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Labour Split: Brexit and Beyond.

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” 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.

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On the Anti-Semitism of Certain Gilets Jaunes against Alain Finkielkraut.

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Unity Against Anti-Semitism.

Yellow-vest protests: Macron condemns anti-Semitic abuse

BBC.

French President Emmanuel Macron has condemned anti-Semitic abuse directed at a prominent intellectual by a group of “yellow vest” protesters in Paris.

Police stepped in to protect the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut after he was bombarded with insults and anti-Jewish taunts in the French capital.

President Macron said it was an “absolute negation” of what made France great and would not be tolerated.

Tens of thousands took part in anti-government protests on Saturday.

Prosecutors have now opened an investigation into the incident, and France’s interior minister said on Sunday that a suspect alleged to be the “main perpetrator” had been identified by the authorities.

It is significant that the French Communist Party was one of the first to react:

Ian Brossat, chief French Communist Party candidate for the European Parliament, said “We can hate Finkielkraut’s ideas”, but “nothing can justify attacking him as a Jew”.

The Local.

The anti-Semitic insults hurled at Alain Finkielkraut by certain Gilets Jaunes in Paris on Saturday continue to make waves in France.

This was on Europe 1 this morning.

Bernard-Henri Lévy : “On est dans un moment qui me fait penser à l’époque de l’affaire Dreyfus”

BHL’s scattergun polemics will leave many people cold.

But in some respects he is completely to the point.

In le Monde Diplomatique this month Serge Halimi & Pierre Rimbert defend the Gilet Jaunes as a manifestation of class war.

They cite an episode from the history of French socialism. In the debate, known widely as the “Two methods” held in the Hippodrome of Lille in 1900, Jules Guesde defended the sectarian ‘class against class’ against those socialists who had defended Dreyfus and no backed a government to ‘defend the republic’ against the far-right ‘reactionary’ threat

In Lille in 1900, the socialist leader Jules Guesde had already seen through this political game to which the capitalist class owed its longevity in power: ‘It is divided into progressive bourgeoisie and republican bourgeoisie, clerical bourgeoisie and free-thinking bourgeoisie, in such a way that a defeated faction can always be replaced in power by another faction from the same class, which is also [our] enemy. It’s a ship with watertight partitions which can take in water on one side without being any less unsinkable.’ But sometimes the sea gets rough and the vessel’s stability is threatened. In such a situation, squabbles need to be set aside to present a united front and keep it afloat.

The authors do not cite Guesde’s opponent, Jean Jaurès.

The exchange hinged on the participation of a socialist, Millerand, in the bourgeois (republican) government of René Waldeck-Rousseau. For  Jaurès defending Millerand was a matter of being against Nationalism and Reaction (“contre le nationalisme, contre la réaction”).

The disagreement,as mentioned, went back to Dreyfus.

Guesde refused to back the Jewish victim of anti-semitism on the grounds that the affair was “un conflit interne à la bourgeoisie “(an internal squabble within the bourgeoisie).

Comrade Jaurès replied to these arguments by asserting that the human rights at stake with the injustice against Dreyfus were a matter for socialists.

There are two parts to capitalist and bourgeois legality: There are a whole mass of laws aimed at protecting the fundamental iniquity of our society, and there are laws that consecrate the privileges of capitalist property, the exploitation of the wage earner by the owner. We want to smash these laws, and even by revolution if necessary abolish capitalist legality in order to bring forth a new order. But alongside these laws of privilege and rapine, made by a class and for it, there are others that sum up the pitiful progress of humanity, the modest guarantees that it has little by little conquered through a centuries-long effort and a long series of revolutions.

And among these laws the one that doesn’t allow the condemnation of a man, whoever he might be, without discussion with him is perhaps the most essential. Contrary to the nationalists who want to keep of bourgeois legality all that protects capital and turn over to generals all that protects man, we revolutionary socialists want, within today’s legality, to abolish the capitalist portion and save the human portion. We defend legal guarantees against the braided judges who smash them, just as, if the need arises, we will defend republican legality against generals in a coup d’etat.

Jean Jaurès 1898. The Dreyfus Affair

That  tradition, which sees the fight against anti-Semitism as part of the wider struggle for human rights, and socialism, is quiet but is now becoming more and more alive.

