Labour’s general secretary has objected to a bid by former firebrand councillor Derek Hatton to rejoin the party.
Mr Hatton, the former deputy leader of Liverpool City Council, was thrown out of Labour in 1986 for belonging to the left-wing Militant faction.
The 67-year-old told ITV Granada he had rejoined the party two days after its general election defeat.
“I just felt I should do something,” he said, saying there was now “no difference between the parties”.
However he will need to appeal against the objection, from general secretary Iain McNicol, if he wants to continue with his application.
The Militant Tendency, which emerged from a Trotskyist group called the Revolutionary Socialist League, held key positions in the Liverpool Labour Party as it battled the Conservative Thatcher government in the 1980s.
Archive for the ‘Animal Liberation’ Category
Galloway at Recent Rally.
He was once dubbed a ‘firebrand’, was a member of the far-left Militant organisation and was one of Labour’s most controversial figures in the 1980s.
Now, 29 years after he was expelled, the former Deputy Leader of Liverpool City Council, Derek Hatton, is returning to the Labour Party.
In an exclusive interview with ITV Granada’s political programme Party People, 67-year-old Hatton revealed he re-joined the party on the 9th of May, two days after it suffered one of its worst ever electoral defeats, to ‘have one more go at having a say in the way the Labour Party is going’.
He told Party People Presenter Rob McLoughlin:
To some it will be a surprise to see Hatton re-admitted to the Labour Party, given the list of controversies which followed him in his political career and the way his relationship with the party broke down back in 1985.
He was at the centre of one of the great political storms of Thatcher’s Britain when Liverpool Council refused to comply with the Conservative government’s mandate to limit local council spending.
Hatton and the left-wing Labour Council refused to set a legal budget for the 1985/86 year, putting council jobs at risk and causing a financial crisis in the city.
Their rebellion was eventually defeated and at the Labour Party conference Neil Kinnock denounced the ‘grotesque chaos’ of Hatton and the Liverpool City Council before the National Executive Committee suspended the Liverpool district Labour Party and ordered an investigation.
The result was the expulsion of all Militant Tendency members from Labour.
“DEREK HATTON REJOINS LABOUR
Good morning – we’ve got all the reaction this morning to the breaking story that Derek Hatton has applied to rejoin the Labour party.
Derek Hatton has applied to rejoin the Labour Party, having been kicked out of it 29 years ago.
He rejoined – online – the day after Labour’s general election defeat, and told the ECHO he wants to ensure that the party maintains its historical links with the trade unions.
But at 67, Degsy has no desire to seek high office – so he won’t be challenging Joe Anderson, then, in a bid to become Mayor of Liverpool!
He told the ECHO: “I have no intention of being a main player. I have not joined to stand as a politician, I am just giving my opinion.”
Hatton wouldn’t be drawn on Andy Burnham’s bid to be the next Labour leader, saying only: “He’s a great Evertonian.”
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Tusc) Rainham North candidate Paul Dennis was told he had no votes in the London constituency after they were counted on May 7.
Tusc said it will now petition Medway Council over the result. Mr Dennis says he should have got at least two votes as he claims that both he and his wife voted for him.
A Leftist Trainspotter comments:
The previous victory was held by Les Comités communistes pour l’autogestion who managed the stunning feat in the 18th arrondissement (Paris) in the 1981 French legislative elections.
Meanwhile in a Parallel Universe.
“We are still in the early stages of building a left challenge to Labour. To increase the vote for TUSC among a big swing to the right is a real achievement.”
In some areas the results were more disappointing—particularly where the share of the left vote fell.
Other left candidates also suffered setbacks. Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway lost his seat to Labour. He had won it from Labour in a landslide by-election victory in a 2012 .
But TUSC activists used the campaigns to build the fight against austerity after the election.
Jenny told Socialist Worker, “The point was to build a network of activists on the ground—that’s exactly what we’ve done in Tottenham.
“Even though our support wasn’t reflected in the vote we were very successful in getting out the message that austerity is a con in the interests of the rich.
“Things don’t change in parliament unless there’s a movement on the streets—that’s the next step.”
The task now is to build on the networks established through the campaigning. The result of the election shows the need to fight for a more united left wing alternative.
