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New Spat Between Admirers and Critics of Mélenchon on Labour List.

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Mr Virtual 6,3%.

Yesterday le Monde carried two pages around this article:  the fragmented Left Faced with the Challenged of Refoundation.

The principal article talked of the historic defeat of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s ‘lieu de rassemblement’ (rally) la France insoumise (LFI)  in this year’s European elections, where they got 6,3% of the vote (down from 19% in the 2017 French Presidential Election). It suggested that the undisputed leader of LFI was now concentrating on winning municipal positions off his rivals, the Communists, PCF, who were down even further at 2,49%. The impression given was that the French left was squabbling over crumbs (the literal meaning of emiettée is ‘in crumbs’).

In interview across the page in the daily of a loyal LFI cadre and MP  Alexis Corbière contained only staunch denial of any difficulties – the resignations that followed this collapse, and the accusations of autocratic inner rally running (LFI has no members, only affiliates; it is run as a Party-business) by the Little Caesar in charge. There was a defence of their “populist” strategy of assembling the ‘People’ against the ”Oligarchy’ above the old left right divisions ( Alexis Corbière : « L’alternative, c’est l’oligarchie ou le peuple »).

Le Monde, oddly, was concerned with the French Greens, Europe Écologie, who with Yannick Jadot won 13,48%.

Not a lot in fact but more than anybody else who might be considered on the left, something Jadot is very equivocal about himself – he does not rule our local alliances with  right-wing parties. who accept a Green programme.

While all this has been going on, a few days ago Labour List published the following article:

What Corbynism could learn from France’s Mélenchon

Mckevitt seems to base his knowledge of La France insoumise and its Leader largely on Chantal Mouffe’s book For a Left Populism (2018), and reports of his presence at last year’s The World Transformed.

“This dynamic populist demand, articulated by Mélenchon through a desire to completely remake the French state from “the people” up, exhibits itself in Corbynism through the relatively gradual, procedural and legalistic process of reforming reselection processes. Despite the shared values of democratisation and of a mass membership wrenching control from those with entrenched positions (and the strategic concern of Corbynism to transform the Parliamentary Labour Party), the party structure that Corbynism finds itself channelled through is ultimately limiting to the scope of this demand.

Mélenchon’s left-populism also finds itself in fundamental opposition to what he perceives as the global institutions of neoliberal capitalism.

He concluded, noting that even the Sun had spots – Mélenchon’s ‘Patriotism” and backing for “a radically patriotic interpretation of laïcité, ”  a term or a politics which is not explained.

Nonetheless, Mélenchon provides a template for us to understand the compatibility of a truly radical, anti-establishment structural analysis with a popular left-wing mass movement.

Today we have this reply: Why Labour should reject the politics of Mélenchon

“Beneath the veneer, Mélenchon is a profoundly divisive figure” writes Antony Tucker, “whose attitude to the press, failure to deal with racism on the left and rejection of internationalism should serve as warning, not an example, to our party.”

Tucker outlines Mélenchon’s indulgence of a “sovereigntist” view of the EU – criticisms of its workings based on the way it has undermined French sovereignty,, and promoted ‘German’ interests. he could have mentioned the LFI leader’s initial welcome for the Brexit vote, which still sticks in the craw – as a popular revolt against the EU ‘oligarchs’.

He continues into the murky depths of the Mélechonist milieu, “Mélenchon spends far too much time pandering to the conspiracy theorist fringe of politics.” It would be truer to say that his association with the Gilets Jaunes has created ambiguities of the “red-brown” kind known in the UK, when some of the protesters (notoriously Fly-Rider) have been active conspiracy mongers. This kind of over-claim obscures the problem of real red-brown cross-overs such as Étienne Chouard.

He treats himself to some moral outrage – again without explaining what the term laicite means or what politics it is based on – at the LFI chief’s “radical, authoritarian laïcité

Riding the crest of the this manufactured rage he manages something this writer would have thought impossible, soliciting sympathy for Méluche, ” Mélenchon has spread the sort of vicious conspiracy theories that these people feed off of, and frequently denies France’s role in the Holocaust. ” This conspi theory of its own tries to wash away the fact that all French republican politicians deny the responsibility of the French republic for the anti-republican Vichy regime.