Yves Colman, one of many on the radical French left,  stands against this latest manifestation of anti-Semitism,

Quand des Gilets jaunes lancent des insultes antisémites et xénophobes contre Alain Finkielkraut ils ne font que suivre les traces de leurs prédécesseurs de Nuits debout

The fact that Finkielkraut is reactionary, hostile to Muslim immigration, is indeed an excellent reason to fight it politically. The fact that he does not understand the difference between Islam and Islamism, or between political Islam and jihadist terrorism, the fact that he defends Renaud Camus, the theoretician of the “great replacement”, does not make him particularly attractive.

But there is a wide margin between this and making antisemitic and xenophobic remarks about him when you come across him in the street. This is the step  that yellow vests made today.

Yves continues, comparing this incident to the outpouring of hatred that occurred when Finkielkraut made an equally provocative visit to the Nuit Debout movement’s spectacle at the Place de la Bastille in 2016.

The extreme left, denouncing Finkielkraut’s slightest gesture and systematically associating him with Zionism, could only have facilitated the creation of the current anti-Semitic climate. From this climate left and extreme left who claim to be “anti-Zionists” are partly responsible.

Anti-Semitism and anti-Muslim racism go hand in hand. And we can not pretend to fight the second without fighting the first. Otherwise we play the game of the extreme right

 

Here

Written by Andrew Coates

February 18, 2019 at 1:34 pm

People’s Assembly leader John Rees urges Corbyn to “face down” anti-Brexit Labour membership and MPs

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Image result for John Rees and Galloway

Happier Days: John Rees, Experienced Campaigner and Strategist. 

In a multi-pronged strategy for reviving Labour’s fortunes, John Rees, a leading figure in the People’s Assembly and the influential groupuscule Counterfire launched this broadside yesterday:

Waiting for the Tories to fail is a losing strategy, argues John Rees

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.

The pro-Brexit Rees, who sees leaving the European Union as the basis for a “new economic settlement that works for the many”, a “People’s Brexit”  urges Corbyn to come out forcefully for….. Brexit,

Worse still, placating these forces in Labour sends a signal to Leave voters that Labour is not serious about respecting the outcome of the 2016 referendum. The secret of the Tories continued relative success in the opinion polls is that they look like the only party seriously committed to delivering Brexit. If Labour allows this to continue it makes the next general election a much more close run thing than it ever need be.

Rees, on the strength of the 3,000 strong (some say, 2,000)  People’s Assembly March last month, which ended in fisticuffs about who has the patent to be the “real” British Yellow Jackets, urges action.

Now!

Labour’s campaigning is not up to scratch.

In the midst of an unprecedented political crisis Labour’s response has been wholly Parliamentary. Remainers take to the streets. Leavers take to the streets. The far right take to the streets. But the Labour left? Even Momentum, which used to pride itself on being a social movement, is in entirely passive in respect of any large-scale extra Parliamentary movement.

What we need is action!

Now!

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.

In a heartfelt plea Rees ends his Philippic,

The whole left, but crucially the Labour left, will allow their best opportunity yet to create a left Labour government pass by if they remain passive for much longer.

Guardian:

Most Labour members believe Corbyn should back second Brexit vote

Labour members are significantly more opposed to Brexit than Jeremy Corbyn is, with 72% of them thinking their leader should fully support a second referendum, according to a study of attitudes in the party.

The polling, part of an ongoing wider academic study into attitudes in various parties, found that only 18% opposed Labour campaigning for a second referendum, while 88% would then opt for remain if such a vote was held.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 17, 2019 at 11:40 am

Love Socialism, Hate Brexit – MPs and Meeting Make Waves.

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Anti-Brexit Left.

On Wednesday night a Union boss told the world his pro-Brexit policy.

Len McCluskey has said that remaining in the EU would “not be the best option” for the UK – but called on Prime Minister Theresa May to accept that a soft version of Brexit is the only one achievable.

Talking to ITV’s Robert Peston on Wednesday night, the General Secretary of Unite, which represents 1.2 million British workers across a wide range of sectors, said that he prefers a softer Brexit with membership of a customs union and tariff-free access to the single market.

He told Mr Peston that he was “vehemently in favour of a people’s vote, it’s called a general election” but said that he was against any efforts that could reverse the Brexit process as a whole.

