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Shamima Begum: accused of responsibilities to face up to, she has rights.

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Was Begum a member of the  Isis all-female Al-Khansaa Brigade, who enforced women’s dress rules?

This has caught the headlines.

Shamima Begum: IS bride ‘given legal aid’ for citizenship fight

BBC.

Legal aid has been granted for Shamima Begum – who joined the Islamic State group aged 15 – to fight the decision to revoke her UK citizenship.

The 19-year-old, who left east London in 2015, was stripped of her citizenship in February, after she was found in a Syrian refugee camp.

Her family has previously said it planned to challenge the decision.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the Legal Aid Agency’s decision to assist Ms Begum made him “very uncomfortable”.

Legal aid is financial assistance provided by the taxpayer to those unable to afford legal representation themselves, whether they are accused of a crime or a victim who seeks the help of a lawyer through the court process.

It is means-tested and availability has been cut back significantly in recent years.

This Blog agrees with this statement:

The I’ . Florence Sneed reports, nevertheless has also reported on  this:

Shamima Begum: Isis bride ‘was discipline enforcer for group’s morality police’

Shamima Begum, who left London aged 15 to join Isis, served in the terror group’s “morality police” to help enforce strict rules among female members, according to reports.

Ms Begum is said to have been allowed to carry a Kalashnikov rifle and earned a reputation for being a strict “enforcer” on issues such as women’s clothing.

The teenager, who is now 19, previously said she was “just a housewife” after being tracked down to a Syrian refugee camp earlier this year.

But sources have said she had a paid role as an enforcer of discipline in which she likely ordered the imprisonment and lashing of women in Raqqa, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

It reported that Ms Begum is also thought to have been actively trying to recruit other women across Europe during her time in city.

Other reports suggest the teenager – who has since been stripped of her British citizenship – went as far as preparing suicide vests and sewing them on to would-be bombers.

The Independent added this detail,

One activist quoted by the newspaper said Begum had been seen holding an automatic weapon and shouting at Syrian women in the city of Raqqa for wearing brightly coloured shoes.

“Members of our group from Raqqa knew her well,” said Aghiad al-Kheder, an activist from Deir ez-Zor who founded an anti-Isis collective that published information about Isis crimes from sources on the ground.

This leads to the following report, (Independent)

Isis: British women led by Aqsa Mahmood ‘running sharia police unit for Islamic State in Syria’

The ICSR says it monitors 25 British female jihadists who have left their lives in the UK to support Isis.

The brigade’s women are reportedly paid a monthly salary of 25,000 Syrian Pounds (roughly £100), says TRAC, for duties that are not involved with acts of terror – instead insurgency operations.

They are not the only all-female brigade, either, with another – Umm Al-Rayan – also created around the same time.

Security services believe that it is likely that the women will know the true identity of ‘Jihadi John’, the Isis fighter believed to be the person responsible for the beheading of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

According to Syria Deeply, the al-Khansaa brigade has also been tasked with cracking down on civilian women who fail to abide by the ultra-strict brand of sharia law implemented by Isis, including that women be fully covered in public and be chaperoned by a male.

An Isis official in Raqqa reportedly said: “We have established the brigade to raise awareness of our religion among women, and to punish women who do not abide by the law.

“There are only women in this brigade, and we have given them their own facilities to prevent the mixture of men and women.”

These are serious charges which Begum must face up to.

It will be interesting to hear the response from this quarter.

Shamima Begum said that at the time she had accepted Isis’s line that the Manchester bombing was justified as form of retaliation. But she went on to say that it wasn’t “fair” on the women and children killed in Mancheser.

And she suggested there was an equivalence between the Manchester bombing and the mass murder by the West in the Middle East.

Certainly it is utterly hypocritical to hear denunciations of violence from those who backed mass slaughter in Iraq and Afghanistan, urged on the devastation of Libya and support the bombing and starving of Yemen.

The West is responsible for the horrors of Isis. Had it not been for its imperialist wars in the Middle East, there would have been no Isis for Shamima Begum and her school friends to join.

Many liberals fall into the trap of seeing a division between “good” and “bad Muslims”—such as Shamima Begum who deserve to feel the full force of the law. But any Muslim that dares to question British foreign policy is considered to be a “bad Muslim” by the British state.

Socialist Worker. 20th of February 2019.

Begum, if the case against her is proved, was an active participant in genocide.

There is no doubt whatsoever about the nature of the mass killings carried our by Daesh.

Only the politically confused can try to excuse the genociders of ISIS and aided by the Islamic Morality Police by pointing to the crimes of Western powers.

Only hypocrites and liars can throw responsibility for their crimes onto ‘the West’. 

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Written by Andrew Coates

April 15, 2019 at 12:05 pm

John Rees (Counterfire/People’s Assembly/Stop the War Coalition) Compares anti-Brexit March to “mild (as yet)” “mass fascist or populist right wing” movement.

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Clive Lewis and Lloyd Russell-Moyle “Angry Middle Class moblised for its own purposes by sections of the elite”.

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John Rees is a leader of the groupuscule, Counterfire, a split from the Socialist Workers Party. He is a national officer for the Stop the War Coalition (STWC) and a key figure in the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

Counterfire has worked with many groups and individuals, as part of what they pretentiously call “united fronts”, including George Galloway of the Respect Coalition and Andrew Murray, now an adviser to the Labour Leader on Brexit.

