Archive for the ‘European Left’ Category
The debate on British membership of the EU is the next big issue for the left.
This is a major story today,
The vote on Britain’s membership of the European Union may still be months away, but already the scare stories have started. One that is particularly revealing is the question about who should be allowed to vote in the in/out referendum. The Mail on Sunday reported Tory concerns that one million Europeans who are not UK passport holders could be allowed to cast their vote. Conservative MP Philip Davies told the paper that there was “massive concern that the referendum could be rigged to deliver a desired outcome. But it would be unjustifiable if EU nationals were allowed to take part in this vote”.
Expect loads of gobshite in this vein over the coming months.
As Cameron set out his stand this morning it would appear that the major renegotiation on the UK’s relation with the EU will over such issues as the right to cut EU migrants’ benefits.
Last night on Question Time Owen Jones came out with curious idea that the EU was all about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
He expressed the opinion that it was right to have a referendum on EU membership – no doubt on the basis that a non-EU UK would magic itself away from TTIP.
And no doubt global capitalism.
If Owen is ‘pro-E’ he has already conceded too much to the right by (1) Starting his comments in this way, without mentioning any social benefits of the EU and (2) Agreeing that somehow we need this referendum.
We predict that the left, having indulged Scottish nationalism against the UK ‘Imperial’ state, is about to take the same line on the ‘Imperialist’ EU.
That if Cameron ‘renegotiates’ a deal involving hitting at EU migrants, those voting for the EU will be accused of abetting the Tories, and being racist to boot.
We also predict that the dead hand of No2EU shall rise from the grave.
No2EU – Yes to Workers’ Rights stood 46 candidates in seven regions in the May 22 euro election including London, North West, Eastern, Wales, Scotland, Yorks and Humber and West Midlands.
Electoral results of this lash-up, 2014.
|East of England||Brian Denny, Eleanor Donne, Steve Glennon, David Goode, Leonardo Impett, Teresa MacKay, Emily Thompson-Golding||4,870||0.3|
|London||Edward Dempsey, Alex Gordon, April Ashley, Annie Ngemi, Mary Davis, Paula Mitchell, Natasha Hoarau, Michael Carty||3,804||0.2|
|North West England||Roger Bannister, George Waterhouse, Jacqueline Grunsell, John Metcalfe, George Tapp, Mark Rowe, James Healy, Kevin Morrison||5,402||0.3|
|West Midlands||Dave Nellist, Pat Collins, Joanne Stevenson, Sophia Hussain, Paul Reilly, Andy Chaffer, Amanda Marfleet||4,653||0.3|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||Trevor Howard, Mary Jackson, Carrie Hedderwick, Adrian O’Malley, Steven Andrew, Iain Dalton||3,807||0.3|
|Scotland||John Foster, Andrew Elliot, Murdo Maclean, Gail Morrow, Brian Smith, Ritchie Veitch||6,418||0.5|
|Wales||Robert Griffiths, Claire Job, Steve Skelly, Laura Picand||2,803||0.4|
We say: Yes to the EU! Yes to Internationalism! Yes to working with our sisters and brothers in Europe to change the EU!
Justice for George Galloway (Facebook Page).
Free the Galloway One!
A complaint against former Respect MP George Galloway over his use of parliamentary funds has been referred to the police, the parliamentary standards watchdog has confirmed.
Mr Galloway’s former parliamentary assistant Aisha Ali Khan reported him to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority earlier this year.
She has alleged she was required to run personal errands for him.
The former Bradford West MP said the claims were “news to me”.
Following an assessment of Ms Ali Khan’s claims, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Aurthority (IPSA) compliance officer Peter Davis has passed the case to the Metropolitan Police.
An IPSA spokesman said: “IPSA’S compliance officer has completed his assessment of the George Galloway complaint and has passed it on to the Metropolitan Police Service.”
Mr Galloway lost his Bradford West seat at the General Election earlier this month.
George Galloway, who lost his seat in Bradford West to Labour’s Naz Shah, has begun the legal process to have the result of the election set aside.
The ‘Green Shorts‘ of Respect say:
Fight the Zionist Hydra!
