many of its articles seem more in tune with that section of self-identifying left that is gloating at Labour and Keir Starmer’s set-backs.

The Momentum demand for a “transformative socialist message” may be putting it too far – that is as a means to win elections. But Dave Osler’s call for a “positive message”, echoed by Mike Phipps and Paul Mason’s ideas on a building a coalition of support (without Mason’s belief that there’s something progressive in More Borders Scottish nationalism), look like some ways forward. Still you cannot help but feel that what Labour needs is above all a strong “umph”: a real push for progressive policies on a green ecological strategy, social issues, and equality.

The Woke Wars continue:

Written by Andrew Coates

May 8, 2021 at 11:07 am

Nowhere Party, Northern Independence Party, Wiped Out in Hartlepool By-Election.

with 17 comments

Northern Independence party: Ex-Labour MP to stand in by-election |  Politics | News | Express.co.uk

Somewhere Party Gets Nowhere.

There are many things to say about the election results today. This is one of them.

David Goodhart famously separated the British population into ‘somewhere’ and ‘anywhere’ people. Th supporter of the Red-Brown Full Brexit campaign distinguished between “Somewhere – rooted in a specific place or community, usually a small town or in the countryside, socially conservative, often less educated – and those who could come from Anywhere: footloose, often urban, socially liberal and university educated. He cites polling evidence to show that Somewheres make up roughly half the population, with Anywheres accounting for 20% to 25% and the rest classified as “Inbetweeners”. (see: The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics 2017).

Amongst the fawning coverage by some of the left of the Northern Independence Party there was a common thread: the ‘real’ Northerners of Hartlepool were being given a choice. Vote for Starmer’s Party or the genuine Northerner Thelma Walker.

Alas it was not to be…

  • Jill Mortimer (Conservative) – 15,529
  • Paul Williams (Labour) – 8,589
  • Sam Lee (Independent) – 2,904
  • Claire Martin (Heritage) – 468
  • John Prescott (Reform UK) – 368
  • Rachel Featherstone (Green) – 358
  • Andrew Hagon (Liberal Democrat) – 349
  • Thelma Walker (Independent) – 250
  • Chris Killick – 248
  • Hilton Dawson (North East) – 163
  • W. Ralph Ward- Jackson (Independent) – 157
  • Gemma Evans (Women’s Equality) – 140
  • Adam Gaines (Independent) – 126
  • The Incredible Flying Brick (Monster Raving Looney) – 108
  • David Bettney (SDP) – 104
  • Steve Jack (Freedom Alliance) – 72

A renowned Left wing intellectual and Corbyn stalwart comments;

Backing also comes from the More Borders Left Unity Party.

What a load of Whippets!

Written by Andrew Coates

May 7, 2021 at 1:42 pm

As Britain and France prepare for War where does the left stand?

with 9 comments

‘Perfidious Albion’: Napoléon Macron and his British nemesis, Admiral Johnson.

Is it a coincidence that the day after the Bicentenary of Napoléons death that Britain and France are again close to war? Or that today is an election day in the UK?


Royal Navy ships patrolling Jersey amid fishing row with France.


Two Royal Navy ships are patrolling waters around Jersey and two French patrol vessels are nearby, as fishermen protest over their post-Brexit rights.

About 60 French and Jersey boats are blocking the island’s St Helier port, with a freight vessel unable to leave.

French military ship heads to Jersey to join post-Brexit fishing protest as Royal Navy patrols waters


Suffolk’s Top News Site reports:

Where does the UK left stand? Is our main enemy at home? Or is it, as the Morning Star might say, the neoliberal imperialism of the EU member France? Some Campists state, “Critical support for degenerated Republican France versus the thoroughly rotten from top to bottom constitutional monarchy of Britain in this conflict.”

May be an image of map and text that says "Jersey and Guernsey"

Written by Andrew Coates

May 6, 2021 at 12:27 pm

Left Wing ‘Alternatives’ to Labour in the May Elections.

with 13 comments

No description available.

A number of small left wing groups are running their own candidates in the May elections. They include the Communist Party of Britain, The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and the Northern Independence Party (NIP). One would have expected that anybody trying to create a new left force, with an electoral presence, would have referred to the chequered past experience of the Socialist Alliance, and George Galloway’s Respect Party. That the last figure is now at the head of the red-brown ‘Workers’ Party of Britain, and is in alliance (“all for unity”) with Tories in Scotland, should merit at least a comment.

Sadly they have not. Amongst a sour list of gripes against Keir Starmer’s leadership of the Labour Party nobody seems to be able to offer an alternative organisation to the Labour Party. There is nothing wrong with criticising Labour’s policies from the left. But many of these people seem too wrapped up in the culture of complaint that they have not considered what alternative they can offer or what structures and vehicles they could build to do so.

Look at the state of the Canary chief,

The Socialist Alliance, formed in the late 1990s and active electorally the turn of the new millenium, involved the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party, smaller left groups, and independent radical leftists. It also attracted some Labour Left wing people disillusioned with Tony Blair’s leadership and the ‘Third Way’. It was designed to form a proper socialist party, with a green and feminist message.

Let us see how it worked out.

A certain Andrew Coates wrote in What Next?

The Socialist Alliance: A Regional View 2001.

“In The Retreat of Social Democracy John Callaghan suggested in his conclusion that the dropping of socialist policies by social democratic parties may eventually lead to the “recruitment of significant cohorts who subscribe to the new values”. He went on to state that this development becomes “path dependent”: “parties are changed permanently”.2 It is hard to deny that this is exactly what is happening with New Labour. It is difficult to gauge who reads the drivel pumped out by Millbank, and even Blair fans routinely bin the videos of the Leader’s speech that are helpfully sent to all Party officers. Yet they have gone along this far with the Project, and they are going a lot further at a swift speed. The Labour Party has mutated in directions far from its origins. The category of a “bourgeois workers’ party” cannot cope with the 21st Century Party proposals to end delegate structures and constituency links with the unions.3

Having lost over 100,000 members since the last election, the Party is increasingly dominated by a small number of professional politicians – able in many parts of the country to make a full-time living as councillors. Branch meetings are minuscule (my own last one, of a branch which comprises in theory around 180 members, had three people present, one a full-time regional official). Members’ Forums provided an excellent means of channelling discontent, until people realised the futility of sending in contributions that disappeared in final Party documents. The manipulation of the National Policy Forum was obvious to all but the most naïve. The purge of Grassroots Alliance supporters from that body is well underway. In local government, socialists and working class councillors – both a shrinking and ageing group – are marginalised by the Cabinet system.


The ability of the left of the Labour Party to mount any kind of serious resistance to these changes is severely limited. Seddon back on the National Executive won’t make much difference. The NEC has few powers and, as Liz Davies described it, is frozen in an ultra-Blairite time warp. Union General Secretaries may protest against Bush’s Missile Defence plans but they are caught up in the “new unionism” of John Monks and the TUC.”

The author expressed optimism that the British left could unite into Continental European style radical left party and win electoral representation.

In late 2001, the Network of Socialist Alliances was transformed into a one-member-one-vote political party called the Socialist Alliance (a title already registered for electoral purposes).

The Socialist Alliance was riven by political disagreements. The Socialist Party left the Alliance in 2001 (after the conference that adopted one member one vote) largely because they would subordinate their own ‘party building’ and attempt to replicate the traditional labour movement’s structures in a phantom form around their own party. while Workers Power left in 2003. Labour Left wingers faced repeated clashes with Leninists, and there were arguments about cheques, and a range of practices by those who put the interests of their own democratic centralist bodies above anything else. In short there was a deep cultural divide between democratic socialists, and variety of radical green leftists, and those from the larger Trotskyist, or in the SWP’s case, State Capitalist Leninist, groups.

In 2003, the SWP, supported by the ISG, led the SA into an alliance with George Galloway and other figures involved in the Stop the War Coalition, to form the Respect Coalition. A minority of the SA objected to the way this decision was carried out and argued that the SWP were using their block vote to push their line. Many of these dissidents objected to Respect on principle and all objected to the way the decision to join it was carried out, many forming the Socialist Alliance Democracy Platform.

That went well…

Bob Pitt was, alas, right when he had observed that, (What Role for the Socialist Alliance? 2021),

Firstly, “the development of the Alliance into a new multi-tendency socialist organisation, with the SWP at its core, would give the SWP leaders nothing but headaches. Not only would they gain little in terms of numbers from a fusion with the other, much smaller groups who make up the Alliance, but they would be confronted with a state of permanent factionalism in the new “party”, with tightly organised far left sects competing with each other and with the former SWP to promote their own political agendas. Having encouraged Sean Matgamna and his friends to join the International Socialists (the SWP’s predecessor organisation) during another, ill-fated attempt at “left unity” back in the late ’60s, and having suffered a couple of years’ continuous political disruption as a result, the SWP leadership is hardly going to risk repeating the mistake today.

Secondly, “he revolutionary socialist groupings behave like this all the time! Stupid sectarianism runs through the far left like the letters through a stick of Blackpool rock. It’s all-pervasive. Their sectarian outlook lead them to indulge in propagandism designed primarily to advertise, and gain adherents to, their own group – they’re not actually interested in winning anything in the real world. Because of this, they show an almost complete inability to organise any effective campaigns, whether of an electoral or non-electoral character.

Finally, …the problem with the groups comprising the Socialist Alliance, as I say, is not that they have made some isolated error in connection with the general election; rather, their blundering over electoral strategy is part and parcel of a false political methodology. What we have on the far left in Britain is a number of groupings who, under the banner of Marxism, are engaged in building precisely the kind of sects which Marx and Engels spent their lives fighting against. If the Socialist Alliance is to have any positive outcome, it will only be if some of the more serious comrades involved with it reassess that approach, renounce sectarianism and resolve to return to the methods of Marx and Engels. But, frankly, I’ll believe it when I see it!”

TUSC is the vehicle for the Socialist Party, with the connivance of the RMT Trade Union, and some (not very visible) backing from red-browner Chris Williamson. There are 300 candidates standing under the TUSC umbrella, comprising of three regional lists and three constituency candidates for the Scottish Parliament elections; all the regional lists for the Welsh Senedd; a regional list and three constituency candidates for the Greater London Authority assembly; two city Mayoral candidates – in Bristol and Liverpool; and 285 local council candidates contesting seats in 90 local authorities.

Here is Williamson at work, railing against the ‘Israel Lobby’ and its power:

This is their modest ambition, (The Socialist).

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) was set up as a vehicle to enable trade unionists, community activists and socialists to stand up and fight at the ballot box against the austerity measures being put forward by all the establishment parties. As such it can be a step towards a future new mass workers’ party.

The Communist electoral campaign is they say, the biggest for years: “the party is actively campaigning in over 40 seats for the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Senedd, London Assembly and various English county and district elections.” With a gravitas barely equally the Whippet Northern Independence Party they add, The East will be red

“Nowhere more clearly shows the renewed vigour of the Communist Party than the mobilisation of effort and energy by its eastern district for the local elections.

District secretary Phil Katz said: “The east of England is normally written off as one big Tory stronghold. Yet the region suffers as badly as others in terms of expensive and substandard housing, insecure jobs, poor public transport, environmental degradation and an education system that fails working-class students at every turn.”

In spite of no communists having stood in the area for generations, the party is fielding three highly respected activists this time around: Mark Jones (Felixstowe Coastal) and sitting CPB town councillor Darren Turner (Bury St Edmunds Tower) for Suffolk County Council and Marcus Kearney (High Town) for a Luton Borough Council by-election.”

They conclude,

Steve Handford who is standing in the Heaton ward of Newcastle City Council said, “It’s our time now. The elites had their go and what a mess they’ve made of things. The CPB will transform society for the common good, so that every day the workers win.”

Both the CPB and TUSC are hard line Brexiteers. The Northern Independence Party view on Brexit is not clear, but like the two other ‘alternatives’ to Keir Starmer and Labour they are also, by definition, a more borders party. They therefore will attract neither the internationalist left nor many young people with left-wing views.

None of these groups or their candidates are in a serious position to win national political power they are either marked by the faults outlined by Bob Pitt, or, in the Whippets’ case, by the heavy responsibility of making political gestures in conditions beyond their ability to grapple with. TUSC/SP have been building for a future mass workers’ party for several decades….The SP’s most recent split, after a damaging international feud and the splintering of its ‘international’ the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), occurred only few years ago in 2019. Sections of their group set up their own rival local body, Socialist Alternative.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 5, 2021 at 2:24 pm

Laurence Fox Attacks ‘Political Institution’ NHS.

with one comment


Lozza Lols: Foxy Tells NHS Workers to Shut up.

Student union elections used to be fun. I imagine they still are. One year at Warwick University we had a candidate for the Warwickshire Renaissance Party (hope I got the name right). He is remembered for his programme of Socialism in One County. Laurence was a pioneer: the Whippet Northern Independence Party is a descendant of this More Borders platform.

Another Laurence is not so drôle. The one time television trouper turned politician set up is Reclaim UK party last year accusing MPs of failing to stand up for British values. “Anti-woke” and lockdown-sceptic, he announced his first run for political office would be City Hall, taking on Labour’s Sadiq Khan. He now barely registers a blip in the poll and may, after today’s tweets, be beaten by the American born tycoon cultist who drinks his own urine, Brian Rose, or space warrior, the glamorous Galaxy voyager Count Binface.


Still there are Lozza Loyalists:

Written by Andrew Coates

May 5, 2021 at 11:09 am

More Borders Northern Independence Party at 6% in One Poll.

with 2 comments


6%ers Nip says, ” The Conservatives are now pushing a more progressive agenda than the Labour Party”.

