Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Archive for the ‘Conservative Party’ Category

Boris Johnson meets President Macron – French Media reactions, an Oaf preparing for a No Deal Brexit.

with one comment

Image result for Boris johnson feet on table

Essuie mes godasses Manu! 

The extreme right Express ‘reports’:

Macron ‘got what he wanted’ – PM ‘tricked’ by French President into ‘behaving like an oaf’

EMMANUEL MACRON has been accused of “tricking” Boris Johnson as the British Prime Minister was filmed placing his foot on a table when the two leaders sat down during a meeting in Paris.

One wrote: “And Macron got the photo he wanted and our Prime Minister is once again the fool.”

Another added: “The oaf Johnson got tricked into behaving like an oaf in front of photographers. Only other oafs will think Johnson won this one.”

A third said: “He fell for it! And the picture looks just as we expect from this clown ‘cos he has form for being a fool.”

In keeping with the festive mood Le Monde’s main story on Johnson today (website) is this:

Boris, Jo, Rachel et les autres… L’incroyable famille Johnson

Boris, Jo, Rachel and the others, the Unbelievable Johnson Family.


Libération strikes a more serious note by headlining,

(Freely translated: Spinning in the Void Boris Johnson Turns to a Hard Brexit).


The chances of a “hard Brexit”, an exit from the European Union without agreement, “are of the order of one to one million,” prophesied on June the 29th Boris Johnson while still candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party . Yet a no deal” seems yet closer and closer. “All the objective elements are there, notes Aurélien Antoine, professor of public law at the Jean-Monnet University of Saint-Etienne and director of the Brexit Observatory. Postponements of the release date, the coming to power of Boris Johnson, the recruitment of customs officers in France, the recall of British officials in Brussels: on one side or the other, we prepared for it. “


The centre-right Le Figaro has this:


In the meantime the Hard Brexit supporting Morning Star, self-identifying as Jeremy Corbyn’s Best Friend, publishes a heartfelt appeal for ‘real politics’ and not voting in any referendum on the issue, from an inner city youth (King’s College London),

Second referendum? Not in my name

I’m a young person who would’ve voted to remain – here’s why I don’t want to ‘have my say’ in a second referendum, writes HECTOR

Brexit has always been an issue which divided the nation in half. The notion continually pushed by both of these campaigns, that every individual in our diverse and eclectic nation stands staunchly behind the polarised positions, of either a cliff-edge Brexit or overturning the result of the referendum, lacks any nuance and is a ridiculous generalisation.

In fact, I feel I am in a silent majority: those who just want a return to real politics


He concludes:

That’s why, as a young person who would’ve voted to Remain, I say, no, I don’t want to have my say in a second referendum.

By contrast:


Academics, the Communist Party of Britain and Fellow Travellers, Counterfire, Union Officials and Eddie Dempsey Launch “Grass Roots” Campaign to Fight for Brexit.

with 6 comments


Communists Launch Campaign as Alternative to “internationalist and liberal” Remain and Transform Left.

The Communist Party of Britain has got round to launching its own pro-Brexit campaign.

As Luke Cooper says, it’s ten weeks before Johnson and his cronies intend to lead a come-what-may hard Brexit backed by Donald Trump

Some suggest that the Spiked/RCP Full Brexit Red-Brown Front, which some CPB people backed,  has become too toxic to sustain….

This initiative is backed by a variety of academics, trade union officials, from  CPG fellow traveller circles, Counterfire’s own friends, a handful of Labour Party Brexit types, Eddie Dempsey (said to be its leading voice), and even one (very odd) Green.


It is backed by the CPB’s house daily.

Editorial: The new LeFT Brexit campaign is a force for solidarity and understanding

This is a heartfelt plea by the – rightly – marginalised forces playing at a People’s Brexit while the only actually existing Brexit Isis the hard Right its supporters in the ERG wanted all along.

Currently only two perspectives are being projected in the press. The pro-EU position is portrayed as internationalist and liberal while Leave supporters are identified with Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Donald Trump.