Recently they have engaged with the Full Brexit, an alliance of the Family Faith and Flag Blue Labour, the Communist Party of Britain, writers for Spiked, left “magic money” Sovereigntists, and bee-in-bonnet anti European Union loud-mouths. Two of the groups involved, Labour Leave, and Trade Unionists Against the EU, have received money from hard-right millionaire, Arron Banks.

Feyzi Ismail from Counterfire spoke at their hundred strong Rally in London this Monday.

Rees, and Lindsey German, have close links with Jeremy Corbyn, including a long history of joint work in the StWC.

Rees claims to be inspired by revolutionary Marxism.

A revolutionary organisation remains the indispensable tool for overcoming the unevenness in working-class consciousness, maximising the effectively of working-class struggler recalling the lessons of past victories and defeats, and educating and leading workers in struggle. Formed from the working class by working-class people to help generalise and organise the struggle of the whole class it is itself a dialectical organism. Without the struggle to build such an organisation, the danger remains that the dialectic of capitalist development will remain blind or destructive; but if the struggle to build such and organisation is successful, we have a change – more, not less power – to make the leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom.”

Page 302 The Algebra of Revolution. The Dialectics and the Classical Marxist Tradition. John Rees. Routledge 1998.

With these arms in hand Rees has seen fit to advise Labour on strategy.

In February this year he wrote,

Corbynistas! Up your game, or lose the game

….Jeremy Corbyn, who has historically held an anti-EU position only altered under pressure from the right wing in the first days of his leadership, and now aware that Labour would lose the next general election if Labour deserts the very large number of Leave voters, is embattled at the head of his party.

One way of improving Labour’s prospects would be to face down the remainers and second referendumers. All the placatory talk of Labour being a broad church which can accommodate diametrically opposed views is doing nothing to quell the determination on the part of the remain right-wingers to see the end of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

..

At a moment when the Parliamentary system is manifestly failing, when every dog in the street knows that the government is willing to sacrifice the interest of ordinary citizens on the altar of Tory party unity, why would any left-wing organisation simply play by the Parliamentary rules?

Mass activity can never be a ladder which activists climb and then kick away once leadership has been attained.

The Labour Party and the trade unions should have by now called a second demonstration to ram home to the political establishment the simple message that voters will not tolerate a government which flouts every day democratic norms to stay in power no matter how many votes it loses in the House of Commons.

Call the rallies now. Send left leaders of the movement out to address them. Call a mass national demonstration now. Call on every Labour movement organisation to build for it. Break the bounds of the Parliamentary deadlock and give ordinary people the chance to shift the political spectrum to the left, open up the path to a general election, and win a left Labour victory.

The People’s Assembly held such a march earlier this year on the 11th of January.

Barely noticed, a  few thousand strong, it ended in confusion and fisticuffs between far-right Yellow Jackets and the ‘real’ Yellow Jackets of the demonstration (Hundreds of protesters have joined a ‘yellow vest-inspired’ anti-austerity march through central London this afternoon. The demonstration is organised by The People’s Assembly Against Austerity, which is calling for a general election. Metro.)

Understandably Rees is pleased when the only mass activity in sight has been the campaign for the People’s Vote.

He could have followed Socialist Worker which today describes the call for a Second Referendum by last Saturday million strong march, an ” anti-democratic outrage”.

Rees goes further.

He begins with claims that the march was set up by the wealthy to further the aims of the “overwhelming majority of big capital”.

It is a “middle class movement” with a “vanishingly small” union presence (where it was before it began to vanish is not described).

It is a “variant” of a “mild (as yet)” mass fascist or populist right wing” groundswell.

In other words, confusionist words, the Counterfire leader claims that the gentle anti-Brexit protesters  are manipulated by big business, the “elite”, “grandees” the “high Establishment” into something, which the expert in Dialectical Algebra can see: the beginnings of a “mass fascist or populist movement”.

Rees lectures, in the stentorian tones of somebody who he has spent his entire life in universities, that one should have a “respectful and engaged tone” to some of the demonstrators.

Like calling them part of a proto-fascist movement….

Perhaps Labour MP Clive Lewis could answer the learned dialetician best.

This is a racist Brexit, not fit for the 21st century but for the 19th century. That’s what it represents – deregulation, low taxes, imperialism 2.0. Don’t quote me on that: quote the former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.

..

One of the other things you might know as well is this. There aren’t that many black MPs supporting Brexit. Do you know why? We’ve got a bit of a spider sense when it comes to shit like this. We can see that Brexit wasn’t going to end well for us, for black people, when it has targeted EU migrants. EU visitors here – welcome, welcome comrades. You are comrades, not a bargaining chip.

..

I’m not talking about “Remain and reform”. I’m talking about “Rebel and transform”, to turn Europe into a global entity that can tackle climate change and rebuild this world.

Speech at the Left Bloc Rally at the start of the 23 March People’s Vote anti-Brexit demonstration. The Clarion.

 

Christchurch Massacre, Some Bad Responses from the Left.

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Incredibly moving: New Zealand mosque shooting: Children perform impromptu haka in tribute to murdered classmates

Would that we could say the same about the response from some on the British left.