Jenny said, “We’re going to follow up our campaign with a public meeting on housing and regeneration—and we’ll be having regular meetings around the cuts.
“One thing is clear is—we can’t wait for Labour. There’s no option but to fight.”
The Most Inane Slogan Ever?
Postmodernism was fashionable about thirty years ago.
It was a cluster of artistic, literary, architectural styles and philosophical ideas. These overlapping trends were “characterised by the self-conscious use of earlier styles and conventions, a mixing of different artistic styles and media, and a general distrust of theories.”
Philosophically it was “critical of the foundational assumptions and universalizing tendency of Western philosophy. It emphasizes the importance of power relationships, personalization and discourse in the “construction” of truth and world views.”
Amongst the more directly political themes advanced by theorists associated with the term were;
- Relativism – the idea that not only are there no “foundational” truths, but that political practice should be directed against agencies that seek to work with any.
- An end to “meta-narratives” – to overarching accounts of history, such the Marxism (historical materialism), or the economy (neo-liberalism).
- Support for identity politics: ” The identity of the oppressed group gives rise to a political basis around which they can unite.” Now known as “inter-sectionality”, ” intersections between forms or systems of oppression, domination or discrimination. An example is black feminism, which argues that the experience of being a black woman cannot be understood in terms of being black, and of being a woman, considered independently, but must include the interactions, which frequently reinforce each other.”
- Other forms of localised fights against the dominant power relationships: regionalism, nationalist separatism, defending the rights of religious groups and other species.
Green politics is a political ideology that aims to create an ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, non-violence, social justice, and grassroots democracy.
It cannot be reduced to postmodernism.
Indeed some of the strands associated with the Greens are described as ‘fundamentalists’ – deep ecology, primitivism.
But the ghost of dead postmodernism lingers over Britain’s Green Party – as it does over the Leninist Left.
As a section of the left backs Lutfur Rahmen – dropping a concern for truth and the ‘meta-narrative’ of class struggle for the local Boss of Tower Hamlets and the ‘community’, not to mention the ‘rights’ of Islamists, the Green party is also undergoing its own ‘post-modernist turn.
- Relativism: Green party leader Natalie Bennett says it should not be a crime to belong to al-Qaeda or Isis.
- Green party candidate is alleged to have claimed the UK is responsible for the formation of Middle-Eastern terror group ISIS during a hustings for North East Hertfordshire.Graham White, who was filling in for the constituency’s candidate Mario May, is said to have shocked the Buntingford crowd with his comments that Britain helped create the extremist group who have committed a swathe of atrocities across Syria and Iraq.Mr White, who is representing Stevenage, said: “We are responsible for IS [Islamic State]. IS were created by the CIA.
- Sexual politics: the Green Party is “open” to the idea of three-person marriages, Natalie Bennett has said. Ms Bennett said she was “open to further conversation and consultation” about the prospect of the state recognising polyamorous relationships.
- Animal rights. Green Party objective: To eliminate the wholesale exploitation of other species, foster understanding of our inter-relationship in the web of life and protect and promote natural habitat.” “The Green Party will endeavour internationally to initiate and develop an Animal Rights Division within the United Nations Organisation.” The Green Party does not define any relationship with animals that involves eating them as “non-exploitation”, nor indeed describe what relationships with non-human species could be that are exploitative. How non-speaking creature can demand their rights is equally not explained.
This list is not at all exhaustive.
But it show that what tends to come out of Green politics is a kind of ‘post-modernist’ strategy. This is a bit by bit accumulation of ideas, as relativism (the idea that people should ‘just do what they want to do – who are you to tell me what to do!) co-exists with very clear messages about what you should do (animal rights), and messages from the Authority of a wide range of groups (speaking ‘Asa’).
Their ideas are a jumble but the drift is clear.
The Green Party values the diversity of ways in which people relate to each other and the natural environment. It seeks a balance between a number of different processes which contribute to human well-being, rather than stressing one at the expense of all others. It refuses to treat any single value, whether freedom, wealth or equality, as a supreme criterion of political success. In an ecological society a wide range of lifestyle choices will be promoted as individuals and communities seek to establish the most appropriate means of implementing sustainability. (Philosophical Basis of the Green Party.)
