Tendance Coatesy

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Can Left-wingers Criticise the Stop the War Coalition?

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Left-wing criticisms of Stop the War will not go away. 

The assault on Stop the War is really aimed at Jeremy Corbyn wrote Tariq Ali a few days ago in the Independent.

He stated, “In addition to the wars in the Middle East there is a nasty and unpleasant war being waged in England, targeting Jeremy Corbyn.”

Richard Burgon, Shadow Treasury Minister has remarked that,

…the attacks on Stop the War were “proxy attacks” on the Labour leader.

Responding to criticism the Labour leader said at a fundraising dinner for the Stop the War Coalition (StWC) last Friday, that the alliance was  “one of the most important democratic campaigns of modern times”, and accused the coalition’s critics of trying to close down debate.”

“He wished the group the very best, saying it has been a movement “dedicated to peace”. The “anti-war movement has been a vital force at the heart of our democracy”, he said. “I think we’ve been right on what we’ve done.”

Corbyn added: “We are a peaceful, democratic force. We are a force for good. We are a force for opening out people’s minds and mobilising them to challenge those that would take us into another war.

“I’ve been proud to be the chair of the Stop the War coalition, proud to be associated with the Stop the War coalition.

“We are very strong, there are very many more of us than there are of those people that want to take us in the other direction.”Corbyn insisted on attending the Christmas fundraiser in Southwark, as Labour sources said he had promised to hand over the chairman’s role in person. (Guardian.)

The StWC itself has said

While most of our critics have supported all the wars of this century in the face of growing evidence that they have failed, the Stop the War Coalition has a proud record of campaigning against wars since the start of what was originally called ‘the war on terror,’” the group claimed in a statement on Wednesday.

StWC also attacked the vote on bombing Syria.

The politicians who voted for further war last week fail to acknowledge the dismal record of previous interventions,” StWC argued. “Many of them are the same people who were the cheerleaders for the war in Iraq.

In the wake of the vote to bomb targets in Syria, a number of MPs claimed to have been harassed or even sent death threats by opponents of the move.

StWC said these claims were due to “the fact that some of our supporters have had the temerity to lobby their parliamentary representatives.”

Wild claims of intimidation of MPs have been shown to have been falsified,” it added.

RT

John McDonnell has been cited as saying,

…one of the things we normally do is campaign against unjust wars.

“That is why we were involved in the foundation of Stop the War. Again, others have been critical of Stop the War and some of the positions they have taken, but that is honest political debate.

“As far as I am concerned, Stop the War have got it right in terms of Iraq and Afghanistan and in terms of the bombing of Syria. So of course we continue to support the organisation.

Guardian.

There is no argument that there are many, in the media, and amongst Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour opponents who have used the controversy about the Stop the War Coalition as a means to get at the Labour leader.

But what of “honest political debate”?

It has not escaped the attention of many left-wingers that the Stop the War Coalitions problems are deeper than the crass posts – now removed, apparently –  on its Web site. That the ‘whirlwind’ and Daesh as “Internationalist Brigades”  posts – amongst others – have been removed alters little about the overall politics of the group.

George Galloway, a prominent StWC supporter, has spoken at their recent rallies. Apart from his sympathies for Russian bombing in Syria, this is one of his recent statements during his campaign to be London Mayor,

Galloway also promised to support the police and security services in the fight against terrorism.

“The police will find a friend in me,” he added.

Every terrorist will be shot down dead, and if I can, I will pull the trigger myself.

“I say to the police officer in the room, when it comes to your wages, your resources and your strengthening, you can count on me.”

Waltham Forest Guardian.

The StWC protested, it might be recalled, at the terrible police shooting of suspected “terrorist” Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005.

Perhaps some may find it odd that they now promote somebody advocating a free hand to the police to shoot….terrorists.