The More Borders Party, the Whippets are cock-a-hoop, or whatever the canine brethren do when they are happy.

The far-right Express says,

Hartlepool set to stun Labour as Northern Independence Party could split vote

HARTLEPOOL is set to stun Labour as the region’s Northern Independence Party (NIP) looks set to snatch away some of the left-leaning vote.

Leaders of the newly-formed Northern Independence Party (NIP) argue that their candidate is the only “left wing vote” in the upcoming by-election, as the Tories are now “more progressive” than Labour, according to Politics Home.

Former Labour MP Thelma Walker, who previously represented Colne Valley from 2017 to 2019, is running for NIP.

Critics of the new party say that it risks splitting the vote in favour of Tory candidate Jill Mortimer.

But NIP sees things differently.

The Party’s interim vice chair Meredith Knowles told Politics Home that NIP is the only credible alternative to the two main parties.

She said: “We’re not splitting the vote, we are the left vote.

“The Conservatives are now pushing a more progressive agenda than the Labour Party.

“We’re the left wing vote if you want to stick to your values.

There is one slight problem. The chortles of glee that come at ever poor that does Labour down, every article by former leftists who have deserted to the more borders cause – this equally applies to the Scottish More Frontiers left who back the SNP – are on thing. But you cannot gloss over who the people they are helping: the Conservative Party.

A telephone poll of 517 people –

Have you even in your puff seen a blighter, Swindon, with the gall to claim they are on the left to come out with this kind of stuff – below?

“If you’re in Hartlepool, I would urge you to vote for the independent socialist candidate, Thelma Walker, who is backed by the Northern Independence Party. “

Written by Andrew Coates

May 4, 2021 at 2:55 pm

Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain, Candidates in May Elections.

with 6 comments

Red Brown Front.

The Workers Party of Britain was created by George Galloway and the pro-North Korea Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) of Joti Brar. A red brown front they follow Galloways alliance with Nigel Farage on Brexit. They claim that “the establishment of the Workers Party, with the anti-imperialist and socialist politician George Galloway at its head, can provide inspiration to those who, like himself, find themselves politically homeless or desire to put their talents, creativity and energies at the service of the working class.”

This was the red-brown front in action during the 2019 European Elections.

This week in Scotland they are backing the Galloway-Tory front the Alliance for Unity.

Look who likes that!

Cambridge Independent.

Lionel Vida is standing in King’s Hedges for The Workers’ Party of Britain, which aims to give a voice to people who are politically homeless with desire to put their talents, creativity and energies at the service of the working class.

Mr Vida said on the party’s website: “The Workers Party of Britain is that politically active trade unionist, socialist, party which aims to do away with wage-slavery, and which anchors its complete faith in the organised, collective power, of a live, participatory democratic community; with full rights to recall any stagnant representatives. This, the community’s imperative mandate, is paramount.”

Nationally the Communist Party of Britain is said to be seriously worried at this competition from fellow pro-Brexit forces.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 3, 2021 at 4:18 pm

Germany: Green Party in Poll Lead for September Election.

leave a comment »

German Green leader Annalena  Baerdock.

Is the Baerbock effect now taking off? Greens register a boom in membership

Zündet nun der Baerbock-Effekt? Grüne verzeichnen Mitgliederboom

Things are going really well for the Greens ahead of the general election in September. They are currently registering a veritable boom in membership and the party donations are also exceeding expectations.

There are still a good four months until the federal election in September and the political landscape in Germany is slowly getting into position. But things are already going really well for the Greens. They’re setting new records for members and donations. And the current survey results also give cause for hope.

Polls put German Green party in lead five months before election

The Guardian reports.

Six out of 10 polls published in past two weeks put Greens ahead of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

The aggregate poll, published by Pollytix Strategic Research, puts the Greens in the lead for the first time since June 2019.

Germany’s party landscape has long proven more resistant to sudden upheavals than its European neighbours, with the CDU holding on to its status as the country’s supreme political power while sister parties in France or Italy slipped into oblivion.

But latest polls suggest the conservatives, who have governed Germany for the last 16 years, could be ousted as the strongest party in the Bundestag on 26 September.

Could the German Greens win — and change European politics for good? Tarik Abou-Chadi

This is an excellent article on the broadening voter base of the Greens out from their urban Bobo strongholds to more traditional layers, and their support amongst young people. It concludes,

“The success of the German Greens represents a broader shift in some Western European countries, where culturally progressive and socially liberal parties, such as the Dutch D66 or Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche, have drawn large shares of voters from traditional social democratic parties. If these other parties also manage to attract voters from the mainstream right, this would boost progressive parties and alliances — and provide a model on how to mobilize new coalitions of voters.”

If that is not a reminder enough that the German Greens, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen are centre moderate ‘progressives’ this piece demonstrates it.

Le Monde:

Annalena Baerbock, la Verte allemande qui rêve d’être chancelière. (19th of April)

Within the party, her rise was rapid and linear. In 2008, she took over the management of the Brandenburg federation. In 2013, she entered the Bundestag. In 2017, she was one of those among the Greens who were negotiating with the CDU-CSU and the Liberal Democrats with a view to forming a so-called “Jamaican” coalition. This ultimately did not see the light of day, but Annalena Baerbock’s negotiating skills precipitated her election as the head of the party, where she was elected in tandem with Robert Habeck in January 2018.

In Germany, the Greens rely on “realism” to come to power Le Monde 2019.

Environmentalists, who are targeting more than 20% in the legislative elections of 2021, must deal with an influx of members divided between young protesters and conservative retirees.

Guardian Sunday.

The Guardian view on German politics: is green the new normal?


It seems very likely, then, that the next German federal government will have an important Green component, and it may even be Green-led. The timing would make this a continental game-changer. Germany’s Greens have the potential to become the leading force in a rehabilitation of progressive politics in Europe, where centre-left parties have struggled to unite older blue-collar voters with younger generations who have grown up in the post-industrial era.

This time round, as the climate emergency sets the mainstream parameters of politics, the party’s supporters hope that, out of necessity, green can become the new normal.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 3, 2021 at 2:05 pm

May the 1st in Paris, unions denounce “a war on the unemployed” and get attacked by autonomes.

with 2 comments

Le théâtre de l'Odéon, occupé depuis presque deux mois. © D.I.

May the 1st in Paris, denouncing “a war on the unemployed”

100,000 people in France. Unemployment benefit reform, which will penalize nearly two million job seekers, was in everyone’s mind.

Mediapart (above) has an excellent detailed report on the traditional May Day marches in France.

Led by the CGT Union in Paris people did not just celebrate international workers’ day but protested against the latest ‘reforms’ of President Macon and Prime Minister Jean Castex.

France 24 adds, “

The crowds held placards with different demands, ranging from the end of the night-time curfew in place as part of coronavirus restrictions, to a halt to unemployment reforms due to come into force in July.

The changes make access to insurance based benefits more difficult, and cast people who do not get them into the kind of system we know all to well in the UK, ” already today, 6 out of 10 unemployed are not receiving (insurance based) benefits, with this draft decree the government intends to exclude even more unemployed people. To do this, the system put in place is particularly aimed at the most precarious, temporary workers, seasonal workers, hotel temps, tour guides, and many employed in the artistic and entertainment sector

France 24 notes however

A police source told AFP that far-left “black bloc” protesters had repeatedly tried to block the trade union-led march in the French capital, with 34 people detained. 

Observers say the attack did not involve traditional anarchists such as the Union Communist Libertaire and the Anarcho-syndicalist CNT-F but the ‘autonomes” associated with the politics of reviews such as Lundi Matin and the French versions of the Black Block..

The images are clear:

The French Huff Post says,

Dozens of demonstrators pursued and attacked  CGT vehicles , chanting “CGT collabo”. Projectiles were also launched at vehicles of the union, whose security service was on the front line, identifiable with the red armbands of its members,   Brawls also broke out between the two sides, giving rise to exchanges of beatings and pepper spray. 

“The CGT deplored a total of “21 wounded including 4 seriously the, victims of “extreme violence” committed by “a large group of individuals, some of whom claimed to be “gilets jaunes ”.

The actions of these anti-labour movement thugs have been widely condemned.

This is not the first time that French Black Blockers and people claiming to be Gilets Jaunes have attacked the labour and progressive movement.


Members of the CGT were taken to task by demonstrators, chanting “CGT collaborators” or “social traitors” .

The union federation has  in a press release  condemned the “extreme violence” committed by “a large group of individuals, some claiming to be Gilets Jaunes” . The CGT denounced, among other things, “homophobic, sexist, and racist insults” which “preceded acts of vandalism against of the vehicles of the organisations” , as well as the hatred expressed by those “throwing blows and projectiles” . According to the CGT, its activists were the principal “target” 

May be a Twitter screenshot of 1 person and text that says "Fabien Roussel @Fabien_Roussel Toute ma solidarité avec la @lacgtcommunique lâchement attaquée lors la journée des travailleuse et des travailleurs. Soutien aux 19 blessé-e-s et honte à ceux qui, plutôt que de lutter contre la politique du gouvernement, ont préféré taper sur ceux qui défendent les salarié-es! 22:07 01/05/2021 Twitter for Android"

Written by Andrew Coates

May 2, 2021 at 11:13 am

Free Speech, Anti-Semitism and ‘Left Anti-Semitism.

with 3 comments

The Fight Against Anti-Semitism is Being Taken up by Socialists and the Radical Left.

In a number of countries anti-semitism has become a major political issue. There are many different left responses. In the UK Socialists Against Anti-Semitism, organised by”  people who believe in a socialist transformation of society, and that that entails combatting antisemitism wherever it is seen.” has been created. In France, the Réseau d’Actions contre l’Antisémitisme et tous les Racismes, Action Network against Anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, has been created by people on the radical left. (January 2021: Création du Réseau d’Actions contre l’Antisémitisme et tous les Racismes. Communiqué de lancement et déclaration d’intention.

A hard to tackle issue is free speech.

As democrats and humanists we wish no restrictions on people’s opinions. This does not mean that we should stand by and not contest views which we consider wrong. Anti-Semitism, is all its varied forms, can involve serious incitement and the denial of historical facts. Campaigners on the issue should not let anti-semities get away with spreading hatred and falsehoods.

One group which claims to campaign on the issue is the Labour Campaign for Free Speech.

They appear to run into difficulties.

Free speech Weekly Worker Letters Page.

The Labour Campaign for Free Speech has postponed its next meeting again, from April 24 to May 29, citing “diary clashes” – fair enough, if a little disappointing. Even more disappointing, I thought, was the agenda item (and I can no longer find the agenda on the website) on the discussion over a difference of opinion revealed at the opening conference in February.

One might have thought that the campaigning for the conspiracist red-browner David Miller, and the support from individuals like Norman Finkelstein was the cause of the rumpus. But apparently not. Their latest internal row is all about whether too “curb the free speech of fascists!’

Trying to set the controversy in other terms this long read is important:

Escaping the prison house of the Jewish question and left antisemitism

It will not please everybody, Here some extracts, the full article should be read. It is a discussion of the issues that arise from the politics of the Middle East, and the persistence of forms of anti-Semitism in Europe, with the legacy of a long-standing hostility to Jewish people revived in both modern conspiratorial terms and extreme forms of anti-Zionism. The author is hard on figures like Norman Finkelstein, those associated with the SWP and fringe characters like Tony Greenstein. One central point, which is well taken, is that this critical stand has to be differentiated from the alt-right Tory government’s culture wars.

this paper, I am seeking a fuller and richer culture on the activist and academic Left for freedom of thought on Palestine and Israel that involves an honest and critical self-reflection on the issue of left antisemitism, alongside freedom of speech and peaceful action against the longstanding and ever-worsening oppression of the Palestinians by Israel’s state and military. This is a plea from the Left to the Left: to oppose to a right-wing government’s culture war in the name of freedom of speech, at the same time as, on our own terms, enacting what belongs to us at the grassroots, and to discuss the problem of left antisemitism while opposing the Israeli state and military occupation and dispossession of Palestinian land and subjugation of Palestinian people.

To illustrate the ideological terrain that impedes recognition of contemporary and left antisemitism, I draw on rejoinders from three well-known pro-Palestinian left academics on this question. Norman Finkelstein, in an address in 2015 to the Philosophy Society at the University College Dublin, responds to a question on whether there is a rise of antisemitism in Europe. His full response is available to watch on YouTube.

To recap, much of the Left comprehends antisemitism as an exclusive manifestation of the Right: either as an aspect of the populist Right and fascism against the Jews; or as a false accusation made, behind-the-scenes, by Israel and the Zionist lobby against the Left internationally to silence criticism of Israel; or as a reaction and product of Israel’s existence as a Jewish, expansionist, racist, and settler-colonial state. Contemporary left anti-Jewish racism, or antisemitism, involves a process of signification that ascribes ‘the Jew’ with negative characteristics that have negative consequences – the idea of ‘the harmful Jew’ – which merges into a way of seeing and making sense of the ills of global capitalism.

The harmful Jewish Other is seen as part-and-parcel of a Zionist collective that harbours a particularly harmful imperialism, a particularly harmful nationalism, a particularly harmful settler-colonialism, a particularly harmful ethnic cleansing, and a particularly harmful racism, comparable only to two historical pariahs, South African apartheid and Nazi Germany, and which operates, clandestinely, a particularly sinister, tyrannical and harmful global reach to shut down criticism of Israel, to dominant the world, and to threaten world peace. What follows is the conclusion that the Jewish nation-state must cease to exist as a Jewish nation-state in order to belong to humanity, and that the Zionist Jew must stop being a Zionist Jew to be included in the commune of human beings. As Fine and Spencer (2017) make plain, the Jewish question and left antisemitism expresses itself through the negative face of universalism, as the Other of universalism. This is confirmed by Ilan Pappé’s (2019) damning assertion, previously quoted, “you cannot really reconcile the ideology of Zionism with universal values, whether they are Marxism, socialism or even liberalism”.

