Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Piers Corbyn charged with causing a nuisance at Guy’s Hospital vaccination clinic.

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When will they lock up this renegade turned fascist?

People say one should dismiss this renegade former International Marxist Group member, squatters’ leader and – later – Labour councillor.

Yet, if he has mental health issues, he seems free to be a public nuisance, despite numerous court cases

The type is using his Freedom Pass to roam London and cause misery.

“Piers Corbyn has been charged with causing a nuisance at a vaccination clinic at St Guy’s Hospital in central London.

ITV.

The 74-year-old activist was arrested by Metropolitan Police officers after an incident at a clinic on the site.

He was charged with another man, David Burridge, with causing a nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises without reasonable excuse, following Tuesday’s incident.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “David Burridge, 44, of Argyle Avenue, Hounslow, and Piers Corbyn, 74, of East Street, Southwark, have been charged with causing a nuisance or disturbance on NHS premises without reasonable excuse.

“They were charged on Wednesday and bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday 3 February.

“Police were called at 15.15hrs on Tuesday 18 January to Guy’s Hospital following reports of people staging a protest. Officers attended and arrested two men who were later charged as above.”

Written by Andrew Coates

January 22, 2022 at 4:52 pm

Posted in Animal Liberation, Fascism

Tagged with ,

Breaking: 68 Year old Brighton man arrested after abusive emails sent to Angela Rayner.

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Police investigating a string of threats and abuse sent to deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner have arrested a 68-year-old man on suspicion of malicious communications.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said that working alongside their colleagues in Sussex, they arrested the man in Brighton on Wednesday as part of Operation Octant.

Brighton man arrested after abusive emails sent to Angela Rayner

POLICE investigating a string of threats and abuse sent to deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner have arrested a 68-year-old man on suspicion of malicious communications.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said that working alongside their colleagues in Sussex, they arrested the man in Brighton on Wednesday as part of Operation Octant.

Officers said it was the fourth arrest made in connection with abusive messages sent to the Ashton-under-Lyne MP, with one man previously having been charged and handed a suspended prison sentence.

MP said the latest arrest was related to “abusive emails” sent to Ms Rayner on November 17. The man was later released on bail, with inquiries ongoing.

A spokesman for Ms Rayner said: “We are working with the police to ensure that the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to justice and Angela would like to thank the police for their work during these investigations.

“Abuse and threats of this nature don’t just have an impact on Angela but also on her family, her children and her staff, who are on the receiving end of these communications.”

The identity of the 68 year old Brighton man has not been released.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 21, 2022 at 7:59 pm

On the ‘People’s Alliance of the Left’….

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A Rotten Bloc.

At the end of the 19th century some people on the British left, and elsewhere in Europe, got swept up in the craze for occultism and spiritualism (Le xixe siècle à travers les âges, Philippe Muray, “It was in the 19th century that social-occultism was formed, this explosive and unheard-of mixture…. of socialism.”) In this land Theosophy was probably the best known strain of thought. Annie Besant (1847 – 1933) was the most significant of the socialist theosophists.

It is hard to summarise such a mixture of ideas. Besant, for example, was an anti-colonialist, a trade unionist and in many respects admirable. But it is this Blog’s conviction that such beliefs involved hearing voices and messages from beyond mundane existence. “The main purpose of establishing the society was to prepare humanity for the future reception of a “torch-bearer of Truth”, an emissary of a hidden spiritual force that, according to theosophists, guides the evolution of mankind.”

The People’s Alliance of the Left also seems to have been formed on the basis of messages that transcend ordinary perception.

Left Unity writes,

In the face of the movement of the Starmer Labour Party leadership to the right, and its continued exclusion of former Leader, Jeremy Corbyn, from the whip, it is increasingly necessary to give voice to a true eco-socialist alternative. Particularly so in the face of the attacks of an extremely right-wing authoritarian Tory government, which the Labour Party is doing little to oppose (so much so that it can welcome into membership a Tory MP who has voted for all those attacks).

Pause, Starmer called for Johnson to resign in one of the vigorous interventions of his leadership.

We welcome any initiative to bring together like-minded radical socialists and progressive social movements.

Pause: “Groups that have so far agreed it are Left Unity, Breakthrough Party, Northern Independence Party, and the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). ”

Left Unity were opposed to Brexit and took part in the campaign by Another Europe is Possible for a Second Referendum.

TUSC backed the Arron Banks funded ‘Trade Unionists Against the EU’.

TUSC is part of the miniature labour movement, including the National Shop Stewards Network, and (nominally) the RMT. It is run by the Socialist Party (fully speaking the Socialist Party in England and Wales, SPEW). Apart from being Brexit ‘ultras’ the SP has an odd bureaucratic version of Trotskysim (with few admirers in the wider Trotskyist movement). It has spent many decades in a futile attempt at ‘party building’. In 2019 it suffered a damaging split, which left it adrift from many of its international allies in the Committee for a Workers’ International.

TUSC electoral results including being beaten by the Monster Raving Looney Party in a local contest last year. Their votes rarely exceed a few dozen.

Left Unity continue:

As a significant contribution to building this left collaboration, Left Unity welcomes and will participate in the initiative by Thelma Walker (former Labour MP for Colne Valley) to create a Peoples Alliance of the Left (PAL).

“In November 2020 Walker resigned from the Labour Party. In May 2021, she stood as an independent candidate endorsed by the Northern Independence Party (NIP) in the 2021 Hartlepool by-election and lost her deposit.”

The statement says,

Separately from PAL, but not as a function of PAL, those parties that stand in elections (Breakthrough, NIP, TUSC, Left Unity) will seek to cooperate over standing in elections – i.e. aim to avoid standing against each other & offer mutual support to each other’s candidates where possible. Candidates will stand as candidates of the constituent party (not PAL itself). This electoral cooperation does not imply electoral support from any organisations involved in the wider PAL coordination discussions who are not electoral parties.

In other words SPEW will continue to build its own “new mass workers’ party”.

The nasty NIPs , like the SP are a “more borders” party. The SP backed Brexit. NIP’s views on Brexit aside, they want “independence” for the North. At its Conference last year LU was to have debated this motion, “Yes to Left Unity No to Northern Separatism – Oliver Charleston. But “ Not Moved – so not carried.”

These groupuscules are largely isolated from the ‘masses’, from protean forms like the Breakthrough Party, to hardened sectarians like SPEW.

The idea that they could play a part in helping ” Secure a socialist government.” is laughable.

Look at the state of this supporter’s comment boxes:








Note: “Skwawkbox understands that at least another six groups will announce their involvement in PAL’s discussions and wider campaigns in the near future.”

But hark!

One torch-bearing voice calls from the beyond…

Written by Andrew Coates

January 21, 2022 at 12:40 pm

The People’s Alliance of the Left: memorandum of understanding has been agreed between @BThroughParty, @FreeNorthNow, @TUSCoalition & @LeftUnityUK.

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The Groupuscules, from the Nips (Weasel Party), hard line pro-Brexit TUSC to ‘left’ pro-European Left Unity, ‘Unite’.

The People’s Alliance of the Left #PAL is delighted to announce that a memorandum of understanding has been agreed between @BThroughParty, @FreeNorthNow, @TUSCoalition & @LeftUnityUK. This Alliance will work together on a future electoral strategy.

From a nasty Nip in the air:

Will the newly formed Socialist Labour Network (Monster Raving Greenstein Party – canal historique) join?

Will ye no come back?

Amidst rumours of Jeremy Corbyn being set to launch a new party, Derek James asks why so many on the left are still in thrall to Corbynism

Weekly Worker today.

many on the left cling to the idea that some kind of revival of these politics of the past is not only possible but is actually desirable. Some examples of this misplaced optimism were on display at what was, in effect, the foundation meeting of the Socialist Labour Network (LAW and LIEN) on January 14. Regular readers will remember that this group has emerged following the liquidation of Labour Against the Witchhunt through its merger with the Labour in Exile Network. The main impetus behind the new group appears to be an attempt to rally the confused and disoriented forces and begin some kind of fightback. But despite the righteous indignation and the opposition to what has happened in the Labour Party since the election of Starmer, the initial meeting of this new grouping shows that it lacks coherence and a unifying strategy. The basic division within the SLN is between those comrades who still orientate towards the Labour Party and those who believe that it is now both possible and necessary to build some new project primarily outside of Labour. While the new group has yet to agree its aims (that will be the first task of the newly elected steering group), both the composition of that committee and the discussion on January 14 shows that this is a fundamental, if as yet implicit, faultline.

No word yet from Chris Williamson, Resist, and George Galloway…

Written by Andrew Coates

January 20, 2022 at 3:51 pm

Posted in Animal Liberation, European Left

Tagged with

Tommy Robinson pursued by creditors for an estimated £2m.

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Tommy Robinson: The rancour, rhetoric and riches of brand Tommy - BBC News

Far Right Bankrupt.

This is one of the most important emails I’ve written. It’s long, because it is so important. In a moment I am going to ask you to contribute to a legal fund which I think will expose Tommy Robinson’s bankruptcy as a fraud intended to deprive a Syrian refugee of the libel payout Tommy owes him. It could be massive, but before I ask, I want to explain.

A few months ago, far right extremist Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon lost a libel court case. He had accused a young Syrian refugee called Jamal of being a bully, of abusing female students at his school. This all happened after Jamal was in a viral video where he was the victim of bullying.

Jamal was already a victim, but Robinson’s intervention turned it from an unpleasant experience to a living hell. His family were put through an awful time because of Robinson’s lies, and even feared for their lives at points.

When Robinson lost his libel case, the judge ordered him to pay Jamal £100,000. It’s the least he and his family deserve. 

But there’s a problem: Tommy Robinson says he is bankrupt. And people who are bankrupt can’t pay up.

Here’s the thing: we are convinced Robinson is lying. He’s not really bankrupt – and we are very confident that we can prove it. And if we can, Robinson will face severe legal repercussions – and Jamal will get the chance of being paid what he is owed.

Here is where you come in. We have most of the evidence we need, but the rest will come through a complex legal investigation. Jamal, and others who are owed money, have requested that an insolvency expert take over the case and conduct a forensic examination of Tommy’s bankruptcy claims. This expert will have powers to access company records and bank accounts and interview under caution – but it will also mean we’ll incur big costs.

To ensure that Robinson’s lies are exposed – and so that Jamal gets the money he is owed – we need to conduct this investigation. We need to raise £50,000 to cover the costs of the insolvency expert and associated legal costs. It’s a lot, but if we all club together, we can get this done.

So here’s the ask: every donation will help us reach our goal – and when we win, we’ll all have a sense that we did it together.

amal’s life was turned upside by Robinson. He is owed a chance at a new life – and we are all owed the sense that justice will be done, even to Tommy Robinson.

Robinson owes £2 million and after months of research we are confident that we know where he has hidden his money. By bringing an Insolvency Expert to take over the official investigation, we know – with your help – we have the best chance of getting the money from him. On average, when we’ve asked for donations like this, supporters have given an average of £19.65. That means we need 2,544 people to step up now. That sounds like a lot, but we’ve done it before, and I know we can do it again.

Tommy Robinson will lose it when he hears we’re doing this so we need to move fast.I want to make Tommy Robinson pay up

There is so much on Robinson. A good place to start is here:

Tommy Robinson (activist)

Stephen Christopher Yaxley-Lennon (born 27 November 1982), better known as Tommy Robinson, is a British far-rightanti-Islam activist, and convicted criminal. He is the co-founder and former leader of the English Defence League, and later served as a political advisor to former UKIP leader Gerard Batten.

Those with long memories will recall this: 2014.

Organisers of an event on Holocaust Memorial Day in Ipswich have been criticised for inviting Tommy Robinson, the former leader of the English Defence League, as a guest speaker.

The event on Monday, January 27, was originally planned to take place in conjunction with the Education Quarter Multi Faith Chaplaincy at Suffolk New College and University Campus Suffolk.

However the colleges have since disavowed themselves entirely from the talk and organiser JIMAS has decided to proceed independently.

Muhammad Manwar Ali of JIMAS, who is also a fellow of Suffolk New College and a member of the chaplaincy for SNC and UCS, said it would be a “solemn occasion” to mark the Holocaust.

It is not yet known where the event will take place. Other speakers will include Holocaust survivor Frank Bright; Pat Magee, who was convicted of planting the IRA’s Brighton Bomb; and Umme Thara, a former member of Al-Muhajiroun.

Huff Post.

Tommy Robinson, the ex-EDL leader was to be a key speaker at a Holocaust Memorial Day event at a college, until concerned trustees told organisers HMD could not be associated with the event, The Huffington Post UK can reveal.

The event was organised by the Suffolk New College & University Campus Suffolk chaplaincy at the college in Ipswich next Monday, in conjunction with controversial Muslim charity JIMAS.

The event has now been pulled, according to Tell MAMA’s Fiyaz Mughal, who is one of the Holocaust Memorial Day trustees.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 20, 2022 at 2:07 pm

Posted in Anti-Fascism

Tagged with ,

‘Red Wall’ Voters Turn Against Tories.

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Rees-Mogg, Johnson was “very rigorous about the rules.” Needs no criticism from his ‘humble servants’ (Channel Four this evening)

Exclusive: ‘Red wall’ voters turn against Tories, poll suggests

This is on Channel Four News now.

Gary GibbonPolitical Editor

Labour is in the lead by 11 points in “red wall” seats, according to an exclusive poll commissioned by Channel 4 News.

Not everybody is happy. Former Labour supporting site Skwawkbox comments:

Written by Andrew Coates

January 19, 2022 at 8:22 pm

It was the Debate of the Year but was anybody listening? “Which way forward for the Left? a mass Communist Party or a broad left socialist movement?”

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They are calling it the debate of the year!

Tony Greenstein’s best friend tweeted a couple of days ago:

From the Monster Raving Greenstein Party (canal historique):

Is it possible to salvage anything from the Corbyn Project or is the socialist left destined to talk to itself?

The process of forming a new organisation began at the end of November when All Members Meetings of Labour-in-Exile-Network and Labour Against the Witchhunt voted to merge into a single organisation. Both LAW and LIEN had been proscribed by Labour’s National Executive Committee last July 20th.

The decision of the 2 organisations to merge was taken in the teeth of opposition from Labour Party Marxism which is the Communist Party of Great Britain in the Labour Party. 5 of the 6 members of LAW’s Steering Committee were also opposed to the merger and 4 of them explained their reasons in a statement Why we resigned.

his was accompanied by an article both in Weekly Worker and on the LPM website Something serious is needed: confronting Tony Greenstein and Merging into a cul-de-sac. I replied with Not a liquidation? and Self-declared heretic replies.