Tucker concludes, in apoplexy, that the “nationalist and xenophobic beliefs that drive Mélenchon” are no model for the Labour Party.

Mr 6,3% might have been a better way of putting the would-be left Populist Federator of the People down.

Then there is the total, sordid, collapse of his admired template, the “Bolivarian Revolution” in Venezuela, and left-populism across South America.

A serious beginning of a critique of Mélenchon” and LFI and is available here: The Death of “Left Wing Populism”.

 

 

 

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

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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.

Par 

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:

Chris Williamson: Nicaragua, a “Beacon of Hope”.

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Chris Williamson in Brighton: Top Supporter (Tony Greenstein) on far-left.

This has now been tweeted.

The case of Chris Williamson is well known.

The man is so far gone that it hard to imagine the suspended from Labour MP  taking any notice of reality but here is an article, this year, from Labour Briefing by Mike Phillips, a Spanish speaker who knows Nicaragua,

New human rights report condemns Nicaraguan government

Mike Phipps 

A new report has slammed the Nicaraguan state for abuses carried out in the aftermath of last year’s protests. Crackdown in Nicaragua: Torture, Ill-Treatment, and Prosecutions of Protesters and Opponents, published by the US-based Human Rights Watch and based on work by an independent group of experts, appointed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, says that some of the abuse amounted to torture.

“Many of the people detained during the crackdown on protests were subject to serious abuses that in some cases amounted to torture – including electric shocks, severe beatings, fingernail removal, asphyxiation, and rape,” says the report. “Many injured detainees were reportedly denied medical care in public health institutions and doctors who provided care said they suffered retaliation.”

The prosecution of protestors has also violated the norms of due process, argues the report. “Protestors have been held in incommunicado detention, subjected to closed door trials, and denied the right to confer privately with their defense lawyers.”

The report further accuses the government of targeting journalists and cracking down on independent media outlets. It further cancelled the legal registration of nine civil society organizations. Top officials who bear responsibility for the abuses, far from being held to account, have been promoted by President Ortega.

The full report is available here https://www.hrw.org/report/2019/06/19/crackdown-nicaragua/torture-ill-treatment-and-prosecutions-protesters-and#page

 

Williamson, a vegan, is no doubt an authority on identity politics.

This is another strand he is following:

His supporters have had another setback with this news today:

Labour suspends Liverpool Momentum co-chair over alleged antisemitism

Jewish Chronicle.

He allegedly shared messages on social media that used antisemitic tropes around philanthropist George Soros

The co-chair of pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum in Liverpool has been suspended by Labour pending an investigation over allegations of antisemitism.

Chris Cavanagh – who is a close ally of suspended MP Chris Williamson – is accused of sharing messages on social media that contravened party rules including several that used antisemitic tropes around philanthropist George Soros.

The JC can reveal that Mr Cavanagh, a member of West Derby Labour Party, was informed of his suspension from the party earlier this month.

It is unclear whether he has also been suspended from his role as co-chair of Liverpool Momentum.

Last July, Mr Cavanagh had helped organise a Momentum meeting as part of Chris Williamson’s ‘Democracy Roadshow’ in which the Derby North MP – now facing expulsion over his repeated interventions in the party’s antisemitism crisis – attempted to unsettle Labour MPs deemed unloyal to Jeremy Corbyn.

During the meeting at Liverpool’s Quaker Meeting House, which the JC attended, one speaker was loudly applauded after he said: “What could be a greater threat to our democracy than a foreign government who is trying to veto the person we want for Prime Minister?

“Of course, I’m talking about the Israelis with their foot soldiers in Labour – the LFI [Labour Friends of Israel], the JLM [Jewish Labour Movement]. They are trying to take our democracy away from us.”

Socialist Worker says Labour should, “not give into Right” and back Remain in the EU.

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Don’t Give Into Right and Oppose Brexit Says SWP.