“It seems beyond doubt that what did motivate the killer”, writes Lindsey German, the Convener of the Stop the War Coalition, “and his potential accomplices was precisely the ideology of fascism and far right ideas, which have at their centre the scapegoating of minorities of various sorts, but also the destruction of any kind of left political presence, the eradication of the trade unions, and the promotion of ‘white culture’ as superior to any other.”

We get no further than these recycled truisms,  in describing the ideas behind this murder’s attack in Socialist Worker, “He declared himself an “eco-fascist” most inspired by Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists in the 1930s.” Tomáš Tengely-Evans

While the SWP blames a “climate of Islamophobia” German puts the origins in capitalism, which apparently, always has a “pre-eminent form of racism”. Without explaining how private ownership and the free market, or neo-liberalism,  selected this form, the Counterfire leader  continues, ” the mainstream politicians and media who have spent the last decade and more attacking Muslims on a regular basis, decrying their dress and eating habits, declaring them subscribers to a uniquely violent and pro-terrorist religion, and using the horrific grooming cases to attribute blame to Muslim men in general.” The conclusion, “Islamophobia is encouraged and sometimes orchestrated by states, governments, police forces, and in this sense is the major racism in Europe and North America.”  (Capitalism always has a pre-eminent form of racism; it’s our task to identify, locate and defeat it, argues Lindsey German.)

The massacre in Christchurch is, to German,  the product of Islamophobia. – fear of Islam, a religion.

Apparently this  is “no accident”.

Are we surprised when all this happens that some of the filth becomes a motivator for those who are willing to use physical violence to kill Muslims, and to justify it in the name of the ‘clash of civilisations’ or ‘preserving western culture’? Are we surprised also when, having waged war on Muslim countries for close on two decades, western societies have to demonise the people whose countries they have invaded and occupied?

One of the best known faces of the Stop the War Coalition  therefore dispenses with the need to look at the ideology of Brenton Tarrant, he is just the vehicle of greater forces. The Great Replacement, the ‘anti-imperialist’ Red-Brown Identitarian ideas of the killer (very far from reducible to concern about Islam), are, ignored. For the SWP,  his ideas, after being related to Oswald Mosley by the SWP, are, equally reduced to the “climate” of hostility, not just to people, but to a religion.

While it the way they underlined ideology seemed a step forward to see ideas being taken seriously, as a material force, two steps backwards for German and it’s all down to capitalism.

But how exactly does capitalism generate hatred of Muslims?

The revolutionary socialist will doubtless reply that Islamophobia is a product of Western military interventions, which are, it goes without saying, led by capitalist countries. Few would even begin to account for prejudices, or organised hatred,, such as anti-Semitism, in such terms.

Above all can the present clashes in the Middle East be understood through the classical ‘anti-imperialist’ angle?

Let’s take the most recent case: is the Assad regime and the civil war in Syria a product of the ‘West’?

Rohini Hensman suggests that the attempt to overthrow Assad by democratically inspired revolt, is key:

 …neo-Stalinist anti-imperialists and their followers refused to treat the Syrian revolution on par with the Egyptian revolution, although both were part of the wave of Arab uprisings. Instead, they assimilated it to the model of ‘regime change’ employed by the US in Iraq! This is a position that reeks of racism: Apparently Syrians are backward savages incapable of wanting to throw off a brutal regime that was looting and oppressing them, and therefore the uprising must have been orchestrated by Obama using ISIS, which he sponsored. This was the story peddled by Assad’s and Putin’s media and repeated by Trump, and, in a watered-down version by the likes of Seumas Milne, who, I recently discovered, was part of a hardcore Stalinist faction in the CPGB which welcomed Soviet tanks in Czechoslovakia. The same media are behind the demonisation of the White Helmets, the rescue workers digging survivors out of the rubble after bombing raids by Syrian and Russian warplanes.

Inconsistent Anti-Imperialism, Selective Solidarity

German’s Stop the War Coalition (StWC) dutifully reflected the Seumas Milne Line.

If that’s not enough to morally disqualify them,  German completely ignores the independent agency of the Kurds, who, without any other help, have called on US aid, to defeat the Islamist genociders of the Islamic State.

A little bit of modesty would lead her, and her comrades, to reflect on the victims of these people, perhaps the Yazidis.

The book  Long Shot: My Life As a Sniper in the Fight Against ISIS (2019) by  Azad Cudi is a heartbreaking, account of resistance to the Jihadist murderers by the Kurdish fighters, from the embattled heroism of the defenders of Kobanî to the present day fight in what is now the  Syrian Democratic Forces SDF.

This lonely fight continues, under the immediate threat of Turkish and now Syrian army attack.

German might have a sliver of credibility if she took account of the autonomous struggle of such heroic people against the Islamist genociders.

Would she even dare..

All we have got to hear the same old line, already churned out so many times in the past it’s easy to know it.

This what German said about the London and Manchester Jihadist murders in 2017.

This climate of racism here in the UK, and elsewhere in Europe, is only helping to create a vicious circle where Islamophobia leads to a growth in extremism and terrorism, which in turn leads to more Islamophobia. It is a circle which can only be broken by a concerted campaign against both war and Islamophobia.