The fact that the CPGB and its leading theoretician Jack Conrad felt the need to personalise a political disagreement (Note: Heaven Forefend that Monster Raving should stoop so low! ) suggests that the CPGB is finding it difficult to mount a sustainable argument.

LPM insisted, contrary to all the evidence, that what was being proposed was not a merger but a liquidation and notwithstanding the evidence they have continued to insist that this is the case.

A trusty ally comments on his site comments,

As ever Tony your political instincts are spot on for me. LPM and certainly the CPGB will be consigned to the outer political reaches which is where they have always been.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 18, 2022 at 4:30 pm

Black Hammer Cult Anti-Vaxx Update.

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Written by Andrew Coates

January 17, 2022 at 7:25 pm

Posted in Anti-Fascism, Anti-Semitism

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George Galloway Offers to Work with New Party Created by Jeremy Corbyn.

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George Galloway declares for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party - World Socialist  Web Site

Galloway Offers to Work with Corbyn for New Party.

Despite 30 yrs of friendship and currently not on speaking terms with Jeremy Corbyn, George would work with Corbyn should he make a clean break from Starmer’s Labour.

From Top Newshound DW.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 16, 2022 at 5:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

British Islamist killed in Hostage Taking in Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville Texas.

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Calm, collected' synagogue rabbi wowed FBI through 10-hour Texas hostage  crisis | The Times of Israel

“Dallas police chaplain says law enforcement impressed by Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker’s composure during Colleyville attack, notes how faith leaders immediately sprang into action.”

COLLEYVILLE, Texas, Jan 16 (Reuters) – An FBI Hostage Rescue Team stormed a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday night to free three remaining hostages of a gunman who had disrupted a religious service and began a standoff with police more than 10 hours earlier.

All the hostages were safely released on Saturday night and the gunman was dead, Colleyville Police Chief Michael Miller told a news conference.

Britain’s foreign office confirmed the death of a British man in Texas, when asked to respond to a Sky News report that the gunman was a British national. The foreign office did not explicitly say the dead Briton was the gunman. read more

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Written by Andrew Coates

January 16, 2022 at 4:45 pm

Posted in Anti-Fascism, Islamism

Tagged with ,

Kill the Bill Demos Across the Country.

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John McDonnell MP.

Protesters have taken to the streets in cities across the UK to rally against the police and crime bill, which is reaching its final stages in parliament.

Guardian.

The police, crime, sentencing and courts bill, sections of which have been condemned by human rights activists as an attack on the right to protest, will be voted on in the House of Lords on Monday.

Hundreds of “kill the bill” protesters rallied in London on Saturday, while demonstrations also took place in cities including Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and Plymouth.

(There was no event in Ipswich, the nearest was in Cambridge. Had there been -there was one last year)- the Tendance would have attended)

Written by Andrew Coates

January 16, 2022 at 2:02 pm

Posted in European Left, Human Rights

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Woman who claimed Grenfell Tower victims ‘burned alive in Jewish sacrifice’ convicted.

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Grenfell conspiracy theorist guilty of race hate | News | The Times

Piers Corbyn, the anti-vaccine campaigner, was among demonstrators who protested outside the Old Bailey to support Ahmed.”

From DW.

A Woman who claimed Grenfell Tower victims ‘burned alive in Jewish sacrifice’ convicted

Standard.

A woman who claimed that Grenfell Tower victims were “burned alive in a Jewish sacrifice” has been convicted of stirring up race hate.

Tahra Ahmed, 51, of Lansdowne Road, Haringey, (note, Ham and High says Muswell Hill) was found guilty on Friday at the Old Bailey of two counts of stirring up racial hatred by posting the antisemitic material on her personal Facebook page.

In one post, in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire, she stated that Jewish people were “behind ritual torture” and “the murder of children”.

In another, posted four days after the devastating tragedy which claimed the lives of 72 people, she said “people trapped in the inferno were burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice.”

The Times adds,


Piers Corbyn, the anti-vaccine campaigner, was among demonstrators who protested outside the Old Bailey to support Ahmed. He expressed concern to The Times over what he said was the unacceptably violent nature of her arrest.

…..

In a Methodist church overshadowed by the husk of Grenfell Tower, one voice rang out clearly among the pews filled with grim, shocked relatives and neighbours. Ahmed presented herself as a volunteer working with bereaved families as she stood to address a public meeting in the aftermath of the fire that killed 72 people.

An investigation by The Times would eventually unmask her as the leading British proponent of the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was faked by Jews and show that she was spreading the same lies about the cause of the tower block disaster.

That evening in the summer of 2017, though, Ahmed was highly eloquent and appeared so well embedded in the community of victims that journalists approached her after the meeting to find out more.

Tahra_Ahmed

Written by Andrew Coates

January 15, 2022 at 2:34 pm

Updated mapping of the far-right in France made by the collective of the anti-fascist site La Horde.

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May be an image of 4 people

Cartographie2021 : un an de violences de l’extrême droite

Intimidations, attacks or preparations for attacks, throughout 2021, Reports of Force compiled, mapped and classified 105 violent events perpetrated by far-right activists. Is the phenomenon growing? What are their favourite methods? Which city or town is the most affected? Answers in our survey.

LA CARTE DES VIOLENCES D’EXTRÊME-DROITE EST ACCESSIBLE ICI

To get the context this recent book, which appeared at the end of least year is recommended in its own right but also as an introduction to the media- (Valuers Actuelles, C News, Sud News, the list is long, long long..) networks illustrated in the above chart.

Comment sommesnous devenus réacs ? Frédérique Matonti 

Frédérique Matonti : «Il n’y a plus de digues pour empêcher l’extrême droite d’imposer sa vision du monde»

In 2002, the historian of ideas Daniel Lindenberg made a massive impact by publishing Call to Order (Seuil), a powerful essay in which he identified a rapidly emerging movement: the “new reactionaries” , «nouveaux réactionnaires» pamphleteers and essayists marked by chagrin (and loathing) in the face of modernity” . Twenty years later, the title has not aged a bit. The neoconservative jugglers and of the radical right occupy more than ever the media space, lead the ideological agenda and have popularised the most extreme thoughts. So much so that the most famous of them is now campaigning by rehabilitating Pétain and Vichy. 

In How did we become reacts?(Fayard), Frédérique Matonti, political scientist and professor at the University of Paris-I Panthéon-Sorbonne, is sounding the alarm again. The work, which is more of an intervention essay than a sociological investigation, updates the idea of ​​the shift to the right of the debate in French ideas. New anathemas have appeared, new figures too, in a changing intellectual-media configuration that defines this new cartography.

The book is beautifully written, researched, concise and. above all, heartfelt.

The French far right have some similar British allies as in:

We note this, nevertheless,

French mayors set to scupper Emmanuel Macron rival Eric Zemmour’s presidential bid

Far-Right TV pundit struggling to muster 500 ‘endorsements’ from local officials – a prerequisite for a presidential bid.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 14, 2022 at 3:38 pm

Labour has a massive poll lead.

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Don't be surprised at Boris Johnson admitting he's an idiot – it was his  last line of defence

Even the Hard Right Telegraph joins in.

Boris Johnson does not believe he broke Covid rules at party, says minister

Northern Ireland secretary Brandon Lewis defends PM as he pulls out of public engagement in Lancashire

Boris Johnson: No let up for PM as new poll reveals massive Labour lead

Sky.

There are claims that letters from MPs demanding a vote of no confidence – 54 would trigger a challenge – were being submitted to Sir Graham Brady, who chairs the backbench 1922 Committee.

Disgrace’: what the papers said as Boris Johnson faces calls to resign

Guardian.

Amid the derision, supportive papers try to rally around the PM but report that ‘ambitious’ Rishi Sunak is waiting in the wings.

It seems another epoch when the Morning Star could publish this (Monday)

Why I’m hoping Corbyn launches a new party

After the damage Starmer has done, the left would need decades to rebuild from within the party – and we don’t have decades. The crises facing working people are already urgent, argues CHELLEY RYAN

TWITTER was awash with rumours about Jeremy Corbyn at the weekend — specifically that he might be considering taking the plunge to form a new political party, having accepted that he will never be reinstated as a Labour MP.

The fact this was first reported in the Telegraph led to understandable accusations of mischief-making. However, the overwhelming response on the left (and from some on the right hoping for a split Labour vote) was: “I bloody hope this is true!” That was my response too.

I’m done with being Ms Negativity. I’m done with spending 99 per cent of my political activism aimed at attacking rather than promoting.

And I’m not alone. For five years, we had a vision to fight for. It is devastating emotionally and mentally to go from that to absolutely no hope at all.

Going round saying “a plague on all their houses” might make us less controversial guests round the dinner table, but it makes us more depressed people.

All that energy, all that creativity, all that hope — gone.

The prospect of building slowly from within the Labour Party is now entirely defunct. We don’t have time for slow movement-building.

And we don’t have the heart for it either. We are all spent from five years of internal warfare, defending one of, if not the, best leader the Labour Party ever had, from sabotage by the PLP and party staff.

The disgraceful treatment of Jeremy Corbyn and left-wing members hasn’t sparked a desire to reclaim the Labour Party.

Instead it has sparked a mass exodus. That is simply human nature. No stirring battle cries from well-paid Labour socialist MPs will inspire financially hard-pressed socialists to part with their money to fund a party to which they no longer feel any affinity.

…..

If I believed the Labour Party in its current incarnation would tackle these crises lining up to destroy our children’s future, I’d get behind it, despite my personal anger towards Keir Starmer for his sabotage of the last general election with his Brexit policy U-turn. I’d hold my nose and vote Labour for the greater good. That’s not the case, however.

Starmer has had ample time to give us some hope. Instead he has used the last 21 months to either attack the left or make clear his lack of vision via a number of boring relaunches, summarised by even more boring, vacuous slogans.

If that’s the case, the man has the integrity of a romance scammer and I wouldn’t trust him to enact radical socialist policies even if he suddenly claimed them for his own.

I am under no illusions that a new party, headed by Jeremy, would suddenly surge to victory in a general election. What it would do is pose a threat to a far too comfortable Labour Party waiting for their inevitable turn at power.

The Tories will have been in for 13 years next year and they are living on borrowed time. The anger felt over Starmer’s Remain policy which drove many lifelong Labour voters either into Tory arms or to not vote at all in 2019, is on the wane.

(The Morning Star is a Brexit ultra paper).

Many will swing back to Labour whoever is leader, especially after the recent Tory scandals which have tripped over each other in their frequency.

So Starmer is sitting there, rubbing his hands in arrogant glee, knowing all he has to do is not cock up too badly and his time will come. And when it does, he will claim it was his purge of Corbyn and the “hard” left that won it. Then it will be business as usual.

Fuscia Labour will tweak the status quo but they won’t change it dramatically. Any positive changes they implement will be nice and easy to reverse for their Tory friends when their inevitable turn comes around again.

This revolving door of not much changing can only be challenged by a new party and that new party has to be headed by Jeremy Corbyn.

Why Jeremy? Because he is the most unifying figure the left have. Because he’s the most inspiring political figure for generations. Because he has the political weight and credibility to light that spark. His age isn’t an issue. Bernie Sanders was six years older when he ran for US president.

Lonely, wandering on a dark cloud, Skwawkbox rails today:

Johnson reels over partygate – but Starmer’s benefits betrayal shows English working-class has no alternative to turn to

One of the supporters for a new party comments on his site:

Andrew

That’s the kind of soft betrayal that has been going on all my adult life
until the crescendo that is, when the majority of those dirty cheating fake labour MPs came out as Apartheid racist zionist swines. They lined up and lied about a man of peace for 6 years. We need a new party devoid of the Scabs.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 13, 2022 at 1:34 pm

‘The party’s over’: Keir Starmer tells Boris Johnson.

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Scottish Tory leader says Boris Johnson should resign after PM admits attending No 10 lockdown party – live.

Douglass Ross calls for Boris Johnson to stand down after prime minister apologises but says he thought party was a ‘work event’

French daily on two scenarios for when Johnston is got rid of.

Anybody who watched the H of C debate yesterday and today’s Question Time will know the depths of feeling this has aroused.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 12, 2022 at 4:56 pm

Jeremy Corbyn considers launching new Peace and Justice party.

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This is, apparently, not a joke.

Already ‘weighty’ figures on the British labour movement are backing such a move:

Can I be amongst the many to point out that such a party, splitting our vote, will be a magnet for every kind of off the wall enthusiast. It has no support from large – the vast majority – parts of the left.

Jeremy Corbyn considers launching new party to rival Keir Starmer if he is not reinstated as a Labour MP

Such a move could split the Labour vote and prevent Sir Keir Starmer from winning the next General Election

According to the paper Mr Corbyn has been urged by many within his inner circle, including his wife Laura Alvarez, to establish the new party and accept his time within Labour has come to a close.

A close ally of the former Labour leader did not deny claims he was considering setting up a new political party, but told the Telegraph there had been no “advanced discussions”.

A spokesman for the Peace and Justice project said there were as yet “no plans” for it to

A spokesman for the Peace and Justice project said there were as yet “no plans” for it to become a party.

Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said he “wants to see a Labour Party and government that is serious about shifting wealth and power from the few to the many”.

While a rival party could form a dent in Sir Keir’s chances of ousting the Tories in the next General Election, insiders say some of Mr Corbyn’s close allies would not be tempted to ditch Labour.

This includes, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott who served as Shadow Chancellor and Shadow Home Secretary in Mr Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 10, 2022 at 4:39 pm

Posted in European Left, Left

Tagged with

Rossites, “The current resurgence in the Covid-19 is driven by the policy of the main Western imperialist powers.”

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John Ross: Lackey of the Chinese Social Imperialists.

“The current resurgence in the Covid-19 is driven by the policy of the main Western imperialist powers.

Socialist Action previously reported that both Biden and Johnson in the US and Britain had effectively washed their hands of the crisis and decided to do nothing to prevent virus spreading. They have been joined by the bulk of the remaining imperialist powers, the partial exceptions being Germany and Japan.”

John Ross: from Trotskyism to power-worship

Well-established rumour has it that SA are engaged in unity negotiations with the Spartacist League.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 9, 2022 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Anti-Fascism, Europe, European Left

Tagged with

Tony Greenstein to debate with CPGB (Provisional Central Committee), “I am a heretic. I am fortunate not to be burnt at the stake.”

