Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Stop the War Wages Campaign to Back University College Union “vote for peace in Ukraine.”

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Former Internationalist and now pro-Brexit ultra Alex Callinicos “The vote reflected a struggle between the imperialist propaganda machine and grassroots radicalisation.”

The backlash against this “peace” motion, denying Ukraine’s right to arm itself against the Russian invasion continues.

The AWL notes, “The left, the UCU Ukraine motion, and antisemitism

“Amongst the most obnoxious elements of the Stop the War Coalition (STW) motion passed by the recent UCU congress is the dog-whistle antisemitism of the clause which states: “Volodymr Zelensky says he wants Ukraine to become a ‘big Israel’ – an armed, illiberal outpost of US imperialism.”

The definition of Israel as “an armed illiberal outpost of US imperialism” was not, of course, something which Zelenskyy himself actually said. It is something grafted onto the reference to Israel by the author(s) of the motion.

The clause amounts to an endorsement of Putin’s pretext for his invasion of Ukraine: In order to defend Russia’s legitimate security concerns in the face of expansionary US imperialism, he claimed, he was left with no alternative but to launch an invasion”

Socialist Worker continues to trumpet the Motion. UCU anti-war vote on Ukraine was no aberration

Alex Callinicos, formerly a leading Marxist academic and a leading figure in the SWP, writes,

There are two questions worth addressing about the decision of the UCU university and college workers’ union’s congress to pass an anti-war motion about Ukraine the weekend before last. The first is—why has there been such a hullaballoo?

The main answer to that is that supporters of Nato’s proxy war with Russia have largely had it their own way in the trade unions. Apart from a statement by the national executive of the FBU firefighters’ union condemning both the Russian invasion and Nato’s role in driving the Ukrainian response, union conferences have generally rejected explicitly anti-war motions.

And, shamefully, the TUC union federation passed a resolution calling for higher military spending last September. So the UCU vote stands out. This makes supporters of the motion natural targets for Nato supporters such as the discredited, ex-leftist journalist Paul Mason and a vast army of pro-Nato trolls. No one should imagine that this was a spontaneous reaction.

New Left Review’s excellent Sidecar blog (Note campist and sovereigntist outlet for likes of Tel’s Nipper) recently carried an enlightening piece by Joshua Rahtz on Nato’s Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence based at Riga in Latvia. Its journal, edited from King’s College London, carries articles about using Facebook and Twitter for “horizontal propaganda”. and “using pseudonyms to mislead social media users”.

But there’s an additional factor to do with the internal politics of the union. UCU activists have been growing increasingly impatient with their general secretary Jo Grady.

She has repeatedly sabotaged democratically-decided decisions to escalate the action in UCU’s disputes with the university bosses over pensions, pay, casualisation, and inequality. At the congress she was censured.

Grady’s reaction to this humiliating rebuke has been rapidly to attack the anti-war vote. No doubt she hopes in this way to get back onto the front foot. She has probably miscalculated, yet again.

The motion was supported by activists on different sides in the internal union debates on strategy and leadership. In part, this reflects the loyalty that built up to the Stop the War Coalition during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

More fundamentally, five years of class confrontation has had a radicalising effect. The militants who supported the motion have won respect for their determined efforts to build UCU and win the disputes. This means that they win a hearing when they talk about broader political issues.

So the UCU vote isn’t just some aberration or the product of a sinister conspiracy.

It’s a symptom of the growing social polarisation arising from the set of profound and interconnected crises gripping the world. The vote reflected a struggle between the imperialist propaganda machine and grassroots radicalisation. It will continue, and not just in universities.”

Most people would say the vote reflects the strength of sectarian groups in the UCU, not this grand historical picture outlined by former left wing internationalist Callinicos.

Most of the left Stand with Ukraine against the Invasion. Calls for peace without giving UKraine the means to defend itself are meaningless at best, and, at worst, objectively aiding the invaders. The fabrications of STW and the SWP will have little effect. But they are a noxious force in the present conditions.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 7, 2023 at 5:32 pm

Posted in Sectarianism, Trotskyism, Ukraine

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Tory backbenchers going far-right national populist.

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It’s not just the former leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party Frank Furedi who’s working with the Hungarian national populist Viktor Orbán.

Tory MPs accused of ‘cosying up’ to far-right Hungarian leader Orbán.


“Three Conservative MPs have been condemned after attending a conference hosted by the populist Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, along with representatives from a series of hard right and far-right European parties.

Veteran backbenchers Sir Edward Leigh, Sir Christopher Chope and Ian Liddell-Grainger were pictured in Budapest alongside Orbán and members of other populist or far-right parties including Belgium’s Vlaams Belang, Spain’s Vox and the Sweden Democrats.

The UK MPs were attending a gathering of the European Conservatives Group and Democratic Alliance, or EC/DA, a rightwing grouping in the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly, a separate body to the EU’s parliament, of which the UK is still a member.

Formed in 1970, with the Tories as founder members, this was initially a centre-right grouping, but has become increasingly populist. Other member parties include the Danish People’s party, the far-right Finns party, and Greek Solution, as well as Orbán’s Fidesz. Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party was a member, when Russia was part of the Council of Europe.

Sir Christopher Chope and Ian Liddell-Grainger were pictured in Budapest alongside Orbán and members of other populist or far-right parties including Belgium’s Vlaams Belang, Spain’s Vox and the Sweden Democrats.

Leigh, who represents Gainsborough in Lincolnshire and has been an MP for 40 years, on Saturday tweeted a photo of himself and his two colleagues with Orbán saying they had been “learning about his country’s effective ways of combating illegal migration”.”

The UK MPs were attending a gathering of the European Conservatives Group and Democratic Alliance, or EC/DA, a rightwing grouping in the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly, a separate body to the EU’s parliament, of which the UK is still a member.

Read this again:

Formed in 1970, with the Tories as founder members, this was initially a centre-right grouping, but has become increasingly populist. Other member parties include the Danish People’s party, the far-right Finns party, and Greek Solution, as well as Orbán’s Fidesz. Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party was a member, when Russia was part of the Council of Europe.

It’s interesting that the Tories have gone beyond the US sponsored National Conservatism to this direct alignment with the far right. The Vlaams Belang and Vox, just to cite two of the parties, are enemies of all progressive humanity.

Memorial March for Clément Méric, killed by the far-right in Paris 2013.

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A Paris, des milliers de manifestants défilent en mémoire de Clément Méric, dix ans après sa mort

Jeune étudiant et militant antifasciste, il a été tué par des skinheads d’ultradroite en 2013. (Le Monde).

Underneath the banner, activists from Action antifasciste Paris-banlieue (AFAPB), dressed entirely in black and with their faces masked, and others from Toulouse, Caen, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Germany, from Spain or Greece. “We do not forget that fascism kills, that the far right is not a fringe force, and that their ideas like their words are a danger to our society”, declared in the middle of the crowd Aude, Clément’s partner at the the time of his death.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 4, 2023 at 4:23 pm

Stop the War Welcomes UCU Vote to not Stand with Ukraine.

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Stop the War Condemns Standing with Ukraine.

The Revolutionary Socialist groupuscule, Counterfire (a split from the SWP), which has great influence in the Stop the War Coalition, along with Stalinist Andrew Murray, writes,

“The tone was soon then set as delegates voted through an historic Stop the War motion calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops, for the UK government to stop arming Ukraine, to support protest by Stop the War Coalition and CND, and for a peaceful resolution to the war. A wrecking amendment from Leeds University was roundly defeated. It was most welcome that this motion was put high up the agenda to enable it to be debated and voted on unlike last year. Indeed, UCU is the first national union to take this position.”

UCU Congress: the left ascendant.

This weekend calling for peace in Ukraine.

The resolution condemns the Russian invasion and points out that NATO’s escalation in response has turned Ukraine into a battleground between the great powers. It is the Ukrainian people who are the main victims.

The success of the resolution has sparked a debate within the union which we welcome as there is so little discussion allowed in this country on the war in Ukraine. We condemn attacks on the union by pro-war figures and the use of UCU social media accounts to criticise the vote. The democracy of the trade union movement should be defended by all.

Trade unions have a long history of opposing government involvement in foreign wars and campaigning against militarisation and increased arms spending. This tradition is especially important in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.
We urge trade unionists across the movement to put similar resolutions to their branches. We are happy to provide speakers for any meeting.
The resolution passed at the UCU is as follows:
Stop the War in Ukraine – Peace Now. City and Islington College Camden Road, University of Brighton, Grand Parade.
Congress notes:
1. One year after the brutal invasion, Ukraine has become a battleground for Russian and US imperialism.
2. It is estimated that 150,000 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians and 200,000 Russian soldiers have died since invasion.
3. Putin has threatened the use of nuclear weapons and unleashed war crimes.
4. The 2022 NATO summit committed to a US military base in Poland, a brigade in Romania, air missile systems in Italy and Germany and two additional F-35 squadrons in Britain.
5. Volodymyr Zelensky says he wants Ukraine to become a “big Israel”—an armed, illiberal outpost of US imperialism.
Congress believes:
a. Wars are fought by the poor and unemployed of one country killing and maiming the poor and unemployed of another.
b. We should say, “Russian troops out, no to NATO escalation and expansion.”
c. We should stand in solidarity with ordinary Ukrainians and demand an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops.
d. NATO is not a progressive force: escalation risks widening war in the region.
e. Only through a peaceful resolution can lives be saved.
i. UCU to call upon Russian to withdraw its troops and for government to stop arming Ukraine.
ii. UCU to call for a peaceful resolution to the war.
iii. Congress resolves to support protests called by Stop The War, CND and other anti-war organisations.

The key issue is that Stop the War opposes arming Ukraine, that is giving the land the means to resist Russia’s invasion. All the rest is rhetoric.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

French Far-Right, Marine Le Pen and her Rassemblement National Party, close Kremlin Ties exposed by Parliamentary Inquiry.

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Why is it that National Populists always seem to have close links with foreign powers?

“French far-right leader Marine Le Pen testified for nearly four hours Wednesday before the parliamentary inquiry committee on foreign interference, which is investigating potential links between her National Rally party and Russia. At the centre of discussions is a 9.4 million euro loan her party took out from a Czech-Russian bank, which is still being repaid.

French far-right leader Le Pen denounces ‘witch trial’ in foreign interference hearing.”

France 24.

RMC, “RMC INFO. The report of the parliamentary commission of inquiry into foreign interference has implicated the National Rally.  It accuses them of being a “transmission belt” of Russia’s discourse.

In particular, the elected representatives of the RN are accused of having relayed, in connection with the Russian annexation in Crimea, the idea of ​​a “democratic referendum” in 2014, and of a “Russian Crimea”. Hearing before the commission on May 24, Marine Le Pen affirmed that “freely, the inhabitants of Crimea expressed themselves by voting to be attached to Russia”.

According to several members of the commission of inquiry, the report highlights disturbing links, acquaintances between Marine Le Pen’s party and Russia, and qualifies the RN as a “vector” of pro-Russian views.

Russian loan to the RN: two deputies want to take legal action against Marine Le Pen for “false testimony”

Le Monde.

Stéphane Vojetta and Julien Bayou believe that the RN deputy lied before the parliamentary commission of inquiry into foreign interference, about her loan taken out with a Russian bank in 2017. The former presidential candidate has maintained her version and says he is “very serene”.

More reporting:

Written by Andrew Coates

June 2, 2023 at 4:21 pm

Stalinien Andrew Murray Welcomes University College Union, UCU Joining “worldwide peace front”.

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Andrew Murray at Vatnik fellow-travelling ‘Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine’ launch” in 2014.

Is the labour movement consensus shifting on Ukraine? Morning Star.

In a moment of political clarity, the UCU voted against deepening the conflict in Ukraine and committed itself to anti-war campaigning. This is a promising sign — now we need the other unions, writes ANDREW MURRAY

THE University and Colleges Union (UCU) vote to oppose the continuing war in Ukraine, including arms sales, and to support the campaigning of the Stop the War Coalition against British government policy over the war is a beacon to the rest of the movement.

More than a year into the most dangerous conflict in Europe for a generation or more, elements of the labour movement are finally starting to break with the collaboration with the ruling class and the Tory government which has hitherto hegemonised its response.

The notorious Stalinien wrote this in 2003,

“Next Tuesday is the 120th anniversary of the birth of Josef Stalin. His career is the subject of a vast and ever expanding literature. Read it all and, at the end, you are still left paying your money and taking your choice. A socialist system embracing a third of the world and the defeat of Nazi Germany on the one hand. On the other, all accompanied by harsh measures imposed by a one-party regime. Nevertheless, if you believe that the worst crimes visited on humanity this century, from colonialism to Hiroshima and from concentration camps to mass poverty and unemployment have been caused by imperialism, then [Stalin’s birthday] might at least be a moment to ponder why the authors of those crimes and their hack propagandists abominate the name of Stalin beyond all others. It was, after all, Stalin’s best-known critic, Nikita Khrushchev, who remarked in 1956 that ‘against imperialists, we are all Stalinists. “

It has always been somewhat mysterious seeing unions which have spent the last 12 months striking against the Tories to protect living standards and working conditions and marching to protect public services from Tory cuts, then line up behind the foreign policy of the self-same Conservative cabinet.

Apparently, it is “bad Boris Johnson” when he attacks working people, but “good Boris” when he flies to Kiev to snuff out any prospect of peace talks to end the war; “mad Liz Truss” when she wrecks the economy overnight but “smart Liz” when she advocates endless confrontation in preference to negotiations.

This is the myopia that the UCU has overcome. It reflects similar trends in some other union conferences so far this year, but in none of these has the peace argument, the case for breaking with the ruling class on matters of war and peace as well as on pay and conditions, secured a majority.

(No mention of the PCS union vote to stand in solidarity with Ukraine).

The resolution passed at the UCU conference was clear that the Russian invasion was wrong and that Putin’s troops should withdraw.

But it was equally clear that the war is part of a bigger clash involving the US, and that Nato “is not a progressive force” for peace. It also urged the British government to stop arming Ukraine.

Taking any other view is, in fact, betraying the interests of all those public-sector workers fighting to protect their living standards, given the huge sums being spent on flooding Ukraine with military hardware. The UCU urged a peaceful resolution of the conflict and support for “protests called by the Stop the War Coalition, CND and other anti-war organisations.”

The scion of Scotland’s Slains Poursuivant continues.

This outbreak of political clarity comes not a moment too soon. The British government is playing the most bellicose part in this conflict, as so often, with the full support of Keir Starmer’s “official opposition.”

Just two weeks ago the Wall Street Journal reported: “Britain and the US are great allies, but on Ukraine, there’s a disagreement brewing. The Brits would like the Americans to be more aggressive, and the US wants the UK to be more cautious.”

This rift is reflected in arms sales. While Britain’s military shipments cannot match those of the US for quantity, London is ahead of Washington in providing Ukraine with the most technologically advanced weaponry – and depleted uranium.

Furthermore: “UK special forces from the British Army’s SAS and SRR regiments and the Navy’s SBS units are operating very close to the front lines…They aren’t fighting, but their guiding influence on Ukrainian special-forces activity is evident in the sabotage operations Ukraine has conducted against Russian railway, airfield, fuel and other logistical nodes.”

Clearly, this is pushing Britain to the very edge of direct military engagement with Russia. What if any of those special forces are killed or captured in the course of the long-anticipated Ukrainian offensive?

The war seems militarily stalemated with neither side having gained any fresh ground this year. Both armies have poured tens of thousands of soldiers into a Verdun-style meat grinder around Bakhmut for no aim beyond trying to bleed each other dry.

Yet the risk of escalation seems to be rising. There are continuing not-very-subtle hints from Russia about nuclear weapons. And just this month a group of what seem to be Russian neonazis – the New York Times’ description – drove Western military vehicles into Russia in an attempt to seize territory.