Sometimes, happy days, not to say,  months, you forget that the SWP exists.

But the pro-Brexit far-left is still there.

They show no signs of regretting their furious campaign for the – Hard Right – Brexit.

It’s one of the best kept secrets in politics that the SWP have thriven and recruited in the mass people’s movement to take back control and support Brexit.

As they  said, ““The outcome of the referendum represents a revolt by millions of working class people against years of austerity and economic decline”. Socialists and the Leave vote—a (brief) reply to Sean Leahy

They added, ” how can things possibly get worse?”

As Johnson’s plans wreak havoc they say, “Nothing to so with us. We are revolutionary socialists and can’t share the blame for anything.”

Hobson chose for them, and they cannot be blamed for their choice, actions, or vote.

Tory plan for Brexit is a threat to ­two million EU migrants

Latest Socialist Worker.

Whether you voted for this or not we should all defend migrants’ rights writes Tomáš Tengely-Evans.

Anti-racists—whether they voted Racist Leave or Remain—have to fight to defend and extend freedom of movement.

(Note: some of this may have been slightly rewritten).

The same Socialist Worker has this:

Corbyn’s confusion over the European Union emboldens the right

Labour has been caught in a bind since the EU referendum in 2016. Many working class people—the people it looks to for votes—support leaving the EU.

But a vocal set of right wing Labour MPs want to push the party towards opposing Brexit.

They support the EU because they like its pro-privatisation, pro-austerity rules that look after big business.

They’re increasingly cheer-led by prominent left Labour supporters, and backed by the Labour Party’s membership.

The Labour left now largely sees backing Remain as the only progressive response to the Tories’ racist, right wing version of Brexit.

The SWP offers this advice to Labour,

The anti-austerity, radical-sounding message that worked so well for Labour in 2017 is at risk of being drowned out.

Where demonstrations and action on the streets against the Tories could have dominated, opposition has focused on parliamentary manoeuvres and inter-party wrangling.

This is the right’s terrain—the left is always weaker on it.

The bulk of Corbyn’s speech on Monday—attacking austerity and tax cuts for the rich, promising more for ordinary people—got almost ignored by the press.

The longer Corbyn spends giving into the right over the EU, the more he allows them to set the agenda and sideline left wing politics.

People may have noticed that the article says “The Labour left now largely sees backing Remain as the only progressive response to the Tories’ racist, right wing version of Brexit.”

Some might observe that they are claiming that we are “cheering”  on the right.

In the heat of the struggle, in the exuberant mobilisations to “take back control” and back Brexit, the SWP can perhaps be forgiven their annoyance at the pro-remain left.

Nobody could possibly accuse them of stinking opportunism in seizing on this effect of their vote and claiming that they opposed it all along:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

August 21, 2019 at 12:10 pm

New Left Review Tackles Brexit, from ‘anti-systemic’ parties to Corbyn.

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From Brexit Knocks to Corbyn.

Writing after the EU Referendum New Left Review editor Susan Watkins found time to pontificate on the “solipsistic and civilizational” reactions of those who regretted the victory of the Leave camp. She observed, with a cooled head, in tones echoing the French self-appointed speaker for La France périphérique,  Christophe Guilluy, ” the ressentiment of globalization’s losers.” ” Leave voters were markedly more pessimistic about their prospects and those of their children “

Watkins continued, “nearly 70 per cent thought Brexit couldn’t make things any worse.” And yet, she wistfully noted, ” the victory of British (read: English) nationalism has revealed the emptiness of its symbols: Rule Britannia, Mother of Parliaments, Royal Navy, Going It Alone, Dunkirk Spirit—all that has gone. “

Looking to the future, and echoing the words of her partner Tariq Ali, who used the vehicle of Venezuela state media, Telesur to explain that he was ‘Pleased’ Brexit Has Given EU ‘Big Kick’ up ‘Backside'” she concluded,

The Brexit vote doesn’t mean state break-up, yet. Still less the downfall of Brussels. For now, though, it is plain that Blairized Britain has taken a hit, as has the Hayekianized eu. Critics of the neoliberal order have no reason to regret these knocks to it, against which the entire global establishment—Obama to Abe, Merkel to Modi, Juncker to Xi—has inveighed. Which will ultimately prove more important, and what the side-effects of each will be, remains to be seen.