He said: “My view is that having had a 2016 referendum where the people have voted to come out of the EU, to try and deflect away from that threatens the whole democratic fabric on which we operate… I’m saying that in reality, it is not the best option for our nation.”

The ‘I’.

Yesterday Clive Lewis spoke at “Love Socialism, Hate Brexit” with other Labour MPs to express a different view.

Love socialism, hate Brexit? Labour’s position is crumbling

Independent.

This is a man who resigned from Labour’s front bench in order to vote against triggering Article 50, but has now returned, and claims he has only done so because part of Labour’s Brexit policy involves the possibility of a second referendum, which now looks unlikely to happen.

Clive Lewis warned the Love Socialism, Hate Brexit crowd that the Liberal Democrats were “utterly, comprehensively destroyed for facilitating austerity,” and that the Labour Party risked the same fate by “facilitating a Tory Brexit”.

He told them a new Tory leader would come in, after Theresa May. “And they will say ‘you know what, she was a disaster for this country, she betrayed this country, but so too was the leader of the opposition. He was part of this sorry debacle and I’m now going to move forward to try resolve this situation in the best way I can.’

“And I tell you what, the Tory right-wing mainstream media will get behind that narrative and it is us, the Labour Party, that will pick up a lot of the flack for what happens.”

The Guardian also reports:

Shadow minister says party would never be forgiven as calls for second referendum grow

Labour tensions over Brexit threatened to boil over on Thursday as two shadow ministers broke ranks to call for a second referendum, and others hinted they could quit the party unless Jeremy Corbyn’s position changed over the next fortnight.

Clive Lewis, a shadow Treasury minister, warned Corbyn that Labour might never be forgiven and could disappear from UK politics if MPs voted to facilitate a Conservative Brexit deal.

Another shadow minister, Paul Sweeney, also backed a second referendum on the final Brexit deal for the first time on Thursday.

The high-profile pro-EU backbencher Chris Leslie said he was “clinging to hope” that the Conservatives would back a fresh poll in the next fortnight, suggesting that he had lost faith in his own party.

Leslie accused Corbyn of “regressing” from the party’s conference policy to pursue a public vote when other options had been exhausted. “I certainly feel we are being played for fools by the leadership of the Labour party on this particular issue. By now we should have reached the stage of a public vote. Nobody can explain to me seriously … why we are not at that particular stage right now.”

Leslie is among several backbench MPs rumoured to be considering quitting the party in the coming weeks, as concerns mount not only over the party’s Brexit policy but also how it has dealt with cases of antisemitism.

The shadow minister, a prominent supporter of Corbyn, made his comments at a Love Socialism, Hate Brexit rally promoted by the pro-referendum group Another Europe is Possible.

Lewis, who resigned from the shadow cabinet in 2017 to vote against triggering article 50 but returned to the frontbench last year, said Labour could face electoral annihilation similar to that of the Liberal Democrats after the party entered a coalition with the Tories.

The Socialist Workers Party makes a bold counter call:

The left should put forward an anti-austerity, anti-racist vision of Brexit that rejects the neoliberal single market and defends freedom of movement.

Labour Party Marxists (Weekly Worker, Communist Party of Great Britain Provisional Central Committee) , ignores the issue of Europe altogether,

Heading to a Split?

Amazingly, there are still people ostensibly on the Labour left appealing for ‘party unity’. But the last few weeks will have done wonders to convince most Jeremy Corbyn supporters that, in fact, there can be no unity with the right in the party. Corbyn and his allies have certainly launched plenty of appeals for ‘unity’ in the past three and a half years – trying to appease the right by bending over backwards to accept most of their demands. But we are seeing signs that, perhaps, the policy of appeasement pursued by Corbyn’s office might finally be coming to an end.

Instead,

the campaign to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism is very much part and parcel of the slow coup against Jeremy Corbyn and the left.

Meanwhile back on the internationalist left:

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 15, 2019 at 1:19 pm

The Legacy of Lyndon LaRouche (1922 – 2019???).

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LaRouche really did not like us lot either.

