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Ben Gummer, ex-Ipswich MP, Cosies up to Russian Oligarch and dodgy US “management consultants’ McKinsey.

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Image result for ben gummer sells kebabs

Gummer’s now got a nice little earner touting for Kremlin Oligarch and Dodgy US ‘Management Consultants’.

Ben Gummer and the ‘Kremlin-friendly tycoon’.

Friday 10th of August. SOLOMON HUGHES.

Morning Star,

Ben Gummer was a Tory Cabinet minister from 2010-17. Before the election he was considered part of Theresa May’s “inner circle.”
Gummer was “May’s eyes and ears, more trusted than many others around her Cabinet table,” according to one report.

He helped to write the manifesto for the 2017 election, which turned out to be a disaster, as loads of Tory MPs lost their seats — including Gummer himself.

So now he needs a new job. According to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments, he’s got two.

First, Gummer has become a “fellow of practice” at the Blavatnik School of Government. He’s there to advise on “teaching and research on government reform” — because the Blavatnik school thinks the disastrous “reforms” his government ran between 2010 and 2017 are worth learning from.

The Blavatnik School of Government is an Oxford school founded by London-based Russian oligarch Sir Len Blavatnik. (1) His firm, Access Industries, have given the Tories £94,000. Blavatnik gave $1 million to Donald Trump’s inauguration committee, which organised the celebrations for Trump’s election. And he’s given £75m to Oxford to found this school.

But he built his fortune in the rough landscape of post-Soviet Russia, when oligarchs became billionaires by grabbing newly privatised state industries in a commercial “wild west,” where political connections helped to build fortunes.

The way his Russian wealth grew in the Putin years and his ongoing Russian business interests led the Financial Times to call him a “Kremlin-friendly tycoon.”

So his school hiring a former minister is likely to make the Tories even more oligarch-friendly.

Indeed, there is already government-Blavatnik school traffic. The Blavatnik School of Government does free work for the Cabinet Office, helping to train top civil servants through the Civil Service Leadership Academy.

A minister for a really bad government lecturing on how to do “good government” in an oligarch’s college is just one part of the picture.

Gummer also has a nine-month job as a senior adviser to McKinsey, the giant US firm of management consultants. McKinsey is all over the government, offering overcomplicated “solutions” to public services it doesn’t understand, usually by some spurious market methods. (1)

Any government that was “small-C” conservative would run a mile from McKinsey. But it got millions of pounds from both New Labour and Tory Andrew Lansley’s market-led “reforms” of the NHS.

McKinsey is hiring Gummer to advise on “government transformation projects.” Again all the Tory “government transformation projects” that happened in Gummer’s time — Lansley reforms, the probation privatisation, universal credit, rail franchising, academy schools — have been awful.

*******

Background: 

Should Oxford and the V&A take millions from Ukrainian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik?   Guardian September 2017.

Fallout from resignation of Oxford professor at school bearing tycoon Blavatnik’s name latest in which business background has been raised

The Ukraine-born billionaire gave £75m to Oxford to set up the Blavatnik school of government, one of the largest donations in the history of the university. But last week Bo Rothstein resigned as a professor of government and public policy at the institution after it emerged that Blavatnik had donated $1m (£773,000) to Donald Trump’s inauguration committee.

A spokesperson for Blavatnik said his gift was for the committee that has been responsible for organising US presidential inaugurations since 1901 and that he had never donated to Trump. But Rothstein, a specialist on corruption, called the donation “incomprehensible and irresponsible” in his resignation letter.

Blavatnik, a UK and US citizen, was knighted for his philanthropy this year. His links to Vladimir Putin’s Russia and controversy in his business background mean criticism has often followed his donations, especially when it involves institutions naming buildings after him.

Oxford is not the only institution that has accepted money from Blavatnik and in return put his name on something. Tate Modern named its new extension after him because he made a donation the gallery described as “unprecedented”. The V&A museum is to call its new entrance hall after him too.

Oxford had already been criticised for accepting Blavatnik’s money before the letter from Rothstein. Two years ago, a collection of critics issued an open letter about his donation to the university, urging it to “stop selling its reputation and prestige to Putin’s associates”.

The signatories included Pavel Litvinov, one of the eight 1968 Red Square protesters, and Vladimir Bukovsky, a Russian dissident who exposed the Kremlin’s use of psychiatric treatment on political prisoners.

The letter urged Oxford to look into Blavatnik’s role in a clash between the British oil firm BP and its partners in a Russian venture.

Blavatnik, who turned 60 in June, was one of a group of oligarchs in the AAR consortium which partnered BP to create TNK-BP, one of the largest oil companies in Russia. Blavatnik was a director of TNK-BP.