From the Intergalactic Senate Perry Anderson opined in 2017 that,

No other European country has been so dramatically polarised by region, between a bubble-enclosed, high-income metropolis in London and the southeast, and an impoverished, deindustrialised north and northeast where voters felt they had little to lose in voting for Leave (crucially, a more abstract prospect than ditching the euro), whatever happened to the City and foreign investment. Fear counted for less than despair.

…suddenly granted, for once, a real choice in a national referendum, they returned in force to deliver their verdict on the desolations of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

The welcome knocks against the EU were the result of this:

Issues of identity could more readily trump issues of interest than in the rest of the EU. So the normal formula — fear of economic retribution outweighs fear of alien immigration — failed to function, bent out of shape by a combination of economic despair and national amour-propre.

Britain’s example should be followed,

For anti-systemic movements of the left in Europe, the lesson of recent years is clear. If they are not to go on being outpaced by movements of the right, they cannot afford to be less radical in attacking the system, and must be more coherent in their opposition to it. That means facing the probability the EU is now so path-dependent as a neoliberal construction that reform of it is no longer seriously conceivable. It would have to be undone before anything better could be built, either by breaking out of the current EU, or by reconstructing Europe on another foundation, committing Maastricht to the flames. Unless there is a further, deeper economic crisis, there is little likelihood of either.

Yet, as the title of the broad brush indicates, “Why the system will still win.”, so one can be confident that Anderson does not see the prospect of the ‘dual power’ of his 1970s flirtation with the left returning.

In the latest New Left Review a less abstract note is struck by the Deputy Editor of the journal,  Daniel Finn,

Brexit has thrown the whole political field into confusion, and Labour will struggle to achieve a majority in parliament after the next election, even if it emerges as the largest party. The conditions of its likely coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party, could include the extinction of any distinctive Corbyn project.

Corbyn, Labour and the Brexit Crisis

Daniel Finn Labour in the Brexit Vice

Finn continues, “All factors seem to point towards ultimate defeat, except one: the fact that Corbynism has already survived against the odds to reach its current position.”

There is an account of the Labour Party’s post-Corbyn successes and difficulties.

Brexit, the Vice in which Labour is squeezed, is introduced:

“While rational fears of what Brexit could mean under Tory leadership fuelled the wider Remain constituency” writes Finn” it was Blairite holdovers like Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell who dominated the leadership of the People’s Vote (pv) campaign, skewing its political orientation.

In the sketch this also stands out, ” Expecting the Remain side to win comfortably, the Labour right thought it safe to use the referendum campaign as a factional weapon, telling sympathetic journalists that Corbyn’s line was really an argument to leave the eu altogether.”

Many would note this detail: New Left Review Editorial Board member Tariq Ali, “Jeremy Corbyn ‘would be campaigning for Brexit if he was not Labour leader’, says long-time ally Tariq Ali.” May 2016).

Finn finally settles down to the famous clasp in which Labour is clamped.

Having admitted its importance he admits that the Labour left has its own internal differences.

…. Corbyn allies like John McDonnell and Diane Abbott favoured a change of strategy as well, along with some of the younger left mps (Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Kate Osamor). Divisions over Brexit cut across the left/right cleavage in the plp: Labour front-benchers such as the party chair Ian Lavery were strongly opposed to a second referendum, and McCluskey argued against a sudden shift towards the hard-Remain camp, but a group of mps that included staunch opponents of Corbyn like Stephen Kinnock and Ruth Smeeth also composed an open letter, denouncing the ‘toxic’ idea of a second referendum as a gift to the nationalist right.

The NLR writer – accurately – summarises a real dilemma,

 In any case, securing a referendum is one thing, winning it is quite another. The Labour leadership is being urged by friend and foe alike to adopt a goal that is neither more desirable nor even more achievable than its previous stance, in the name of avoiding electoral meltdown.