In January this year after the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper-Casher massacres Tari Ali gave a classic ‘whirlwind’ blow-back explanation of the killings,

That has been going on since 9/11. The West ref­uses to address the causes. Any attempt to explain why is usually denounced and so it bec­omes civilisational, or good versus evil, or free speech versus barbarism. The fact is that the West has reoccupied the Arab world with disasters in Syria, Iraq and Libya where things are much worse than under the previous aut­horitarian regimes. This is the prime cause of the radicalisation of young Muslims. The Left is in a bad way or seen as part of the problem, so they go to the mosque, search for hardline solutions and are eager to be used by jehadis.

What is the context in which the Paris killing should be seen?

As I described above but vis-a-vis France, these guys were a pure product of French society. Unemployed, long-haired, into drugs, alienated till they saw footage of US torture and killings in Iraq.

So you think western interventionist policies in the Arab and Muslim world are responsible for radicalisation of sections of Muslims in Europe and the United States?

In my opinion, one hundred per cent.

How serious is Islamophobia in France and other European countries?

France is the worst in Europe and tries to mask it by proclaiming its secular values (sound familiar?), but these values don’t apply to Islam. In fact, French secularism means anything but Islam. And when satirical magazines taunt them, they react. It’s as simple as that.

Outlook.

The ‘West’ was to blame for violent Islamism; Charlie Hebdo was “taunting” Moslems – we know what happened…

The more recent Paris slaughter has wider targets than the wrong kind of “secular” leftists at Charlie Hebdo and Jews, but one can see in Ali’s response (I have not referred to his later ‘wise guy’ comments giving the ‘inside dope’ on the weekly’s history and internal conflicts) that ‘reaping the whirlwind’ claims are not new in the StWC

Ali’s position on Syria appears to be that the “causes” of the civil war – Western intervention – are the prime target. StWC is opposed to “foreign interventions and especially where the British Government is involved.” The focus on Britain avoids the problem, which supporters of Syrian democrats emphasise, that Assad is backed by foreign intervention, and that StWC systematically excludes their voices from the debate.

In the Independent Ali evokes 19th century opposition to British colonial expeditions. “starting with William Morris’s observation in 1885 that the defeat of the British Army in the Sudan under General Gordon at the hands of the Mahdi (a religious leader par excellence), was a positive event insofar it weakened the British Empire.”

Is it the case that in “different times” – now – religious leaders weakening of the British or US ‘Empire’ can be welcomed?

Or, is Ali perhaps evoking the much more influential 19th century opponents of British colonial expeditions – the Little Englanders, such as John Bright (1811 – 1889)? Bright stood for many honourable causes, successfully joining opponents of UK support for the Southern side in the American civil war, and, less successfully, speaking against the Crimean War. As an anti-colonialist Bright tends to be forgotten for his equally ferocious campaign against Irish Home Rule. But the theme of British responsibility, the focus on the moral responsibility of the British government, and the need to fight “our” rulers, has left its mark on the modern ‘anti-imperialists’ of the StWC.

One does not have to agree with the claim that there are substantial numbers of Syrian democratic revolutionaries left in much of the country to see that this is clearly a problem.

Many feel that they have a responsibility to people across the world – it’s called internationalism.

In this context we note also Peter Tatchell’s criticisms of the StWC.

The dismissive response, whether one agrees with assertions about the strength of the Syrian democrats or not, has not been helpful.

Andrew Murray, Chair of the StWC, who is a considerably greater figure than any of the two already cited, has failed to explain why, as a member of the small Communist Party of Britain (CPB) – which backs Russian bombing in Syria to support Assad on the grounds that the Syrian state is sovereign – he is a leading figure in a movement that’s called “Stop the War”.

In an interview a few days ago with John Harris in the Guardian this exchange took place,

I suggest that the Assad regime has to go, and ask Murray if he agrees. But he doesn’t directly answer the question. We bat the point around for a few minutes, before we arrive at the reason why: as a staunch anti-imperialist, he says it’s not his place to call for the toppling of regimes overseas: a strange position for an avowed internationalist, perhaps, but there we are.

