Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Wanking While You Work, Debate Shakes Left Unity.

with 22 comments

Key Debate that’s Come out of the Closet. 

The class struggle hots up.

TUSC has a general election broadcast and the  Republican Socialist Campaign for Merrie England in Bermondsey and Old Southwark, looks set to go well into a double figure vote.

The Communist League (aligned to the US paper The Militant) is also mounting a serious challenge in Manchester Central (parliamentary election), Tirsén (Bradford ward) and Andrés Mendoza (Moston ward) standing for election to Manchester City Council for the May 7 elections. In London, engineering worker and historic ‘éminence grise” of the International Marxist Group Jonathan Silberman is the Communist League candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

The CL is gaining support for its internationalism. As a doorstep exchange shows, “For us, it’s about everyone having access to the care they need,” Davies responded. “These are the values you see in Cuba, because workers and farmers took power there in 1959.

 The Workers Revolutionary Party is putting up a courageous fight, in amongst other places, the Coatesite Heimat, Hornsey & Wood Green, with comrade  Frank Sweeney as a promising candidate.

As they point out, “We are part of the World Party of Socialist Revolution, the International Committee of the Fourth International, with sections around the world. We base ourselves on Marxist theory developed by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Trotsky as a guide to the practice of building the Fourth International.”

These are just some who make up a record number of candidates to the left of Labour – says Phil,  On the Far Left’s General Election Campaign.

Socialist Worker comments, ““We are building a serious network for the battles ahead. But this raises questions about where we go next—and the possibility of a more united left.”


This has inspired deep strategic thinking.

As an example we can cite the following:

We learn that here’s a Left Unity Facebook thread on whether you have a “right” to masturbate at work, or, if in intersectional terms, if taking your turn at the self-service station is held back/reinforced by/against/through gender and class hierarchies, not to mention the construction of discursive oppressions and narratives.

Discussion first began inside the National Union of Students (see notice above), following concerns amongst student youth.

Details are slow to come, but apparently this is the major issue that’s tossing the British left into a whole new ball game.

More, doubtless, to follow, in the pages of the indispensable Weekly Worker.


22 Responses

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  1. Used to be ‘whistle while you work’, but now that the art of whistling is in decline, workers are having to find other means of amusing themselves. However, I always thought that having paid for your labour power the boss thought he/she/it had exclusive acces to it.

    sue r

    April 18, 2015 at 2:47 pm

  2. The ‘debate’ is not made up incidentally.

    Andrew Coates

    April 18, 2015 at 3:57 pm

  3. Paul Canning

    April 18, 2015 at 4:16 pm

  4. Surely, we have always been in favour of the working class taking matters into their own hands?

    Jim Denham

    April 18, 2015 at 4:17 pm

  5. Indeed, workers’ self-management in practice….

    This story broke yesterday and shattered the face (or rather, elsewhere), of British left politics.

    It’s thought that the Big Bang Theory was a pioneer in the field,

    “Penny: C’mon, I mean you’re not upset that your marriage is over?
    Beverly Hofstadter: Well, initially I did feel something akin to grief and perhaps anger. But that’s the natural reaction of the limbic system to being betrayed by a loathsome son of a bitch.
    Penny: Sure, sure.
    Beverly Hofstadter: Thankfully my shock was somewhat mitigated by the fact that I haven’t had intercourse with him in eight years.
    Penny: Eight years?
    Beverly Hofstadter: Oh, that’s nothing. I’ve been responsible for my own orgasms since 1982.
    Penny: Yikes.
    [Beverly snickers]
    Penny: OK, what’s so funny?
    Beverly Hofstadter: That’s exactly what I say during orgasms. Yikes.”

    Andrew Coates

    April 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm

  6. Andrew,

    I feel you are being too hard on the Comrades in Left Unity. When they come together to have a mass debate, a helping hand is (maybe) called for rather than fingering them for uncalled for ridicule.

    Personally, I hope their debate comes to a pleasing climax and, despite any differences, the banner of Left Unity remains unstained.

    Arise ye masses from your slumbers.

    John R

    John R

    April 18, 2015 at 5:14 pm

  7. Coatesy has written the seminal piece on this issue.


    April 18, 2015 at 6:56 pm

  8. Reblogged this on hampshire Hog and commented:
    The picture is erm… Well…


    April 18, 2015 at 7:43 pm

  9. Mark Thomas had a routine on this very question, in which he pointed out that the most delightful aspect of the practice when carried on at work is the thought that “I’m getting paid for this!” For that reason alone, long may it continue.