So a rupture with ruling-class policy is overdue. The warmongers know they are losing political altitude. That is reflected in their hysterical response to the UCU conference decision.

Employing his famous wit Murray comments.

Paul Mason, the Dr Strangelove of contemporary social-imperialism, pompously tweeted: “I want to see every member of the Socialist Campaign Group dissociate themselves from the UCU position publicly.”

Amazingly, SCG members seem to have ignored this instruction from a man who, should his endless carpet-bagging – Sheffield, Leigh, Camberwell and Pembrokeshire so far – in search of a Labour seat ever be rewarded with success, will surely be on the Ministry of Defence front bench in a Labour administration.

Doubtless Mason’s boon companions in the Foreign Office disinformation apparatus will be equally disturbed. They will have to refashion the notorious map of the anti-war left smearing virtually every part of the Corbyn movement as apologists for Putin (or China) to include a big box marked “UCU.”

In Murray’s case his pro-China views are, as the say, no secret.

Of course, the UCU vote is only a start – the first breach in the wall of the parliamentary-media consensus that this war must be fought to the bitter end. But it will not be the last. Absent a dramatic shift in fortunes on the battlefield in the near future, the case for a negotiated settlement will only grow more compelling.

Putin will have to abandon his destructive imperialistic insistence that the Ukrainian state has no legitimacy except in union with Russia. Ukrainian nationalism will have to give up on dreams of seeing their flag flying above the Russian population of Crimea. A democratic solution will have to be found to the issue of minorities in Ukraine.

Above all, the US and its Nato instrument will have to give ground on their insistence on security arrangements that reflect only their desire for world domination. The global South has taken the opportunity of the war to blow a giant raspberry at that agenda.

While the Starmers and Masons will remain forever tied to their bloc with the bourgeois state and Tory foreign policy, most socialists will want to break with the class enemy and take their place within this worldwide peace front. (!!!!!) The UCU has shown the way.


Perhaps it would be too much to ask from the former key adviser to Jeremy Corbyn and Brexit ultra if he has officially rejoined the Communist Party of Britain.

His comrades in Stop the War:

Written by Andrew Coates

June 1, 2023 at 3:54 pm

Canary Founder Gets Vatnik Backing.

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Vatniks Attack Heroes of all Progressive Humanity.

The three Internationalists who fought for Ukraine, socialists and anarchists, were the bravest of the brave.

Their memory will remain in our hearts.

“Finbar Cafferkey, Dmytro Petrov, and Cooper Andrews were revolutionaries from Ireland, Russia, and the US. All three of them joined the military defence of Ukraine, against Russian aggression. All three of them fell together on 19 April during the Russian offensive against Bakhmut.”

Comrade Finbar had fought with the Kurdish forces of the YPG against the genociders of the Islamic State,

“Mr Cafferkey was known to his colleagues as Chia, which means Mountain in Kurdish. “He loved freedom and hated injustice and he would follow his comrades into the fire. He was a living example of the slogan ‘for our freedom and yours,’ but he was also, above all, our comrade and a true friend,” ACK Galicia said in a social media post.”

Finbar Cafferkey died in fighting to retain control of vital supply route to Bakhmut.

Words barely convey the love and respect due to them.

Three internationalists died defending Bakhmut, here’s why they joined the struggle against Russia’s invasion

This is what the tout for the Iranian Regime David Miller says,

Written by Andrew Coates

May 31, 2023 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Ukraine

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Communist Party of Britain call for “the peace and anti-war movement to combat what it called “the dangerous drive to the precipice of economic and military war against China and Russia, spearheaded by the US, Britain, NATO and the EU.”

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The Morning Star, one of two English language socialist dailies, carries this exclusive.

SOCIALISTS were urged to carry out vital work “outside the confines” of electoral and parliamentary politics and despite Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s “purge of the left” at the Communist Party executive committee meeting yesterday.

(No mention of the CPB’s electoral results…. but the Party reports, ” The Communist Party executive committee congratulated its own candidates, agents and campaigners for taking a socialist message to scores of thousands of homes. They won between one and seven per cent of the votes on a programme of more investment in council housing, education and public transport; reversal of privatisation in health and other local services; public ownership of the energy sector; a fundamental redistribution of wealth; and solidarity with striking workers.” )

“Communist Party industrial organiser Andy Bain warned: “Many Labour Party members and ex-members are demoralised by Keir Starmer’s feeble response to the cost-of-living crisis and to the giant rip-off that is privatisation of energy, water, communications and transport.”

He said the ongoing strike wave was evidence that mass struggle does not rely upon support from the Labour Party leadership — “which is just as well.”

He congratulated the members and leaders of unions across the public and private sectors – notably in the privatised railway and airport industries – who are continuing their industrial action for pay and job security. But he also warned of the threat to the universal postal service as privatised Royal Mail seeks to restore profits after years of mismanagement.”

“Britain’s Communists welcomed the agreement of campaigning organisations to attend a meeting at the Marx Memorial Library on July 1 to discuss the need for a mass socialist women’s movement across England, Scotland and Wales.”

That should be interesting given the CPB’s position of Trans rights…

The Communist Party executive committee also urged socialists and progressives to build the peace and anti-war movement to combat what it called “the dangerous drive to the precipice of economic and military war against China and Russia, spearheaded by the US, Britain, NATO and the EU.”

“Britain’s Communists accepted invitations to send delegations to China, South Africa and October’s international meeting of Communist and workers’ parties in Istanbul and condemned the violent occupation of Sudanese Communist Party headquarters in Khartoum by one of the militias engaged in that country’s vicious civil war.”

The CPB has promoted the Chinese totalitarian imperialists for some time now.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 30, 2023 at 4:01 pm

Spain: rise of the far right, collapse of Podemos in Spanish local elections and snap General Election.

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“The problem with the populist strategy, for the left, is that it’s neither left nor a winning strategy.” – Left-wing populism. A legacy of defeat: Interview with Éric Fassin. 2018.

Podemos: In the Name of the People (2016) by Íñigo Errejón and Chantal Mouffe, offered the Spanish party as an example of successful left populism. In the December 2015 Spanish General election, Podemos had received 21% of the vote and became the third largest party in the parliament, with 69 out of 350 seats. Owen Jones in 2016 called them a “model” ” Podemos has won support for radical ideas without creating scapegoats”. Chantal Mouffe talked of its ability to work with “libidinal investment at work in national – or regional – forms of identification.”(For a Left  Populism. Chantal Mouffe.  2018). In April 2019 the party lost 29 seats and fell to the 4th place below the centre right  Ciudadanos. In the November 2019 Spanish general election, the party lost 7 more seats, falling in 4th place.

Podemos suffered a split in 2019 with Errejón leaving and putting his energy into a deferent political vehicle,

On January 17, the fifth anniversary of the creation of Podemos, two of its leading founders publicly confirmed the fracture of the left-wing party.” Íñigo Errejón, a top official at the group that he helped transform from an anti-austerity movement into a national force with parliamentary and institutional presence, on Thursday announced his decision to run for the Madrid regional premiership at the May election in alliance with Más Madrid, the party created by the mayor of the Spanish capital, Manuela Carmena.” (El Pais) Podemos founder Pablo Iglesias left politics altogether in 2021 “shortly after Unidas Podemos’ poor performance at the ballots”.

Chantal Mouffe continues to promote ‘left populism’ and remains credited with having had some influence (the extent of which is contested) on La France insoumise and Jean-Luc Mélenchon. In her most recent book Mouffe claims that LFI, Podemos and the Labour Party did badly in elections when they “abandoned their previous left populist strategy” (Page 4, Towards a Green Democratic Revolution. 2022).

In these local and regional elections Podemos got  3,2 % of the vote The power of what Mouffe calls “affects”, emotional ties, (drawing on Frédéric Lordon concepts going back to some readings of Spinoza) may be seen in the rise in Spain of the far right Vox, but there is little sign of “the creation of a broad coalition of movements under the banner of a ‘Green Democratic Revolution'” in Spain or elsewhere in the post-pandemic era. Indeed it could be argued that the problem for the left posed by the rise of the far-right, which in Spain has campaigned against migration, and got 7,18 % is greater than can be met by calls to construct the ‘people’ a new “we” against the ‘oligarchy’. The last thing needed is another voice, that is Mouffe’s, railing against ‘rationalism’ when irrationalism, from conspiracy theories, confusionist red-brown groups, to the racist right, is on the rise.

The rght-wing Spectator carries this article.

What the rise of Vox means for Spain Jim Lawley.

These elections then suggest that Vox may be a highly influential (albeit junior) partner in the central government after the general election which, it has just been announced, will be held on 23 July. At present it is the third-strongest party in the national parliament with 52 of the 350 seats, while the Partido Popular is the second-strongest with 88 seats. These two right-wing parties already govern in coalition in the Castile-León region and if, as now seems likely, they can join forces in July to oust Spain’s fragile Socialist-led government, they doubtless will.   

Spain calls snap general election after right, far-right, inflict heavy local and regional defeat. The Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party suffered a dramatic electoral reverse in local and regional elections held on Sunday, triggering an equally dramatic response from Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. (El Pais)


Vox is no longer a hypothesis but a growing reality, according to Sunday’s results. The PP has also bounced back since 2019, when the party obtained its worst-ever results in both the general and regional elections. Now, the prospect of the PP governing in coalition with Vox is not something abstract, but almost a certainty.

Podemos also suffered substantial losses, including losing all 10 of its representatives in the Madrid regional parliament.

Spain’s PM calls snap election after opposition triumphs in local polls.

Eyes will now turn to Podemos and Sumar, the new leftwing platform led by the labour minister and deputy prime minister, Yolanda Díaz, to see whether the two groups join forces to fight the election.

Podemos suffered disastrous results on Sunday as its support collapsed in key regions. The party’s leader, Ione Belarra, went on the offensive on Monday, describing the PP and Vox as a “reactionary wave” that would seek to cut public services, bring in privatisation and reverse the progress the coalition government had made on tackling the climate emergency, improving housing and protecting social rights.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 29, 2023 at 5:33 pm

Socialist Worker Welcomes ‘ Victory’ for ‘anti-War’ Movement at UCU Conference.

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Socialist Appeal and SWP in Bloc Against the Ukrainian People, – Socialist Worker, “Conference also opposed Nato’s expansion and warmongering” (more on Jess Kent: JESS KENT, SHEFFIELD HESC DELEGATE (PERSONAL CAPACITY) AND UCU MARXIST)

Anger at union leaders at UCU congress. Socialist Worker.

As well as debating the present disputes, delegates also discussed other matters. Delegates passed a motion that, as well as opposing the Russian invasion, explicitly said no to sending arms to Ukraine and no to Nato expansion and escalation. 

Moving the motion, delegate Sean Vernell said, “Nato is not a defensive organisation. It is an offensive organisation. Pouring arms into Ukraine isn’t the answer.”

He added, “More arms to Ukraine isn’t about helping ordinary Ukrainians. It’ll only help the oligarchs and the bigots.” Other delegates said that supporting the anti-war movement in Russia was essential. 

Members of the UCU branch at the University of Leeds proposed an amendment to the motion. It took out part of the original motion that called for the government to stop arming Ukraine. 

It also proposed deleting the part of the motion which resolved to support protests organised by Stop the War, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and other anti-war organisations.  But the conference voted against these amendments that would have blunted the radicalism and anti-war stance of the original motion. 

The passing of this motion is a victory for the anti-war movement.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 28, 2023 at 4:38 pm

Internationalist Left MP Nadia Whittome backs Parliamentary recognition of the Holodomor in Ukraine as Genocide.

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The British Parliament has recognised the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as genocide of the Ukrainian people.

Andriy Yermak, the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, announced this on Telegram, Ukrinform reports.

“The Parliament of Great Britain adopted a resolution recognizing the Holodomor of 1932-1933 as genocide of the Ukrainian people,” he wrote.

EuroNews. European parliaments are recognising Ukraine’s Soviet-era Holodomor famine as genocide. Why now?

Slovenia, France, Belgium and the UK are just some European countries whose parliaments have declared the Holodomor – a devastating 20th-century famine in Ukraine – a genocide.

Jani Prednik, a member of the Social Democrat party of Slovenia and one of the initiators of the resolution in the country’s parliament, described the Holodomor as “one of the biggest humanitarian catastrophes and crimes against humanity of the 20th century.”

Pauline Latham, the Conservative MP who tabled the motion in the UK, said the Ukrainian famine in the early 1930s was caused by the forced confiscation of peasants’ crops by the Soviets.

She also drew parallels with current events, where Russia seizes Ukrainian grain on occupied Ukrainian soil.

“That’s why we have to assure the Ukrainian authorities and international order that the United Kingdom – at least the UK Parliament – will not turn a blind eye to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Latham said.

While no objective analyst would dispute the atrocities of the Holodomor, the way a historian perceives it is different from how a legal scholar analyses it.

“The issue of whether the Holodomor was a genocide or not has divided historians and academics for a long period of time,” explained Vukušić.

“While there is wide agreement that the famine was deliberate, the discussion about how it took place, and whether it was a consequence of certain policies or an attempt to destroy the Ukrainian nation as such is still discussed,” she continued.

Due to the fact that the events occurred about a century ago, none of the perpetrators or survivors of the events will ever see the inside of the courtroom.

In addition, the legal category of genocide did not exist at the time the events occurred.

“In law, generally speaking, there is an agreed principle that laws that were not on the books or did not exist at the time a crime was carried out can not be prosecuted,” said Vukušić.

The Holodomor, the famine in Ukraine, is covered in depth here.

The film Mr Jones, which came out in 2019, is one account which sheds light on the tragedy/ Gareth Jones (James Norton), former adviser to prime minister Lloyd George, hustles a trip to Moscow with the intention of interviewing Stalin, but instead stumbles on the story of a man-made famine in Ukraine. It contains harrowing scenes. “On the train journey south, Jones takes advantage of a brief stop to leave his train and sneak onto another train, which is taking starving peasant workers to Hughesovka – now renamed Stalino. At Stalino, he finds that all of the grain shipments are being immediately sent to Moscow, but he is labelled a foreign spy and forced to flee into the woods. After escaping he witnesses abandoned villages, with peasants dying in their own homes.”

Tankie response to Nadia’s statement:

Written by Andrew Coates

May 27, 2023 at 4:38 pm

Nina Power, from Red-Brown Front (Compact) to National Conservatism.

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Nina Power: “Listen to the People” (via Andy W).

A few years ago in the US the magazine Compact was launched, “shaped by our desire for a strong social-democratic state that defends community—local and national, familial and religious—against a libertine left and a libertarian right” The rhetoric about social democracy apart it has had some parallels with the red-brown French journal, Front Populaire, founded by one-time anarchist Michel Onfray. “L’actualité vue par les souverainistes” against “L’état maastrichtien, (that is, the European Union) les libéraux”. Both are anchored in a hatred of ‘elites’, a self-identified defence of the people, with echoes of writers such as the late Christopher Lash – in his later works (Lash is often cited in France in this vein), notably The Revolt of the Elites: And the Betrayal of Democracy, 1994. Sovereigntism, that is, a strong national state, is about all Compact’s social democracy boiled down to. They publish articles like this: Biden’s Anti-Worker Border Policy Satya Ungar-Sargon.No it’s not a pro migrant piece.

In France the red-browner Christophe Guilluy wrote this It was first published in France in 2016 (as Le crépuscule de la France d’en haut, Editions Flammarion), attracting extraordinary media attention there. Restating his thesis about the emergence of ‘peripheral France’ beyond the big cities, which contains 60 per cent of the national population (set out earlier in his La France périphérique: Comment on a sacrifié les classes populaires, Editions Flammarion, 2014), in Twilight of the Elites, Guilluy predicts a political backlash against rising inequality in the form of a ‘modern slave rebellion’. When the gilets jaunes took to the streets in 2018, initially to protest again fuel tax rises, Guilluy assumed the mantle of prophet and oracle of peripheral France. “Twilight of the Elites: Prosperity, The Periphery and the Future of France by Christophe Guilluy John Tomaney” Guilluy was relentless in his attacks on globalised liberal elites, which he claimed had taken charge of the left. Anti-rootless cosmopolitan campaigner Paul Embery made much the same argument (without the French writer’s statistical citations) in Despised: Why the Modern Left Loathes the Working Class. 2021. Urban elites with liberal ideas had replaced working class rooted Labour politics.

