Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category
George Galloway, Posadist, “Every terrorist will be shot down dead, and if I can, I will pull the trigger myself from my Sputnik.”
Watch out World: Galloway is in Orbit!
George Galloway has been a busy bee.
Here is Galloway this morning:
Here was Galloway yesterday:
Here was also Galloway yesterday.
This yet again was Galloway yesterday:
He even claims that Russia is the forefront of the fight against the Daesh genociders.
Forgetting perhaps that it was welcome US air-support that saved the Kurds from in Kobane from mass murder.
Here was him last week.
The police will find a friend in me,” he added.“Every terrorist will be shot down dead, and if I can, I will pull the trigger myself.
“I say to the police officer in the room, when it comes to your wages, your resources and your strengthening, you can count on me.”
Speculation is rife that Galloway plans to follow Vladimir Putin and wrestle a terrorist, bare-handed, to the ground.
He is there, up in space, with a new Communist civilisation, orbiting the earth, just waiting……
Here is an earlier incarnation of Sputnik.
Slavoj Žižek: No “deeper understanding of ISIS terrorists” as SWP says “Bound to be a Response” to Imperialist Wars.
Žižek: Defends “European emancipatory legacy .”
“There should be no “deeper understanding” of the ISIS terrorists (in the sense of “their deplorable acts are nonetheless reactions to European brutal interventions”); they should be characterized as what they are: the Islamo-Fascist counterpart of the European anti-immigrant racists—the two are the two sides of the same coin. Let’s bring class struggle back—and the only way to do it is to insist on global solidarity of the exploited.”
Bang in cue the Socialist Workers Party announces,
There is no excuse, but there is a context for what has happened. Two and a half centuries of colonialism and imperialism have left a bitter legacy of hatred across much of the world against the West. More than 15 years of the “war on terror” have killed over a million people and driven millions more from their homes. There is bound to be a response.
They further state,
Ultimately those who died in Paris are themselves further victims of Western-backed wars and the reaction against them.
It takes some couilles to say that there is “no excuse” for murder, and then….find an excuse.
It also takes a while to wash the bad taste of this abject statement out of the mouth.
Slavoj Žižek by contrast gives a genuine humanist, warm and democratic Marxist response to the Paris atrocity.
This stands out:
The greatest victims of the Paris terror attacks will be refugees themselves, and the true winners, behind the platitudes in the style of je suis Paris, will be simply the partisans of total war on both sides. This is how we should really condemn the Paris killings: not just to engage in shows of anti-terrorist solidarity but to insist on the simple cui bono (for whose benefit?) question.
He asks some hard questions:
Taking control of the refugee crisis will mean breaking leftist taboos.
For instance, the right to “free movement” should be limited, if for no other reason than the fact that it doesn’t exist among the refugees, whose freedom of movement is already dependent on their class. Thus, the criteria of acceptance and settlement have to be formulated in a clear and explicit way—whom and how many to accept, where to relocate them, etc. The art here is to find the middle road between following the desires of the refugees (taking into account their wish to move to countries where they already have relatives, etc.) and the capacities of different countries.
Another taboo we must address concerns norms and rules. It is a fact that most of the refugees come from a culture that is incompatible with Western European notions of human rights. Tolerance as a solution (mutual respect of each other’s sensitivities) obviously doesn’t work: fundamentalist Muslims find it impossible to bear our blasphemous images and reckless humor, which we consider a part of our freedoms. Western liberals, likewise, find it impossible to bear many practices of Muslim culture.
In short, things explode when members of a religious community consider the very way of life of another community as blasphemous or injurious, whether or not it constitutes a direct attack on their religion. This is the case when Muslim extremists attack gays and lesbians in the Netherlands and Germany, and it is the case when traditional French citizens view a woman covered by a burka as an attack on their French identity, which is exactly why they find it impossible to remain silent when they encounter a covered woman in their midst.
There can be no compromise on universal human rights: the very reason we support the refugees.
Žižek suggests, reasonably in our view, this:
To curb this propensity, one has to do two things. First, formulate a minimum set of norms obligatory for everyone that includes religious freedom, protection of individual freedom against group pressure, the rights of women, etc.—without fear that such norms will appear “Eurocentric.” Second, within these limits, unconditionally insist on the tolerance of different ways of life. And if norms and communication don’t work, then the force of law should be applied in all its forms.