Please read: “The Bent Copper, his Jail-Bird Lover, the Manhattan Zionist & the Tel Aviv Law Firm: a Curious Tale”
Two appendixes included!
New Mentor of Nick Cohen.:The Voice of Reason.
Younger readers may not recall Woodrow Wyatt.
He was a one time left-winger who went to the far-right – several-snouts in the trough along the way.
His favourite mode of attack was the vicious assault on Trade Unionists, and above all their leaders.
Nick Cohen has just taken several leaves from his book.
I merely cite these phases:
Imagine you are a Labour MP or a trade union official surveying Britain this week. The following points will strike you:
- Labour has just lost an election it could have won, in part because Unite helped foist it with a useless leader in Ed Miliband and an equally incoherent programme, which failed to convince millions of voters to rid themselves of a mediocre Tory government.
Yet despite all of the above, there is no self-criticism from Len McCluskey on how he got the Miliband years so badly wrong. Worse – far worse because it matters more for the future of Britain – there is no honest examination of the failure of unions to recruit among the new working poor either. McCluskey keeps saying he wants to stand up for ‘ordinary working people’ when he can’t persuade ‘ordinary working people’ to join his trade union. He keeps saying he wants to fight the hated Tories, while striking sectarian poses that will stop Labour building broad alliances with everyone from the church leaders to Liberal Democrats, who might take Cameron on.
Oddly this “sectarian attitude” about alliances with ‘church leaders’ does not strike our young Woodrow Wyatt, did not prevent the union from working with the Living Wage campaign in London, set up in alliance with religious figures.
In Tower Hamlets, apparently the voice of one individual in UNITE has come to represent the whole union (and I am not referring to Len):
In Tower Hamlets in the East End of London Lutfur Rahman funnelled public money to his client Bangladeshi voters. (Imagine for a moment the cries of ‘apartheid,’ if a Conservative or Ukip council followed a ‘whites first’ public spending policy.) He persuaded 101 Muslim clerics to instruct their credulous flocks to vote for him, and engaged in widespread electoral fraud. But even after an electoral court revealed Rahman’s corruption, McCluskey still backed a crooked demagogue, who exploited racial and religious prejudice, in his fight against the official Labour candidate.
I’d suggest me learned friends have a look at this claim, which I would dispute.
And with this,
Despite having used its influence to rig selections and having Unite sponsored Labour MPs in Westminster, I suspect what Unite – or rather the McCluskey faction within it – dreams of establishing a new pure party to the left of Labour. He certainly has the men to do it.
“to allow Unite to flaunt its contempt for the party? Is it going to say, like a woman frightened of independence, that it cannot imagine surviving without McCluskey’s money, however badly he treats it? Will it bite its tongue, and hope that he will change? Or is it going to stand up for itself and show him the door?
I voted for the leader of UNITE, in a democratic and fair election.
Is Cohen going to treat me and my comrades with contempt?
I voted for Ed MIliband as an individual union affiliate.
The work that we all did to try to get Labour elected.
I once saw Wyatt, head of a senicure that Thacther secured him.at a Tote Silver Ring meeting (me mate Stuart had won tickets to the Cheltenham Gold cup).
He had his snout buried in the roast beef.
Such is the future that predict for Nick.
One Good Piece of News at least.
The visit of Lewis the Eighteenth, April 1814.
“There was a great crowd in the street when he came out of the hotel, and immense applause; the mob crying out, ‘God bless your Majesty!” as if they owed him all they had, and even their lives.”
((Zechariah Coleman, a radical and dissenter) “who did not hooray, and did not even lift his hat when the Sacred Majesty appeared on the hotel steps” is challenged by a drayman for not saluting the Bourbon King.
A full fight ensures.
Zechariah is rescued by Major Cartwright, “Holloa, my republican friend, d—n it, that’s a nasty lick you’ve, and from one of the people too; that makes it harder to bear.”
The Revolution in Tanner’s Lane. Mark Rutherford. 1887.