The author concludes:

“In our opposition to the culture war of Britain’s right-wing Conservative government against the Left in academia, which includes its punitive request to impose the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, we must also create space for a fuller and richer culture of discussion and debate that is able to escape the prison house of the Jewish question. There is, however, a danger that opposition to this culture war is blended into the Jewish question – that too, we must resist.”

Recognising that left anti-semitism exists is part of the way of confronting the problem that we have in defending the liberty of expression, which includes the freedom to criticise these views.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 1, 2021 at 1:27 pm

Happy May Day!

leave a comment »


A Gift of Lily of the valley is a tradition in France for May 1st, bringing good luck.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 1, 2021 at 11:52 am

Peter Hain, Spycops Inquiry: “staggering scale” of covert monitoring of protestors.

with 14 comments

Peter Hain accuses undercover police of lying over reports on apartheid campaign

Former minister tells public inquiry of ‘staggering scale’ of covert monitoring of peaceful protesters.


The former cabinet minister Peter Hain has accused undercover police officers of lying in their secret reports about the campaign he and others ran against apartheid and racism.

The Labour politician told a public inquiry the officers “very rarely told the truth” and exaggerated the threat of violence posed by the campaigners in what he called “straight lies and pernicious smears”.

He repeatedly accused police spies of fabricating their reports on him and the other protesters in order to “justify their role or potentially to damage their targets, like me”.

On Friday, Hain became the first politician to give evidence to the public inquiry looking into the use of undercover police to spy on more than 1,000 political groups since 1968.

Peter Hain is not joking. Those who have read some of the documents, which cover other targets, are truly staggered at their detail and scale. They include other people widely known on the left. (Thanks DW).

UCPI Tranche 1 (Phase 2) Opening Statements Transcript – Day 3

Ordinary people’ were targeted by secret surveillance.

Camden Journal.

ALBERT Beale is one of more than 100 activists listed as “core participants” of the second phase of the undercover policing inquiry, due to open later this month.

The witnesses include environmental and anti-nuclear activists, political campaigners to anti-racists, to “ordinary people” caught up in campaigns for justice.

Represented by Camden lawyers firm Hodge Jones and Allen, they are demanding answers about the Met’s Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) tactics of “collecting information without limits” and “spying and reporting on their lives, with records and data stored for decades without any justifiable purpose”.

The SDS was set up initially to spy on protest groups in a bid to stop violent uprisings following Vietnam war demos in the late 1960s.

The legal team’s opening statement to the inquiry said: “You will hear how ordinary people campaigning against racism and police misconduct were targeted for spying by undercover policing – apparently with a view to finding ways to discredit their legitimate campaigns.”

The inquiry has heard that police surveillance was not only “politicised” against particular left-wing groups, but that interference from infiltrating officers actually “hampered” campaigns, sometimes diverting causes away from original goals.

In other evidence, undercover officers (UCOs) – using the codenames Jason Bishop and Jackie Anderson – are revealed to have been arrested themselves “a number of times” while infiltrating the groups they had spied on. Many “spy cops” assumed the names of children who had died in the past.

They infiltrated the Peace camp at Aldermaston, the International Socialists and Socialist Workers Party, and several black justice campaigns including one for Winston Silcott, who was wrongfully convicted of the murder of PC Keith Blakelock.

The New Journal reported last November about one SDS officer – codenamed “Dick Epps” – was given a mission to infiltrate the groups in Camden Town.

He would regularly sit in the back of political meetings in Camden pubs, jotting down notes of who was attending and taking details of car numbers plates and style of dress.

In a statement to the inquiry, Mike Schwarz of Hodge, Jones and Allen Solicitors, said: “The core participants want to know the truth about what happened to them. So far many have been told almost nothing about the way they were targeted for surveillance. They have many questions, and after years of waiting they are desperate for answers.”

Written by Andrew Coates

April 30, 2021 at 3:10 pm

Éric Zemmour: France’s leading National Populist Accused of Sexual Assault.

leave a comment »

La jurisprudence des dîners en ville

 Éric Zemmour is one of France’s best known national populists.  He opposes the feminism and anti-racism he alleges was created by “pseudo-élites françaises et occidentales” and “l’idéologie gay”. He is a prominent opponent of immigration and a supporter of all-embracing attacks on ‘Muslims’. Opposed to the weakening of national sovereignty by the EU Zemmour hailed the UK vote for Brexit.  

Although he is of Jewish origin he has notoriously claimed that the Vichy regime   made a ‘pact with the devil’ to save French Jews while sacrificing those of non-French nationality ” sacrifier les juifs étrangers pour sauver les juifs français” (Le Suicide français 2014.) For those inclined, they can read the book in a free PDF here. A tale of French national decline it blames the Mai 68, political correctness and the rest of what presently called ‘woke’ for sapping the nation state. Selling in hundreds of thousands  (500 000) it has been succeeded by Le Destin français which topped the best seller list in 2018.

Only today Zemmour has written an opinion piece for the right wing daily Le Figaro. The headline says it all (there is a pay-wall): he backs far military figures in France who have issued this threat

The French government has condemned an open letter signed by active soldiers that said the country was heading for “civil war” due to religious extremism.

About 1,000 servicemen and women, including some 20 retired generals, put their names to the letter.

It blamed “fanatic partisans” for creating divisions between communities, and said Islamists were taking over whole parts of the nation’s territory.

Ministers have condemned the message published in a right-wing magazine.

The letter was first published on 21 April – the 60th anniversary of a failed coup d’état.


“It is no longer the time to procrastinate, otherwise tomorrow civil war will put an end to this growing chaos and deaths – for which you will be responsible – with numbers in the thousands,” the letter concludes.

Éric Zemmour: «Le courage des généraux en retraite, la peur de Florence Parly»

Par Eric Zemmour

Yesterday Zemmour was accused of a number of cases of sexual assault.

Sexual violence: women accuse Eric Zemmour

After an investigation over several month the investigative journalist site Mediapart has published this:

In recent months, Mediapart has collected several accounts, evoking forced kisses, gestures and comments with a sexual connotation. When contacted, Eric Zemmour declined our interview request and let us know that he would not answer our questions, relating to all the information we have collected.

It is again at the centre of attention since the publication of a Facebook post by an opposition municipal councillor in Aix (Bouches-du-Rhône), Gaëlle Lenfant, on Saturday April 24. This former head of the PS, particularly in charge of women’s rights, tells a scene that allegedly took place at the summer school of La Rochelle of her party: she then situates the facts “in 2004” , the day after ‘a dinner shared with several socialist officials and a journalist from Le Figaro , Éric Zemmour. 

The case is still developing:

COMMUNIQUÉ. Michel Onfray répond aux journalistes qui l’interrogent depuis quelques heures au sujet de son amie Aurore Van Opstal, qui accuse Éric Zemmour d’inconduite sexuelle.

Legal proceedings have begun.

Gaëlle Lenfant

ch1ntS7psh onhshorerdds  · Je sors du commissariat. Plainte déposée. Parce que je ne me tairai pas face à vos injures insultes et menaces de mort. #SachezLe

Written by Andrew Coates

April 30, 2021 at 11:17 am

Two Spiked (RCP) figures join GB News.

with 3 comments


Alt News Coming Later This Year.

Andrew  Doyle is to host a weekly show titled Free Speech Nation on GB News.

He regularly writes for Spiked and runs Comedy Unleashed. Doyle has performed his stand-up shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, four of which have also been performed at the Soho Theatre, London. He has appeared on Sky News as a commentator, and as a panel-member on The Moral Maze on BBC Radio 4. He has been a speaker at the Battle of Ideas Festival in London, an annual event hosted by the Institute of Ideas (Spiked/RCP Front)

Inaya Folarin Iman is a GB News journalist, political commentator and social campaigner.

Inaya stood as a candidate for the Brexit party in Leeds North East in 2019.

She is the Founder and Director of The Equiano Project, a forum to promote freedom of speech and open dialogue.

Her freelance journalism has appeared in various publications including The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Standpoint, The Sun and Spiked.


‘Trump supporters aren’t terrible people, are we?’

Trump voters have been demonised, but they are still optimistic.

Happy Spotting for further Spikey ones: GB News is a British television news channel due to launch in 2021 on FreeviewSkyYouViewFreesat and Virgin Media.[1] The channel will not provide rolling news, but instead will be a mix of news, opinion, and debate

On-air staff

This is the kind of stuff they will churning out on the Channel:

Now the Red-Brown Front joins them.

Sign up to “Today on spiked”

The Spikeys join:

Mercy Muroki

Muroki, the youngest member of the controversial government commission which concluded that Britain is not “institutionally racist”, has signed up to present a show on the soon-to-launch GB News. She writes for The Sun and The Times.

Tom Harwood

The 24-year-old ‘journalist’ rose to prominence as a student advocate for Brexit. He was the youngest person to ever appear on BBC Question Time, and is leaving a job at political gossip website Guido Fawkes to become political reporter.

Alex Phillips

A former Brexit Party MEP who hosts a twice-weekly show on Talkradio, will co-present a weekday afternoon programme on GB News.

Michelle Dewberry

Winner of The Apprentice in 2006 who stood for The Brexit Party in her hometown of Hull will anchor a weekday evening primetime show giving a voice to “working class communities.”

Source, the ‘I’

.Runners and riders to become faces of new ‘anti-woke’ TV channel, from Dan Wootton to Rosie Wright

More like Brexit Party Broadcasting.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 29, 2021 at 12:15 pm

Confusionist Covid Deniers and Far-Right Plan New Demo.

with 9 comments

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "Save the date! 1M+ #onemillionplus LONDON UNITE FOR FREEDOM PEACE & HUMAN RIGHTS 29.5.2 The -OPENING WE_R_ONE_X MAKE LOCK DOWNS HISTORY E202 SAVE RIGHTS WORLD ALLIANCE STOP NEW NORMAL ESB #UniteForFreedom"

Far from it this Bog to suggest otherwise but will anti-fascists be out to stage a counter-demo?

The Confusionist Front is a Fascist Front: Smash the Fascist Front!

Written by Andrew Coates

April 28, 2021 at 2:34 pm

Morning Star Gives a Puff for ‘More Borders’ Whippets, the Northern Independence Party.

with 5 comments

Northern Independence Party 🟨🟥 on Twitter: "The battle of Brexit is over,  but the war against the UK has only just begun. 🇬🇧 🔨 🟨🟥 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿  🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 〓〓… "

More Borders Party Gets Boost from “only English-language socialist daily newspaper in the world.”

Yesterday top Newshound Jim noted this. in the anti-Labour ‘People’s Paper’, the Morning Star, wholly independent of the Communist Party of Britain and owned by the co-op.

The Northern Independence Party: ‘standing up for socialism’?

The wags of the paper which is Jeremy Corbyn’s best friend kept their tongues firmly in the cheeks,

Self-identifying as democratic socialists, the Northern Independence Party (NIP) was founded just last year. Initially a rag-tag group of socialists, former Labour activists and those still finding their political feet, NIP have developed into something of a new hope among lefties, coupling their calls for an independent state of Northumbria with redistribution of wealth and a mass of entertaining social media content that will have you spitting out your Yorkshire Tea.

Chortling along the puff continues, “former MP Thelma Walker has added a splash of yellow to her rosette as the most high-profile voice of a new movement.”

 I will be honest with you, the independence part is way along the road for me,” she admits. “If that is what happens in decades to come, or whenever, that is for a referendum. Like is happening in Scotland, that is for the people to decide.

“I am more interested in federalism, regionalism and localism. I’m bothered about taking control away from Westminster and giving it to the northern regions so that local people have a say in their local economy and are a part of it.”

Even though I know it’s fairly remote that NIP would win, I’m going for it, I’d love to be the voice for Hartlepool in Westminster, change it from within and have a go at that government front bench, even as one independent voice.

“I’m being realistic, this is about a bigger movement and about the start of something. And I think that’s what has rattled the cages of Labour and co.”

How we bleeding laughed with the Tory enabling canny canines!

They have got support from fellow more borders campaigners.


Yet we hear rumours that all is not well in the land of Yorkie bars and tea bags:

Howdy Pardner!

Written by Andrew Coates

April 28, 2021 at 11:46 am

Baroness Claire Regina Fox (former Revolutionary Communist Party) Declares a War on the Newts.

with 5 comments

Brexiteer and IRA apologist Claire Fox joins House of Lords | The New  European

Pro-Brexit Red-Browner, Now Anti-Newt Campaigner.

Claire Regina Fox, Baroness Fox of Buckley, Brexit Party, Former  Revolutionary Communist Party Nominated for a peerage by Boris Johnson in 2020 despite her past opposition to the very existence of the House of Lords.

“I asked Lord Goldsmith about the Habitats Directive – expensive red tape which can suffocate construction and infrastructure projects unnecessarily. Human development and job creation should be a central focus post-pandemic. Surely more important than newts...”

Her Ladyship was involved in this controversy only recently.

3rd March. Warrington Guardian.

MP calls out PM’s ‘hypocrisy’ over Claire Fox row

WARRINGTON North MP Charlotte Nichols has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding the enoblement of Claire Fox and its impact on Warrington.


Ms Nichols said: “There is a clear hypocrisy there – this is the same Prime Minister who allowed Claire Fox to be elevated to the House of Lords in spite of her formerly being a leading member of the Revolutionary Communist Party and has never apologised for their defence of the Warrington bombings.

