Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

Boris Johnson: ‘Cumgate’, Dilyn the ‘Humper’, Wallpapergate, to Bodies Piling High.

with 4 comments

May be an image of 3 people, people standing and text that says "Daily 021 Mail Elmillion GOLDEN BOXES MONDAY 26, www.dailymail.co.uk Daily newspaper 80p SEE Just 2 years apart.. but can YOU tell which sister has had two facelifts? PAGES 33-35 WAR OF DOWNING ST Emerald Fennelt: BORIS: 'LET Awards Acodemy THE BODIES PILE HIGH IN THEIR THOUSANDS' Emerald and the PM's incendiary remark during fight over dazzling lockdowns is latest claim No10 drama Oscar BORIS Johnson said he EXCLUSIVE would rather bodies Simon Walters Brit pack reluctantly odth S lockdown, PAGE thousands than order third lockdown, was ayt"

“A newspaper too (or a group of newspapers) a review (or group of reviews), is a “party” or “fraction of a particular party” Think of The Times in England… ” Page 148 Antonio Gramsci. Selection from the Prison Notebooks. Lawrence & Wishart. 1971.

A prime driving force behind Brexit, Boris Johnson’s taking over the post of Prime Minister, and an enthusiastic supporters of the Conservative election victory in 2019, was the British right wing, and extreme right wing, national press. They did not just boost the Tories; they were a motor in creating the mixture of national populism and national neo-liberalism behind the hegemony of the Right.

Now they seem to be acting as, in Gramsci’s terms, a fraction of a particular party. And it does not look as if they are playing Johnson’s game.

When thieves fall out…

The Independent.

Boris Johnson has been accused of saying that he would rather allow “bodies [to] pile high in their thousands” than impose another lockdown late last year. Downing Street has strongly denied he made the remark – dismissing it as “just another lie”.

As No 10’s briefing war with former top aide Dominic Cummings continues, the cabinet secretary Simon Case will be questioned by MPs on the public administration and constitutional affairs committee on Monday about various claims made by Mr Cummings.

The Mail

So who are the real leakers? The prime suspects in No 10 whodunits include Redthroat, Dominic Cummings, Carrie Symonds’ friend Henry Newman and even Boris Johnson

The Giant Chatty Rat.

Leak 1: ‘Chatty Rat’ reveals details of a second lockdown

Cumgate.

Leak 2: Bad dog! The misbehaviour of Dilyn

In February, it was reported that Mr Johnson was furious with his dog Dilyn because he chewed furniture at Chequers and cocked a leg on an aide’s handbag. 

An insider says that the PM called for someone to ‘shoot that f****** dog’ after Dilyn disturbed a meeting.

Friends of Ms Symonds then told The Mail on Sunday that Mr Cummings was briefing against Dilyn as he harboured a grudge against the animal because it once ‘humped his leg’.

 Leak 3: Tory donors and Wallpapergate

Leak 4: The Cameron lobbying scandal.

Leak 5: The Dyson tax texts controversy.

Leak 6: Is Cummings the ‘Chatty Rat’?

May be a Twitter screenshot of text that says "POLITIC FOR ALL Politics For All @PoliticsForAll BREAKING: Dominic Cummings kept audio recordings of key sensitive conversations in government Via @DailyMailUK 10:40 pm 25 Apr 2021 T Twitter for iPhone 77 Retweets Retwee 84 Quote Tweets 427 Likes"

Our Verdict: they are like rats fighting in a sack.

Whether they have the effect of unravelling to the Tory bloc remains to be seen.

Berlusconi has hung around for some time:

Few Italians have wielded more influence and attracted more notoriety than Silvio Berlusconi: billionaire businessman, four-time prime minister, and member of the European Parliament.

For years he successfully brushed off sex scandals and allegations of corruption, until Italy’s eurozone debt crisis in 2011 saw his influence temporarily wane.

Worse was to come for the man whom many Italians had come to see as untouchable.