This is Embrey’s main concern these days:

Compact magazine has these background. JOHN GANZ 2022.

““wo Religious Conservatives and a Marxist Walk Into a Journal,” announcing the new magazine Compacta joint project of rightists Sohrab Ahmari and Matthew Schmitz with “Marxist labor populist” Edwin Aponte. Ahmari is one of the more prominent names of the illiberal Catholic Right; Schmitz, an editor of First Things, a second-string character of the same political sympathies; Aponte was one of the founders The Bellows, an unsuccessful predecessor project with similar “post-left” politics. Some of the other names associated with the venture are well-known Right critics of liberal democracy: Adrian Vermuele, an Integralist Harvard Law professor and Carl Schmitt fan, and Patrick Deneen, author of Why Liberalism Failed”— but there are also prominent members of the contrarian, anti-anti-Trump Left: specialists of waspish and cranky philippic that borders on paranoid raving like Glenn Greenwald and Michael Tracey.”

From the antiliberal left, there’s founding editor Edwin Aponte, a self-described Marxist and founding editor of the left-wing website The Bellows. He is joined by various contributing editors, columnists, and authors with ties to the antiliberal left who also tend to dissent from core progressive pieties of the moment (including a focus on identity politics and intersectionality). Among them are British philosopher and feminist Nina Power, Swedish socialist Malcom Kyeyune, all-purpose philosophical troublemaker Slavoj Žižek, and antiestablishment journalist-gadflies Glenn Greenwald and Michael Tracey.”

Nina Power has got further right since those heady days.

Nina Power is Senior Editor at Compact and the author of What Do Men Want? Masculinity and Its Discontents.

Nina Power spoke on the topic: “After the Individual”

She’s has been gracefully offering us instruction (note the echoes of Guilluy and la France périphérique) ,

Written by Andrew Coates

May 26, 2023 at 5:25 pm

Left wing trade union, PCS, backs Ukraine.

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Britain’s Public Service Union Backs Ukraine.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 25, 2023 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Trade Unions, Ukraine

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Roger Waters, latest anti-Jewish outrage from red-brown confusionist.

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Waters is due to tour the UK. He needs booting out.

Like many I read, when young, and was deeply affected by, Anne Frank’s Diary.

A couple of years ago I saw this at the cinema, “Where Is Anne Frank is a 2021 animated magic realism film directed by Israeli director Ari Folman. The film follows Kitty, Anne Frank‘s imaginary friend to whom she addressed her diary, manifesting in contemporary Amsterdam. Seeking to learn what happened to her creator, Kitty attracts worldwide attention and interacts with undocumented immigrant.”

Anne Frank’s name is deeply written into our hearts. Sister took her two daughters to visit  Anne Frank Huis in Amsterdam.

Roger Waters ‘dresses as SS officer’ and projects Anne Frank’s name onto stage during gigs in Germany

Roger Waters was seen dressing in an outfit resembling that of a Nazi SS officer during recent live performances in Germany.

The former Pink Floyd musician, 79, also projected the name of Anne Frank on a giant screen during the shows, along with several other names of contemporary figures including George Floyd and Shireen Abu Akleh.

Frank was a Jewish teenager killed during the Holocaust, whose personal diary, written while living in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, went on to become one of the best-known accounts of the Holocaust.

Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minnesota in May 2020. His death prompted a wave of global anti-racism protests, and led to the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Look at the people who back Waters.

The confusionist support he has got reminds people that Waters is not just an ‘anti-Zionist’ ultra but an enemy of progressive humanity,

“A week before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Waters told an RT interviewer that rumours of Russia launching an attack was “bullshit” and anti-Russian propaganda.[149] After the invasion, Waters said that US President Joe Biden was “fuelling the fire in the Ukraine… that is a huge crime”, and questioned why the United States was not encouraging Ukraine “to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war”. Responding to accusations that he was placing the responsibility to negotiate on the country that was invaded, Waters stated that Russia was merely responding to provocations from NATO: “This war is basically about the action and reaction of NATO pushing right up to the Russian border – which they promised they wouldn’t do when Gorbachev negotiated the withdrawal of the U.S.S.R. from the whole of Eastern Europe.”[150][151] In another interview, Waters said the invasion of Ukraine was “probably the most provoked invasion ever” and that he refused to “see Russia from the current Russo-phobic perspective”.[152]

On 5 September 2022, the day after Olena Zelenska, the First Lady of Ukraine, appeared on the BBC, Waters published an open letter to her. He argued that the West should not provide Ukraine with weapons, and that Western governments were prolonging the war with their support. He urged her husband to end the war based on the Minsk agreements.[153] Waters’s concerts in Poland were cancelled following his BBC appearance.[154] In February 2023, at the Russian government’s request, Waters gave a speech to the United Nations Security Council. He condemned the invasion of Ukraine “in the strongest possible terms”, but said it was “not unprovoked” and that he also “condemned the provocateurs in the strongest possible terms”.[152][155] The speech drew criticism from American, Ukrainian and Albanian diplomats, but praise from Russia’s deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy.”

Written by Andrew Coates

May 25, 2023 at 3:53 pm

After local elections Tories isolated in Suffolk Direct Councils (but still have a grip on the County Council and a full slate of some of the worst MPs in the country).

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There’s been a string of defeats for the Tories in the local elections this year. One feature has been the rise of the Greens (who however did badly in former stronghold, Brighton).

This is Suffolk:


How should people on the left react?

A good place to start looking at the Green local elections in Suffolk results is here, Kevin Crane A Strange Birth of Green England? (Counterfire).

“Suffolk has had Green councillors for a while, but these results were a tidal wave for the party. They doubled their number of wards to seize total control of the Mid-Suffolk district and finished as the largest council groups in the Coastal and Babergh (southern Suffolk) districts. In this ultra-rural county – which has no actual cities – it was only in Ipswich and relatively urbanized West Suffolk that the party failed to break through. This places the Greens in control of most of the administrations in a corner of the country that has never not been run by the Tories. I grew up in the area, and quite frankly if I had been told even a couple of years ago that our local Knight-of-the-Shire Conservative establishment would one day be swept out in favour of a party routinely labelled ‘loony left’ or even ‘extremist’ in Tory newspapers, I’d simply never have believed it. “

Comment, I would have believed it. “The third-generation powerplant, Sizewell C, caused yet another wave of local backlash when plans toward commissioning it moved forward around 2020. This prompted a spasm of oppositional activism, and some of the people and energy of this moved into the Green Party as an organising vehicle. A number of Green councillors were elected in various wards around the county. It should be pointed out that there is also a current of pro-nuclear political opinion around Sizewell. This is, however, very much centred around the unions, notably Unite, which don’t have any traction to speak of in sleepy villages, even if they may do in the towns of Ipswich and Felixstowe. ”

This is partly the case, as Counterfire, who has a prominent UNITE activist and lay official in East Anglia, knows only too well. Though I would add that UNITE’s official views are not widely shared, outside those involved in working at or around Sizewell. The environmental destruction already being caused by the construction of Sizewell C and the dodgy dealings, the usual Tory financial trickery and the role of EDF, to start with. to get it off the ground. As somebody who has known this area (Minsmere and the Heath by Leiston) since teenage years I share this opposition.

In Ipswich the Green candidate for the General Election in 2017 had been a (very recent), former member of the Communist Party of Britain who had written for the Morning Star. I do not think it unfair to say that had a campist background. Nobody made an issue of this. Here is her pitch, “I am a Green Socialist Feminist & Trade Unionist – trained in Equalities, Workplace Representation, Women & Organisation.”

Vote Charlotte for a Greener, Fairer Ipswich

Labour, Conservatives & the Lib Dems have all been in government – & they have all let us down in many ways. I & my Party understand why 30-40% of people in Ipswich won’t come out & vote for those parties. However, people have sacrificed their own lives to ensure we would all have our democratic right to vote – please don’t waste yours. Make your vote powerful, political & make it count.

She got 840 votes, 1,6%.

It seems most sensible to me to view the Green Party’s eastern rising as a successful adaptation that they have made to a collapse in the confidence that the rural middle classes have had in the Tory Party. They’ve done this by appealing to those middle classes with a combination of environmentalism and economic conservatism. In so far as any of the wider issues on which the Greens have historically professed radicalism, such as LGBT rights, it is very unlikely that these have been factors (except perhaps a certain exhaustion many middle-class people may feel with right-wing culture war). It may well be that many Greens might have interesting criticisms of capitalism, and indeed that we may remember them playing up to these critiques in protests past. We can be very sure, however, that no such thinking made it to the doorsteps of places with names like Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford, Grundisburgh and Rickinghall Inferior.

This seems to be the case and is an excellent starting point from which to look at these results. None of the districts in Suffolk run the Greens, or their Coalitions, including West Suffolk have much of a left. Even their leaflets in the centre of Ipswich, which has a left, focused on issues like litter picking and ‘Idling’  stationary cars with their engines running.

he Greens in the UK do not have the contestable history of the German Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, or the better (left aligned) EELV in France. Or the fringe views of the US Greens. But they are not left wing, even if some of their members may be. In Suffolk, where they have created a serious base this year in local government, they are not – a few individuals apart – left wing left alone socialist. It is unclear what a ‘progressive’ alliance with them, let alone the Lib Dems (with whom they now aligned in Suffolk), will mean although some agreements are obviously better than Tory rule. Let’s not forget, in the 90s Labour ran Suffolk County Council through an agreement with the Liberals followed in the new millenium with the Lb-Dems in coalition with the Tories in Ipswich Borough Council in a hard right regime.

As a party then are not left wing, though some of them may be. There can be issues, like Brexit, where internationalists would align with the Greens (specifically the Green Party in England and Wales, GPEW, their Scottish ally, apart from many issues, is a More Borders Party which backs independence). There is obviously a case for working agreements with them in local government, to be worked out case by case. But as for a wider ‘progressive alliance’ the case has not been made and the Brighton experience indicates the limits of their ‘progressive’ stand.

Why did the Green Party lose control in Brighton and Hove?

The party suffered its worst result since 2003 as Labour gained 18 council seats compared to the last election, securing their first majority council in the city for two decades.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 24, 2023 at 3:19 pm

Posted in Greens, Labour Movement

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Blue ‘Labour’ Paul Embery Attacks East Anglian Solidarity with Ukraine.

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Critic of ‘rootless cosmopolitans’ Embery attacks Norwich City Council.

Only a few years ago….”Paul Embery refused to apologise despite criticism over an ‘antisemitic’ comment about Brexit referring to ‘rootless cosmopolitans’ A trade union official has been instructed to cease all social media activity for the moment, after he referred to “rootless cosmopolitans” in a tweet.”

This comes after Embery faced criticism for tweeting on Sunday: “I fear this encapsulates the divide in our society – between a rootless, cosmopolitan, bohemian middle-class […] and a rooted, communitarian, patriotic working-class.”  Jewish News.

Political make-up of Norwich City Council

Labour Party2325
Green Party1311
Liberal Democrats33
Conservative Party00

Embery, who was promoted the Socialist Party backed Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) during the Brexit vote was a backer of the Spiked, supported the Full Brexit red-brown (Brexit Party, Communist Party of Britain, Blue Labour. fermer leftist sovereigntist front.

In the Twitter exchange that followed it looks as if Arron Bastani is s warming to the red-brown front:

Ipswich Town Hall, the Corn Hill.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 23, 2023 at 4:43 pm

Frank Furedi Defends National Conservative Conference.

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Above, a few years ago. Frankie Today, “Cultural Marxism is a less-than-helpful way to describe the woke values that are colonising Western institutions.”

There have been some good analyses of last week’s USA hard-right sponsored National Conservative Conference in London. One of the more amusing was in the Guardian, “Transgenderism”, “climate catastrophism”, “the liberal establishment”, “neo-Marxism”, “wokeism”, “the professoriat”, “globalists”, “big corporates”, “big tech”, “the reign of terror by cancel culture”, “collectivist” politicians and civil servants, “elites”, “quangos” and “progressivism – the dominant ideology of our times”: all these forces were said to be creating what was variously described as “an age of unreason”, a “new dark age” and even “the end of our way of life”. The bleaker the speaker, the louder the applause generally was.” (I went to the NatCon conference expecting sinister exuberance. But all I found was doom and gloom Andy Beckett)

The ideas of this bloc, and its own fringe seem largely to derive from the US MAGA Republican Party. But there are parallels with the European far right, expressed most clearly in the French speaking Douglas Murray’s books, which draw on the ideas of the Great Replacement, put forward by Renaud Camus. There was also this: Rightwing US senator to give virtual speech at conservative UK conference JD Vance, accused of pushing white-supremacist ‘replacement’ theory, to appear alongside senior Tories at NatCon. While many of the speakers have eccentric ideas, about ‘woke’ to name but one obsessive theme, the anti-immigration, anti-migrant issue forms the basis of European national populism.

Some have argued a link between national populism with the openly far right,

 Shawn W. Rosenberg

Guided by its roots in ideological fascism … and its affinity to the fascist governments of 1930s Germany and Italy, [right-wing populism] tends to delegate unusual power to its leadership, more specifically its key leader. This leader embodies the will of the people, renders it clear for everyone else and executes accordingly. Thus distinctions between the leadership, the people as a whole and individuals are blurred as their will is joined in a single purpose. (p.5) … In this political cultural conception, individuals have a secondary and somewhat derivative status. They are rendered meaningful and valued insofar as they are part of the collective, the people and the nation. Individuals are thus constituted as a mass who share a single common significant categorical quality – they are nationals, members of the nation. … In this conception, the individual and the nation are inextricably intertwined, the line between them blurred. As suggested by philosophers of fascism … the state is realized in the people and the people are realized in the state. It is a symbiotic relation. Individuals are realized in their manifestation of the national characteristics and by their participation in the national mission. In so doing, individuals are at once defined and valued, recognized and glorified. (p.12)

One need look no further than Éric Zemmour’s party La Reconquête to see evidence of this, or at the ruling party of Italy, Fratelli d’Italia, whose member Giorgia Meloni is Prime Minister of Italy to see some evidence of this.

Naturally many of the ideas circulated at this event are not all of extreme right, hostile to bodies like the European Union extends to groups that self-identify as left in the UK, promoted sovereigntism, and effectively backed the Bosses’ Brexit. an obsession with the New Elit marks the writings of Matthew Goodwin, who did not attend the conference.

One person who spoke at the Rally was the former leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party Frank Furedi. His gang produce Spiked and run various networks of national populists. They were involved in a bloc between Brexit Party supporters, former leftists, including a prominent New Review Contributor Wolfgang Streek, Tories, Blue Labour (such as anti-rootless cosmopolitan campaigner Paul Embery), Larry O’Nutter still apparently a member of the Greens, and Communist Party of Britain members, The Full Brexit. One of thus unsavoury bunch, David Goodhart was prominent at the London Nat Con meeting.

Frankie is beside himself today. Last week, I attended and spoke at the National Conservatism (NatCon) conference in London. Over three days of discussions, speaker after speaker raised concerns about the issues at stake in the culture war. What they had to say could hardly have been more at odds with the views and values of our political and cultural establishment.

The left is trivialising anti-Semitism – again

The attempt to present NatCon speakers as anti-Semites is despicable and dangerous.

