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Factionalism in the Time of Coronavirus Part 14: Calls for New Workers’ Party and ‘Resistance Movement’.

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It’s all happening on the Home Front! 

From what remains of the left (we hear that Momentum has revised its membership total down to 8000, from a high of 45k)  the drip drop of criticism of Keir Starmer continues, without a pause,

Momentum is trying to re-merge as a force:

 

But other strategists have been plotting the way forward.

At the beginning of August the revolutionary socialist groupuscule Counterfire which runs what remains of the People’s Assembly, and strongly influences the surviving structures of the Stop the War Coalition  carried this analysis, from the white-heat of the actuality of the revolution,

Life After Corbyn: don’t lose the radicalism

There has been some speculation that Corbyn might be expelled, and that he might then set up a new mass party of the socialist left. It won’t happen. Starmer isn’t stupid, he would prefer to keep Corbyn as a prisoner of the PLP so that what’s left of Labour’s radical left can be kept to heal and picked off one by one in the witch hunt. So if we need something new we are going to have build it ourselves.

Roy Wilkes concluded.

Plurality of ideas and approaches is positive and healthy. Plurality of sects competing with each other isn’t. And if we are going to extricate ourselves from the terrible predicament we find ourselves in, following over a century of failure to build an effective proletarian leadership, then our best hope is surely to force ourselves to come together, one way or another.

 

This is where revolutionary socialist leadership should be stepping in to the breach. It isn’t too late to change the course of history and avert catastrophe. But it soon will be.

Zooms apart there is little sign of this popping its head above the parapet.

Yet.

Chris Williamson is garnering support for his initiative, The Resistance Movement, as critics of Keir Starmer seek a welcoming political home.

Many will  relish his plain speaking.

 

They will no doubt admire how he stands up to the “Zionist” lobby,

Last week the Socialist Party called for a “new mass workers’ party”.

Labour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

the Socialist Party has called for discussion in the workers’ movement on the need for a new mass workers’ party.

A ‘major gathering’ of trade unionists and socialists is definitely needed, in the form of a conference that can democratically discuss and debate how political representation for the working class can concretely be re-established in the situation created by Starmer’s leadership.

 with or without the involvement of any particular individual, the need for a mass workers’ party that can discuss and adopt a socialist programme is inherent in today’s situation.

The Socialist Party has already initiated a call for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) to once again stand anti-cuts candidates in the next local and mayoral elections, following TUSC’s suspension of standing in the last local elections.

Presenting candidates who will fight for workers’ interests can only aid the discussion on how a mass workers’ party can be built, while in the meantime playing an important role in putting a socialist alternative on the ballot papers.

Yet, so far no answer seems to have come.

Socialist Worker comments,

Battles and infighting inside Labour reflect the party’s limits Charlie Kimber

Socialists should always be for the Labour left against the Labour right. But they also have to recognise that, even at its best, Labourism is not going to transform society.

A left that couldn’t effectively confront the right in its own party can hardly deal with the pressures of global capital and the state.

The obsession with Corbyn-nostalgia matters because big struggles are coming. Every day there is more news of job cuts and frequent predictions of mass unemployment.

The need for resistance focused on the workplaces and the streets, not parliament, is more urgent than ever.

At the moment the main energy of these factions has been concentrated on building Colvid-19 Action fronts, People Before Profit: Health Worker Covid,  and  agitating for NHS workers’ pay rises – a better way of spending their time some might say than the usual party/groupuscule building.

 

Hot on their heels George Galloway’s Workers Party calls on the masses to spurn those  “beholden to the Westminster brethren”.

 

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Alain Soral: Far-Right, ‘Red-Brown’ Holocaust Denier Arrested.

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Soral: in French Courts Again.

France Info reports,

The far-right polemicist and writer Alain Soral was arrested on Tuesday and then placed in police custody in Paris by the brigade for the repression of personal delinquency (BRDP) for “public provocation to commit a crime or offence against the fundamental interests of the Nation “ . His custody was extended on Wednesday. According to franceinfo, Alain Soral will be referred this Thursday to the Paris prosecutor’s office.