“When I discuss this issue with Warrington residents I feel the palpable disgust within our community that this has been allowed to happen.

“The Prime Minister cannot simply bring this up when it is convenient for him, he must explain why he did not block her elevation and apologise to the people of Warrington for his inaction. I will keep Warrington residents update when I receive a response.”

Number 10 has not responded to a request for a comment.

Look how this ended: War with the Newts,

“an intelligent breed of newts, who are initially enslaved and exploited. They acquire human knowledge and rebel, leading to a global war for supremacy.” “With Earth’s landmass one-fifth destroyed and humanity offering little resistance..”

Written by Andrew Coates

April 27, 2021 at 12:22 pm

Whippet Party (Northern Independence Party) in New Crisis.

with 10 comments


Whippet Party Struggles to Raise ‘special’ Funds (currently at £11.595).

Yesterday it was this homophonic Tweet:

May be a Twitter screenshot of 2 people and text that says "NPP J.-P. Janson De Couët HFA .3h BREAKING: Blairite stalwarts Mandelson, Streeting and Bradshaw to be sent for conversion therapy in an attempt to woo socially-conservative Red Wall voters. 36 34 5 Matt Dean +米 @Matt_Dean1994 #VaccinateBrit... Replying to @jpjanson @freenorthnow endorsing this homophobic shit? 13:40 25 Apr 21 Twitter for iPhone 1 Retweet 36 Likes"

Today it’s this:


Phillip Proudfoot
Born: County Durham
Lives: Brighton (for work – the North/South divide strikes again)


Evie McGovern
Born: Wigan
Lives: Liverpool


Suzanne Clifton
Born: Hemel Hempstead
Lives: Warrington


Meredith Knowles
Born: Kendal, Cumbria
Lives: currently Chicago, USA (we are international)


Joe Wilson
Born: Harrogate
Lives: York

Judgement of top political analyst

Written by Andrew Coates

April 26, 2021 at 3:40 pm

Boris Johnson: ‘Cumgate’, Dilyn the ‘Humper’, Wallpapergate, to Bodies Piling High.

with 4 comments

May be an image of 3 people, people standing and text that says "Daily 021 Mail Elmillion GOLDEN BOXES MONDAY 26, www.dailymail.co.uk Daily newspaper 80p SEE Just 2 years apart.. but can YOU tell which sister has had two facelifts? PAGES 33-35 WAR OF DOWNING ST Emerald Fennelt: BORIS: 'LET Awards Acodemy THE BODIES PILE HIGH IN THEIR THOUSANDS' Emerald and the PM's incendiary remark during fight over dazzling lockdowns is latest claim No10 drama Oscar BORIS Johnson said he EXCLUSIVE would rather bodies Simon Walters Brit pack reluctantly odth S lockdown, PAGE thousands than order third lockdown, was ayt"

“A newspaper too (or a group of newspapers) a review (or group of reviews), is a “party” or “fraction of a particular party” Think of The Times in England… ” Page 148 Antonio Gramsci. Selection from the Prison Notebooks. Lawrence & Wishart. 1971.

A prime driving force behind Brexit, Boris Johnson’s taking over the post of Prime Minister, and an enthusiastic supporters of the Conservative election victory in 2019, was the British right wing, and extreme right wing, national press. They did not just boost the Tories; they were a motor in creating the mixture of national populism and national neo-liberalism behind the hegemony of the Right.

Now they seem to be acting as, in Gramsci’s terms, a fraction of a particular party. And it does not look as if they are playing Johnson’s game.

When thieves fall out…

The Independent.

Boris Johnson has been accused of saying that he would rather allow “bodies [to] pile high in their thousands” than impose another lockdown late last year. Downing Street has strongly denied he made the remark – dismissing it as “just another lie”.

As No 10’s briefing war with former top aide Dominic Cummings continues, the cabinet secretary Simon Case will be questioned by MPs on the public administration and constitutional affairs committee on Monday about various claims made by Mr Cummings.

The Mail

So who are the real leakers? The prime suspects in No 10 whodunits include Redthroat, Dominic Cummings, Carrie Symonds’ friend Henry Newman and even Boris Johnson

The Giant Chatty Rat.

Leak 1: ‘Chatty Rat’ reveals details of a second lockdown


Leak 2: Bad dog! The misbehaviour of Dilyn

In February, it was reported that Mr Johnson was furious with his dog Dilyn because he chewed furniture at Chequers and cocked a leg on an aide’s handbag. 

An insider says that the PM called for someone to ‘shoot that f****** dog’ after Dilyn disturbed a meeting.

Friends of Ms Symonds then told The Mail on Sunday that Mr Cummings was briefing against Dilyn as he harboured a grudge against the animal because it once ‘humped his leg’.

 Leak 3: Tory donors and Wallpapergate

Leak 4: The Cameron lobbying scandal.

Leak 5: The Dyson tax texts controversy.

Leak 6: Is Cummings the ‘Chatty Rat’?

May be a Twitter screenshot of text that says "POLITIC FOR ALL Politics For All @PoliticsForAll BREAKING: Dominic Cummings kept audio recordings of key sensitive conversations in government Via @DailyMailUK 10:40 pm 25 Apr 2021 T Twitter for iPhone 77 Retweets Retwee 84 Quote Tweets 427 Likes"

Our Verdict: they are like rats fighting in a sack.

Whether they have the effect of unravelling to the Tory bloc remains to be seen.

Berlusconi has hung around for some time:

Few Italians have wielded more influence and attracted more notoriety than Silvio Berlusconi: billionaire businessman, four-time prime minister, and member of the European Parliament.

For years he successfully brushed off sex scandals and allegations of corruption, until Italy’s eurozone debt crisis in 2011 saw his influence temporarily wane.

Worse was to come for the man whom many Italians had come to see as untouchable.

He was convicted of tax fraud in 2013 and ejected from the Italian Senate. Another conviction in 2015 made it look like his political career was finally over.

But despite suffering a heart attack that his doctor said could have killed him in 2016, and having emergency bowel surgery in 2019, the charismatic showman was set for yet another political comeback.

Even though he was banned from holding public office due to his criminal record, he led his centre-right Forza Italia party to moderate electoral success in 2018. And a year later, with his ban lifted, won himself a seat in the European Parliament at the age of 82.

Dominic Cummings, Blog.

Statement regarding No10 claims today

I have made the offer to hand over some private text messages, even though I am under no legal obligation to do so, because of the seriousness of the claims being made officially by No10 today, particularly the covid leak that caused serious harm to millions. This does not mean that I will answer every allegation made by No10. 

The proper way for such issues to be handled is via an urgent Parliamentary inquiry into the government’s conduct over the covid crisis which ought to take evidence from all key players under oath and have access to documents. Issues concerning covid and/or the PM’s conduct should not be handled as No10 has handled them over the past 24 hours. I will cooperate fully with any such inquiry and am happy to give evidence under oath. I am happy for No10 to publish every email I received and sent July 2019-November 2020 (with no exceptions other than, obviously, some national security / intelligence issues). 

It is sad to see the PM and his office fall so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves.

I will not engage in media briefing regarding these issues but will answer questions about any of these issues to Parliament on 26 May for as long as the MPs want. 

British Red-Brown Front Hails UK Anti-Lockdown Protests, The New ‘Gilets Jaunes’.

with 5 comments

May be an image of one or more people and people standing

“The anti-lockdown demo had a lot of the characteristics of the Leave campaign and the Gilets Jaunes in France – largely working class, militant and without any input from the left.”

Leading ideologue of the Red Brown Front Spiked hails New Gilets Jaunes.

Working Class Hero:

May be an image of 1 person, standing and outdoors

Mind you there are comparisons…

40 % des Gilets jaunes sont très complotistes.

40% of yellow vests are conspiracists.


Conspiracist ideas, including anti-Semitism, flourish at the extremes, above all on the far rights, and, as a result amongst the Gilets Jaunes.

There was also this,

Who Are The UK Yellow Vest Protesters? 2017. Mike Stuchbery.

 the last few days, a site has also appeared called ‘Wake Up UK’ that appears to be an attempt to start an alternative social media network for Far Right ’Yellow Vest supporters – the site’s logo even features a human figure in a Yellow Vest. A glimpse at the newest postings on the site shows a slew of extremist, far right propaganda, usually involving Islam, and notable recent sign-ups include former Britain First activist Jayda Fransen.

Of most concern, however, may be co-opting of the ‘Yellow Vests’ by the Identitarian movement. A proto-fascist network of national youth movements, that coordinate with one another, they are known by different names – ‘Generation Identity’ in the UK, ‘Generation Identitaire’ in France, and ‘Identitaeire Bewegung’ in Germany.

Jan Moudrak, an activist who describes himself as ‘New Right’, and who has significant links to both UK Generation Identity and European equivalents, has been adopting the Yellow Vest and visiting the protests outside Parliament, handing out leaflets and attempting to interview various Pro-Brexit activists along with his compatriots.

A cursory look at Moudrak’s leaflets reveals much of the same rhetoric for which the Identitarian movement is known. Reference is made to ‘damage’ to the UK’s ‘ancestral homelands’, an echo of the nativist view that is at the very heart of the Identitarian philosophy.  

More disturbing perhaps, is a positive reference to ‘homogenic rule’ and ‘homogeneous populations’, coded language used by Identitarian groups to describe white, European societies free from migrant populations. Chillingly, the leaflet also makes reference to ‘repatriation’ – the removal of groups from Britain. This is policy that is mentioned on the Generation Identity UK site, although they’ve been careful to qualify it with the term ‘illegal migrants’.

The leaflet also describes Moudrak’s iteration of the ‘Yellow Vest’ movement as being against ‘degeneracy’. This is a term with a long history among the Far Right, and indeed had its roots in Nazi Germany. It was used to describe anything that the Nazis felt was subverting German society – art, music, literature, in addition to racial intermarriage, homosexuality, lesbianism and transgenderism. The term has had a dark renaissance of sorts, particularly among some of the more extreme white nationalist movements in the United States, and it is worrying to see it here.

Hartfield should rejoice at this development in France a new slide to ‘confusionnisme’ from a centrist MP> :

Heartfield and his Spiked mates have no shame.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 25, 2021 at 10:33 am

QAnon at Protest Against Coronavirus Rules in London.

with 5 comments


QAnon Join London Anti-Lockdown Protest.

Plenty of fash and New Age confusionnistes.

Note this from Bob:

Update: This is contemptible.

May be an image of one or more people and people standing

Written by Andrew Coates

April 24, 2021 at 6:31 pm

The Spartacist League Resurfaces as Anti-Lockdown Movement.

with 21 comments

Spartacist English edition - April 2021 Supplement

For the last year, the position of the ICL was to accept the lockdowns as necessary. We repudiate this position. It was a capitulation to the “national unity” rallying cry that all classes should support the lockdowns because they save lives.

The Spartacist League is the the United States section of the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist), formerly the International Spartacist Tendency. After the death of their founder James Robertson in 2019 their public presence was reduced, In 2020 this announcement appeared: “18 August 2020: Until further notice, Workers Vanguard will have an irregular schedule.” But the Central Committee is said to have grouped around a new red base in Hades.

Down With the Lockdowns!

The parasitic bourgeoisies have responded to the pandemic with the means that best serve their interests, forcibly locking up their entire populations at home, pending vaccination.

The bourgeoisies’ lockdowns are a reactionary public health measure. Workers must oppose them! Lockdowns may well temporarily slow the spread of infections, but they weaken the fighting ability of the working class. By shutting down whole branches of industry and services, they have caused an economic crisis and thrown masses of people into unemployment. Closures of schools and childcare facilities have increased the oppressive burden of the family. State repression has been severely increased as democratic and working-­class rights have been gutted. Gatherings, protests, travel, strikes, union organizing: all have been restricted or banned. Lockdowns aim to prevent working-­class struggle, the only way workers can genuinely protect their health and combat the social causes of the crisis.

Faced with the utter bankruptcy of the established leaders of the workers movement and their pseudo-­Marxist lackeys, the vital question posed for the class-­conscious proletarians is the need for a leadership based on the revolutionary program of Trotskyism—authentic Marxism-­Leninism. The International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) strives to build an international Leninist vanguard party, the essential instrument for bringing revolutionary consciousness to the proletariat and achieving workers power. Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!

For New October Revolutions!

—International Executive Committee of the International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist)
19 April 2021

Whether their British section will back Piers Corbyn remains to be seen:

Written by Andrew Coates

April 24, 2021 at 10:20 am

Posted in Trotskyism

Tagged with , ,

Geoffroy de Lagasnerie: Beyond powerlessness.

leave a comment »

Sortir de notre impuissance politique, Geoffroy de Lagasnerie | Fayard

Published last year Sortir de notre impuissance politique, (Fayard) was a short, strong polemic on the stagnation of the Left. The philosopher and academic Geoffroy de Lagasnerie, interviewed on on France Inter argued that left wing politics had become “ritualised” around certain forms of defensive action. Left wing activists operated ” more like automatons than strategists. We resort to ritual, instituted forms of action: demonstrations, strikes, occupations , even violent riots…”without any form of offensive strategy that can bring about a new society. “We go out in the streets, we take selfies on Instagram, but we do not act politically”. The brochure made a real splash, not least because the author is actively engaged in grassroots radical left politics. (1)

Some people remarked that “une conception réaliste de l’État, de la Loi et de notre expérience comme sujets” had a fairly abstract alternative for the left. Examples of direct action, taken from the US Black Panthers were out of kilter with the European Left’s experience and that more recent forms of this kind of politics, on green and climate issues, are not wide-ranging enough to base a whole new politics upon of deal with the reality of political power. One point made, which had some resonance, and stirred up controversy was how the “« débats d’extrême droite (far right) ou semi racistes » had contaminated parts of the left. Part of a wider critique of what is become known as ‘confusionnisme’ one can see parallels in the wake of Brexit and alliances such as the Full Brexit, between the hard right Brexit Party and a variety of ‘left’ groups and individuals. This drift has been the case across Europe.

