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Factionalism in the Time of Coranavirus Part 11: Chris Williamson Gets Close to Galloway’s Workers Party.

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Getting Close up to Galloway and pro-Brexit ultras of the Workers Party – aka as the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist).

 

Chris Williamson was reported to be organising a ‘grass roots’ event, the ‘Festival of Resistance’ on the 20th of June but we learn from his site, “The Resistance” that,

In view of the ongoing Coronavirus calamity, we have decided to postpone the Festival of Resistance that was planned for the weekend of 20 June this year.

The festival has now been rescheduled for the weekend of 17/18 October in Derby, where we will aim to have an array of excellent speakers, workshops and films.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism asserts that speakers are already lined up,

The Resist Festival is due to feature controversial speakers including the rapper Lowkey, the outspoken academic Noam Chomsky, the activist Max Blumenthal and representatives from the ‘yellow vest’ protests in France.

This is one of his most recent public interventions,

Williamson has some new best friends:

This follows an earlier chum-fest with Galloway in May:

Chris Williamson’s views on the opinions of the Deputy Leader of Galloway’s Workers Party, Joti Brar, (Anti-imperialist, communist, media worker, truthseeker, mum. Workers of the world, unite; we have a world to win! @CPGBML @WorkersPartyGB )are not known.

Here are some of them, “Joti Brar is an active member of the Stalin Society, the website of which contains articles denying Soviet wrongdoing in the Katyn massacre, the Ukrainian Famine (Holodomor), and the Moscow Trials which they blame on the Nazis, dismiss as propaganda, or describe as fair process, respectively.”

Williamson could not stand as the Labour candidate in his Derby North constituency in the 2019 General Election as a result of his active suspension. He resigned from the Labour Party and stood as an independent candidate. He won 635 votes, losing his deposit and coming bottom of the poll.

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Sizewell C will “destroy the most important part of the county’s Heritage Coast.”

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Stop Sizewell C!

This was reported on June the 30th.

UK regulator receives application for new Sizewell nuclear reactors

Britain’s nuclear regulator said on Tuesday it had received an application for a licence to build two nuclear reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk county, north of London, from EDF Energy subsidiary NNB Generation Company.

Yesterday the East Anglian Daily Times (EADT) published this article by Paul Geater.

Will the Suffolk coast fall victim to coronavirus as government splashes the cash?

 

I’ve never disguised the fact that I feel that the proposed Sizewell C power station would be a disaster for East Suffolk and would effectively destroy the most important part of the county’s Heritage Coast.

Those who have meet Paul Geater, the main political journalist on the regional paper and the Ipswich Star, will know that he must have good reason before expressing himself so strongly.

One of the things that spurred him is, “It’s a part of the world that is very important to me – I was born at Eastbridge and lived within five miles of Sizewell for the first 27 years of my life.”

The article continues,

Until now I’ve always been optimistic that the proposals for this plant, which would be built on what is – effectively – part of the Minsmere Nature Reserve, would be scrapped because the economics just don’t make sense.

However, I’m now beginning to fear that the Suffolk Coast – with all the jobs it provides in tourism, leisure, and wildlife management – will be fall victim to the coronavirus pandemic as the government looks for projects to throw money at in the hope of creating jobs to get Britain out of the 21st century’s Great Depression.

I’ve always felt that the environmental arguments don’t really cut any ice with EDF and the other groups promoting Sizewell C. Yes their promoters will smile and nod earnestly when confronted by genuine concerns from organisations like the RSPB and National Trust as well as local residents – but when push comes to shove they don’t seem prepared to make any real compromises or do anything to limit the damage they would cause.

For many people this will be a crucial point.

They still seem hell-bent on destroying the Eastbridge marshes, an integral part of the Minsmere ecosystem, to create their new campus while the station is being built. Villages would be ruined by traffic because there is no proposal to bring in material by sea as they did when Sizewell B was built.

And that ignores the fact that nuclear-generated electricity is much more expensive than that from the sun or wind.

The well-known local figure calls to reject this latest move, which many consider to be on the point of being slipped through while attention is diverted elsewhere.

…by rejecting it, there would be a real boost to the local economy. Jobs in the tourist and leisure sectors would be ensured for years or decades ahead. Villages would be protected and the Suffolk coast (hardly the unemployment blackspot it was when Sizewell B was built in the 1980s) would be able to evolve and retain its wonderful character.

Local people recognise that. I know that many who welcomed Sizewell B have been appalled at the plans for Sizewell C and the way it is being planned with no thought to the local environment.

That is the least you can say.

Those affected have been screaming about the destruction to be wrought by new roads, vast car parks, and the rest, for some time.

The local councils recognise that. Both Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal were broadly supportive of Sizewell B. That isn’t what you hear from the planners and councillors at either the county or East Suffolk Council now!