A preliminary investigation is underway. In question, comments that the polemicist would have made on his site Equality and Reconciliation. The content of the speech is not known. His home was then searched. The reason for his arrest, “public provocation to commit a crime or offense affecting the fundamental interests of the Nation”, targets anyone threatening to attack political actors with national responsibilities.

This is not the first time that the far-right essayist Alain Soral has come into contact with justice. In January 2019, he was sentenced to one year in prison for “racial insult, provocation and incitement to hatred” by the Bobigny criminal court. The polemicist attacked a public prosecutor on his site. Last June, he was fined 5,000 euros, with the possibility of imprisonment in the event of non-payment for having contested the existence of the Shoah.

On July 6, his Youtube channels were deleted by the online video platform. The reason: “repeated breaches of the conditions of use” .

In 2019, “Alain Soral sentenced to one year in prison for having described the Pantheon as a “kosher waste reception centre”

The list is long:

 

Soral is a convicted Holocaust denier.

The list of legal cases and prosecutions against him is long and stretches back to 2008.

Procès intentés contre Alain Soral: Condemnations.

His friendship with the ‘comedian’ anti-Semitic Dieudonné has kept him in the wider, and youthful, public eye.

In fact Dieudonné’s YOutube channel was removed just before Soral’s.

Après Dieudonné, YouTube se débarrasse aussi de la chaîne d’Alain Soral

Alain Soral is not – the least you can say – a classical fascist.

The online politics of Alain Soral

Evelyne Pieiller wrote this article in 2013, but the account holds for today.

Visitors to Alain Soral’s Egalité et Réconciliation (Equality and Reconciliation, E & R) website see pictures of Hugo Chávez, Che Guevara, Muammar Gaddafi, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Fidel Castro and Vladimir Putin on the left of the masthead. Joan of Arc and Soral are on the right. The site, with its motto “leftwing on labour, but rightwing values”, is France’s 269th most popular, a few places behind the TV magazine Télérama.

The juxtaposition of Guevara and Putin, of Chávez and rightwing values is a sign of the confused political times. The big questions are, who stands for what and what does it mean to be on the right or left?

He has not been afraid to change direction: from (apparently brief) membership of the Communist Party in the 1990s, to the Anti-Zionist List, co-founded with the comedian-activist Dieudonné (M’bala M’bala) for the 2009 EU elections, with two years in the Front National. He stresses his “bloody-mindedness” in a way reminiscent of the late lawyer Jacques Vergès, whose funeral he attended this August.

Soral, who is also a martial arts enthusiast, is subtly but clearly a mix of eternal adolescent — his questions are intense, and he’s non-conformist in what he engages with, and ignores — and man in the street: he has the heroic, robust isolation of someone without party or support, trying to see things for what they are, despite opposition. Filmed in casual clothes, on a sofa, he is the antithesis of an academic or career politician, and picks and mixes his ideologies; this is popular online with many people who no longer have the political education from party or union membership that once shaped their views.

Many of Soral’s ideas would be unexpected on British ‘red-brown’ sites,

The new world order, “the empire”, seeks a democracy in name only, the “power of the richest” that upholds an abstract egalitarianism replacing the question of social inequality and class exploitation with societal questions, justifying this in the name of human rights.

Soral advocates “leaving the European Union, leaving NATO, and reclaiming control of our currency … to restore France’s sovereignty and give democracy some of its meaning back”, fighting the obsolescence of nation states and introducing protectionism.

Some of Soral’s principles surely strike a chord in these quarters.

His view of the nation is that, to protect the people, it should reject selfishness and “cosmopolitan profits”; this supposes that the nation has a single essence, a spirit that belongs to a particular culture, and that it must exclude amoral cosmopolitanism. Starting with a call for sovereignty in the face of supranational laws, he arrives at a near-mythic conception of the nation that will allow the creation of “a labour, patriotic and popular front against all the networks of finance and globalised ultra-liberalism” (4): what he calls a “national fraternal community, conscious of its history and culture”, uniting those who want the most equitable division of work and wealth and those who want to preserve what is good and human in the Helleno-Christian tradition, which he presumes led to the demand for true equality.