La Conscience politique. (2019 is a wider ranging study. It is a critique of the way political abstractions continue to dominate actual politics. He argues that keep using totalising categories (The people, general will, popular sovereignty), and mystifying narratives (the social contract, deliberative democracy) or still abstract notions (the legislator, the body politic, the citizen) which we recognize most of the time the fictitious character, while affirming the need to resort to them. The conflicts between nationals and non-nationals as raising deep, ‘ontological’ difficulties, creating an ‘illusion’ of common interest’ is not matter of political philosophy alone. (page 162) Sovereignty alone, as anybody who followed the Brexit process will realise, is as much a dominant aspect of British politics, as the ‘philosophically inclined French political culture.

As with Sortir de notre impuissance politique, the book is better at identifying problems than offering an alternative. I would not recommend his account of Hobbes, which largely ignores the libraries of studies on the author the Leviathan. But in offering an outline of “une conception réaliste de l’État, de la Loi et de notre expérience comme sujets.”Violence is, he argues, the defining moment of the state’s horizon. Lagasnerie elegantly and forcefully has begun some necessary rethinking of politics.

This essay, published in English on the Open Democracy site, is a good introduction to his writings,

Beyond powerlessness.

We can only move beyond our powerlessness by conducting a critique of the traditional forms of political action. In fact, we must ask ourselves: what it is we do when we use the established modes of democratic dissent.  Are we taking action? Or are we simply protesting to express our disagreement? If our protests accomplish nothing – or, in any case, only rarely produce substantive changes – doesn’t this mean that the normal forms of action function as traps?

When we resort to them, we feel we are taking action; when in reality, we do nothing more than express our discontent. Haven’t the traditional forms of protest lost their efficacy and become routinized?

(1) “Le passage de Geoffroy de Lagasnerie dans la Matinale de France Inter, le 30 septembre, a déclenché une impressionnante réaction en chaîne. Polémique sur Twitter, billet salé de Géraldine Mosna-Savoye sur France Culture, édito de Daniel Schneidermann dans Libération, sans parler des cris d’orfraie compassés du Point et du Figaro. “Les Inrockuptibles .

Written by Andrew Coates

April 23, 2021 at 3:31 pm

Laurence Fox gets Farage backing in war to the death with Count Binface.

with one comment

Count Binface tying with Laurence Fox in London mayoral race | The  Independent

It’s a a war to the death for the Vote in London.

The Gammons are cheered up with this news:

Nigel Farage backs Laurence Fox in London mayoral race

Nigel Farage and the Reform party today threw their support behind actor and activist Laurence Fox to become the next Mayor of London.

Cde Binface has hit back

The Gammons are clearly flustered…..look at this success!

Written by Andrew Coates

April 23, 2021 at 11:03 am

Posted in Anti-Fascism

Tagged with ,

British MPs “China is committing genocide against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang province.”

leave a comment »

May be an image of one or more people and text that says "LA FRANCE DOIT RECONNAÎTRE LE GÉNOCIDE DES OUTGHOUR.E.S EN CHINE! f Pétition sur Change.org"

 A “growing movement in western democracies,”

British MPs voted to declare that China is committing genocide against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang province.


The motion passed on Thursday does not compel the government to act but is likely to mark a further decline in relations with China. In response, Beijing’s embassy in the UK accused the MPs of having “cooked up” the motion “with a view to discrediting and attacking China”.

Nigel Adams, the Asia minister, admitted there was credible evidence of widespread use of forced labour, internment camps, and the targeting of ethnic groups. The actions amounted to clear and systematic abuse of human rights, but he said the UK’s longstanding position was that determining genocide is for “competent national and international courts”.

The shadow Foreign Office minister Stephen Kinnock said ministers needed to go further by widening the pool of Chinese officials sanctioned, ending further formal economic consultations with China, and advocating for the UN general assembly to request an advisory opinion from the international court of justice on the question of genocide.

This is, as the Guardian says, a growing movement across the world. Here is what leading French radical leftist and MP, says:

Written by Andrew Coates

April 23, 2021 at 9:41 am

Laurence Fox on 1%. Alt-Left sites back Binface.

with 3 comments


Count Binface tying with Laurence Fox in London mayoral race.


Mr Fox, who has struggled to gain any headway with his anti-woke agenda over the past month, has previously claimed his new party had raised £5m in donations.

Binface taunted his rival on Twitter over the latest survey result – pointing out he had spent “zero” money and had still managed to match the Reclaim candidate. (Independent)

Novelty candidate Count Binface is tying with anti-lockdown activist Laurence Fox in the London mayoral contest, new polling has found.

The former Lewis actor – who launched his Reclaim Party campaign last month with a promise to “unlock” the capital from all Covid rules – has only 1 per cent support.

Count Binface, the satirical politician created by comedian Jon Harvey, and the Ukip candidate Peter Gammons are also on 1 per cent backing in the race, according to the Savanta ComRes poll.

Mr Fox, who has struggled to gain any headway with his anti-woke agenda over the past month, has previously claimed his new party had raised £5m in donations.

Binface taunted his rival on Twitter over the latest survey result – pointing out he had spent “zero” money and had still managed to match the Reclaim candidate in the polls.

Mr Fox has promised to “reclaim” Londoners’ personal freedoms during the public health crisis, and to erect hundreds of new military statues and plaques.

A confirmed vaccine sceptic, the actor-turned-controversialist has said that he would refuse to get the Covid jab until after 2023 – when he claims all the tests needed to convince him of its safety would be completed.

“It’s not going to do me any harm [not having it], is it?” Mr Fox has told the Guido Fawkes blog. “I think people should do what they want with their own bodies in terms of vaccinations. It should be private, like voting.”

The latest poll shows Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan on course to take City Hall again, with 41 per cent support. Tory candidate Shaun Bailey languishes well behind on 28 per cent, while Lib Dem Luisa Porritt is on 8 per cent and Green Sian Berry is on 6 per cent.

Well established rumour has it that Binface has the support of respected alt-left sites, Skwawkbox, The Canary and Novara Media.

Where is Piers Corbyn one might ask….not to mention American cult businessman Brian Rose?

May be an image of one or more people, drink and text that says "BRIAN ROSE DRINKS URINE"


May be a Twitter screenshot of 1 person and text

Written by Andrew Coates

April 22, 2021 at 10:16 am

Socialist Worker Calls for Labour Vote…

with 6 comments

Socialist Workers Party (UK) - Wikipedia

” in most places socialists will have to vote Labour.

Who should socialists vote for on 6 May?

Labour has no policies to challenge the rich or a deadly system that has failed so clearly and completely during coronavirus.

Nevertheless in most places socialists will have to vote Labour.

We want to see the Tories lose. If Boris Johnson and his coterie emerge with smiles on their faces after these elections, it will depress many activists. It will encourage the idea that the Tories can escape from any disaster.


More fundamentally, Labour is still not the same as the Tories. It retains some withered connections with working class organisation through its links with the trade union leaders.

The exception is where a small number of credible socialist candidates are standing. For example, in the Liverpool mayor election Roger Bannister of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition has consistently won respectable votes. He is confronting’s Labour’s capitulation to the Tories in the city.

The choice would have been wider if Labour lefts such as Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell had reacted to Starmer’s assaults by creating a new party.

Bad Labour….

But they remain trapped in the iron cage of Labour. They remain in a party that won’t even let its former leader be a Labour MP, and which this week suspended a councillor for calling prince Philip a “massive racist”. 

Exception, back the ‘real’ nationalists in Scotland.

In Scotland we can’t call for a Labour vote. Here a central issue before voters is whether the Scottish parliament will have a majority for an independence referendum—and Labour remains staunchly unionist.

At the same time many pro-independence forces, in the Scottish National Party and Alba, are completely unacceptable because of their pro-capitalist and bigoted politics. So in Scotland we say vote left and fight for independence.


The poverty of choice at the ballot box reflects a deeper crisis of the left.

Over three million people have died because of the ruling class handling of the pandemic. Hundreds of millions, particularly in the poorest countries, face being abandoned without vaccines, or hurled into poverty by lost jobs and slashed wages.

But socialist forces have not yet emerged on a mass scale to challenge the system.

Filling that gap through struggle and socialist politics is far more important than any vote.

It looks like the SWP don’t see much promise in TUSC, or can be even arsed to the mention the Communist Party of Britain…

The SWP has survived the Comrade Delta Crisis. It has managed as best it could. Unlike the mythomaniacs of the Socialist Party/TUSC it has never claimed to be Jeremy Corbyn’s oldest and bestest Friend. There is some slight distance from the Communist Party of Britain and its backing for the Bosses’ Brexit. Will their present mouvementiste strategy win them support? There is now a young bloke selling Socialist Worker in Ipswich.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 21, 2021 at 12:04 pm

Gammon Left: Skwawkbox Publicises Pub Landlord, “My Gaff My Rules.”

with 15 comments

Humphris was restrained by Starmer's bodyguards after he chucked him out

“Traditional old English pub”

As local election campaigning gets underway, and people deliver Labour material across the country, the anti-Labour site Skwawkbox can find nothing better to do than try to heap ordure on the Party.

For Small Businessman Walker this incident dwarfs all others

The screeching one commented,

“The bizarre aspect of this is that Starmer demanded schools re-open last September ‘no ifs, no buts, no equivocation‘ – and sided with the Tories to fight against unions who were asking for masks in classrooms. So you’d think if that kind of lethal foolishness was going to get a welcome anywhere, it would be in the pub of an anti-masker angry about kids wearing masks in class.

But after Starmer refused to sign a letter calling for a parliamentary investigation into Boris Johnson’s lies, it couldn’t happen to a more deserving (pseudo-)leader of the opposition.

Starmer responded well,

This was good as well, (Manchester Evening News)

GMB’s Dr Hilary clashes with pub landlord who threw Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer out of his pub

He attempted to explain his reasons for being so angry at the Labour party – which he has supported his entire life.

But it soon became clear the hosts, and Dr Hilary, who was also on the ITV news programme, were not impressed by what he was saying.

“I think with the greatest respect Rod, I think you should stick to pulling pints rather than advising the government about policy on the biggest pandemic, public health issue for the last 100 years,” Dr Hilary hit out.

“If we ignore a pandemic and we say lockdown doesn’t work, how do you think this spreads in the first place? It’s very simple, you have to have lockdown in a pandemic that kills people.”

Referring to a comment Mr Humphris made about more elderly people dying, Dr Hilary continued: “And if you’re saying at 83, it doesn’t matter if you die, you’re saying that people like Prince Philip, the last 16 years of his life were meaningless and worthless, we can’t allow that to happen, you can’t be that ageist.

The class solidarity between Walker and his new best friend continues.

A pub landlord in Bath has accused one of Keir Starmer’s minders of assault after being manhandled when he tried to demand that the Labour leader leave his pub:

The man, apparently a former longtime Labour voter who believed Starmer had failed him in his lack of opposition to Boris Johnson’s handling of the pandemic, was trying to tell Starmer to leave because he disagreed with Starmer’s support for lockdown and for masks in schools – bizarrely, since Starmer long demanded schools re-open and sided with the Tories to fight teaching unions who were asking for facemasks in classrooms.

Starmer had earlier told the man, “I don’t need lectures from the likes of you”.

Top Gammon Left Expressed their backing for the Pub Landlord on Skwawky’s site,

* Exactly, that reaction is far more than Masks/No Masks!
That is because we have Thatcher’s Neolabour Pestilence Occupying The People’s Party AGAIN!
The People now face This Dangerous Tory or That Dangerous Tory, after loosing 2019, and we must Unite, Plan and Get The Bastards Out!
Even if we end up with a tiny, but LOUDER & PROUDER UK Labour Party fighting for the People. Better 10/20/30 UK LP MPs Fighting and Standing up for The People than ~180 Standing up for themselves and The Establishment.

*AFTER 14 MONTHS of the BBC panic-stirring everyone about a pandemic that has not raised the rate of (usual) death outside the average for the last 20 years, you believe anything they report?

In fact 2020 had the LOWEST number of deaths (all causes) for any year since 2001.

*100% Agree, It is when I hear the Fire in the Belly of Zarah, Apsana, Bel, Cleaudia, that I know even if we end up with only those 4 Democratic Socialists UK Labour Party MPs, in the HoC,, The Voice of The People will be heard VERY LOUD & VERY CLEAR!
If we take back some seats lost in 2019 ie Laura P & Laura S, bring Jeremy back, we will stand to have a Truly Democratic Socialist Government in NO TIME!
Of course we will continue to be faced with all the same Lie/Smear attacks of 2015 to 2020, if not much worse, but our Attackers will no longer be inside our Community, it will all be External attacks! BLISS!

Written by Andrew Coates

April 20, 2021 at 1:34 pm

France: Conspiracist Group Held Over Abduction of 8 Year old Girl, ‘Mia’.

leave a comment »

“News channel BFMTV reported the four were also being investigated by the anti-terror prosecutor for alleged terrorist conspiracy. They are said to have discussed possible attacks on Covid vaccination centres.

France seeks conspiracy theorist over 8-year-old’s kidnapping.

France 24.

French prosecutors announced Tuesday an international arrest warrant for a leading figure in conspiracy circles who is suspected of helping to organise the kidnapping of an eight-year-old girl that gripped the country last week.