Trumpeting the move by the boycott Labour (in the European Elections) CPB the Morning Star asserts,

And anything that divides the working-class movement and weakens its unity also threatens our democracy — because in a class society like ours it is only this collective solidarity that provides a barrier against the wealth and power of the few.

The new Leave campaign provides a voice for that class solidarity. It represents the silent workplaces denied state aid because of the EU’s competition laws. It explains that our derelict regions and crisis-ridden social services, in Britain and across the EU, are the result of EU austerity policies that imposed the costs of the bankers’ crisis on working people.

In defence of its campaign to divide the labour movement, and support a Hard Brexit under WTO rules (the CPB official position), the editorial concludes,

The new campaign is therefore an important first step. It will be successful if it is firmly based in the trade union and labour movement and linked to active campaigning against industrial closure, precarious working, community impoverishment and the defence of services.

In doing so it will be a force for solidarity and understanding and thus for redeveloping the power of working-class unity essential for our democracy.

The consequences of not doing so, of a working class divided, should be a concern to all.

Here is the declaration of intent.

Leave – Fight – Transform: Founding Statement

The LeFT Campaign is a new grassroots network of socialists, trade unionists and community activists, committed to democracy, internationalism and socialism – and making sure the 2016 EU referendum result is implemented

To develop the potential of this moment, the left must ensure the 2016 referendum result is implemented, so that the UK breaks with the treaties, institutions and laws of the EU as well as the structural racism of Fortress Europe.

To shape the 21st century in a way which advances the interests of the working class, in all its rich diversity, to begin to turn the tide on the environmental crisis, and to extend democracy into all aspects of people’s lives, the left must demand a break with the status quo. We need to leave the EU and transform society.

You can read the list of the supporters via the above link.

Some examples:

Robert Griffiths (General Secretary Communist Party of Britain, Tony Conway (CPB   Convenor of ARAF – a BCP body), Prof Mary Davis (CPB) , Costas Lapavitsas (UCU, SOAS University of London. Sectarian Political Dabblers Party), Kevin Ovenden (Former George Galloway Bagman, Counterfire), Feyzi Ismail (Counterfire, UCU, SOAS University of London), George Hoare (Writer: Spiked)


Leading the new campaign is Eddie Dempsey with his own unique unity strategy:




Brexit Party: James Heartfield, (former..) Revolutionary Communist Party Cadre is Red-Brown Candidate Against Jeremy Corbyn.

with 19 comments


Red-Brown James Heartfield Amongst Many Brexit Party Candidates. 


Proud of being publicised in Breitbart Hearty links to this:

Brexit Party Ramps up the Pressure on Boris Johnson, Announces New Parliament Candidates

A Brexit Party MEP has reacted with anger to the suggestion that now Boris Johnson is Prime Minister the party should stand aside, insisting that the British people still need to hold politicians to account over the promised withdrawal from the European Union which still hasn’t happened.

Claire Fox, a new member of the European Parliament and, as a former member of the Revolutionary Communist Party a key example of the broad political coalition for Brexit Nigel Farage has built, reacted to the suggestion that the Brexit Party could now be merely dismissed by the government as the party announced 50 new candidates ready for a snap election……



The irony won’t be lost on Mr Corbyn himself, who has been a long-standing critic of the European Union but was apparently forced to drop his views after becoming the leader of the Labour Party. James Heartfield will stand for the Brexit Party in Corbyn’s constituency and said of being selected: “I’ve lived in Islington since the 1980s, working in the Council and now as a history teacher… Seeing the way the EU forced vicious austerity policies on Greece and Portugal convinced me we had to get out.

“Free from the EU Britain can make its own decisions about what kind of country it wants to be. I’ve been a Brexit Party supporter since it launched and urge anyone who believes in freedom and in democracy to join us.”


Heartfield, a former RCP full-timer and self-styled ‘Marxist’ backer of sovereigntism, is one of those who have welded the Revolutionary Communist Party/Spiked network into the far-right national populist camp. There is debate pm whether he is attracted by the rewards of the Koch brothers or the glory of defending free-market Trump Toady Nigel Farage. Informed commentators agree that the bombastic academic, often called a ponce amongst ponces, represents the lowest form of political life. A true swine.