He was convicted of tax fraud in 2013 and ejected from the Italian Senate. Another conviction in 2015 made it look like his political career was finally over.

But despite suffering a heart attack that his doctor said could have killed him in 2016, and having emergency bowel surgery in 2019, the charismatic showman was set for yet another political comeback.

Even though he was banned from holding public office due to his criminal record, he led his centre-right Forza Italia party to moderate electoral success in 2018. And a year later, with his ban lifted, won himself a seat in the European Parliament at the age of 82.

Dominic Cummings, Blog.


Statement regarding No10 claims today

I have made the offer to hand over some private text messages, even though I am under no legal obligation to do so, because of the seriousness of the claims being made officially by No10 today, particularly the covid leak that caused serious harm to millions. This does not mean that I will answer every allegation made by No10. 

The proper way for such issues to be handled is via an urgent Parliamentary inquiry into the government’s conduct over the covid crisis which ought to take evidence from all key players under oath and have access to documents. Issues concerning covid and/or the PM’s conduct should not be handled as No10 has handled them over the past 24 hours. I will cooperate fully with any such inquiry and am happy to give evidence under oath. I am happy for No10 to publish every email I received and sent July 2019-November 2020 (with no exceptions other than, obviously, some national security / intelligence issues). 

It is sad to see the PM and his office fall so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves.

I will not engage in media briefing regarding these issues but will answer questions about any of these issues to Parliament on 26 May for as long as the MPs want. 

Fascism, Post-Fascism, Populism and National Populism. On Enzo Traverso.

with 3 comments

Télécharger Les nouveaux visages du fascisme - Enzo Traverso gratuitement | Bookys

Verso

Les nouveaux visages du fascisme, d’Enzo Traverso, Paris, Textuel, 2017.

Available in English: The New Faces of Fascism Populism and the Far Right Enzo Traverso. Verso, 2019.

“German Fascism, like Italian fascism, raised itself on the backs of the petty bourgeoisie, which it turned into a battering ram against the organisations of the working class and the institutions of democracy. But fascism in power is least of all the rule of the petty bourgeoisie On the contrary it is the most ruthless dictatorship of monopoly capital.”

 

Leon Trotksy, What is National Socialism? 1933.

 

 

What does fascism mean at present ? In responding to this question Ernesto Taverso’s New Faces of Fascism, Populism and the Far Right,  takes us back to the past before confronting the contemporary world, and potential futures. “Theory is history” is the watchword of any discussion about fascism, populism, post-fascism, and national populism. These extended conversations are as much about the workings of far right ideas and movements in history as about their shape today. One theme is clear, we are far from the world Trotsky described. There are no mass movements about to create dictatorships and ram down their ideas on the population.

 

Born in Italy, but having made  his academic career in France, writing studies of German Jewish philosophy, Nazism, anti-semitism, and the two World Wars, the writer and teacher has an international reputation. Since 2013 Traverso has been professor in Cornell University in the US he was a member of the Trotskyist Ligue communiste révolutionnaire, (LCR) until it merged with other groups at the foundation of the Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste (NPA) in 2009.  He has retained an audience on the radical left both in France, and with 8 books translated, in the English-speaking world.

 

Traverso has written a a critique of the ‘militant’ anti-communism of François Furet, Stéphane Courtois (The Black Book of Communism) and Ernesto Nolte. He emphasised the differences between Stalinism and Nazism (many of his themes are summarised in this article: De l’anticommunisme (2001) Some of his best known books are on the dramas of the past in which different European far-rights took to the stage, and the “historical singularity” of the Shoa was played out. He has also advanced the less theoretical view that after the Second World War, the establishment of the State of the Israel, and the decline of anti-Semitism in the West,  the Jewish “historical role as the critical consciousness of Western culture”, the keynote of Jewish modernity, has ended. Not everybody, including radical Jews, would agree. This assertion has provoked the claim that the fruit of much intellectual labour is to assert a  mass betrayal, ” la trahison des élites intellectuelles juives!” (Review: Enzo Traverso, La Fin de la modernité juive. Histoire d’un tournant)