*********

(1)  Blavatnik is a supporter of the US Republican Party, and in 2015-2016 donated a total of $7.35 million to six Republican political candidates, including South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Arizona Senator John McCain.[30] In February 2016, Blavatnik donated over $1 million to an anti-Donald Trump GOP group.[31] He also donated $1 million to the committee for the inauguration of Donald Trump.[30] In August 2017, political scientist Bo Rothstein resigned from the Blavatnik School of Government out of opposition to Blavatnik’s politics.[32]

Blavatnik and his American wife, Emily, also donated to Democratic Party candidates Kamala HarrisChuck SchumerAndrew Cuomo and Hillary Clinton.[33]

 

In 2017, after two senior Trump administration officials went on record as being lobbyists for Blavatnik’s Access Industries[34], Blavatnik was mentioned in investigations led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian donations to the administration.[35] Since April 2016 Blavatnik contributed $383,000 to the Republican National Committee and $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund. However he did not give directly to the Trump campaign.[36]

Wikipedia

(2)  Information relating to allegedly corrupt practices by McKinsey at Transnet in 2011 and 2012 came to light in late July 2018. The weekly Mail & Guardian newspaper reported that a “…new forensic treasury report shows how controversial former Transnet and Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh enjoyed overseas trips at the expense of international consulting firm McKinsey, which scored multi-billion rand contracts at the state owned entities.” The “…report reiterates treasury’s recommendations that Singh’s conduct with regards to McKinsey should be referred to the elite crime-fighting unit, the Hawks, for investigations under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Precca). Under Precca, Singh would be investigated for allegations of corruption as the overseas trips alone constitute a form of gratification, which is illegal.”[59] The Sunday City Press reported that the forensic report in turn reported that “multinational advisory firm McKinsey paid for Singh to go on lavish international trips to Dubai, Russia, Germany and the UK, after which their contract with Transnet was massively extended.”[60]. Mckinsey issued a statement that the allegations were incorrect. Mckinsey stated that “based on an extensive review encompassing interviews, email records and expense documents, our understanding is that McKinsey did not pay for Mr. Singh’s airfare and hotel lodgings in connection with the CFO Forum and the meetings that took place around the CFO Forum in London and elsewhere in 2012 and 2013.”[61]

In early August 2018 McKinsey admitted to helping Transnet Group Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama prepare a part of his thesis to obtain an MBA degree from TRIUM, a collaborative MBA programme jointly run by the NYU Stern School of Business, the London School of Economics and Political Science and HEC School of Management. Several researchers at McKinsey’s Johannesburg office were assigned to help outline and prepare Gama’s submission to a joint thesis to which he had to contribute at least two chapters. Despite multiple earlier denials that any corrupt activities had been discovered, a McKinsey’s spokesperson said “… we believe this matter passed the threshold of reasonable suspicion that an offence may have occurred under South African law. As such, we reported it last year to relevant authorities under Section 34(1) of Precca.”[62]. The TRIUM Global EMBA official twitter account was reported to have tweeted that “We have been made aware of recent allegations about academic integrity involving a TRIUM alumnus. TRIUM and its three Alliance Schools…take academic integrity issues very seriously.”[63]

2018 Lawsuit

As of May 2018, the restructuring practice of the company is being sued by a competitor claiming knowingly misleading courts in order to land clients[64]. The company indeed disclose an average of only five potential conflicts per case, whereas other professional-services firms divulged, on average, 171 connections. In most cases it disclosed no conflicts at all.[65]

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Written by Andrew Coates

August 10, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Counterfire Pats Itself on the Back for Backing Brexit.

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Image result for LOndon says Lexit Tariq Ali

Pro-Brexit Left Tries to Rise from the Grave.

How is the left reaction to the present stage of Brexit developing?

Counterfire, a weather-vane on the pro-Brexit left offers indications of how those opposed to the growing class for a Second Referendum on the left think.

For those not familiar with who and what Counterfire is, it is a revolutionary socialist groupuscle that split from the Socialist Workers Party in 2010 (Why we are resigning from SWP: an open letter.) They protested against the “authoritarian internal regime” of the SWP and its inability to create and work with, “a broad left response to the recession”.

They were the group most associated with George Galloway’s Respect, both inside the SWP (as the ‘left pltform’) and outside:Coutnerfire leader JohN Rees for example stood  for the Respect list in the WEst Midlands for the 2004 European Elections and was the Respect candidate for the Birmingham Hodge Hill by-election. He also stood for Respect in the 2006 local elections in the Bethnal Green South ward of  Tower Hamlets.

Counterfire worked with Galloway in the Stop the War Coalition (StWC). Lindsey Germain from the orgisation is their best-known figure in the  the StWC. This alliance became notorious for  its “anti-imperialism of fools”. In 2015, following the murders at Charlie Hebdo and the Porte de Vincennes Hypercacher the organisation stated, “Paris reaps whirlwind of western support for extremist violence in Middle East”. It has played no active part in defending the population of Syria against the Assad regime’s violence, or in standing up for the Kurds fighting the genocidal Islamists of Daesh.

In domestic politics Counterfire was involved in the Coalition of Resistance (2010)  against Austerity, and is the leading force in the People’s Assembly (founded in 2013), whose national personal they have effectively provided. These are, in their own view, long-term strategic ‘united fronts’.

Counterfire itself promoted a Leave vote during the European Referendum.