War, Terrorism & Islamophobia: Breaking The Vicious Circle. Lindsey German

In other words, it’s not the fault of the terrorist murderers, but of Islamophobia and Western interventions.

We have to campaign against “war” – including the Kurdish resistance? – and hostility to a religion.

Nothing about the need for building solidarity amongst the peoples of the world, nothing about being against all racism, including that of the Islamist genociders.

The following looks a better way to begin to look at some of these issues,.

In discussing Rohini Hensman’s book Ralph Leonard says,

In her final section, Rohini offers some suggestions as to how to fight back against the scourge of neo-Stalinism and neo-fascism and form an alternative, independent and more consistent democratic and internationalist politics: by pursuing and telling the truth; bringing morality and humanity back into politics; reasserting the value of the global struggle for democracy; placing internationalism center stage and pressuring global institutions like the UN to promote human rights and democracy.

I agree with all of this. My only minor criticism would be that we should not rely on international institutions like the EU and the UN to be agents of social and political change. These institutions, as they currently exist, are not fit for purpose and need to be radically changed, or replaced with alternative institutions born of popular struggles. Nevertheless, I very much agree with Hensman, particularly about the importance of internationalism. In this second age of globalization, capitalism is a well and truly global phenomenon and the economies of nations are more integrated than ever before. This means that any potential progressive anti-capitalist movement would also have to be a global movement, especially since an international working class now truly exists, far more so than in the days of Marx and Engels.

Book Review: “Indefensible” by Rohini Hensman – The Left and “pseudo anti-imperialism”

 

 

The Christchurch Murderer, the Ideology of Identity and the Great Replacement.

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Brendon Tarrant’s ‘Manifesto’.

The word is still reeling at the Christchurch atrocities.

Solidarity is the first, and best, response.

Yet it is becoming clear that the killer was more than just a “extremist right-wing violent terrorist”.

Tarrant has an ideology.

In the manifesto he states that he was previously a “communist“, an “anarchist“, and a “libertarian“, but then turned to “racist” views and became an “eco-fascist” concerned with global warming. Though he rejected the label of Nazism, The American Conservative comments that his political ideology matches national socialism and that he despised capitalism while idolizing China. It comments he only sees Christianity’s value in uniting Europe. Tarrant also laments the moral breakdown of the West. The manifesto includes references to high-profile right-wing figures and Internet memes and encourages people online who agree with the shooting to spread his message and to create more memes. These elements, along with the live-streamed video—in which its viewers had cheered the attack on—gave the appearance that the attack was influenced by internet trolling. This is further supported by the perpetrator’s reasoning for his choice of weapon; he believed it would violently escalate the American gun control debate and cause civil war in the United States.[52][53][54][55] He supports return of racial segregation in the United States. The manifesto ends with neo-Nazi symbols above two images.

Wikipedia. (More directly from the Manifesto below)

The text talks of “mass immigration” and “higher fertility rates” of immigrants.

The clearly indicates the most important strand in the Manifesto, beginning with the title, is the Great Replacement.

This is the ideology, developed by the French writer, Renaud Camus, that European white people are being “replaced” by others. His best known book is Le Grand Remplacement (2011).

The hysteria this idea has generated can be seen on this site,

The Great Replacement is very simple. You have one people, and in the space of a generation, you have a different people. Renaud Camus

The Great Replacement (French: Le grand remplacement) is a term originally coined by a French writer Renaud Camus who first used it to describe the demographic replacement happening in France due to its mass immigration policies and low birth rates among the native French.

The same term can be applied to many other European peoples both in Europe and abroad – from Germany, to England, to the United States, which all have below replacement birth rates and migration policies that pose an existential threat. Of all the different races of people on this planet, only the European races are facing the possibility of extinction in a relatively near future.

This is highlighted by the French media: La théorie du « grand remplacement », de l’écrivain Renaud Camus aux attentats en Nouvelle-Zélande (le Monde).

Camus claims that the term is an adaption from Brecht, “Would it not be easier In that case for the government To dissolve the people And elect another?” While his main influence is more diffuse, and wide ranging, he has had some political involvement. Camus was part of a micro-party  French political parties often have ‘allies’ which essentially exist to i) create the impression of a ‘broad front’ ii) be a way of getting extra spending through without running over limits) ” SIEL (Souveraineté, identité et libertés, was one, under the wing of the Front National, now Rassemblement Nationalin their broad front, Rassemblement bleu Marine.

SIEL is now, after an obscure row, largely centred on the virulence of some of their declarations, independent and linked to the Identitarian movement, anchored clearly on the extreme right. They *claimed* (dubiously) to be running a European List this year.  This month Camus won a case against somebody who had called him an anti-Semite. The judgement rested on the lack of detail in the charge, and he was awarded only 1000 Euros in damages. (13.3.19 La justice donne raison à Renaud Camus face à Yann Moix).

This hallucinatory picture of a declining Europe is reinforced by Tarrant’s hostility to Muslim people.

He talks of “foreign invaders”, and this (The Manifesto of Brenton Tarrant – a right-wing terrorist on a Crusade)

He is (as in the image above) ‘anti-imperialist’ as well, expressing an admiration for China.

But the heart of the work is hatred, from an angry man, and more hatred, for Immigration to the West.