This is differently phrased to his comments in  ‘Jacobin‘ a few months ago (which combines the following with the all too familiar ranting tone of the US’s ‘leading ‘ left voice, this time about Paul Mason’s, ” shop-soiled reactionary agenda .”)

One of the main advantages of a “soft Brexit” deal — whatever its precise details — would be avoiding the need for a second referendum. Most advocates of such a vote have been shockingly complacent about their chances of victory, brushing aside opinion polls that suggest a rerun of the first vote would be too close to call.

Even if Remain won, the campaign would be even more rancorous than the first, and only a landslide result could truly settle the issue.

We may now be drifting towards a second referendum in any case. But Corbyn and Labour were right to try and avoid that outcome.

There has often been a tendency to defend Labour’s position in terms of electoral pragmatism — the need to balance between Remain- and Leave-voting sections of its base. This is perfectly legitimate in its own right: a left-wing government, implementing Labour’s 2017 manifesto or going beyond it, would make far more of a difference to people’s lives than staying in the EU.

But there was a wider political logic behind the party’s stand. The accusations of “sitting on the fence” leveled at the Labour leadership are misguided at best, malicious at worst. The best elements in the party, including Corbyn, recognized it would be a disaster if Leave vs Remain became entrenched as the main dividing line in British politics.

Electing a Labour Government Matters More Than Brexit

The entrenchment is real and has not been wished away by Corbyn or anybody else.

What of his Jacobin claim that, “if the Labour leadership does now pivot towards the second-referendum camp, it should be seen in a realistic light, as a major setback for the Corbyn project…

Finn – rewriting lightly this judgement – concludes this section,

Corbyn’s latest move fell some way short of the unqualified pro-Remain commitment his opponents were seeking. In July 2019, he announced that Labour would campaign to stay in the eu if that was the only alternative to no deal or ‘a Tory deal that does not protect the economy and jobs’; on the other hand, if Labour formed a government before the Brexit deadline and had time to negotiate its own package, it would put that agreement to a popular vote, with Remain as the alternative choice. The new line could be made to work—but whether Corbyn’s inner-party opponents will allow that to happen is a very different question.

‘Falling far short’ may satisfy New Left Review, but not many others, perhaps he means “falling far short” of a major setback…

“Could be made to work”, pure Andersonese, is as clear as mud.

All three of Finn’s possible scenarios for a Labour government,  headlong retreat by conservative resistance”, a “reformist party that actually carries out reforms”, and (the improbable), ” return to the ideas that animated left-wing forces in the 1960s and 70s when they recognized the limitations of social-democratic rule” depend on a response to the issue of Brexit.

But few can escape the observation that the days of feeling satisfied at the “knocks” delivered by the Brexit vote, or calling for “undoing” the EU have passed.

This is surely worth flagging up in the inconclusive concluding sentence,

If Corbyn succeeds in taking power after the next election, he will have made his way past many formidable obstacles, but his greatest challenges will still lie ahead.

From a different part of the left one can outline some of the deeper difficulties that Labour and the left face:

  • This is not a trivial “culture war”. The days when the category of  ‘anti-systemic’ parties had any use obscures the change. The Brexit vote has been followed by the development of national populist current in British politics. From the Johnson-led Tory Party to the Party PLC, of Nigel Farage (following the example of a number of European ‘parties’ from Macron’s  La République En Marche, Italy’s Movimento 5 Stelle, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s Rally –   lieu de rassemblement – la France insoumise , a business run from the top), embody currents which call for national sovereignty, free-market economics, and antagonism to the “anti-nation”. The “empty symbols” of Rule Britannia, national “amour propre” not only moblised the Leave vote, they have become the foundations of this politics. A far-right fringe is now actively targeting the “collaborators” who wish to Remain.
  • WIthin the Corbyn camp the continuing influence of a pro-Brexit constituency.  But radical hostility to the “hayekised” EU, and calls to represent the “impoverished” deindustrialised  regions, the ‘left behind’, has not been the basis of a serious economic and social programme. They cannot recreate the labour movement of the 1970s. As the Accelerationist Manifesto pointed out in 2013  ” There can be no return to Fordism. The capitalist “golden era” was premised on the production paradigm of the orderly factory environment, where (male) workers received security and a basic standard of living in return for a lifetime of stultifying boredom and social repression. Such a system relied upon an international hierarchy of colonies, empires, and an underdeveloped periphery; a national hierarchy of racism and sexism; and a rigid family hierarchy of female subjugation. For all the nostalgia many may feel, this regime is both undesirable and practically impossible to return to.”
  • The lingering influence of  ‘sovereigntist’ politics on the British left, one of the principal poles of the pro-Brexit, Lexit, current, creates deeper difficulties. Many of their figures have followed that of its European counterparts.In the absence of a real prospect of “striking real blows at the roots of capitalist power, provoking a crisis within the state machine, and relying upon mass movement” (cited by Finn as the “least likely” of the results of a possible Labour government) they has turned inward. It cannot rely only on the “folk politics of localism” and memory of the “real” working class. Parts of this left has drifted towards a “red brown” cocktail of hostility towards “rootless cosmopolitans”. The leader of probably the biggest post-war left coalition, Respect, George Galloway, is now an open ally of Nigel Farage. Far from being at antipodes to National Populism the Sovereigntist left is in danger of becoming its twin.
  • A left based on transformative democracy has also emerged. As Another Europe is Possible says,”A British exit from the EU would have a seriously detrimental impact on the free movement of people; trade union and human rights; environmental protection; international cooperation; and a host of other vital issues. While, at the very least, the EU is in desperate need of a democratic overhaul, an exit at the current time would boost right wing movements and parties and hurt ordinary people in the UK. European politics has been dominated by neoliberal thinking for far too long – as recent events in Greece brutally demonstrate. But changing this means working to strengthen anti-austerity movements across all of Europe – not walking away. Another Europe is Possible is a campaign for a radical “in” vote. Our campaign will put the case for staying in the EU independently of Cameron and big business, opposing any part of a “renegotiation” that attacks workers’, migrants’ or human rights. We will combine campaigning for an in vote with arguing for an alternative economic model, maintaining European citizens’ rights to live and work across the EU, and for far-reaching democratic reforms of European institutions.
  • This position stands, and is a better guideline for left politics than delight at the EU being given a “kick up the backside” or celebration of ‘anti-systemetic’ parties without any positive emancipatory politics.

Finn is a specialist in Irish politics.

Perhaps he would care to develop – the present article does not –  the theme of how  EU demands for “no room for unilateral exit from the ‘backstop’ designed to prevent a hard border on Irish soil.” have become the centre of the Brexit wars…

Or this:

Written by Andrew Coates

August 20, 2019 at 1:26 pm

The Red-Brown Front – Spiked – Ramps Up Culture of Intolerance Towards Owen Jones.

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Spiked, “swift and opportunistic use of the attack to demonise certain sections of the media.”

Spiked is the leading voice of the Red-Brown Front, the arm that helps fight the culture wars for the national populist Brexit Party.

They stand for an identity united around National Sovereignty for the “real” people who back Brexit against the elites.

Spiked aims to create a society, in which risk is taken by science-driven entrepreneurs, every country is fiercely independent,  business and culture thrive democratically, and trade is willingly  negotiated with free-spirit Donald Trump.

The virtues and the heritage of European civilisation, culture, and the Enlightenment are behind them.

A “war against ‘No Deal Brexit’, ” really just means a war against Brexit”

Spiked battles for the heroic “ordinary people” the “disenfranchised” like Nigel Farage and Anne Widdecombe against “offence culture” and wokeness.

It’s no surprise that to create a segmented society, excluding their opponents,  they target “Patsy” Greta Thunberg  and Owen Jones, “mouthpiece of middle class moralism”.

Brendan, for it is he, has today chosen Owen for “using” the assault he was a victim of over the weekend.

Not just using, but taking the case of people fired up by bigotry to implicate the bigots in the media.

