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The Left and anti-Semitism, Livingstone Drags the Debate to the Gutter.

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Livingstone: “when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel.”

27 April 2016

Earlier today, JLM National Chair Jeremy Newmark made the following statement about events following the revelation that Naz Shah MP had posted antisemitic statements on Facebook some time before her election as an MP:

“Naz Shah is a politician who is clearly on a political journey, from a Respect firebrand in the choppy waters of local Bradford politics to the Labour Party. She courageously stood up to George Galloway’s bigotry at the General Election. However, her historic remarks and posting were repugnant and completely unacceptable.

Her contrition expressed over the past day seems to be genuine and sincere. This is part of that journey. We are optimistic that she will now take steps to deepen her understanding of Jewish identity. We do not ask or expect her to mute her criticism of the actions and policies of the Israeli government. We do ask and expect her to build upon her apology and contrition with a programme of education and action that includes standing up to anti-Semitism on the left and within the Palestine Solidarity Movement.”

Shortly after this statement was released it was announced that Shah had been suspended.  Jeremy Newmark commented:

“The suspension of Naz Shah by the Labour Party is fair and consistent. I hope it will provide the context for a programme of education as we, at JLM, have set out.”

Jewish Labour Movement.

Jim comments on Shiraz Socialist.

It was right and also inevitable that Naz Shah was suspended from the Labour Party following the revelation of anti-Semitic Facebook posts suggesting that Israel should be “relocated to the US” and likening Zionism to al-Qaida (made, incidentally, before she was an MP).

In her defence it should be noted that (1) she made an immediate and unequivocal apology, with no attempt to claim that this was just “anti-Zionism” and (2) she has been brought up in a political culture in which saying offensive things about Jews, Israel and Zionism is considered acceptable and in which many people don’t even recognise that anti-Semitism is much of a problem: check out Ken Livingstone’s reaction, for instance.

(More on site…)

I note in passing that the Facebook post – which Shah did not create –  was shared by many people, that it was one of many virulent posts circulating during the Israeli military actions against Gaza.

I, like many, opposed these armed repressive actions, and said so.

If some people got caught up in their emotions and have since, as Shah has, thought through her politics on a democratic basis then all credit to them, and to her.

This response does not help (Politics Home).

Speaking to BBC Radio London, Labour NEC member Ken Livingstone accused the “Israel lobby” of a campaign to smear its critics as anti-Semites, after Labour MP Naz Shah was suspended for sharing a post calling for Israel to be relocated to the United States.

“She’s a deep critic of Israel and its policies. Her remarks were over the top but she’s not anti-Semitic. I’ve been in the Labour party for 47 years; I’ve never heard anyone say anything anti-Semitic. I’ve heard a lot of criticism of the state of Israel and its abuse of Palestinians but I’ve never heard anyone say anything anti-Semitic…

“It’s completely over the top but it’s not anti-Semitic. Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932, his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism – this before he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews. The simple fact in all of this is that Naz made these comments at a time when there was another brutal Israeli attack on the Palestinians.

“And there’s one stark fact that virtually no one in the British media ever reports, in almost all these conflicts the death toll is usually between 60 and 100 Palestinians killed for every Israeli. Now, any other country doing that would be accused of war crimes but it’s like we have a double standard about the policies of the Israeli government.”

As I’ve said, I’ve never heard anybody say anything anti-Semitic, but there’s been a very well-orchestrated campaign by the Israel lobby to smear anybody who criticises Israeli policy as anti-Semitic. I had to put up with 35 years of this…

“Let’s look at someone who’s Jewish who actually said something very similar to what Naz has just said. Albert Einstein, when the first leader of Likud, the governing party now in Israel, came to America, he warned American politicians: don’t talk to this man because he’s too similar to the fascists we fought in the Second World War.

“Now, if Naz or myself said that today we would be denounced as anti-Semitic, but that was Albert Einstein.”

He hit back at Lord Levy’s criticism of the leadership’s response to the anti-Semitism storms in Labour.