 

What does fascism mean today? That an answer is far from obvious comes from the fact that no real parties exist which call themselves fascist or Nazi. Interviewed in Jacobin Taverso has said, “in the competition between the Left and the Right to reinvent itself, post-fascism is one length ahead. ” (Fascisms Old and New). Far-right ideas have always been fluid, and capable of drawing inspiration from hostility to liberal ideas of formal equality, Parliamentary democracy from the left, as well as traditional  pictures of the Nation an organic whole,  and cultural or biological racism.

 

Readers of Zeev Sternhell (1935 – 2000), an author Traverso critically engages with,  are struck by the way that both nationalist and socialist ideas went into the French far-right that the author, who passed away this year, saw as a matrix of European fascism (Ni droite ni gauche. L’idéologie fasciste en France. 1983). A turn-of-the-20th century socialism divided between those who defended republican and democratic liberalism, the alliance that reached its highpoint during the Dreyfus Affair, and an anti-parliamentarian left, which despised the bourgeois Third Republic. This reached  the point where some aligned with the Monarchist and nationalist right, illustrating before the cataclysms  of the Great War, and the divisions opened up on the left by the 1917 Russian Revolution,  how ideas do not always walk around, as the theorist of populism Ernesto Laclau once said,  with indelible class or left/right identities written on their backs.

From Red to Brown.

 

That leading French Communists, like Jacques Doriot could in 1936 found the mass fascist party, the Parti populaire français  and end as the leader of the Nazi sponsored  Comité de libération française, perishing in strafing by Allied Planes, is only one of many political cross overs. Less well-known is the career of Georges Valois, former radical syndicalist, disciple of Georges Sorel, pillar of the Cercle Proudhon (1911) that brought together radical trade unionists and Action française, founder of the first  French fascist party,  le Faisceau, modelled after Mussolini’s original. By the late 1930s Valois turned back towards the left and tried to join the French socialist party, the SFIO. He died of typhus, arrested and deported by the Gestapo for working for the Resistance.

These two careers remind us of the gulf that separates 1930s fascism and today’s far-right. For Sternhell the far-right was born out of a will to break with “l’ordre libérale” back in the late 19th century. What has been called the first populist movement, a mass of support for an figure who would carry the “will of the people” to power against corrupt elites, “Boulangism”  1885-1889 (after its leader General Boulanger), was a prelude, a synthesis of anti-liberalism, nationalism, with an anti-Semitic overtow . But it was the profound crisis that followed the Great War that gave it political force.   Ernesto Traverso points out the “The chaos after the Great War was the result of a breakdown in the so-called “Concert of Europe” — nineteenth-century classical liberalism — and today it is a consequence of the end of the Cold War. Fascism and post-fascism have been born from this chaotic and fluctuating situation.”

Les nouveaux visages du fascisme begins with comparison with the – still within living memory – past.  Régis Meyran presents these “conversations” by underlining the differences between present -day far-right and classical fascism. Citing Traveso’s initial effort to underline the difference between fascism in the past and the far right today that is broadly in the same line as Sternhell, classical fascism claimed to offer a revolutionary alternative, “une alternative de civilisation, annonçait sa « révolution nationale » et se projetait dans le futur. l’utopie d’un « Homme nouveau. “Les métamorphoses des droites radicales au xxie siècle 2015)

 

Today by contrast, their reduced offer is “un nationalisme structuré par l’islamophobie, ces movements étendent désormais être des partis républicains  que les autres partis.” nationalism structured around Islamophobia. This comes from a writer who at numerous points in the present volume is prepared to locate the “nouvelle judéophobie” of French Muslim minorities in these terms, “À cause de la politique israélienne le juif devient l’incarnation de l’Occident”, because of Israeli policies the Jew has become the incarnation of the West. That is, unlike traditional anti-semitism which saw Jews as enemies of the West… (Page 96). This is hackle-raising. It is not convincing to argue that hostility to Jews from people in North Africa,  the Middle East, and amongst those of a Moslem background across the world, and others, has been created by the existence of the state of Israel. Were this the case it would  be remarkably sudden dislike –  post-1948.