Who’s really demonising journalists?

There is a grim irony in the response to the assault on Guardian columnist Owen Jones. Which is that this attack on a journalist is being used by woke leftists, including by Mr Jones himself, to attack journalists.

He continues,

the swift and opportunistic use of the attack to demonise certain sections of the media could prove to be the greater threat to press freedom.

Brendan pauses, to sip his own breath,

It goes without saying, I hope, that the attack on Jones was horrible and outrageous. Especially if it is true that he was targeted for his leftish beliefs. That would make it not just a punch-up outside a pub, but also an act of political intolerance. That is out of order in an open, civilised society.

But that makes it all the more depressing that this alleged act of intolerance has been weaponised to a different cause of intolerance – the left’s intolerance towards free-wheeling, rabble-rousing press outlets. Or as Jones referred to them yesterday, when he was outrageously implying that they bear some responsibility for what happened to him, the ‘hate preachers’ of the media.

The man himself sniffs his armpits,

He claims his attackers were far-right activists. And he says such far-right activists have been emboldened by ‘people in the mainstream media who deliberately stoke tensions, who demonise minorities and who demonise the left’.

His target was clearly the tabloid press (NOTE, which O’Neill writes for).  He said: ‘We should just be honest about it. We live in a society where on the front pages of newspapers you have things like “enemies of the people”, “traitors”, “saboteurs” – that’s how people are discussed in politics.’

Reaching for his Voltaire and loudly passing wind, O’Neill, bellows,

Prejudice against certain newspapers, and more importantly prejudice against the people who read them, who are presumed to be so fickle, so easily warped by words, that a few spicy headlines can convince them to wallop a Guardian columnist outside a pub.

Lowering to his warmed over theme he continues,

…who is responsible for the attack on Andy Ngo in Portland? The so-called antifa forces who assaulted him, very violently, notably used milkshakes. They were clearly inspired by the middle-class milkshaking phenomenon in the UK and possibly by pro-milkshaking journalists at newspapers like the Guardian, one of whom said milkshaking is a valiant effort to ‘reduce men of pomp to figures of ridicule’. If the Express bears responsibility for right-wing violence, does the Guardian bear responsibility for left-wing violence?

The conclusion,

The problem is a broader culture of intolerance towards different opinions – and that ugly culture comes more from the PC establishment itself than it does from a few saucy front-page headlines.

As in, “The green movement has become hysterical” Spiked 16th of August.

Meanwhile:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

August 19, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Jacobin’s European Editor Says ‘Haha” When Rival leftist Physically Assaulted.

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This is the story that inspired the hilarity.

A statement by Mark Osborn about an incident of physical violence at a meeting of Lewisham Momentum (15 August 2019).

A further series of unpleasant attacks on left activists aligned with Workers’ Liberty took place at the Lewisham Momentum meeting held on Wednesday 14 August.

The most serious incident at this Momentum meeting was that Bill Jefferies of Ladywell ward, Lewisham Deptford CLP, physically attacked me. He hit me on the chin and grabbed my throat, in the hall outside the meeting room as the meeting was breaking up. He is 10cm taller and 40 kg heavier than me.

I’m okay, as always. But my chin still hurts and there’s a mark on my neck.

Full statement via above.

Broder (David Broder@broderly @jacobinmag Europe editor) has deleted the tweet but his admirers, watching like ‘awks, noticed it.

Broder’s work for Jacobin on the international left is renowned.

He is a keen supporter of Mr 6,3% (the score of Mélenchon’s rally, La France insoumise, LFI,  in this year’s European Elections).

We look forward to Broder’s sympathetic coverage of the revolutionary patriotism behind this latest decision by LFI, their invitation to Thierry Ardisson, a ‘constitutional’ Monarchist, to star at the summer school.

Broder’s generosity does not extend to leftist rivals in Britain.

One questions why Jacobin have such an intemperate  enemy of British and Irish pro-European leftists, determined to re-enact the disputes of his youth,  as a gatekeeper for their European coverage.

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

August 17, 2019 at 11:06 am