This is better known as secularism, or Laïcité. That is a common public framework, for the shared areas of politics and the state, that is beyond the interference of religious and sectional ideologies. With this structure, as we argued yesterday, we should have absolute tolerance of diversity.
I will not comment further but note that comrade Žižek has the same mass line as ourselves on the following issue,
Another taboo that must be overcome involves the equation of any reference to the European emancipatory legacy to cultural imperialism and racism. In spite of the (partial) responsibility of Europe for the situation from which refugees are fleeing, the time has come to drop leftist mantras critiquing Eurocentrism.
The old postmodernist views, associated with terms such as Orientalism, have been dying for some time. What sense could they possible have when its Bangladeshi, Iranian, Kurdish, Maghrebian, South and East Asian, Arab and Africans who are in the front line of new development in universal emancipatory thought? Who has not read the writings of our comrades from these countries and been struck by their advance.
That is, despite all the defeats, the barbarisms, Imperialism, Fascism, Stalinism, and now this….
It is as Kant said of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution,
For a phenomenon of this kind which has taken place in human history can never be forgotten, since it has revealed in human nature an aptitude and power for improvement of a kind which no politician could have thought up by examining the course of events in the past…
The next taboo worth leaving behind is that any critique of the Islamic right is an example of “Islamophobia.” Enough of this pathological fear of many Western liberal leftists who worry about being deemed guilty of Islamophobia. For example, Salman Rushdie was denounced for unnecessarily provoking Muslims and thus (partially, at least) responsible for the fatwa condemning him to death. The result of such a stance is what one can expect in such cases: The more Western liberal leftists wallow in their guilt, the more they are accused by Muslim fundamentalists of being hypocrites who try to conceal their hatred of Islam.
Tendance Coatesy has never given a toss about this worthless accusation, hurled at critics of reactionary Islamism, whether they be European or from Muslim countries. It is the secular left in the latter countries which is fighting Islamism. The only guilt the left should feel is that it is not going enough to support these beloved comrades.
This is a long article and there is a lot more to say and, sometimes disagree with – about a global evolution and the EU, not to mention a great dollop of the idiosyncratic theory of the author in the article , to start with. (1)
But we say this for now: chapeau comrade Žižek !
(1) Which is to say that despite finding a new best friend we remain a rationalist, an admirer of Louis Althusser, sans Jacques Lacan, and no mate of Hegel, and even less of Alain Badiou, somebody we consider, in contrast to Cde Žižek, a Sombre oryctérope. (as Capitaine Haddock would say).
Neil Clark: Top Sputnik Intellectual.
Dear Andrew Coates,
Re your attack on me on your blog:
1. Kindly remove the photograph of me which you don’t have permission to use.
2. If you’re going to attack me by selectively quoting from pieces I have written in the past- well that’s one thing.
But what I won’t allow to stand is your attempt to smear me on the basis that my work, without my knowledge and without my permission has appeared on some French far right sites (if that’s indeed what they are- I have never heard of them).
If you can’t see how dishonest it is to attack someone for their work being stolen and put on sites without their permission- then I think you’ve got big problems.
At the moment I’m consulting with lawyers over representing me on a conditional fee arrangement in a legal action against Oiver Kamm (Sic) , who has waged a 10 year smear campaign aganst me which has involved regular posting of defamatory comments-(most seriously that I am a ‘Srebrenica denier’ ) an action which would also bring in the assistance Kamm has received in his campaign from ‘Andrew Philip Cross’, who, like Kamm cyberstalks me and who I saw (surprise surprise) soon joined in the attacks on me on your blog post, wth his links all at the ready (classic stalking behaviour).
I really wouldn’t want to broaden any action I might take to include you– but at the same time I am not prepared to let your insinuation that I wrote directly for French far-right websites stand.
I therefore request that you amend your blog post to add the following :
Neil Clark has contacted me to say that his work appeared on the French sites (you can add their names) without his knowledge and permission – and I apologise for giving readers the impression that he had written directly for these sites.
