Tendance Coatesy

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Spread Referendum Rebellion *further* in a positive direction says Socialist Workers Party.

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Image result for eu referendum result nigel farage

Farage Celebrates ‘Blow’ to Neoliberalism, Capitalism and Political Elite.

Socialists should seek to direct the rebellion of  23 June further in a positive direction and squash any reactionary elements. Those on the left who see only a further spiral downwards are turning their back on an opportunity to connect with and broaden working class revolt.

Says Charlie Kimber of the Socialist Workers Party and Editor of Socialist Worker. (Why did Britain vote Leave? International Socialism October)

I shall not bother with the ‘learned’ examination of statistics Nor with vapid claims that a small fraction of the European left backed Brexit (strangely Kimber does not mention the ultra-nationalist ‘Trotskyists’ of the Parti ouvrier indépendant démocratique (POID), with whom the British ‘Lexit’ campaign formed close ties during the campaign see here). Nor with the rhetoric about a revolt against the ‘elites’.

Instead let’s go to the core of the Kimber ‘argument’: the revolutionary prospects a Leave vote has created.

That is the idea that this was a “working class revolt” that needs to be ‘broadened’.

He observes,

The reasons for that rebellion are contradictory, and the fallout from the vote is uncertain. But that does not change the essential character of what has taken place. We should welcome this development. Liberals fear turmoil, revolutionaries should not. We are not going to get to the British revolution without some complicated and many-sided developments that require the left to grasp the moment—and if they don’t then the right can grab that feeling of anger instead. The year of the referendum also saw meetings in many places to remember 100 years since the Easter Rising in Dublin. Many in the audience would have nodded sagely at Lenin’s understanding of what happened..,

It would be interesting to learn more about how the British Revolution is helped by the victory of Farage and the hard-right Tories. The right has already “grabbed” this moment.

Is Kimber suggesting that this ‘anger’ is something you can go about snaffling for your side if you’re cunning enough?

In the meantime….

Of course the Leave vote was not the Easter Rising. But Lenin’s method is important.

Indeed, the Referendum has so many points in common with the Easter Rising that Marxists will have spotted them immediately.

Apart from welcoming chaos the SWP declares,

The Socialist Workers Party called for a Leave vote. We did so for three main reasons. Firstly, the EU is an openly pro-capitalist institution…  Secondly, the EU, through its Fortress Europe structures, acts to repel migrants and refugees from outside Europe…… Thirdly, the EU is part of the imperialist world order that, along with NATO, delivers important support for the United States and provides reliable partners in its murderous actions. That is why since the late 1940s the US has promoted European integration to secure a stable junior partner for managing global capitalism.

So the SWP voted to leave capitalism by supporting capitalist plans to quit the EU, to back further restrictions on freedom of movement to get rid of racism, and to undermine and get rid of the imperialist world order. No doubt as soon as possible.

The SWP believes the Leave vote will benefit the working class across the world and the struggle against racism. It is a further blow to the coercive neoliberal power of the EU and its racist laws. The dismantling of the pro-capitalist EU must begin with revolts at a national level.

The SWP “believes” that the Leave vote helped the working class across the world, and anti-racism, on the same secure basis that they believe that Lenin would have “nodded sagely” at their ‘line’.

As for the “blow” to EU neoliberalism –  that’s a lot of huff and puff.

Kimber instructs us, “However we voted on 23 June, we have to unite against racism, austerity, the Tories and the anti-Corbyn Labour MPs. “

That is, to unite with those who backed the “rebellion”, ” backed up by a wider programme raising issues that can engage with workers angry at the political elite and austerity.”

Interesting ‘Marxist’ concept that, the “political elite”. (1)

“We must be participants in the outcomes, and that means intervention, innovative thinking, and organising. After the Leave vote the battle is on. Socialists should gladly embrace and shape it.”

After the Referendum the leader of the Fire Brigades Union Matt Wrack said,

The Brexit vote was a defeat for the working class in Britain as well as internationally. It was a defeat for internationalism and collectivism. Brexit was a victory for populist demagogy, xenophobes and racists. Brexit has already had detrimental economic effects and worse is likely to come.

Brexit has resulted in a more right-wing government. It means an already difficult period ahead will be even harder for the trade union movement and the working-class communities we represent.

The Tendance says: we will not unite with those who actively encouraged the defeat of the working class, internationalism and collectivism.

Whatever Lenin said about the Easter Rising.


(1) This is the SWP trying to get on down with Podemos and attempting to find a way to say, La Casta.