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Dan Thorpe on Twitter: "@habibi_uk Thank you for bringing this to my  attention. As a council, we are completely committed to fighting  antisemitism. I have passed this information onto the national party." /

“I am a heretic. I am fortunate not to be burnt at the stake.”

Online Communist Forum

Sunday January 16 5pm, ‘What do we want: a mass Communist Party or a broad left socialist movement?

Communist University 2022 winter
Timetable and Zoom registration links are available on the CU website

‘What do we want: a mass Communist Party or a broad left socialist movement?’
Sunday January 16 5pm
Speakers: Tony Greenstein and Jack Conrad.

Self-declared heretic replies

Tony Greenstein insists that the merging of LAW and LIEN is precisely the ‘twin-track’ approach that Jack Conrad advocates.

Replying to Jack Conrad, I feel as if I am being accused of denying that the sun revolves around the Earth. My crime is having “abandoned any pretence to working class politics”. In other words, I am a heretic. I am fortunate not to be burnt at the stake.

a few words about Jack’s method. His article is littered with snide innuendo and personal attacks. I am accused of being “an occasional contributor” to the Weekly Worker, albeit “not an attentive one”. This prompted me to go through the list of articles I have written for the Weekly Worker over the years. Even I was surprised – 150!1 One article a week for 3 years is hardly “occasional”. Why the need for this sneering condescension?

In the most bizarre section of his article Jack gives us a lesson in theoretical physics and cosmology, and analogies between Marxism and the laws of physics. Quite what bearing water turning to steam and the merits of the steady state and infinite expansion of the universe have to do with questions of revolution leaves me baffled.

The CPGB and Labour Party Marxists made a serious political error in walking out of LAW, having lost the vote. Instead it should have asked why the majority of the LAW steering committee found itself in a minority. Instead of putting forward cogent plans as to how we can take the campaign against the witch-hunt forward you have retreated into a sectarian bunker.

I can only hope that you emerge with revolutionary speed!

They are calling it the key debate of 2022.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 8, 2022 at 4:45 pm

Tributes paid to Charlie Hebdo victims on attack anniversary.

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Les frères Saïd et Chérif Kouachi ont abattu 11 personnes dans les locaux de « Charlie Hebdo ».

We will never forget them!

Written by Andrew Coates

January 7, 2022 at 4:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Statement from socialists in Kazakhstan on the revolutionary uprising.

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Event image

Socialist Movement of Kazakhstan - Wikipedia

An immediate cessation of hostilities against its people and the withdrawal of troops from the cities!

Written by Andrew Coates

January 6, 2022 at 5:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Jeremy Corbyn Accused of Red-Brown Front as he, at Junge Welte Event, Speaks with Rania Khalek, Assad Apologist.

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Corbyn Backs Rd-Brown Front?

16.20 Uhr, Vortrag

»Gleichschaltung der Medien: Manipulation vor Information«

Rania Khalek, Journalistin für den Nahen Osten, Medienspezialistin

Jeremy Corbyn, Member of Parliament für Islington North

16.20 Uhr, Vortrag

»Gleichschaltung der Medien: Manipulation vor Information«

Rania Khalek, Journalistin für den Nahen Osten, Medienspezialistin

Jeremy Corbyn, Member of Parliament für Islington North

Syria

Khalek wrote of Syria: “Much of the debate over U.S. intervention in Syria boils down the conflict there to a clash between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and an armed rebellion in which al-Qaeda affiliates play a significant role. Typically ignored in that conversation are the voices of the non-violent opposition movement that took to the streets to challenge Assad in March 2011, and which has persisted against great odds.”[7] In September 2019, Khalek formed part of a US delegation, along with Ajamu Baraka and Max Blumenthal and others, in a visit to Syria at a time when entering to the country was virtually impermissible for other Americans.[24][25] She was reported by Bellingcat in 2019 to have received financial assistance from a pro-Assad lobby group.[24][26] Khalek has rejected this assertion.

United States

During the 2016 presidential election campaign, after Khalek wrote that “Clinton is also dangerous to world stability. And unlike Trump, she has the blood on her hands to prove it,” James Kirchick described Khalek as one of a group of progressives who, in Kirchick’s opinion, were “behaving like Weimar-era German communists, who, on Joseph Stalin’s orders, attacked Social Democrats as ‘social fascists’ rather than battle Nazi brown-shirts.”[27]

She trended on Twitter in 2019 when Ilhan Omar, a member of Congress, retweeted Khalek, who in turn defended Omar for her opposition to perceived U.S. efforts to change the government of Venezuela, a position which was commented as “controversial” by The Jerusalem Post.[2] “This is the best and most detailed statement I’ve seen so far from a Democrat on Venezuela,” Khalek wrote. “Omar, as well as her other colleagues who spoke out, should be commended for opposing Trump’s coup attempt, this will surely provoke malicious attacks from the pro-war crowd. Very brave.”[2]

Other issues

On March 9, 2018, the Southern Poverty Law Center published an article called “The multipolar spin: how fascists operationalize left-wing resentment”, in which Khalek and several other left-wing journalists were mentioned. After complaints that the article falsely portrayed them as “white supremacists, fascists, anti-Semites, and engaging in a conspiracy with the Putin regime to promote such views”, the SPLC retracted the article and issued an apology.[28][2

Written by Andrew Coates

January 5, 2022 at 6:27 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

John O’Looney, new best mate of anti-Vaxxer Piers Corbyn Struck with Coronavirus,

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John O'Looney outside his funeral company

Milton Keynes funeral director who’s an avid anti-vaxxer ends up in hospital with Covid

He’s spoken from his sick bed – and is still against Covid vaccines.

John O’Looney, who runs Milton Keynes Family Funeral Services, was due to help lead last weeks controversial ‘freedom’ rally at CMK, alongside Piers Corbyn and former local UKIP candidate Jeff Wyatt.

Piers Corbyn speaks as protesters enter a theatre in Milton Keynes last week on December 29

Is this the most bizarre anti-vaccine conspiracy theory yet?

If it’s true, the mysterious ‘Globalist Elite’ really doesn’t seem to have thought its secret plans through

Written by Andrew Coates

January 5, 2022 at 4:50 pm

Is this the Maddest Skwawkbox Post Ever?

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Left-wing Jeremy Corbyn blogger is successful firm boss | Daily Mail Online

Written by Andrew Coates

January 4, 2022 at 2:01 pm

Piers Corbyn, Renegade IMG, Fascist, at liberty?

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Piers Corbyn - Wikipedia

This renegade filth stood as the International Marxist Group candidate for Lambeth Central CLC elections.

Piers Corbyn was once just an eccentric weatherman but today he’s the high priest of the ‘anti-vaxxer’ movement who told supporters to launch hammer attacks and burn down MPs’ offices… so why is he still free to incite hate? asks RICHARD KAY

The Mail nails it;

Back in 1984, the International Marxist Group, a ragtag band of one-time communists, Hampstead socialists and student revolutionaries, asked one of its affiliates what winter was going to be like that year.

Britain’s coal miners were planning a strike and their far-Left allies wanted to know whether it would be cold enough for their action to be effective — in other words, if they could bring the country to its knees.

The affiliate they asked was an astrophysicist turned amateur meteorologist called Piers Corbyn, who, alongside an interest in Trotskyite politics, had developed a method of solar-based weather forecasting.

They draw their support from a cabal of extremists such as the British offshoot of QAnon, extreme Right-wing backers of Donald Trump, anti-5G technology campaigners and those who believe that Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates has a secret plan to rule the world, using the Covid vaccines to implant microchips into children.

Welcome to the terrifying world of Piers Richard Corbyn, who believes the pandemic is a hoax and claims that the Government wants to impose a ‘new world order’ through its use of lockdowns.

Unlike his brother, who had an allotment and children to distract him from radical politics, Piers Corbyn has no reset button. He is a loner without children. Although he married a fellow political activist, Marion Roberts, he now appears to live alone in a flat near the Old Kent Road in South London, which was where the police arrested him in the early hours after his ‘burn MPs’ rant.

Impervious to criticism and shunned by former political allies, Piers Corbyn seems utterly relaxed in the company of the conspiracy theory fanatics these days.”

This piece needs banging up, now.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 2, 2022 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Vanessa Redgrave made Commander of the Order of the British Empire for Castigating ‘Zionist Hoodlums’.

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Vanessa Redgrave and the red sex slaves: How her bid to start Marxist  revolution plunged her into bizarre scandal | Daily Mail Online

The Academy Award-winning actress Vanessa Redgrave has been designated as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on the Queen’s annual New Year’s Honours list.

Redgrave, a politically outspoken figure who will observe her 85th birthday on January 30, 2022, declined the honour in 1999. A member of a famous British acting dynasty that dates back to the late 19th century, Redgrave’s father, Sir Michael Redgrave (1908-1985), was knighted in 1959.

Cde Tony Greenstein is expected to be honoured in next year’s list.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 1, 2022 at 10:00 am

Posted in Animal Liberation, Anti-Fascism, Trotskyism

Tagged with

The Spartacist League are back and it’s no more Mr Nice Guys as Sparts Lead Anti-Lockdown Fight.

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They're all in this together cartoon

We oppose the lockdowns on the basis of a revolutionary working-­class programme.

The following is an extract from the document of the 25th National Conference of the Spartacist League/Britain (see page 3).

The Covid-­19 pandemic has triggered a worldwide health, economic and social crisis. In Britain as elsewhere the last year and a half has been disastrous for the working class and oppressed: over 150,000 Covid deaths, brutal lockdowns, repression, massive layoffs, furloughs, speed-­ups, school closures. The leadership of the workers movement betrayed the proletariat in this crisis, shackling it to the capitalists and collaborating in their devastating offensive. The Labour Party — from its Cor­bynite wing to the Starmer leadership — the trade union tops and the reformist left all supported the lockdowns and joined behind Johnson’s Tory government in preaching national unity and class collaboration. The Labour Party administered lockdowns in cities throughout Britain and is directly responsible for bringing devastation and misery upon working people.

The position of the British pseudo-­Marxist left — the Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Party, Communist Party of Britain, Socialist Appeal, Revolutionary Communist Group, etc — has been not only to support lockdowns but to crusade for harder and longer lockdowns on the Australian zero-­Covid model. Any pretension by these reformists of struggling for anything which would be in the interest of the working class in the pandemic is an utter sham given their support for lockdowns.

….

We oppose the lockdowns on the basis of a revolutionary working-­class programme. Any other basis for opposing lockdowns, whether on a scientific, civil libertarian, conspiracy-­theory or trade unionist basis, simply promotes alternative bourgeois programmes to manage the pandemic. Revolutionaries do not seek to reconcile class antagonisms but to use the crisis to advance the struggle for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie. If the pandemic shows one thing clearly it is that capitalist class rule is utterly bankrupt and cannot even begin to address the needs of the masses. The working class must fight for its interests now, starting with its most minimal and basic needs. But to be successful this struggle must be tied to that for international socialist revolution.

Cdes have not been slow to point out this paragraph:

We are for mandatory vaccination, ie being forced to get a jab in your arm. It is not a democratic right to refuse to be vaccinated and spread the virus. But we oppose its enforcement through policies which attack the working class in the name of vaccination. We oppose the government firing NHS workers or any other worker because they aren’t vaccinated. Mass layoffs are an attack against the working class and the unions; we oppose them no matter the reason. We also oppose the vaccine passports, which would track every movement of the popu­lation and turn every pub employee and shopkeeper into a cop auxiliary.”

This may limit attempts to recuit Piers Corbyn.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 31, 2021 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Red Knight. The Unauthorised Biography of Sir Keir Starmer. Michael Ashcroft. “A Tory Peer on a Labour Knight.

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Red Knight. The Unauthorised Biography of Sir Keir Starmer. Michael Ashcroft. Biteback Publishing.

(This review appears in the latest Chartist, out now).

Red Knight aims to “explore Sir Keir’s experiences and temperament” to see if he is “equipped” to move from his “present predicament” to becoming Prime Minister. The former treasurer and deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and, as the blurb puts it, “international businessman” (tax avoidance issues unmentioned), would not be any Labour leader’s choice as his first biographer. Starmer, the Lord begins, “did not want this book to be written”.

Compared with some left-wing attacks on the Leader of the Opposition, the jibes are subdued. The biography is a serious, if unfriendly, study of Starmer’s career. Considerably helped, one imagines, by chief researcher, Miles Goslett.

From his Surry upbringing, the “schoolboy socialist” Starmer became involved in the Labour Club at Leeds University (its extent is disputed), and the radical left, small circulation, magazine Socialist Alternatives. A chapter on that “pabloite” post-Trotskyist publication and the Socialist Society, is informed by interviews with those involved, including this reviewer. At a distance of thirty years they were happy to speak on its “unashamedly hard left”, red-green alternative politics.

The book’s biographical meat is about Starmer’s legal career. From Doughty Street Chambers, his involvement with the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, he spent time in the Department of Public Precaution (DPP), “the third highest-ranking public prosecutor in England and Wales”. We learn that that he had a “rather technical approach to the job” “interested in process”. In 2015 he was elected MP for Holborn and St Pancras. In a position of influence under Corbyn, Shadow Brexit Secretary, Ashcroft speculates that by backing a new referendum and supporting staying in the EU Starmer “helped the circumstances of Labour’s rout” in 2019.

The Labour leader, Red Knight asserts, is often described as “intensely ambitious.” He is said to be “willing to charm anybody and everybody who might be of use to him” But popularity amongst his constituency members and those directly appealed to has not been translated into national poll ratings, even if some recovery seems underway.

Those on the left who supported Starmer’s leadership campaign are disappointed with back-tracking on one-member-one vote and other issues, the latest being migrant rights. The expulsion of left-wingers for a variety of reasons, many contestable, looks bad from somebody with a reputation for concern about due process. While there is respect in the Party, enthusiasm is in short supply. Former Tribune Editor Mark Seddon is quoted, “pandemic or no pandemic, we simply don’t know what Sir Keir believes in.” This fits badly with Ashcroft’s advice for future Labour success, “Let Starmer be Starmer”.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 31, 2021 at 1:13 pm

Socialist Action, Key Cadre of Ken Livingstone, Hails Chinese Social Imperialism.

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Hong Kong pro-democracy website Stand News closes after police raid and  arrests | Euronews

“Stupendous achievements, in the first place for the Chinese people” Says former top Ken Livingstone adviser.

This Blogger had just got through about hundred pages of this must-read book on the China and Hong Kong relations: The Gate to China: A New History of the People’s Republic and Hong Kong Michael Sheridan 2021. Flipping to end Sheridan observes that the country’s policies are on what was relatively free enclave were based on this “China is a dictatorship and will remain one”. The social imperialists have now imposed their iron-fist.