Please can you acknowledge safe receipt of this email.
Thank you in advance,
We are working on the assumption that this semi-literate communication is not a joke (“aganst” “Oiver Kamm” “wth”)
His demand is that I write this:
“Neil Clark has contacted me to say that his work appeared on the French sites (you can add their names) without his knowledge and permission – and I apologise for giving readers the impression that he had written directly for these sites.”
He has yet to even acknowledge that they are far-right.
Any apology has to come from a different source.
Let us see what I actually said,
His writings also appear on the 9/11 ‘Truther’ site ‘Voltaire Net.” (Réseau Voltaire) – here. Voltaire Net was set up by Thierry Meyssan who is best known for 9/11: The Big Lie (L’Effroyable imposture).
If Neil Clarke is unaware of the French sites (the 9/11 ‘Truther’ site, Réseau Voltaire), using his articles, a big ‘if’ since it took me a few minutes to find them, then it is his responsibility to make sure that this is widely known.
And if not, there’s always Google.
They published his material: ’If you’re in NATO you can get away with murder’: Neil Clark to RT’ Réseau Voltaire. 12th June 2013.
If he does not known what Réseau Voltaire is, and who Thierry Meyssan is, then perhaps he should start writing about something less intellectually challenging than politics, like posting comments on Facebook pictures of his pets.
Égalité et réconciliation may be a little more difficult – knowing about the most celebrated French far-right conspiracy theorist Alain Soral is nevertheless made easy even for dunderheads by his Wikipedia entry in English (though it’s not very comprehensive and needs an update).
This is what I wrote, in a comment.
As for this shower – which I referred to not on the Blog post but, to repeat, in the comments, here is how they present his oeuvre.
He has yet to make clear his condemnation of either, or seem to grasp why these people find it useful to reproduce his opinions.
In these conditions pointing out that his work appears on these sites, is simply stating the truth.
I did not, therefore, say he “wrote” for the sites.
Rather than attacking Tendance Coatesy – of greater concern apparently than anything else – what is going to do about their appearance on the French language and English language version of Réseau Voltaire/Voltaire Net, and Soral’s vehicle?
By contrast we are happy to remove his precious photo – though we have no idea that images available through Google are in some fashion copyright (presumably there are special pictures on the net that require a stamp from the Glavnoye Razvedyvatel’noye Upravleniye to use).
On this demand alone I have shamelessly caved in and replaced it with one of our own.
Portuguese Socialists Vow to “Topple” Centre-right Minority Government.
Despite Europhobic headlines in the anglophone media (Eurozone crosses Rubicon as Portugal’s anti-euro Left banned from power Daily Telegraph) for the Portuguese Socialist Party it remains “inevitable” that their leader, Costa, will become Prime Minister supported by the agreement by left parties, PCP (Portuguese Communist Party), PEV (Green Party) and BE (left Bloc). (Socialistas consideram “inevitável” que Costa venha a ser primeiro-ministro: Publico).
The Portuguese Communist Party agrees, stating, “There is a real possibility of a government with the PS with the PCP”, “Existe a possibilidade real de o PS formar Governo e o PCP” said Jerónimo de Sousa (25th October Expresso). This comes despite their firm criticism of the decision by President Cavaco Silva to exclude this possibility (1).
Silva only has three months of office as President left before new elections (January 2016).
He is not standing (having served two consecutive terms he is not eligible for this contest).
Those credulous enough (or willing enough) to follow the Daily Telegraph’s view that the attempt to exclude the Portuguese left from power is the fault of ‘Europe’ will no doubt follow the following news with interest.
Portugal’s opposition Socialists pledged to topple the centre-right minority government with a no-confidence motion, saying the president had created “an unnecessary political crisis” by nominating Pedro Passos Coelho as prime minister.
RTE News. 24th October.
The move could wreck Mr Passos Coelho’s efforts to get his centre-right government’s programme passed in parliament in ten days’ time, extending the political uncertainty hanging over the country since an inconclusive 4 October election.
Mr Coelho was named prime minister on Thursday after his coalition won the most votes in the national election but lost its majority in parliament, which swung to leftist parties.
