Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Factionalism in the Time of Coronavirus, Part 10: Socialist Appeal calls for “War” after RLB Sacking.

with 7 comments

Image may contain: 2 people, suit, text that says "RLB SACKING: THIS MEANS WAR SOCIALIST APPEAL ACAAM SCAIE"

“Unity” against the “Appeasers” of Starmer.

A couple of days ago, Socialist Appeal published this article.

Long-Bailey sacking: Mobilise against Blairite aggression!

Keir Starmer has abruptly sacked former leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey from her position as Shadow Education Secretary, on the ludicrous charge of “sharing antisemitic conspiracy theories”. This incendiary move has rightly provoked outrage amongst grassroots members.

The “Marxist Voice of Labour and Youth” is not kind to Long-Bailey,


Long-Bailey showed her own timidity by distancing herself from Peake’s comments, rather than calling out the slanders and cynicism of the right. Worse still, she went on to say that she would not be “critical about the way I have might have been treated”, because “[t]he only way that we’ll win a general election is by being unified as a party.”

They continue,

So rather than standing up for herself, she rolls over and lets Starmer kick her in the teeth! This weakness on the part of the left leaders is in marked contrast to the right, who are resolute and ruthless in pursuing their agenda.

They concluded,

It is fruitless to seek unity with the Labour right wing. They represent the interests of big business, who are determined to reclaim the party from the Corbyn movement. The left leaders’ strategy of appeasement has been a proven failure over the past years, and is the reason we are in this position to begin with.

The unity we need is not one of concessions to the Blairites. We need genuine unity, based on organising Labour’s mass membership around bold socialist policies. This is the only way to avoid demoralisation and defeat.

No more compromises! Resist Blairite aggression! Unite and fight for a socialist Labour Party!

Here is their call to arms.

Socialist Appeal (SA) was founded by supporters of Ted Grant and Alan Wood after they were expelled from the Militant group in the early 1990s. While their former comrades founded the Socialist Party, they stayed inside Labour.

Socialist Appeal is said to be affiliated to the Labour Representation Committee.

The groupuscule is said to have over a 100 members.

They believed that Labour should have campaigned for Brexit on a socialist basis.

Their position was that the left should call for “the reform of the EU and its institutions, but with their destruction and replacement by a Socialist United States of Europe.”

If Corbyn and the Left had come out boldly against the EU – whilst defending workers’ rights and freedom of movement for all on a socialist basis – this would have transformed the situation. It could have shifted much of the debate away from immigration and onto the real nature of the EU – and to the question of how to improve society, particularly in the deindustrialised heartlands where Labour had lost support under Blair, Brown and Miliband.

Lessons of the Brexit saga

‘Utopian reform’ of the EU would not work. Failure to appeal  to the electorate to destroy the European Union and  in this way build support for socialist united states of Europe, cost Labour dearly in the ballot box.

Jeremy Corbyn compounded his error by not “waging a relentless assault against Blairism” as the interests of the working class demanded. After the election the “toxic mire of Blairism” loomed again. It “will end in disaster”.

One of SA’s best known international campaigns is the defence of President Maduro’s Venezuelan regime (No coup! No war! Hands off Venezuela! ). The success of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution is too well known to need outlining.

SA is widely credited with having one of the most unreadable papers on the left.

This group is not alone in calling for a fight against the newly elected leader of the Labour Party.

Today opponents of Starmer have a new cause célèbre.

The Evening Standard reports,

Black Lives Matter UK has criticised Labour leader Keir Starmer after he dismissed their aim to “defund the police”.

The UK’s anti-racism group has joined demands from protesters around the world to “defund the police”, a term that refers to diverting of funds from law enforcement into other areas such as mental health services.

When asked about the process, Sir Keir told BBC Breakfast: “Nobody should be saying anything about defunding the police.

Black Lives Matter UK defended the movement on Twitter, as they said defunding the police is a call for more investment in “key services to support the most vulnerable before they come into contact with the criminal justice system”.

“As a public prosecutor, Sir Kier Starmer was a cop in an expensive suit,” said the anti-racism organisation.

These are some different responses to calls to ‘defund’ the Police.

2017 Election.

Labour will put 10,000 extra police on streets, vows Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour has pledged to put 10,000 additional police on to the streets of England and Wales in a policy designed to challenge the Conservatives in their own political territory of law and order.

Jeremy Corbyn will promise on Tuesday to fund the extra “bobbies on the beat” by reversing Tory cuts to capital gains tax (CGT) if he wins next month’s general election.

2019 Election,

Jeremy Corbyn: Labour will give our NHS, schools and police the money they need

We will invest in every nation and region, rebuild our public services and give our NHS, schools and police the money they need by taxing those at the top to properly fund services for everyone.

There are plenty of replies.

Socialist Appeal has its own angle on the calls.

Review: ‘The End of Policing’ – but how?

It’s not enough to have good ideas, we must participate in the class struggle to make them reality. In that spirit the last line of State and Revolution reads“It is more pleasant and useful to go through the ‘experience of revolution’ than to write about it.”