The girl, identified as Mia* , was found with her 28-year-old mother Lola Montemaggi on Sunday by police in Switzerland, following an intense five-day search after she was taken from her grandmother’s home in Poulieres, eastern France.

Five men as well as Montemaggi have been detained over the abduction, which saw three of the men pose as child welfare officials to convince the grandmother to hand Mia over.

Prosecutors say that the plot was code-named “Operation Lima,” and that they had walkie-talkies, camping gear, fake licence plates and a budget of 3,000 euros ($3,600) to cover expenses.

They said the mother’s associates in the kidnapping plan were anti-system activists who believe that “children in care are unfairly taken from their parents.”

After questioning the suspects, investigators say they may have been helped by Remy Daillet, known to French police as a proponent of extremist conspiracy theories and a populist takeover of the state.

Daillet, 54, was a former regional leader of the centrist MoDem party (of Francois Bayrou) before he was excluded in 2010.


According to Le Parisien, French investigators say Daillet may also have encouraged a vehicle ramming attack on a police station in Dax, southwestern France, in November.

Last summer, they say he used a fake social media account to praise vandals who defaced a prominent Nazi massacre memorial at Oradour-sur-Glane, with slogans denying the Holocaust.

Mia’s mother had lost custody of her daughter and was no longer allowed to see her alone or speak with her on the telephone.

Hundreds of police were mobilised in the search, which ended on Sunday morning at a squat inside an abandoned factory in the Swiss municipality of Sainte-Croix.

Mia was returned to her grandmother’s care on Monday, while Lola Montemaggi remains in Swiss custody while awaiting extradition.

“…all shared “the same community of ideas”. “They are against the State and mobilised against what they call the health dictatorship, (that is France’s anti-Covid programme and lockdown)  explained the prosecutor. For them, children in care are unfairly taken from their parents. ” Close to conspiratorial, survivalist or far-right circles, some of them were monitored by the DGSI (French General Directorate for Internal Security, Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure,  and had been suspected of preparing an attack against an undefined target.”

Kidnapping of Mia: international arrest warrant against Rémy Daillet, “leader” of the “movement” of the kidnappers

The Canadian.

In one of his videos, he defended the idea of ​​a popular coup against a background of dramatic music, claiming that when he is in power he will abolish almost all taxes, cancel the wearing of the mask. “Scientifically useless” and dismantle 5G. It also intends to ban “Aerial spraying, called chemtrails “, a reference to the contrails left by airplanes in the sky. Rémy Daillet also wants to do “Stop the abusive placements of children”, an argument to which Lola Montemaggi, the mother of little Mia, would have been sensitive.

Mia, 8, was kidnapped last Tuesday, at her mother’s request, by several men while she was staying with her maternal grandmother in the Vosges. Her mother was no longer allowed to see her alone or to speak to her on the phone.

BBC, France Mia kidnapping: Four men held over abduction of girl aged 8.

None of the four, aged 23 to 60, has criminal records, however three are described as known survivalists – a type of anti-state individual living on the fringe and often linked to the far right.

The prosecutor said one of those involved in the abduction considered himself a “dissident” in the style of fictional gentleman thief Arsène Lupin. Another believed he had saved the child’s life, although he admitted he might have been manipulated by the girl’s mother.

Custody of Mia was given to her maternal grandmother last January after her mother reportedly told a family judge she wanted to “live on the margins of society”. Prosecutors said she had previously expressed the desire to sell up and live in a motor home “under the radar”.

Enlèvement de Mia : retrouvée avec sa mère dans une usine désaffectée, la petite fille “en bonne santé” sera remise à sa grand-mère. La Dépêche.

Abduction of Mia: found with her mother in an abandoned factory, the “healthy” little girl will be handed over to her grandmother

Written by Andrew Coates

April 20, 2021 at 12:48 pm

French Left, a ‘Pact of Mutual Respect’ for the 2022 Presidential Elections.

with one comment

Réunion de la gauche : Jadot et les socialistes tentent une OPA sur l'union  | L'Humanité

Left Pact of Mutual Respect.

About twenty representatives of the main French left-wing parties gathered this Saturday in Paris at the call of the ecologist Yannick Jadot (Europe Ecologie les Verts, EELV). They will meet again in a month to discuss their proposals for the 2020 presidential election. They included the socialists Anne Hidalgo and Olivier Faure, the Communist (PCF) Ian Brossat, Sandrine Rousseau (EELV National Secretary) Éric Coquerel (la France insoumise LFI), Pôle écologiste ( principally, Générations, Génération écologie,) – Julien Bayou, Éric Piolle, Benoît Hamon (former Socialist Presidential candidate in 2017, Corinne Lepage ,  Raphaël Glucksmann, of Place publique, the Parti radical de gauche, and a small group of former supporters of President Macron,  the Nouveaux Démocrates.

The Communist daily, L’Humanité, states today,

Présidentielle 2022. Réunion de la gauche : une salle, deux ambiances

A pact of “mutual respect” was concluded between the progressive forces, meeting on Saturday. But the eagerness of the ecologist Yannick Jadot and the Socialist Party to move forward on the basis of a common candidacy has aroused tensions.

PCF spokesperson Ian Brossat came to say that the left “would collectively benefit from focusing on issues that preoccupy the working classes, such as employment or deindustrialisation”. He also affirmed that it is necessary to work for an on working for the legislative elections which is not conditional on agreement for the presidential contest” . The representative of the La France insoumise (Mélenchon’s Rally/Movement I, Eric Coquerel, himself has presented “tracks on the sharing of wealth, labour time” promoted “the idea of the VI th  Republic” and the need to conduct “joint mobilizations “.He even offered to organize the next meeting at the headquarters of his movement. What the audience rejected, preferring to remain on neutral ground. Leftist radical Guillaume Lacroix raised the issue of secularism, and Anne Hidalgo wished for a truce on the subject to focus more on social issues. And, as expected, Yannick Jadot (Greens) proposed a “government contract”, approved by Olivier Faure (Parti Socialist) . In short, everyone arrived with their agenda already written, and wished to share this with the others present.

Le Monde is more upbeat, while underlining that differences on the left remain strong.

Réunion des gauches : les lignes d’accord et de désaccord se précisent

 twenty or so party leaders also decided to organize “joint responses” to major government reforms: unemployment insurance , pensions, (in reaction to Macron’s planned ‘reforms’ climate change legislation and the President’s law on ‘global security’ (banning people photographing the police images and increasing surveillance – widely seen as a threat to civil liberates and which met public protest). They also agreed that, if everyone develops their own separate programme for 2022, it will be necessary to discuss them. A new meeting will therefore take place at the end of May in order to discuss each other’s proposals. Associative platforms and citizen initiatives such as “Never again” or “2022 in common” will be invited to this new meeting and public debates are being considered.

The principal message, Le Monde and other news sources state, is that there are serious moves afoot to reach agreement between the Ecologists (EELV) and the Socialists (PS) ” l’unité retrouvée entre écologistes et socialistes”. La socialiste Anne Hidalgo(Mayor of Paris) comme Yannick Jadot ont souhaité que s’enclenche dès samedi un nouveau cycle de discussions pour les partisans d’une candidature commune du noyau PS-EELV. (new round of negotiations between the PS-EELV axis). This willingness to work together amongst top figures of two parties is not necessarily shared by all the leadership or members.

La France insoumise have declared that they are satisfied with the meeting but that they will not accept unity with other parties if the result is a muddle, only working together results in clarity. They will not accept a programme that compromises with the neo-liberal authoritarian system, Their ambitions centre on Mélenchon’s Candidacy for President, and making a pact of non-agreession. Other differences incube that Mélenchon continues to declare that he wishes to renegotiate a series of European Treaties, a view opposed by much of the left present on Saturday.

Strategically the LFI is said to base its campaigning as a ‘ pôle de radicalité’  attracting workers the excluded, and those who have abstained from voting in the past, while the Greens and Socialists aim to win over former voters for Macon’s La République en Marche. A few Greens continue to believe that the LFI can work with a broader, “arc humaniste’ (Présidentielle: derrière l’union gauches-écolos, le périmètre en question)

Further to the left sadly there does not seem to be much mutual respect inside the Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste (NPA) .

The National Political Council of the NPA met this Sunday, April 4. During the day, among other things, we exchanged about the upcoming electoral deadlines, and we collectively determined an overall calendar of discussions concerning the presidential election.

In the wake of this meeting, Anasse Kazib, member of the NPA and of the “CCR-Permanent Revolution” announced, on social networks, his “pre-candidacy” for the presidential election of 2022. This announcement, which was actually scheduled since several days, was therefore made outside any decision-making framework of the organization.

This was the response from the factionalists:


A propos d’un communiqué du NPA sur les Présidentielles

A statement was issued on behalf of the NPA leadership to challenge the fact that Anasse Kazib presented his presidential pre-candidacy at the National Political Council on April 4. This press release is both false and illegitimate. Below is the focus of Permanent Revolution.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 19, 2021 at 4:38 pm

Left Gammon Magazine.

with 5 comments

No description available.

New: Rival to Skwawkbox, Novara Media and the Canary.

Some would say this response is almost sacrilege….

But….here’s a rip roaring validation:



No to mention the Whippet Party:

Spiked is not happy:

Neither are the left Gammons:

Written by Andrew Coates

April 19, 2021 at 1:02 pm

Tribune, “The Centre Cannot Save Democracy” But Moderate Constitutional Reform Can.

with 6 comments


Democratic Left: Whippet Party Demands Northern Independence.

The American, left populist review Jacobin, owned ‘Tribune’ is a curious animal. Since the collapse of left populism, the Bernie Sander’s campaign that had got nowhere fast, the Spanish Podemos’ welcome of political reality and government alliance with the Partido Socialista Obrero Españo (PSOE), Corbyn’s defeat, and the realisation that in France Jean-Luc Mélenchon is going to be stumped in the charismatic Leader’s third attempt at running for President in 2020 they have lost direction. For its critics the principal target of the self-identifying left magazine seems to be Keir Starmer and the Labour Party.

Into this political void had stepped a new voice. New being a relative term. Revived might be a better one. The old tunes are the best ones. Tribune has now turned to the themes of the past, hollowed out democracy, ‘post-democracy’, the ‘political centre’ or, what political confusionniste Tariq Ali has called the ‘extreme centre’. (The Extreme Centre: A Warning. 2015)

These were themes popular in the late 1990s, with the writings of Jacques Rancière“Post-democracy is the government practice and conceptual legitimisation of a democracy after the demos, a democracy that has eliminated the appearance, miscount, and dispute of the people and is thereby reducible to the sole interplay of state mechanisms and combinations of social energies and interests.” (La Mésentente: Politique et philosophie, 1995) And Colin Crouch, “A post-democratic society is one that continues to have and to use all the institutions of democracy, but in which they increasingly become a formal shell. The energy and innovative drive pass away from the democratic arena and into small circles of a politico-economic elite.”( Coping with Post-Democracy. 2000)

Students of politics always had a hard time getting to grips with the idea that societies where elections take place, different political parties run for office, there were hard battles over voting, getting people elected as representatives to national bodies right down to local, even parish councils, were ‘post’ democratic. Many were struck by the way that ‘alternatives’ to this state of affairs appeared to centre on forms of ‘populism’ that mobilised the ‘people’ against the ‘elite’. The best known case of populism that had got elected, national populism, was Trump and MAGA. That did not look very democratic at all…

Most people had forgotten about the original debates from another era.

Enter Tribune,

The Centre Can’t Save Democracy. Grace Blakely.

Blakeley argues that ‘post democracy’, that is liberal led government stopped political decision making influencing the way the economy is run – a curious claim one would think in the light of how governments have responded to the Coronavirus pandemic. Almost entirely limiting her international scope to the country of the owners of Tribune and the UK, she declares, “The neoliberals achieved with technocracy what classical liberals had achieved with limited suffrage: insulating management of the economy from popular pressure.” After a bit Carl Schmitt and the ominously titled Globalists by Quinn Slobodian she declares,

when it came to the realm of dominium — that is, the realm of the economy, conceived as entirely separate from that of politics — the influence of the masses had to be limited. Democratic governance of the economy always generated the danger of ‘economic nationalism’, in which the narrow, short-term class interests of the masses would be placed above the general interest, which entailed constructing and maintaining an efficient and stable market system.

The Tribune article continues,

The justification for the hollowing-out of democracy that has taken place in recent years was always that technocratic governance would support the efficient operation of the market. Central bank independence, for instance, would prevent the ‘politicisation’ of monetary policy by placing these decisions in the hands of independent economists. But this change has simply placed far more power in the hands of the ruling class — central bankers now heed the whims of financial lobbyists as much as politicians in their decision making.

The message of this squib is that real democracy cannot be furthered by the post-populist revival of the centre.

The political centre has seen its fortunes revive both in Britain, with Keir Starmer, and more particularly in America, with Joe Biden, not because it has any particular answer to this dynamic — but because it persuades people that it can be ignored. Faced with the disaster of Boris Johnson and Trumpism, it does not promise to make things better, only to prevent them from getting worse. And this, for many people, is enough. But it cannot last in the long term.

Instead we need a socialist take on democracy. Like the enthusiasts for Charter 88 several decades ago, and indeed the very liberal-minded Will Hutton, The State We’re in: Why Britain Is in Crisis and How to Overcome It (1995), Blakeley declares that,

“In the UK, constitutional reform — from removing the House of Lords, to dissolving the City of London Corporation, to a substantive local and national devolution agenda — would amplify the voices of working people within the British state. Deepening economic democracy — by reviving the trade union movement, expanding democratic public ownership, and building new democratic, publicly-owned financial institutions — would assist organised labour in its struggle with capital and help us to mitigate the effects of climate breakdown.”