Geater underlines the loss to the local tourism and leisure sectors.

But he finishes saying that “money isn’t everything.”

It certainly is not.

The areas affected are both environmentally highly significant – the status of Minsmere hardly needs underlining – and very dear to many people’s hearts.

The local campaign Together Against Sizewell C notes the plans will,

– devastate the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which provides a rich and varied mosaic of habitats that are a haven for an amazing variety of wildlife including iconic species such as bittern, marsh harrier and otter,

– split the Sizewell Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest in half with a new permanent elevated road,
– be constructed on the boundary with RSPB Minsmere, with 24/7 light, noise and air pollution being a huge threat to the internationally important nature reserve as well as the wider environment,
– result in the loss of acres of valuable farmland,
– threaten homes, land and businesses with compulsory purchase,
– see road building and alterations for 25 miles around the site, including 7 new roundabouts within an 8-mile radius of Sizewell,
– add hundreds of HGV journeys to and from the Sizewell site every day, causing unacceptable levels of CO2 and NOX emissions,
– harm the flourishing and sustainable tourism industry of East Suffolk affecting businesses around the much visited towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold and many popular villages as well as RSPB Minsmere and the National Trust’s Dunwich Heath,
– see up to 2 million litres of mains water consumed each day of nuclear power station operation, in addition to the huge volumes used during construction, in one of the driest parts of the country,
– see tons of fish and other marine life sucked into the cooling pipes along with an estimated 2.5 billion gallons of sea water per day, see article re Hinkley Point C(same design as SZC): https://www.burnham-on-sea.com/news/concern-over-hinkley-point-c/
– require nuclear waste to be stored indefinitely on our crumbling, sinking coast as sea levels rise,
– create a huge upfront carbon footprint during construction and from the mining, milling and fabrication of the uranium fuel together with an unknown carbon footprint at the back end of operation – see why nuclear is not the answer to climate change

This Blogger knows the area well.

I’ve been walking around there since mid-teens. In my twenties my parents had retired to nearby Firston (one of the places affected by car-park plans), and were active in Leiston Labour Party as Chair and Secretary for some years in the 1980s. An uncle (by marriage) grew up in a hamlet by a local village, Theberton (nearly bordering Eastbridge).

The Eastbridge Eels Foot Inn, by the marshes, is one of the best pubs in Suffolk. The walks around the area, some of which I know like the back of my hand, are outstanding. The reserve called Sizewell Belts, is of special interest, and is free to visit (Minsmere is a RSPB reserve, although you can walk alongside it, including  on the coastline).

On one walk, in the direction of  Weselton I saw my first Adders, one another, my first Mistletoe, and enormous Red Deer. Alas I have never spotted the Otters,who have been encouraged, (and helped by some re-introduction)  since the 1980s.

The Leiston Communist Writer and activist Lee Chadwick (1909 – 2003)  lived in a house on Leiston Common, not far from the Reactors, and in the heart of the sites that will be touched by the new development.

One of her best books, In Search of Heathland (1982), begins with a chapter titled, “Our Vanishing Heathland”.

She wrote,

Leiston and Sizewell commons today lie within the Suffolk Coastal Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the 34 miles f the Suffolk Heritage Coast. Notwithstanding this, the building of a second and possibly a third nuclear power station at Sizewell is under discussion and at the time of  writing seems likely to prove the focus for another form of popular struggle concerning the use of one-time open land.” (Page 66)

Lee, who participated in the 1980s campaigns – as did my parents –  would surely back Together Against Sizewell C (TASC).

Unfortunately we hear from the organisers that UNITE, which has a strong Branch at Sizewell, is not so inclined. TASC says that the UNITE led organising committee of the annual Burston Rally, a rural labour movement event that claims to support Green causes, “won’t even allow us (us being TASC) to have a stall at the Burston rally.”

Paul Geater writes that, “The fear is that while locally there is a great deal of disquiet, the further you move away from the Suffolk coast, the attitude changes.”

Let’s hope he is wrong on that point>

Back TASC!

To: Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

STOP SIZEWELL C HUGE NEW NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT IN SUFFOLK A.O.N.B.

More information on the TASC site:

Together Against Sizewell C.

TASC has been actively campaigning, since 2013, to stop EDF’s plans to build two EPR nuclear reactors on Suffolk’s fragile Heritage Coast. Sizewell C and all its supporting infrastructure will devastate untold acres of the wildlife-rich Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB and its SSSI, as well as irreparably damaging RSPB Minsmere. The area, a 30 mile radius around the site, will change from rural tranquillity to brutal industrialisation.

 

Here is a tweet from their Twitter Feed.

Here is more news:

Written by Andrew Coates

July 3, 2020 at 4:12 pm

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

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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.