The ultimate American politician and conspiracist is dead—at least according to Twitter. It’s hard to know where to begin, really. This video summarizes LaRouche’s thoughts on Walter Mondale and is as good a place as any to start. The waters run deep and wide; I cannot but suspect Prince Philip is pleased to outlive him.

Here.

This, well-established rumour, was widely tweeted.

Many of the views for which LaRouche is famous are, these days, mainstream conspi stiff, “September 11th was an “inside job”, that Global Warming is a myth, “The “Greenhouse effect” hoax: a world federalist plot” and, inevitably, George Soros, whom he identified as a puppet master back in 2008

Your Enemy George Soros.

This Report documents the takeover of the democratic party by George Soros. A Nazi sympathizer who continues in the destruction of peoples and nations around the world.

LaRouche’s loathing for ‘Zionists’ nearly equalled some of the European ‘anti-Zionists’ of today, ” the Zionist Lobby is “the most visible of the internal enemies of the United States–and of the human race–at this specific moment. Every policy it is currently pushing is pure evil.” In his take on this (back in the 1970s) he said, “calls for a national “Task Force” to “root out the cancer in the American body politic that is the so-called Zionist Lobby….Literally thousands of operatives for the Zionist Lobby have penetrated the halls of Congress, the State and Defense Departments, the CIA, and American business and labor organizations….Their loyalties lie not with the United States but with the Zionist-British organism….[A]nyone professing Zionist loyalties is by definition incapable of being loyal to the interests of the United States. He is, by definition, a national security risk. The Zionist octopus must be eliminated.” LAROUCHE & CO.: A CHORUS OF HATE

The writer of this Blog first learnt of the existence of LaRouche at the end of the 60s when I was about 15 years old.

The National Caucus of Labor Committees put its material in the old Collete’s ‘Bomb Shop’ in Tottenham Court Road.

It was hallucinatory.

Yet we learn that the group had its origins in the US New Left.

The NCLC had it origins in the 1968 convention of the Students for a Democratic Society. It comprised people who had been expelled from the Maoist Progressive Labor Party, an SDS faction, and students from Columbia University in New York City. It called itself the “SDS Labor Committee” or the “National Caucus of SDS Labor Committees”.[5][6] Led by LaRouche, it included “New Left lieutenants” Ed Spannaus, Nancy Spannaus, and Tony Papert, as well as Paul Milkman, Paul Gallagher, Leif Johnson, Tony Chaitkin, and Steve Fraser.[7][8] According to Dennis King, Papert and Fraser had been targets of the FBI’s COINTELPRO operatives.[9] The Labor Committee was known for promoting a “socialist re-industrialization” of the economy, combined with confiscatory taxes on what it saw as wasteful and parasitic investment. It was expelled from SDS for taking the side of the teachers’ union in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville strike.[5] It was originally a New Left organization influenced by Trotskyist ideas[10] as well as those of other Marxists such as Rosa Luxemburg, but opposed other New Left organizations which LaRouche said were dominated by the Ford FoundationInstitute for Policy Studies and Herbert Marcuse.

Wikipedia.

LaRouche’s background is no less intelligible, at least to this Blog,

In 1964 he began an association with an SWP faction called the Revolutionary Tendency, a faction which was later expelled from the SWP, and came under the influence of British Trotskyist leader Gerry Healy.[23]

For six months, LaRouche worked with American Healyite leader Tim Wohlforth, who later wrote that LaRouche had a “gargantuan ego”, and “a marvelous ability to place any world happening in a larger context, which seemed to give the event additional meaning, but his thinking was schematic, lacking factual detail and depth.” Leaving Wohlforth’s group, LaRouche briefly joined the rival Spartacist League before announcing his intention to build a new “Fifth International”.[21]

In 1967 LaRouche began teaching classes on Marx’s dialectical materialism at New York City’s Free School,[24] and attracted a group of students from Columbia University and the City College of New York, recommending that they read Das Kapital, as well as Hegel, Kant, and Leibniz. During the 1968 Columbia University protests, he organized his supporters under the name National Caucus of Labor Committees (NCLC).[24] The aim of the NCLC was to win control of the Students for a Democratic Society branch—the university’s main activist group—and build a political alliance between students, local residents, organized labor, and the Columbia faculty.[25][26][27][28] By 1973 the NCLC had over 600 members in 25 cities—including West Berlin and Stockholm—and produced what Dennis King called the most literate of the far-left papers, New Solidarity.[29][30] The NCLC’s internal activities became highly regimented over the next few years. Members gave up their jobs and devoted themselves to the group and its leader, believing it would soon take control of America’s trade unions and overthrow the government.