It is hard to disagree with this programme. If we cannot revive the trade union movement by good intentions other reforms are welcome. Will Hutton and others around Charter 88 have argued for this democratic platform aligned to financial reforms for many years. Perhaps Tribune could add “stakeholding” (codetermination of companies) to the list. Hutton still promotes the cause.

Nevertheless this approach has got off on a wrong foot from he start. It ignores two important aspects of how politics and economics have developed in the new millenium.

The first is that Blakeley is fighting yesterday’s wars against ‘globalists’. What is the dominant feature of politics at present is the rise of national neo-liberalism. This is not just in its populist form, now apparently out of the way with Trump’s defeat, but in the shape practised by the Johnson government. Used by Paul Mason in Clear Bright Future (2019) the term is fleshed out by French economist Jean-François Bayart (Sur le national-libéralisme, une conversation avec Jean-François Bayart 2017). In the UK the present government practices a mixture of economic liberalism, that is the marketisation of state functions, private sector dominance, free trade, with the promotion of national identity and nationalist ideology.

The second issue is summed up by Jon Bloomfield and David Edgar

“In responding to the nationalist populist challenge there should be no triangulation. Blue Labour is a dangerous dead end that will only split progressive alliances. At the same time, absolutist positions must be avoided. Too often within contemporary social movements a narrow kind of identity politics is promoted, where solidarity is impossible because only personal experience is said to count. Similarly, there are still Remainers so incensed by the EU referendum result that they insist only a reversal of the decision will suffice. No element—liberal, progressive, socialist—can afford these indulgences. In opposing the illiberal, nationalist right the crucial lesson from the 1930s is crystal clear: unite against the main enemy.” (The populist delusion. The right has won the early battles, but the left can still win the war. Prospect. March 2021.)

In other words, identity politics, of the right (Blue Labour, Spiked, and the Tory ‘Common Sense’ faction) the identity politics of the actually existing liberal meritocratic US inspired left, are real political problems. Political liberalism which defends liberty can be an ally of the left. A central unifying issue is the defence of pluralism, and we need the centre to defend that, democratic diversity, and what Claude Lefort called the development of rights promoting movements. The right against national neo-liberalism, and national populism, means that without formal alliances we still need to recognise that on the issues these create there is a wider opposition within which the left, the internationalist left, needs to work.

Blakeley misses these issues altogether, clutching at straws she concludes,

Party reform is, of course, the sine qua non of this entire agenda. As long as social democratic parties continue to act as the voice of the liberal portion of the ruling class, and not of the working class, they will remain unable and unwilling to fix the deep divides that plague their societies. One of the biggest missed opportunities of Corbynism was the failure to democratise the Labour Party: that goal might be off the cards for now, but the Left needs to be fighting to defend the gains that were made and to prevent a further slide towards cartelisation.

And they wonder why the influence of magazines like Tribune is negligible.

Leave.EU Goes Full Fascist.

with 4 comments

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "LEAYE.EU Leave.EU @LeaveEUOfficial The migrant madness in France has gone on for so long! No wonder Marine Le Pen is hotly tipped by so many to take the Presidency next year and throw the EU into turmoil! FRANCE IN THE GRIP OF MASS MIGRATION MADNESS AS ALMOST HALF OF ENTIRE POPULATION GROWTH IN 2017 DRIVEN BY IMMIGRATION Foxhole READ THE FULL STORY France: half of 2017 population growth driven"

Carnival of Reaction: Leave EU has become an openly racist far-right campaign.

They are based around Foxhole: an alt-right ‘news’ site.

Welcome to the Foxhole, a news website that goes against the grain of our media elites and speaks to the concerns of normal people.

Dissatisfied with the glaring flaws of the mainstream media – the skewed perspective, the partisan selection of stories, the ruthless suppression of anything that goes against their chosen narratives – we hope the Foxhole will serve to bring more attention to stories that ordinary people care about.

With the internet coming under stricter control, as Big Tech companies impose restrictive limits on what information you are permitted to share and consume, we’re keen to cultivate a new avenue to spread awareness of the essential stories that the establishment media and Silicon Valley would rather push from view.

We see this site as a digital foxhole – a defensive position on the battlefield of information warfare, protecting us from an onslaught of corporate censorship and allowing us to better represent the views and concerns of millions of ordinary people who are badly served by the established press.

The site is run by a small team of young news hounds, looking to keep alive the grassroots ethos of the 2016 referendum.

We’re powered by the support of the public. If you want to help this project continue to grow and reach more people, please follow us on Facebook and Twitter, read and share our content, and consider becoming a Foxhole Member for just £3 a month to enjoy the site without ads.

This is how they began.

The campaign was co founded by Bristol based businessman and UKIP donor Arron Banks, with property entrepreneur Richard Tice and early financial backing from Jim Mellon

Leave UK was marked by its hardline anti-immigration stand, “an anti-immigration viral video produced by Leave.EU during the campaign was faked, and that the group appeared to have staged photos of immigrants attacking women in the United Kingdom.”

Arron Banks was involved in dodgy funding scandals.

One that caught people’s attention was this:

1.9m was donated to Grassroots Out, with smaller sums going to Trade Unionists Against the EU, Ukip, Veterans for Britain, and the TV station Wag TV, which made a pro-Brexit documentary

Trade Unionists Against the EU, headed by anti-rootless cosmopolitan campaigner Paul Embery, was promoted by the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition TUSC: The socialist case against the EU: TUSC tour continues. The Socialist. 2016.

Paul Embery, London secretary of the Fire Brigades Union and national organiser of Trade Unionists Against the EU, pointed out: “The EU is rampantly pro-austerity and that approach has caused suffering throughout Europe, a collapse in living standards, the rise of the far-right and the decimation of public services.”

There also a link to Labour Leave:

Labour Leave fined over donation from Arron Banks’ company Left Foot Forward.2019

The Electoral Commission has now fined Labour Leave after finding that the group failed to declare two donations, each worth £10,000. These were non-cash donations of office space and services (including PCs) by Better for the Country Limited and Labour Leave leader’s John Mills Limited.

Labour Leave was fined a total of £9,000 by the Commission for failing to properly declare donations before and after the referendum. Labour Leave say the lapses were due to ‘administrative errors’.

The donation from Better for the Country Limited is notable as Arron Banks is a Director of the company. Banks founded the controversial, unofficial Leave.EU campaign, and donated large sums to UKIP ahead of the 2016 referendum.

As the Guardian reported in February: “Leave.EU was fined £15,000 [by the Information Commissioner’s Office] for using Eldon Insurance customers’ details unlawfully to send almost 300,000 political marketing messages, and a further £45,000 for its part in sending an Eldon marketing campaign to political subscribers. Eldon was fined £60,000 for the latter violation.”

Leave EU still exists though what the relation with ket player Banks is these days is not clear.

Leave.EU has left the UK, as Brexit forced the Eurosceptic campaign group to choose between its name and its country.

Guardian January 2021.

-According to domain name registration records, the organisation, founded by businessman and activist Arron Banks, picked the former. The website is now registered in the name of Sean Power, the chief executive of the Ireland-based professional services company BSG.

When asked, however, Power, who is based in Waterford, insisted that he had no involvement with the organisation. When informed that his name and contact details were present on the registration, he said he would be “looking into the matter”.

Leave.EU has had some time to consider its move. The organisation is named after its web address, but .EU domain names can only be held by businesses or individuals based in the EU or wider European Economic Area.

This is how they are now:

Written by Andrew Coates

April 17, 2021 at 11:23 am

Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Runs 330 Local Election candidates – down from 650 in 2014.

with 3 comments


There’s a lot of Corbynistas gloating at every poor opinion poll score for Labour. Keir Starmer, they say, lacks the common touch of Jeremy Corbyn, the popularity of his politics and the successes of his election campaigns. He is too moderate. A “resurrected New Labour project” is in the making.

Some have turned to the Whippet Party of Northern Independence, others to the revolutionary pro-Chinese state Marxism-Leninism of the Morning Star and the Communist Party of Britain.

An older grouping has now launched its own foray into electoral politics. Interestingly it comes from the hardline pro-Brexit Socialist Party and union RMT who worked with the CPB in what was described as a ‘left wing version of UKIP’, NO2EU, an electoral alliance, headed by Bob Crow, between the RMT, the Communist Party of Britain and the Socialist Party, subsequently led to the formation of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Here is the TUSC campaign.

TUSC: Launching a working-class electoral alternative in London

On Friday 9 April, over 70 attended the online campaign launch rally organised by the London Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), gearing up for the London elections on 6 May.

The rally was chaired by James Ivens, a London Socialist Party organiser. He opened the rally by reiterating the point that “TUSC candidates standing for the Greater London Authority (GLA) are standing to be the hot breath on the back of the necks of cutter-Khan, Starmer the abstainer, and their resurrected New Labour project”.

Candidates update: now it’s over 330 standing for TUSC on May 6

Candidates now agreed include an executive council member of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU); four members of UNISON’s national executive; two members of the UNISON Local Government Service Group Executive, plus the secretary of Glasgow Unison, the branch which led the magnificent equal pay strike in 2018; a former member of the RMT transport workers’ national executive; leaders of the ‘NHS workers say no’ campaign and two of the original McStrikers.

And along with a number of former Labour councillors standing as TUSC, we now have two TUSC candidates who were previously general election candidates for Labour in December 2019, just 14 months ago.

TUSC’s local election campaign had made such an impact that the Wikipedia page on them does no include anything more a brief reference to its existence. The 330 candidates is down from the 2014 local election candidacy when they ran 650. TUSC gained no seats (and, in one ward, no votes) and lost three anti-cuts councillors in Leicester and Hull. They retained one affiliated councillor each in Warrington, Walsall and Hull, and two in Southampton. In the 2016 elections, TUSC had three councillors in Southampton under the banner of Coxford Putting People First, Kevin Bennett having lost his seat in Warrington; Hull Red Labour and Walsall Democratic Labour also lost their remaining seats. Following the 2018 elections, TUSC retained at least one affiliated councillor in Coxford, Southampton, following the re-election (as Independent – Putting People First) of TUSC national steering committee member Keith Morrell. Two other former Putting People First councillors also retain their seats as Independents, but the group has since dissolved.[Morrell resigned in 2019.

The Socialist Workers Party which had been part of TUSC left in 2017.

The Socialist Workers Party has decided to suspend its membership of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

TUSC has provided a structure for trade unionists, campaigners and socialists to stand in elections against pro-austerity politicians.

It’s not a decision we take lightly.

Our small electoral united front would make it harder to achieve a larger united front with the Labour left.

The SWP, TUSC and Labour—how do we take on the Tories?

That move was influenced by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership but, despite his absence, they have not gone back on it. At present the SWP, prefers, like their own split, Counterfire, movementist politics, the belief that street protests and strikes are the way forward for the left to any electoral front.

Howie’s Corner sums up some other reasons for their decline.

“Militant” stands 330 candidates under the TUSC banner in local elections

This intervention is much weaker than in the past as the Socialist Party had a major split before the pandemic losing perhaps some 400 members plus the bast bulk of their version of the Fourth International though Peter Taffe managed to hang n to the CWI’s money much to the chagrin of his former allies around the world.

The SP also managed to lose the bulk of it’s experienced and well placed trade unionists inside the PCS union who now organise around Socialist Voice and remain cheerleaders for Mark Serwotka. The remains of Militant’s supporters have rallied around Marion Lloyd who failed in her challenge against the leadership though remains on the unions NEC

The new breakaway group Socialist Alternative (Note, Tendance Coatesy covered this split: Socialist Party, (former Militant) in Total International Split over those who have “buckled to the pressures of ‘Identity Politics’) . is barely able to publish a regular newspaper and the other grouping Socialist Appeal remains buried in Labour  operating against party rules with some 400 plus supporters and a fortnightly paper.

Socialist Alternative would no doubt differ: SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE CAMPAIGN DAY A SUCCESS!

On 10 April, Socialist Alternative members up and down the country held stalls and attended protests on NHS pay, gender violence and Kill the Bill – part of a nationwide campaign day. We are proud to be part of a diverse range of working class movements, always seeking to offer a way forward and raise the need for socialist change. The day’s activities saw hundreds of people taking our leaflets and buying the new copy of our paper – with more than 340 sold in less than a week. Photos of a selection of our activities are posted below!

Poor old Socialist Appeal keeps humming the same old tune:

Starmer and the right wing: Leading the Labour Party ‘over a cliff’

None of these groups, from the CPB to TUSC, offer a serious left wing electoral alternative to Labour.

In the meantime the Tories have been making hay:

Written by Andrew Coates

April 16, 2021 at 4:38 pm

Hong Kong: Chinese State Imprisons Pro-Democracy Activists.

with one comment

Protest against sentencing today, Friday, Apr 16 6pm, Chinese Embassy, London.

Hong Kong pro-democracy figures given jail terms of up to 18 months. Guardian.

A group of high-profile Hong Kong pro-democracy activists including the media mogul Jimmy Lai have been sentenced to jail terms of up to 18 months for organising or attending “unauthorised assemblies” during mass protests that rocked the city in 2019.

In the latest blow to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, Lai and the veteran activist Lee Cheuk Yan were each sentenced to 12 months in jail. Another activist, “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, received the longest sentence, of 18 months, while Martin Lee, an 82-year-old barrister widely known as the father of Hong Kong democracy, and Margaret Ng, a 73-year-old barrister and former legislator, were given 11 and 12 months respectively, both sentences suspended for two years.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 16, 2021 at 11:23 am

Anti-Blasphemy Protests in Pakistan Reach New Pitch: All French Citizens Advised to Leave Pakistan.

leave a comment »


A Reminder of what Blasphemy Laws Can Bring.