Following the Leave victory Counterfire  has been prominent in what was known for a while as the “People’s Brexit” – that is a programme for a left government constructed outside of the structures of the EU (The why and what of a People’s Brexit John Rees)

The problem with this strategy is that trying to “block” the Conservative government’s policies without challenging Brexit has proved hard to do.

There is no movement in political or civil society to ‘take back control. There is no industrial unrest or indeed any other other forces demanding a left platform. There is only a Labour Party without political power. Unless Labour confronts the economic and social consequences of Brexit,that is opposes it, the labour movement lets  May and her hard Brexit opponents act as they wish.

This is the context for the present post:

Brexit and the left, two years on.

“The left should not avoid political struggle, it should actively work to shape the outcomes of political crisis argues David Bush

This article, which admirers  have compared to Mao’s On Contradiction, continues,

 It has been just over two years since Great Britain voted to leave the EU. With the final leave date set for March 29, 2019 Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU have revealed deep divisions within the Tory party and the broader ruling class.

………

In the runup to and shortly after the Brexit vote in the summer of 2016 many on the left sounded the alarm about the dangerous potential of Brexit for the UK, Europe, and even global politics.

Brexit was going to usher in a revanchist carnival of reaction. For the last two years, people have linked Brexit and the rise of Trump, using them as a sort of shorthand to describe the dangerous rise of rightwing populism across Europe and North America. Is this linkage warranted? Two years on what has been the actual effect of Brexit?

Apparently the Carnival was largely overshadowed by the good (but not winning) electoral performance of Labour in the last (post_Brexit0 eleciton)

The result of the election was a stunning near-victory for Labour. Corbyn’s Labour Party won 40 percent of the vote, drastically increased their seat count and took away the Tory majority. The Lib Dems, Greens and the SNP – which all backed Remain – lost votes.

And what of the reactionary side of the Brexit vote? Bush reassures us:

For many voters, living in forgotten communities, where jobs and hope have long disappeared, Brexit was seen as a way to reject the establishment.

One can only sight with relief that didn’t trundle out guff about “metropolitan liberals” “anywhere”.

But I dirgess.

Above all,

 The Lexit position was clear, there were no prospects for the working class inside the EU. It was argued that a Brexit vote would cause a crisis in the ruling class in the UK and in Europe and create better conditions in which to battle both the bosses and the far-right.

Er……?

It is not that the Brexit vote was destined to automatically lead to a decrease in anti-immigrant sentiment, rather that the Brexit vote opened up a political space in which those ideas could be shifted via political struggle.

Counterfire has shifted from arguing for a mass movement behind a People’s Brexit, to the view that Brexit offers the best conditions in which to fight  the expression of far-right prejudices and the bosses.

No evidence is offered for this claim

Except a thought experiment what might have happened if the Remain vote had won.

Looking into his vision of an alternative future the Counterfire Guru writes,

Two years on it is clear that if Remain won, there would more barriers than openings for the Left. David Cameron would still be the Prime Minister in a Majority government, the Tories would not be racked by political crisis, UKIP would be much more popular and able to harness frustration with the establishment more easily, British and EU capitalists would not be staring down a political crisis, Corbyn would not have had an election that would have put his internal critics on their back foot and shifted the political debate in the country.

Would it have offered the prospect of fighting an emboldened hard-right?

Obviously not.

Would it permitted a fight against the bosses?

Well, Yes it would!

Still, as it is, prospects are rosy:

When faced with business fears about Brexit, Tory MP Boris Johnson stated fuck business. Clearly, all is not well in the ruling class.

And,

Brexit from the outset was full of contradictions. Political struggle is and will always determine which side of the contradiction emerges from a political event. Too many on the Left forgot this basic outlook and retreated to moralism and fear. The Left should not dread shake-ups in ruling class institutions. It is messy, but that is the nature of political struggle – a shifting political terrain create openings, but it is also fraught with new dangers. The role of the Left is not to shirk from this struggle, to pine for institutional and political stability of capitalism, but to work to understand the potential, and actively shape the outcomes, of a political crisis. Two years on that is the lesson Brexit.

So in other words all Counterfire is left with is gloating at the “shake up” of “ruling class institutions” by internal squabbling amongt the Tories.

These, as Mao might have said, are “secondary contradictions” amongst the class enemy…..not to mention whatever mischief the pro-Brexit lot can stir up in the Labour movement.

But let the thought sink in: all they can show for Brexit is a bleeding big row.

****

An important reply (which is by no means in the same vein as the above)  is offered by Neil Faulkner: Lexit and the Left: a comradely response to Dave Bush (Left Unity).

Extracts:

The argument that socialists should support Brexit because the bulk of the British ruling class opposes it, because it has thrown the ruling class into crisis, and because the EU is a bosses’ club is no better. It breaks down at so many levels. Underlying it, I suspect, is the absurd notion that, in the hyper-globalised capitalism of the early 21st Century, there might be some sort of ‘British road to socialism’ – presumably under a Corbyn-led Labour government implementing some sort of ‘alternative economic strategy’. Is it not obvious that the state-managed welfare capitalism of the immediate post-war period broke down in crisis in the 1970s? Is it really credible to imagine some sort of social-democratic ‘new deal’ today, to be achieved in one country, in defiance of international finance-capital, and in isolation from the international working class?