“After Jeremy became leader I was having a chat with Michael and he said he was very worried because one of his friends who was Jewish had come to him and said ‘the election of Jeremy Corbyn is exactly the same as the first step to the rise of Adolf Hitler to power’.

“Frankly, there’s been an attempt to smear Jeremy Corbyn and his associates as anti-Semitic from the moment he became leader. The simple fact is we have the right to criticise what is one of the most brutal regimes going in the way it treats the Palestinians.”

There are many aspects to this controversy, which has been envenomed by Livingstone’s comments.

One is the claim that some people are deliberately making wild claims about antisemitism on the left which may, as Livingstone alleges, be connected to a broader attack on the socialist left.

This indeed happens and could be seen on Newsnight yesterday.

Lady Neuberger claimed the issue in Labour was “attached to Jeremy Corbyn becoming leader”, and “an issue within the hard left”.

A measure of how wide Neuberger was prepared to extend her net was that she included ‘Militant’, that is the Socialist Party in the charge.

This is a good illustration of just twisted the debate has become.

The Socialist Party has been both an opponent of boycotting Israel and a supporter of the right of the Jewish people to their own state (Boycotts of Israel: Will they help the Palestinians?)

Boycott:

Israeli Jewish workers are also inevitably alarmed when some of the staunchest advocates of boycott action in Britain and elsewhere, such as the SWP, have a record of opposing the right of the Jewish people to their own state. Whereas in the case of South Africa, a majority of black workers there supported international sanctions against the ruling white elite, Israeli workers are not in agreement with sanctions against Israel.

A boycott under these conditions is a mistake, and a gift to the Israeli right.

State:

The Palestinians and the Israeli Jews have a right to their own separate states. But achieving such states, with lasting, peaceful co-existence and decent living standards, will be unviable on a capitalist basis.

The only way that will be possible, will be on the basis of Israeli workers building the workers’ movement in Israel to challenge the power, profit and prestige of the Israeli capitalist class, and of Palestinian workers also building their own united movement.

I would say that the Socialist Party reflects what is in fact the mainstream left position of the issue, although one can be, to say the least,  sceptical about the possibility of socialist states in the region.

If many of us are opposed to the policies of the Israeli government, if we are critical and the structures it is built on, we continue to hold to this two-state position. Equally we have every sympathy for the Palestinians, their plight, and efforts to create their own independent state and society.

Another is the fact that in some quarters of the left, notably those influenced by the ‘anti imperialism of fools’, there is a strain of hatred against ‘Zionism’ which shades into antisemitism.

Livingstone’s remarks about Hitler’s support for Zionism indicates that his claim about never hearing anti-Semitic remarks in the Labour Party disproves the widely-held view that he loves the sound of his own voice.

But everybody else heard him.

In response all I can say is that if that if anybody thinks for one fucking minute that the majority of the left, and the part of it the Tendance belongs to, will ever stop fighting antisemitism and will cease from defending the right of the Jewish people to determine their own future and state, and that they have any sympathy for would-be genociders, they are fucking joking.

*******

Statement on “Labour’s problem with antisemitism”

from the Jewish Socialists’ Group

Antisemitism exists and must be exposed and fought against in the same way as other forms of racism by all who are concerned with combating racism and fascism.

Antisemitism and anti-Zionism are not the same. Zionism is a political ideology which has always been contested within Jewish life since it emerged in 1897, and it is entirely legitimate for non-Jews as well as Jews to express opinions about it, whether positive or negative. Not all Jews are Zionists. Not all Zionists are Jews.

Criticism of Israeli government policy and Israeli state actions against the Palestinians is not antisemitism. Those who conflate criticism of Israeli policy with antisemitism, whether they are supporters or opponents of Israeli policy, are actually helping the antisemites. We reject any attempt, from whichever quarter, to place legitimate criticism of Israeli policy beyond the Pale.