There is another difficulty with the assertion. The European far-right has had complex relationship with Arab nationalism, and Islamism, than this, or a reference, say, to French colonialism in the Maghreb,  suggests. The more than prominent holocaust denier Alain Soral’s admiration for Syrian Baathism and the late Colonel Gadhafi, and the Iranian finance fronted his  electoral Liste antisioniste (2009) with Shi’ite  candidates, and a few ultra-orthodox Jews, and the backing of prominent black comedian Dieudonne. This indicates that while these ‘nationalist revolutionaries’, right-wing in values, but (self-proclaimed) left wing on economics and imperialism, may  have lost an earlier battle for influence on the far-right, and seem absent from the electoral apparatuses like the Front National, now Rassemblement National, of Marine Le Pen; they have not disappeared.

Traverso discusses with indulgence the  “Indigènes de la République”, a movement, which ‘in general’ played “un rôle salutaire” (Page 49) Known for its hostility to secularists, and vividly criticised for its own religious and race based ‘identity politics’ by Magrébin leftists in France, the author extends his welcome to the point of reinterpreting Houria Bouteldja’s attack on the “philosémitisme d’Etat”. He suggests that what they really meant to say was not anti-Semitic, but criticism of “philosionisme” – philo-Zionism. (Page 99) As one might imagine the academic treats Charlie Hebdo – he was a signer of a public letter against National Unity following the slaughter at the Weekly and the Hyper-cacher. They took advantage of their privileges in France to mock the excluded (Page 63) Look where it got them.

 

Hoping that an English translation would offer the words “democratic” or “constitutional” rather than republican, what are the results of the turn towards political integration? Far-right parties in the Western side of Europe often have small memberships, the Rassemblement National numbers only just over 25,000 card-carriers but went to the second round of the Presidential election in 2017, where Marine Le Pen got 33.9% of the vote to Emmanuel Macron’s 66,1%, the Alternative für Deutschland, AfD, 35,000, 94 seats in the Bundestag,  the Italian Fratelli d’Italia, FdI, 160,00, but under 5% of the vote in Parliamentary elections. None of these parties have fully democatic democratic structures, they are Leader-led, from Matteo Salvini in the Liga Nord,  to Marine Le Pen, to Gert Wilders. But there is no  Führerprinzip –  if you disagree with the line you get shoved out, not beaten up, or shot.

But that does not prevent analogies with the past.  Trump, for example, draw on classical far-right demagogy.  He call for the defence of a virtuous community, rooted in the country, threated by a metropolitan corrupt cosmopolitan elite – and a lot more gobbing on ‘the enemy’ as we have seen in recent months. But the Trump style, self-taught in modern communications, does not mobilise the masses: he attracts a public of atomised individuals, consumers, not soldiers. Overtly reactionary messages come from the Polish Law and Justice Party and the Hungarian Fidesz, both of which are hostile to liberal conceptions of democracy. But their protectionist policies are not autarky, nor have their sent legions to conquer lost national territory.

Post-fascism, Traverso declares, works in an atmosphere dominated by the “impolitique”, the removal of decision-making from popular control. It offers a “démocratie plébiscitaire” through a direct relationship between the Leader and the People. But what kind of “nouvelle civilisation”, what third way between capitalism and communism do any but the most marginal far right groups call for? Economic protection and the defence of national identity are far from the call for a spiritual and moral revolution of 1920s and 1930s fascism. Yet there are deep concerns voiced by liberals like Madeleine Albright,  in a winner-take-all politics that follows from seeing rule as a plebiscite. The direct tie between electors and the governors takes place only virtually, while policies and administration jobs remain as removed from popular power as under centrist ‘neoliberal’ Cabinets.