Updates from the Red-Front to follow….

At least four individuals standing for the Brexit Party are connected with the RCP/LM/Spiked network. James Heartfield (born James Hughes) was a RCP organiser who spent much of the ’80s and ’90s at the heart of the operation. He is standing in Islington North. Heartfield ran as an MEP in May and won’t have paid the £100.

His friend and one time colleague at Living Marxism, Stuart Waiton, also stood as an MEP and is now contesting Dundee West.

Another Spiked/LM writer, Canadian born Kevin Yuill, is hoping to be elected in Houghton and Sunderland South. Mr Yuill is a keen advocate of gun rights and has written tirelessly about how laws prohibiting the sale of weapons don’t stop gun massacres.

Then there’s comedian, performer and financial expert Dominic Frisby, a friend of Lesley Katon via the Comedy Unleashed circuit, who has contributed to Spiked podcasts when not writing ‘comical songs’ about the Brexit betrayal. Mr Frisby told me he applied to be an MEP but was too late and insisted that he did so through the online process like everyone else. But, as a Facebook friend of Ms Katon, it’s not impossible that his distinctive name will have leapt out from the thousands of other applicants.

That may also have been the case with Alaric Bamping, antiquarian bookseller and husband of writer Julia Hobsbawm OBE, who is another member of Claire Fox’s circle. Mr Alaric is hoping to become the MP for Dartford

News From the Red-Brown Front: Philip Cunliffe (“Lenin Lives!”, Spiked), “Owen Jones Vs Democracy”

with one comment

Image result for Lenin Lives! Reimagining the Russian Revolution

Brexit Bolshevik Attacks Owen Jones, “all bold promises will be reneged upon”.

DR PHILIP CUNLIFFE: senior lecturer in politics and international relations, University of Kent; co-founder, The Full Brexit; author, Lenin Lives! Reimagining the Russian Revolution

Some quotes,

 I see Brexit as an opportunity to go with the grain of current public opinion and make the democratic case for a liberal migration policy, rather than accept a hierarchically-layered, pro-European border policy as an imposed fait accompli, and then disingenuously blame it on Brussels bureaucrats.”

Brexit must be made the start of a much wider process of social and political renewal.

I may be a Brexit Bolshevik, but I’m no Lexiter


Then there were the ‘possible sightings’. Chief among those was Philip Cunliffe, a lecturer at the University of Kent – the spiritual home of the RCP and my own alma mater. Mr Cunliffe is tight with many of the Spiked Online circle and is a vocal Brexiter. Certainly a man who looked like him strode through the NEC and onto the stage, but when I approached him to confirm or deny that he was standing, he rather oddly responded by asking me to guess what clothes he was wearing. Mind you, at least he replied. None of the dozens of other people I have approached have bothered to.

The question remains: what is Cunliffe’s stand-point? This is not immediately clear from the book itself. But it is well known that he is closely associated with the former Living Marxism or LM network, known for promoting libertarian and anti-environmentalist ideas. Cunliffe with his Sovereignty And Its Discontents (SAID) Working Group, has been a sponsor of The Battle of Ideas organised by the Academy of Ideas (Institute of Ideas), since at least 2004, and he has participated and presented several times more recently. He like the former director and founder of the Institute of Ideas, Claire Fox, who is now an MEP for the Brexit Party, is a passionate supporter of Brexit. He describes himself on Twitter as a “Brexit Bolshevik”. He helped to found the “The Full Brexit”, a pro-Brexit campaigning network. He will be a speaker at The Battle of Ideas in September 2019.

And on 19 July 2019 he re-tweeted Bjorn Lomburg, author of ‘Cool It’ and ‘Skeptical Environmentalist’ (“which challenges widely held beliefs that the world environmental situation is getting worse and worse”), himself tweeting: “Lomborg deserves a medal for being one of the few to retain his sanity among the global intelligentsia.” Lomburg’s tweet?: “Unbridled alarmism: No, our current trajectory is about 4°C, not 6°C. No, 4°C is not the end-of-the-world, it is a problem, equivalent to reducing average income by about 3-4% in 2100 (when OECD will be 200-500% as rich as today and Africa 300-2,200% richer)”.