This set up a confrontation with the main opposition Socialists, who have been trying to form their own coalition government with the hard left Communists and Left Bloc, who all want to end the centre-right’s austerity policies.
“The president has created an unnecessary political crisis by naming Passos Coelho as prime minister,” Socialist leader Antonio Costa said.
The Socialists and two leftist parties quickly showed that they control the most votes when parliament reopened yesterday, electing a Socialist speaker of the house and rejecting the centre-right candidate.
“This is the first institutional expression of the election results,” Costa said. “In this election of speaker, parliament showed unequivocally the majority will of the Portuguese for a change in our democracy.”
Early yesterday, Mr Costa’s party gave its lawmakers a mandate to “present a motion rejecting any government programme” that includes similar policies to the last government.
After the national election, Mr Passos Coelho tried to gain support from the Socialists, who instead started negotiating with the Communists and Left Bloc.
Antonio Barroso, senior vice president of the Teneo Intelligence consultancy in London, said Costa was likely to threaten any Socialist lawmaker with expulsion if they vote for the centre-right government’s programme.
“Therefore, the government is likely to fall, which will put the ball back on the president’s court,” Mr Barroso said in a note.
The political stand-off has prompted concerns that the economy’s recovery after a bailout could stumble.
But, so far, bond market investors have focussed instead on the likelihood of more quantitative easing from the European Central Bank. Benchmark 10-year bond yields were slightly higher at 2.38 percent on Friday.
Portugal’s PSI20 stock index was up 1%.
Passos Coelho’s government pursued austerity measures and tax hikes during the past four years under a bailout which plunged Portugal into a three-year recession. The economy returned to growth last year and accelerated this year.
Portugal News on-Line reports:
In the wake of the elections, signs were that Cavaco Silva was set to follow tradition and nominate the party with the highest number of MPs to form a government, in this case, the centre-right PSD-CDS coalition.
But in the weeks which have followed since the split ballot, the Socialists and the coalition have failed to agree on much, as had been openly hoped for by the President. This has now resulted in the Socialists negotiating an unprecedented alliance with the Left Bloc and the Communist Party.
These three parties together have 123 seats in Parliament, 16 more than the coalition, and would be able to pass legislation without any opposition.
The Left Bloc leader Catarina Martins told Antenna 1 radio on Thursday that the party decided to join forces with the Socialists in order to stop them from forming an alliance with the PSD-CDS, which would have allowed Pedro Passos Coelho to add to his four years in charge as the country’s prime minister.
While the president has favoured a minority government, he will be fully aware that the leftist majority will bring down the coalition at the first opportunity.
Such an occasion will be presented to the opposition by no later than 4 November, the date on which the coalition will have to present their programme for the next four years of government, should they form a government.
Rejection of the government’s programme will see the ball tossed back in the court of the president.
He is currently fewer than three months away from completing the maximum two terms in office, meaning President Cavaco Silva will constitutionally be impeded to call early elections, as has happened in the past when a government has failed to enjoy the support of the majority of MPs.
With the fall of a hypothetical centre-right government, he will instead then be faced with the choice of either calling on Socialist leader António Costa to form a government, or hand the political hot potato to his successor, who will be elected in January.
The next president will however have little choice, but to call early elections. Once again, the constitution, in a bid to avoid a succession of elections, requires that a minimum of six months elapses between the start of a new parliamentary session and elections being called.
This will mean that the next President will only be able to announce a date for elections at the end of next April, with the earliest opening at his or her disposal being in June.
In the meantime, a minority cabinet will be reduced to performing ceremonial duties, and operate as a transitional government with very limited decision-making powers.
In the event of Passos Coelho’s cabinet being brought down and the president opts to hand over the country’s reigns to the leftists alliance, there will be some major policy shifts.
Agreement, appears to have been reached in three major areas.
The freezing of pensions will be lifted at a cost of one billion euros over the coming four years, civil servants will see their salary cuts revoked at a rate of 25 percent a quarter at a cost of 600 million euros, while also cancelling proposed cuts in the social security contributions and company tax rates, which in turn will pay for the increased expenditure on pensions and wages.