The book is at its most thought-provoking when it offers a number of different ways with which to think about the present-day far-right. Traverso focuses on the “metamorphoses” of the extreme right into anti-system, anti-elite, but formally constitutional parties. Xenophobic, structured around Islamophobia, nationalism against globalisation, pitting nations against Europe, authoritarian and law-and-order, they stand, for “un État souverain, qui refuserait la soumission au pouvoir de la finance.” (Page 35) Traditional appeals to the nation itself is reconfigured in terms of “identity”, Despite the  independence of maītre-penseurs, like Éric Zemmour and Renaud Camus, many would regard Traverso’s paradigm, the French ‘post-fascist’ right as indebted to  Maurice Barrès and the mystique of La Terre et les morts, with a genetic appeal to Français de souche (of French stock) to boot. It hardly needs underlining that Zemmour’s Le Suicide français (2014) is far from just a diatribe against French decline and immigration: the best-seller is one long rant against the liberalism of May 68 (‘Dérision, Déconstruction, Destruction’) and ‘political correctness.’

National Populism.

A useful summary is offered in Traverso’s more recent statement, “the driver of the radical ideals in Europe is its critique of neoliberalism. It is reactionary, authoritarian, inspired by the so-called sovereigntist populism. This is different from the fascism that had other characteristics like, among other things, a militaristic, expansionist, imperialist dimension which is not present in the current radical right.” (Enzo Traverso: “What we’re seeing now around the world is different from classic fascism” 2019). The difficulty is that while we would not wish to over-egg the point, this politics, as Jan-Werner Müller has argued, populists claim that in their battle against elites they alone represent the people. They say, in effect, We are the People, who are You?” In this “moralistic imagination of politics”. “Once installed in office, “they will engage in occupying the state mass clientelism and corruption, and the suppression of anything like a critical civil society. (Page 102. What is Populism? 2016)

It is difficult to draw hard and fast lines between post-fascism and populism. If populism is analysed as a ‘style’, (“à partir de son style”) that is, a direct appeal to the People against the Elites, it’s a term that can refer to left as well as right. The term national populism, by contrast,  puts the emphasis on what sovereignty parties of the right strive for. It’s their nation, their people, and their decision-making. An attack on liberalism, reconfigured itself to mean the ‘anti-May 68’ wave in France, and more widely, the hostility to ‘woke’ culture, an appeal to the ‘real’ people, the Somewheres against the Nowhere people, and we can see national populism in parties, and an influence on the Brexit Party, and, to an extent, on  government. The  British Cabinet of Boris Johnson, even has had some input from a new form of ‘red-brown’, or ex-left-wing, ex-Marxist cohort, the Spiked Network marked above all for waging culture wars on behalf of the populist right.

Another is this extraordinary ideology, the “anglosphere”, – at the moment, when a ‘no Deal ‘ Brexit looms –  far from a marginal dream-picture of a future world.

…we should then spend the next few years forming up with the Anglosphere – in particular, with the Five Eyes of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The Europeans may be our brethren, yes, but the Anglosphere are our kin. We share a common language, many traditions, roots, history and culture. We have a mutual geopolitical strategic interest in forming up at this juncture, as many of our friends across the water have already been keen to point out. We should therefore begin by formalising a ‘CANZUK’ free trade and perhaps movement agreement, which polling has shown to attract broad support among the populace in each country.

 

The Europeans may be our brethren, but the Anglosphere are our kin Patrick Timms. January 2020.

 

One feature of The New Faces of Fascism stands out. The shift in the way Marxists looked in the past at these  labels  not to classify them properly, but to see what the function of the far-right is palpable. Trotsky was only one who outlined what he saw was the role of Nazism – to destroy the workers’ movement, which he believed could have, if politically untied, have led a socialist revolution in Germany. In the 1970s Nicos Poulantzas tried to explain how fascism and Nazism arose out of class struggles against labour movements, and gained the support of monopoly capital as a means to help resolve economic crises. Although right-wing populists advocate a form of national neo-liberalism, few people today, talk much about how they work for the interests of fractions of the bourgeoisie. Except, perhaps when it comes to where ideas such as the “anglosphere” come from, the foundations financing it, and the businesses hoping to profit from it.