..

The Tory regime is in deep crisis. The anti-Trump demonstration showed the potential to turn that crisis into collapse. We won a historic victory on 13 July. The British state, hosting the most important foreign leader in the world, could not guarantee security on the streets of its own capital, so was forced to move Trump around the countryside in a helicopter. The people controlled the streets and turned what was meant to be a state visit to honour a fascist supporting US president into a carnival celebration of our diversity, tolerance, and solidarity. The British Establishment was forced to mute its customary welcome – limiting it to  parades of Redcoats, tea with the Queen, holding hands with May – while the British people told the truth to the world that the man is scum. If we turned that into a mass social movement against Brexit and the Far Right, we can and will defeat them.

Trade Unionists Against the EU – “Former” Leading Communist Party of Britain Member worked with Arron Banks

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Image result for trade unionists against the eu

Worked Hand in Hand with Hard Right Millionaire Arron Banks.

Trade Unionists Against the EU was a key front for the Brexit left, supported by, amongt others, the Morning Star and the Socialist Party.

It is a strange beast, as today’s Unherd outpouring from their national Organiser Paul Embery illustrates,

…for those of us on the more traditional Left, the concept of family, far from being antithetical to our socialism, is the very essence of it. It is within the family unit that we first learn about obligation, sacrifice, loyalty, compassion and solidarity. It is one place where the common good will almost always transcend self-interest, where you are in every sense your brother’s keeper. What better example is there of socialism in action?

That’s why we socialists should defend the family unit against all-comers. And that means resisting not just the cultural war against it, but the economic one too. Austerity, low wages and poverty have all weakened family ties, as has the explosion in the number of families in which both parents go out to work, often not through choice but financial necessity.

..

Confucius had it right 2,500 years ago when he said, “When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation.”

Why won’t our spineless politicians stand up for the family?

In a more traditional vein Trade Unionists Against the EU made much of their imaginary support amongst the European left.

It is true that some on the Continental  left – generally known as ‘sovereigntists’ and others who could be called anglophobes – resented the UK and some may have backed Brexit.

I recall one of the leading figures of TUAEU,  Enrico Tortolano, speaking loudly in public about his internationalism, and citing in evidence the ‘millions’ of Greeks who has stated that they wished the ‘Leave’ campaign would win.

Yet, as we known, the Greeks actually voted in a pro-EU left government, for all its faults, led by Alexis Tsipras.

The only concrete evidence of this pan-European  Lexit alliance,  came from a, they claimed at the time, a mass Paris Rally. In reality this was a hook up with the French trotskyist splinter (too small to stand in the most recent Presidential elections), the Parti ouvrier indépendant démocratique, (POID One of its best known members, Gérard Schivardi,was the last Presidential candidate (standing on a platform of backing for local Mayors’ power)  from this current, in 2007. He got  0,34 % of the vote.

Is this an “internationalist” movement?

POID is known for its support for reasserting  French National sovereignty against the European Union. The EU, they assert, has deprived Parliaments of their sovereign will, and reduced them to a subsidiary role to the EU  which imposes its will directly on nations. (“Parlements privés de toute velléité de souveraineté étant réduit à un rôle subsidiaire, les décisions de l’Union européenne s’imposent directement à toutes les nations. La Tribune des travailleurs).

That particular jamboree (2017) can be viewed here: LE GRAND MEETING INTERNATIONALISTE DE PARIS PORTE DE CHARENTON’ en 20 minutes et version sous-titrée:

 

More recently Trade Unionists Against the EU has developed a good rapport with the Spiked-on-Line linked Sovereigntist, grouping, the Full Brexit, which includes Murdoch’s Man in Brussels “The founding statement of a group called ‘The Full Brexit’. Good to see the statement signed by some well-known figures in the labour and trade union movement.” (5th of July): Trade Unionists Against the EU

Yesterday John Rogan  published:

Lexit and Brexit collaboration-what did the Morning Star know?

One long standing Lexiter is leading Communist Party of Britain member Brian Denny (also of the RMT union who backed Brexit). He has written extensively on the need to get out on the CPB’s website (“Trade Unionists need to take the lead against the EU”14 Aug 2015) and was a co-ordinator for NO2EU (Lexit electoral alliance), organiser for the (“Eurosceptic Labour Movement”) Campaign Against Euro-Federalism (CAEF) and a founder of Trade Unionists Against the EU (TUAEU).

Image result for Brian Denney rmt and arron banks

Denny’s contributions also take up some space (see here)  on the Trade Unionists Against the EU site.

Rogan continues,

Denny (CPB) and Banks (Ukip) worked together to maximise the Leave vote. Here’s an extract from Arron Banks’s “Bad Boys of Brexit” (28 Jan 2016) where Banks saw Labour voters as key to winning and the need to fund an anti — TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) leaflet produced by Trade Unionists Against the EU (TUAEU).

