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The Rise of Right Wing Identity Politics.

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“‘Identity politics allows the privileged to pretend to be oppressed’” Brendan O’Neill. (Spiked)

Identity politics have become the plaything of the right and an array of confusionnistes. Farewell Woke. Goodbye gender politics. Adieu, Intersexuality. The magnetism of the national neo-liberalism of the British Government, and ;the claims of National Sovereignty have worked their effects. The politics of the identity and, nation, and flag, right wing identity politics are everywhere. There’s even a ‘left’ version, claiming to speak for the ‘real’ working class, not the shifting cosmopolitans of the left,, and a variety of nationalist (SNP) and regionalist forms (Northern Independence Party, NIP).

Post Brexit you would have thought that Sovereigntist politics, left’ or right would have lost traction. But from the pages of Spiked to the launcher of GB News, it’s the right wing, the nationalist populists, who are leaders of the pack.

“Andrew Neil launches 24-hour news channel to rival BBC and Sky.”

Nowhere have the voices of the new identitairians been louder than in the London Mayoral Elections.

From the London mayor: The full list of candidates standing at the 2021 election

Piers Corbyn and the Let London Live movement demand an immediate end to all lockdowns and restrictions imposed on the people in the name of fighting a virus. 

If elected as Mayor of London Piers Corbyn calls on the people to “refuse to abide by coronavirus restrictions on freedom, life and liberty. I will instruct the police to stop enforcement of coronavirus rules and regulations in London. We will stand up as a beacon of hope to the people of the world.”

..the breakthrough for the pandemic industry had to wait for the next opportunity which came in 2020 with the SARS-COV-2 “pandemic”  which they had been preparing by means of simulations and catastrophe planning exercises, like an army prepares for war. …..It is not a conspiracy theory to say that there is no pandemic.

Confusionist, Conspiracist, one-time International Marxist Group activist, and, for term, a Labour Councillor in the 1990s: He has actually got on the ballot.

Piers Corbyn, Let London Live

Peter Gammons United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). There is no need to comment further

Social Democratic Party (SDP), canal historique, now a hard-line pro-Brexit groupuscule:

David Kurten Heritage Party: “a socially conservative political party in the UK, standing for free speech, traditional family values, national sovereignty & financial responsibility.”

This chap, already familiar to our readers:

And, naturally, old matey Fox:

To round it off there’s this, (Spiked) Julie Burchill.

Harry and Meghan can’t hold a candle to Prince Philip

He showed the self-obsessed duo what a life of public service really looks like.

Just as I could never vote Tory until it became clear that this was the only way to get Brexit done, so I could never stand up for the queen’s theme song until Harry and Meghan rocked up with their passion project – ‘The Grabdication’ as I coined it – to make it all about them.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 12, 2021 at 11:27 am

As Turkey Invades Iraq to attack Kurds, Turkish fascists assault Kurdish cultural centre in Lyon.

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Lyon : la dissolution des Loups Gris "s'avère sans effet", selon la Coordination Lyonnaise Solidarité Kurdistan

This lengthy article in the Guardian by Bethan McKernan in Istanbul and Adam Gnych in Amedi, northern Iraq, is heart-rending and through. It is essential reading.

Kurds in ‘mountain prison’ cower as Turkey fights PKK with drones in Iraq

Yesterday there was a sad reminder that supporters of the Turkish state and Erdoğan’s Islamist regime are prepared to extend their violence to Europe. Attackers, said to be from the extreme-right Islamist and nationalist Grey Wolves violently attacked a Kurdish cultural centre in Lyon. Banned in France after they defaced a memorial to the victims of the Armenian genocide, the group is still active.

Quatre membres de la communauté kurde blessés dans une attaque à la Guillotière.

The Mesopotamia cultural space, located on rue Mazagran, was reportedly taken over by 20 to 25 attackers, armed with iron bars, on Saturday at the beginning of the afternoon. Four people were injured.