Bill Bowring Marx and Philosophy Review of Books.

The article.

Owen Jones vs democracy

Although Jones actually coined the term ‘Lexit’ back in 2015 following the EU’s ruination of Greece, (Note, this is highly contestable) he also abandoned it in fairly short order. He is now admonishing the diminishing band of left Brexiters, who he thinks should ‘stop trying to make Lexit happen’. But in his turn against Brexit, all that Jones really reveals is how much of his politics is empty rhetoric and bluster. His arguments also show just how far the left has internalised its defeats over the past 40 years and how it accepts these defeats as inherent limits on its capacity to make change.

The argument that Cunliffe makes is bizarre, but here it is,

The very thing that Jones feared and was trying to avoid – a Brexit defined by the right – has been encouraged by the left’s own unwillingness to fight to define the terms of Brexit. He is now encouraging other leftists to repeat his mistake.

The ERG, Johnson, Rees Mogg, Farage, have won because the left has not jumped on the Brexit Bandwagon…think about it….

The Brexit vote was also nothing to do with fear of immigration and hostility to migrants, which is a negligible factor in UK public opinion.

But once Brexit became, in his view, defined by nationalism and xenophobia, he could no longer sustain the Lexit position. This characterisation of the Leave vote is entirely at odds with the polling evidence, which shows that British attitudes to immigration are largely positive.

To which we say, Humph! 

Humph, and Humph – what a load of unbridled rubbish….

For the benefit of the thick the Lecturer repeats his assertion that Brexit was a popular uprising, led by such figures as the above,

Brexit was a popular insurrection at the ballot box. Its defining slogan – ‘take back control’ – resonates with the most basic and instinctive positions of classical left-wing politics: support for popular sovereignty and mass democracy.

And adds this,

Brexit remains a process to be defined. This, indeed, is the point of mass democracy – that it is an open-ended process whose outcome cannot be guaranteed in advance.

What Jones ultimately reveals in his criticisms of Lexit is a fear of change and his unwillingness to fight for it.

Indeed internationalists  are trying to define Brexit, away from the free-market hard right, but fighting against it.

Surely a democrat would welcome another referendum?

Another surge of popular debate and voting?

One, two, three, four referendums!

Cunliffe’s chef d’oeuvre  has this puff,

Lenin Lives! lays out a narrative account of how history might have happened differently if Lenin had lived long enough to see the global spread of the Russian Revolution to Western Europe and the USA. In one alternative world, instead of the grim authoritarian and autarkic states of the East, socialist revolution in the world’s most advanced economies ushers in an era of global peace, progress and prosperity, with global federations substituting for nation-states and international organisations. In keeping with the hopes of European revolutionaries of the time, the early achievement of socialism leads to a drastic improvement in human progress, economic growth, democracy and freedom at the global level.

Is the spirit of Lenin now living in Johnson’s Cabinet and the Brexit Party?

Trumpite Trotskyists take note!


Protest “fck govt fck Boris ” Against New PM.

leave a comment »

Image may contain: 2 people, crowd and outdoor

Internationalists on “fck govt fck Boris” Protest Yesterday.

The Guardian reports.

On the day Boris Johnson was appointed Britain’s new prime minister, hundreds of people gathered at London’s Russell Square to protest against his ascension and the government. The demo, dubbed “fck govt fck Boris” after a lyric from Stormzy’s Vossi Bop and billed as a street festival, featured the words emblazoned on a bus as a nod to Johnson’s “£350m for the NHS” promise on the side of the Vote Leave campaign bus.


The demo, dubbed “fck govt fck boris” after a lyric from Stormzy’s Vossi Bop and billed as a street festival, featured a bus with the words emblazoned on it as a nod to Johnson’s “£350m for the NHS” promise on the side of the Vote Leave campaign bus.

The Labour leftwing grassroots movement Momentum, the Women’s Strike Assembly and Guardian columnist Owen Jones were among the event’s organisers.

After a DJ set and performances from musicians, the demonstrators began marching through central London towards Trafalgar Square. Later, a group of protesters, more than 10,000 according to organisers’ estimates, marched south to the gates of Downing Street, many of them chanting: “Boris Johnson, fuck off back to Eton.”