Here is some evidence of the collaboration between the leading Communist and the far-right Brexiteer.

Rogan Notes,

Arron Banks is currently under investigation by the Electoral Commission for funding of Trade Unionists Against the EU (£54,000) and other organisations. Some more background to this can be found here and here.

So far we have heard nothing from those accused of collaboration with the hard right.

Brian Denny, meanwhile, regularly retweets Spiked-on-Line….

 

Spare a Thought for the Pro-Trumpists.

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Ipswich Protest: C’est dur, dur, d’être bébé Trump.

Donald Trump visit: London protesters stage ‘one of UK’s biggest rallies in years’

Protesters young and old, from the UK and beyond, were united in their opposition to the US president, writes Sky’s Mark White.

Organisers claimed 250,000 people turned out for the huge demonstration in London.

While police have not given an official estimate, to my eyes this was one of the biggest rallies in recent years.

It was mass mobilisation by many disparate groups, all united in their belief that President Donald Trump should not have been afforded an official welcome to the UK.

It must be hard from the admirers of ‘Mr Brexit’ to put up with this:

And this:

Not to mention the latest spluttering about “fake news” – Trump’s recorded interview in the Current Bun.

So hard that they have spluttering into their Chlorinated Earl Grey and Texan Cornish pasties all day:

Portada de Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

DAYS OF MIDDLE-CLASS RAGE

Writes horney handed son of toil, TOM SLATER DEPUTY EDITOR

The Trump protests are more about therapy than politics.

..therapy, not politics. And if there’s anything truly striking about political life today, it’s not the illiberal blowhard that is Trump – it is how hysterical, disconnected and feeble the left has become.

Followed by even hornier Brendan O’Neill.

It is censorious to brand Trump a bigot for criticising the mayor.

Did you say censorship?

Reach for the genetically modified Bourbon!

World Cup: “Pure Patriotic Ecstasy” Spreads to Giles Fraser.

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Image result for giles fraser football

Cleric Giles Fraser: in “pure patriotic ecstasy”.

Some people read the future of today’s Cabinet meeting in taxi  phone numbers and train time-tables.

Others will pontificate on global warming at the opening of a tin of baked beans.

But nothing, absolutely nothing, brings out the worst in commentators than waffling about the political and cultural implications of the World Cup and the English team.

A whiff of victory and they’re all over the players’ aprons.

A couple of days ago Counterfire published this, sub specie eternal cultural studies bore,

Success for England will mean what we make it mean

Mark Perryman.

A popular Left politics must surely connect with such episodes as metaphor, to translate what we see on the pitch into the changes beyond the touchline we require to become a more equal society. So here’s my maxim for Jeremy Corbyn and his colleagues. If Labour cannot explain the meaning of the World Cup why should I listen to what the party has to tell me on how they’re going to fix the mess the NHS is in? Not the flimsy populism of Blair when he adopted the ‘Labour’s Coming Home’ message after England’s last tournament semi, Euro ‘96, but a political practice rooted in popular culture because here, more than anywhere else, ideas are not only formed, but also changed.

Perryman has an  admirer in the highest ranks of the Clergy who picked up on this passage.

But the point is that a St George Cross draped in the colours of multiculturalism has at least the potential for the beginnings of a journey away from racism. It has a reach and symbolism like no other, touching the parts of a nation’s soul no anti-racist placard thrust in our faces is ever going to. This is the meaning of modern football and when England begin to scale the heights of 2018 World Cup ambition the reach of that message is amplified still further on a scale and in a manner that ’66 could never have done, and ’90 barely began.

It’s Prelate Pontificus Maximus Giles Fraser:

In that moment of pure patriotic ecstasy, the pub seemed united in an unusually intimate form of togetherness. After all that, Neil and I had a rather messy argument about Brexit. “If we win the World Cup, Theresa May will call an early election,” someone else suggested. Then we all drank up and staggered home.

What we think about patriotism positions us squarely on possibly the moral question of our day. From Brexit to Trump, from Hungary to Israel, the question of putting our country first has a divisive feel that enrages liberals and internationalists. Because when it comes to patriotism, what liberals understand to be a defining feature of proper moral reasoning, communitarians think of as a vice. And what communitarians think of as an essential aspect of a flourishing moral community, liberals think of as bigotry.

The Cannon adds is some stuff about (former International Socialist)  Alasdair MacIntyre, if anybody can be bothered to read his half digested reflections.

Let us end with this:

For communitarians, my hugging the fat English stranger (steady down Padre!) , my “Come on En-ger-land” at top volume, are crucial to our morality solidarity. And it’s just the same with my mate Emilliano shouting for Colombia over in the Elephant shopping centre.

And this,

The problem, of course, is that what MacIntyre and I (Note: on the basis of one essay written long ago),  consider moral solidarity, liberals think of as prejudice, even proto-fascism. And what liberals call morality, communitarians view as a dangerous dilution of moral solidarity. And there, in a nutshell, are the culture wars that presently divide us.