Accusations of antisemitism are currently being weaponised to attack the Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour party with claims that Labour has a “problem” of antisemitism. This is despite Corbyn’s longstanding record of actively opposing fascism and all forms of racism, and being a firm a supporter of the rights of refugees and of human rights globally.

A very small number of such cases seem to be real instances of antisemitism. Others represent genuine criticism of Israeli policy and support for Palestinian rights, but expressed in clumsy and ambiguous language, which may unknowingly cross a line into antisemitism. Further cases are simply forthright expressions of support for Palestinian rights, which condemn Israeli government policy and aspects of Zionist ideology, and have nothing whatsoever to do with antisemitism.

The accusations do not refer to antisemitic actions but usually to comments, often made on social media, long before Jeremy Corbyn won the Labour leadership. Those making the charges now, did not see fit to bring them up at the time, under previous Labour leaders, but are using them now, just before mayoral and local elections, when they believe they can inflict most damage on the Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn.

The attack is coming from four main sources, who share agendas: to undermine Jeremy Corbyn as leader of Labour; to defend Israeli government policy from attack, however unjust, racist and harmful towards the Palestinian people; and to discredit those who make legitimate criticisms of Israeli policy or Zionism as a political ideology. As anti-racist and anti-fascist Jews who are also campaigning for peace with justice between Israelis and Palestinians, we entirely reject these cynical agendas that are being expressed by:

• The Conservative Party

• Conservative-supporting media in Britain and pro-Zionist Israeli media sources

• Right-wing and pro-Zionist elements claiming to speak on behalf of the Jewish community

• Opponents of Jeremy Corbyn within the Labour party.

The Jewish Socialists’ Group recognises that ordinary Jewish people are rightly concerned and fearful about instances of antisemitism. We share their concerns and a have a proud and consistent record of challenging and campaigning against antisemitism. But we will not support those making false accusations for cynical political motives, including the Conservative Party, who are running a racist campaign against Sadiq Khan, and whose leader David Cameron has referred to desperate refugees, as “a swarm” and “a bunch of migrants”. The Conservative Party demonstrated their contempt for Lord Dubs, a Jewish refugee from Nazism, when they voted down en masse an amendment a few days ago to allow 3,000 child refugees into Britain while Labour, led by Jeremy Corbyn, gave total support to Lord Dubs and his amendment.

The Jewish Socialists’ Group sees the current fearmongering about antisemitism in the Labour Party for what it is – a conscious and concerted effort by right-wing political forces to undermine the growing support among Jews and non-Jews alike for the Labour Party leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, and a measure of the desperation of his opponents.

We stand against antisemitism, against racism and fascism and in support of refugees. We stand for free speech and open debate on Israel, Palestine and Zionism.

Comment.

While some of the Jewish Socialists’ points about the origins of the present furore are borne out by the facts there remain problems about this statement.

Apart from underestimating the growth of overt antisemitism, not just from stray comments but from full-blown Ant-Semites of the type described by Sartre in Réflexions sur la question juive, this downplays the extent to which by denying the right of Israel to exist at all – and thus of the Jewish people where large numbers wish to – has a coherence within the framework of the ‘anti-imperialism of fools’.

Support for the view that Socialist Fight’s claims about a ‘pan-national Jewish bourgeoisie’ at the heart of world-wide Zionism, may seem a lunatic fringe affair.

But backing, sometimes unconditional,  for the Islamist Hamas – which makes no secret about its hatred of the Jewish population in the Middle East –  on ‘anti-imperialist’ grounds is much more widespread.

We note that  within the Labour Party and the wider left there are strong critics of these positions, and that John McDonell  has been sufficiently concerned to issue a declaration calling for there to be no place for antisemitism in the movement.

 This careful and lucid examination of the media-famous incidents ignores the points raised in the previous two paragraphs: Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t got an ‘antisemitism problem’. His opponents do. Jamie Stern-Weiner 27 April 2016

 

European Referendum: A Carnival of Reaction.

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One-Man Carnival of Reaction.

Scenes from British Political Confusionism.