Written by Andrew Coates

October 24, 2016 at 11:31 am

7 Responses

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  1. The political degeneracy of the SWP has reached a new low. Kimber needs to reacquaint himself with the Communist Manifesto.

    Jim Denham

    October 24, 2016 at 2:14 pm

  2. I’d like to see posh-white-boy Kimber explain to my Iranian family, my lovely Bulgarian and Polish neighbours…my Zimbabwean and Sri Lankan colleagues…how Lexit was an “anti-racist” strategy. That is certainly not how it feels to them – with an increased confidence for various bigoted and racist organisations. But the SWP have never been strong on connecting with normal people. As for the desire to “squash any reactionary elements” – it’s quite reassuring that they don’t have any guns, or the ability to deport people to Siberia, or any credibility with anyone…

    alex ross

    October 24, 2016 at 2:21 pm

  3. This is a very relevant article notably the comment at the end,

    “A second approach to the Brexit vote is, in effect, to say – who cares about the answer, what’s more important is the pain. So the alienation of marginalised and excluded working class communities typically placed in North-East England has to be understood and not condemned and we must seek to relate to these workers.

    In anything I’ve read it’s never very clear what it is that is different in what socialists should be saying to these voters to what it should be saying to the millions of workers who voted Remain. The latter have been pilloried as belonging to some sort of cosmopolitan elite cosseted in decent jobs who can’t be identified as an object of a sympathy that verges on pity. In fact the only part of the labour movement calling for a different approach to these workers is the Labour Party right wing who hypocritically castigated Corbyn for not giving 10 out of 10 to the EU but now want increased immigration controls that panders to the worst prejudices of Brexit voters.

    Supporters of this approach, who call on socialists not to condemn workers who voted for Brexit, take their own moralistic view, seeing them as somehow more authentic than others.”

    Crisis? What Crisis? part 4 – a progressive unity against Brexit


    Andrew Coates

    October 24, 2016 at 3:56 pm

  4. Jim Denham

    October 24, 2016 at 5:33 pm

  5. A very clear example of Sráid Marx’s point – extended to self-righteous caricature – about the “moralistic view” of Brexit workers class voters, “, seeing them as somehow more authentic than others.”

    “Spreading false allegations against the majority of the population to justify ignoring the voters’ verdict on the EU is unacceptable.”

    AS well as the traditional lie – put about by the SWP Counterfire etc – that all sides were “equally” racist.

    “It is not difficult to point to examples of racism and xenophobia in the Leave camp. Right-wing politicians, backed by rich businessmen, often plumbed the depths of depravity in making their case — not least the vile anti-refugee poster unveiled by Nigel Farage.

    They were not alone. The Remain leadership spewed out similar anti-foreigner bile in demanding the right to discriminate against particular nationalities.”

    So the racism of the Brexiters and the anti freedom of movement for labour positions of the CPB and the Socialist Party were all right then……

    Andrew Coates

    October 24, 2016 at 5:41 pm

  6. It’s one thing about taking advantage of the problems caused by capitalism to show the need for socialism; it’s quite another to mobilise for a strategy that will upset to some degree capitalism but will at the same time push politics firmly to the right. There is a lot in the SWP’s EU line that is very reminiscent of the German Communist Party’s ‘After Hitler, Us!’ line, that a shock to the system that pushes things rightwards will redound to the left’s benefit.

    Even in its mildest form — a Norway-style deal — Britain’s leaving the EU will cause problems, we are seeing them already in inflation and doubts expressed by firms about staying in Britain, we are also seeing a rise in chauvinism and racism. A tough Brexit could well be economically catastrophic, it will certainly be rough sailing; if the Tory right gets its way, that will happen. Presumably, the SWP’s logic is that, at some point, when things get sufficiently bad, the masses will turn on the Tories, realise their big mistake in voting ‘out’, and turn rapidly to the left.

    If anything, the opposite will be the case: people moving to the right will mostly continue to move in that direction. Some might think again, but how many? Discontent is already being expressed in reactionary ways; if — or, rather, when — things get worse, it’s most likely that discontent will be expressed by a further slide to the right.

    Dr Paul

    October 24, 2016 at 5:42 pm

  7. The Morning Star sinks further into the Brexit mire. Today’s editorial starts off by referring, approvingly, to right wing xenophobe ‘Labour’ MP Gisele Stewart, goes on to attack those MPs who are demanding that Vote Leave’s famous £350 million a week is, as promised, paid to the NHS and, to top it all the editorial states that leaving the EU must mean leaving the single market. Most of it could have come from the Daily Mail:


    Jim Denham

    October 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

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