After Virtue me old cock!

Giant Protest for Final Deal Brexit Vote; Counterprotest for Brexit and Free Tommy.

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People’s Vote demonstration in London culminates with speeches in Parliament Square

The rabble described below held their own Carnival of Reaction.

“The pro-Brexit march attracted a wide range of groups, from Ukip supporters to the “alt-right” White Pendragons and Generation Identity.

The mood among the pro-Brexit marchers was one of anger and defiance as far-right groups such as The White Pendragons and For Britain took their place alongside Veterans’ and People’s Party and Ukip with the sound of God Save the Queen and “Free Tommy” booming through the streets.

But many melted away as a long succession of speakers took to the platform with just a few thousand supporters left at the rally two hours later.

The Ukip leader Gerard Batten urged people to join the party and fight against what he saw as an imminent loss for Brexit supporters. “There is a real danger we will leave in name only,” he said. “MPs don’t care how many people go on this march, it doesn’t affect them … the only thing that affects them is losing their seats.”

Speaker after speaker followed decrying the anti-Brexit MPs and the BBC.

Anne Marie Waters, the leader of the far-right For Britain, said she was appalled that the business secretary Greg Clark was proposing to keep the borders open to keep business leaders happy. “The company’s voice is not louder than ours,” she said referring to the 17.4 million who voted for Brexit. “Companies, they can adjust,” she added.

Waters said the BBC had “taken great pleasure” at reporting the Airbus threat to leave the country because of Brexit. “It is not because of Brexit but because of the incompetence of the government, which two years later can’t tell companies what sort of Brexit they want.”

Andrew Peck, a pro-Brexit and White Pendragon supporter, came from Nottingham. He described himself as a floating voter who had supported Ukip in the last elections but otherwise “whichever party was best for the NHS”. “I don’t want anything to do with the EU, it’s nice to see lots of people like me here,” he said. “

Guardian.

Banner Below says, Note to Police. Stop the Rape of our Kids.

Image result for freedom march london

The SWP reports this march without mentioning the pro-EU one…

2,500 racists march through London in a display of far right unity

Around 2,500 racists marched through central London on Saturday in another sign of the growing confidence of the British far right on the streets.

The crowd chanted, “Whose streets, our streets” as they marched from Victoria Station to Parliament. And a big focus on the march was jailed Nazi Tommy Robinson—whose supporters organised a 15,000-strong rally on Whitehall on 9 June. 

Marches broke into spontaneous chants of “Oh, Tommy, Tommy” and “We want our country back”. It was a popular chant on mobilisations of the English Defence League (EDL), a group previously led by Tommy Robinson. 

The march was organised by the Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA), Veterans Against Terrorism and a host of other racist groups.

The DFLA is acting as a bridge between the fascists and the racist Ukip party. Flags from Ukip were one of the most visible elements on the demonstration—much more than on previous mobilisations in recent months. 

It confirmed that the party leadership is orientating on the far right in the hope of rebuilding after its wipeout in the local elections last month. 

At the rally Ukip leader Gerrard Batten urged marchers to join the party. “If you want to change things you have to organise politically,” he said. “The MPs in the House of Commons don’t mind how many join a march. 

“You have to join a political party, help fight elections and win power.” 

By contrast this is a good article on the context.

 Michael Chessum

The Left Against Brexit is an initiative that seeks to take back what should be the common-sense left wing position on Brexit, and stand out from the more centrist establishment anti-Brexit campaigns.

David Miliband may believe speaking out with Nicky Morgan and Nick Clegg from a rice factory will do the trick. We don’t.

The left has slipped back on its ideas around the EU since the referendum. A lot of the left and not just in the Labour Party, is of the view that is it better to keep your head down and hope for a Labour government to sort it out. I think that is totally misplaced for a number of reasons.

We have 18 locations lined up for the Left Against Brexit speaker tour. We would like to do more. The first are 4 July in Manchester and 11 July in London. We are on course to sell out both venues.

Organisers who were previously involved in AEIP across the UK are excited about it and we are finally getting back to some of what we did during the campaign.

Personally I want there to be a national demonstration against the Brexit bill. That would be broader then just calling for a “People’s Vote”. It should be based around the idea of “Block the bill”. That way it would get people who don’t support the “People’s Vote” coming onboard.

I hope we can bring organisations including the NUS onboard in backing that.

Brexit is not just a policy. It is a project. That project comes with a narrative as to who is to blame for the crisis. It blames migrants for a crisis caused by the political and economic elite.

That narrative is kryptonite to the left and will damage us very severely in the long run, if we concede to any of it.
We’re also dealing here with a process that will wreck the economy. Socialists are rightly sceptical about “doing what is good for the economy”; but here we are in going to be in a position of major austerity, and the only way for Corbyn to get out of that would be a hugely accelerated socialist programme. I would be in favour of this but I am sceptical about the Parliamentary Labour Party being willing.

Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie are unlikely to walk through the division lobbies in favour of nationalisation and expropriation on the scale that will be needed with a major economic downturn?