“How different too it is turning out from what some predicted would be a ‘carnival of reaction’ ahead of the Euro referendum.”

Counterfire. April 2016.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, claims that Barack Obama’s “part Kenyan ancestry” has resulted in anti-British sentiment. So intense is this dislike that the US President removed a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. This slight on the Manes of Albion was compounded by the President’s support for the European Union. The EU, it appears, makes 60% of our laws. Bludgeoning home the Brexiter message, Johnson complained that America would never dream of sharing its sovereignty over anything.” (Guardian. 23.4.16)

Sovereigntism, the belief that all went wrong when Parliament pooled its decision-making powers in areas related to the single market, is an ideology shared by Tories in the Leave campaign, and a large part (if anything in this alliance could be called ‘large’) of the ‘left’ quit camp, Lexit. For UKIP and the rest of the hard right, making the running in the referendum debate, hysteria about migration and about such as topics as Obama’s ungrateful memories of British rule in Africa, is mobilised to gain backing for this principle. Left efforts to “keep racism out of the Referendum”,  notably from those who underline the principle of sovereignty, have had no effect whatsoever.

The ‘left’ case is obscured by the suggestion, voiced by Counterfire,  the “Tories crisis is our opportunity”. That the removal of Cameron by a victorious vote in the poll will result in opportunities, apparently not just for Johnson and his allies, but also for the labour movement most of which, and not least the Leader of the Labour Party, supports the Stay side. It is to be suspected that the latest Boris outburst has left a nasty taste in many people’s mouths. So, if it has weakened the Leave camp, is the converse true: that a Stay win will mean a defeat for the left, including the vast majority which advocates it?

Complaints about EU ‘neo-liberalism’ remain rhetoric unless there is a basis for policy. The anti-EU left believes that increased control over national decision-making power will enable a fight against capitalist globalisation. How exactly the UK will detach itself from global capital flows, financial markets, on the basis of rule by Westminster, perhaps split with Holyrood, is hard to grasp.

If the Lexiters propose regulation to control markets and capital then surely a large area, let’s call it Europe, is a better place to begin with. If they propose socialisation then what could be more ‘social’ than a number of different societies getting together, from places, let’s call them the Continent and its adjacent Islands, to form an economic bloc sufficiently large to stand up to international markets and capital? If they wish to remain internationalists then what better place to begin to practice inter-country and cross national solidarity then with the people next door to this one? If they wish political co-operation, well we can co-operate in a common organisation, Since it would begin with Europe, the first part of its name is obvious, and, perhaps, as we are on the left, the next bit, a Union, comes naturally.

Imagine that the left is on the road to power in Britain. The prospect of a way out of neo-liberal capitalism, helped by the “rising wave of protest”, “growing struggles” (Counterfire) is on the horizon. Fantastic! Until the next Brexit outburst…..

Khan 20% lead, Galloway at 0% in London Mayor race.

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https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/inlineimage/15775/ESMayor2.png

(YouGov)

George Galloway is currently polling at 0 per cent in the London mayoral race

Fans of George Galloway, look away now – that said, there’s not many of you.

The Respect candidate is currently polling at 0 per cent, according to the latest YouGov/Evening Standard poll of 1,000 Londoners on the Mayoral race.

Clearly this did not work:

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All out for one last effort!

In case this doesn’t work there is this:

Mayoral candidate George Galloway is already planning to take Sadiq Khan’s Tooting seat if the Labour candidate beats him to City Hall next month.  SW Londoner.

Mr Galloway has thrown his hat into the mayoral race and will be representing the Respect Party in May’s election but is eyeing up his post-Mayoral race career.

With swipes at Zac Goldsmith ‘I respect him but no one should vote for him’ and ‘boring robot’ Sadiq Khan aside, he agrees with the other candidates that the housing crisis is the biggest issue plaguing London.

He said: “We need hundreds of thousands of council houses. It is the only democratic form of renting because you can evict your landlord and elect a new one.

“That would drive rent down in the private sector. We have the highest rents and house prices in the entire world,” he added.