The supporters of the regime are abject.

But none more so than John Ross and his remaining comrades of Socialist Action,

The international and historical significance of the resolution on the history of the CPC.

“What conclusions can be drawn from this? They are that China, in seeking solutions on the path of its own national rejuvenation, established itself as the leading socialist force in the world making what are now the world’s leading contributions to Marxism. In terms of the conditions of the Chinese people as the Resolution notes: “China’s economic strength, scientific and technological capabilities, and composite national strength have reached new height.” Overall, “the people’s lives have improved in all aspects,” and there has been: “a notable boost in confidence in our culture among… all Chinese people.”

These are stupendous achievements, in the first place for the Chinese people. But the whole world, and all of progressive humanity, benefits from them.”

By John Ross.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 30, 2021 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Rachel Johnson on Ghislane Maxell’s “naughty eyes” – trending on Porn Hub.

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Image

Well established rumour has this trending on Porn-Hub with videos playing out the scenario.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 30, 2021 at 3:54 pm

Piers Corbyn Back Leading Anti-Vaxx Disruption.

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 Many people had thought they had held Piers Corbyn in the dungeons of the Tower of London, preparing to feed him to the ravens.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 29, 2021 at 5:52 pm

Posted in Anti-Fascism

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The Bromance Between Chris Williamson and Tony Greenstein.

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Chris Williamson: 'no place' in Labour for MP embroiled in antisemitism row  | Labour | The Guardian

The blooming bromance between Anthony Greenstein and Chris Williamson is the talk of the town. Greenstein is not everybody’s choice for a left-wing hero, but Chrissy thinks highly of him.

Alas, Greenstein’s sworn foes seem already to be encroaching on his territory:

Written by Andrew Coates

December 28, 2021 at 3:14 pm

Memorial, Russian Human Rights Organisation, Dissolved.

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Russia's conscience' on trial as civil rights group faces closure |  Financial Times

With Every Breath Of Our Being All Progressive Humanity Will Protest Against the Dissolution of Memorial.

Russia’s supreme court has ordered the closure of Memorial, the country’s oldest human rights group, in a watermark moment in Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on independent thought.

The court ordered Memorial’s closure under Russia’s controversial “foreign agent” legislation, which has targeted dozens of NGOs and media outlets seen as critical of the government.

Memorial was founded in the late 1980s to document political repressions carried out under the Soviet Union, building a database of victims of the Great Terror and gulag camps. It has also grown into an important advocate for the cause of human rights in Russia.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 28, 2021 at 12:10 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Communist Party USA Polemic on “white ‘left’ nationalism.”

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The art and science of building the Communist Party – Communist Party USA

Like most people, the CC of this Blog had not heard of the  Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) for many years. They claim 5,000 members, a figure of which the Communist Party of Britain can only dream. Like a larger number of Cdes I had not heard of Maurice Cornforth (1909 – 1980) for even longer. The British Marxist’s best known book is Materialism and the Dialectical Method. It has the merit of being written by somebody who knew his philosophy inside out, unlike, let us just say, a certain Alan Woods of Socialist Appeal. (1) One can disagree with Cornforth on many things but the CPUSA have found a quote that reflects well on the man.

In Western European countries it used often to be said: “We must have fascism before communism.” First the capitalists will abandon democracy and introduce the fascist dictatorship, and then the workers will overthrow the fascist dictatorship. But the Communists replied, no, we will fight together with all the democratic forces to preserve bourgeois democracy and to defeat the fascists, and that will create the best conditions for going forward to win working-class power and to commence to build socialism.

—Maurice Cornforth, Materialism and the Dialectical Method

Not that I can think of anybody apart from some Third Period Stalinists, and possibly the wilder Bordigist fringe, who ever said versions of “After Hitler our Turn” but the Popular Front did become the Communist Strategy. Or as this article cites, the basis of unity for democracy outlined in “The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International in the Struggle of the Working Class against Fascism.” Georgi Dimitrov. 1935.

This is quite an extraordinary polemic in its own right:

The curious rise of white “left” nationalism. Jamal Rich. December the 23rd 2021.

An ideological trend that might be classified as “white left nationalism” repeats the mistakes of the old Socialist Party on its approach to the national question. These white left nationalist trends shout “class, class, class!” and “left, left, left!” while deploring what they call “identity politics” and narrowly pointing to historical failures of socialist projects and the left in the United States in particular.

It has got to this:

Instead of seeing revolutionary potential in the U.S. working class, these forces promote a newfound fetishization of the “lumpen-proletariat” (that is, declassed strata) as the new revolutionary class, urban peasant guerrilla warfare, and other theories associated with the Frankfurt School for Social Science (like Herbert Marcuse). A seemingly odd combination of national nihilism (downplaying of a country’s traditions) and national chauvinism (an overemphasis of the same) also plays a part.

And,

Often you’ll hear it when folks use the term “working class” or “Trump voters” when what is actually meant is “white workers.” Trumpsters do it all the time when they talk about the GOP as a “workers’ party.” Listen and you’ll hear a subtle switch, replacing in the mind’s eye people of color with workers of the majority nationality. It’s precisely here that the deep chauvinism lies. This applies not only to how people think about it but also in how interests are framed. The alleged interests of the majority of one people in the multiracial U.S. nation are identified with the interests of the entire class.

Sounds a bit like certain British Communists revelling in Brexit voters rejecting the ‘apitalist EU, Brendan O’Neill and his mates in Spiked/RCP on ‘identity’ politics, or Blue Labour types talking about the ‘real’ working class.

Confusion on the left (suggestion, the word these days is confusionism)

Below are some examples of how these issues manifest:

1. “74 million people voted for Trump, which means a lot of workers support fascism in this country. We need to organize these people at their rallies and events,” an anonymous conversation with a new CPUSA member.

2. “January 6 was a good thing! White workers led that uprising! We need to be organizing January 6 people!” (paraphrased from anonymous article by a new CPUSA member and an anonymous email sent to the DC District during the J6 events).

And so it continues…..

The CC can only agree with the broad direction of Jamal Rich’s critique.

******

(1)

Written by Andrew Coates

December 27, 2021 at 11:03 am

Posted in Anti-Fascism, Communism

Tagged with , ,

US Beaches and Racism.

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One of the happiest memories of my life was bathing in the Mediterranean from Narbonne-Plage, going afterwards, up to the Garrigue, and making love to my companion, amongst the wild thyme and rosemary (the ‘dew of the sea’).

The seaside is more than just a place to eat fish and chips and build sandcastles.

In the free countries the seaside is open to all. I shall also never forget visiting Italy and finding the spiaggia was private property that you have to pay to get on.

We celebrate this.

How Bruce’s Beach became a beacon in fight against racist policies that stripped black families of land.

When Duane “Yellow Feather” Shepard was a child, his mother would point out Bruce’s Beach and tell him: “That used to be our people’s land.”

Decades later that small slice of land, nestled next to the Pacific Ocean in the glittering city of Manhattan Beach in California, is finally being returned to his family’s ownership.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 26, 2021 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Archbishop Tutu dies aged 90.

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Image

One of the best people to have ever walked the Earth.

May be an image of 1 person and text that says ""If I go up to heaven and find a homophobic god, I will tell him I prefer the other place." -Archbishop Desmond Tutu"

South Africa and the world have lost one of the great spirits and moral giants of our age.

“Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu passed away on the morning of 26 December 2021 in Cape Town at the age of 90.

Tutu was a living embodiment of faith in action, speaking boldly against racism, injustice, corruption, and oppression, not just in apartheid South Africa but wherever in the world he saw wrongdoing, especially when it impacted the most vulnerable and voiceless in society.

We, at the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, mourn his passing and extend deep sympathy to Mrs Nomalizo Leah Tutu, siblings Trevor Thamsanqa Tutu, Naomi Nontombi Tutu, Theresa Thandeka Tutu, Mpho Tutu van Furth and their families. We commit ourselves to continue telling the story and emulating the example of this son of Africa who became an inspiring sign of peace, hope and justice across the world.”

The Tendance says that we have no reluctance in saying that we loved the man.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 26, 2021 at 12:14 pm

Posted in Human Rights

Tagged with

Christmas and Human Rights.

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This Blog stands for human rights – always, for ever, without exception. Whatever Tel’s Nipper and his comrades in New Left Review say, this is not “moralism”: it is the living breath of our secular humanism. When our forebears protested, with the banners of their lodges, for Dreyfus they stood for this universal meaning. When the anti-Leninist Marxists rose up against the Bolsheviks they fought for democracy and these rights. When the oppressed call for an end to the Islamist dictatorship in Iran, in Hong Kong against the social imperialists of the Chinese Communist Party, when the masses of the world rise up against their oppression, their voices are raised for human rights.

There is no greater founding statement than the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen de 1789), and its essential amendment,  Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen (Déclaration des droits de la femme et de la citoyenne).

Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights. ‘ ‘Male and female citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, must be equally admitted to all honours, positions, and public employment according to their capacity and without other distinctions besides those of their virtues and talents. ‘” Olympe de Gouges.

There is a programme on France 24 this morning about the Russian Gulag.

Of the testimonies about this few are more affecting than this one:

“There were twenty-eight men and Betty and I in our group. Betty and I, an old professor and a prisoner with a wounded leg, were taken on in a lorry. The men had to walk. We got out on the Russian side of the Brest Litovsk bridge and waited for them to come up, looking across the bridge into occupied Poland. The men and arrived and then a group of GPU men crossed the bridge. We saw them retiring after a while, and the group was larger. There were SS officers with them. The SS commandant and the GP chief saluted each other. The Russian was a good head taller than the German.

The GPU officials still stood there in a group watching us go. Behind them was Soviet Russia. Bitterly I recalled the Communist litany: Fatherland of the Toilers, Bulwark of Socialism, Haven of the Persecuted.”

Als Gefangene bei Stalin und Hitler (1949 Margarete Buber-Neumann. 1949)

In Russia, the battle for the memory of Soviet repressions.

In November, shortly before the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian authorities moved to close down one of the country’s oldest and most influential NGOs, Memorial, which was dedicated to preserving the memory of Stalin-era repressions. Despite everything, the group’s historians are determined to continue the fight to open up the archives of the Soviet secret services. FRANCE 24’s Elena Volochine reports, with illustrations by Sofiya Voznaya.

“Thirty years ago, on 25 December 1991, the president of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, resigned. It was the end of the Soviet empire that had lasted for nearly 70 years, and he was the last of the leaders to serve under the red hammer-and-sickle flag.

From 1929 until his death in 1953, that position was occupied by Joseph Stalin, responsible for the extermination of between 3 and 20 million – according to different estimates – of his fellow citizens.

Some 750,000 people are thought to have been shot dead just during the two years of the Great Terror, 1937 and 1938 – the years of the extra-judicial “Troika” courts. Meanwhile, it’s estimated that more than 18 million people were sent to the Gulag concentration camps, where many of them would die of hunger, cold, illness and exhaustion from forced labour.”

France 24 continues with an account of the Islamist genociders’ exterminating the ‘non-believers’ and Christians in Iraq.

Then there is this: Christian prisoners in North Korea are being beaten, tortured and starved – report

Christians in Communist North Korea are being tortured more than members of any other religious group, according to a new report from human rights campaigners Korea Future.

Torture victims interviewed for the report showed “scars and skeletal deformities” and suffered “back pain, incorrect healing of fractures, somatic complaints, and depressive disorders”.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 25, 2021 at 11:34 am

Leftist Trainspotting Quiz of the Year.

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Sectarian hilarity for the left-wing trainspotter! The UK Spartacist  League's papers from 1978-2011 now digitised and online – New Historical  Express

“One of Vladimir Lenin’s favourite stories was about seeing a man who was squatting in the street and waving his hands wildly. At a distance he seemed to be a maniac, but when Lenin came closer, he could see that it was somebody trying to read an article in Socialist Appeal.

The same, Lenin said, was true of the Trainspotting ideological struggle.”

2021 Left Trainspotting Quiz.

1) Who wrote this about the European Union?

“It may grate that, for all its woeful shortcomings – think only, beyond England, of the place of Scotland or Northern Ireland in the composite realm – Westminster is vastly superior to this lacquered synarchy” ?

a) Brendan O’Neill.

b)  Rev Giles Fraser.

c) Perry Anderson.

2) The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has stood in a number of local elections this year. In which May ward contest were they beaten by the Official Monster Raving Looney Party?

a) Cloud-Cuckoo Land (Coventry).

b)  Chessington South (Kingston). 

c) Glastonbury Tor.

3) There was a nasty NIP in the air earlier this year. What marked the first electoral intervention of the Northern Independence Party in the May Hartlepool By-Election?

a) They got 0.84% of the vote.

b) They weren’t competent enough to get the NIP name registered with the Electoral Commission.

c) They beat the Monster Raving Looney Party – 0,3% of the ballots.

4) What was the name of the tendency of the French Nouveau Parti anti-capitaliste (NPA) which split in June and announced their own ‘candidate’ for the 2022 Presidential elections?

a) L’étincelle.

b) Alternative révolutionnaire communiste.

c) Courant communiste révolutionnaire/Révolution Permanente.

5) Name at least 5 people at this August radical chic Jolly in Malta

Image

6) Which International organisation held a conference this year with delegates from Leningrad, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia?

a) International Marxist Tendency (IMT).

b) The Fourth International Posadist.

c) The Whovian Tardis Alliance.

7) Which American left-wing newspaper failed to appear for its much awaited Anniversary.

a) The Militant.

b) Workers Vanguard.

c) People’s World.

8) In Argentina the Trotskyist Leftist Worker Front (FIT), Frente de Izquierda y de los Trabajadores – Unidad, FIT-U), won the third largest share of the vote in the November elections, 5.91% . Which of these British figures signed an international declaration of support for the Frente?

a) Alex Callinicos

b) Sebastian Budgen.

c) Chris Williamson.

9) Which of the following are now political parties in the UK?

a) The Breakthrough Party.

b) The Resist Movement.

c) Spiked.

10) Why did ‘Jack Conrad’ write in the Weekly Worker, “Tony Greenstein has abandoned any pretence of adhering to class politics: that is, the class politics of the working class” and has a ” short-sighted, philistine spirit” ?

a) A Court gave Greenstein a two-year restraining order, banning him from contacting the Labour Party disputes team.

b) Greenstein and his allies got Labour Against the Witch-hunt to ‘merge’ with the Labour in Exile Network (LIEN) and for “the newly merged organisation to “work and/or join forces” with groups including Chris Williamson’s Resist.”

c) Greenstein dislikes Philistines almost as much as he hates ‘Zionists’.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 24, 2021 at 11:55 am

‘No Cold War’, China: The Return of the Anti-Imperialism of Fools?