 It happened very quickly, they broke everything, ”reports a member of the Mesopotamia cultural space, located rue Mazagran, in Lyon 7 th . This place, frequented by members of the Kurdish community, was attacked Saturday, around 2:30 pm, by “twenty to twenty-five” individuals, armed with iron bars, according to this indirect witness. Four people were present inside the small room at the time of the events. All were injured.

The victims are between 30 and 40 years old and had been beaten with baseball bats, iron bars and weapons with blades, according to firefighters.

Commentators already note that banning the fascist organisation the Loups Gris (Grey Wolves), with links to the Turkish state, had not prevented this assault.

Today protests against the fascist attack took place in Lyon. Around 300 people took part. The window of a Turkish grocery shop was broken. The police used tear gas to break up the demonstration.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 4, 2021 at 4:49 pm

Batley Grammar: Two More Members of Staff Suspended.

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The Left and Labour Movement Should Defend Secular Freedom.

LBC:

Two more members of staff at Batley Grammar School have been suspended, it has been reported.

The school had apologised and suspended a teacher pending an investigation following a protest over the cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad being shown in a class last week.

The picture had been used as part of a religious studies lesson, and the teacher involved has since been suspended and gone into hiding with his partner and four children.

It has since emerged two other teachers have also been suspended although this information was not made available to the public.

According to Mail Online, one ‘school source’ said: “Two other teachers are also being investigated but the school has been trying to keep it secret because they don’t want attention being drawn to the fact that this went beyond the actions of one person.”

It is understood they were aware the material was going to be used, but were not in class when it was shown.

LBC continues:

Batley Multi Academy Trust said in statement on Wednesday that an inquiry panel would begin work within a fortnight and said: “We understand everyone will want clarity as soon as possible.”

It said: “We’re grateful for the constructive engagement with all our stakeholders over the last few days with regard to Batley Grammar, one of the schools within our trust.

“We believe the right way forward is for an independent investigation to review the context in which the materials (which caused offence) were used, and to make recommendations in relation to the Religious Studies curriculum so that the appropriate lessons can be learned and action taken, where necessary.”

This Blog does not usually recommend the Weekly Worker, still less ‘Eddie Ford’, although it is well known that many of our section of left contributed to its pages in the past, but one of the best articles on the issues raised is in this week’s edition, (extracts)

Blasphemy laws old and new

Outraged, the local mosque mobilised its supporters, forcing the school to adopt remote learning. Mohammed Hussain of the Batley-based ‘Purpose of Life’ group – a registered charity – declared that the teacher “has insulted two billion Muslims on the planet” and “we cannot stand for that”, sharing the teacher’s name on social media with a letter condemning him. Taking it upon himself to speak for the entire ‘Muslim community’, as so often happens, he went on to state: “We do feel that, if this had been something that offended the LGBT community or something that was anti-Semitic, he would’ve been sacked on the spot.” For Hussain, the teacher’s resignation “should be forthcoming immediately.”

Similar sentiments can be heard from the protestors. One of them was quoted in various media outlets as saying the western world “is at a loss in understanding the reaction” from the Muslim community, as they are “required to stand up when prophet Mohammed is insulted, and when all the prophets are insulted, including all the prophets of the Old Testament, including Jesus” – the British “Muslim community” everywhere needs to review the materials being taught in their children’s schools. Showing images of Mohammed, we are told, should be as unacceptable as using the word ‘nigger’. Just beyond the pale.

This begins with something on everybody’s mind.

The very first thing to say is that this is an extremely serious matter. In October last year Samuel Paty, a school teacher in Paris, was horrifically beheaded after he too showed Charlie Hebdo cartoons during a class about free expression. In that sense, very similar to Batley. It is widely reported that the teacher there, who loved his “fantastic job”, is now in fear for his life – as are his family. He was whisked away from his home on “police advice” after receiving constant death threats. He is unlikely to return to Batley, let alone his job.