 

Camus denies any responsibility:

French ‘Great Replacement’ writer denounces ‘appalling’ NZealand attack

As he tweeted today:

Camus denies any connection with the atrocity. France 24.

“I am totally non-violent,” the 72-year-old Camus told AFP, saying the arrested 28-year-old Australian suspect had committed “appalling, criminal, disastrous and idiotic terrorist acts”.

“If he wrote a pamphlet titled ‘The Great Replacement” it’s blatant plagiarism… of a phrase that doesn’t belong to him and he doesn’t understand,” said Camus.

The writer, who is also a gay rights activist, lives in a 14th-century chateau in southwest France.

Yet, he has just drawn attention to the ” crime against humanity” that is immigrant presence and the “genocide” that is the great replacement.

Both the BBC and Channel Four have underlined the link between the ideology of the Manifesto, Camus’ Great Replacement, and Identitarian politics.

The latter, which is movement across Europe, with some US links, stands for white European cultural (and racial) Identity. The French wing, Les Identitaires which puts their ideas forward more clearly than the English language Wikipedia version does, their ideas join together (itnrseciotnallty as it were)

Disgust with materialism, consumerism, and the exploitation of workers by big international capital, hostility to the non-representative character of the French electoral system, and the take over of democracy by oligarchies, hostility to American hegemony and Islamic imperialism, opposition to mass race mixing and the charge of permanent guilt to Europeans, a rejection of Paris run Jacobin centralisation , a refusal to bow to ready-made thinking enforced by intellectual terrorism.

It goes without saying, though apparently not noticed by BBC’s Newsnight, that this movement (mouvance, in the sense of its broad current)  is linked to acts of violence.

 Racisme, violence, salut nazi… Un journaliste a infiltré Génération identitaire et le bar La citadelle à Lille. (3 months ago).

 

Harry’s  Place  comments,

We have watched as politics of “Identity” has taken over our academic institutions, our media, our civic structures and non-governmental organisations, mostly co-opted, colonised or cajoled by the far-Left. This poured fuel on the last burning embers of the far-Right and it now threatens to ignite a conflagration, from corners of Eastern Europe, to the streets of Paris, all the way to the most unlikely place on earth: New Zealand.

When progressive politics stresses above all else the primacy and priority of race, religion, gender, and so on, is it any wonder the far-Right – which has a century or more of practice in this despicable arena rises to the challenge? You can’t have relentless the prodding and sniping at ‘heterosexual white males” without expecting a countervailing extreme to emerge again, especially since the cloaks and mantles of previous far-Right movements are lying on the ground for a new breed of maniac to pick up. Such is the dynamics of reciprocal radicalisation.

The problem is that identitarian politics and the influence of Renaud Camus are more extensive than the list cited.

In The Strange Death of Europe. Immigration, Identity, Islam ( Bloomsbury. 2017) Douglas Murray says that Europe is committing suicide, its “civilisation” is committing suicide. There are two reasons, “the mass movement of peoples into Europe.” And “lost faith in its beliefs, traditions and legitimacy.”(Pages 2 – 3) The continent has decided to become a “u-topia”, a no place.

Douglas, who refers to Camus, says “migration, “we are not after all such great melting pots that anything and anyone can be endlessly poured in with the results always coming out the same.”(Page 310) “We do not want our politicians, through weakness, self-hatred, malice, tiredness or abandonment to change our home into an utterly different place.”(Page 320)

This is Murray’s background:

Associate director of the Henry Jackson Society Former director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, Educated at Benedict’s school Eaton Collage, and Magdalen College Oxford..

Just as writers such as Gilles Kepel have, rightly, traced the links between some forms of political Salafism and Jihadist violence  (Terreur dans l’Hexagone: Genèse du djihad français. 2015, see Le jihadisme, passage à l’acte du salafisme) we are entitled to ask questions about those who have indulged Camus’ tirades. Identitarian and Great Replacement ideology are some of the conditions for the activist turn to the violent far right. The alternative account of jihadist violence, by Olivier Roy, as a “nihilist” spasm by desperate people, (Le Djihad et la Mort, 2016) looks an unfruitful angle from which to gain an insight into the atrocities in Christchurch.

George Galloway: My Name is Legion, “I am the ex-Mayor of Sunderland. I am Chris Williamson MP. I am Asa Winstanley. I am Marc Wadsworth. I am Jackie Walker. I am Tony Greenstein. I am Ken Livingstone…..”

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George Galloway Has Writ a Poem.

Hat-tip Heg.

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.

10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.

12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.

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The Gadarene Swine.

Alas, there are many who would jest at Galloway’s Moving Poem.

George Galloway slammed for absolutely ludicrous tweet

Thanks R for the below:

 

We all know who Greenstein and most of the others are:

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "tony greenstein nazi bitch"

But the mystery of the appearance of one of these names is only now cleared up:

Labour suspends Electronic Intifada blogger Asa Winstanley, who called JLM ‘Israeli embassy proxy’

Mr Winstanley, who is prominent on Twitter, was suspended after it emerged he was a member.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 8, 2019 at 4:50 pm

From the Anti-Imperialism of Fools to Anti-Semitism?