Last week, I attended and spoke at the National Conservatism (NatCon) conference in London. Over three days of discussions, speaker after speaker raised concerns about the issues at stake in the culture war. What they had to say could hardly have been more at odds with the views and values of our political and cultural establishment.

It is a depressing sign of the times that the mainstream media have refused to engage with the substance of the issues raised at the National Conservatism conference, where speakers addressed everything from the culture war to family policy and the role of the state in the economy. Instead of adding to the debate with disagreement and criticism, the media have tried to delegitimise and discredit the speakers by falsely branding them as a threat to Jewish people.

Bizarrely, three of the speakers were accused of promoting anti-Semitism. Conservative MP Miriam Cates was essentially called an anti-Semite for her use of the term ‘Cultural Marxism’ in her speech. Author and commentator Douglas Murray was accused of minimising the Holocaust after he made a joke about the behaviour of the Germans in the First and Second World Wars. And historian David Starkey was viciously attacked for suggesting that supporters of Black Lives Matter are making a big issue out of slavery because they are jealous of the moral authority of the Holocaust.

He continues,

To be sure, Cultural Marxism is a less-than-helpful way to describe the woke values that are colonising Western institutions. The term is a rather forced attempt to connect this 21st-century cultural movement to the brutality of the Communist regimes of the 20th century. It is also true that some genuine racists have developed conspiracy theories connecting Jewish people to the rise of so-called Cultural Marxism. But that does not make the term inherently anti-Semitic. There was nothing in Cates’s speech to suggest she was making this association.

Read the full piece – none of it discusses the serious issue of links between national conservativism, national populists, and far right, Er like this:

Douglas Murray, the right-wing commentator and author whose book The Strange Death of Europe was branded “gentrified xenophobia” by The Guardian for wanting to “protect white Christian Europe from ‘outsiders’”, has now received widespread criticism for his latest comments on the Holocaust. (Indy 100)

Written by Andrew Coates

May 22, 2023 at 1:34 pm

New Scandal at Morning Star as former International Editor Pops up as Tout for Russian Imperialism in Ukraine.

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Look at the state of this Red-Brower.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 20, 2023 at 2:58 pm

Noam Chomsky involved in dealings with Jeffrey Epstein.

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Enemy of the Peoples.

Like many on the left this Blog has an intense dislike of Noam Chomsky, going back to his writings on Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge, and his defence of the négationnistes of the Veille Taupe. More recently the old fraud has been marked by his hardline ‘anti-Zionism’ (as they call it these days) and his refusal to stand with Ukrainian people.

Even old mucker Chris Knight, author of My Sex Life, (“all of us have had to suffer to become revolutionaries. In ,my case the suffering was primarily sexual”) has it in for him. Decoding Chomsky, “Since the book was published, Knight has published what he claims is evidence that Chomsky worked on a military sponsored “command and control” project for the MITRE Corporation in the early 1960s.”

Now it seems he has got embroiled in some financial dodgy dealings.

Epstein Transferred Thousands of Dollars to Noam Chomsky, Leon Botstein: Report

Wealthy sex offender Jeffrey Epstein moved hundreds of thousands of dollars for two academics in the years before his 2019 arrest, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Linguist Noam Chomsky told the Journal that he sought financial “advice” from Epstein, who in 2018 transferred $270,000 to him. Chomsky claimed the transaction—which was related to the disbursement of funds from his first marriage—“did not involve one penny from Epstein.” He added: “The simplest way seemed to be to transfer funds from one account in my name to another, by way of his office.” Last month, Chomsky claimed his ties to Epstein were “none of your business” and that “I knew him and we met occasionally.”

Written by Andrew Coates

May 18, 2023 at 4:45 pm

Frank Furedi, one time leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Speaks at National Conservative Conference.

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Speaking at ‘anti-Globalist’ event sponsored by the US hard right.

Evening Standard.

What is National Conservatism, and what do the people behind it want?

, what has been said at the conference has been controversial at times. Hungarian-Canadian sociologist Frank Furedi stoked LGBT groups by saying: “In Brussels, you no longer have LGBTQ+, they’re inventing a new letter to add to the [acronym] every single day.”

Journalist Douglas K Murray received a backlash online for saying: “I don’t see why no one should be allowed to love their country because the Germans mucked up twice in a century.”

Written by Andrew Coates

May 17, 2023 at 11:43 am

Socialist Fight Rejoins Liaison Committee for the Fourth International to Battle in support of Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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Ian Donovan and Gerry Downing made up to back Russian imperialism.

It is with immense pleasure and honour that the LCFI communicates to the vanguard of the working class and the revolutionary left that the Socialist Fight organization of Great Britain returns to the framework of our national sections, after some years of distance from some international political differences and Zionism. For an undefined time, there will be two chapters of the LCFI in Great Britain with independent websites and publications. In unity with other organisations, the SF now further strengthens the struggle of our international against NATO in the UK and the world, it also strengthens the defense of Russia (Note, English defence) and other oppressed countries against imperialism as we continue the struggle for a socialist world and for building a new communist international.

LCFI International Secretariat

The geezer who runs what’s left of the Suffolk People’s Assembly spends his time raising peacocks on his lawn in a remote rural village. Back in the day he was a keen supporter of the ‘Solidarity with Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine’ (2014) along with the usual Staliniens, Socialist Appeal, Counterfire, and his mates in Workers’ Power. Yet even he recoiled when Gerry Downing made a speech at the LRC AGM defending the genociders of the the Islamic State against ‘imperialism’. Since his recent missives are confined to a tiny audience have no idea of his reaction to this breaking news.


Donovan, where to begin, where to end? Well there were there the threats he issued in the comments on this very Blog…

Ian Donovan is a dangerous lunatic! 2020.

Condemn violent assault by pro-imperialist “socialist” at Bloody Sunday demonstration

He has vilely abused my Trotskyist daughter Ella as a ‘Zionist infiltrator’ into Socialist fight and a supporter of Hilary Clinton and right wing Zionist witch hunter Jess Philips because she grew up with Jewish children as neighbours and did not hate and despise them as Jews, apparently. He has vilely abused Dov Winter, a Jewish Trotskyist militant of some half a century standing as a supporter of the genocide of the native Americans and wrote that he had “pulled that out of your arse” stuff when he pointed out apologising for Gilad Atzmon’s support for the KKK man Davis Duke was unacceptable in a Trotskyist group. He had likewise roundly abused our supporters Alonso in France, also of Jewish heritage, and Wilhelm in Holland.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 16, 2023 at 4:49 pm

Home Secretary Suella Braverman imports US far right ideology to the UK.

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Speech echoes her masters on the US Trump right, and the French rants of Marine Le Pen,

Speaking at the little helpers of the American ‘national conservatism’ conference,

Suella Braverman rails against ‘experts and elites’ in partisan speech

Suella Braverman has railed against “experts and elites” and what she called the divisive politics of identity, in a highly partisan speech that is likely to be viewed as setting out ideas for a post-election Conservative leadership bid.

Addressing the National Conservatism conference in Westminster, the home secretary made comments trailed in advance about the need for the UK to cut back on legal migration and train domestic workers for jobs such as fruit picking.

The speech, which was interrupted by two Extinction Rebellion protesters who were marched from the hall, otherwise largely steered clear of specific policy areas.

stead, Braverman set out a highly personal blueprint for a political philosophy to take on the “radical left”, including the Labour party.

Braverman argued that conservatism “has no truck with political correctness”, in a section of the speech that squarely addressed culture war issues.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 15, 2023 at 5:23 pm

Official, Brexit halted success of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Rees-Mogg.

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Due to speak at US inspired National Conservative Conference, as is national comrade Frank Furedi.

Brexit stopped Ukraine invasion from succeeding, Jacob Rees-Mogg says

The former cabinet minister echoed previous comments made by former prime minister Boris Johnson, who said quitting the EU allowed Britain to “do things differently” while providing weapons to Kyiv.

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said Brexit allowed Britain to show “global leadership” over Ukraine, making it “impossible for Putin to succeed”.

The 53-year-old former Tory cabinet minister made the argument after being asked on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme about what had been the main benefits of leaving the EU.

Mr Rees-Mogg said: “The leadership shown by Boris Johnson, which he could only do because he was not bound by sincere cooperation, ensured that a coalition was set up which made it impossible for [Russian President Vladimir] Putin so succeed.

“We were able to show global leadership over Ukraine. Putin would probably have invaded Ukraine successfully if the UK had been bound in by the requirement of sincere cooperation and had had to follow a Franco-German line in dealing with Russia, which is what we did in 2014.”

He echoed comments made by the former prime minister, Mr Johnson, in Washington DC in February.

Most people here stand with Ukraine, including a majority of the left. The arrogance of his clams are outstanding.

For those unfamiliar with who Rees-Mogg is, and there are probably many since this Blog gets many many readers from outside the UK and Ireland, “Rees-Mogg was born in HammersmithLondon. He was educated at Westminster Under SchoolEton College and Trinity College, Oxford, where he read history and was president of Oxford University Conservative Association. “Rees-Mogg was appointed Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on 6 September 2022 by Prime Minister Liz Truss. Environmental groups expressed concern at his appointment due to his views on climate change and oversight over the UK’s net zero targets.[163][164] His previous office of Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency was abolished.”

He is a caricature of a Tory toff, with a nanny for his children.

2022.. Mirror,

Mr Rees-Mogg is demanding lower-paid civil servants return to their daily commute into central London – while he lives in a £5.6m five-storey townhouse a five-minute walk from Parliament.

He also has a nanny to help look after his six children.

Mr Rees-Mogg rose to the lofty heights of Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency in February 2022, having previously been the Leader of the House of Commons from 2019 to 2022, first gaining his seat in Parliament (East Somerset) in 2010. Here’s a bit more about him.

NEWSPOLITICSFOOTBALLCELEBSTVROYALSMJacob Rees-Mogg’s privileged life – wife, p

The Department for Education had 25% of staff in the office each day, the Department for Work and Pensions had 27%, and the Foreign Office had 31%, figures handed to the Daily Telegraph revealed.

Mr Rees-Mogg is the minister for government efficiency, after being famed for rudely reclining on the benches of parliament.

He told secretaries of state that a “clear message” must be sent about the “rapid return” to the office, complete with a league table showing which departments are getting people into work and which are not.

But what about his own wealth and record?

Mr Rees-Mogg is demanding lower-paid civil servants return to their daily commute into central London – while he lives in a £5.6m five-storey townhouse a five-minute walk from Parliament.

He also has a nanny to help look after his six children.

Mr Rees-Mogg rose to the lofty heights of Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency in February 2022, having previously been the Leader of the House of Commons from 2019 to 2022, first gaining his seat in Parliament (East Somerset) in 2010. Here’s a bit more about him

The second youngest of five siblings, Jacob Rees-Mogg comes from an influential family. His father, William Rees-Mogg, is a former editor of The Times.

According to Spear’s, Rees-Mogg was raised predominantly by the family nanny, Veronica Crook, who went on to look after Jacob’s own children.

The use of a nanny affords him the luxury of not having to work from home in order to look after his children – one that many civil servants would no doubt be very grateful of.

He went to Eton, perhaps the most prestigious and exclusive private boys’ school in the country and also attended by the likes of Boris Johnson.

From here he moved on to the next logical step in any government hopeful’s career: Oxford – the place of education for every prime minister since 1937 except for Gordon Brown.

Rees-Mogg became the president of the Oxford University Conservative Association before jumping into the Rothschild investment bank following his graduation.

After three years in Hong Kong he returned to London in 1996 and in 2007 founded the fund management firm Somerset Capital Management. He was elected to parliament three years later.

As of 2019 and according to Spear’s Wealth Management, Rees-Mogg’s net worth is thought to be “well over £100 million”.

This eye-watering sum is substantially bigger than the salary for a Minister of State at £107,108, with him thought to have earned large portions of his wealth through his career in finance.

Even at age 12, Rees-Mogg was active with his stocks and shares. In a recording of him from Radio 4’s Today programme in 1981, little Jacob can be heard saying: “The money. I like the money. And, also, it’s very pleasing if you get it right and they [stocks] go upAsked what he did with “the money”, he said: “Well I either reinvest it or buy antiques – antique silver.”

Written by Andrew Coates

May 14, 2023 at 4:56 pm

Kathleen Stock back in the news over her “trans-exclusionary views” as she faces protests at speaking at the Oxford Union.

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Kathleen Stock’s Material Girls caused a furore a couple of years ago. Having got round to reading it at the time it is hard to see why, but this was the controversy.

“She defends the traditional concepts of what a woman is and its necessary employment for how we live, including its importance for other concepts that are important, such as mother, daughter, lesbian etc. She notes the radical revision to our understanding of concepts if adult human males could be considered as mothers, sisters and daughters, and adult human females considered as fathers, brothers etc (although some advocate removing words such as mother).

But in order to be trans-inclusive this would have to be the case. And if this was the case, it would require new words, for example, for those who are not only mothers but also adult human females etc., although these new words would also necessarily be trans-exclusive. A new word for lesbian would be required not only to denote same-sex attraction (if ‘sex’ is understood as equated to gender and not biological sex) but sexual attraction to those with a female body.” (summary from Sráid Marx)

Since that time the British far right has imported from the US (hard not to notice that most extreme nationalists are in thrall to ideas and people from foreign countries, from America to Putin) protests against drag Queens.

This is what happened to Stock.

Pink News.

The Oxford Union, the university’s 200-year-old debating society, is set to host a talk by former Sussex University philosophy professor Kathleen Stock on 30 May, as part of its Trinity Term calendar of events. 

The academic has sparked controversy over her trans exclusionary views, although she states she is not transphobic, and quit her job at Sussex University after accusations of transphobia by students and activists. 

In a statement released on Facebook, the student society will provide “welfare resources” on the evening of the talk due to “the sensitive nature of the themes discussed”. 

“On the 30th of May, Professor Stock will be interviewed by the president. After this, our members will have the opportunity to question and challenge Professor Stock at our despatch boxes, where any member who asks a question will have an opportunity to ask a follow up question,” the statement reads. 

Colleges including St Edmund Hall, Mansfield, Christ Church, St Anne’s and St Hilda’s have all passed motions against the event, with Teddy Hall calling for the condemnation of “the union for platforming Kathleen Stock and call on her invite to be rescinded in support of the trans community”. 

Similarly, St Anne’s motion said the union “made the choice to amplify a voice that actively harms trans students, trans people and the trans community at large”.

In response, students at the university are also preparing to protest against Stock’s appearance and use the rally as a platform to launch a new trans-focused pride event, called Oxford Trans+ Pride.

The pride will seek to celebrate the trans community in the city, as well as taking a stance opposing Stock’s viewpoint. 

The president of the university’s LGBTQ+ society, Amiad Haran Diman, told PinkNews: “Our motivation is not to attack the union or Kathleen Stock, because we think they love the attention. 

“The reason we are doing this is for the trans community of Oxford – it’s for our trans siblings so that they know someone is standing up for them.”

Personally I find the use of the ‘sibling’ patronising, to say the least.

Is Stock on the far-right?


Is she a physical threat?

You can disagree with her but hell, this row is out of all proportion.

The whole affair looks manufactured. on all sides.

The Spikey ones have got their oar in: Jo Bartosch 

These student zealots are not as radical as they think. The trans-rights movement is far from anti-establishment. It has the backing of international funders and the full-throated support of pharmaceutical companies. And no wonder. In the US in 2021, cosmetic ‘sex-reassignment’ surgeries alone were valued at $1.9 billion, with a predicted compound annual growth rate of 11 per cent from 2022 to 2030.

It would be easy to dismiss this debacle as petty student infighting. But it’s far more important than that. The students now raging at the Oxford Union are threatening one of the few remaining beacons of intellectual freedom in the UK. In doing so, they threaten the liberty of us all.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 13, 2023 at 3:51 pm

Four Gatherings of the Far Right and a Conference this Weekend banned in Paris.