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Pillar of Shame commemorating Tiananmen crackdown faces removal in Hong Kong  : NPR

The Removal of the Pillar of Shame is Heavy in Symbolism.

This act spells the intention to write the Tiananmen Square massacre out of history.

This is the lying explanation for the removal:

So much for history and memory.

Earlier this month the social imperialists of the Chinese Communist Party capitalist dictatorship issued this document, favourably reported on by their British supporters.

“CHINA published the report China: Democracy that Works on Saturday, outlining its “whole-process democracy” and arguing its political system is more democratic than that of the United States.”

The document contained these claims.

“The US has developed a system of strategies and tactics for “peaceful evolution”. It would start with “cultural exchanges”, economic assistance, and then public opinion shaping to foster an atmosphere for “color revolution”. It would exaggerate the mistakes and flaws of incumbent governments to foment public grievances and anti-government sentiments.

In the meantime, it would brainwash local people with American values and make them identify with America’s economic model and political system. It would also cultivate pro-US NGOs and provide all-round training to opposition leaders. It would seize the opportunity of major elections or emergencies to overthrow targeted governments through instigating street political activities.

In recent history, the US has pushed for the neo-Monroe Doctrine in Latin America under the pretext of “promoting democracy”, incited “color revolution” in Eurasia, and remotely controlled the “Arab Spring” in West Asia and North Africa. These moves have brought chaos and disasters to many countries, gravely undermining world peace, stability and development.”

‘The “Arab Spring” that started in 2010 was an earthquake that shook the entire Middle East. The US orchestrated the show behind the scene, and played a key role. The New York Times revealed in 2011 that a small core of American government-financed organizations were promoting democracy in “authoritarian” Arab states. A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the “Arab Spring” revolts received training and financing from US organizations like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House’.

To underline the Chinese capitalist dictatorship’s adherence to the ‘anti-imperialism of fools’ they added.

In countries forced to copy and paste American values, there is no sign of true democracy, true freedom, or true human rights. What have been left in these countries are prevailing scenes of persisting chaos, stagnation and humanitarian disasters.

And (the site cited is a marginal one, to say the least),

As suggested by the French website Le Grand Soir, democracy has long become a weapon of massive destruction for the US to attack countries with different views.

Is is a surprise that the social imperialists have attracted this support?

How should democracy be defined? December 2021.

Democracy was the focus for speakers from both China and around the world at the International Forum on Democracy in Beijing. How should we assess the concept of democracy today? And what evidence best shows the practical interpretation and application of the concept of democracy?

To discuss these questions and more, we’ve invited He Jing, attorney at GEN Law Firm; Helga Zepp-LaRouche, founder and president of the Schiller Institute; and Zoon Ahmed Khan, research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization.

The Schiller Institute is a front for the far-right Larouche cult.

It is, naturally, no surprise that the Chinese Communist Party gets this support.

Then there is Tel’s Nipper:

The Establishment Feared Corbyn’s Internationalism

The piece is interesting in that it shows wider, if limited, forces that self-identify with the left lining up behind the No to the New Cold War rhetoric promoted by the Friends of Socialist China..

The member of the New Left Review Editorial Board opines on foreign policy. He starts by laying into UK pro-Israel policies, “Maximal support for Israeli ethnic cleansing is the new bipartisan norm. ” And so on.

Of more symptomatic interest is that Eagleton calls for ” an anti-imperialism that surpasses moralism.”

As in,

The UK is currently gearing up for a new Cold War in which it will act as head servant to the United States, using its inflated military budget to counter Chinese and Russian influence. Last summer, Boris Johnson dispatched a warship to the Black Sea to antagonize Vladimir Putin, and sent an aircraft carrier strike group into the contested South China Sea to rile Xi Jinping’s Defense Ministry. Johnson has now joined the AUKUS nuclear pact with the United States and Australia, designed to militarize the Pacific region and escalate the arms race with China.

“In  this context, it is vital for the Left to forcefully oppose the Atlantic compact while also rejecting apologia for its strategic adversaries (whose crimes, from Xi’s internment of Uyghurs to Putin’s bombardment of Syria, should not be understated).

Yet if socialists continue to confine themselves to black-and-white humanitarian crises, they will be unable to rise to this discursive challenge. The extraordinary danger of renewed great power conflict, mostly elided by progressive media outlets and MPs, calls for an internationalism with the analytic tools to confront it.”

The pro-Brexit sovereigntist continues, shedding a tear over Corbins defeat. There was “a brief moment during the Corbyn era”, one that has passed most of us actual Labour members by.

That was the time when a “national industrial strategy ” based on self-reliance was on the cards,

This strategy was to be implemented by a more active state, unshackled from the ordoliberal competition rules of the EU, that could have played a dynamic role in coaxing and directing investment.

Leaving the “ever closer union” also gave the leadership the opportunity to develop a new trade justice policy, reshaping Britain’s trading relationships to reflect the principles of global solidarity (in contrast to the neocolonial EU Customs Union, which guarantees competitive advantage for European producers). Shadow minister Jon Trickett drew up plans for an international alliance of progressive leaders, including Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa, as a substitute for Britain’s circle of oil-rich despots.

In this realm of something that never happened and was never going to happen, a banner with strange device was raised:

” This program combined a commitment to justice abroad with transformative measures at home. It was alert to the practical implications of disentangling the UK from its imperial networks — and it offered a radical vision of Britain outside the EU, bringing an end to the assumption that Brexit was an intrinsically racist or nationalist enterprise.”

Most people thought Labour, under Corbyn’s leadership called to vote Remain in the EU – but then Ollie had obviously got so close to Labour’s Chief he knew better than the Party card-carriers, commentators, and historians, though probably not the Morning Star.

Yet, Brexit took place and showed itself “racist and nationalist”.

That’s more of a proof than an article in the US left populist Jacobin…

Written by Andrew Coates

December 23, 2021 at 10:01 am

Chile: Boric has “pledged a new order based on left-wing populism and identity politics” – Wall Street Journal.

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Who Is Gabriel Boric, Chile's Next President? - The New York Times

“New order based on left-wing populism and identity politics.” –  Axel Kaiser. Wall Street Journal

A few years ago you could hardly open a left-wing journal without stumbling across an article about left-wing populism. “We are currently witnessing in Western Europe a “populist moment” that signals the crisis of neoliberal hegemony. The central axis of the political conflict will be between right- and left-wing populism.” argued one of the best known theorists and would-be strategist Chantal Mouffe. ” By establishing a frontier between “the people” and “the oligarchy,” a left–populist strategy could bring together the manifold struggles against subordination, oppression and discrimination.”

With wider international implications, she wrote, “The struggle for the “hegemonic struggle to recover democracy needs to start at the level of the nation state that, despite, having lost many of its prerogatives, is still one of the crucial spaces for the exercise of democracy and popular sovereignty.” For a Left Populism. 2018) With strong national “libidinal investment” in national identifications, “mobilisation” is needed around “a patriotic identification with the best and most egalitarian aspect of the national tradition.” (Page 71)

This “construction” or “federation” of the people could take shape, some claimed, around charismatic Leaders, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and La France insoumise in France, Pablo Iglesias and Podemos in Spain. Mouffe claimed in 2018 that, “Corbyn’s Labour is a social democratic party which is in the process of transforming itself by adopting a left populist strategy.” She continued, “What is important in the case of Britain is to see that the aim of Corbyn, and of Momentum, is to transform the Labour Party into a popular movement. ” (For A Left Populism’: An interview with Chantal Mouffe)

Those words seem culled from a remote era. The movement-party-rally (organised in its own metaverse, with virtual democracy) La France insoumise, whose Leader Mélenchon had come to similar conclusions, was in dialogue with Mouffe. He had at least the merit of emphasising the importance of material historical forces over the theorist and Ernesto Laulau’s theories on “floating signifiers” and creating discursive “chains of equivalence” to construct The People in its fight against the Oligarchy. Materially Mélenchon had had a fillip in recent days and now stands at 11% in French opinion polls for next year’s Presidential elections – still long from being able to govern France and to act as the “chaînon manquant” (missing link) between popular movements and state power.

Many on the French left have more interest at present in explaining the less than progressive aspects of the country’s identity, and the materially well-financed rightist media and its organic intellectuals, some formerly on the left. They have shifted, or been part of the shift in political debate about the ‘nation’ and the ‘republic’, including definitions of secularism, through the arrival of forces promoting the anti-immigration ideas of the xenophobic extreme right (Comment sommes-nous devenus réacs ? Frédérique Matonti. 2021). Matonti concludes with the observation that outgoing President Macron is himself engaged in poaching (braconnage) from the right’s repetoire, including classic themes on the ‘duties’ of the unemployed and cutting down on social security.

Podemos is in government with the Spanish Socialists, once denounced as part of ‘la casta’, the politician friends of the Oligarchy. Jeremy Corbyn remains Corbyn, outside the Labour Party.

Enter Chile....

President-Elect Boric Aims to Undo Chile’s Economic Progress

His wish list, which includes ending private pensions, would destroy Chile’s capital markets.

 Axel Kaiser. Opinion. Wall Street Journal.

‘Chile will be the tomb of neoliberalism,” Gabriel Boric promised after being chosen as the far left’s presidential candidate in July. His 56% to 44% victory over conservative José Antonio Kast in Sunday’s election gives him a chance to fulfill that promise.

The election was a referendum on Chile’s past four decades. While Mr. Kast backed the principles and institutions that brought unprecedented levels of prosperity, his rival pledged a new order based on left-wing populism and identity politics.

Yet the most dangerous effects of Mr. Boric’s victory may well be seen in the new constitution. The election results may embolden the radical left that holds sway over Chile’s constitutional convention, which is expected to wrap up next July. The left may come up with a more aggressively populist draft than would have been the case if Mr. Kast had won. If Chileans approve such a constitution in next year’s plebiscite, their country’s fate as another failed Latin American nation will be sealed.

(Axel Kaiser: Kaiser works for Fundación Para El Progreso, founded by the businessman Nicolás Ibáñez Scott. El Mercurio newspaper has described him as Chilean liberalism’ main exponent. He is also the first Latin American to obtain first place in Mont Pèlerin Society’s Hayek Essay Contest.)

The Wall Street Journal is no doubt ‘the enemy’, but is Gabriel Boric quite the friend of left-wing populism that the neoliberal Bible says he is?

Interview with socialist Chilean President Gabriel Boric’s economic advisor, Stephany Griffiths-Jones

(Extracts)

Stephany Griffith-Jones, one of the most eloquent promoters of the role of the state and public banks in the equitable development of South American economies, joined a group of advisers to Gabriel Boric, Chile’s presidential candidate, before the start of his second round campaign for the Presidency. The decision to appoint Griffith-Jones – a professor at the University of Sussex and collaborator with Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz at Columbia University in New York – is proof that Boric build on not only ideas from the 2019 protest movement, but also experts close to Concertación and Nueva Mayoría, who led the centre-left governments of Chile’s slow transition from dictatorship.

It seems that Gabriel Boric is facing a problem. He is a candidate for change, a movement that has taken to the streets of Santiago to protest the neo-liberal model. But if he wins, he will come to power in a difficult budget situation that leaves little room for progressive budget policy

Yes. At the moment the budgetary situation is very difficult. The fiscal deficit is already at 13% of GDP… Piñera went from one extreme to another in his response to the pandemic. He did nothing at first, and a lot of low-income people were in real trouble. This is where the first withdrawals from pension funds were introduced, to help low-income people in great difficulty. [Chile’s Congress authorised raids on the country’s privatised pension funds during covid, turning them into a “piggy-bank”, with about $50bn or 25% of their value withdrawn to date.] But then, in 2021, Piñera went to the other extreme. He gave generous support, perhaps too much, to many, even people who were not so poor. And consumption skyrocketed. Chilean GDP will grow this year between 11% and 12%. The economy is totally overheated.

What should be done?

Boric has committed himself to significantly reducing the budget deficit in one year and respecting the budget already approved by Parliament. It is a sign of his moderation. In the coming years, he wants to raise taxes gradually and increase the collection of existing taxes – higher direct taxes, and lower indirect taxes. Indirect taxes, such as value added tax, account for more than 50% of Chile’s total tax revenue, well above the OECD average. There is also a commitment to combat tax evasion, which in Chile is twice the OECD average, but this requires more tax inspectors.

…..

Boric is a European-style Social Democrat. I met him first at a conference to discuss the Scandinavian model of government. He has been more on the left, but he is aware of the current budget problems and is very open to discussions with all sides. That said, he is very committed to the need for redistribution.

….

Given the polarity and rejection of the system, do you think it can be a double-edged sword to enjoy the support of the main political figures from Concertación?

No. That’s very positive for Boric. Leftists will vote for him anyway. The problem is attracting the votes of most of those in the middle. Although the most important thing is to attract young people who demonstrate, but sometimes do not vote. Participation in the first round was very low. In the past, the center and the left always worked when they merged. It can be expected to be the same this time. Boric acknowledged the contribution of the Christian Democrats (PDC) and it was a very good move. He met Ricardo Lagos [centre-left president from 2000 to 2006] and Michelle Bachelet [centre-left President from 2006 to 2010, and from 2014 to 2018]. They were wonderful to him. Much of the center and left have already joined the campaign. And the Christian Democrats support him even though they say they would not enter government with him. It is also true that the fact that Kast is percieved as disastrous made the reunion easier…

Boric and his supporters are very committed to the ecological transition. Chile is lucky because it has lithium, which is essential for batteries, and copper, which is essential for the enerfy transition. In addition, there is great potential for further development of solar and wind energy. It is necessary to give priority to certain sectors for that transition, supporting their development, and Kast does not understand this. Development banks must be mobilized for the green transition. And financial regulation can be used to incentivize commercial bank loans to companies with low-carbon investments.

Public investment is key. For example, Boric wants to invest heavily in building an extensive rail network. Then there is hydrogen. Hydrogen can be produced sustainably in Chile because there are many ways to generate renewable energy. We can use green hydrogen in mining to have green copper.

This article in Libération today, written party in response to Mélenchon’s claim to a link with the victorious President, also argues that Boric, who comes from the radical left, is now more social democratic:

De quelle gauche est vraiment le nouveau président chilien Gabriel Boric ? Arthur Quentin

Issu de la gauche radicale, le vainqueur de l’élection présidentielle chilienne est régulièrement comparé à la figure socialiste Salvador Allende Mais pour sortir son pays du néolibéralisme dont il fut le laboratoire, la politique de Gabriel Boric sera bien plus social-démocrate.