However when asked where he would build these homes, Mr Galloway admitted that London may have to sacrifice London’s open spaces in order to solve the crisis.

“We need to build on brownfield sites, NHS and TfL land. We won’t be able to solve it just by building on brownfield we need to build on select greenbelt lands.”

He felt that Boris Johnson’s efforts to create affordable housing was not good enough and determined that 50% of London’s new housing should be affordable.

Mr Galloway also argued that Sadiq Khan’s promise to be the most ‘pro-business mayor’ is the wrong tactic.

He said: “Big business doesn’t need a mayor, it is the people who work for businesses that do. I will be the most pro-worker, the most pro-tenant.”

In regards to transport, he acknowledged that his plans to give all students free travel are radical.

He said: “All students will travel for free because of the theft of the EMA and the crippling tuition fees – these people need a break.”

When asked how he would pay for this he noted that seats are empty on buses already so the government are already paying for it.

On London congestion and air quality he said: “All delivery trucks would be banned from London in the daylight hours so they would have to deliver during the night.

“If your vehicle is highly polluting you will have to pay very dearly indeed.”

Mr Galloway believes that the Mayor of London need to have both a strong personality and strong policies in order to succeed, which is where he feels the frontrunners are lacking.

He said: “Both of the main candidates are above all else boring.

“Both of the previous mayors have been big figures. They were nobody’s robot. Sadiq Khan in particular even speaks like a robot.

“Zac Goldsmith looks the part until he speaks. I know him well, I like him and admire him. He is a principled and honourable guy but he is a Tory so nobody should vote for him.”

Mr Galloway did announce that should Sadiq Khan win the election, he would look to take his seat as Tooting MP in the by-election.

He said: “I think a by-election in Tooting would be very swift.

“It is easier to win a by-election than a general election, as you don’t have a national tide of feeling to compete with.”

However he is not giving up the top job without a fight, expressing his long-held desire for the position.

He said: “I have always wanted it. When Ken Livingston first ran I remember thinking ‘I wish I could have done that’.

“I watched his victory as an independent over Labour and that got me. It is a great and big job in every sense of the word.”

Written by Andrew Coates

April 22, 2016 at 9:37 am

Former ‘Maoist’ Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), Joins Farage, UKIP and Galloway in Grassroots Out Campaign.

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https://i1.wp.com/www.cpbml.org.uk/sites/default/files/referendumposter.jpeg

‘Communists’ Against Mass Migration.

The Communist Party of Britain (Marxist–Leninist) (CPB(M-L)) is an example of the development, post-Mao, of ‘Marxist-Leninist’ groups towards nationalism.

The party was formed in 1968 by Reg Birch as a split from the Communist Party of Great Britain, siding with the Communist Party of China. The party published The Worker from 1969 until 2000, when it became Workers. The CPB(M-L) sided with Enver Hoxha in theSino-Albanian split, and came to support the Soviet Union for a period in the 1980s, before dropping this line over Mikhail Gorbachev‘s reforms.

A key part of the CPB (M-L)‘s  case against the European Union is that weakened national sovereignty and borders has let in too many migrants into Britain.

The role of mass migration and “free” movement of labour in undermining wages and union organisation was contrasted with the assertions (or lies) that EU legislation protects workers.

They backed this recent meeting,

Grassroots Out Glasgow rally

7 April 2016, 7 pm

Hunter Halls, University of Glasgow, University Avenue, Glasgow  G128 QQ

With speakers Nigel Farage MEP, Dr Liam Fox, Peter Bone MP, Eddie McGuire (trade unionist), Mike Gold (CAEF), David Coburn and Brendan Chilton with more to be announced.

The way this group works is easy to trace: Eddie McGuire, ‘Trade Unionist’ turns out also to be:

 

And  (CPB- ML site): Composing British unity

Draw your own conclusions about which political party he backs….

The New Communist Party (a member of the Labour Representation Committee)  has, according to Wikipedia, also signed up.