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Chart (2018) Complexity and intersection of the French Far-Right.

Four rallies and a far-right symposium planned for this weekend in Paris banned by the prefecture. Le Monde.

The Paris police chief, Laurent Nuñez, has issued orders prohibiting five gatherings of organisations classified on the far right and scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in the capital, following an instruction from the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin. 

Among the five prohibited gatherings are a symposium and a demonstration organised by Action Française. 

A sixth gathering, of “yellow vests”, was also banned by the prefect.

The demonstration on Saturday May 6 in the streets of Paris  by a May 9 Committee made up of ultra-right activists , mostly with their faces hidden and wearing Celtic crosses, sparked a lively controversy. 

Three days after the mobilisation, which Laurent Nuñez had declared that it took place each year without disturbing public order, the Minister of the Interior issued a circular, entitled “banning of demonstrations and gatherings of the ultra-right”. 

In this instruction dated Wednesday , Mr. Darmanin has asked the prefects  “to take the necessary measures without delay to prevent such gatherings and demonstrations from happening again” 

Written by Andrew Coates

May 12, 2023 at 5:12 pm

Yannick Morez, French Mayor, resigns after being targeted by far-right over asylum seeker centre.

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French mayor’s resignation amid far-right death threats sparks political outcry

France 24.

This is headlines news in France today (and a report on the channel France 24 itself today).

The resignation of a French mayor targeted by the far right over plans to move an asylum-seekers’ centre prompted a political outcry Thursday after he faced death threats and an arson attack on his home.

Yes, set fire to his home!

The Mayor is an independent (‘sans etiquette’) last reelected in 2020.

The resignation of Yannick Morez, mayor of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins in western France, comes as support for the far right swells and mainstream parties seek to channel anti-immigration sentiment in an increasingly tense political environment.

Morez said late Wednesday he was stepping down “for personal reasons” — while complaining of “a lack of support from the state”.

(This is the angle Le Monde takes up)

President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter described the attacks against him as “outrageous” and expressed his “solidarity” with Morez and his family.

Libération notes these words come after months of silence.

Saint-Brevin, a seaside town at the mouth of the Loire river near the western city of Nantes, has been racked for months by protests against plans to move existing asylum accommodation to a site close to a primary school.

The town has hosted migrants since the so-called Jungle camp near Calais on France’s north coast was dismantled in 2016.

Morez said in March that there had “never been the slightest problem” with asylum seekers in the years they had been hosted in his town.

But beyond repeated demonstrations organised by far-right party Reconquête (Reconquest) led by former presidential candidate Eric Zemmour against the move, Morez’s home was targeted in an arson attack on March 22 that is the subject of a criminal investigation.


MPs from the far-right National Rally (RN) of Marine Le Pen did not join other lawmakers (- MPs) in standing to pay their respects to Morez following his resignation on Wednesday.

The re-branded former National Front, whose policies still in large part centre on hostility to Islam and immigration, is riding high in the polls.

Recent surveys suggest its figurehead Le Pen would beat Macron if there were a re-run today of last year’s election run-off.

Meanwhile, Macron’s ministers are racing with the conservative Republicans party to bring new immigration bills before France’s National Assembly lower house, in which no party has a majority.

This tweet notes that Yannick Morez, is far from being alone in having suffered from extreme right harassment:

(Extract) “The resignation of Yannick Morez is the result of a sequence of initiatives launched in September by Eric Zemmour. The ex-extreme right presidential candidate then sought to relaunch his party. Emmanuel Macron had just announced his desire to better distribute the reception of asylum seekers across the territory: the boss of Reconquête drew up a “letter to the mayors of rural municipalities” to denounce “communitarianism, tensions and delinquency” that he linked to the arrival of foreigners. And he attacked a policy that also aims to remedy the depopulation of the countryside. The extreme right did not hesitate to use the racist theory of the “great replacement” , promoted by Zemmour during the presidential election.”

The article covers the anti-asylum seekers agitation on the ground as it has spread, which has parallels here in the UK, in depth.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 11, 2023 at 5:05 pm

TUSC celebrates 21,696 votes for ‘propaganda of the deed.”

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Hot off the Press. 256 Candidates Total 21,696 votes for Brexit Ultras of TUSC!

TUSC stand a modest but important step towards a mass workers’ electoral alternative.

The 21,696 votes won by its candidates in May’s local council elections is only a modest step forward for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) electoral alliance.  But in many ways this was the most significant campaign that TUSC has conducted since the relaunch of the coalition in September 2020.

Co-founded in 2010 by the late Bob Crow, the then general secretary of the RMT transport workers’ union, it reached its electoral zenith – to date – in 2015, when TUSC candidates in the general and local elections in May that year polled a combined total of 118,125 votes. 


Yet building after a defeat is not always the easiest task, with activists without a clear socialist perspective sometimes weighed down by negative aspects of the experience and unable to see a way forward. Support for the idea that trade unions or working-class community campaigners could take their own initiative at election time and stand themselves against the capitalist politicians is only now starting to revive, after almost a year of struggle against the cost-of-living crisis has shown again the latent power of the organised working class.

That’s why TUSC’s 2023 campaign was important, the propaganda of the deed. With no elections this year in Scotland or Wales, or the big cities of London, Birmingham and Bristol – for the first time since the relaunch – it was an achievement in itself to get 256 candidates across 65 councils onto the ballot paper. The reports included here give a glimpse of the impact of the different campaigns, which all left a mark. Candidates in nearly one sixth of the wards contested by TUSC reached the ‘five percent’ benchmark this year, compared to one tenth of the candidates in 2021,

Candidates in nearly one sixth of the wards contested by TUSC reached the ‘five percent’ benchmark this year, compared to one tenth of the candidates in 2021.

The Socialist Party will be arguing for TUSC to continue its pioneering work of providing a unifying umbrella for trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists of difft organisations or none, to fight together at the ballot box in the 2024 local elections and the general election to come.

But more powerful forces also need to step up to the plate.


This result confirms TUSC’s margianality.

The Brexit ultras of the Socialist Party are on a road to nowhere, unable even properly to align with other confetti of the left, like the Breakthrough Party and the nasty Nippers of the Northern Independence Party (NIP), notable was Britain’s most famous Vegan Chris Williamson, other fragments in the People’s Alliance of the Left, not to mention the Communist Party of Britain and the SWP. 21,696 votes for 256 candidates, rough average 85 votes per candidate.

Not that the CPB did well: (from Barry)

Eastern District Felixstowe Ward last Thursday. Hagar Babbington came bottom of the poll with 154 votes. Lib Dems won with highest vote being 2288.

One US speaker (‘Gotten’ ) was happy, howdy pardner!

Written by Andrew Coates

May 10, 2023 at 4:39 pm

Frank Furedi (former Revolutionary Communist Party), Viktor Orbán’s man in Brussels. 

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Viktor Orbán’s man in Brussels is a former Trotskyite who made his name backing leftist causes.


In the 1980s, Frank Furedi was one of the U.K.’s most hardcore communists. By 2016, he was a Brexit-supporting contrarian fulminating against so-called cancel culture. Today, he’s pushing the Hungarian leader’s right-wing populist agenda in the heart of European politics.

I’m trying to project an understanding of European culture alternative to the EU mainstream,” Furedi, a former sociology professor at the University of Kent, told POLITICO in MCC Brussels’ HQ, a serviced office space in the city center. He got the job after a chance encounter with Balázs Orbán — the Hungarian PM’s political director (the two are not related) and chair of MCC — in London’s Trafalgar Square. 

Furedi accepted. His goal was to counter what he saw as unfair badmouthing from Europe. “Hungary was being framed as this authoritarian fascistic place, which I felt was complete bullshit,” he said. Another reason for taking the job? Furedi likes a good brawl. “It’s a chance to fight back in the culture wars,” he said. 

Bella Caledonia’s Mike Small reports on another field for Frankie,

Britain and the new National Conservatism

The speaker list for the National Conservative conference in London is like a Who’s Who of British and American far-right. The keynote speakers are Suella Braverman, Michael Gove, Douglas Murray and Jacob Rees-Mogg. Others are alumni of the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Edmund Burke Institute. The list includes Melanie Phillips, Darren Grimes, Matthew Goodwin, Toby Young, Emma Webb and a sprinkling of oddball columnists and presenters from GB News, Unherd, the Telegraph, Spiked, the Spectator and across Britain’s burgeoning reactionary media landscape.

Great to see Frank Furedi at a conference which states: “We see national conservatism as the best path forward for a democratic world confronted by a rising China abroad and a powerful new Marxism at home.” More Killing Marxism than Living Marxism, but hey [and, surely not the first time Furedi and Richard Dearlove have shared a gig?]

This is some of the stuff he’s peddling these days on Spiked.

The making of an identity crisis

The rise of gender-confused children is nothing to celebrate.


7th May 2023

Written by Andrew Coates

May 9, 2023 at 6:26 pm

Luxury Communist Arron Bastani Goes off the Wall. The Country Where Communism Almost Worked. Aaron Meets Katja Hoyer 

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Bastani has rightly come in for some stick for this.

Katja Hoyer is a contributor to the right wing Spectator and the largely national populist Unherd ( AfD support surges in east Germany Soaring energy prices and rising unemployment is driving voters to the Right)


In 1990 the Berlin Wall came down and the experiment of communist East Germany drew to an end. Yet for a time it was a successful project, raising living standards against massive odds and providing stability for the first time in half a century. So is it time to re-assess Europe’s most wealthy, and advanced communist country, the DDR? Aaron Bastani speaks to author and historian Katja Hoyer.

Introducing this interview the Novara Media star begins by claiming that Anglophones will not know much about the GDR (East Germany). As if hits like Das Leben der Anderen (2006), “The plot is about the monitoring of East German residents by agents of the Stasi,), the Deutschland series (most recent Deutschland 89) had not existed. As if the best selling Stasiland by Anna Fundar has not been published in 2002. A point by Bastani is that he notes that the GDR had women soldiers in important roles when the Federal Republic’s Bundeswehr did not have a parallel. Hoyer and him brain melt on the feminist achievements, gender equality and gender emancipation under the regime. Yet, she notes, that the equality offered was not appealing to the upper class and middle class. Apparently the borders got closed for economic reasons, and people accepted this.

Novara Media.

Most leftists will know of this. It gets no mention in the interview. Cajo Brendel The Working Class Uprising in East-Germany
June 1953

Class struggle Against Bolshevism

It is about thirty years since, one summer morning in 1953, 80 to 100 workers on the building sites in the Stalin Allee[1] of E. Berlin laid down their trowels. They came down from the scaffolding and, joined by their workmates, moved towards the government buildings in the Leipziger Strasze: they went there in order to protest against the increase in work norms

They were unaware that by this action they were giving the signal for a workers insurrection which would spread like a brushfire over all of E. Germany. On trio 16th and 17th of June, 1953, the Bolshevik regime of the G.D.R.[2] was made to tremble. The wage slaves of state capitalism went into action even in the remotest Corners of the land. Wherever the spark of resistance touched, or one might say electrified them, there spontaneously they formed revolutionary councils. They were taking the first steps on a road which led not, as has been said, towards bourgeois democracy, but towards the far further goal of a working class democracy.

The insurrection was strictly proletarian in character, some-thing rarely seen before in other similar situations. It provided a living example to the world of what does and does not constitute a workers revolution. And with the same blow, the insurrection radically destroyed any myths on the subject[3] that had previously been tenable. What the insurrection in the East overthrew was the notion that no revolutionary practice is possible without a revolutionary theory[4].

What’s more, it showed that the existence of a “vanguard” is not a necessary condition for revolutionary action by the” working-class; that instead of revolutionary storm springing from a “revolutionary conscicusnaas’11 it is the revolutionary storm which gives birth to the “revolutionary Consciousness”. The events also showed how quickly small groups of workers, fighting over their work condition, can transform themselves into masses struggling for very much wider and more radical objectives. The Hungarian Revolution, 3 years later, was to demonstrate with what enormous rapidity the masses will change their demands in a similar revolutionary process, and how speedily their slogans will change from one moment to the next. We learn that it’s not what workers think about their own actions that is important in the class struggle, but what those actions mean, and how the momentum of events shapes the way workers behave.

“The East German uprising of 1953 (GermanVolksaufstand vom 17. Juni 1953 ) was an uprising that occurred in East Germany from 16 to 17 June 1953. It began with a strike action by construction workers in East Berlin on 16 June against work quotas during the Sovietization process in East Germany. Demonstrations in East Berlin turned into a widespread uprising against the Government of East Germany and the Socialist Unity Party the next day, involving over one million people in about 700 localities across the country.[3] Protests against declining living standards and unpopular Sovietization policies led to a wave of strikes and protests that were not easily brought under control and threatened to overthrow the East German government. The uprising in East Berlin was violently suppressed by tanks of the Soviet forces in Germany and the Kasernierte Volkspolizei, while demonstrations continued in over 500 towns and villages for several more days before dying out.”

Review of her book: Beyond the Wall by Katja Hoyer review – the human face of the socialist state

“Trapped behind barbed wire, but increasingly prosperous, East Germany began to resemble the gilded cage of the eastern bloc, at least in the eyes of its socialist neighbours. However, as Hoyer points out, at least the gilding was real: East Germany really did enjoy the highest standard of living of any socialist state. Unemployment barely existed. Housing was universally available and relatively cheap. Abundant, accessible childcare allowed women to enter the workforce at a higher rate than in any other country in the world. As Erika Krüger, one of the workers Hoyer interviewed, recalled, life in the 1970s and 80s was “quite happy”: “We worked, received our regular wages as well as bonuses for hard work. We got by and had nothing to worry about.”

Written by Andrew Coates

May 8, 2023 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Iran hangs two men for blasphemy

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Islamic ‘law’.

Iran hangs two men for blasphemy as executions rise amid unrest


Iran has hanged two men convicted of blasphemy, according to authorities, carrying out rare death sentences for the crime as the number of executions soars across the Islamic Republic after months of unrest.

The country remains one of the world’s top executioners, having put to death at least 203 prisoners so far this year, according to the Oslo-based group Iran Human Rights. But executions for blasphemy remain rare, as in previous cases the sentences have been reduced by authorities.

The pair executed, Yousef Mehrad and Sadrollah Fazeli Zare, died at Arak prison in central Iran. They had been arrested in May 2020, accused of being involved in a channel on the Telegram message app called Critique of Superstition and Religion, according to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. Both men spent months in solitary confinement and could not contact their families, the commission said.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 8, 2023 at 2:15 pm

Republic Response to Arrests of Protesters at Coronation.

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Arrests of peaceful protesters. Republic’s response.

Graeham Smith, CEO of Republic, has issued the following statement: 

“Yesterday, as we prepared for a peaceful and lawful protest, a number of Republic’s team were arrested and detained for the rest of the day.

These arrests are a direct attack on our democracy and the fundamental rights of every person in the country. Each and every police officer involved on the ground should hang their heads in shame. They showed no judgement, no common sense and no basic decency. This was a heavy handed action which had the appearance of a pre-determined arrest that would have occurred regardless of the evidence or our actions. 

The right to protest peacefully in the UK no longer exists. Instead we have a freedom to protest that is contingent on political decisions made by ministers and senior police officers.

The right to dissent and protest is one of the most profound and important rights in a democracy. Many people will disagree with what we were protesting about, but that right to protest must be protected. Anyone may find themselves wanting to protest against a government policy, a grave injustice or in solidarity with victims of a visiting world leader. Such protests must always be freely conducted as a matter of right, not on the basis of permission from the state.

I have campaigned on the issue of the monarchy for twenty years. Time and again I have been told the monarchy protects us from tyranny, that the monarch guards our democracy and freedoms, defending us against the excesses of government. These arrests put the lie to those claims and are another example of the weakness of our constitution and the failure of our constitutional monarchy.