Coming from the radical left the winner of the Chilean Presidential election is often compared to the socialist Salvador Allende. But to take his country away from the neoliberalism for which the country served as a laboratory, the policies of Gabriel Boris will be rather more social democratic.

The programme of the victorious Apruebo Dignidad coalition changed a lot during the in-between rounds. Several liberal economists have entered it, including former director of the Chilean Central Bank Roberto Zahler. “A zealous defender of fiscal austerity” according to Franck Gaudichaud. With their arrival, the tax reform making it possible to collect 8% of the GDP promised by the candidate Boric has already been revised downwards and set at 5%. Which does not seem like much to finance the welfare state of which the future president has made himself the defender.

In the neoliberal context that is that of Chile, Boric’s proposals are nevertheless considered to be very much on the left. Ending the quasi-private pension system, for example, is a step forward. But we should not expect to see flourish a pay-as-you-go system, similar to the French one, and in which no less than 13.6% of GDP is injected. Likewise, there are no plans to nationalise the immense reserves of copper or lithium which make Chile so rich. On the other hand, there will be a slightly more severe taxes on business turnover.

It is therefore difficult to assert, as the centre-right daily La Vanguardia does, however, that Gabriel Boric “takes up the legacy of the socialist overthrown by Pinochet”, who had in his time expropriated the owners of the copper mines and nationalised the banks. However, the newly elected president never ceases to pay tribute to Allende, whether by paraphrasing him in his victory speech or by portraying himself in front of his bust during a visit to the Chilean presidency, the day after his victory. This is (perhaps) a way of arousing, in his most left-wing supporters and probably disappointed future ones, a degree of benevolence towards his decisions.

This is a good sign:

Written by Andrew Coates

December 22, 2021 at 12:42 pm

The Victory of Gabriel Boric in Chile, “The way ahead will open for free women and men to build a better society”.

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Salvador Allende. “Se abrirán las grandes alamedas por donde pase el hombre y la mujer libre para construir una sociedad mejor”.

The way ahead will open for free women and men to build a better society

Reactions.

Spanish Socialist Party, PSOE – in government with Podemos.

PSOE@PSOE·Congratulations @gabrielboric! Your victory in the presidential elections is a victory that moves #Chile towards a more just, inclusive and sustainable future.

We will be with you on this path of progress. Good luck and success!

Government representative of Spain. Congratulations @gabrielboric for your victory in the Chilean presidential elections. The Chilean people move forward with hope towards a more just, feminist and environmental future. Our countries will continue to strengthen their relations, strengthening ties between Latin America and the EU.

Podemos

PODEMOS ANTE EL TRIUNFO DE GABRIEL BORIC EN LAS ELECCIONES PRESIDENCIALES DE CHILE.

¡Enhorabuena, Chile!

The Chilean people this Sunday held a crucial presidential election for the country and for all of Latin America. Two years after the social outbreak that gave rise to the constituent process that is currently underway, and after a first round that left out the traditional parties of the right and the Concertación, this electoral milestone has taken place in a context of deep polarisation. On the one hand, the far-right candidate José Antonio Kast, who has openly supported the Pinochet dictatorship and has shown himself against the constitutional process, has carried out a campaign marked by the language of fear, hatred and defamation. On the other hand, the leftist candidate Gabriel Boric, heir to social struggles and with a leading role in the constituent process, He has maintained a discourse of hope and defence of social justice and rights for all the Chilean people, with a real project for the future for the country. In recent days, these elections have become a question of the survival of democracy in Chile, with a great mobilisation of support from civil society and the international community.

With a 55% participation, the leftist candidate, Gabriel Boric, has prevailed with 55.86% of the votes over the far-right José Antonio Kast, who has obtained 44.14%. These data make him with the highest voting turn-out president in the history of Chile. Despite the news of a boycott of the public transport system by the government of Sebastián Piñera, the organisation and popular unity behind him demonstrate that only by its own efforts can the popular masses win. The discourse of hope, the consolidation of social advances, feminism and environmentalism has conquered over fear, deepening neoliberal policies and a regression to the times of the Pinochet dictatorship. With this result, Chile opens a new political stage that is historic for the country and for the world, which promises to bury Pinochet’s legacy once and for all.

Only six months remain for the presentation of a new constitutional text that will be voted on later in a referendum. A new Constitution that aspires and aims to recognise the rights of all Chilean women and to be the voice of the historically excluded. The popular will reflected in the ballot box is an indispensable support for this process, which the future president is called to care for and protect. In addition, it has to lead economic recovery after the impact of the pandemic and the social and institutional crisis that has dragged on since the Covid outbreak of 2019.

From Podemos we celebrate, deeply, the triumph of Gabriel Boric and the compañeras of Apruebo Dignidad , and we congratulate the Chilean people for the lesson in democracy that they have given to the world, demonstrating that history really is ours and is made by the people. The result is a reason for hope for all progressive and popular forces throughout Latin America and the world. Congratulations, Chile!

There is a good article in French on the site Europe Solidaires sans Frontières.

In Chile, Gabriel Boric has given an unprecedented victory to the left (Au Chili, Gabriel Boric offre une victoire inédite à la gauche).

The victory was sweeping. At the head of a vast alliance ranging from the Communist Party to the centre-left, the ex-deputy and former student leader Gabriel Boric, 35, won by 56% of the vote against the far-right candidate, José Antonio Kast. He embodies a new left, both moderate and at odds with the forces which have ensured the “transition to democracy”. The new president pledged during the campaign to end the neoliberal legacy of the dictatorship.

Gabriel Boric handles symbols well. On the evening of his victory in the primary of the left coalition “Apruebo Dignidad” for the Chilean presidential election, on July the 18th, he marked the occasion by concluding his speech with a nod to Salvador Allende. “Soon, in all the regions of Chile, the way ahead will open again for free man and woman to build a better society , ” he promised to his supporters.

The former socialist president of Popular Unity (UP, which brought together the Communist Party and the Socialist Party, from 1970 to 1973) had said this phrase in the Moneda palace, bombed during the military coup d’etat of Augusto Pinochet September 11, 1973. That day, the hope raised by the “Chilean way to socialism”, outlined by the compañero presidente , ended in blood.

Even if the context has changed, reconnecting with the memory of the thousand days of the UP government makes sense for the young candidate of the new Chilean left. At 35 (just the legal age to claim to govern the country), Gabriel Boric embodies the possibility of a turn to the left in Chile, after three decades of “pact transition” to democracy , and alternation between the Concertation democratic (the center-left of Michelle Bachelet) and the right (including the current head of state Sebastian Piñera). His victory constitutes a break in the electoral order that had been built since the return to pluralist elections in 1989.

Update, The Challenge of Chile

The election of Gabriel Boric, a left-wing president, has consequences far beyond the country’s borders.

ARIEL DORFMAN

Extract:

Yet I remain cautiously optimistic.

Partly, this derives from the exceptional qualities of Chile’s next president. Boric was forged in the student protests of 10 years ago—and has kept faith with the tenets of that struggle, averting the temptation of being corrupted and domesticated by those in power. He has also learned the value of flexibility. It is encouraging to see him so open to dialogue, to note his willingness to recognize mistakes and proclaim himself as someone—as he said in his victory speech—who listens more than he talks. Never underestimate the capacity to prevail of a leader with genuine compassion for those who suffer, who counts on the unique gift of courage and generosity from his fellow humans.

Another factor in Boric’s favor is that a Constitutional Convention (which he was instrumental in creating) is, at this very moment, discussing a new Magna Carta to replace the fraudulent Chilean Constitution pushed through in 1980 by Pinochet and that has hamstrung reforms ever since. The unprecedented process of reimagining how the nation should be governed, of how it can fulfill the dream of becoming a truly inclusive society, is being carried out by delegates who represent the immense diversity of the Chilean people. The convention has parity of male and female representatives, is presided over by an indigenous woman, and is on its way to liberating Chile from the persistent legal and ideological shackles of Pinochet’s legacy. It has also taken pains to make its deliberations participatory and community-based—a practice that coincides with and enhances Boric’s own instincts and experiences.

Equally promising for Boric’s success is that his triumphant rise comes at an auspicious moment for the Latin American left. Argentina, Bolivia, and Perú, the three nations bordering Chile, are currently ruled, however uncertainly and precariously, by left-wing administrations. Farther afield, the election of a socialist woman as president of Honduras and the likelihood that the progressive Lula da Silva will defeat Joao Bolsonaro (a buddy, by the way, of Kast) are other signs of major shifts on the horizon. Right-wing governments in Ecuador and Colombia are in trouble, with the possibility that the former M-19 guerilla Gustavo Petro, one of the front-runners for the Colombian presidency in next year’s elections, could pull off a startling win. And Boric’s fierce defense of human rights wherever they are violated and his commitment to democratic norms and institutions—which have already led him to criticize the dictatorship of the pseudo-Sandinista Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and the travesties of Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro—could assist in a needed renovation and rethinking of the left in Latin America, helping to avoid the mistakes of previous revolutionary governments.

Finally, though, my belief that those who voted overwhelmingly for Boric may be able to meet, along with him, so many different challenges, is rooted in my personal existence. When I arrived in Santiago as a 12-year-old boy in 1954, born in Buenos Aires and raised in New York, I was soon entranced by the beauty of the land and the valor and wisdom of its people. In the decades that followed, I found a home in the vast movement for social justice that Chileans had built since independence, a movement that culminated in the democratically elected government of socialist Salvador Allende. And after the bloody 1973 coup that terminated the Allende experiment, I was amazed and inspired by how the country I had made my own managed to resist the dictatorship with enormous sacrifices and then oust Pinochet by peaceful means, initiating a transition to democracy that, with all its imperfections, has now found a leader who can help the people complete their journey toward freedom and equality.

……

Written by Andrew Coates

December 21, 2021 at 12:40 pm

Boris Johnson: the Butt of the Joke?

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darts fan holds up 'all round to Boris's after' poster

Le ridicule ne tue pas?

Has taking the piss ever finished off anybody?

Boris Johnson has got it in the neck:

Let’s look at historical precedent.

The Book of Esther begins with the Persian court of King Ahasuerus, ruler of the Persian Empire holding a 180-day banquet, initially for his court and dignitaries and afterwards a seven-day banquet for all inhabitants of the capital city, Shushan (Esther 1:1–9). Advanced radical scholars interpret these lines a historical fact told through a mixture of satire and buffoonery, that is, early pantomime.

King Xerxes reigned from his royal throne in the citadel of Susa, and in the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his nobles and officials. The military leaders of Persia and Media, the princes, and the nobles of the provinces were present.

For a full 180 days he displayed the vast wealth of his kingdom and the splendour and glory of his majesty. When these days were over, the king gave a banquet, lasting seven days, in the enclosed garden of the king’s palace, for all the people from the least to the greatest who were in the citadel of Susa. The garden had hangings of white and blue linen, fastened with cords of white linen and purple material to silver rings on marble pillars. There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones. Wine was served in goblets of gold, each one different from the other, and the royal wine was abundant, in keeping with the king’s liberality. By the king’s command each guest was allowed to drink with no restrictions, for the king instructed all the wine stewards to serve each man what he wished.

I can’t say I laughed much reading this story.

But the tale ends, according to some, happily.

There are many deaths.

Boris Johnson and his parties have featured in many jokes over the last few days.

There is of course this reality:

Whether or not the bellowing buffoon, the corrupt clown, and the dastard of Downing Street will go, remains to be seen.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 21, 2021 at 9:26 am

Left (Apruebo Dignidad) Boric Beats Far-Right Kast in Historic Win in Chilean Presidential Election.

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Image

Good News. Really Good News!

Chileans take to the streets to celebrate leftist Boric’s election victory.

Gabriel Boric, who rose to prominence during anti-government protests, has defeated the right-wing populist Jose Antonio Kast. Tens of thousands of Boric supporters have been celebrating on the streets of Santiago.

Boric was a candidate in the 2021 Chilean presidential election. On 18 July 2021, Boric won the Apruebo Dignidad primary election in an upset against Recoleta mayor Daniel Jadue, receiving approximately 60% of the vote.[27] Prior to the primary election, Jadue had been favored over Boric in some national opinion polls.[28] Following his primary victory, Boric announced on Twitter that he would work together with Jadue during the general election in order to present a united front.[29] On 19 December 2021, Boric won the election with 56% of the vote,[7] with his inauguration due March 11, 2022.

Apruebo Dignidad, “Apruebo Dignidad (in English, Approve Dignity, AD) is a left-wing Chilean electoral coalition officially created on January 11, 2021.”

This was a good meeting on the background. Both Gonzalo and Kelly Zoomed from Chili.

Chile: how to build on two years of left-wing revolt to defeat the far right? Kelly Rogers.

The left in Chile is a complicated tapestry of parties and coalitions. In brief, Gabriel Boric is standing for Frente Amplio (Broad Front, FA), an electoral coalition formed in 2017, which brings together a large number of groups ranging from the centre left to the far left. It traces its roots to the student revolts of 2011, and many of the coalition’s MPs, including Boric, were student organisers in that period. The Trotskyist left in Chile is separate and small, though not insignificant, and the FA’s political centre is informed primarily by social movements and by a generation of activists who wanted to create a more radical electoral alternative to the Communist Party (an ironic aim, say many activists now, given more recent developments).

Boric himself is from Social Convergence, a group that merged from three smaller autonomist and libertarian left groups; slightly to its right is Revolución Democrática, the largest group in FA’s parliamentary delegation, a more reformist coalition that tends towards left social democracy; and alongside them sit a handful of other left groups: UNIR, Commons and Common Force. The Liberal Party, who are openly centrist, split from FA when it began to work more closely with the Communists.

This is also good background, Michael Chessum is also there.

In Chile Michael Chessum

London Review of Books. 3rd of December.

The left faces a series of strategic dilemmas. A successful candidate will need to offer stability after years of upheaval and division, but there is an obvious tension between stability and the politics of radical change. It remains to be seen how far Boric will moderate his programme in the hope of winning over centrist voters. The young leaders of the Chilean left have to work out how to replace the establishment without becoming it. If Syriza’s experience in Greece has been anything to go by, winning the election will only be the first test.

3 December

There is this as well…

Written by Andrew Coates

December 20, 2021 at 9:14 am

Piers Corbyn filmed ‘encouraging public to burn MPs’ offices’.

with 8 comments

Corbyn: Beyond a Joke.