The protest was organised, self-organised, by a variety of groups.

More than 12,000 people have expressed interest so far, and 3.2k have confirmed. Multiple activist groups have joined forces to facilitate, including Women’s Strike Assembly, Black Lives Matter UK, Momentum, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants and Sisters Uncut. Taking their cue from Stormzy’s ‘Vossi Bop’ lyric, the collective group are calling the event ’Fck Govt Fck Boris’. On the Facebook page, organisers are asking those attending to bring banners, visuals, music and #fckboris merch.

Time Out.


Written by Andrew Coates

July 25, 2019 at 11:32 am

“Popular Vote to Leave EU” “Upset Westminster Consensus” and may create “Terminal Crisis” for Tory Party – Morning Star.

with 2 comments

Image may contain: text

Worked Out Well – Morning Star Now Sees “Opportunity” in Johnson Premiership.

Boris Johnson as PM makes most people on the left sick to the stomach, anxious and uncertain about the future.

One thing that brings many together is loathing for the Hard Brexit, the only actually existing Brexit, that the new PM backs.

The Boycott Labour (in the European Elections)  Morning Star is quick off the block with an alternative view.

Offering its own SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)  analysis the People’s Daily says,

Editorial: Only a militant left can defeat Boris Johnson

Where his coronation both poses a risk and presents an opportunity to the left is in his greater distance from the Establishment “mainstream” and the already evident breach between him and parts of the permanent state.

Britain remains mired in one of the most serious political crises in its history. The ruling class has largely lost its legitimacy and governing institutions are held in deep contempt.

A popular vote to leave the EU upset decades of Westminster consensus and has spawned what could still prove a terminal crisis for a Tory Party whose membership are gung-ho for a policy its big finance, fossil fuel and hedge-fund paymasters regard as madness.

Conditions are ripe, in this crisis of hegemony, for the “militant left” to take the lead.

Standing with the “popular vote” against the EU, from Durham former Miners to Surrey Stockbrokers, bright-eyed chimney sweeps, and delightful Dukes, with Farage, George Galloway, Reed Mogg, and…the Morning Star, the Communist Party of Britain daily says,

Johnson epitomises upper-class contempt for working people and the left can, if it stands with and for working people and refuses to patronise them, show that it has answers that he doesn’t.

To do so we must build a fighting left movement that clearly offers sweeping, radical change and appeals to the angry, the wronged and the destitute.

If we fall into the trap of alliance with the “status quo” wing of the Establishment for fear of Johnson making things worse, we will dig our political graves.

Johnson backs “consensus upsetting” Brexit, as does the paper which says that is is Jeremy Corbyn’s best friend.

For this Editorial it’s a choice between two groups of opponents of “status quo”, at least on the key issue of Brexit.

One is in Downing Street.

The other  could barely mobilise a couple of hundred people outside that road to listen to 20 speakers on Monday evening.

Even fewer people take seriously the idea that the Morning Star’s ‘militant left’ can offer an alternative Brexit.

The internationalist left does not support Brexit, in the shape of Johnson’s ERG hard Brexit, whatever remains of the Care Bear People’s, ‘Left’ brexit, or a soft Labour Brexit.

Our support seems strong and growing.



Union Leaders Step in the Right Direction to Shift Labour’s Policy Against Brexit.

with one comment

Image result for brexit UNITE

UNITE Makes Welcome Step Towards Action to Deal with this.

The Morning Star, Monday, 

Editorial:Beware misleading narratives on Labour

Momentum activist Holly Rigby made a convincing case today that a second referendum could mean the end of the Corbyn project even if Labour won an election. But winning that election would be far harder if Labour decide to take on the Tories as the party of Remain.

Remain supporters claim that the public’s position has shifted significantly on Brexit, but evidence suggests otherwise.

The European elections were a disaster for Labour and the Tories, but the Brexit Party topped the poll. Arguments that if you compile all the pro-Remain parties’ votes they outmatch the Leave ones depend on how you define those categories. Even if Labour is counted as a Remain party for the sake of the experiment, the difference in tallies is marginal and becomes meaningless when we consider that two-thirds of eligible voters stayed away.