The Crown is one part of our failing constitution that concentrates too much power in the hands of government at the expense of parliament and people. We need a fundamental shift in power. We need elected representatives who are able to resist such draconian laws as those introduced this week, and a constitution that empowers the people to defend their rights.

These arrests have also destroyed whatever trust might have existed between peaceful protesters and the Metropolitan police. What is the point in being open and candid with the police, working with their liaison officers and meeting senior commanders, if all their promises and undertakings turn out to be a lie?

It is notable that King Charles has said nothing about these arrests. Rather than defend our liberty and values he is content celebrating his anointment as monarch while citizens are locked up. What is the point of a head of state who will say nothing and do nothing to defend the people?

These arrests were not about protecting people from harm, but about protecting the King from embarrassment. It was the state wanting to stamp down dissent in order to present an image of a grateful and consenting public at the time of the coronation.

Rather than a puppet-king, doing the bidding of the government, we need an independent elected head of state, there to stand on the wall and guard our constitution and our rights from government power. 

Republic has a strong track record of peaceful and lawful campaigning and protests. We will not be deterred from further protest. We will protest on Trafalgar Square, we will protest on The Mall, outside Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace. We will protest outside Downing Street and parliament, in Windsor and around the UK. As much as possible we will  continue to protest wherever Charles goes, wherever William goes. We will continue to protest with one simple message: Charles is not our king, it is time to abolish the monarchy.”

Anti-coronation protest leader hits out at police over arrests

Graham Smith said Met officers should hang their heads in shame after 52 detained in central London

Written by Andrew Coates

May 7, 2023 at 4:48 pm

Anti-Monarchists Arrested.

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The anti-monarchy protest was organised near Trafalgar Square in central London, with crowds wearing yellow bursting into chants of “Not my King” and “free Graham Smith”.

Thousands of people gathered to watch the Coronation procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey ahead of the ceremony.

During the Coronation ceremony, which was being broadcast in Trafalgar Square over loud speakers, hundreds of protesters booed the declarations of “God Save the King”.

Around 300 people gathered for a protest organised by Republic Cymru in Cardiff City Centre.

In Scotland, supporters of Scottish independence chanted anti-monarchy slogans on a march in Glasgow city centre, while a separate rally was held by the group Our Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state.


The anti-monarchy protest was organised near Trafalgar Square in central London, with crowds wearing yellow bursting into chants of “Not my King” and “free Graham Smith”.

Thousands of people gathered to watch the Coronation procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey ahead of the ceremony.

During the Coronation ceremony, which was being broadcast in Trafalgar Square over loud speakers, hundreds of protesters booed the declarations of “God Save the King”.

Around 300 people gathered for a protest organised by Republic Cymru in Cardiff City Centre.

In Scotland, supporters of Scottish independence chanted anti-monarchy slogans on a march in Glasgow city centre, while a separate rally was held by the group Our Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state.

Local stuff:

Written by Andrew Coates

May 6, 2023 at 4:37 pm

As Labour does well in local elections Skwawkbox presents the Alternative View.

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Steve Walker Ace Reporter. Dave Spart, local operative.

More success.

An American writes (howdy pardner, how’s it ‘gotten’ in the Okay Coral?)

Written by Andrew Coates

May 5, 2023 at 5:40 pm

4 US Far-Right Proud Boys Convicted.

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Four members of the far-right Proud Boys, including former leader Enrique Tarrio, have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy for their role in the US Capitol riot.

The BBC reports.

The jury was unable to come to a decision on two charges against a fifth co-defendant.

The verdicts came after a trial lasting nearly four months.

The seditious conspiracy charge alone carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

All five defendants were convicted on a range of lesser charges stemming from their activities on 6 January, 2021.

The group’s leader at the time of the riot, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, was at the violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 and became the leader of the Proud Boys the following year.

He’s a Cuban-American from Miami, a former Florida director of Latinos for Trump – and off the back of his notoriety made a brief run for Congress in 2020.

Unlike his co-defendants, Tarrio was not in Washington DC during the riot. He faced charges after burning a Black Lives Matter banner that was stolen from a Washington church and was also charged with violating weapons laws. He was arrested two days before the riot, and ordered by a judge to leave the city. He ended up watching events from a hotel room in nearby Baltimore.

The other co-defendants were:

  • Ethan Nordean, 31, of Washington state, who goes by the alias “Rufio Panman”. Nordean was active in street protests and brawls with anti-fascist activists in the Pacific Northwest. In video from 6 January, he was seen leading members of the group around the Capitol
  • Joe Biggs, 38, of Florida. Biggs is a US Army veteran and former broadcaster for Alex Jones’s Infowars. He was pictured next to Nordean throughout the riot
  • Zachary Rehl, 37, a former US Marine and leader of the Philadelphia branch of the Proud Boys
  • Dominic Pezzola, 44, of Rochester in New York state. Pezzola, also a former US Marine, was one of the first people to reach one of the entrances to the Capitol, where he took a riot shield off a police officer annd smashed a window. The jury could not reach a decision on charges of seditious conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding against Pezzola.

Some comments.

It is hard to locate the Proud Boys in European terms and not just because we have no exact equivalent to Trump or the Capitol riot. The oddity of the radical right getting involved in more mainstream right wing politics, propelled by the Republican Party chief and former President is not in itself that great. National populists in the UK and anti-Woke ideology, promoted by the platform Spiked, have some echoes of this alliance (the ex-RCP passed to the national populist right). But few would suggest that even the most rabid members of, say the Brexit Party/Reform Party directly promote violence. The gun culture in the US marks an important difference with Europe, and in countries like the UK such weapons are rarely seen. It is also difficult to imagine people storming, say, Parliament. Wide sections of politics are represented in these bodies, the British left has had many meetings in committee rooms in Westminster.

One suggestion is that the Proud Boys resemble the Identitarian movement in France (Generation Identitaire, banned in 2021, though it is suggested that some supporters were active in support of the far-right Presidential candidate Éric Zemmour last year) , Although the Identitarians (who expanded beyond France, have roots in the intellectual tradition of the Nouvelle Droite which has had some influence on the US far there are no formal links to the Proud Boys. The UK Patriotic Alternative and its breakaway Homeland (New far right group formed after Patriotic Alternative splits) have some parallels, “Patriotic Alternative promotes a white nationalist ideology and aims to combat the “replacement and displacement” of white British people by migrants who “have no right to these lands”. “They have targeted the LGBT community as being a danger to young children.[6] Patriotic Alternative opposes Black Lives Matter and have displayed White Lives Matter banners around the UK, including on the top of Mam Tor, a hill in Derbyshire.[7] The group also includes a “cohort of anti-vaxxers”.

None of these fringe groups, or other European far right electorally influential whose influence extends from 89 Rassemblement National MPs in France, right to the present leader of Italy ,PM Giorgia Meloni and  has mounted anything resembling the 2021 Capitol riot. Violence from the extreme right in Europe tends to be out in the margins, although some street fighting groupuscules exist, for example, in France. where reports indicate that a terrorist threat has grown (En France, une menace terroriste d’extrême droite en nette progression April 2022)

French violent far right:

Background, Southern Poverty Law Center.

“Established in the midst of the 2016 presidential election by VICE Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, the Proud Boys are self-described “Western chauvinists” who adamantly deny any connection to the racist “alt-right.” They insist they are simply a fraternal group spreading an “anti-political correctness” and “anti-white guilt” agenda.

The Proud Boys’ actions belie their disavowals of bigotry: Rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings such as the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Former Proud Boys member Jason Kessler helped organize that event, which brought together a broad coalition of extremists including Neo-Nazis, antisemites and militias. Kessler was expelled from the group after the violence and near-universal condemnation of Charlottesville rallygoers.

Other hardcore members of the alt-right have argued that the “Western chauvinist” label is just a “PR cuck term” McInnes crafted to gain mainstream acceptance. “Let’s not bullshit,” Brian Brathovd, aka Caerulus Rex, told his co-hosts on “The Daily Shoah,” an antisemitic podcast popular with the alt-right. If the Proud Boys “were pressed on the issue, I guarantee you that like 90% of them would tell you something along the lines of ‘Hitler was right. Gas the Jews.’”

White nationalists and neo-Nazis themselves have cited McInnes as a gateway to the alt-right. On “The Southern AF Podcast,” one former Proud Boy who went on to embrace white nationalism said he was originally drawn to the group because of its “pro-white sentiment.” “All his jokes, all his content when I first started listening to him,” he said of McInnes, “was all freakin’ alt-right stuff and racial issues and funny, comedic ways to like try to point out that white civilization has been superior.” Many Proud Boys like him have moved on to more extreme groups and ideologies.

McInnes plays a duplicitous rhetorical game: claiming to reject white nationalism while espousing a laundered version of popular white nationalist tropes. He has ties to the racist right and has contributed to such hate sites as VDare.com and American Renaissance, which publish the work of white supremacists and so-called race realists. McInnes has himself said it is fair to call him Islamophobic. He announced the founding of the Proud Boys in the far-right Taki’s Magazine.

The Proud Boys stage frequent rallies around the country. Many have descended into violent street riots where members openly brawl with counterprotesters. Indeed, as early as summer 2018, a document circulated by Washington state law enforcement described the group’s involvement in a series of violent incidents in Oregon and Washington, as well as its involvement in Unite the Right. This report came to light a mere two months before 10 members were charged with assault after an attack on antifascist activists in New York City in October 2018.

Through 2019 and 2020, the Proud Boys were one of a handful of far-right groups instrumental in instigating violence and civil unrest in the Pacific Northwest. Likewise, a series of leaked chats showed Proud Boys and extremists associated with other far-right groups discussing how and when to use violence against leftist activists while planning rallies in the northeast in early-to-mid 2019.

The group became a household name after a mention at the Sept. 29, 2020, presidential debate.

In early February 2021, the Canadian government designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity, citing the role the group played in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 4, 2023 at 5:54 pm

New Blow to Coronation as Millions plan to ignore it.

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My true Liege.

King Charles has been dealt a huge blow with millions pledging to skip the Coronation. According to a YouGov survey, 21.8 million may be planning to avoid the festivities on the big day. The survey found 41 percent of the thousands of adults in Britain quizzed about their plans this weekend said they will not be celebrating the Coronation.” reports the far right Express, Charles dealt major blow as 22 million Britons pledge to skip Coronation – survey)

Meanwhile the red brown front of Chris Williamson now extends to the CPGB (ML) but no word on tomorrow’s local élections and TUSC.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 3, 2023 at 4:53 pm

May Day Protests in France.

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United Trade Union Front.

Anger and Hope:

France 24.

While marchers were largely peaceful, violence by radicals, an ever-present reality at French marches, marred the message, notably in Paris. A Paris police officer was seriously injured by a Molotov cocktail, among 108 officers injured around France, Darmanin said. It wasn’t known how many protesters were potentially injured. Clashes also marked protests in Lyon and Nantes.

“Violence is increasingly strong in a society that is radicalizing,” the interior minister said on BFM-TV news station, blaming the ultra-left. He said some 2,000 radicals were at the Paris march.

Tear gas hung over the end point of the Paris march, Place de la Nation, where a huge black cloud lofted high above the trees after radicals set two fuel cans afire outside a building renovation site, police said.

French union members were joined by groups fighting for economic justice, or just expressing anger at what is seen as Macron’s out-of-touch, pro-business leadership. Labor activists from abroad were present, among them Hyrwon Chong of the South Korean Metal Workers’ Union.

“Today we see rising inequality throughout the world, terrible inflation,” she said, adding that Macron’s government was trying “to tear down a pillar of the social system which is the pension system.”

Le Monde, today.

“A new level was crossed in the violence” during certain demonstrations of May 1 , estimated, Tuesday, May 2, the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, judging that all “public officials” should “condemn it with the most great firmness” . On the side-lines of the   1 demonstrations , 540 people were arrested in France, including 305 in Paris, and 406 police and gendarmes were injured, according to the Minister of the Interior.

Background of the black bloc as present in France:

A place to start for those interested is Lundi Matin.

One call that has been reinforced by Macron by-passing the National Assembly to impose his pension reform is for a new Republic with more parliamentary centred democracy and a entrenched social basis.


Save the date, next countrywide mobilisation:

Retraites : l’intersyndicale annonce une nouvelle date de mobilisation le 6 juin.

l’appel à multiplier les initiatives avec notamment une nouvelle journée d’action commune, de grèves et de manifestations le 6 juin.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 2, 2023 at 5:34 pm

Andrew Harris Cooper. Fighter for Ukrainian Freedom Falls.

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Glory to the Heroes.

This is what the Vatniks say:

Written by Andrew Coates

April 30, 2023 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Anti-Fascism, Ukraine

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USA Left (DSA) on European Left and Ukraine.

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Many on the European Left Stand with Ukraine.

What is the European Left Saying About the Ukraine War?


This is an interesting article (thanks Jim).

Meaningful differences begin to appear when you look at parties to the left of S&D, many but not all of whom are in the GUE/NGL political group. GUE/NGL includes a wide array of radical left parties with roots in various political currents, from the reformed Maoists of the Parti du Travail Belgique (Workers’ Party of Belgium) to the Trotskyist Anticapitalistas (Anticapitalists) in Spain. Some of them have come out strongly in favor of military aid to Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, others have been more ambivalent and internally divided, still others entirely opposed. 

Two extracts.

UK Labour Left

The mainstream of the UK Labour Party is strongly in favor of military aid to Ukraine and sanctions on Russia. This is to be expected. What is more interesting is the split that seems to have emerged on the Labour left over Ukraine policy. Former party leader Jeremy Corbyn is vocally opposed to military aid for Ukraine and sanctions on Russia, in keeping with his near-pacifist views on international affairs. His shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, himself a decades-long stalwart of the Labour left, supports military aid to Ukraine on the grounds that “a refusal to provide weapons the Ukrainians need means the chances of Russia’s invasion succeeding are significantly increased. A peace would be secured, but an unstable peace imposed by the Russian occupying force.” It should be noted, however, that party leader Keir Starmer threatened McDonnell and others who signed a Stop the War Coalition statement before the invasion with having the Labour whip withdrawn if they didn’t remove their names. They did, while Corbyn has outrageously been banned from standing as a Labour candidate at the next election.

Large sections of the left in the UK back Ukraine, from democratic socialist groups like Chartist, Labour leftists in Labour Hub, radical left groups like the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty and Anti-Capitalist Resistance (which has links to the Fourth International), to anarchists ,stand with Ukraine. The umbrella organisation for the internationalist left, Anther Europe is Possible (AEIP) does. The common people in Britain and our closest neighbour, Ireland, back Ukraine. We support the Ukraine Solidarity Campaign.

In France, the NUPES parties are largely on the same page. The PS and the Greens strongly support military aid to Ukraine and sanctions on Russia. FI also supports sanctions and military aid; Mélenchon’s senior adviser for international issues recently argued, for example, that “Ukraine must be supported, including militarily.” But its leaders put more stress on pushing for negotiations than the PS and Greens, and its parliamentary group has demanded regular consultation with President Emmanuel Macron on Ukraine policy. Finally, the Communists have been strongly critical of Russia’s invasion, and support sanctions as well as defensive weapons shipments to Ukraine. But its leader, Fabien Roussel, recently issued a statement calling for an end to shipments of what he considers to be offensive military equipment, as well as a stronger emphasis on negotiations and more parliamentary debate on Ukraine policy (under the French Constitution, the president has nearly total control over foreign affairs).

Many on the French left stand with Ukraine.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 29, 2023 at 7:13 pm

Finbar Cafferkey, fighter against the Islamic State, Falls in Battle Defending Ukraine.

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Brave Irishman Finbar Cafferkey killed in action after devoting life to fighting ISIS

A brave Irishman who devoted his life to fighting ISIS after joining Kurdish YPG rebels back in the mid 2010s has been killed in battle.