“Look, Assad has been bombing his own civilians, and he’s wreaked incredible suffering on the Syrian people,” he says. “I find nothing to applaud in the regime. Except this one aspect: it appears to have quite a lot of support from minority religions in Syria, and there is a fear that there could be mass killings of Christians or Shia Muslims – which is why a transition to democracy is what is needed.”

But why avoid saying Assad should go?

I’ve said [the regime] is awful. But you’re wanting me to take the place of the Syrian people. You’re wanting me to say, like the other colonialists down the years: ‘This regime should go.’”

Feeling a mild desperation, I bow to Godwin’s law, and mention Nazi Germany. In the 1930s and 40s, it would have been perfectly legitimate to insist that Hitler’s regime was so heinous that it ought to have been brought down, in a completely non-imperialist, moral context. So why can’t you say the same about Assad?

Eventually, Murray talks about a diplomatic push for a transition “that will end up with Assad going”. He goes on: “In my view, the important thing is that the Syrian people decide who their leaders are. I don’t believe it is the responsibility of people in Britain to choose the governments of foreign countries. If Assad wants to chance testing his popularity, that’s up to the Syrian people.”

John Rees and Lindsey German – the other key figures in the StWC – are leaders of Counterfire, a split from the Socialist Workers Party. Their principal difference with their former comrades was that they both wished to continue building a “united front” in the anti-war movement (that is work with other forces in the pressure group on a long-term basis), while the SWP wanted, as they always do, to switch over to whatever new campaign was their priority as the time (which few can remember).

Counterfire has a ‘revolutionary’ strategy,

At the point where revolutionaries took the step of initiating the Stop the War Coalition in 2001, we undertook an analysis something like this. We had already understood the nature of the new imperialism from theoretical work at the end of the Cold War, during the First Gulf War, and during the war in the Balkans. We understood the contradiction between expansive US military power and its relative economic decline. We judged, from preceding experience in the anti-globalisation movement, that there would be a mood to resist and that the left might not be divided in the way it had been in the Cold War.”

Rees claims, then, that the left determined the political direction of the StWC. “We” grasped the “subjective” element in politics and organised the “mood to resist”. The words ‘united front’ have all but evaporated. Instead we had another approach, which led (see below) to the formation of Respect. That is one based on access to “workers’ consciousness”. This method was not only applied to wage-labours. In 2003 he noted that amongst Muslims, “Some of these have been radicalised by the war, and by the effect on them of racism bolstered by the war and government policy. This has made them open to working with and being influenced by the left.” The alliances of the StWC and the left within it, was therefore not a matter of confronting people’s contradictory opinions, but to get a hold on “radicalised” forces – primarily Muslims.

Phil comments that the strategy has not worked well.

The Anti-imperialism of Fools.

The US is no longer the world’s unchallenged hegemon. Yet Stop the War has more or less carried on as if none of this has happened, as if the USA is the only active agent in the world and – implicitly – the designs and manoeuvres of rival states and enemies are benign or, at least, less harmful. This is why Putin never gets as much stick as Obama, why leading members of its steering committee have occasionally associated with sundry undesirables, why the Kurds get no support while IS are clumsily and favourably compared with the International Brigades. Why it appears that authoritarians and totalitarians get a free pass while democratic countries are criticised and mobilised against.

We need a new Stop the War coalition or, rather, we need one with new politics, one that recognises the inequitable and unjust character of international relations and global political economy, that sometimes war and peace is a messy business, and acknowledges that it’s not our place to soft soap regimes and terror outfits. Not that difficult you’d think, yet here we are.

Phil B. Left Futures.

In conclusion how better to illustrate this politics in action than this?

Condemn some bombing?

 Pat Murphy, NUT Executive (pc)

On 10 December the NUT National Executive debated a motion on Syria. It was based on something the SWP had sent out earlier in the week but was moved by Dave Harvey from Outer London.