The NCP has endorsed in March 2016 Grassroots Out the cross party movement launched to campaign to leave the EU.

If this is not the case we will be happy to post a correction.

Another one of the anti-EU alliances has just formed:

Leave EU – new group formed to fight for an exit Left.

A new left-wing anti-EU campaign group dubbed Lexit has been set up following a meeting in London.

The new alliance formed on Monday night from rail union RMT, Trade Unionists Against the EU, the Communist Party of Britain, the Indian Workers Association (GB), the Bangladeshi Workers Council of Britain, Scottish Left Leave, Counterfire and the Socialist Workers Party.

Other trade union, socialist and workers’ groups are expected to join Lexit in coming weeks.

Lexit will hold a series of rallies across Britain in the coming weeks and produce films and other publications to promote what it calls the “working class, left-wing and internationalist case” for voting to leave the European Union in the referendum on June 23. Some Labour MPs and prominent trade unionists have also indicated a willingness to appear on the group’s platforms.

Lexit chairman Robert Griffiths said that the EU debate until now had been “dominated by pro-big business and anti-foreigner arguments” on both sides.

“It’s high time that the interests of working people, their public services and their common aspirations regardless of race, religion and nationality were heard,” he said.

“The reality is that from Ireland and Portugal to Cyprus and Greece, the EU has been spearheading the drive for ruthless austerity and wholesale privatisation, dividing people and creating the conditions in which racist and fascist groups can thrive.”
Mr Griffiths said it was no surprise that most of the City banks and big companies that fund the Tory Party wanted Britain to stay in the EU.

These groups are on on the fringes of the labour movement.

Far from being left-wing or working class their actions help those who wish to  build a “bonfire of rights”, as Jeremy Corbyn has put it.

And please, let’s have less of these phony words about “Internationalism”.

With the CPB-ML we can at least see the real direction where this stand leads them.

 

 

 

 

As Labour Movement Rallies Behind ‘Stay’ Vote, Corbyn Makes Socialist Case for EU.

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Labour Movement Rallies for Europe.

 

The country’s three biggest unions –  Unison, Unite and GMB – have announced they will campaign for remain reported the Mirror yesterday.

Unison today became the latest major union to announce it would campaign for the UK to stay in the European Union.

The public sector union joins Unite and GMB, which between them represent more than 3million workers, in deciding to back remain in June’s referendum.

General Secretary Dave Prentis said a consultation with Unison members showed overwhelming backing for the union to campaign to stay.

Top of their concerns were fears that Brexit would see the loss of employment rights such as parental leave, paid holidays and protection for part time workers, the consultation found.

Almost four in five (78%) Unison branches wanted the union to take a stance in the EU referendum, and of these 95% wanted their union to campaign for the UK to stay in Europe.

The BBC is now running this story:.

Jeremy Corbyn is setting out the “socialist case” for remaining in the EU in his first major intervention in the referendum campaign.

The Labour leader said the party “overwhelmingly” backs EU membership despite its “shortcomings”.

And he argued that Britain must remain in, to fight for reform.

He cited protection of workers’ rights, environmental standards and consumer safeguards as reasons to vote to Remain on 23 June.

In a speech in central London, Mr Corbyn said: “Over the years I have been critical of many decisions taken by the EU, and I remain critical of its shortcomings; from its lack of democratic accountability to the institutional pressure to deregulate or privatise public services.

“So Europe needs to change. But that change can only come from working with our allies in the EU. It’s perfectly possible to be critical and still be convinced we need to remain a member.”

The Guardian leads with,

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Jeremy Corbyn: leaving EU would lead to ‘bonfire of rights’.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has responded to calls for him to step up the fight for Britain to remain in the European Union with a speech stressing the need for international cooperation to boost workers’ rights, tackle climate change and crack down on corruption.

Speaking to an audience of Labour-supporting students and trade unionists in London, Corbyn repeatedly pointed to the shortcomings of the EU in its present form – but said he wanted to forge alliances with leftwing parties across Europe to reform it.