Finbar Cafferkey from Mayo was killed in action while in Ukraine fighting Russian forces the weekend after several years of serving in the group battling against the Islamic State.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 28, 2023 at 4:18 pm

Socialist Party calls for Left Unity behind Trade Union and Socialist Coalition with attack on the Labour Left, SWP, AWL, Socialist Appeal and the Greens.

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20th of April, Enfield Council By-election, TUSC, 1,1%

Brighton: the Argus, today.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has announced eight candidates for this year’s council elections, with its overarching policy being to oppose all cuts.

Bedford Today: Wednesday.

Bedford Elections: Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate pledges to fight increases in council charges and privatisation

The pro-Brexit ultras of the Socialist Party have issued this statement today.

We need a new party to fight for fully funded services and a real pay rise

Vote TUSC on 4 May

We need a new party! And most people agree.

61% of people think the UK “needs a completely new type of political party to compete with the Conservatives and Labour for power”, according to the Edelman trust barometer.

Tories have spent the last decade destroying our public services. Keir Starmer’s Labour promises a government led by him will be one of “fiscal restraint” – code for more cuts….

But in over 250 seats, including every ward in Sheffield, Coventry, Plymouth and Southampton, as well as mayoral candidates in Mansfield and Leicester, and many more places too, working-class fighters are standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

TUSC candidates, which include many Socialist Party members, pledge to “oppose all cuts”, and “support all workers’ struggles against government policies making ordinary people pay for the crisis, and for inflation-proof pay rises” (see TUSC core policy platform at tusc.org.uk).

We need a new type of party – a mass workers’ party, armed with a socialist programme. Standing socialist, anti-cuts fighters in the local elections is a step in the process of helping to bring one into existence.

Alas, the pro-Brexit ultras of the Socialist Party seem bereft of new allies, above since the RMT withdrew from their coalition,

This appeared on their site yesterday, and will inspire new friendships and alliances.

Corbyn, the left and the fight for a new mass workers’ party Hannah Sell.

“Seeing this, and the huge gulf between Labour under Corbyn and Starmer, there will also be trade unionists arguing to back candidates outside of Labour. Their numbers would be swelled dramatically if Corbyn in the meantime announces that he intends to contest the next general election as an independent or, preferably, under the banner of a new, democratic party initiated with at least a section of the trade union movement. However, Corbyn’s plans may not become clear until after the Islington North constituency Labour Party has gone through the selection process, and probably been suspended for trying to select him as their candidate.

What approach should Marxists take in this period of flux? Unfortunately, with the exception of the Socialist Party, most Marxist groupings have no way forward to offer. Truth is concrete. Any serious organisation which claims to be Marxist has to have an answer to what should be done next on all the central questions facing the working class, including the issue of political representation.”

There follows an extended, lengthy, if not more, attack on the SWP and the left, (extracts, the rant is long...)

The Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) are a prime example of how to evade this vital question, in the same way as they have during the whole Corbyn era. In response to the Labour national executive decision to ban Corbyn standing for Labour, they correctly point out that, “the routine call from the Labour left group Momentum – that the important thing to do is to stay and fight in Labour – convinces fewer and fewer activists. They can see, painfully clearly, that staying in means mounting no fight at all”. (Time to leave Labour after Corbyn’s ousting, Socialist Worker, 28 March 2023).

Of course, there are also still self-identifying Marxist groupings which continue to argue – against all evidence – that the best way forward is to hunker down in the Labour Party and wait. Having failed to transform Labour into a mass democratic workers’ party with Corbyn as leader, in our view it is totally unrealistic to put that forward as a strategy now when Starmer and his ilk have a stranglehold on the party. Nonetheless, the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL) for example, urge Corbyn not to stand outside of Labour because: “It would not create a viable working-class socialist political profile against Starmer’s ‘pro-business’ orientation, and it would give Starmer a chance to solidify his control by bundling out left-wingers who back Corbyn”. It will, they argue, just “multiply the many no-hope attempts at electoral splinters”. (Labour’s NEC votes on banning Corbyn, 27 March 2023)


Supporters of the AWL within the RMT vociferously argued against this position, calling for affiliation to Labour at all costs, as did other groups inside the party. Socialist Appeal was particularly hysterical, saying that we in the Socialist Party were ‘sectarian’ while simultaneously insulting RMT members’ intelligence by suggesting we had “helped to derail the RMT’s affiliation”. In the same article they attacked us for “lectures from the side-lines about how to reclaim Labour” when “members are already doing this, thank you very much” (Reject the Blind Alley of Sectarianism, 21 February 2019). Unfortunately, however, RMT members’ concerns about the failure to transform Labour under Corbyn’s leadership have been totally confirmed. The programme we fought for to transform Labour was never adopted by the leaders of the left who constantly sought compromise with the pro-capitalist right.


Socialist Appeal, the AWL and the rest bear a share of responsibility for this. They also attempted to limit the struggle to those who held a Labour Party card, rather than seeing it – as both the RMT and the 88,500 who signed up as ‘registered supporters’ to back Corbyn in 2015 did – as a battle to create an anti-austerity party, removing the Blairites and opening the doors to all those who wanted to fight for a left programme. We wholeheartedly threw ourselves into this struggle, including proposing our affiliation to Labour in order to aid the battle against Labour’s right, which was not taken up by any Labour left groupings. We participated in the Corbyn-supporting Momentum grouping until we were excluded by the leadership for not holding Labour Party membership cards, a decision that Socialist Appeal and the AWL did not oppose and, in some areas, were to the fore in implementing.

It is no surprise that Socialist Appeal tries to avoid calling for steps to a new party at all costs. This trend split from the Militant Tendency (now the Socialist Party) in 1991. We had led the magnificent mass movement against the poll tax, with a peak of eighteen million non-payers, which had defeated the tax and led to the resignation of Maggie Thatcher. To give a glimpse of the scale of the victory, since 2010 central government funding of local authorities has been cut by around £15 billion. In contrast, scrapping the poll tax and replacing it with council tax required the Tory government to put an extra £4.3 billion into local government in one fell swoop – in current prices equal to about half of the total amount cut over the last thirteen years.


The real character of the Green’s leadership was, however, shown clearly when the pro-capitalist wolves were circulating around Corbyn’s Labour leadership. On the grounds of ‘combating a crash-out Brexit’, in August 2019 the Green Party’s sole MP Caroline Lucas came out for a government of national unity, involving all parties including the Tories and the ‘Independents for Change’ group of Blairite MPs – the conscious, if premature, saboteurs of Corbyn. The only proviso set by Lucas was that the cabinet members be women! Unsurprisingly, her Labour choices – Yvette Cooper and Emily Thornberry – were not Corbynites, while Diane Abbott was, at first, mysteriously ‘forgotten’. In the 2019 general election, the Greens had an electoral arrangement with the Liberal Democrats – who were part of the vicious austerity coalition government from 2010-2015 – standing down for them in 40 seats; but stood against Jeremy Corbyn and other left Labour candidates.


There is more, a lot more, via link above.

Apart from the amusement value of this unbridled attack on the better known groups on the left – the SP rarely publicly acknowledges their existence – the feeble scores for TUSC demonstrate that they are a in weak position to give lessons to anybody.

There is no clear reference to the Communist Party of Britain who are standing candidates, nor to Chris Williamson, who knows what he is backing these days, nor to the Red-Brown Workers Party of Britain.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 26, 2023 at 5:38 pm

Chomsky on Labour’s 2017 Election Victory.

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Listen to this!

Corbyn’s efforts to develop a party that would serve the interests of working people was “smashed by the British establishment”, the linguist claimed. London Economic.

Noam Chomsky had a fiery clash with Times Radio presenter Matt Chorley over Jeremy Corbyn’s record as Labour leader.

The linguist said the (now independent) MP for Islington North won an enormous victory in 2017, but the British establishment came down on him with a ton of bricks, with false, deceitful propaganda about anti-Semitism.

Corbyn lost the 2017 election, but he managed to put a significant dent into the Conservative’s majority and increased Labour’s vote share more than any of the party’s leaders since 1945.

Analysis of marginal seats later revealed he was just 2,227 votes away from having the chance of becoming Prime Minister.

If Corbyn had won seven seats narrowly taken by the Conservatives, he would have had the opportunity to form a “progressive alliance” barring the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

This a generous take to say the least.

Anthony Masters.

The 2017 general election wasn’t that close – at least in terms of seats. The Conservatives won 317 and Labour 262.

Within a few days, people were claiming that Labour had been just 2,227 votes away from the chance of government. That claim has enjoyed a recent renaissance on social media. It is a claim with many problems, as the original analysis appears to miscalculate the figure.

The claim relies on the smallest number of votes changing in a specific way. It ignores that, based on the same logic, the Conservatives needed only 50 switched votes for a working majority. It also ignores the fact that constituencies are not independent events.

Far more votes would need to have shifted to plausibly change the outcome.

The 2,227 figure is the sum of the seven smallest majorities in Conservative seats where Labour finished second. Even that is debatable. The figure should be either switched votes (1,118 votes Labour needed to switch from the Conservatives) or added votes (2,234 votes that Labour needed to add to win).

The claim rests on a hypothetical outcome – Labour winning those seven constituencies by minimal votes.

The hypothetical House of Commons would have had the Conservatives on 310 seats and Labour on 270 seats. The DUP would have had 10 seats. Even if the Conservatives had support from the DUP, the party would be left without a working majority.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 25, 2023 at 7:07 pm

Remembering the Genocide of the Armenians.

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Armenian people, we shall never forget!

“Every year on April 24 we mark the 1915 Armenian genocide, in which up to 1.5 million Armenians perished at the hands of the Ottomans. But this year, we should also reflect on the present day, for Armenians are again facing a new set of atrocities as the world watches on with indifference.

Over the past year, ethnic Armenians have endured decapitations, sexual mutilation, cultural destruction, dehumanizing statements by authorities, and a constant threat of attacks—all coming from Azerbaijan, with direct military and economic support from Turkey, the successor nation of the Ottoman Empire.


People who have visited Armenia say that on the mountainous borders their troops stand watch, like the defenders of Gondor on the walls, against their genocidal enemies.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 24, 2023 at 4:24 pm

Piers Corbyn Goes Vatnik.

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Vatnik Piers Corbyn.

David Clews runs UNN. Associated with anti 5G, anti Vax stuff but last year he spoke at a patriotic alternative conference.

“David Clews, who emerged during the pandemic as one of the UK’s most rabid conspiracy theorists. Also attending was Kenneth McCourt, exposed for membership of extremist groups despite being a petty officer in the Royal Navy.”

A Telegram account in McCourt’s name described Ukip as “jewkip”..

Far-right hate group Patriotic Alternative host event at Scots hotel leaving guests disgusted

Written by Andrew Coates

April 23, 2023 at 4:57 pm

UK Extreme Right Fragments as Patriotic Alternative splits.

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Fascists Fissure.

The Patriotic Alternative has got some publicity over the recent years. From their role in backing anti-Lockdown protests, their alliance with renegade leftist Piers Corbyn, to their more recent role in LTN protests, and above all their anti refugee demonstrations , they have carried the torch for the extreme right. Supporters even came to Ipswich to protest against refuges in the Novotel hotel.

Hats off to Searchlight and Red Flare,

PA rebels form Homeland Party

The Patriotic Alternative split, revealed by Searchlight on Thursday, has hardened within the last 48 hours.

Last weekend seven regional organisers wrote to PA’s egotistical leader Mark Collett and his deputy Laura Tyrie (alias Laura Towler), supporting criticisms by their national admin officer Kenny Smith.

After failed attempts to mediate between the two factions with online conference calls on Monday and Tuesday, six of those seven have now resigned to join Smith in creating a new organisation, the Homeland Party. They aim to register with the Electoral Commission, something that Collett and Tyrie have persistently failed to achieve.

Smith claims the support of 32 PA officers (almost 60% of those who hold organising roles in the movement). He states that several regional PA bank accounts will be retained by the new Homeland Party rather than returned to PA, and that the same applies to a bank account which he ran for PA Services, as well as his own mail order business Claymore Books. Collett will remember that in 2008 his ex-leader Nick Griffin bankrupted himself in a failed legal action against Kenny Smith and others after a similar dispute over whether certain property belonged to the party or to Smith and his friends.

Collett’s many enemies inside and outside PA are sharpening their knives. Even Nick Griffin is having a good laugh at his former protege’s expense. Rival parties including the military-style National Support Detachment recently formed by Leeds PA rebel Alek Yerbury, and the British Democrats led by ex-BNP councillor James Lewthwaite, barrister Adrian Davies, and ex-MEP Andrew Brons, are hoping to pick up disillusioned PA members who reject both sides of the latest split.

The Homeland Party faction argue that the Collett-Tyrie leadership has not made sufficient progress towards turning PA into a serious political movement, rather than an online personality cult and business network, although Kenny Smith’s own fiancée Claire Ellis herself runs one of the best promoted of PA-linked businesses, Clean and Pure Soap, from their home on the Isle of Skye.

At first Smith seemed to have the backing of Steve Blake, Eastern England regional organiser, but in an online broadcast on Thursday night Blake endorsed Collett.

Searchlight has heard from some within the British nazi network who suspect that Blake might secretly still sympathise with his old friend Smith. At the end of 2007 Blake and Smith were two of the leaders of a BNP faction that attacked Collett as part of their split from Nick Griffin’s BNP. Some far-right veterans have not forgotten that this split led to leaking of the BNP membership list by one of Blake and Smith’s faction, and they fear similar “dirty tricks”.

Blake is one of the three directors of Patriotic Alternative Ltd, alongside Collett and Towler. One of the rebels’ main criticisms of PA is that opaque links between this limited company and the broader organisation have led to the Electoral Commission blocking PA’s registration as a party.

In the long tradition of nazi chicanery, these “comrades” don’t trust each other either to control finances, have access to databases of members’ addresses, or control appointments of branch and regional organisers.

The main rebels who have joined Smith and Ellis in forming the Homeland Party are:

Derbyshire-based Anthony Burrows, regarded as an expert on cybersecurity and Regional Organiser for East Midlands;

Connor Marlow, Regional Organiser for West Midlands;

Simon Crane, Regional Organiser for Scotland;

Jerome O’Reilly, a Cardiff-based graduate of Bath University and Regional Organiser for Wales;

Fraser Patterson, Regional Organiser for South West England;

Laurence Parsons, Regional Organiser for South East England.

So far, Collett seems to have kept the loyalty of his home region Yorkshire (where the RO is Tyrie’s husband Sam Melia), North East England, and London. Regardless of his own questionable loyalties, a large part of Blake’s Eastern England region supports the rebels, and North West England is also believed to be badly split.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 22, 2023 at 7:01 pm

Posted in Anti-Fascism, Fascism

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Chris Williamson scolds Scottish TUC for not taking Campist line on Ukraine.

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Vatniks and Campists Rage.

DELEGATES at the Scottish TUC in Dundee rejected a motion today calling for urgent peace talks in Ukraine.

The Morning Star, one of two English language dailies with self-identify as left wing.

“Prospects of a negotiated peace have been talked up internationally since French President Emmanuel Macron visited China last week, with reports on Tuesday in the Telegraph and Independent that Mr Macron is working on a “secret peace plan” with Beijing.

The STUC backed a general council statement that “agreed… that talks to resolve the conflict in Ukraine should be actively pursued, but [we] do not believe that effective peace negotiations can take place if support for Ukraine is withdrawn,” specifying that support should continue to include “military equipment.”

Moving the motion, which called on the STUC to back a “Russian troops out, no to Nato escalation” position and call for union affiliation to Stop the War and Scottish CND, Aberdeen trades council’s Mike Martin said “you don’t put out a fire in your neighbour’s house by pouring petrol on it.”

He stressed the way Nato expansion to Russia’s borders had helped provoke the war, and the growing clamour from the global South for a negotiated peace.