The motion was pretty bland, reaffirming a previous decision to oppose UK air strikes on Syria, condemning the recent vote to bomb and calling for support for demos and protests against this including those called by the Stop The War Coalition. I wrote an amendment which added condemnation of all bombing, specifically naming Russian and Assad regime bombing. It also called on Stop The War to condemn this military intervention as well as UK attacks and it called on the UK government to demand that NATO member Turkey cease all attacks on the Kurds.

The debate was short but bizarre. The most common response was that people ‘didn’t disagree with a word in the amendment but it takes the focus off the UK bombing and that has to be our main thrust’.

The crassest argument by far came from the SWP. To criticise Stop The War at this time is to criticise Corbyn and that’s a no-no. So we had self-styled revolutionary socialists using their lifetimes of Marxist education to urge Labour Party members to be more loyal to their leader. Much like members of the SWP do for their leaders I guess.

12 Executive members voted for my amendment and 26 against. The main motion was then carried with one vote against (Ian Leaver of Leicester who seconded my amendment). There was probably a case for that stance. For him it was a gesture of his frustration with Stop The War’s recent publication of articles appearing to compare Daesh to the anti-fascist International Brigades and to blame the West for the Paris atrocity. There was certainly a case for abstention though it was not a particularly strident motion. My amendment took nothing out (rightly or wrongly) but added stuff in.

The vote for the amendment crossed the obvious political divides to some extent but the bulk of support for it came from LANAC supporters. The determination to defeat this condemnation of Russia and Assad and the minor criticism of Stop the War came from supporters of the Socialist Teachers Alliance and their bag-carriers in the SWP.

Both organisations are so saturated in low level, lesser-evil anti-imperialism that they have forgotten that such a thing as socialist internationalism ever existed. Now it’s just ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ (or at least a less bad enemy). It was very much like watching the last spasms of a dying species.

Workers Liberty.

17 Responses

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  1. As I remind in my contribution to ‘The real Stop The War’ the website contains content which is driving people to war. Namely Pilger’s scribblings on Ukraine. https://therealstopthewar.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/stop-the-war-and-kids-who-go-to-war/

    The ‘our first responsibility is to pressure the UK government’ is obviously undermined by their other focus on Israel over any other entanglements of the UK government. When I have pointed out that the UK does sell weapons to Russia and the City of London does enable their kleptocracy and we do allow their stolen rubles to be invested in mansions and private education for the siloviki’s children, well .. goes over like a bucket of cold sick. And they shut up. As they should.

    PS: Burgon is a class A fool.

    Paul Canning (@pauloCanning)

    December 16, 2015 at 1:40 pm

  2. It’s a pity that this AWL policy hadn’t been forward as well in the amendment. I’m sure it would have set the cat among the pigeons.

    In particular, the defence of the Kurds being able to “accept military aid from wherever it can be obtained in order to secure their fight against Daesh, Assad and where necessary the Turkish state”.

    AWL Statement (which was in opposition to the recent air strikes votes).


    Solidarity with the Kurds!

    While not endorsing the politics of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK, the group behind the YPG), we unequivocally back the right of the Kurds to military aid and assistance including their demand for arms.

    • They should be able to accept military aid from wherever it can be obtained in order to secure their fight against Daesh, Assad and where necessary the Turkish state.

    • The PKK should be removed from the EU and US lists of terrorist organisations.

    • If the Kurds demand a “no-fly”, or more accurately a “no-bombing” zone, in order to improve their military position, — an option which is unlikely to be included in the current plans of major imperialist powers, as long as Turkey is hostile to the Kurds — we should not oppose this as we would big-power bombing.”

    https://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/awl-statement-us-uk-bombing-wont-stop-daesh/

    John R

    December 16, 2015 at 2:16 pm

  3. […] Here Ipswich’s resident barmy Bolshevik blogger, Andrew Coates has written an article titled Can Left-wingers Criticise the Stop the War Coalition? […]

  4. StWC is the only campaign out there opposing British military involvement in the various Middle Eastern wars. I support it, not because I agree with every position it ever takes, or with every position all its leading figures and their parties take – far from it – but because there is no other campaign out there taking that fundamental position of opposing British military involvement. As for its critics, some are sincerely also opposed to participation in these wars, but don’t like the attitude on this or that. Fair enough – if you can’t work within StWC, get involved in anti-war stuff in some other campaign, or set up your own. StWC does not claim any monopoly. But if you are actually in favour of British military involvement in some or all of the various Middle Eastern wars, then you are not a friendly, but a hostile critic of the entire anti-war movement. Hostile critics are not friends to be accommodated, but political opponents to be marginalised.

