Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Keir Starmer and ‘Pabloism’ in Prestigious Spart World Column in Private Eye.

with 7 comments

Low Down on Liquidationism.

By coincidence – spooky! – the only place on the planet where you can find the 1989 Socialist Alternatives Editorial referred to above is chez Coatesy:

Europe, Internationalism, Socialist Alternatives (Pabloism), and…Keir Starmer.

PE offers a fair and balanced, if short, account of the politics of Socialist Alternatives.

One could add that the melding of post ’68 concerns, feminism, ecology, gay rights with labour movement socialism (self-management), was more the work the work of the much loved comrade Maurice Nadjam, the effective leading figure of the ‘Pabloites’ in France,  and his circle, than of Pablo himself.

 Najman, who came from a Jewish leftist background and spoke Yiddish (although I have to admit I never heard him speak the language)  co-founded the Comités d’Action Lycéens (CAL) in 1967 and played an important role in the 1968 revolts in France.  Sometimes called a ‘dandy’ in the bohemian sense (Christophe Nick. Les Trotskistes. 2010), Najman was both a libertarian Trotskyist and open to the ‘underground’ or ‘alternative’ culture of the 1970s. He has been described as  having a “rare intelligence et sensibilité, particulièrement attachant (mais parfois difficile à suivre)..” ( a “rare intelligence and sensitivity, particularly endearing, but sometimes difficult to follow). MAURICE NAJMAN (1948-1999).

One can see his articles in Socialist Alternatives. Maurice visited Britain. The last time I met him was not long after I returned to England,  at the Sheffield Conference of the Socialist Movement. He talked about the Presidential campaign of dissident Communist Pierre Juquin of 1988 (which failed to get more than 2,10 %) and hopes for what became the  Nouvelle Gauche pour le Socialisme, l’Écologie et l’Autogestion. In the late 1990s visiting Paris, I learnt that he had, like Juquin, joined the French Green Party, Les Verts (as they were known at that time).

It is no surprise that anybody influenced by the generous humanist culture of the New left should remain loyal to principles such as radical human rights and that they are not far from what one might call ‘Another Europe is Possible’ politics.

Nor that the Stals of the Communist Party of Britain, in the shape of Nick Wright, find that objectionable.

Amongst reasons not to back him Wright says,

..the active enthusiasm for his candidacy from the surviving representatives of the obscure and entirely marginal Trotskyite group of EU enthusiasts with which he was associated in his early career.

Yes (who could this possibly refer to? ) Keir Starmer has a background of which one can be proud.


Maurice is one of those who appeared in this film Mourir à 30 ans about his friend, and comrade from the Comités d’Action Lycéens, Michel Recanati.




7 Responses

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  1. Andrew Coates

    January 11, 2020 at 12:50 pm

  2. Unless that is a satire, a very sick person wrote the above comment.

    Steven Johnston

    January 11, 2020 at 2:25 pm

  3. What comment?

    Andrew Coates

    January 11, 2020 at 5:10 pm

  4. The one from Ian Tomlinson (deceased), which has thankfully now been deleted.

    Steven Johnston

    January 11, 2020 at 7:45 pm

  5. The Labour Party Marxist writes,

    “Keir Starmer, the preferred candidate of the ‘moderates’ and Blairites, is posing, somewhat entertainingly, as the Corbyn continuity candidate, in a rather obvious attempt to attract some of the softer lefties. He says he supported the miners in 1984-85 (not many miners remember that one) and even used to be a Trot once. In 1986- 87 he wrote for the short-lived Socialist Alternatives magazine, mainly on trade union matters. Despite its affinity to the Pabloite tactic of deep entryism into mass Labour and communist parties (in anticipation of World War III), the basic character of the journal was closer to the reformism and the identity politics of the Eurocommunists. But have no doubt: this man is today’s Tony Blair.

    No doubt, most of the organised left will come out for Rebecca Long-Bailey – bar, perhaps the wretched Alliance for Workers’ Liberty – who, we hear, are even considering support for Keir Starmer (though remainer Clive Lewis is no doubt on the AWL list too). But it is palpable how very little enthusiasm there has been for RLB among the party membership, despite her having been groomed for the position by John McDonnell and Momentum owner Jon Lansman for the last two years. It is easy to see why there is so much hesitation and scepticism about her: she has made a huge effort to distance herself from the left and to be seen as anything but the Corbyn continuity candidate.”

    It demands of candidates the right response to the following questions:

    Will you campaign for Labour to support the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign?
    Will you campaign for Labour to fight for the abolition of Trident and for unilateral nuclear disarmament?
    Will you campaign for the mandatory reselection of all parliamentary candidates and the further empowerment of Labour members?
    Will you issue an apology to Chris Williamson and ask him to rejoin the Labour Party?


    Andrew Coates

    January 12, 2020 at 1:40 pm

  6. […] associated with a journal “ Socialist Alternatives”. Us anoraks can read the full story here: https://tendancecoatesy.wordpress.com/2020/01/11/keir-starmer-and-pabloism-in-prestigious-spart-worl… 14. Former Belfast born pop star, 80 year old Ronnie Carroll, stood as an independent candidate for […]

  7. Where is comrade “Nonofabov” when you need him?

    Steven Johnston

    January 17, 2020 at 11:10 am

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