Secondly, we should support the immediate reinstatement of the suspended teacher – the lesson was precisely designed, presumably, to elicit critical thinking and philosophical inquiry. In which case, why not show the cartoon? Teachers should be free to show cartoons, pictures or quote texts that are relevant to the subject. After all, how can you conduct a lesson on blasphemy otherwise? Thirdly, Kibble was totally wrong to make his wretched apology – it will only encourage a climate of censorship.

There are wider issues, as religious figures push for the banning of views they dislike.

Many of those protesting outside Batley grammar school, and beyond, want the UK to resurrect its blasphemy laws. The common-law offences of “blasphemy” and “blasphemous libel” were formally abolished in England and Wales in 2008 after an amendment was passed to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.1 

And in Scotland the blasphemy law was only formally abolished this month after the new Hate Crime Bill passed its final parliamentary vote. There is now a new offence of “stirring up hatred” on religious grounds, meaning that Scots could be subject to prosecution if their behaviour is deemed “threatening or abusive”.2 As a consequence, the threshold for prosecution for “stirring up hatred” on religious grounds remains lower than in England and Wales – inevitably having a chilling effect on freedom of expression north of the border. This only leaves Northern Ireland, where blasphemy continues to be an offence under the common law, despite an attempt in the House of Lords to abolish it in 2009.

”””

This Blog covered the SWP line. This is a excellent answer.

According to the SWP, there is “a big difference between ridiculing a religion such as the establishment-backed Church of England and mocking the beliefs of the poor and oppressed” – apparently Islam is above analytical criticism, sceptical questioning, let alone biting humour, and can never be the belief of the rich and powerful. Ignorance in the extreme. Religions are almost always cross-class phenomena. The Church of England unites Elizabeth Windsor and Justin Welby with the worthy poor who huddle in church every Sunday. Roman Catholicism is the religion of Francis I, a bloatedly rich bureaucracy, and huge numbers throughout the Americas, Europe and Africa. The same with Islam. Sunni Islam unites the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the fabulously rich king of Saudi Arabia, with millions throughout the world. The same goes for Shia Islam, the Mormons and Judaism. Vicars, priests, imams and rabbis form a privileged middle class with a material interest in maintaining their hold over their congregations and fuelling hostility to secularism and anything that smacks of criticism.

There are countries with state churches, like England. But more widely it is not just the wealth of the pious religious bourgeoisie behind institutions of faith, right to their most extreme forms. Political Islamism enjoys the financial and political support of capitalist dictatorships, from Saudi Arabia to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The conclusion is absolutely spot on.

We do not want to unnecessarily offend religious people like modern-day zealots from the League of Militant Godless.5 Rather, we want to be freely able to use Marxism to investigate the truths and untruths of religion. Religion is profoundly human – bearing all the characteristics and contradictions of class society. In that sense, as Marx argued, religion is an encyclopaedia of humanity’s complex history.

Lest we forget, this is what actually existing Blasphemy laws are like,

Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer in Pakistan, had been imprisoned for six years when he was sentenced to death in December 2019. The charge: blasphemy, specifically insulting Prophet Muhammad (P.B.H.) on Facebook.

Pakistan has the world’s second strictest blasphemy laws after Iran, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Hafeez, whose death sentence is under appeal, is one of about 1,500 Pakistanis charged with blasphemy, or sacrilegious speech, over the last three decades. No executions have taken place.

But since 1990 70 people have been murdered by mobs and vigilantes who accused them of insulting Islam. Several people who defend the accused have been killed, too, including one of Hafeez’s lawyers and two high-level politicians who publicly opposed the death sentence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman convicted for verbally insulting Prophet Muhammad. Though Bibi was acquitted in 2019, she fled Pakistan.

Opinion: Is Pakistan’s blasphemy law a result of the ulema-state alliance?

Written by Andrew Coates

April 2, 2021 at 11:33 am