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Image result for anti semitism the socialism of fools

 

The Far Right, the Left, and Anti-Semitism

A Very Public Sociologist.

Phil was one of the first people on the left to signal out, in 2015,  the The Anti-Imperialism of Fools.

Its main feature was to support anything “against” imperialism, primarily the USA.

a certain intellectual dishonesty about their positions. Stop the War write op-eds that, let’s be generous, white wash the enemies of the US and UK, but do not link it with a clear intellectual framework for making sense of these position-takings. For the uninitiated, it suggests opposition to Britain’s wars is a gateway into apologising for some of the most disgusting regimes and terror groups on the planet. Therefore to understand the politics of Stop the War, one must delve a little into political history.

Yet Stop the War has more or less carried on as if none of this has happened, as if the USA is the only active agent in the world and – implicitly – the designs and manoeuvres of rival states and enemies are benign or, at least, less harmful. This is why Putin never gets as much stick as Obama, why leading members of its steering committee have occasionally associated with sundry undesirables, why the Kurds get no support while IS are clumsily and favourably compared with the International Brigades. It’s why it appears that authoritarians and totalitarians get a free pass while democratic countries are criticised and mobilised against.

Over the weekend he has developed this point, making clear his own opposition to “Israel’s racist despoiling of the Palestinians”and support for “pro-Palestinian politics.”

Phil begins by observing that,

“One thing very few people on the left seem willing to admit is that since 2003 the anti-war movement here has been subject to a process of infiltration by currents of opinion, and sometimes organised groups, behaving like the local representatives of the British far right.”

There is no doubt a lot more to say about  Netanyahu, and Israel.

But this is a post about the British left.

A key strand since 2015, and which this Blog has called, following the French example, “confusionism”, is the way that conspiracy thinking has crept into this “anti-imperialism”.

In 2003-5, this was mainly about opinions. In particular, there was a current of opinion within the movement, which grew stronger the occupation of Iraq went on, to say that 9/11 was an American inside job. That strand of opinion was assisted, inevitably, by the need for people – who were against the war – to find websites which would give an honest, objective account of what was actually happening in Iraq. This meant disassociating from mainstream media, going to anti-war news sites. In the US a large number of these sites were hosted by the so-called “libertarian” right and saw no reason against promoting conspiracy theories, 9/11 Truth accounts, etc. Movements such as Stop the War did try to keep these sort of opinions out – banning them from our platforms, etc. But this was a matter of silent gatekeeping – the left didn’t like to admit we had a problem in a movement we led – we would never say openly that we were worried about X or Y Stop the War group. The only time when the left in Stop the War came out publicly against the right was George Monbiot who in two Guardian pieces tore into the 9/11 Truth movement. In retrospect, that was a sign of the sorts of difficulties the left has been having in 2018-19: not least in the very many people who saw themselves on the left but posted in the Guardian comment threads criticising Monbiot.

That’s to say nothing of those in recent days ranting about the ‘Zionist’ media attacking Corbyn….

Or this, from conspi Rachel Swindon:

Phil then focuses on anti-Semitism.

Like the “conventional” far right, today’s anti-war anti-semites have grown through a process of individual activists building up a social media infrastructure which at a certain point they have monetised on YouTube, Patreon, etc, enabling previously isolated individuals to become full-time organisers on behalf of a certain political argument.

Probably most of my friends haven’t heard of them but that doesn’t meant they haven’t been able to achieve an influence much larger than they deserve.

A typical individual is Vanessa Beeley who was at one stage associated with an anti-war group in Frome, but has built up a Twitter following of 40,000 people which she uses to applaud dictators everywhere – Assad, Putin. And to say that the people she dislikes are in the pay of the Jews.

This, and Beeley to the fore, has been the subject of many posts here and on other critical left Blogs.

Williamson, who has praised Beeley, is a good example of indulgence towards this conspi thinking

The point about Williamson is that over the last 12 months he has liked the social media accounts of each of the four people/groups I’ve just mentioned, used his own social media to boost their profile, and treated them like the allies in a shared political project which he undoubtedly regards them to be. In so far as this part of the far right has a “shield” in official politics, he provides it.

Every time someone points out to Williamson that he is promoting anti-semites he goes through the same cycle of denial, insisting that his allies are good socialists being unfairly targeted for their views on Israel, belated admission, apology, promises not to do it again.

Perhaps some trying to justifying Williamson will disagree, violently, but to this writer it’s a fair summing up.

As indeed Comrade Dave Osler does in the Independent.

Once house room is granted to such relentlessly self-preening charlatans as Vanessa Beeley, Gilad Atzmon and David Icke, it’s a perilously short step to political judgments centred on the shoddy output of propaganda-driven state broadcasters, half-arsed alt-left websites and the crankier fringes of the Trot diaspora.

Before you ask, this isn’t a snipe from the right. I’m a long-standing lefty who has proudly donated to Jeremy Corbyn’s electoral efforts and knocked on doors for John McDonnell and Diane Abbott for many years.

Nor do I wish to exaggerate the extent of the problem. Thankfully this nonsense remains predominantly the province of a few hundred headbangers on social media, although even that minimal degree of traction feeds the Daily Mail with “vile Labour Twitter troll” stories as if by conveyor belt.