“You can’t build a better world unless you engage with the world,” he said, urging young people to “make sure you register to vote, and vote to keep the UK in Europe in June”, and warning that a Conservative government would take the opportunity of Brexit to slash protection for workers, in a “bonfire of rights”.
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“We want to strengthen the protection of every worker, all over Europe, not just in Britain,” he said, promising that a Labour government would co-operate with socialist allies to halt the “race to the bottom”.

Corbyn said the EU had helped to underpin “investment, jobs and protections for workers, consumers and the environment”, and working together with European allies offered “the best chance of meeting the challenges we face in the 21st century”.

He compared the decision to his own choice to remain within the Labour party, even when he had profound disagreements with its leaders. “I’ve had a few differences with the direction the Labour party has taken over the last few years, some people may have noticed. But I have been sure that I was right to remain a member of the Labour party.”

He added, smiling: “Some might say I’ve managed to do something more recently about changing the direction of Labour, and I’m enjoying that as well.”

For arguments against the increasingly isolated Brexit ‘left, see: Shiraz Socialist.

 

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Re-run of 1970s Battle by Tariq Ali and ‘IMG Sealed Knot’ Society.

The real left meanwhile…

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

April 14, 2016 at 11:19 am

Socialist Worker Joins TUSC and Socialist Party to Stand Councillors Against Corbyn’s Labour.

with 7 comments

The Scorpion and the Frog: a Model Fable Taught in SWP Cadre schools.

Last September the SWP issued this statement,

The Socialist Workers Party congratulates Jeremy Corbyn on becoming Labour party leader.

His success is a clear sign of the feeling against austerity, racism and war. His victory is an utter rejection of the warmongering and veneration of big business that were the hallmarks of the Tony Blair eras.

We look forward to continuing to work with Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters against the disastrous Tory policies that threaten to destroy key public services, deepen poverty, whip up racism and plunge British armed forces into more imperialist wars.

SWP national secretary Charlie Kimber said, “Jeremy Corbyn’s victory is a boost to everyone who hates austerity and racism. It comes as tens of thousands of people across Britain are marching to say ‘Refugees are welcome’. Jeremy Corbyn’s rallies have seen large and enthusiastic audiences come to cheer a socialist message. Those people must become a movement in the streets and the workplaces that can block and then remove this Tory government.”

Careful observers will have noticed the sting in the tail, “we need a movement independent of Labour.”

The SWP’s Charlie Kimber’ writes today in Socialist Worker on the faults of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.

It he has not called on people to demonstrate—probably because he does not want to upset the pessimistic and timid steel unions.

A Corbyn-backed call for protests in Port Talbot and Scunthorpe could have put tens of thousands on the streets.

It could have given confidence to steel workers to launch militant resistance.

Corbyn and shadow chancellor John McDonnell have called for some sort of temporary steel nationalisation.

But their vision is to nurture the plants back to health and speedily hand them back to private firms—with all that means for jobs and pay.

Labour will not come out in support of the junior doctors’ strikes.

John McDonnell does as an individual, and attended picket lines. But Labour’s official position is just to criticise the Tories, regret the events that have led to strikes and demand proper negotiations.

Constrained by the opposition of Labour MPs, and anxious to preserve “party unity”, Corbyn makes concessions to the right. Corbyn and McDonnell did not call for people to take to the streets last weekend when Cameron faced calls to resign.

Kimber sagely notes,

Our main task is to build resistance alongside Corbyn supporters, whether they’re in the Labour Party or not. At the same time we have to debate how Labour won’t be able to challenge austerity, racism and capitalism effectively.

To point out effectively the errors of their ways and to further build ‘resistance’ alongside Labour Party Corbyn  people and other members an important method is to stand candidates against the party in the May  local elections.

The left alternative to Labour is small. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), which the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) supports, will be running some 300 candidates in the councils.

They will show up the faultlines in Labour’ politics,

It wants to highlight the need to fight the Tory cuts and Labour’s failure to do so..