We reject the view that wealth can be measured solely in monetary units, a view which allows its adherents to think it consists primarily of the results of human labour. This error has caused successive governments to pursue objectives which appear to increase the nation’s wealth while in fact they reduce it. Symbols of wealth, like money, reinforce the error and dominate political decision making. Economic growth is a poor guide to human welfare.
We seek a society in which people are empowered and involved in making the decisions which affect them. We advocate participatory and democratic politics. Leadership should always be accountable, consensus-driven and moral. We reject the hierarchical structure of leaders and followers.
Property laws should permit neither states nor individuals to treat their property in whatever way they choose. Instead they should aim to ensure that all people, where they wish it, have their needs met through access to the land and its resources, while maintaining its quality for future generations. Property laws should therefore impose duties on owners as well as granting rights.
We do not believe that there is only one way to change society, or that we have all the answers. We seek to be part of a wider green movement that works for these principles through a variety of means. We generally support those who use reasonable and non-violent forms of direct action to further just aims.
Imposing ‘duties’ on property owners, however much wealth is “symbolic” does not seem an easy thing to do by “consensus”.
Why is wealth not a ‘life-style choice’ amongst others?
It is hardly worth going further.
The Green Party’s policies that result are an attempt to look at the world as it is and the world as it might be.
As a wish-list, drawn up by (largely) well-meaning people they appeal to the kind of fragmented interest groups typical of ‘post-modern’ politics. In the 1980s and 1990s this was often called the “post-materialist” constituency. Their French electorate is more recently described as “bobos” – bourgeois bohemians.
This political support is inherently unstable – as the rapid shrinking of the French Green (Europe Écologie Les Verts EELV) vote has indicated. This has gone from 16,28% (European elections 2009), 5,46 % (General Election, 2012), 8.95 (Europeans elections 2014) to 2,03% in this year’s regional elections (départmentals). They are on the point of breaking into separate parties, one aligned to the ruling Parti Socialiste, the other to the Front de gauche.
It would be tempting to go into the experience of the British Greens in local government, notably Brighton, where there politics have singularly failed.
But since this will be instantly dismissed as the result of Coalition policies t finish, this is an example of the British Green’s approach.
Citizen’s Income is both universal, and very post-modern: it would be given to all (within a nation state), and post-mdoern – detatched from any relationship to ‘production’ class struggle and history.
The Green party’s flagship economic policy, the £72 a week “citizen’s income”, would hit the poorest hardest unless it was made more complicated by including a means-tested element, the leading advocate of the policy has conceded.
The Citizen’s Income Trust (CIT), which has given advice to the Green party and been repeatedly cited by the Greens, has modelled its scheme and discovered it would mean 35.15% of households would be losers, with many of the biggest losers among the poorest households.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a climate change denier is in possession of good fortune, and must be in want of right-wing sponsors.“
Spiked-on-Line (ex-Living Marxism, Revolutionary Communist Party)
Hat-Tip: Adam Barnett.
Left Foot Forward carries this story: Why is the Daily Express still quoting this crank in its weather stories?
Climate change denier Piers Corbyn believes the earth is ‘cooling’.
The Express reports: Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, said: “It is going to be very warm and sunny, with strong sunshine making it very hot and dry.“We could certainly beat 24C (75F) or 25C and even nudge close to a 27C (80F) in some spots which get the best of the sunshine.”
Adam notes: “Here’s Piers Corbyn on global warming, from his website” …we point out that the world is now cooling not warming and there is no observational evidence in the thousands and millions of years of data that changes in CO2 have any effect on weather or climate.”
Corbyn is wont to attack “Green Fools” who believe in climate change.
He is a one-man one-idea one-voice rebuttal of Naomi Klein.
On his more than strange website (Weather Action), this cartoon appears,
This quote gives a flavour of his thinking,
Polar bears did very well in the warmer times. They didn’t die out at all; they didn’t die out in the last 10,000 years, nor during the previous interglacial, nor the one before that. So, they’re just used as a deceitful heartthrob; you know, to pluck your heartstrings because the polar bears might die out.
This has drawn the admiration of London May Boris Johnson (Daily Telegraph. January 2013),
I wish I knew more about what is going on, and why. It is time to consult once again the learned astrophysicist, Piers Corbyn.