But branding the White Helmets Israeli stooges, or postulating a Rothschild Zionist grip on global central banking, is just the type of dimwitted aperçu that ensured antisemitism renewed circulation among radical young people during the anti-globalisation and Occupy movements, and sometimes emerge in the real world.

As Trotsky himself used to note, with a scratch comes the danger of gangrene. In a climate where 2.6 million Britons think the Holocaust was a myth, no potential Labour standard-bearer should get away with posting offensively photoshopped pictures of the gates of Auschwitz, on any pretext whatsoever.

Tom Watson is right to brand incidents like that a cause for deep shame. So it’s pleasing that Labour left figures such as Jon Lansman are on the case, as demonstrated by the excellent Rothschild Conspiracy Exposed video released by Momentum last week.

Meanwhile, matters are compounded in some quarters by wilful refusal to engage with current affairs, especially in other countries, which comes as an inevitable corollary of making the very words “mainstream media” a dread insult.

Put simply, the Beeb, The Economist and Financial Times have serious sources in Venezuela and Syria; one-man blogs written from bedrooms reeking of hamster urine do not.

Less of The Canary and more Marx: How Labour should deal with the conspiracism in its midst.

Confusion can naturally spread further as this indicates.

This is where ‘taking sides’ can lead.

But anti-Semitism seems to be at its heart.

Note this from the Gilets Jaunes protests this weekend.

The Left’s long history of antisemitism

The hard-Left’s division of the world into good and bad makes it blind to its own racism.

With ready-made tropes about Jewish world domination never more than a few clicks away online, populist ‘anti-elitism’ rhetoric – of either the Left or Right – easily lends itself to antisemitism. Portray capitalism as a sinister cabal of individuals controlling the economy, and antisemites invoke long-standing tropes about Jews controlling the banks.

As a recent paper on European antisemitism put it, prejudice against Jews is “residual yet perpetual”. A 2009 survey found that 31% of Europeans blamed Jews for the global economic crisis.

This is a good starting point, but the rest of the piece is not so easy to digest.

It is true that groupuscules who run bodies such as Labour Against the Witch-hunt have encouraged a climate in which anti-Semitism  and anti-Zionism (itself an ambiguous term) have sometimes run together.

But there is much to contest in the claim that there is some kind of “long history” to left anti-Semitism. We can begin from the fact that our glorious dead, Jean Jaurès onwards, fought tooth and nail against anti-semitism at a time when a parallel populist confusionism reigned in the minds of some on the left.

Nor can Corbyn be blamed for something with the deeper roots that Phil, and others (this Blog for example), have traced.

It was the Marxist, August Bebel who popularised the expression,  Anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools,  (Der Antisemitismus ist der Sozialismus der dummen Kerle”.

Today there are many on the British ‘hard’ left who are fighting anti-Semitism tooth and nail, and stand with comrade Jon Lansman on the issue.

No photo description available.

 

 

On the French left this spirit is very far from dead:

Le non-sujet de l’antisémitisme à gauche – Pour une critique radicale de l’antisémitisme.

BRENNI CamillaKRICKEBERG MemphisNICOLAS-TEBOUL LéaZOUBIR Zacharias

Labour Split: Brexit and Beyond.

with 19 comments

” possibility that they have nothing to offer but anti-Corbynism and vacuous centrism..” (Labour List)

 

Labour split: Jeremy Corbyn faces major crisis as deputy leader warns more MPs are ready to quit party

Jeremy Corbyn faces a historic Labour rupture after being warned that more MPs are ready to follow the seven who dramatically quit his party on Monday.

The leader publicly appealed for unity while his supporters launched savage attacks on the MPs, branding them “cowards”, “traitors” and “splitters” and demanding they give up their seats.

But as the crisis deepened, deputy leader Tom Watson said other MPs are also considering leaving Labour, a party he admitted he sometimes no longer recognises, amid visceral anger over antisemitism, Brexit and Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

Independent

The first response to the 7 resignations and the creation of the Independent Group in Parliament should – this comes in the realm of the bleeding obvious – be temperate.

In this vein, “We at Open Labour view the split from the Labour Party as a step backwards for open politics within Labour, and for the communities our party represents. Many of those splitting away have served Labour for years, so we thank them for their work and wish them well, though we disagree with their decision.”

By contrast, the response  to the resignations shows some of the left at their worst.

Screams of ‘traitors’, as the Independent reports,  are likely to be welcomed by the new Parliamentary group.

They confirm their charge of intolerance and hatred.

The Napoleon of Counterfire, John Rees, writes,

Good that the splitters have gone, but this is a dangerous moment for the left, argues John Rees

What all this means is that the Labour left is faced with a choice: do you want a genuine left-wing workers’ party, or do you want to continue the losing battle to hold together a traditional Social Democratic party which contains right-wing, pro-capitalist, pro-imperialist, MPs?

No, NO!

This should be the moment when the entire Labour left, including the leadership around Jeremy Corbyn, decisively strikeout to recreate Labour as a genuine socialist party.

Perhaps Rees, experienced in creating a genuine workers’ parties, from the SWP to George Galloway’s Respect, should be appointed an adviser to Corbyn.

The next issue is to focus on the most important aspect: this break-away weakens efforts to stop the Tory Brexit.

