@NUTonline do you know who “Milo Samuels” is in UAF magazine? Heard it’s alleged rapist SWP’s Martin Smith. SWP/UAF haven’t cleared this up.
Is Martin Smith (Comrade Delta) Back as Milo Samuels in Unite Against Fascism?
All So Last Year…..
Who Is Milo Samuels?
Asks Bob From Brockley.
Most of you will know why this is significant, but just in case here goes. Unite Against Fascism (UAF) is a front organisation for the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), and is mostly funded by trade union affiliations. I’ve covered it here and elsewhere.
One of its most prominent figures was Martin Smith, who was also national secretary of the SWP. (Others include vice-chair Azad Ali, also spokesperson of the far right Islamic Forum of Europe, and Weyman Bennett.) Smith was at the heart of the “Comrade Delta” controversy in the SWP, in which serious allegations of rape were covered up by the party, causing most of its members to leave. (For details on that see, e.g., Dave Renton, Andrew Coates, Tony Greenstein, Pham Bin or more from Jim Jepps.)
During his time at the forefront of the SWP’s alleged fight against fascism, he kept up a good friendship with fellow jazz musician Gilad Atzmon, who he helped get a political platform to spout his increasingly antisemitic views, as I’ve documented here. Former party member Dave Renton summarises:In his capacity as head of LMHR [Love Music Hate Racism] Smith also embarrassed the party by forging a relationship between our organisation and the jazz musician Gilad Atzmon. Smith invited him to speak at Marxism in 2004, when Atzmon began spouting some of the anti-Semitic rubbish he now specialises in. Despite SWP members challenging Atzmon from the floor, Smith continued inviting him to SWP events, and to perform with him at concerts as late as 2007.
After Smith was finally forced to step out of the SWP leadership, for embarrassing the party rather than because of anything he was actually alleged to have done to female party members, he also stepped down from his UAF position.
Unsurprisingly, Atzmon defended Smith, although probably not in a way Smith would have liked to be defended:
“Between 2005-10 I worked closely with Martin and the SWP. At the time I was the SWP’s official Kletzmer. I toured with Martin, performed and spoke in quite a few of those Red gatherings. I met some very nice people in the SWP, but I also came across their many Jewish gate-keepers and tribal operators. But the one thing I never detected in any of those political gathering was a trace of libidinal enthusiasm let alone sexual desire. I assumed at the time that these militant young Marxists had decided to postpone having sex until after the revolution.
However, it didn’t take long to realise that Martin Smith was not being pursued because he is a ‘sex offender’ – he surely isn’t – no, our so-called ‘progressive’ tribals chase Smith because he is a Jazz lover and an enthusiastic fan of my music. They harass him because he gave me a platform in spite of the Jewish demand to ban me. They want to bring Martin Smith down simply because he didn’t obey his tribal masters. So If anything, it is Martin who is the rape victim in this saga – he is punished because he refused to bow down to the tribal junta.”
Presumably, Smith’s move out of full-time SWP/UAF work left him in need of income, so luckily for him a professor at Liverpool Hope University, Michael Lavalette (who happens to be a leading SWP member) got him a paid PhD studentship in, believe it or not, a Social Work department. He also started a blog called Dream Deferred which the SWP have promoted.
UAF have been less prominent since the Comrade Delta debacle, but they were the main component of the Newcastle Unites counterdemonstration against Pegida UK last month and are a major component of the forthcoming Stand Up to Racism and Fascism demo this coming Saturday. (George Galloway, another ally of Gilad Atzmon, a speaker at both events – a bit ironic for a supposedly anti-racist organisation.)
More recently, UAF has secured funding from the National Union of Teachers (NUT) political levy to publish a magazine called Unity. Someone with no other web presence named “Milo Samuels” has been appearing in it, billed as “a Love Music Hate Racism activist”.
In the previous (Summer 2014) issue, he has an article on Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”. (Coincidentally, Martin Smith used to show a documentary about the song at SWP meetings.)
More essential reading on Bob’s site.
Martin Smith – under his own name – has certainly not gone away.
This (on his site A Dream Deferred) is what he said about the Charlie Hebdo massacre (he wrote this on the 7th of January, just as the atrocity had taken place)
“while we share revulsion at the killings, we disagree sharply with those who have responded by reproducing Charlie Hebdo covers “in solidarity” with the magazine or supporting its politics.”
“Charlie Hebdo has a long record of producing deliberately offensive anti-Muslim cartoons and other material, loaded with racist stereotypes. ”
“Charlie Hebdo has gleefully helped to stoke this Islamophobia in France, attacking a vulnerable, discriminated-against minority under the guise of “free speech”.”
“At Dream Deferred, we did not support Charlie Hebdo’s nasty racism before the attack, and we do not support it now.”
“The brutality of the killings should not allow anyone to get swept into the idea that publishing offensive racist cartoons is positive or progressive. It is not.”
After having spat on the still warm bodies of our martyrs Smiffy also sagely noted – regarding the big Je Suis Charlie demos – this,
“Sadly large sections of the French left do not have a good track record on opposing Islamophobia and support uncritically the concept of laïcité – the separation of church and state.”
We would certainly welcome clarification on the identity of Milo Samuels.
But Martin Smith seems perfectly capable of ploughing his own reactionary furrow – along with the SWP, Tariq Ali and other haters of democratic secular freedom.