Opposing, Aslef’s Jim Baxter said it was possible to oppose Nato expansion without blaming it for Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine.

The adopted statement reiterated opposition to direct Nato engagement in the war — but Clydebank TUC’s Tommy Morrison said following leaked documents showing British special forces are already in Ukraine, this should not be described as a hypothetical scenario.

“Nato is involved. Nato boots are on the ground,” Mr Morrison stressed, pointing to the risk of the conflict escalating into a nuclear war.

Defending the general council statement, STUC general secretary Roz Foyer said support for Ukraine was analogous to support for victims of other illegal wars such as Iraq, and for the people of Palestine under Israeli occupation.

Stop the War coalition convener Lindsey German said the STUC’s adopted position was “disappointing and contradictory.

“It says there should be no direct Nato involvement but that is effectively what there is already.

“It makes no mention of the UK government scuppering peace talks or of the demands of ever higher military spending which comes at the expense of health and education funding. The victims of continued war will above all be the Ukrainian people.”


The STWC are still at it :red-brown Irish MEP today.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 22, 2023 at 4:33 pm

Mathew Goodwin, Confusionism and the ‘new elites’.

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Political Confusionism in the UK.

For some years some Bloggers (Bob, TC), and not just academics, have pointed to the forces converging in national populism, far right and red-brown groups that centre on sovereigntism, and, just to cite some further areas, are not just anti-EU but anti’ globalist’ and anti-‘cosmopolitan’ and against ‘Woke’. This is a pan-European phenomenon.

Goodwin’s book takes a sympathetic angle, on all this, “Goodwin’s central thesis is that the rise of the radical right, the Brexit referendum and Johnson’s general election victory of 2019 are expressions of a deeper realignment in UK politics that pits the marginalised white working class, socially conservative older voters and the ‘non-graduate majority’ against a new elite of university-educated progressives”. Even Brexit ultras and anti-internationalists, on the former New Left, like Oliver Eagleton, have had it for the man. Tel’s Nipper says he is “part of the right-populist movement he once sought to explain.”

Matthew Goodwin has it in particularly for for graduates of Oxbridge and Russell Group Universities (e.g. me, degree from Warwick).

or some years some Bloggers, and not just academics, have pointed to the forces converging in national populism, far right and red-brown groups that centre on sovereigntism, and, just to cite some further areas, are not just anti-EU but anti’ globalist’ and anti-‘cosmopolitan’ and against ‘Woke’. Goodwin’s book takes this view, “Goodwin’s central thesis is that the rise of the radical right, the Brexit referendum and Johnson’s general election victory of 2019 are expressions of a deeper realignment in UK politics that pits the marginalised white working class, socially conservative older voters and the ‘non-graduate majority’ against a new elite of university-educated progressives”. Even Brexit ultras and anti-internationalists, on the former New Left, like Oliver Eagleton, have had it for the man. Tel’s Nipper says he is “part of the right-populist movement he once sought to explain.”

Matthew Goodwin has it in particularly for for graduates of Oxbridge and Russell Group Universities (e.g. me, degree from Warwick).

As one such person I learnt that the word ‘elite’ is not one I’d touch. C. Wright Mills talked of the “power elite” in the 1950s, and that referred to power, not some vague cultural influence” the interwoven interests of the leaders of the militarycorporate, and political elements of society and suggests that the ordinary citizen in modern times is a relatively powerless subject of manipulation by those three entities”. In the late 60s and 70s political writers like Ralph Miliband and Nicos Poulantzas tried to explain poliitcal power in terms of social class, ownership of capital and real power.

I shall do a proper review of this book when I have a copy. Here are some notes.

Spiked. The New Elite is in complete denial

I also take aim at a small and increasingly influential group I call the New Elite. This group consists of graduates from elite Oxbridge or Russell Group universities. They live in the UK’s big cities and its university towns. They usually belong to the professional and managerial class. They share the same set of socially liberal, sometimes radically progressive, values. They have increasingly been drifting leftwards over the past 20 years, both politically and culturally. And today they wield considerable influence over public institutions and the national conversation.

I don’t think this is a controversial point to make. My argument builds upon the work of Christopher LaschDaniel BellDavid BrooksRichard FloridaMichael LindSir Roger Scruton and David Goodhart, among others – all of whom I reference in Values, Voice and Virtue. In their different ways, they have all alsoite and what makes it distinct from the old elite.

Goodwin does not refer to European literature on these themes. Perhaps he could gained something some reading books in our languages, yet this one has been translated

Twilight of the Elites by Christophe Guilluy review – France and a new class conflict

Are bourgeois progressives to blame for the rise of the gilets jaunes? A controversial report on France

It is not so much “big capital” that is to blame for the divide, Guilluy writes, as when “previous generations of the bourgeoisie lusted nakedly after power or money”, but the “laid-back, unostentatious dominance … without hatred or violence” of the “bobo-ised upper classes” in what he calls the “new citadels”. They have “supported the economic policies of the upper class for 30 years now” (policies which only really work for them) and developed “a single way of talking and thinking … that allows the dominant classes to substitute for the reality of a nation subject to severe stress and strain the fable of a kind and welcoming society”. Because hipsters are also hypocrites, Guilluy argues: they denounce globalisation, but never challenge it because it serves them so well; they preach diversity, but send their children to private schools; they love the “authenticity” of living in working-class areas, but contribute to their destruction through rising property prices.

The revolution is coming, he warns: “The existing order will finally break down not as the result of some decisive event, but as the result of a slow process of social and cultural disaffiliation of the working class.” It has already brought us Brexit in Britain and Trump in the US; “a new form of class conflict” is upon us, and a “modern slave rebellion” is on its way.

I have a number of Guilluy’s books though have no read him in English. This is a book which covers the crowded field that Goodwin enters.

Tendance Coatesy 2019:

La Grande Confusion is a landmark book. Amongst many things it helps to put the above British twists and turns into a wider European context.

What is then is the confusion, the confusionnisme, referred to? This is, “the current name of a relative disaggregation of political benchmarks previously stabilised around the left-right cleavage and the development of rhetorical bridges between extreme right, right, moderate left and radical left” (Page 31) That is there is, he asserts something more than links, or the old ‘Horseshoe’ theory of extremes meeting….

One of  Corcuff’s theses is that the idea of ‘national sovereignty’ is the axis around which a number of themes, from the ‘identarian’ assertion of French nationhood, a republican patriotism that has shifted towards nationalism. It is boosted by an ‘anti-political correctness’ that barely masks a defence of traditional prejudice. The cross-overs between French populists of the left and rights, from language – the common use of the word ‘caste’ to describe the ‘oligarchy’ opposed to the people – to theme amongst left-populists, such as Jean-Luc Mélenchon, to promote the national ‘people’ and working class over all others.


Written by Andrew Coates

April 21, 2023 at 5:51 pm

Stop the War to hold Rogues’ Gallery Meeting at NEU HQ.

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Tout for Chinese Capitalist Totalitarians Clare Daly Tops the Bill. Revolutionary socialist Lindsey German joins her.

Sevim Dağdelen.

“We must go all out with our help for #Ukraine .” What madness?! We must go all out for #peace instead of risking World War III by #escalating #weapons deliveries to the point of sending our own troops.

In February 2022, Dağdelen said Russia has no interest in an invasion of Ukraine and was concerned with its legitimate security interests. She also called for a neutral status for Ukraine. On 18 February 2022, she appeared at a demonstration in Berlin with the slogan “Security for Russia is security for our country,” where she accused the German media of spreading the “tall tales of the U.S. intelligence service”.[9] After the Russian invasion occurred, Dağdelen was among the co-signers of a statement attributing significant responsibility for the Russian invasion to the United States.[10] In April 2022, she praised German protesters who opposed an increase in German military spending, and she described it as “madness” to deliver military weapons to Ukraine.

Beardy bloke:

Is worth noting that Stop the War are reduced to these fringe figures.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 19, 2023 at 4:59 pm

SNP in “total meltdown” as Treasurer Arrested. Will more borders Pro-Independence Left follow?

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More Borders Left Face Crisis for Supporting the SNP.

SNP treasurer Colin Beattie arrested in party finances probe. Independant.

SNP leader Humza Yousaf facing calls to suspend those under investigation as senior figure taken into custody

SNP treasurer Colin Beattie has been arrested in connection with a Police Scotland investigation into the party’s finances, the latest development in saga engulfing the party in power in Scotland.

First minister Humza Yousaf is facing calls to suspend Nicola Sturgeon and those under investigation, after Mr Beattie was taken into custody on Tuesday morning for questioning by detectives.

It follows the arrest of chief executive Peter Murrell, Ms Sturgeon’s husband, in connection with the probe. He was later released without charge pending further inquiries.

As nationalist separatist parties in Europe are a byword for cultism and corruption it is interesting to reflet on the former leftists of New Left Review who have backed the more borders cause, (and have editorialised in favour of Brexit).

Perry Anderson on Tom Nairn.(TWO GREAT LOSSES).

Breaking with nlr in 1983, he had changed his mind about Marxism and about Scotland, but not about the nature of the Great British political and ideological system in which his country was held fast. His third book, the dazzling Enchanted Glass, demolished the cult of Ukanian monarchy as a schlock surrogate for the expression of national feeling of any normal modern kind. In Scotland, there was now less need to belabour the companion kitsch of tartanry, as a healthier mutation of the country’s sensibility took shape of which he would become its most eloquent and independent voice: a theorist and publicist, steadily, if never uncritically, supportive of the Scottish National Party which now dominates its political landscape and seeks reintegration with Europe.


That new commitment spelt no retrenchment of horizons, rather the reverse, in a series of strikingly original reflections on globalization. During the nineties, in the wake of the disintegration of the Soviet bloc, he came to the conclusion that nations were now—as they had seldom been so unambiguously and decisively in the past—the fundamental vectors of democratic emancipation. Globalization, properly understood, was the spread of this process around the world. The growth of a democratic nationalism, no longer ethnic but civic in outlook, was the deep underlying trend of world history since the Second World War, and offered the best hope for humanity.

In nlr, to which he had returned, Tom raked Blair’s obstruction of democratization at home and plunge into war in Iraq, and refined his defence of the nation with arguments for an anthropology of human diversity beyond the nation-state. His penultimate book, Pariah, was a no-holds-barred attack on the rule of New Labour and a clear-eyed forecast of its ultimate ejection into the political wilderness; his last political brochure, a withering depiction of Gordon Brown as a ‘bard of Britishness’, completed a cycle that had begun with his etching of Gaitskell fifty years earlier.


That turned out well….(and I do not appreciate the reference to Brown, somebody you can strong political differences well without descending to this abuse). mo save can he

Jim Sillars is now talking on Sky News, of the ‘cult of the personality’ in the SNP, and something “rotten” at its heart. Trying to save what he can he makes a distinction between the independence more borders movement and the party, the SNP.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 18, 2023 at 5:33 pm

Posted in Nationalism, New Left

Tagged with , , ,

Chris Williamson with new best friend Stephen Sizer, Disgraced Vicar, on Pro-Iranian Demo in London.

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Britain’s most famous Vegan chef Chris Williamson with new best friend..

Tribunal finds the Revd Dr Stephen Sizer guilty of conduct unbecoming and anti-Semitic activity.

Church Times.

A TRIBUNAL has ruled that the conduct of the Revd Dr Stephen Sizer was unbecoming to the office and work of a clerk in Holy Orders.

The Bishop’s Disciplinary Tribunal for the diocese of Winchester, which heard the case in May (News, 27 May), also concluded that he had “engaged in anti-Semitic activity” when, in January 2015, he posted an article that was “virulently anti-Semitic” on Facebook (News, 13 February 2015).

“There is regrettably a pattern of behaviour which falls short of the standard to which the Respondent should have aspired as an ordained minister,” the ruling concludes.

Dr Sizer was Vicar of Christ Church, Virginia Water, in Surrey, for 20 years, until his retirement in 2017. The complaint against him was brought by the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, and focused on Dr Sizer’s conduct between 2005 and 2018.

(a) participating in a conference run by the Islamic Human Rights Commission in 2005 entitled “Towards a New Liberation Theology”;
(b) meeting Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, a senior commander of Hezbollah forces in about summer 2006;
(c) speaking at a conference in Indonesia in May 2008 alongside Fred Tobin, a Holocaust-denier;
(d) in June 2008, promoting Michael Hoffman, a Holocaust-denier and anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist;
(e) citing Holocaust-deniers and far-Right figures, in particular Dale Crowley, in about January 2009;
(f) in September 2010, posting a link to an article “The Mother of All Coincidences”; (g) accompanying and defending an Islamic Movement leader, Raed Salah, in June 2011;
(h) promoting the idea that Israel was behind the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 by posting a link in January 2015 to the article “9-11/Israel did it” that blamed Israel;
(I) attending an event in October 2016 chaired by Baroness Tonge in breach of an agreement with the Bishop of Guildford which required him to refrain from writing or speaking on any theme that related, directly or indirectly, to the current situation in the Middle East or its historical backdrop;
(j) in an interview on 30 March 2018 on Australian radio, defending the link that he had posted to the article blaming Israel for the 11 September 2011 attacks;
(k) posting an item on his Facebook page in August 2018 in relation to Jeremy Corbyn’s being a victim of the hidden hands of Zionists.


The Tribunal rejected the allegations (a), (c), (d), (e), (g), (i) and (k). It was satisfied, however, that the other allegations were examples of conduct unbecoming and inappropriate and, in one instance, anti-Semitic.

The Tribunal concluded that Dr Sizer’s meeting with Sheikh Kaouk (b) was an example of failing to take into account his role as a public representative of the Church. “It showed a lack of sensitivity to the Jewish community. It showed an extraordinary lack of sensitivity to be photographed in clerical dress meeting Sheikh Kaouk,” the ruling said. It concluded that the matter was conduct unbecoming and inappropriate.

It also upheld the complaint based on allegation (f) that Dr Sizer had provided a link on his website in September 2010 to an article, “9/11 The Mother of All Coincidences”, by Eric Margolis. The Tribunal accepted that members of the Jewish community were offended by this.

“Once again it considers that the posting of the link to this article demonstrated the Respondent’s lack of awareness of his being a public representative of the Church and showed a lack of sensitivity to the Jewish community,” the ruling says. As an ordained minister, Dr Sizer “should not have been giving the oxygen of publicity to such an article”. The Tribunal concluded (one member dissenting) that his conduct was unbecoming and inappropriate.

The “most serious allegation” against Dr Sizer was (h), that he posted a link on Facebook in January 2015 to an article blaming Israel for 9/11. “The Tribunal finds the article in its tone and content truly shocking,” the ruling says.

The Tribunal rejected Dr Sizer’s assertion that the article raised serious issues that required public consideration. “The article goes far beyond the criticism of Israel and is virulently anti-Semitic in its content. It fulfils all the tropes of classic anti-Semitism.”

It concluded: “The Tribunal is satisfied that the Respondent reposted the article in the knowledge that it would provoke and offend the Jewish community. The Tribunal considers that . . . on this occasion the Respondent crossed the line, and in reposting the article, he was engaging in anti-Semitic activity.”

The Tribunal concluded that Dr Sizer’s conduct in this instance was both unbecoming on the grounds that he provoked and offended the Jewish community and that, by posting the link on Facebook to the article, he was engaged in anti-Semitic activity.

Allegation (j), the radio interview in which Dr Sizer was closely questioned about his views, was also found to be inappropriate conduct. “It is of great concern that the Respondent was not more contrite in his apology for posting the article [on Facebook], and was also disingenuous in his answers . . . Of particular concern is the Respondent’s assertion that ‘the particular article was a list of Israelis who had benefited from 9/11 and I simply put it out there and said this is serious; it’s got to be considered

Written by Andrew Coates

April 17, 2023 at 6:34 pm