Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Confusionism: Piers Corbyn, Boris Johnson’s Climate Guru, Back in the News Again.

with 12 comments

Piers Corbyn and Kate Shemirani.

Back in the News Again.

This Blog’s project of building an encyclopaedia of confusionism, following in the footsteps of our ‘look up to’ Phillipe Corcuff has been gathering pace.

With our hard-nosed news hounds we have been tracking the red-brown movements like the WPB, Galloway, Williamson, the Farage coat-tailers and national populist identitarians, of Spiked, The Full Brexit, and former New leftists recycled into Brexiteers, anti-rootless cosmopolitans like Paul Embery, and the overt “conspiracy movements and far-right parties and action groups”. Not to mention by-ways such as the music of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist Leninist) troubadour Cornelius Cardew.

A mighty task, and even our best gumshoes find it difficult to keep track of our star confusionniste, Piers Corbyn, and his latest antics.

As recently as 2015, Johnson claimed “global leaders were driven by a primitive fear that the present ambient warm weather is somehow caused by humanity; and that fear – as far as I understand the science – is equally without foundation”.

He also wrote an article in 2013 suggesting the government should consider preparing for a mini-ice age caused by solar activity, drawing on a discredited theory by the climate denier Piers Corbyn – brother of the former Labour leader. And in the same year, Johnson said windfarms – now a key part of the government’s plan to transition to net zero – couldn’t “pull the skin off a rice pudding”.

Guardian. Today.

There is this as well:

There is a confusionniste explanation of why Piers is in the news again, and trending on Twitter.

Written by Andrew Coates

September 20, 2021 at 5:15 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Maoist classical composer Cornelius Cardew, and his smearing of punk as fascist, will feature in a volume on the punk-anarchist relationship, to be published in 2022 by anarchist Active Distribution https://anarchismandpunk.noblogs.org/


    September 20, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    • If I remember rightly he was not the only one to claim that punk was fascist, that is when it first got noticed. I don’t think it was that political when I first heard of it, having got some copies of Sniffing Glue down in Camden Town in around 1976, and only hearing of Malcom McLaren’s ‘situationism’ a bit later, not to mention the Clash.

      Sniffin’ Glue and Other Rock ‘N’ Roll Habits…, widely known as simply Sniffin’ Glue, was a monthly punk zine started by Mark Perry in July 1976 and released for about a year.

      People like Cardew and that section of the M-L movement were, by contrast, people you were not likely to her anything about unless you were in limited circles, circles pretty remote from actual punks, or (as in many cases) people who began dressing like that, and who followed the groups that emerged in the UK.

      Andrew Coates

      September 20, 2021 at 7:12 pm

  2. The Healyites at first also claimed that punk was fascist, but changed and invited, eg, X-Ray Spex and Chelsea to play at their events.

    And to her eternal shame, punk-hating Julie Burchill reviewed/slagged off all songs of the first Siouxsie and the Banshees LP The Scream, but omitted the anti-fascist song Metal Postcard. Instead, she claimed Siouxsie Sioux was a nazi because she had once years earlier worn BDSM gear with a swastika armband, put around her arm by (Jewish) Malcolm McLaren (to shock the older generation, not in support of Hitler)


    September 20, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    • It was a thing in the 1970s through to the 1990s for bands to be associated with Left sects. Either they were actual members or influenced by their thinking. The most high profile were the Redskins and their membership of the SWP. The RCP (who had a reputation of being hipsters before that was a thing) had Easterhouse and the lead singer of Stereolab spoke about the influence of Living Marxism on her lyrics. Robert Wyatt was a CPGB member and Paul Weller was reputedly close to Militant in the mid Eighties. Any more? It’s less of a thing now with the decline of these left of Labour groups.


      September 21, 2021 at 4:41 pm

      • But there was the “Oi” movement and similar elements backing the NF and the BNP, pumped up by populist PR from people of the time like the Sun’s Gary Bushell (who I’m certain was once in Lewisham IS). I remember in particular Skrewdriver. See Bushell’s wiki on this sub-genre. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garry_Bushell

        David Walsh

        September 21, 2021 at 7:02 pm

        • Oi! did not/does not support the NF/BNP. The fascist music tendency was Rock Against Communism. Skrewdriver were not Oi! Their first line-up was not fascist. Their singer, Ian Stuart Donaldson. later started a new line-up with three new people, then it did become fascist. Bushell started working for the Sun post-1985, years after Oi! had started.


          September 21, 2021 at 7:22 pm

          • Well, yes and no. Checking the Wiki entry, yes he went to the Sun in the 80’s. It seems he was with Sounds before that. (Oh, and it confirms my time and place memory of him in IS in 73/4 in SE London). But…the entry says ” Bushell was at the forefront of covering the Oi! subgenre, also known as real punk or street punk.In 1981, when Strength Thru Oi! was released, it was controversial because its title was a play on a Nazi slogan “Strength Through Joy”, and the cover featured Nicky Crane, a British Movement activist who was serving a four-year sentence for racist violence. Garry Bushell, who was responsible for compiling the album, insists its title was a pun on The Skids’ EP Strength Through Joy and that he had been unaware of the Nazi connotations.” Well, whatever, he wasn’t a thickie and the name was a crafted one (as later with Joy Division and New Order) which used Nazi branding. I’ll leave it there. It seems he is still in the inky trade with the Express now, lthough must be near retirement now.

            David Walsh

            September 21, 2021 at 8:04 pm

            • Joy Division renamed themselves, from earlier Warsaw, in January 1978, so three years before 1981. Not ‘later’ .


              September 21, 2021 at 8:19 pm

  3. Andrew Coates

    September 20, 2021 at 8:17 pm

  4. For anyone not yet familiar with Cardew’s seminal 1974 denunciation, “Stockhausen serves imperialism”, this is essential reading: https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/shop/cornelius-cardew-stockhausen-serves-imperialism/

    The circumstances of his death are also interesting: at the time, it is said, China had decided that red traffic lights meant “go” and Maoists throughout the world followed this guidance, often with tragic consequences …

    Jim Denham

    September 20, 2021 at 9:01 pm

  5. Veering back from Cde Cardew to the theme of Andrew’s post, read an excellent post by George Monbiot in tioday’s Guardian. Sample paragraph; “Some anti-vaxxers are now calling themselves “purebloods”, a term that should send a chill through anyone even vaguely acquainted with 20th-century history. In their defence, however, if they can’t even get Harry Potter right (purebloods is what the bad guys call themselves), we can’t expect them to detect an echo of the Nuremberg laws.” The full article is on https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/sep/22/leftwingers-far-right-conspiracy-theories-anti-vaxxers-power

    David Walsh

    September 22, 2021 at 10:45 am

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