Not only by grabbing attention for the split.

Concern at the influence of forces hostile to left-wing internationalism, that is, the pro-Brexit wing in Labour, can hardly have an effect outside the Party.

The damage caused by the looming threat of Brexit is already major:

Finally, is the controversy about anti-Semitism going to disappear?

The respected Mayor of London commented yesterday,

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he is deeply distressed by the Labour split, but admitted the party has been “shockingly poor” at dealing with anti-Semitism.

The Labour Party has been shockingly poor at addressing the issue of antisemitism over the last few years. We know that there are members of the Labour Party who have joined who have clearly anti-Semitic views, or have been in our party for some time and have clearly anti-Semitic views, the Labour Party hasn’t acted swiftly enough to kick them out.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON

But he said he believed the Labour divide will make it more difficult for the party to be elected to govern.

History tells us that when the Labour Party splits, it leads to the Conservative Party winning the next election and the one after that and the one after that. What people I care about need is a Labour Government. One thing that’s going to make that more difficult is Labour splits.

– SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON

It beggars belief that the Chair of  Luciana Berger’s CLP was capable of this without being caught out.

The chair of the Liverpool Wavertree Labour Party – which is facing claims of antisemitic bullying by local members against MP Luciana Berger – made repeated appearances on a current affairs show broadcast by conspiracy theorist David Icke.

Dr Alex Scott-Samuel, who is a member of the pro-Corbyn Jewish Voice For Labour group, has been a regular guest on the Richie Allen on David Icke.com show since 2015.

Chair of CLP accused of bullying Luciana Berger appeared on show broadcast by David Icke

At the moment most minds are going to be focused on the potential of the group in elections.

The Spectator states,

When asked in the survey who they would vote for if there was a general election tomorrow, 8 per cent of the respondents opted for ‘A new centrist party opposed to Brexit’ if one existed. If these results materialised in a general election, this would make the Independence Group the third largest party, behind the Conservatives on 39 per cent and Labour on 34 per cent. Revealingly, the majority of the new party’s vote share has come from Labour, causing the party to fall into second place, five points behind the Conservative Party.

The capacity of the group to keep in the headlines is underlined by speculation over new defections,

Will more MPs leave Labour and the Conservatives to join the Independent Group?

Stephen Bush

John McDonnell makes a  suggestion to deal with the difficulties Labour faces:

McDonnell: Labour needs “mammoth, massive listening exercise.

Statements: 

“IT IS THE LABOUR PARTY OR NOTHING” – OPEN LABOUR STATEMENT

We at Open Labour view the split from the Labour Party as a step backwards for open politics within Labour, and for the communities our party represents. Many of those splitting away have served Labour for years, so we thank them for their work and wish them well, though we disagree with their decision.

As as a principle of democracy, we believe that those MPs splitting from the party no longer represent the people who voted for them as Labour candidates on our 2017 manifesto. They should stand down and face by-elections.

We stand by Labour’s direction of travel on the economy and austerity, which alongside Brexit are the most important issues facing the country. Labour is the only party serious about fighting for a transformation of our broken economy, and all indications are that it will remain the only party offering such a platform.

We have sympathy with some of these MP’s concerns raised around party culture, particularly with regards to the long failure of Labour to tackle anti-Semitic abuse and a culture of bad faith or exclusionary rhetoric which grips some CLPs – these criticisms cannot be dismissed. But the cure offered does not remedy the problem. We firmly believe that leaving the party offers no way to improve Labour, to ease the suffering in our communities, or prevent even greater suffering as a result of Brexit.

Open Labour will continue to fight for a left which encourages pluralism and tolerates a range of traditions and groups in their right to exist and campaign. Without it, there can be no vibrancy in the party, splits become inevitable, and our democracy loses its purpose.

The path to making our ideas a reality is through Labour and its allies in the trade union movement.

We are sorry to see this happen and thank our leaving MPs for their service, but we look forward to campaigning for Labour candidates in the seats affected.

Labour for a People’s Vote: 

Today seven Labour MPs have resigned from the Labour Party and announced that they will form a new “independent grouping”.

We understand that these MPs have had concerns over the way that the party has handled Brexit, and over the way that antisemitism has been dealt with.

Antisemitism is a serious issue. We are committed to rooting it out of the party and hope all Jewish members will stay to help us do this. Racism of any kind has no place in our party or our country. Labour has always been against discrimination of any kind. Antisemitism must be no exception.

We understand too that Brexit is a national crisis, made by the Tories and designed only to create division and harm in our society. Labour is the only party able to stop the Tories achieving their ends – which is why we are so clear on the need for a public vote, and for Labour to campaign for our EU membership in that campaign. Anything else would let down the people of Britain who put their trust in us at the last election.

We believe however that this fight is best fought within the Labour Party. Only Labour can win a General Election and keep the Tories out of power. Only Labour can stop the Tories’ Brexit getting through Parliament, and win a parliamentary vote to get a new referendum on Brexit. And only Labour has the reach and authority to lead and win the remain campaign.

We believe that Labour has the answers to the problems Britain faces. Britain needs a radical Labour Government, able to sweep away years of Tory misrule and austerity, and restore fairness and justice to our country. This agenda is not served by splits or resignations.

Labour for a People’s Vote.