Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Socialist Worker and Novara Media Attack Anti-Fascist Anti-Brexit Demo Against Tommy Robinson Great Brexit Betrayal Rally.

with 11 comments

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Pro-Brexit Rally Calls for Anti-Brexit Response.

The Another Europe is Possible protest “No to Tommy Robinson, No to Brexit” continues to create controversy.

Leave or Remain, We All Hate Tommy

Callum Cant and Benjamin Walters write,

Another Europe is Possible (AEIP) is an ultra-remain campaign group that positions itself as the left wing of the ‘Stop Brexit’ movement. Its support base varies from Alliance for Workers’ Liberty members to Guardian columnist Zoe Williams. AEIP have called for a People’s Vote/Stop Brexit counter-protest to the far right march.

They argue that it’s not enough to simply oppose racism and fascism – we have to specifically oppose Brexit. For them, Brexit is not just a recruiting ground for the far right, it is actually a far right project in its entirety. So, the anti-fascist response has to be to try and stop Brexit.

After having carefully established that AEIP is “ultra”, AWL backed, no less, and, apparently has a view (which is not referenced) on the Brexit basis of the “far right project in its entirety” they outline an alternative.

Cant and Walters argument appears to be that the left needs to talk to  Brexit supporters, to weed them away from Robinson and UKIP leadership.

Whereas the Momentum-backed counter-protest is using the slogan ‘No to Tommy Robinson, No to Fortress Britain’ without taking a line on Brexit, AEIP are linking together an ultra-remain position with an anti-fascist position. This is a very bad mistake.

It is a mistake because it maps the political division of the Brexit debate (48% Remain, 52% Leave) onto the political division between fascists and anti-fascists (90% anti-fascist, 10% fascist). It gives Robinson exactly what he wants: leadership.

Instead of challenging his attempt to lead Leave voters and splitting the hard core of the far right away from the 52%, it consolidates his position from the other side of a police line. Robinson is a general looking for an army. AEIP’s line, if pursued, will do much to form his battalions for him.

Yes, we “all hate Tommy”.

But, one might ask how, as they suggest,  is the left going to lead Leave voters?

By arguing for a People’s Brexit?

By saying that a Brexit Britain with a “socialist economy” will be (as a Counterfire contributor put it recently) a “Beacon” off the shores of Europe?

Brexit is not a “floating signifier” that you can moor to the left’s politics.

It is a reactionary project through and through.

Trying another tack the authors assert,

…..anti-fascist fronts should only express the limited politics necessary to defeat the fascists on the day. They should appeal to as many people as possible (regardless of what they think about Brexit). They should recognise that the goal of the front is only to prevent the fascists from taking leadership.

Just how limited?

They argue that the demonstration called by the SWP Fronts Stand Up To Racism and Unite Against Fascism is against ‘Fortress Europe” is such a step

It is against Europe, that’s for sure.

Here is the SWP:

Unite and stop the racists and fascists on 9 December

Tomáš Tengely-Evans writes,

The Another Europe Is Possible campaign has called a separate mobilisation under the dangerous slogan of “No to Tommy Robinson—no to Brexit”. The organisers link opposition to Robinson to demands for a “People’s Vote” to stop Brexit.

Racism against migrants pushed by both Tory Brexiteers and Labour ­“centrists” who want to block Brexit has added to the racist atmosphere.

So the ‘limited’ united front is also against “Labour ‘centrists'”.

The SWP view on “anti-fascists” who “send volunteers to the Middle East to fight Isis” is not known.

In the meantime back in the real world of Brexit:


Written by Andrew Coates

November 28, 2018 at 1:58 pm

11 Responses

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  1. I had a spat with what I presume is a SWPer on the Calais camp. On visiting it, she stated how much she hated the racist EU. I pointed out that Calais is a British camp, stopping people going to Britain. Yoiu can use your imagination to see where it went from that. The CPGB used to claim British patriotism. This is worse.

    Jim Monaghan

    November 28, 2018 at 4:52 pm

  2. They are obessed with the titles of demos. If people want to turn up to fight the far right they will, regardless of what the demo is called.

    “The SWP view on “anti-fascists” who “send volunteers to the Middle East to fight Isis” is not known”

    I guess it would be negative. I asked a Socialist Worker seller about IISIS a few years back and she said they were fighting Imperialism so people should not oppose them. She conceded that the Left should not openly support them because it would be “bad optics” inside the Labour Movement


    November 28, 2018 at 4:55 pm

  3. People screaming about the ‘racist EU’ are simply lying.

    There is no “racist EU”, there are racist states which make EU policy on ‘illegal’ migrants, notably asylum seekers and refugees which is a national issue.

    The racist EU includes racist Germany which accepted over a million refugees, predominantly from Syria, in 2015 – 16.

    No fucking lying, snivelling, SWPer or liar behind this demo against ‘Fortress Europe” can take away the enormous moral courage that Chancellor Angela Merkel showed at that time.

    Andrew Coates

    November 28, 2018 at 6:32 pm

  4. Are they suggesting “Labour centrists” are “social fascists”. Is this the new “Trotstkyist Third Periodism” or something? Just asking!

    Howard Fuller

    November 28, 2018 at 9:27 pm

  5. Indeed, the Fatherland was facing an acute skills shortage, and had a dearth of doctors, scientists and engineers until brave Fräulein Merkel took the courageous step to welcome in one million hard-working refugees. Angela Merkel will go down in history as the woman who single-handedly saved Germany. Heil, Angela Merkel


    November 28, 2018 at 9:30 pm

  6. Kraftwerk: are you trying to compete for the stupidest comment of the year? You might consider that there were so many people dying on the shores of Europe. Angela Merkel (not the commentator above) saw the GDR live and also the collapse of the Wall. Perhaps that had something to do with her decision, which demanded quite a bit of courage and confedence in the basic humanity of the contemporary German people.


    November 28, 2018 at 9:59 pm

  7. Another Europe – is that the George Soro’s funded one like?

    Islington North

    November 29, 2018 at 1:33 pm

  8. Comrade George Soros, if you please, my old mucker.

    Andrew Coates

    November 29, 2018 at 6:05 pm

  9. Novara went into liquidation in March this year and never filed accounts. Assets, whatever they were, were taken over by a company called A Thousand Hands.

    Dave Roberts

    November 30, 2018 at 6:04 am

  10. […] Brexit, which it sees as a great working class rebellion. Bizarrely, as Coatesy documents here, not only the SWP but also the young radicals at Novara Media are attacking the […]

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