Two prominent Brexiters are in the news.

Brexit minister’s shock resignation leaves Boris Johnson reeling

Lord Frost’s frustrated exit is yet another blow for PM struggling for control of his government

Boris Johnson was dealt another major blow to his leadership on Saturday night as it emerged that the man overseeing Brexit was resigning from the cabinet.

With Tory MPs already warning the prime minister that he would have to regain control of the government to survive as leader until the next election, it emerged that Lord Frost is to leave the government after frustrations over Brexit negotiations and broader concerns over the government’s Covid policies and tax increases.

The other was Piers Corbyn, a hard line Leave supporter whose own ‘concerns’ about government Covid policies have led him to become a public nuisance. For reasons which are not clear there is no restraining order on the man intent on carrying out what can be called harassment.

The latest story began with Tweets on behalf of Corbyn to parallel yesterday’s London demonstration against Vaccine Passports.

Things quickly developed.

This Story began to circulate widely, it is thought, when ‘Habibi’, believed to be the nom de guerre of David Toube, tweeted. (1)

Given the source not everybody was immediately sure about the claims. Well, it was there on the video. Was this really a shot taken yesterday? Yes.

The Media took it up:

As it began to sink in people had got quickly angrier and angrier.

Let us be clear: Piers Corbyn has, as Ian F points out, passed from confusionism, to red-brownism and conspiracy mongering about the New World Order, to outright fascism.

If the Police decide to prosecute and he gets slung in gaol him few people on the left will shed any tears.

BREAKING:

******

(1) Toube’s counter-extremism background is touched on at points in this article, principally about Maajid Nawaz The Charmed Life & Strange, Sad Death OF THE QUILLIAM FOUNDATION Nafeez Ahmed11 May 2021 to his credit David left Quilliam when it leading figure went off the rails in a big way. It is thought that it no coincidence that Toube’s interest in Piers Corbyn comes at a time when his former colleague Nawaz has got involved in disputes about Covid, “UNHAPPY times at LBC, where coronavirus is causing public dissension between its presenters. Iain Dale began a war of words with his radio colleague Maajid Nawaz last night, accusing Nawaz of spreading “deranged rubbish” about the pandemic. Nawaz had questioned the use of the Covid booster.” December the 14th.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 19, 2021 at 9:14 am

Mass Demonstration Against Covid Passports.

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Image

Mass Covid Spreading Event.

In town at lunchtime today pubs and restaurants looked far from heaving. A lot more people have been wearing masks in the streets than have been in recent weeks. You can feel the mood is one of concern just by looking at people’s faces or chatting to those you know.

There have been reports in our local paper of outbreaks of the new variant of Covid.

Ambulance staff Christmas party leads to Covid outbreak

A staff Christmas party has led to several coronavirus cases among Suffolk’s ambulance workers in the last week, putting more pressure on the service. 

Dozens of staff from the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) celebrated at Trinity Park outside Ipswich on Thursday December 9.

The next day managers sent a message to staff saying someone had tested positive and anyone who attended the party should take daily lateral flow tests and upload the results to the Trust’s computer system for the next week.

According to one source the numbers testing positive after the party has been increasing all week, but EEAST would not say exactly how many were off with Covid.

“It could potentially cause a massive effect on staffing levels and pressures,” the source said, who knew of around eight cases.

This is happening across the country:

Look at this lot:

The cut of their gib alone…

Reports: Anti-lockdown protest.

Police are clashing with protesters amid a fresh wave of anti-vaccine protests in central London today (Saturday, December 18).

Protesters gathered in Parliament Square from 12pm this afternoon, where they have clashed with police before marching through central London.

Video footage shows police surrounded by jostling protesters at the ‘Freedom Rally’ in Parliament Square.

One video, shared on Twitter in the last hour, shows a group of masked police brandishing their batons as crowds of unmasked, shouting demonstrators converge on them.

A sign which reads: “A Passport is Control Not Freedom” can be seen among various placards and a Trump supporter flag in the crowd.

Thousands gather in London’s Parliament Square to protest against COVID-19 restrictions

A demonstration against mandatory vaccinations has been organised by “Take a Stand London”, “Save our Rights” and “The Great Reopening”, along with other protest groups from 12pm at Parliament Square in Westminster. The iconic location was said to be “rammed” with angry Britons on Saturday afternoon, with one witness saying on Twitter: “Parliament Square rammed with protestors!” The protest today saw people travel to the capital from across the UK and there are also rallies in Bournemouth, Blackburn, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and the Isle of Wight.

And now news emerges of this:

Written by Andrew Coates

December 18, 2021 at 5:20 pm

French Presidential Elections Poll: Divided far-right (Le Pen and Zemmour) totals historic high at 29%.

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Divided far-right (le Pen and Zemmour) totals historic high at 29%.

For those following French politics this is a thorough and must-read study.

The rival far right candidates, despite the issue of immigration coming at 31% third in the list of people’s concerns (after living standards, 40% and Covid 33%), seem to have been pushed aside by Vallière Pécresse of Les Républicaines. She is of the traditional (formerly ‘Gaullist’) centre to hard right and now looks to be the main challenger to outgoing President Emmanuel Macron.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon continues his decline below 10% and now stands neck-and-neck with the Green candidate Yannick Jadot The Socialist Party candidate and Mayor of Paris, Hidalgo fails to reach 5%. The rest of the left barely registers, the Communists have the same score as sovereigntist Frexit campaigner Dupont-Aignan. The Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste are at 1,5% as is left sovereigntist Montebourg. At 0,5% Lutte Ouvrière are at a level that is statistically irrelevant. Jean Lassalle despite nicking his party name from Chris Williamson (Résistons) is a centrist, far from the left.

Le Monde comments;

Two elements call for caution, however. First of all, abstention. According to our panel, 61% of those questioned declared themselves “certain to vote”, which is nine points less than in December 2016. Logically, “probable” and “potential” abstainers are 27% of those questioned. , compared to 18% five years ago. As the campaign progresses, the French will take an interest in the stakes of the ballot and some of these abstainers could decide to vote. It remains to be seen for whom.

Another very important data: electoral mobility. Our survey shows that in two months 30% of respondents have changed their minds and are part of those we call les changeurs” (literally, money changers/currency exchangers) . A significant figure.

.. if the total of all the candidates of the left, environmentalists and the extreme left is between 24% and 29.5%, it seems impossible to join together, or even co-exist, their programmes which diverge on points as crucial as ecological transition, nuclear power. , security or secularism, or even imagine that revolutionaries will line up behind reformists.

Election présidentielle 2022 : un scrutin plus que jamais imprévisible, selon la troisième enquête électorale publiée par « Le Monde »

The left has been further shaken up by this announcement,

Former left-wing justice minister Taubira considering run for French presidency

France 24.

Christiane Taubira, a leading figure on the left of French politics and a justice minister in the Socialist government of former president François Hollande, said Friday she was considering running for president next year, and would give an update on her plans in January

In a video posted on her Twitter account Friday, Taubira said: “What matters is the fragility of daily life for millions of you, the uncertainties of the future, the fragmentations that are at work in French society.”

Christiane Taubira, a leading figure on the left of French politics and a justice minister in the Socialist government of former president François Hollande, said Friday she was considering running for president next year, and would give an update on her plans in January.

In a video posted on her Twitter account Friday, Taubira said: “What matters is the fragility of daily life for millions of you, the uncertainties of the future, the fragmentations that are at work in French society.”

Taubira comes across very well, “Taubira was nominated Minister of Justice by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, following the victory of François Hollande in the 2012 elections. At the time, she was one of the few black, female politicians within a prominent ministry in the French government. She soon emerged as one of the most outspoken and progressive voices in the government”.

Many people, including the writer of this Blog, like her.

However…. there are those who recall her Presidential candidacy in 2002, which some blame for fragmenting the vote at the time. “In 2002, Taubira was a Left Radical Party (PRG) candidate for the Presidency, although she did not belong to the Party; she won 2.32% of the votes.”

Taubira 2022 : le spectre d’une candidature sans projet

The left magazine Regards is not short on criticisms,

According to what generation you are from, Christiane Taubira does not evoke the same memories. There are those who remember her first steps in the National Assembly in 1993 when she supported vote of confidence in the Prime Minister of the time, a certain (centre-right) Edouard Balladur…. A year later, she campaigned alongside Bernard Tapie for the European elections, supported by the Left Radical Party (PRG).

There are those on the left who hated her in 2002 when she decided to run for president. The same people accused her of having weakened the left with her 2.32% in the first round, preventing, according to them, the Socialist Lionel Jospin (16.18%) from reaching the second round and having made the run off possible between Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen – often forgetting that among the other contenders for the Élysée Palace, there were other left candidates, Arlette Laguiller (5.72%), Jean-Pierre Chevènement (5.33%), Noël Mamère ( 5.25%), Olivier Besancenot (4.25%) or Robert Hue (3.91%).

Finally, there is the Christiane Taubira of the last two decades, the one whose voice and lyrical flights still resonate with delight in our ears, when she defended in 2001 the historic law recognizing trafficking and slavery as a crime against humanity or that in 2012 in favour of gay marriage (marriage pour tous). The same person who resigned, some time later, from the government of Manuel Valls to mark her political disagreement with his project to deprive people of French nationality (Note: initially for offences that, “constituant une atteinte grave à la vie de la Nation” serious damage to the life of the nation, essentially terrorism, after intense and complex controversy the law was not passed) – even if we forget a little too quickly that the only minister, in the Council of Ministers, who strongly opposed this announcement was George Pau-Langevin, in the Overseas portfolio.

..

Despite everything, she remains an icon of the left without really knowing the grounds or the reasons for it.

(full article via link above).

Regards is historically a Parti Communiste Français magazine, although it has a broader left basis at present.

Guardian:

Written by Andrew Coates

December 18, 2021 at 1:50 pm

Morning Star on Shropshire Tory Rout, “Labour is a Party that Hates itself.”

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North Shropshire by-election result: Lib Dems win historic victory in blow  for Boris Johnson | Shropshire Star

Starmer’s Critics Did Not Wait Long to Attack.

The Alt-left Tweets got going this morning:

Corbynista Extraordinaire Rachel writes,

Now we have Rosie Dee on the Squawking one’s Organ,

“Earlier this week, ‘Rosie Dee’ – a popular activist still in the Labour party – wrote in withering terms of Keir Starmer’s foolish squandering of an opportunity to actually oppose and set Labour apart from the Tories, when Starmer propped up Boris Johnson to save him from a Tory rebellion over ‘Covid passports’ and compulsory vaccinations. Starmer did not even demand any concessions from Johnson in return.

Now she analyses Labour’s catastrophic result in last night’s by-election as a ‘nightmare’ for the Tory PM – and for the Tory-lite Starmer:

North Shropshire – a Nightmare for Johnson, A dream for Lib Dems and sleepless nights for Labour if they are to approach this result with honesty.

Given the tone of some of Skwawky’s crew of commentators it’s not cups of Rosie Dee (Co-op 99) that they’ve been drinking,

It is not merely Keir Starmer who needs to go as leader. The whole rotten borough organisation of the Establishment reserves from Blair, Mandelson and Campbell et al through to the majority of the current PLP and their LA equivalents, along with their cadre of twelve year old management clones clogging up space which could be filled by people of talent and commitment to the values, both at head office and throughout the region’s all need to be expunged from the host body if that host is not to permanently expire.

We need a root and branch clearing out of the stables with room only for those prepared to do what it says on the tin when it comes to values and doing the business. No bodge jobs and no sodding waste of time and space careerists – just as applicable to some of the wastes of space self referencing so called ‘progressive’ (pseudo)’ left’ as it is with such equivalents on the right/extreme centre.

Editorial: How should we interpret the Tory humiliation in North Shropshire?

Morning Star – wholly independent of the Communist Party of Britain and owned by the co-op (not the Co-op that sells 99 Tea).

“Local factors may have played a part in the party’s collapsed appeal: the well-known Labour candidate of the last three general elections, Graeme Currie, was barred from standing for having shared social media posts supportive of Jeremy Corbyn and freedom for Palestine.”

Comment: there may be some truth in this claim,

Betrayed and abused’: Labour’s previous North Shropshire candidate not shortlisted for by-election

Nov 14, 2021 Shropshire Star,

An experienced Labour politician spoke of his “anger and revulsion” after being barred from running for the party in the North Shropshire by-election, suggesting it was partly because of his support for Jeremy Corbyn.

The Morning Star rushes to its own judgement:

“The anti-socialist stitch-up will have left a bad taste in the mouth, sapping Labour members’ will to campaign and reminding voters that Labour is a party that hates itself.

The self-identifying Daily Paper of the Left is keen not to rejoice at the Tory defeat.

These local factors should not be of much comfort, however. For one thing, Labour’s anti-socialist purges and arbitrary disqualification of local members’ preferred candidates are Britain-wide: they are undermining the party everywhere.

For another, the stampede towards the Lib Dems is a sign of class politics in retreat.

Others would point to the Lib-Dem by-election machine’s efficient working of a constituency which has little, if any, record of class struggle, and where there was not a hope in hell of getting a Labour MP in.

The Labour leadership are likely to read the Lib Dem vote as confirmation of Keir Starmer’s view that the Tories are vulnerable on sleaze but the big challenges to the status quo represented by Corbynism and Brexit are in the past. That people want things as they are, but without Johnson.

Given that Johnson is a corrupt clown, a national populist whose election owed a lot to his personal appeal to the voters, what is wrong with landing a severe blow against him? The Lib-Dem victory undermined the popular bit of the ‘populism’. What could be better first step to getting rid of him and his party’s hold on office?

The Editorial concludes with words that could have been written any time during the last thirty years. It gives no reason to indicate that people have a clear idea of what they want, until enlightened by the Morning Star and whatever ‘radical alternative’ they, pro-Brexiteers who played their part in creating the status quo, back at the moment.

We cannot accept a return to “there is no alternative” politics when every development from the pandemic to climate change screams the need for a radical alternative from the rooftops.

But stopping it will mean rebuilding the power of organised labour step by step, workplace by workplace and community by community.

If that’s their trade union funding sorted, and everybody who wants something done about climate change in their camp, but how many divisions has the Morning Star’s friends in the CPG got in the workplace and community? A few thousand, counting fellow travellers….

Update.

Like this well-hard geezer, small businessman Steve Walker – the man they are calling the new Tony Greenstein…

Bland and treacherous LibDems surge to take seat from chaotic Tories. Bland and treacherous Labour loses more than 56% of its vote share.