It will only be the experience of a working class, socialist revolution, that can really bring about the end of policing.

Can we suggest that they pursue their reading of State and Revolution in more convivial surroundings?

RS21 (a splinter from the SWP) have a thoughtful article which outlines just such a “perspective” (one of Ted Grant’s favourite words):


Outside the Labour Party things will surely be a lot happier for Socialist Appeal.

7 Responses

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  1. Socialist Appeal are really unappealing. But there are plenty of other critics of dear leader this week. What do you think if his casual dismissal of the Black Lives Matter “moment”?



    June 30, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    • ‘Defunding the Police” is nonsense, as the way Corbyn called for more funding for the police cited above indicates.

      There is sense in properly funding a range of bodies, from mental health services to youth programmes, that would ease the strain on policing.

      This is something we know in Ipswich only only too well – and the Labour Party in East Anglia has campaigned against the poor mental health services ( Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.). See on this: The struggling mental health trust for Norfolk and Suffolk remains in special measures – despite a watchdog lifting it from the lowest possible rating of ‘inadequate’ to ‘requires improvement’ in a new inspection report. https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/norfolk-and-suffolk-mental-health-trust-cqc-1-6466217

      Research on gangs (there have been stabbings and deaths in the area) indicates the importance of wider youth services, many of which were cut by the Tory run County Council.

      Gangs, Criminal Exploitation & County Lines: https://suffolksp.org.uk/safeguarding-topics/gangs-criminal-exploitation-and-county-lines/

      This is the news today,

      Helen Forbes qualified as a youth worker alongside two volunteers from Reflections – the youth club she co-founded with Tavis Spencer-Aitkens’ father, Neville.

      More: Father and stepmother of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens open youth club in bid to rebuild sense of community

      The club launched at Nansen Road Baptist Church last June – a year after the 17-year-old’s murder in an adjacent street – in an effort to deter children and young people from falling into crime.

      elen Forbes qualified as a youth worker alongside two volunteers from Reflections – the youth club she co-founded with Tavis Spencer-Aitkens’ father, Neville.

      More: Father and stepmother of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens open youth club in bid to rebuild sense of community.

      The club launched at Nansen Road Baptist Church last June – a year after the 17-year-old’s murder in an adjacent street – in an effort to deter children and young people from falling into crime.

      A three word slogan is not the way to deal with these issues.

      Andrew Coates

      June 30, 2020 at 4:09 pm

  2. Let’s not forget Socialist Appeal’s ideological wobble when they called on their Scottish section to leave the Scottish Labour Party and join the Scottish Socialist Party just shortly after the Independence Referendum in 2014.

    Then, whoopsie, Corbyn was elected Labour leader, the pro-Indy perspective was dumped (and the article deleted) and they re-discovered their undying love for Labour Party entryism.

    I think they might have printed a pro-Indy newspaper (well, one issue) – surely a collector’s item.


    John Rogan

    June 30, 2020 at 8:18 pm

    • Thanks for that, they’re so boring, and I haven’t even gone into their pretentious gibberish about ‘dialectics’, that even the CC of the Tendance Trainspotters had forgotten that one!

      Try this,

      Quantum physics, dialectics and society: from Marx and Engels to Khrennikov and Haven.


      “In. A new book, Quantum Social Science, by Andrei Khrennikov and Emmanuel Haven argues that applying the logic of quantum theory to social systems can take our understanding of human society to a whole new level.
      Quantum physics, dialectics and society: from Marx and Engels to Khrennikov and Haven

      Seemingly without realising it, these scientists are following in the footsteps of Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, who developed the logic of dialectical materialism out of philosophical enquiry into the natural world. On this basis, by applying scientific logic to society, they developed the theory of scientific socialism.”

      Andrew Coates

      June 30, 2020 at 9:53 pm

  3. The demand to ‘Defund the Police’ is actually deliberately obscure and meaningless. What does it mean? Anything you want it to. I decided to look into what it was supposed to mean and it turns out they want more social spending. Why not say that? I have been waiting to hear the rather more positive demand of self-defence groups. The only way that black areas are going to deal effectively with the problems of drugs and gang warfare is with self defence groups organised. I don’t know why they don’t raise tht demand. Or, even get some of the highly visible black personalities like Beyonce and Jay-Ze etc to appeal to the youth not to get involved in organised crime. But, what do I know.

    Sue R

    June 30, 2020 at 8:32 pm

  4. I suspect this bit of news, filtering in overnight, might cause some dialectical anguish for the Socialist Appeal comrades, not to mention the Spats and several other groupuscules. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cuba-racism-protests-idUSKBN2413R5

    david walsh

    July 1, 2020 at 1:16 am

  5. Lemme understand this: the crime here was taking a spare bureaucrat off the tax-funded payroll? This is compounded by innuendo about some disagreement between national socialists and soviet socialists–when one deciphers the Newspeak. Is this Europe’s way of making Americans complacent about our own mendacious backstabbing kleptocracy parties?


    July 1, 2020 at 3:48 pm

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