    April 19, 2015 at 12:15 am

  10. “More, doubtless, to follow, in the pages of the indispensable Weekly Worker.” – you forgot to add that the CPGB are the biggest wankers of all.

    whats worse, intellectual masturbation or actual masturbation?

    Galloway’s not a wanker tho, is he Rosie? there must be many other women that fantasize about Galloway on his knees doing a cat impression.

    I hope Left Unity, TUSC, and Respect unite. They need a charismatic leader, who can rally the masses with rabble rousing speeches. Without a charismatic leader, a left wing Farage, the left will not succeed. Galloway is that leader; he is the de facto leader of the British left. you should support him, and put away your petty differences.

    this is a fact of history; every popular movement of the left or the right, has a charismatic and visionary leader, someone who knows how to talk and argue and lead. Without that leader, the left are nothing but wankers. They spend time discussing wanking at work etc.

    this is the difference between Galloway’s Respect, and Left Unity, Respect demand respect. Galloway is respected around the world. Who have left unity got? nobody with any real charisma or leadership skills. nobody that can really give speeches. John Rees and Callinicos are mediocre, Peter Taafe is a boring tosser as well. Tariq Ali could be a good leader, but he admires himself too much. in other words, he’s a bit of a tosser too.


    April 19, 2015 at 1:42 am

  11. Cambridge Green Party candidate and frequent donor, Rupert Read.
    A Guest Post by @donAlvar

    Heard about single-wanker politics? If you read this quickly enough, you might have read “single-issue politics”, which is also what we are talking about here.


    Andrew Coates

    April 19, 2015 at 10:18 am

  12. Talking of Galloway here’s a sober rebuttal of the nonsensical and totally irresponsible remarks he made about forced marriage.


    It’s from the Muslim Women Network.

    No doubt “neil” will say (a) they’ve all got chips on their shoulders; (b) they really just fancy Galloway.


    April 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm

  13. “No doubt “neil” will say (a) they’ve all got chips on their shoulders; (b) they really just fancy Galloway.”

    not at all, a) i just think you have a chip on your shoulder, or a bee in your bonnet b) you really just fancy Galloway.

    but also,

    c) naz shah is a spiv candidate. forced marriage is the not issue here, nor even the major issue. why are so many zionists so obsessed with ‘forced marriage’? isn’t this a bit odd. the issue is Galloway. not forced marriage, and what he represents. For Gods sake, the zionists sent someone to beat him up.


    April 19, 2015 at 4:54 pm

  14. “why are so many zionists so obsessed with ‘forced marriage’? isn’t this a bit odd. the issue is Galloway. not forced marriage, and what he represents. For Gods sake, the zionists sent someone to beat him up.”

    The creature that wrote this is a nasty loon. Like its master, the lil’ol’ “Zionist”/ “Israeli”-hater Galloway: the red-brown wanker’s wanker.

    Jim Denham

    April 19, 2015 at 5:16 pm

  15. […] these questions just the other day. Comrade Coates mentioned it in passing in a post entitled “Wanking while you work: Debate shakes Left Unity, but we have the whole unexpurgated version for you here to enjoy. It’s a bit long, so […]

  16. This is solipciism not socialism. Wilhelm Reich rides again.

    Sue R

    April 20, 2015 at 9:40 am

  17. Original Left Unity Thread here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/652723731510243/?fref=ts

    Scroll down to the 16 April at 13:36.

    Andrew Coates

    April 20, 2015 at 12:32 pm

  18. Here’s the direct link:

    “No masturbation fantasies are not divorced from the real world. If you were having fantasies where you are an SS officer in a concentration camp, is that okay? Do you really think it would not reflect some of your actual views of what is and is not okay?”

    Left Unity are obviously, unlike the NUS Women’s Campaign, against the use of “Jizz Hands”.


    April 20, 2015 at 6:59 pm

  19. “No masturbation fantasies are not divorced from the real world” – so they are all divorced from the real world then. Phew.

  20. “Tossing the British left.” Oh Andrew. As we say in the States, don’t swing at the easy ones.


    April 22, 2015 at 4:46 am

  21. Ah, yes, and once again the left knows who the enemy is. I’d have said “and where to aim its fire,” but–oh, hell, I just did say it, did’t I?

    Ellen Hawley

    May 10, 2015 at 6:32 pm

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