The Left Bloc and Communists have also called for stricter rules on sacking workers and are proposing the minimum wage be increased to 600 euros during the course of the current legislature, demands which the Socialists have shown an inclination towards accepting.
Less certainty surrounds how the generally moderate Socialists will deal with euro-scepticism of the far left, with both parties proposing a return to the escudo.
Despite assurances from the Socialists in recent days as to the continuation of the country in the euro, Portuguese Communist MEPs have this week been lobbying in Brussels for the EU to create a mechanism that will allow member states to obtain financing in order to facilitate their exit from the Union.
Given this stance and having defended the need for sacrifice since the Troika entered Portugal four years ago for the sake of stability on a European level, Cavaco Silva would not have raised too many eyebrows by nominating a minority government, even if he does so with the certainty it will not see out a full term in office.
On the decision and announcement by the President of the Republic regarding the nomination of the Prime Minister
23 October 2015
The announcement by Cavaco Silva to the country on the nomination of Passos Coelho to form government, being yet another episode of an assumed confrontation with the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic that has governed the mandates of the President of the Republic and his course, deserves the strongest condemnation.
Cavaco Silva did not just behave as a mentor of the PSD/CDS coalition, and used the office he has been vested, to try to redeem these parties from the significant defeat they were inflicted by the Portuguese people.
Cavaco Silva overstepped his functions, abused the prerogatives that are constitutionally assigned to him, subverted the foundations of the democratic regime, assumed himself not as President of the Republic but as a representative of the PSD and CDS in Belém [Palace] and placed the country into a position of humiliating foreign subservience .
It is demanded from Cavaco Silva, while President of the Republic, respect for the Constitution, impartiality and statesmanship, not being admissible from him appreciations about the legitimacy of the parties and their political action, let alone giving voice to anti-democratic conceptions and making judgments on the intents of others.
It is intolerable that Cavaco Silva dare limit, using the functions entrusted to him, about who may or may not exercise governing functions or responsibilities.
It is intolerable that Cavaco Silva intends to impose political options and government solutions subject to the interests at whose service he places himself and in confrontation with the constitutional framework that he is bound to obey.
It is intolerable that Cavaco Silva assumes himself, not as the guarantor of national sovereignty and independence, but rather as a defender of the financial markets, the speculators, the interests of transnational capital.
It is intolerable that Cavaco Silva imply, as he strongly hinted, an attitude of pressure and blackmail on the MPs and the choices they should make.
In this context and given the now announced decision, the President of the Republic becomes responsible for the position of confrontation with the Constitution, for the instability it creates and the political and institutional consequences therein resulting.
On the part of the PCP, Cavaco Silva’s decision to nominate Passos Coelho to form government will founder in the Assembly of the Republic with the approval of a motion to reject the government programme that may be presented by PSD and CDS.
Thus lies open the possibility of giving expression to the will expressed by the Portuguese people in the October 4 elections, putting an end to policies of destruction, impoverishment and national decline.
As we have stated, PSD and CDS have no conditions to govern, there being a majority of MPs in the Assembly which is enough condition for the formation of a government of the PS initiative, which enables the presentation of the Programme, its taking office and the adoption of a policy to ensure a lasting solution.
The PCP reaffirms its commitment to fight for a policy that responds to the rights of the workers and the people, the rise of their living conditions, the fight against social injustice and inequalities, the necessary economic growth and an effective employment policy .
Opponent of North African Left and Secularists.
Seumas Milne has a new job.
Guardian columnist Seumas Milne has been appointed as Labour Executive Director of Strategy and Communications. The appointment is considered controversial in Labour circles.
The appointment of Milne is the surest sign yet that Jeremy Corbyn will fill senior positions with hard left allies in an attempt to assert his dominance. Milne is considered one of the most left wing commentators in the media. He has worked as comment editor and labour editor for The Guardian, as well as writing for The Economist, and has spent 10 years as an executive member of the National Union of Journalists. He has also written several books, including one about the miners’ strike of the 1980s.
Milne will join the Labour leader’s office on the 26th October, next Monday, on leave from his position at The Guardian.
Much will be made of Milne’s various political stands, including, no doubt the time when he stood as a ‘Marxist-Leninist’ candidate in mock elections at his exclusive public school, Winchester College (information from an Old Wykehamist).