What a difference a day makes!

The BBC today, Tuesday,

Trade union leaders have reached a common position on Brexit following a meeting with Jeremy Corbyn.

The bosses of Labour’s five-biggest affiliated unions back a referendum on any deal agreed by the Tory government or a no-deal exit from the EU.

They are calling for voters to be given the option to remain in the EU and expect Labour to formally back remain.

If Labour wins power in a general election, they want a “confirmatory vote” on any new deal negotiated.

However, Labour’s stance in a referendum campaign in these circumstances would “depend on the deal negotiated”.

The Guardian, reporting on the events,

Labour is poised to declare it will campaign for remain in a second referendum on any deal put to parliament by a Conservative prime minister, after trade union leaders including Unite’s Len McCluskey backed a change of policy.

The joint position agreed by the unions on Monday would not commit Labour to an explicitly pro-remain position in all circumstances: unions also agreed Labour should seek to deliver a Brexit deal if the party won an election before the UK left the EU.

That Labour deal would also be put to a public vote, but the party would not commit to campaigning for remain against its own Brexit deal, throwing into doubt what Labour would offer in any snap election manifesto.

One senior shadow cabinet source described it as a significant win for remain campaigners, despite the potential lack of clarity.

“Unions have backed a referendum on any deal this parliament and Labour campaigning for remain – that’s a big victory. What’s in a manifesto is a debate for another day,” the source said.

Barring any major intervention, the surprise consensus among trade unions including Unite, GMB, Unison, Aslef and Usdaw is likely to force any remaining sceptics to agree to the new position when the shadow cabinet meets on Tuesday.

Several shadow cabinet sources said the policy had the hallmarks of being approved by the Labour leader’s office and said it “would not be watered down” – though some shadow ministers are likely to push for an even stronger position.

Labour’s deputy leader, Tom Watson, who has regularly clashed with Jeremy Corbyn over the party’s Brexit position, tweeted: “Remain is who we are. Our values are remain, our hearts are remain. Today is a step in the right direction but members and supporters are clear that any kind of Brexit gives us less than we have now and Labour should not support it.”


More reaction:

Anti rootless cosmopolitans had their say:

The declaration includes the principle of negotiating a new Brexit deal should Labour win an election and then, no doubt in the belief that this will be achieved with all the advantages that a Jobs and Rights Brexit could obtain, according to some (that is, pro-Brexit forces in UNITE), be then put to the electorate.

Looking at this in more detail:

Image may contain: text


Politics Home picked this up:

However, the door has also been left open to the possibility of Labour campaigning for Brexit if it wins a snap election and then manages to negotiate its own deal with Brussels.


The first one states: “The Labour Party should confirm that whatever deal is negotiated by the new Tory Prime Minister or an exit based on no deal should be put to the people in a public confirmatory vote.

“The options must be: 1) accepting the deal or a Tory no-deal in the knowledge of its terms; 2) Remaining in the European Union.

“In this event, the Labour Party should campaign to remain in the European Union.”

However, the second scenario envisages a snap election in which Labour’s manifesto would commit to renegotiating the Brexit deal.

If Labour won and reached a new agreement with Brussels, that would also be put to the people in a fresh referendum.

The options would be to either leave on the terms agreed by Labour, or staying in the EU.

Bizarrely, the trade union document leaves open the option of Labour possibly campaigning against its own deal.

It says: “The Labour party’s campaign position on such a ballot should depend on the deal negotiated.”

A Labour source insisted the party had not agreed on a formal Brexit position.

“Jeremy is working to unite the party and wider labour movement around a common agreed position,” said the source.

This Blog is not convinced that UNITE has wholly abandoned this position,

A Brexit that works for working people

Unite’s campaign for a jobs first Brexit

Or this,

UNITE has not posted anything on the above Brexit Check site since April.

It is to be strongly suspected that some will attempt to weave this stand on Brexit into the Labour negotiation, no doubt in the belief that the Party has superpowers to agree on a form of left Brexit, Lexit.