    Francis

    December 16, 2015 at 3:10 pm

  5. Has everybody seen this mad, mad, barking mad, two kopeks short of the rouble, clinically crazy rant by Socialist Unity’s John Wight?

    Is Trotskyism the new neo-conservatism?

    Extract,

    “Hilary Benn, the very definition of a first rate second rate man, regaled the Commons and the country at large with a scream from the bowels of mediocrity, willfully dissing the heroism, principle, and courage of people who stood against the vile opportunism he represents.

    However, even more insidious than the likes of Benn are those on the left who would have us believe, even after the disasters to befall Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya before it, that in Syria today there are forces fighting against the government that are deserving of our support and solidarity. They would have us believe that something approximating to a revolution is raging in Syria, taking place somewhere in between the carnival of head chopping by sectarian fanatics and resistance to them on the part of nonsectarian forces in the shape of the Syrian Arab Army and its allies.

    Like latter day John Browns such voices, wielding a copy of Trotsky’s Permanent Revolution in one hand and a one-way ticket to irrelevancy in the other, unleash verbal broadsides of calumny at any who dare question the intellectual and ideological idiocy they parade with the kind of gusto one associates with the infantile disorder of a type well known.

    For such people ideological templates are all the rage, employed as a convenient opt-out of the obligation to come up with a concrete analysis of a concrete situation. Revolution is but a parlor game as they relive 1871, 1917 or 1968, the years bandied around like connoisseurs of champagne discussing a favorite vintage.

    And don’t they just hate it when that bubble of smug complacency in which they reside is penetrated by the facts, pitching them into paroxysms of apoplectic indignation and self righteousness as they take to the blogosphere to deliver thunderous denunciations and biblical injunctions against those who dare blaspheme their ultra left nostrums and fantasies. It is hardly an accident that many of the most noxious disciples of neo-conservatism once inhabited the ultra left. Both have in common a religious attachment to the subjective factor when it comes to shaping societies, regardless of the catastrophic consequences wrought. Material conditions – a product of real world conditions and specificities – are a trifling detail, reduced to the status of minor inconvenience in the messianic scheme of things. Rather than herald the onset of societal collapse, chaos, conflict, and mayhem are the conditions out of which Utopias are forged.

    To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, “Puritanism is but the whine of the hypocrite.”

    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/325736-left-trotskyism-neo-conservatism-syria/#.VnF-KgOXz4c.facebook

    Andrew Coates

    December 16, 2015 at 5:29 pm

  6. Sigh. When will the Stalinist “left” finally keel over and die?

    jschulman

    December 16, 2015 at 5:58 pm

  7. Maybe Socialist Unity would like to sell the following t shirt, then.

    http://www.zazzle.com/trotsky_vote_republican_shirt-235624266977243045?design.areas=%5Bzazzle_shirt_10x12_front%5D

    But, seriously folks.

    I think Francis is right. STWC is opposed, and only opposed, to Western intervention and or involvement anywhere. They should state quite clearly that they are for the defeat of Western Imperialism no matter who happens to be the opponent or who or how many or in what way they slaughter. After all, we in the West have no right to criticise those struggling against Western (and only Western) Imperialism.

    After all, that is what their leadership believes and can be seen if you look at any of the groups involved (Counterfire, SWP, CPB), that’s what they stand for.

    That’s why they will turn a blind eye to any group of people who suffer under Assad, Putin or Isis. The Kurds in Kobane can be ignored or stupid, unrealistic demands made (“we ask Hamas to arm them”).

