Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Socialist Workers Party leader “failure of the US in Iraq was a “bigger defeat” than the one it suffered in Vietnam.”

with 13 comments

Writer Tariq Ali introduced a meeting on The American Empire and its Discontents. He argued that the US was an “ultra imperialist” power that had united other advanced capitalist powers under its leadership.

Tariq Ali

Tariq Ali Genial Friend of the People.  (Pic: Socialist Worker)

He said, “The dominance of the US remains unchallenged.” In the discussion others argued that Ali underplayed the weaknesses of US imperialism.

Alex Callinicos introduced a meeting on Imperialism Today.

He said the failure of the US in Iraq was a “bigger defeat” than the one it suffered in Vietnam.”

“Courses explored aspects of Marxist theory including alienation, the dialectic, exploitation and accumulation. Other meetings debated the origins of women’s oppression, gene editing, art and revolution and Shakespeare.”

More on Socialist Worker site.

And people wonder why we hold them in contempt.


Written by Andrew Coates

July 5, 2016 at 11:44 am

Posted in Anti-Fascism, Culture, Islamism

Tagged with ,

13 Responses

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  1. Every photo of Ali has him looking incredibly earnest – the sort of person who would bore the pants off you if you went down the pub!!

    Likewise for Alex Callinicos, who happened to be my PhD supervisor for 3 years….we had to go to Pizza Express once as part of a research student-supervisor bonding exercise and it was possibly the most awkward hour and a half of my life…I think he genuinely thinks he is commanding some potentially revolutionary force…and (like all Trots) is very fond of issuing diktats…

    alex ross

    July 5, 2016 at 1:36 pm

  2. I met Callinicos once, when the SWP were trying to recruit me which, as an older ISer told me at the time, must have been one of the least probable person ever to be go on their side, ever.

    It was just after the collapse of Official Communism – circa 1991.

    He spent some time patronising me about his deep knowledge of the French left and the British New Left (both of which I happen to some slight acquaintance of).

    Tariq is a good bloke in his own way – when he lived in Crouch End we considered him with some affection, though nobody took his political ‘line’ that seriously.

    Since he ratted and publicly called for a Liberal Democrat vote (TARIQ ALI URGES A VOTE FOR LIB DEMS
    Posted on 29th March 2005
    . In the tightly fought battle for the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency, the Liberal Democrats have received the support of prominent writer and film maker Tariq Ali, who says he will be backing the party in the forthcoming General Election. Mr Ali, who lives in the constituency, is a long-time critic of the Government over the war in Iraq.) we consider him as a pretty contemptible charlatan,


    Andrew Coates

    July 5, 2016 at 4:22 pm

  3. When I was a student at Birmingham University in the early 1970s I was a member of IS, but joined the oppositional Left Faction. Callinocos came to see me with various offers intended to buy my loyalty to the leadership. As I remember, it was a Sunday morning or early afternoon, and we were walking across the Uni sports field, near the main road when a couple of little kids approached us, and asked us to buy “Sunny Smiles” – pictures of little smiling kids, which would be torn out of little books and given to you in exchange for some money being raised by the church (Catholic, I think). Callinicos shouted “I don’t give to religious causes!”, terrifying the kids, who ran off in tears. The IS took a hard line on religion in those days.

    Jim Denham

    July 5, 2016 at 5:32 pm

  4. It’s OK to wear a burqa,
    would you like to buy a copy
    of socialist worker?

    Lord Oxbridge Ali is at truthful in his comic masterpiece Redemption.

    The resident intellectual of the Rockers is one Alex Mango, i.e. Alec Callenicos. “Mango, an extremely talented polemicist, made sure that he preserved his best material for the national press and the literary journals. He was the leading representative of Rockism with a human face, and his own features were extremely pleasing, even thought the hair which covered his forehead and came down to his shoulders was by now completely grey. This only enhanced his attractiveness to the young middle-class housewives in the north-western districts of the capital. His appetites were legendary. It was said that Alex used to disguise himself as a milkman and service most of North London in a day; but this was probably a vile slander spread with somebody less well endowed with bottle.”


    July 5, 2016 at 9:06 pm

  5. He cannot write novels, or plays but…..Dean that passage wins you an order of Centrist merit.

    Though this work of fiction also deserves mention.

    In the modest opinion of our central committee he is talentless twit covered with flattery.

    Andrew Coates

    July 6, 2016 at 1:22 pm

  6. The Coming British Revolution (1971) and Revolution from Above: Soviet Union Now (1988), both now out of print . Redemption is now out of print as well.

    The coming British revolution Ali predicted hasn’t materialized, and its too embarrassing to read now. His views on Gorbachev’s ‘revolution from above’ are also so completely refuted by subsequent events it is no longer in print.

    However, i would qualify the modest opinion of your central committee that he is ‘ a talentless twit covered with flattery’

    I would suggested that he is a talented twit surrounded by sycophants, with a great moustache and a big mouth. He is a shameless name dropper who’s never done an honest day’s work in his entire life, and spent his so called street fighting years meeting celebrities and politicians. He never met Malcolm X in prison, he met Malcolm X in Oxford uni where he was a student.

    Jeremy Corbyn should suggest Tariq Ali for peerage, Lord Ali of Highgate, and for Tariq Ali to take his rightful position in the house of Lords.

    He right here tho:


    July 6, 2016 at 11:48 pm

  7. Tariq Ali (as the rather disgusting above, demonstrates) is very soft on contemporary anti-Semitism, very pro-Islamist, and very prone to conspiracy theories. In the clip shown above, he effectively blames the “settler state” of Israel for contemporary anti-Semitism, which he describes as “a casual response.” He also puts forward the preposterous idea that pro-Israel forces seek to describe all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism.

    Note also his dismissal of the idea that the holocaust was a “unique” crime …

    Towards the end of his speech he states that anti-Semitism is not a very serious problem in Europe compared with Islamophobia. He also comes out openly as a One-stater … ie for the destruction of Israel.

    In other words, Mr Ali is in reality a political anti-Semite

    Jim Denham

    July 7, 2016 at 6:41 am

  8. Well now he revelling in it.

    Andrew Coates

    July 7, 2016 at 11:22 am

  9. Dean

    July 7, 2016 at 4:08 pm

  10. Who wants to listen to the man who grovelled before Sadam?

    Jim Denham

    July 7, 2016 at 11:13 pm

  11. @(((Jim Denham))) – you contradict yourself:
    “He also puts forward the preposterous idea that pro-Israel forces seek to describe all criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism.”

    and then you – a pro Israel force – does indeed what he says:

    “In other words, Mr Ali is in reality a political anti-Semite”

    So, Mr Ali’s claim is not really preposterous is it?? You are following the Zio agenda to a tee.

    the (((AWL))) has that role in the Labour Party, behind the suspension of Marlene Ellis and promoting Rhea Wolfson.


    July 7, 2016 at 11:24 pm

  12. I’ve asked a few old Trotskyist friends who support a one state solution how they think Jews as a regional minority would fare in a single state – especially given the current issues with the way national and religious minorities are treated in many Muslim majority countries, and the deep grained hostilities involved in the I/P conflict. The response is always along the lines of “it’s a strong negotiating position”. “But is that what you actually want?”, I ask. Baffled response back….”you just don’t get it!!” and “you should know better!!”…then vague mumblings about global socialism being imminent once the “nexus of western imperialism” that is Israel falls.

    alex ross

    July 8, 2016 at 2:44 pm

  13. I can hardly imagine the treatment of a ‘Jewish minority’ in such a state.

    Andrew Coates

    July 9, 2016 at 12:31 pm

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