Pakistan Islamists clash over French cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammad

Reuters two days ago,

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) -Thousands of Pakistani Islamists clashed with police for a second day on Tuesday in protest against the arrest of their leader ahead of rallies denouncing French cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad, officials said.


At least one activist and one police officer died from wounds suffered overnight after Islamists blocked highways, rail tracks and main entry and exit routes, paralysing business in almost all major cities.

Police fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, government official Naveed Zaman told Reuters, adding that they had refused to leave until the release of their leader, Saad Rizvi, who was arrested on Monday.

Rizvi is the head of an extremist group, Tehrik-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP), that rose to prominence making the denunciation of blasphemy against Islam its rallying cry.

Pakistan to ban Islamist TLP party after deadly clashes Deutsche Welle.

The Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) party, which has widely denounced perceived acts of blasphemy against Islam, has organized three days of protests in which more than 100 police officers have been injured. The group opposes the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in France, and also the French response reaffirming the right to “blasphemy” after schoolteacher Samuel Paty was beheaded last October.

The TLP has demanded that the government expel the French ambassador and endorse a boycott of French products.

Anti-French sentiment has been simmering for months in Pakistan since the government of President Emmanuel Macron expressed support for Charlie Hebdo’s right to republish the cartoons, deemed blasphemous by many Muslims.

France 24. Today,

Clashes erupted on Tuesday between TLP supporters and police officers after the group’s leader, Saad Rizvi, was detained hours after encouraging thousands of his supporters to take to the streets in cities across Pakistan.

Two police officers died in the clashes, which saw water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets used to hold back crowds.

Rizvi has been charged with instigating murder.

TLP supporters brought the capital Islamabad to a standstill in November last year for three days with a series of anti-France rallies.

Announcing the decision to outlaw the TLP, Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid told reporters in Islamabad that the government did not want “to be known as an extremist nation at international level”.

But the TLP is backed by a majority Sunni sect of Islam with a massive following in Pakistan, that will make it difficult to enforce any ban.

Pakistani extremists groups also have a history of popping up with different names after being outlawed.

Blasphemy is a hugely sensitive issue in conservative Pakistan, where laws allow for the death penalty to be used on anyone deemed to have insulted Islam or Islamic figures.

Islamist racists in Street Protests.

Pakistan’s Imran Khan slams French President Macron’s views on Islam

The Pakistani prime minister has also sought a ban on “Islamophobic content” on Facebook. Imran Khan’s criticism of Emmanuel Macron comes at a time when he is under scrutiny for rising religious intolerance at home.

Pakistani Islamists have a long history of attacks on Freedom of Expression. Here demonstrators express support for the racist killers who attacked Charlie Hebdo and murdered our comrades: 2015.

Thousands Protest against Charlie Hebdo in Pakistan — Naharnet

Thousands marched in several Pakistani cities on Sunday against the publication of Prophet Mohammed cartoons by French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, two days after similar protests were held across southern Asia.

The largest rally on Sunday was held in the financial center of Karachi by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Pakistan’s main Islamic party, and according to police estimates it was attended by some 25,000 people.

This indicates a wider lesson:

Written by Andrew Coates

April 15, 2021 at 3:58 pm

French Communist Party to stand 2020 Presidential Candidate, Fabien Roussel.

leave a comment »


Fabien Roussel PCF Presidential Candidate.

Présidentielle: le PCF opte pour une candidature «quoi qu’il en coûte» Mediapart (adapted).

For the first in fifteen years the French Communist Party, the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) has determined that it will present a Presidential candidate. That is, if a earth-shaking realignment does not take place on the left agrees on a united candidate.

Last weekend, during a national conference organised partly by videoconference, two-thirds of the around a thousand party delegates voted to present the candidacy of Fabien Roussel for the next presidential election. A candidacy that the national secretary of the PCF and deputy of the North promises to carry “right to its conclusion” and which must be ratified by a final vote of the members, on May 9th.

In 2017 the PCF had backed Jean Luc-Mélenchon and his Rally/Movement La France insoumise (LFI) in their bid for the Presidency. That option is, for the Communists, no long viable. Not only was the Mélenchon operation,, in common knowledge a populist leader with a “controversial” personality, a far from unifying machine, but, “Communist and LFI candidates competed in the following legislative elections, fratricidal duels, in most constituencies, especially in the red suburbs of Seine-Saint-Denis and Val -de-Marne.”

The last time the PCF ran for the office of Head of State, Marie-George Buffet, in 2007, they had only got 1.9% of the votes. More recently, in the European elections of 2019, where they ended with a score of less than 3% – the threshold necessary for the reimbursement of the campaign. For the first time in the history of the European Parliament French Communist MEPs were not returned to Brussels.

Avec Fabien Roussel, les communistes retrouvent le goût du risque

Explaining their differences with Mélenchon,

 Some of the PCF cadres are still pushing for a new rapprochement with the rebels but they are in the minority in a family where every vote counts. The Communists have a strong argument: they no longer believe in the strength of the double presidential candidate (11% in 2012 and 19% in 2017). A leader said (of Mélenchon) curtly: “He can’t get the same score as the last time, it’s over, he’s burnt out.” Harsh words, shared on the left and among environmentalists. Yet les Insoumises still believe in their star.

At 11% Mélenchon is at present topping the poll for left and green candidates for the 2022 elections. The Green (EELV) Yannick Jadot is at 6% and the Socialist (PS) Anne Hidalgo is at 7%.

There are, as this Blog has reported, welcome moves for left unity in some areas, such as the Haut-de-France, for this year’s regional elections in June. How far a “dynamic” towards wider unity will spread is an open question.

Reporting on these developments the US left-populist magazine Jacobin says.

MP Fabien Roussel — national secretary of the Communist PCF — has declared his own presidential bid within his party. On Sunday a PCF national conference endorsed the idea of an independent presidential run, which would be the party’s first since 2007. The wider PCF membership, slated to vote on the project from May 7–9, will also likely have the option to vote for a competing resolution which calls on the party to build unity before the first round of the presidential election. For what it’s worth, PCF members have bucked party leadership before: In the fall of 2016, they voted to endorse Mélenchon’s campaign, rejecting the national conference’s vote for a PCF candidate.

In Northern France, A Divided Left Is Finally Coming Together Cole Stangler.

There are a number of problems with this. Conflicts between LFI and the PCF have grown since 2016. Mélenchon is an outstanding speaker in a political culture that prizes oratory. His left populism won him 7 million votes (19,58 %) in the 2017 Presidential election. But in practice the way he operates is as a one-man band with retainers and followers, unable to tolerate internal pluralism. LFI operates as an autocracy. There are no internal currents, and no mechanism for ‘supporters’ (there are no members properly speaking, except the top clique) to dissent. As Thomas Guénolé says there is “True democracy and self-management in words, but centralised and authoritarian management in reality.” (La Chute de la maison Mélenchon 2019).

A third time Mélenchon candidacy is unlikely to be backed by activists who have experience of this side of La France Insoumise. And that’s without wider political disagreements on the left.

China’s New Morning Star Friends and other Fellow Travellers.

with 9 comments

May be an image of 6 people and text that says "in MorningStar scribe SuUs Shop ContaUs Newsletters ignor the war aqainst China- fear of speaking against atrocity n propaganda upsetting and controversial nature only lead the manuracturing consent ror military aggression Xinjiang: staying afloat in a wave of disinformation Despite the deliberately intimidating nature of atrocity propaganda, we have to make sure we critically assess all politically motivated claims against rivals to US power. ΚΑΤΕ WOOLFORD looks at what is really going on in north-west China"

Morning Star platforms ‘Marxist-Leninist’ defence of Chinese Regime.

“Perhaps China’s current ability to tolerate paradoxes is the most notable legacy of Mao – that dedicated admirer of contradictions.” (P 465) “An adaptive ‘guerrilla-style’ mode of policymaking”, “”Maybe that is why China, for the time being, can be ruled by a party that continues to emphasise its Marxist-Leninist-Maoist heritage, whole proclaiming the necessity of market forces; that proclaims its possession of a ‘comprehensive plan’ at a time when China is more complicatedly diverse than at any point in is history. Maybe this explains also why I has a leader who has revived Maoist strategies fifty years after his family were torn apart by Mao’s policies.”(P 465)

Maoism: A Global History. Julia Lovell. 2019.

The one-time pro-Soviet Communist Party of Britain has taken to admiring the Chinese Communist Party.

Quotes from Mao festoon party members’ tweets, the CPB has taken to calling itself ‘Marxist-Leninist'(an old orthodox Official Communist tag, but one these days largely confined to the remaining fragments of Maoism) and they have produced this:

It seems as if the CPB, lacking the Beacon of the USSR, has, in desperation, found a new Socialist Fifth of the World.

Enter the latest sally.

Xinjiang: staying afloat in a wave of disinformation

Kate Woolford, a member of the Southampton Young Communist League and social media editor of Challenge (The YCL journal) writes.

“The latest red scare propaganda targets China and its autonomous region of Xinjiang. Many people will have seen statistics that refer to “one million Muslims” being held in concentration camps and various other human rights abuses — even “genocide.” It is crucial that the public are aware of where the main allegations come from and gain a picture of what is really going on in Xinjiang.”

Scales no doubt fall from our eyes when, after a farrago of ad hominem attacks on small number of reports abut the persecution of this minority we come to,

According to CGTN, “From 1990 to 2016, thousands of terrorist attacks have been launched in Xinjiang, killing large numbers of innocent people and hundreds of police officers.”

In response, China has launched campaigns to crack down on violent extremism, separatism and terrorism with a focus on re-education. The camps were built to de-radicalise Muslims who had been victims of Etim’s ideas — this is the point of the mass mobilisation in the region that has led to false allegations of “genocide,” “forced sterilisation” and “torture.”

In the spirit of fairness, after having rubbished any report of bad treatment of China’s Uighur minority China expert Kate Wolford cites the Chinese state’s own line:

“the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China puts the state’s case forward plainly.”

“Faced with this severe and complex problem [religious extremism], Xinjiang has upheld the principle of addressing both the symptoms and the root causes in the fight against terrorism and extremism, by striking hard at serious terrorist crimes, which are limited in number and by educating and rehabilitating people influenced by religious extremism and involved in minor violations of the law.

“In accordance with the law, it has established a group of vocational education centres to offer systemic education and training in response to a set of urgent needs: to curb frequent terrorist incidents, to eradicate the breeding ground for religious extremism, to help trainees acquire a better education and vocational skills, find employment and increase their incomes and most of all, to safeguard social stability and long-term peace in Xinjiang.”

At the camps residents are taught Mandarin — the lingua franca spoken by 73 percent of the Chinese population — taught technical skills in order to help them find work when they leave and offered mental guidance to overcome radicalised ways of thinking.

Of course, as is the case everywhere in the world, the severity of a sentence depends on the scale of the crime and the willingness of a person of acknowledge their guilt.

The people in the re-education centres are assessed on how much harm they have been caused, their willingness to receive training and whether they have already completed a prison sentence but might still require further rehabilitation.

The people in the centres are provided with free education and once the trainees reach their expected criteria, they are offered certificates of completion and can leave. Depending on the reason they are there, many are allowed to go home to visit their families once or twice a week.

It is absolutely not a campaign to stop them practising Islam — religious activities are protected by Article 36 of the constitution: “Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organisation or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion.

The lengthy piece ends with this:

“We cannot ignore the drive to war against China. Fear of speaking out against atrocity propaganda because of its upsetting and controversial nature will only lead to the manufacturing of consent for war. Western intervention led to two million people dying in Korea, 2.4 million people dying in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, three million people dying in Vietnam among millions more elsewhere.

Given the history, given the body count, socialists have a duty to vehemently oppose the idea that our countries should be able to interfere in others; denouncing the false narrative on Xinjiang is now part of that duty.”

This is how the Chinese state has reacted to reporting on the issue;

BBC journalist leaves China after Beijing criticises Uighurs coverage

John Sudworth’s relocation to Taiwan comes after ‘months of personal attacks’ over reporting of alleged abuses of minorities

Here is some more History.

. “From October 1050 to October 1951, the regime eliminated somewhere between 1,5 and 2 million people. (P 24) this time, death sentences were fewer, formal executions many suspects killed themselves. “The objective was to produce a docile population by transforming almost every act and every utterance into a potential crime.”(P 241)

The Cultural Revolution A People’s History, 1962—1976 Frank Dikötter 2016.

 Here are some more Fellow Travellers: John Ross, former leader of the International Marxist Group (IMG),

John Ross Retweeted

The main theme of the fellow Travellers of Chinese Communist Party is that its development of the productive forces in the country is a miracle. The lack of democracy, human rights, is less important that “this extraordinary successful political project”. The regime has “extraordinarily” increased the ‘real’ freedoms of the population. Happiness is the CCP.. (Martin Jacques).

Martin Jacques, editor of Marxism Today, was famously the betist of bêtes noires of the Communist Party of Britain. Speculation is growing that he will be invited back to their pages.

Left Internationalists do not agree:

Update: there is also this,


The Communist Party of Britain is urging labour movement bodies not to rush to judgment on the Uyghur question in China. 

Mr Griffiths said the reports of ‘genocide’ from a network of right-wing institutes and pressure groups funded by the US, British and Australian governments are recycled uncritically in the Western media. 

As one of many international delegations to visit Xinjiang, he had seen for himself that mosques are open, the Uyghur language can be seen and heard everywhere, and the majority of top state and political officials are Uyghurs, not Han Chinese. 

Written by Andrew Coates

April 14, 2021 at 11:27 am