The SWP will not stand against anybody who agrees with their  political line.

Care has been taken to avoid standing against any councillor who is pledged to vote against all cuts or supports Corbyn.

But they warn to be on guard against backsliding:

Of course, deciding not to stand against a candidate doesn’t mean being responsible for what they do in the future.

There follows some kindly advice to Labour’s mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan.

Oddly they do not back the SWP’s former best friend, George Galloway. Instead they call for a vote for Khan.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 12, 2016 at 11:06 am

TUSC Bids to Become Official ‘Leave’ (Brexit) Campaign.

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TUSC to Campaign against this Policy.

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supported the Socialist Party and other small left groups has joined Kate Hoey (Labour) and George Galloway (George Galloway Party) in the campaign to vote ‘Leave’ in the coming Referendum.

The BBC reports

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition has launched a bid to be designated as the official campaign to get Britain out of the European Union.

And it is threatening legal action if either Vote Leave or Grassroots Out are chosen instead.

The party says neither group can speak for anti-austerity campaigners who want to leave the EU, due to their “pro-business” and “reactionary” views.

A decision will be made by the Electoral Commission on 14 April.

The Commission can select one designated lead campaign for both the “Leave” and “Remain” sides ahead of the referendum on EU membership on 23 June.

The watchdog will judge each applicant’s merits on the basis of a range of criteria, such as level of cross-party support, campaign tactics and organisational capacity.

The chosen campaigns will get access to a grant of up to £600,000, an overall spending limit of £7m, campaign broadcasts, free mailshots and free access to meeting rooms.

On the Leave side, it had been expected to be a straight fight between two groups – Vote Leave, which is backed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, cabinet ministers including Michael Gove, UKIP MP Douglas Carswell – and Grassroots Out, which is supported by Tory MPs Peter Bone and Tom Pursglove, UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Labour MP Kate Hoey among others.

The RMT is funding this campaign against the Labour Party leader’s policy of staying within the European Union.

Rail union the RMT, which is not affiliated to Labour and which has funded its own anti-EU party in the past, is bankrolling the TUSC bid to for official designation.

Mr Heemskerk said other unions were considering their stance and Unison, on whose executive committee TUSC has strong representation, could support its call to not cooperate with the Leave campaign.

Asked whether TUSC had the organisational capacity to run a referendum campaign, he said it put up more than 130 candidates at last year’s general election and joked that the RMT had shown itself able to “bring London to a standstill” in past Tube strike action.

He also warned the party would not rule anything out if “its arguments were not listened to”.

“If we don’t get a meeting with the Electoral Commission, then there is a strong case for a judicial review.”

The Socialist Party caused controversy when its leader, Peter Taaffe, put forward  in 2015 this view the European Union’s free movement of labour (the Socialist),

The alleged benefits of the ‘free movement of labour’ are in reality a device for the bosses to exploit a vast pool of cheap labour, which can then be used to cut overall wage levels and living standards.

Last year the Socialist party was cock-o-hoop about Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader.

The same Taaff wrote (October 2015),

A political earthquake

Jeremy Corbyn’s victory is a political earthquake that transforms the situation in Britain and poses stark questions for how a new mass socialist force can be built. Peter Taaffe writes.

Jeremy Corbyn achieved a spectacular victory in the Labourleadership election with 59% of the total vote, scoring an unprecedented quarter of a million votes, including nearly 50% of full Labour Party members and a magnificent 84% of the £3 registered supporters.

This election was a victory for the left, anti-austerity campaign and for working people generally…

This year TUSC  is standing a long list of candidates against Jeremy Corbyn’s  Labour Party in the May elections:

Candidates agreed to April 4th TUSC candidates in May’s council elections Below is the list of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates approved so far by the TUSC national steering committee to stand in the local elections taking place on May 5th.

Whether the RMT is reconsidering re-affiliating to the Labour Party or not, this funding for their anti-Europe campaign is bound to be controversial.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 5, 2016 at 3:36 pm