    “Self Determination for Kurdistan” has been supported by many on the Left for years. Up till now that is. It changed when the Kurds “self determined” that their best chance of survival was American air strikes against Isis.

    John R

    December 16, 2015 at 6:39 pm

  8. Yup and no doubt we should ignore this ‘himperialist carping,

    New evidence supports claims about Syrian state detention deaths

    Human Rights Watch says it has identified 19 victims from photos taken by defector who chronicled deaths of thousands of people in regime custody.”

    “A leading rights group has released new evidence that up to 7,000 Syrians who died in state detention centres were tortured, mistreated, or executed and insisted that holding officials to account should be central to peace efforts.

    Human Rights Watch has identified 19 victims from a mass collection of photographs known as the Caesar files, which were released by a military defector who chronicled deaths in Syrian regime custody for more than two years.

    Details of the deaths shed new light on the conditions endured by detainees in at least five government-run detention centres, which are thought to have held at least 117,000 people since anti-regime protests broke out in March 2011.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/dec/16/7000-syrians-died-state-detention-tortured-executed-caesar-photographs

    Forward cds!

    Andrew Coates

    December 16, 2015 at 6:49 pm

  9. A classic torrent of Wight. I like how as John’s language grows more florid and his tone more vehement, he finally comes out with a complaint about:

    “paroxysms of apoplectic indignation and self righteousness as they take to the blogosphere to deliver thunderous denunciations and biblical injunctions against those who dare blaspheme their ultra left nostrums and fantasies.”

    Ah, John Wight! Have you met… er, John Wight?

    “a convenient opt-out of the obligation to come up with a concrete analysis of a concrete situation.”

    Wight is fond of using the word ‘analysis’ as if it is a brilliant new system of thought that only John and a few others are privy to – I recall a few years ago him pompously saying that (unlike others) ‘I use analysis’ – which was rather like saying, ‘well I use actual letters from the alphabet in my words’.

    In practice of course, ‘analysis’ is any opinion that coincides with John Wight’s own.

    Lamia

    December 16, 2015 at 7:10 pm

  10. Leftwingers should criticise the STW Coalition. They should get involved in local StW groups and argue for opposition to all intervention in Syria, including Russian. But there are some points that need to be made here. There is a right-wing witch-hunt going on against StW. In fact, there is a right-wing witch-hunt going on against everything Jeremy Corbyn is linked to, including Momentum. Corbyn is too popular to attack frontally for some, so the strategy is to attack his allies and try to pull him in a more moderate direction, demoralising his supporters in the process. It’s interesting that as these attacks have intensified – when did it ever matter before that he attended a STW fundraiser? – the so-called left-wing critics of StW have also joined in. My main problem with some of these critics, particularly those writing below the line of the Left Futures article by Phil B that you mention – is that they are not really anti-war. Do they oppose western military action against Syria, yes or no? They equivocate. So they are not really anti-war and have a different agenda to those of us who are – in fact they have more in common with the general attack on the anti-war movement.
    Most of the official StW statements have been fairly sound as far as they go. Most of the attacks have focused on articles that have appeared on the SyW website, phrases from such peripheral articles. There should of course be a debate about whom it is acceptable to include in any anti-war coalition. Obviously we don’t want anti-semites or racists. But once people start saying that people from this communist group or that Muslim association are not acceptable, you don’t have much of a broad coalition to oppose war with – which for some would be the solution they are looking for.

    Mike Phipps

    December 17, 2015 at 12:51 pm

  11. The problem is far deeper Mike.

    It’s that, is the StWC really anti-war?

    If they include those who support Assad and Putin they are pro- their war.

    If they include supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood they are for the war of their side in Syria.

    Those who, like myself, back the Kurdish forces, are pro their war.

    Apart from the Quakers there is no pure ‘anti-war’ movement.

    And the people this Blog post focuses on are not peripheral: Ali wrote in the Independent and has spoken on their platform, Murray is the StWC Chair and Galloway is…Galloway.

    This is an extremely serious conflict, over 2000,000 have died, and millions are refugees.