The British people voted to leave the EU, and we do respect that. But the multiplicity of what Brexit meant to people means lots of different options were in effect voted for. There is now just one version of Brexit. We ask, does that version of Brexit have a majority?

Will people looking it straight in the eye say that is what they want? Or better than being in the EU?
People are allowed to change their minds.

Below the surface 80% of Labour members agree with us, and think there should be a referendum on the terms of the deal. This tour is about banging a big drum that says “we are on the left and are opposed to Brexit” and getting people to put their heads above the parapet.

There is a lot of pressure to keep your head down and stay in line with the leadership. But the leadership have never brought their policy for Brexit to conference. Corbyn has not run on a programme of supporting Brexit during his leadership elections or in the 2017 General Election.

In fact Labour has a conference position from 2016 that says that there would be a final say on the Brexit deal whether that was via referendum or a general election and that Labour should vote against the deal unless it meets its six tests.

I want to see Conference very proudly restate that and win a majority round to vote against the deal in Parliament and to support a referendum on that deal.

The underlying politics of the issue are about campaigning in favour of free movement.

We combat the idea that social problems are caused by freedom of movement and assert the need to campaign for strong trade unions, abolishing the anti-union laws, a socialist government that creates an irreversible shift in the balance of power that gives people control over their own destiny.

Rhetorically now the Labour Party is the best it has ever been on immigration, but the actual policy is no different to if Ed Miliband was still in charge! We have a triangulation to the right on immigration which must be causing Corbyn, McDonnell and Abbott some problems in their own heads. I think are probably very torn about this.

It isn’t that hard for Labour to have a left wing immigration policy, defend and extend free movement, and improve people’s lives at the same time. The vast majority of Brexit-supporting Labour voters and indeed Brexit supporters in general do not rank freedom of movement or even immigration as their number one issue. They rank housing, public services, wages and jobs just as much as anti Brexit people. If you give people real solutions on those things then you win time and space to convince them on other things.

Extending freedom of movement will benefit the workers’ movement as a whole. If migrant workers win more rights, the levelling up will benefit everyone. The more rights you take from migrants, the more precarious they become and the more difficult it is to organise. Labour should say that it will keep free movement, improve social housing, keep wages above inflation, provide more funding in schools and increase public investment.

That is how Labour should deal with people’s “immigration concerns”.

My own impression, from UNITE and elsewhere, is that the prospect of damaging UK industry, from Airbus onwards, will weigh more heavily than a March on Labour’s need to take an anti-Brexit stand. 

Written by Andrew Coates

June 24, 2018 at 12:27 pm

The Full Brexit: Alliance of Labour Patriots, Spiked-on-Line, Immigration Obsessives, Left Sovereigntists and other Oddballs.

with 17 comments

Image result for The Full Brexit cartoon

Full British Brexit’. Not ‘bog roll Brexit’!

What does a leader of Trade Unionists Against the EU, concerned about ‘easy divorce’ and immigration, somebody who defends “Flag, faith and family” and who (2011), wanted Labour to be an organisation, “that involves those people who support the EDL within our party”, a prominent contributor for the left-wing magazine Jacobin, a founder of a new Social Democratic Party, the  former editor of Prospect magazine, a pamphleteer for  Labour Leave, a Harvard Professor, Murdoch’s Man in Brussels, a well-known figure in the British Communist Party (CPB), and a small battalion of former members of the Revolutionary Communist Party and contributors to Spiked-on-Line, have in common?

Answer: THE FULL BREXIT

 

The Full Brexit is not a political party. We do not all agree about each and every policy or document on this website. But we do agree, first, that the left’s proper role is to be the architect of a better, more democratic future and, second, that a clean break with the EU is needed to realise that potential.

To this end, we will provide analysis of the present political situation and proposals for the future. We will engage with the public, politicians and anyone who shares our democratic ethos. And we will conduct our work in solidarity with those on the left in other European countries to develop a genuinely internationalist and democratic politics of national sovereignty.

Brexit offers an unprecedented opportunity to reshape Britain for the better. Please join us in that mission.

The common sovereigntist thread (Popular Sovereignty and “Taking Back Control”: What it Means and Why it Matters), the links with Spiked-on-Line (Revolutionary Communist Party, RCP) of the signatories below  – you might be tempted to call it a Brendan O’Neill front – and the ever more right-wing drift of these people makes this a more authentic  warning from Hell.

Beginning with Paul Embery and Trade Unionists Against the EU recent comments on Trump splitting up arrested migrant families.

Founding Signatories

​Christopher Bickerton, University of Cambridge. Extensive Spiked on Line Archive.

Philip Cunliffe, University of Kent, “University of Kent’s Dr Philip Cunliffe: Brexit is a triumph for the people over the elites.”

Paul Embery, Trade Unionists Against the EU:  The left-wing zealots are threatening our freedom.

…..try discussing with these people – the self-appointed guardians of enlightened society – the idea that immigration levels are too high and should be reduced. You’re a xenophobe. Try saying that kids are better served being raised by two parents, one of each sex. You’re a homophobic bigot. Don’t believe someone with the anatomy of a man can suddenly become a woman just because he says he is? Transphobe.