Les nouveaux visages du fascisme, is better at starting arguments than settling them, It is not an account of the social conditions that have propelled national populists to the fore, beyond some references to neo-liberalism, post-politics, and “the extreme centre”.  It looks at the Islamic state and concludes that the genocidal world it imposed was a “univers totalitaire”. But like Traverso’s use of this aspect of Hannah Arendt’s portrait of totalitarianism the ideas offered are useful, debatable, and thought-provoking. Like ‘post-fascism’ our ways of looking it, and thinking about how the left should counter national populism, are, for the moment, open to further debate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John McDonnell, Left Should not Shout ‘through the Letterbox’ at Starmer and become isolated.

with 3 comments

John McDonnell: Labour would save families more than £6,700Parikiaki | Parikiaki Cyprus and Cypriot News

At the beginning of Left Out, Gabriel Pogrund and Patrick Maguire’s coruscating, account of Labour during the Corbyn leadership, two sparks are thrown out.

There are two quotes;

Jeremey Corbyn, ‘We Won the Argument’.

John McDonnell, ‘I own this disaster.’

In the concluding pages there are these words,

“The Project’s weakness, and its internal divisions, be they the distrust of Murphy’s combative stile, the deep resentment that festered among junior staff in LOTO, or John McDonnell’s freelance excursions on Brexit, all flowed directly from Corbyn’s own. Power was not something he pursued. At times it felt that he was a man living in anticipation of another happy accident.

“The Shadow Chancellor, without whom the Project would have never existed, was the opposite. For four years he worked himself ragged in the pursuit of power. He set aside his sectarianisms and moderated and mellowed, or at least had the good sense to pretend to.”(Page 359)

This is not a review of Left Out. readers of this Blog may guess that the direction one will take. There is a  view that Jeremy Corbyn would have been more content,  and perhaps more effective,  in the leadership the League Against Imperialism circa 1927. The full story the Project fell apart is not the issue here.

But some general points can, and should be, made.

There is a judgement, contrasting with Pogrund and Maguire, that the “centrifugal forces” of Brexit and personality clashes, were overshadowed by divisions over what was right. One one side were left-wing internationalists opposed to the Hard Right Brexit Project, on the other side were those who either welcomed the opportunity to break free from the EU, or stayed confused about how to mobilise Labour’s electorate against it.

John McDonnell ultimately had more in common with the internationalists, and his actions were far from inexplicable but based on his ability as a politician to work with those from this camp, rather than the way the People’s Brexit faction attempted to dismiss us.

To illusrate his abilty to talk to, and not ‘use’,  other people we have this report today.

McDonnell has now said: “The most important thing for the left now is not to allow itself to be portrayed as oppositionists, shouting from the sidelines, shouting through the letterbox, that sort of thing.”

What there is, is the evidence of John McDonnell’s actions now.

McDonnell advises Labour left not to be seen as “shouting from the sidelines

John McDonnell has urged Labour left members not to let themselves be “portrayed as oppositionists, shouting from the sidelines” and instead “make sure that we win every political debate around the policy issues that we now confront”.

In an interview with Antonello Guerrera of Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the former Shadow Chancellor warned the party’s left flank against allowing itself to become isolated, saying: “We mustn’t alienate people within the party.”

He reminded members that Keir Starmer won the Labour leadership election earlier this year “on the basis of adopting a template policy programme which was drawn from the last two Labour manifestos” in the 2017 and 2019 general elections.

McDonnell said: “The most important thing for the left now is not to allow itself to be portrayed as oppositionists, shouting from the sidelines, shouting through the letterbox, that sort of thing.

We mustn’t allow ourselves to be isolated or in any way, and we mustn’t alienate people within the party of the majority of the Labour Party members.”