    We have to take position on this reality, not on Jeremy Corbyn or any British political figure’s place.

    Andrew Coates

    December 17, 2015 at 1:14 pm

  12. “There should of course be a debate about whom it is acceptable to include in any anti-war coalition. Obviously we don’t want anti-semites or racists.”

    It’s not ‘obvious’ at all. The so-called ‘anti-war’ movement has been crawling with antisemites for years. STWC’s website has been carrying articles by them for years, with almost zero complaint on the left – apart from those now labelled red Tories and warmongers.

    STWC ought to have come to wider attention much earlier. They have come under the spotlight because of their own efforts to interfere with the Labour Party.

    First there was the declaration by German, Rees and co – almost all of whom have been not Labour members but rather long-standing antagonists of the Labour Party – that Labour MPs should not be allowed a free vote on Syria. They followed this up with a campaign of threats and bully-boy tactics.

    It was none of their business – or that of any other members of further left parties to dictate how Labour MPs ought to be allowed to vote.

    But as has already been noted, the biggest problem is that STWC pass themselves off as ‘anti-war’ when they are not. They are pro-war so long as it is Russians or the jihadi ‘resistance’ waging it. A few commentators and blogs have been pointing this out for years.

    The cry-bully STWC are now complaining that they are being criticised simply in order to get at Jeremy Corbyn. It is indeed because of Corbyn’s role that STWC’s stone has finally been turned over by a very slow-on-the-uptake media – but the nasties crawling around under it are very real. They claim they have nothing to apologise for – the fact that they’ve been trying to shred their website shows that for the lie it is.

    Lamia

    December 17, 2015 at 4:44 pm

  13. This post by Darren Johnson (Green Party) should be noted.

    “Stop The War – please stop the lies.

    Article from Lindsey German here contains the following allegation about me:

    “Even those like Darren Johnson, the Green Party London Assembly member who claims that he has formerly been a strong supporter of Stop the War. He has clearly forgotten that at our founding organising meeting in 2001 he argued against the setting up of the organisation.”

    This is a total lie. I took to the microphone to support the founding of the Stop The War Coalition at the founding meeting back in 2001 but to call for the wording of the founding statement to be changed from “we do not condone” the 9/11 attachs to “we condemn” the 9/11 attacks. It is a total, utter 100% lie to claim I opposed the founding of the Stop The War Coalition when I attended in an official capacity on behalf of the Green Party Executive to support it.

    http://www.stopwar.org.uk/…/the-task-of-any-anti-war-moveme…

    H/t Harry’s Place.

    http://hurryupharry.org/2015/12/17/stop-the-war-figures-out-islamic-state/#comments#disqus_thread

    John R

    December 17, 2015 at 8:39 pm

  14. Mike Phipps: “My main problem with some of these critics, particularly those writing below the line of the Left Futures article by Phil B that you mention – is that they are not really anti-war.”

    Seconded.

    Francis

    December 17, 2015 at 10:49 pm

  15. Andy Newman has written an article defending STWC and criticising Phil BC. Well, I liked the John Penney comment supporting the Kurds.

    http://www.leftfutures.org/2015/12/we-must-defend-the-stop-the-war-coalition/

    John R

    December 17, 2015 at 11:43 pm

  16. Newman is right on the broad issue of what British imperialism was, and how it has developed.

    However he gives absolutely no strategy for tackling the issues arising out of the Syrian civil war, starting with the Assad regime.

    It is disingenuous to say the least to whinge about Phil’s criticisms when you run a Blog that openly supports Assad.

    John Penny’s point is important,

    “Any movement of the UK Left which cannot support the right of the Kurds for national self determination and their right for arms and assistance to fight off the murderous Daesh fascists, and Turkey, is simply not fit for purpose.”

    Andrew Coates

    December 18, 2015 at 11:58 am

  17. […] be an accurate reading of the situation during the Cold War, or today. (An interesting discussion here includes the view that the world is already quite multi-polar and that the left should therefore […]


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