Thomas Fazi, Author and Journalist. ‘Left’ Sovereigntist: WHAT IS NEEDED IS A PROGRESSIVE VISION OF NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY May 2017.

Maurice Glasman, House of Lords. Blue Labour. “Work, family, community.” wanted Labour to be” a party that brokers a common good, that involves those people who support the EDL within our party” (Labour isn’t working. 2011.)

David Goodhart, Author and Journalist. Founding editor of Prospect. The Road to Somewhere 2017. “A fault line in Britain existed, he suggested, between Somewhere, those people firmly connected to a specific community which consists of about half the population, “Inbetweeners”, and Anywhere, those usually living in cities, socially liberal and well educated; the latter being only a minority of about 20% to 25% of the total, but in fact had “over-ruled” the attitudes of the majority.”

Matthew Goodwin, University of Kent. “Concerned” about Immigration, “Brexit Britain is in denial over immigration Debate since Brexit referendum has failed to tackle immigration — the key motivator behind the Leave campaign.”Politico.

Pauline Hadaway, University of Manchester. Spiked-on-Line extensive Archive.

James Heartfield, Author and Journalist. “In the 1980s he was a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party.” Fanatical Sovereigntist.

Kevin Hickson, University of Liverpool.

.. Kevin left the Labour Party in the summer of 2017.  Never a fan of Jeremy Corbyn, he accepted the outcome of the leadership contest but was increasingly uneasy with the sneering attitude of some within the Labour Party to the working class and all things British.  This reached its peak, he felt, in the constant attempts to undermine, if not stop the Brexit process.  It was this which led to him resign from the party.

With his belief that political principles are futile unless put into action he joined the SDP which is the only party, Kevin believes, to offer the correct combination of left-of-centre social and economic policies and a commitment to uphold the will of the people to leave the European Union. Having previously worked closely with Labour Leave on Brexit, Kevin is now the organiser for SDP’s North West region and keenly engaged in raising the profile of SDP, locally and nationally.

Lee Jones, Queen Mary University of London.  THECURRENTMOMENT 

Puts its faith in the Mother of Parliaments, “as The Current Moment argued all along, Brexiteers made the mistake of failing to trust representative democracy, and instead rushed to trigger Article 50 and marched unprepared straight into the EU’s favoured terrain: meeting-rooms safely closed off from democracy where they may bully smaller negotiating partners.”

Costas Lapavitsas, School of Oriental and African Studies (author of the recent so-called ‘left’ article backing Brexit in the US Jacobin magazine).

Tara McCormack, University of Leicester.  Spiked on Line.  19th of April 2018. SYRIA, THE TIMES AND FREE SPEECH.”The Times states that by questioning the British government’s stance we are apologists for Assad. More absurd still, it claims that by questioning and debating British foreign policy we are somehow shutting down debate.”

March 2018: THE EU: WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG?

“Krastev argues that the migration crisis in the EU has pulled national politics or, perhaps to be more precise, the national electorates, back into the picture, as the borderless, cosmopolitan ideal is forced to confront the reality and impact of migration, and attendant concerns over welfare, identity and rights.”

“Moreover, questions around identity and values do need to be discussed freely. It is certainly reasonable to ask if significant migration of other religious groups will impact on post-liberal or conservative values in Europe. Yet such debate is considered unacceptable by the EU, leaving the resentments to be expressed by right-wing populist groups.”

Jasper Miles, Goldsmiths College, University of London. Joint author of Labour Leave pamphlet, “The Labour Case for Brexit.”

Peter Ramsay, London School of Economics. Linked to THECURRENTMOMENT 

“…as The Current Moment argued all along, Brexiteers made the mistake of failing to trust representative democracy, and instead rushed to trigger Article 50 and marched unprepared straight into the EU’s favoured terrain: meeting-rooms safely closed off from democracy where they may bully smaller negotiating partners.”

Richard Tuck, Harvard University​. “Tuck has long believed that Brexit would benefit the British Left — both by killing the drive for Scottish independence, and by opening up a new space for radical left politics in Britain.” Policy Exchange 2017.

Bruno Waterfield, Murdoch Journalist – Brussels Correspondent — The Times.

Philip B Whyman, University of Central Lancashire. Sovereigntist fantasist, “Beyond Brexit: how to build an independent British economy.”

Suke Wolton, Regents Park College, University of Oxford. Author of “Marxism, Mysticism and Modern Theory. 1996. Not known to have moved on since.

Amongst others attaching themselves to this bandwagon I note Mary Davis (Communist Party of Britain).

People’s Vote.

We will doubtless hear today dire warnings from the Brexit left about splitting the labour movement by marching with anti-Brexit campaigners in the People’s Vote Campaign.

Given their own background in dividing the Labour and trade union vote to Remain this is like hearing Satan preaching against Sin.

But it’s Full Brexit alliance that ought to be kept  in mind when hearing attacks on the People’s Vote campaign against Brexit.

What a bunch!