The article then enters more controversial territory where red and brown conspiracy theories of the confusionist left and right, meet. That is the world of “secret networks that infiltrate all the decision-making institutions of the empire, neutralising or corrupting political action.”

He believes that Jews are at the root of these conspiracies, linked to the rapacious US — it’s the old accusation that they are rootless cosmopolitans intent on the accumulation of capital; banks are Jewish, the press is Jewish, the destruction of national unity is Jewish. Soral hates them obsessively and sees them everywhere. He says his views are anti-Zionist, and oppose Israeli policy — but they are straight anti-Semitism, not support for the Palestinians, or mere provocation.

That is a fair introduction to Soral, although he would certainly defend the claim that he backs the Palestinians.

Soral’s ideas cover broader areas.

Soral’s views summarised:

 Soral’s ideology tends to focus on seven main themes:

More recently Soral has emphasised the ‘red’ side of his red-brown politics, backing the Gilets Jaunes.

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Soral also defends the heritage of  ‘European civilisation’.

Soral’s supporters are already protesting against the arrest.

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Written by Andrew Coates

July 30, 2020 at 11:15 am

Labour Against the Witch-hunt Hosts Debate on ‘Free Speech’.

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Chaired by Tina Werkmann of Labour Against the Witchhunt and the Communist Party of Great Britain (Provisional Central Committee, CPGB-PCC), Labour Party Marxists,  who “works at Labour Left Alliance”.

This important event will discuss how we can fight back against McCarthyite attempts to stifle debate on the issue of Israel/Palestine – and label those unjustly expelled and suspended as ‘unpersons’ who we are not allowed to share platforms with.

No to (self-) censorship! Discuss how we can fight back and mobilise for free speech in the Labour movement and beyond.

Speakers include Norman Finkelstein, Chris Williamson, Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth, David Miller, Tariq Ali and Tony Greenstein.

Many of the speakers are too well known to need further introduction.

But note this: 

David Miller, (2020)

a report in The Times detailed how Prof Miller is a director of a group known as the Organisation for Propaganda Studies (OPS), which has promoted theories about the September 11 terrorist attacks, the shooting down of an airliner over Ukraine in 2014, the White Helmets humanitarian rescue group in Syria, the anti-vax movement and the origins of coronavirus.

Ahead of a probe into his conduct, Bristol professor resigns from Labour blaming ‘the Zionist movement’

Norman Finkelstein, Verso Blog 2018:

The chimera of British anti-Semitism (and how not to fight it if it were real)

In hard to read, adjective strewn prose,  Finkelstein continues,
 
 Is it anti-Semitism to believe that “Jews have too much power in Britain”—or is it just plain common sense? (It is, to be sure, a question apart and not one amenable to simple solution how to rectify this power inequity while not impinging on anyone’s democratic rights.) Still, isn’t it anti-Semitic to generalize that “Jews” have abused their power? But even granting that a portion have been manipulated or duped, it certainly appears as if British Jews in general support the anti-Corbyn juggernaut. If this indeed is a misapprehension, whose fault is it? The tacit message of the unprecedented joint editorial on the front page of the major Jewish periodicals was: British Jews are united—Corbyn must goIs it anti-Semitic to take these Jewish organizations at their word?
Then there is Tony Greenstein…
 
Marlon Solomon on Twitter: ""The NEC's case is that Greenstein's ...
 
At least a couple of these people (including Tariq Ali)  are members of the Labour Party.
 
Image may contain: text that says "Reports Tina Werkmann, LAW's vice-chair, presented the steering committee's report of work. This noted the assistance LAW has provided to numerous members of the Labour Party who have been suspended or expelled. It was clear from the 'evidence packs' that criticisms of Israel and Zionism were used as proof of'anti- Semitism. LAW's help rebutting these the members were still shown the door, because this witch-hunt is not about eradicating anti-Semitism, but getting rid of the left, she said."
 
Reports that the Editor of the Canary Kerry-Anne Mendoza may be watching this event and could intervene have not been confirmed.