These are just two which make him unfit to represent Labour to an important section of the world left, his opposition to the North African left and support for their Islamist allies, and, as he showed with his reactionary anti-Charlie Hebdo rants, his hostility to secularists and lovers of freedom of expression everywhere.
The first issue is Tunisia:
Seumas Milne, Guardian Comments Editor, has described the Ennahda party (right-wing Islamists) as “progressive” and gave space to pro-Islamist views during his time as Comment Editor (for six years, 2001-7).
In October 2011 he said this (Guardian)
The once savagely repressed progressive Islamist party An-Nahda (Ennahdha) won the Tunisian elections this week on a platform of pluralist democracy, social justice and national independence.
In January 2011 the Guardian published this – reflecting Milne’s enthusiasm.
We are building a Tunisia for all
Oddly this had happened in February that year, (BBC)
Police have cleared crowds of Tunisians who marched through the capital Tunis on Friday demanding the resignation of interim PM Mohammed Ghannouchi, a long-time ally of the ousted leader.
It was the biggest rally since Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia last month after 23 years in power, after being toppled by weeks of unrest.
Mr Ghannouchi’s interim government has promised elections by mid-July.
But crowds marched down Tunis’ main avenue chanting: “Ghannouchi leave.”
Later police fired tear gas and warning shots as they cleared the demonstrators from in front of the interior ministry .
Witnesses said one protester was injured when police fired warning shots at the crowd which some estimates said was 100,000-strong.
By the beginning of 2013 this was happening:
Milnes did not support the left-wing Tunisian Front Populaire. Or (presently ruling, left-of-centre secular party) at the head of a coalition with the Islamists and nationalist parties, Nidaa Tounès, of PM Habib Essid.
Instead he backed full-square the Muslim Brotherhood franchise, the pro-business, pro-liberal economics, Islamists of Ennahda.
The second issue is Charlie Hebdo.
The attacks in France are a blowback from intervention in the Arab and Muslim world. What happens there happens here tooNothing remotely justifies the murderous assault on Charlie Hebdo’s journalists, still less on the Jewish victims singled out only for their religious and ethnic identity.
What has become brutally obvious in the past week, however, is the gulf that separates the official view of French state policy at home and abroad and how it is seen by many of the country’s Muslim citizens. That’s true in Britain too, of course. But what is hailed by white France as a colour-blind secularism that ensures equality for all is experienced by many Muslims as discrimination and denial of basic liberties.
What of Charlie?
Charlie Hebdo claims to be an “equal opportunities offender”, abusing all religions alike. The reality, as one of its former journalists put it, has been an “Islamophobic neurosis” that focused its racialised baiting on the most marginalised section of the population.
This wasn’t just “depictions” of the prophet, but repeated pornographic humiliation.
I will not dignify this with longer extracts but note this conclusion, and note it well,
Europeans are fortunate that terrorist outrages have been relatively rare. But a price has been paid in loss of freedoms, growing anti-semitism and rampant Islamophobia. So long as we allow this war to continue indefinitely, the threats will grow. In a globalised world, there’s no insulation. What happens there ends up happening here too.
In brief, the slaughter was terrible, but Charlie Hebdo was so awful that there was bound to be a “blowback”.
For in plain English: they (and one assumes the victimes at the Hyper-Cacher) had “it coming to them”.
The failure to back the left, and instead support the right, during the important events in Tunisia, and his misinterpretation of Charlie Hebdo’s satire, are enough to make Milne unsuitable to represent the Labour Party for important constituencies.
That is, on Tunisia he stands against the majority of the North African and European left, and to the overwhelming majority of the Francophone left which mourned the Paris slaughter in January this year.
He has already mightily annoyed Kate Godfrey (“Mr Corbyn, I have spent my life in conflict zones. Prior to becoming a Labour PPC I worked in Somalia, in Sudan, in Libya, in Algeria, in Lebanon when the Israelis were shelling the passes, in Yemen, in Iraq, in Georgia, in Azerbaijan and in the DRC”), who criticises a much wider field of misjudgment on international issues. ”