Now Piers has a very good record of forecasting the weather. He has been bang on about these cold winters. Like JMW Turner and the Aztecs he thinks we should be paying more attention to the Sun. According to Piers, global temperature depends not on concentrations of CO2 but on the mood of our celestial orb. Sometime too bright the eye of heaven shines, said Shakespeare, and often is his gold complexion dimmed. That is more or less right. There are times in astronomical history when the Sun has been churning out more stuff — protons and electrons and what have you — than at other times. When the Sun has plenty of sunspots, he bathes the Earth in abundant rays.
Adam is not equally impressed,
But Mr Corbyn is in a league of his own. As a study by researchers at the University of Sunderland into his wacky method of making weather predictions months in advance reported: “Some forecasts are clearly very good, and a few are very poor, but the majority fall in the grey area in between, where an optimistic assessor would find merit, but a critical assessor would find fault.“ In other words, you could get as reliable a weather forecast by looking out of a window.
I looked out of my window during the Winter and noticed it was oddly warm the whole time, with no snow at all in Ipswich. Corbyn proved wrong! In the 1970s Piers Corbyn (Wikipedia) was a member of the International Marxist Group.
His ‘student cell’, based in London University affiliate (independent since 2007) Imperial College, was somewhat separate to other IMG London student groups. Notably from the Central London Cell, ULU, Central London Poly and FE colleges, (I was a member, doing my ‘A’ levels at Westminster Further Education College), and the LSE cell.
The little band of Imperial College strugglers that Piers was part of rankled the Uni authorities and the NUS top-knobs. Apart from that I personally knew little of them.
This recounts part of Piers’ political career, described in a highly unsympathetic not to say, sub-Spart, way by an anarchist, (BM Blob. 1988).
One spokesperson that became well known was Piers Corbyn. He was a Trotskyist apparatchik belonging to the International Marxist Group (before the IMG dissolved itself into the Labour party). His influence was immense as regards general Elgin Ave policy and the line taken by the squatters newspaper (EASY-Elgin Avenue Squatters? Yes! ) This newspaper emphasized getting support from this or that institution (e.g. Young Liberals or, Paddington’s then Labour MP) and rubbished the libertarian current which called for “Free Housing for all” instead of the usual “nationalize the land” nonsense. The former demand was put forward by The Diggers who had a few years earlier been based elsewhere in Notting Hill. Later they were to become the backbone of the Rainbow Tribe Tepee people (c/f above photo) and The Peace Convoy.
This continues in a similar vein:
Despite all the mystifications and contradictions surrounding an alternative lifestyle, they nonetheless in Elgin Ave and elsewhere called for a radical approach to housing. Although Corbyn was an adept entryist and able, at times, to push para-state bodies like Student Community Housing (SCH) and the obsessively legalistic, Family Squatting Advisory Service (FSHS) he also kept getting way-laid by the libertarian atmosphere of Notting Hill. He once noted for instance how a guy known as “Shaky Dave” found in building street barricades, more therapeutic help than anything social workers, asylums or drug dependence had to offer. Later – befitting the trajectory of the IMG – Corbyn became a Labour party councillor in Southwark (Elgin Ave was rehoused in Camberwell) where from his bureaucratic perch, he defended the Pullens Estate and other Southwark squatters against the more Militant controlled Southwark Council who were evicting them. Many a Southwark squatter has mouthed-off about Corbyn, often saying how his presence spreads the illusion that something can be done by reforming the Council, thus pacifying the necessary direct action. One anarchist even punched him in the face.
There was an interview with Corbyn about the Notting Hill period on the BBC 4 series, “Lefties”. He has we learn, left the Labour Party. Down in his manor another opportunity opens: The Republican Socialist Campaign in the General Election for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, 2015
Republican Socialist Stands for Bermondsey The Republican Socialist Party (RSP) has chosen its first ever parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark, the seat currently held by Simon Hughes. Steve Freeman, who stood for the constituency as an independent in 2010, has agreed to stand.
Pundits are confidently predicating that Steve may well, possibly, get into double figure votes. With all that lovely climate change denying dosh sloshing about Piers will no doubt be tempted to support a fellow struggler for truth. Or perhaps he is happy with the UKIP backing Daily Express.