But, Lord, remember me an’ mine
Wi’ mercies temporal and divine,
That I for grace an’ gear may shine,
Excell’d by nane,
And a’ the glory shall be Thine,
Holy Willie’s Prayer. 1785. Robert Burns.
“Election 2015: Ed Miliband resignation imminent as Conservatives win stunning majority”
Today is not a good day.
Not a good day at all.
The People have dealt us a nasty lick.
The vote for common decency – the Labour Party – did not succeed in squaring up to the Right.
Labour leader Ed Miliband is expected to step down later after his party’s disappointing general election showing, the BBC has learned.
Labour suffered heavy losses at the hands of the SNP, with the Tories forecast to achieve a majority.
BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said Mr Miliband was expected to address party staff, with two senior sources saying he would quit.
Shadow chancellor Ed Balls was among the party’s big-name casualties.
It also lost its election campaign chief Douglas Alexander and its leader in Scotland Jim Murphy.
In England the electorate of Eatanswill has returned, like a dog to its vomit, to David Cameron.
In Scotland, the alliance of Holy Willie and Oor Wullie has dealt a blow to more than the Labour Party – it’s hit socialism itself.
Those who imagine that the SNP’s politics of looking after their “ain folk” has managed to strike a blow against the British Imperial state, heralding a new politics of the ‘anti-austerity’ left, in association with Rupert Murdoch, will soon find that reading Tom Nairn is no substitute for the realities of the egoistic and narrow goals of the nationalists.
Farage looks on course to fail to win a seat for UKIP.
If we can draw some further (meager) comfort from the results this is it: George Galloway blames ‘racists and Zionists’ for defeat to Naz Shah in Bradford West.
There must be a lot of racists and Zionists in Bradford West as this was the vote, “The Respect party MP, lost his Bradford West seat with 8,557 votes to Shah’s 19,977.”
So much for the strategy of aligning with Islamism.
There was no breakthrough for the left of the Labour Party.
The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) was, and remains, irrelevant.
Its votes were derisory.
In Ipswich we have this, much more depressing, news, “Election 2015: Ben Gummer increases his majority as he fights off David Ellesmere to hold Ipswich seat.”
Yesterday about 5 pm, as I was passing down Upper Brook Street, there was a street person on a stretcher surrounded by paramedics and Ipswich ‘Rangers’. Walking round the corner, in Dog’s Head Street, one of another group, obviously buzzing on a mixture of illegal and legal highs, asked me for dosh. Back in the Street, entering Sainsbury’s a woman tried to reassure her tiny daughter, “You see things like this in London all the time”.
We’ll see a lot more of that with Cameron’s victory.
I am in the mood to make sure that we fight this every inch of the way.
Respect Mark ll ?
Following Left Unity extraordinary decision to unconditionally back Rabina Khan in the election to replace convicted frauster Lutfur Rahman as Tower Hamlets Mayor, Ian Donovan says, “Left Unity are to be congratulated on this brave and principled political stance.” He noted that this comes as a response to the “to a racist coup against the elected Mayor and council of Tower Hamlets, led by the Tory/Zionist minister Eric Pickles.“
Ian Donovan was expelled from the Weekly Worker group after, “espousal of views that can only be described as anti-Semitic: in his opinion, there is a Jewish “pan-national bourgeoisie”, which has constituted itself as ruling class “vanguard” in key imperialist countries, and it is this that accounts for US support for Israel. ”
Socialist Worker reports today on the immediate background
Mass rally in Tower Hamlets backs Lutfur Rahman, by Annette Mackin.
Over 1,000 people came to a Defend Democracy in Tower Hamlets meeting in east London on Thursday of last week.
It was called after Lutfur Rahman was removed as mayor of Tower Hamlets after an islamophobic witch hunt.
Councillor Alibor Choudhury was also found guilty of “corrupt practices”.
Commissioners have been sent in to run the local authority until a new mayor is elected on 11 June.
Rahman announced that councillor Rabina Khan will stand as an Independent. He said, “The establishment could not win at the ballot box—37,000 residents’ votes have been overturned.”
Other speakers included Salma Yaqoob, Lindsey German from the Stop the War coalition, local trade unionist John McLoughlin, Weyman Bennett, and Andrew Murray from the Unite union.