He argued that while most members are “willing to give Keir Starmer a chance to see how we can really keep the party together and develop it”, the majority “don’t want any retreat from the radicalism of Jeremy Corbyn”.

McDonnell also said that some members within the party had been alienated by the leadership’s statements on certain issues that have “not been carefully worded or well chosen”, but said people were not leaving Labour “on any mass scale”.

These comments follow others which confirm this Blog’s view that not only was John McDonnell one of the most serious figures in Corbyn’s Labour pushing a transformative democratic socialist agenda, that he has a “nose” for the political bargaining involved,  but that he is simply somebody with a lot of good sense.

The hysterics of many articles and comments made by those claiming to be on the left  shown towards Keir Starmer is repulsive.

Not only will they alienate the majority of the Labour Party, and the wider public, but the go against the grain of democratic socialist politics.

People used to talk, not least his own ‘knowing’ supporters,  of Tony Blair “getting in the betrayal first” when, well before election victory,  he had got rid of Clause Four and key left-wing policies on replacing Thatcherism.

This writer has heard those who knew absolutely nothing about Keir Starmer, who had a period of radical left activism of some years in the 1980s, as a Blairite.

You do not have to have met Starmer during his years editing Socialist Alternatives, or indeed to have worked with him in his Chambers, to feel your stomach churn at some of the scattergun, often very personal, attacks.

John McDonnell, like Andrew Fisher, are well placed to call for these  bilious shouts.

McDonnell’s interview has made waves for another aspect,

In an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the former shadow chancellor drew parallels between Johnson and US President Donald Trump and claimed that parts of the world are “in quite a dangerous moment when it comes to the development of the forms of the Right”.

“The depiction of right-wing populism can be described in some instances as ‘proto-fascism’, with regard to Trump and also with regard to our own country, the rise of Johnson, Johnson’s politics,” McDonnell told the paper.

“It’s proto-fascism, no respect for democratic values, no respect for democratic institutions, no respect for the law, no respect for some of those rights and entitlements that particularly Labour and trade unions in our own country secured after struggles over the years.”

Boris Johnson is ‘proto-fascist’, says John McDonnell

 

That sounds a better row to get into!

But on Labour’s left will he be listened to?

We hear that leading Labour left-wingers, or rather, those who define themselves against others by their identification s left wing are already saying, “Comments and articles like this are  unhelpful by John McDonnell” They are preparing to buckle down.

To see what alternatives there are (not forgetting the previous post on this Blog on Chris Williamson) here is an interesting critical assessment of life outside the Labour Party.

Marxist Method and Orientation to Mass Organisations of the Working Class II

Socialist Voice.

 

“A Matter Of Prestige ” and “Marxist Method and Orientation to Mass Organisations of the Working Class (Part One)”, published in August 2019 and July 2020 respectively, examined the destructive role played by The Socialist Party of England and Wales (SP) in the United Kingdom civil service and out-sourced workers’ trade union the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) and the subsequent wider split in the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI).

One’s eyes are drawn to this passage on one of the groups shouting loudly for people to leave Labour and join their brand of politics.

 – SP & CWI and the Trade Unions

As predicted, the SP/CWI’s surrender to prestige politics and abandonment of the united front strategy has driven an inexorable descent into destructive sectarianism, currently most evident in their continuing “rule or ruin” strategy in the socialist led PCS, one of the most militant, democratic, lay-led unions in the UK. Their abandonment of the principles and method through which the CWI played such an outstanding role in building a united left over many decades that defeated one of the most corrupt right-wing bureaucracies in the movement has left their now tiny forces isolated and alienated from even their erstwhile supporters on the left. Prestige politics inevitably results in a pursuit of “strategies” based on grudge-bearing, vendettas and self-abasing delusions of victimhood rather than a sound method of Marxist analysis. For them everything is now personal.

Written by Andrew Coates

September 18, 2020 at 5:57 pm