“…the bigger disaster was that of Keir Starmer’s Labour. In an election created by the resignation of the previous Tory incumbent in a scandal, Labour didn’t just fail to win the seat but lost more than 56% of its vote share at the last election under the supposedly unpopular Jeremy Corbyn.

Starmer and his factional allies have, of course, been vigorously rewriting history to suggest that Labour lost the 2019 general election because of Corbyn’s supposed unpopularity ‘on the [mythical] doorstep’ and greeted Starmer’s accession as the turning point that would show how much the country was clamouring for their diseased version of Labour.

Starmer’s taste-free snake oil has no appeal when it comes to the actual event of putting an ‘X’ on parliamentary ballot paper.

Tragically, a country in desperate need of real change has none on offer at a parliamentary level. Starmer’s destruction of the one vehicle of hope for that change is unforgivable and last night voters got the chance to deliver him the message yet again.”

From the Comments..

“I see Starmer’s policy of expelling all socialists on the pretext of antisemitism and persuading all the disillusioned Tory voters to vote for a Socialist free Zionist party of nodding dogs has failed. Big surprise that isn’t it.”

Written by Andrew Coates

December 17, 2021 at 3:31 pm

Conservatives lose North Shropshire seat they held for nearly 200 years.

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A rudderless outfit': Conservative press turns on Boris Johnson | Boris  Johnson | The Guardian



Now, you see, they hang me high,

and the people passing by,

stop to shake their fists and curse;

so ’tis come from ill to worse.

A Shropshire Lad.  Alfred Edward Housman

And now, lad, all is over,

‘Twixt you, your love and the clover..

Max Beerbohm – after Housman.

Helen Morgan wins seat the Conservatives have held for almost 200 years in a byelection called after environment secretary Owen Paterson resigned.

The Liberal Democrats have won a stunning victory in the North Shropshire byelection, taking what had previously been a safe Conservative seat by a margin of nearly 6,000 votes, and capping a disastrous few weeks for Boris Johnson.

Helen Morgan, the Lib Dem candidate, won 17,957 votes, ahead of the Conservatives’ Neil Shastri-Hurst, on 12,032, a majority of 5,925. Labour’s Ben Wood was third, with 3,686 votes. Turnout was 46.3%.

More good news:

Already the Alt-left is whingeing.

Update.

My knowledge of Shropshire is limited, Houseman’s poem, a visit to Iron Bridge (only a few years ago), walks on the Shropshire Hills and Long Mynd. So here are some informed commentaries on the result.

Lib Dem campaigners reported that Brexit was hardly mentioned on the doorstep in North Shropshire, with voters instead reporting a more general malaise with the Government and Johnson’s party.

In particular, Johnson’s dire handling of the scandal of the Downing Street Christmas parties held last year while Coronavirus restrictions were in place – so-called ‘partygate’ – was raised repeatedly by voters, many of whom appeared to have developed a visceral dislike of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.

While in 2019 the Conservative Party prospered by portraying itself as helping voters overthrow a hated established order, it has now become the epitome of everything those same voters dislike.

These contradictions in the Brexit project were always inherently unstable. It never made sense that an Eton-educated Telegraph columnist should lead the charge against the established order from the safety of his £3 million Islington townhouse.

One hopes this is the case:

However, for a while it worked. For a while, Johnson appeared to be achieving the impossible by re-writing British politics in his own image. But, after last night’s result, the very foundations of the Conservative Party’s entire political project risk crumbling.

Both the size of the swing (the party overturned a Tory majority of 22,949) and the nature of the seat itself – it is rich in homeowners and Leave voters, and has very few Remainers or graduates, making it very friendly Tory terrain and inauspicious turf for the Liberal Democrats – make it one of the biggest by-election shocks in decades (the Lib Dem majority is 5,925).

It will send shivers of fear through the Conservative Party. Tory MPs in seats that are more favourable to the Liberal Democrats than this – a category that includes essentially almost every seat that is not called “North Shropshire” – will fear that this is a sign that they are headed for calamity. MPs in the Conservative-Labour battleground, meanwhile, will worry that they, too, have reasons to be fearful. 

The biggest immediate consequence will be to further reduce the likelihood of a new

Written by Andrew Coates

December 17, 2021 at 8:38 am

Chris Williamson Receives ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award at ‘Real Labour Heroes’ Ceremony.

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libcom.org on Twitter: "Chris Williamson MP hanging out with George Galloway  and Lee Stranahan (currently Sputnik, formerly Breitbart).  https://t.co/PQmqAFo8E5" / Twitter

Labour Hero’: Chris Williamson MP hanging out with George Galloway and Lee Stranahan (currently Sputnik, formerly Breitbart).

Like the latest doings of the Stop the War Coalition the Real Labour Heroes event may have passed many readers by.

There are no doubt words to express one’s feelings at the “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Britain’s second most famous Vegan (after Morrisey):

It seems, despite everything, that there is some corner of the left that actually admires Williamson.

Hell’s bells that’s only an explanation, it’s not an excuse.

Cde Archie observes,

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself in the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

The lesson of the moth,

Tina Werkman, more commonly known as Tina Wekmann, will be familiar to readers of this Blog.

She is one of the people who signed the below:

Ace Reporter the Squawking one posted the details a few days before the ceremony.

Activist responds to suspension by organising awards for ‘Labour heroes’ expelled by party.

Skwawkbox.

Already confirmed to attend the evening are world-renowned film director Ken Loach, black Jewish activist Jackie Walker, straight-talking former miner John DunnJewish Voice for Labour (JVL) co-chair Leah Levane, Bakers’ union leader Ian Hodsonleft-wing Jewish councillor Jo Birdharassed and bullied Councillor Pamela Fitzpatrick, JVL activists Graham Bash, Naomi Wimborne-IdrissiDiana Neslen, Carole Vincent, Joe Attard and the son of Riva Joffe, who will be speaking on behalf of his mother – another JVL activist – who died two weeks after she was suspended. Awards for the night include Suspension of the Year and Auto-exclusion of the Year.

This Blog is not going to comment on the personalities cited above who already have their detractors and defenders a-plenty.

But Chris Williamson?

WHAT’S WRONG WITH CHRIS WILLIAMSON?

RED TORY

I want to start with Williamson’s politics. The #IStandWithChrisWilliamson online army see him as being under attack because he represents the left of the party. How does that claim stand up?

1. The time Williamson entered into coalition government with the Tories and drove through privatisation


Chris Williamson entered politics in his thirties via local politics in Derby, eventually becoming leader of Derby council. How did that go? He formed an alliance with the Conservatives, demolished council flats to make way for a 5* hotel, and supported PFI initiatives for housing, which he later said did not deliver value for money.

You are having a bleeding laugh.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 16, 2021 at 11:26 am

Andrew Murray (Stop the War Coalition) “NATO ….is trying to seize Ukraine.”

with 20 comments

Corbyn's ex-Communist top adviser is banned from entering the Ukraine for  three years | Daily Mail Online

Andrew Murray in 2014. (1)

Somebody asked what was the Stop the War Coalition’s position on the Ukraine recently.

Most people had long forgotten that the StWC existed.

It did not take long for the Twitter Newshounds to get out their gumshoes and find out what they are doing…

Andrew Murray is in a serious campist mood.

Tariq Ali’s friend and Deputy President of the Stop the War Coalition has written this for the group’s site:

BIDEN’S THREATS AREN’T ABOUT PROTECTING UKRAINE’S INDEPENDENCE. THEY’RE ABOUT EXTENDING US HEGEMONY

The danger of war presently threatens in three parts of the world – in the far east, between the US and its allies and China; in the Middle East, between Iran and the US and/or Israel, and in eastern Europe, between Russia and NATO.

The factor common to all three is the involvement of the USA.  Each has contingent reasons for tension, but the underlying factor is the attempt by Washington to maintain and prolong its pretensions to global hegemony and “world leadership”.  It is long-standing and bipartisan policy in the US to resist the rise of any power which could even regionally dispute US domination.

…..

Today, it is NATO that is trying to seize Ukraine by means of moving NATO right up to Russia’s borders.  Already British troops are stationed in the Balkans and NATO military have moved eastwards into Poland.  Biden’s threats to Putin are not about protecting Ukraine’s independence but about extending US hegemony and preventing the emergence of Russia as a rival power. While not formally bringing Ukraine into NATO the US is effectively treating it as a military partner, directed against Russia.

The anti-war movement must not be taken in by the anti-Russian rhetoric.  One does not have to admire Putin or his regime (it is Tories who welcome corrupt Russian money in London) to acknowledge the historic ties between Russia and Ukraine and the problems left behind by the break-up of the USSR.  If there is conflict over Ukraine, it is the west that bears most of the blame.

Rather than moving arms and armies eastwards, the need is to revive the Minsk process and arrive at a democratic and peaceful settlement to the crisis.  Stop the War stands against the sabre rattling and against the British government’s participation in this dangerous war drive.

Stop the War Coalition:

President: Brian Eno

Deputy Presidents:

Jeremy Corbyn
Andrew Murray

Does anybody, part from Tariq Ali, take Murray seriously?

(1) Monday 2nd June saw the founding meeting of the ‘Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine’ campaign, which was hosted by the Marxist Student Federation in SOAS, London. (2014).

Over 150 people attended the meeting to hear Richard Brenner (Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine), Lindsey German (Counterfire), Boris Kagarlitsky (Institute for globalization studies and social movements), Andrew Murray (Communist Party of Britain), Alan Woods (International Marxist Tendency) and Sergei Kirichuk (Borotba) discuss the threat of fascism in Ukraine, the role of imperialism in the current situation and the need for a campaign in support of the antifascist resistance in Ukraine to provide a counterweight to the lies and distortions of the Western media.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 15, 2021 at 5:56 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

French Communist Party Standing for Presidential Election..

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VIDEO. Qui est Fabien Roussel, député du Nord, candidat à la tête du PCF ?

“A fading star that is nearly politically dead” but one which continues “to radiate”. Bernard Lazar description of the Parti Communiste Français in 2005, still has some force today (Le Communisme une Passion Française).

In the first decade of the new millenium, if the Communist Robert Hue got only for 3,4 % of the Presidential ballots in 2002, and their list 4,8 % in Parliamentary elections, going down from 35 to 21 MPs, they still had real influence. PCF MPs had been part of the left “gauche plurielle” under Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (1997 to 2002), “co-habiting’ with the right-wing President Jacques Chirac.

At the same time the radical left which some saw as the successors of the PCF, had an influence. The period saw the arrival of ‘alter-globalisation’ movements, historic highs for far-left candidates – 5,72% for Trotskyist Arlette Laguiller (Lutte Ouvrière), 4,25 % for Olivier Besancenot (Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire) in the same contest as Hue – and left-wing greens.

Many people considered that, as these election results suggested, if the PCF was declining other parties and movements of the radical left were taking its place. Phillipe Raynaud described this world as the plural far-left (extrême-gauche plurielle), covering a vogue for theorists like Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek and Toni Negri, revived Trotskyist organisations – the Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste was formed in 2009 – to the influential association, ATTAC (L’Association pour la taxation des transactions financières et pour l’action citoyenne), which pioneered alter-globalisation before the arrival of Occupy!

But, Raynaud noted, much of its energy was negative: against economic liberalism, against both the liberal right and reformist left. Beyond this protest the writer, sympathetic to political liberalism, suggested that the left may have been able to express a wish for alternatives to capitalism that have survived the collapse of Communism, but had yet to move beyond reacting to the crises of globalisation and capitalism. ( L’Extrême Gauche plurielle. Entre démocratie et révolution. 2006).

Watching debates on the French radical left over the last weeks there was none of this ebullience. It has long been accepted that the left has to be more than a reaction against economic liberalism, and Reaction, Geoffroy de Lagasnerie being only one of many writers to make the point (Sortir de notre impuissance politique 2020). But many would be than happy were they in the position of they were in over a decade ago when radical movements from the left simply had an impact.

The Communists are not in a happy place either.

Fabien Roussel returns to the fundamentals of the PCF

For the first time since 2012, the Communist Party, Parti Communiste Français (PCF) is presenting its own presidential candidate, its national secretary, Fabien Roussel. 

Since 2012, the Communists have campaigned alongside Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The alliance took shape in the  Front de gauche pour changer d’Europe  in the 2009 European elections when the left populist was the leader of a small break-away from the Parti Socialistes, the  Parti de gauche. They got  6,5 %, above the level needed to have MEPs. In 2012 PCF members voted in favour of Mélenchon as a Presidential candidate, heading the Front de Gauche on a left-wing programme. At 11,1 % in the first round, way beyond the score the Communist  Marie-George Buffet had got, running independently, in 2007 – 1,93 %.

In 2017 despite opposition from the PCF leadership whose experience of working with Mélenchon was, it is reported, not always a happy one, the majority of party members voted to back the Presidential bid of the man now leading the new party/movement/rally La France insoumise. He came Fourth in the first round, with an impressive  19,6 %.

That the PCF had changed its electoral position after a democratic internal vote of the membership indicated a very public break with the historic practice of ‘democratic centralism’ which guaranted the victory of the leadership. In 2018 the main party ‘line’ document was also rejected by card-carriers. At the  XXXVIIIe Congress Secretary  Pierre Laurent left his post and was replaced by Fabien Roussel, now candidate for the Presidency. What remained of the bloc with Mélenchon, the Front de Gauche, was dissolved.

The return to full PCF independence led to PCF list for the European elections in 2019, which got 2,5 % and no MEPS. This follows continuing decline in municipal politics.

La France insoumise (LFI), has lost an ally in the seasoned activists and backing from the (remaining) Communist municipalities and councillors. For the Presidential elections this means that Mélenchon’s it is struggling to collect the 500 signatures of elected officials required to enter the official race for the Head of State. At the beginning of December, LFI had only got around 300 names for Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

The PCF has around 40 000 members, and a large number of real, not ‘virtual’ activists with roots in the working class, associative life and municipal politics. If there are no formal tendencies in the party, there are groupings, ‘courants’ of some serious weight. They also include a small group La Riposte which has ‘links‘. with the British ……Socialist Appeal. (Courants actuels). The PCF, if you watch their videos, live transmissions, and read their literature have a serious and appealing left programme. In competition with 6 other left candidates for next April’s Presidential election.

The PCF’s runner Fabien Roussel stands at around 2% in the opinion polls.

Former leader calls for support for Mélenchon and gets silenced:

Has the far left overtaken the PCF?

The two candidates of the radical left, Nathalie Arthaud (Lutte Ouvrière) and Philippe Poutou (Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste) both poll at 1%.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 15, 2021 at 1:49 pm