Socialist Worker has given up bothering to contest in any rational way whether the decisions of the electoral court were based on fact.
It’s all “Islamophobia”.
No doubt all that will cease once the SWP runs voting, supervises the ballot boxes, and local government, on the template they have set for internal party judgements in, say, the ‘Comrade Delta’ case.
East London Lines has its own take on events,
At a public event last Thursday titled “Defend Democracy in Tower Hamlets”, ex-mayor Lutfur Rahman introduced Khan as his Tower Hamlets First party’s new candidate for the position he had formerly held, until he was found guilty on April 23 of “corrupt and illegal practices” and removed from office.
This resulted in some confusion over which party Khan would represent, as Tower Hamlets First was delisted from the register of political parties last Wednesday – the day before the event.
An Electoral Commission spokesperson said the party was delisted because the financial scheme it submitted at the time of registration was not being properly implemented.
However, some residents are sceptical about how independent a candidate Khan will be.
Writing on his website Love Wapping, Mark Baynes referred to Khan as a “puppet” of Tower Hamlets First, saying: “All the bloc votes that were previously used for the benefit of the ex-Mayor are directed towards the new ‘front person’”.
In his judgment in Rahman’s case, Electoral Commissioner Richard Mawrey QC wrote: “The selection of candidates was made by Mr Rahman personally on the basis of the prospective candidate’s commitment to Mr Rahman personally.”
At the event on Thursday, Khan stated that she originally became a councillor because Rahman “gave [her] the confidence and the faith that [she] could do it as a woman.”
Some residents believe electoral fraud has been a recurrent issue for Tower Hamlets.
Stephen Jones, 22, a research assistant from the area, said: “Tower Hamlets has always had problems with vote-rigging, whichever party the MP or mayor represents.”
However, Tower Hamlets resident Peter Perren, a business consultant, said: “If every infraction of [Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act] PPERA was acted on, there’d be no political parties in the UK.”
In a statement on her website, Khan pledged to fight for a style of politics that puts “women, families and ordinary people at the heart of policy and decision-making.”
New political party Left Unity have pledged their support for Khan. In a statement on their website, they said: “She is standing… at a time when the council is being taken over by Tory government agencies [who are] whipping up Islamophobic scare stories.”
Left Unity have called upon those on the political left to support Khan’s campaign.
Mitch Winehouse, father of late singer Amy, has also endorsed Khan’s run for mayor. A Twitter user called @LutfurForMayor tweeted a picture of Winehouse and Khan together today.
Ian Donovan’s views in Winehouse’s ethnic background are, so far unavailable.
Sacha Ismail makes, amongst others, this important point,
Rahman’s left supporters are very bothered about the law preventing “undue spiritual influence” in elections. Counterfire claims that this law was “introduced by the British in Ireland to stop Catholic preachers rallying the Irish! One doesn’t need much imagination to see how this legal relic will be used against Muslims.” In fact, it was introduced by Gladstone, as he was becoming a supporter of Irish Home Rule, and as part of a package of measures which also, for instance, outlawed bribery and checked employers’ ability to coerce their workers to vote a certain way.
Despite the oppressiveness of British rule in Ireland, the law was not used to repress Irish nationalists; cases were brought by more radical and anti-sectarian nationalists against less radical and more sectarian ones (by a Parnellite against an anti-Parnellite nationalist in the Co. Meath case referred to Mawrey). The Catholic Church in Ireland was not an anti-imperialist force! It waged war against the most radical and left-wing nationalists.
And here we come to the fundamental problem with the whole approach of the left. The fact that an organisation has its base in an oppressed community does not necessarily make it progressive. Counterfire (and not only Counterfire) make arguments that tend towards assuming Catholic = anti-imperialist. In the same way, they assume Muslim = anti-imperialist or in this case really left-wing. CF’s John Rees argues that Rahman has been prosecuted “not for what he has done wrong [making cuts], but for what he has done right”. The Socialist Party also implies that all would be well with Tower Hamlets council if only it fought cuts.