Wikipedia.

This is the point where it all goes a lot more haywire.

It is hard to get a hold on it all.

Perhaps this may help.

There are many people in the US referred to as ‘left-wing’. Honourable people who do a lot of good. But in Europe their politics are centre-left, liberal, ‘progressive’.

The Marxist, or even radical, American left, has little practical influence on politics. Bernie Sanders, who would be on the centre mainstream of the UK Labour Party, never had the slightest chance of becoming President. The world was solemnly enjoined to take note when a couple of socialist councillors and  then a couple of mildly radical socialist inclined individuals (in all cases with something like the politics of the respectable centre of the UK Labour Party) got elected to Congress.

This means, some who know the US scene better than this Blog (not difficult)  say, that it is  made up of often frustrated and isolated individuals. It is claimed that they either live ‘dual lives’ (revolutionaries in their own minds, making daily compromises to the rest of the world), or keep the flame in enclaves (academic or cultural) shut off from the rest of the world, in academia or imaginary “Marxism lists”. However personally successful people may be in these conditions, however amiable and open-minded they are,  their politics are likely to be pretty adrift. This would naturally attract its share of odd-bods, as all unorthodox politics do.

But LaRouche was special.

Very special. 

Extract from the history of the group and actions which first brought him to wider attention

Operation Mop Up

LaRouche’s writings in the late 1960s displayed an intense curiosity about the history and methods of European fascism. His research, so his followers thought, was aimed at learning how to prevent fascism. But his analysis differed in subtle ways from that of other leftists. One of the first observers to spot something amiss was his old rival Tim Wohlforth. In a 1968 article, Wohlforth noted LaRouche’s “preposterous theory” that the Nazi’s murder of six million Jews had been motivated solely by economics. “It seems,” wrote Wohlforth, “that when [the Nazis] worked the Jews to a point where there was no labor power left in them, they simply sent them to the gas chambers to save the cost of upkeep for unproductive slaves.” Wohlforth saw LaRouche’s theory as just a one-sided analysis of Nazi motives. He didn’t suspect that LaRouche one day would develop his own brand of fascism.

In 1971, LaRouche published a major article on the prospects for fascist base building in America, Only with a mass base, he observed, could a “storm trooper” organization have “saleable qualities” that might attract support from “leading governmental and financial interests.” He predicted that such a movement would emerge soon on the basis of a “populist” ideology and diverse appeals to rival ethnic groups. This movement would begin to furnish the capitalists with gangs to “break strikes and break up socialist and union meetings.” Although at first it might include fascist-minded Jews, it would sooner or later turn on the Jewish community. The Jews, LaRouche observed, were “a most visible and thus ‘ripe’ ” candidate for the role of scapegoat.

LaRouche also predicted that a new type of left-wing group, defined as “left-protofascist,” would take part in the street violence on the side of overtly right-wing ethnic fascists. In subsequent articles he examined how the alleged controllers of fascism, the American capitalist class, might use advanced brainwashing techniques to transform leftist college students into precisely this type of left-fascist “zombie.” He meanwhile began to teach his own leftist followers to regard themselves as “Prometheans,” an elite far above the rest of humanity,

LaRouche’s implication was clear: The NCLC must learn from fascism and adopt some of fascism’s tactics. But his followers still regarded themselves as good Marxists (in spite of their elitist pretensions) and retained a visceral hatred of fascism. If LaRouche wanted to steer them to the right, he would have to turn the NCLC into a controlled environment for ideological reeducation—a political cult.

The NCLC’s transformation occurred in three overlapping stages during 1973-74. First, LaRouche ordered his followers into the streets for a campaign of savage attacks on rival leftist groups called Operation Mop Up. This forced them to either deepen their commitment or get out. It also isolated them irrevocably from the rest of the left.

Second, LaRouche staged “ego-stripping” sessions at NCLC meetings, instilling in his followers a sense of shame over any ideological wavering or lack of courage they might have displayed during Mop Up.

Finally, he whipped up an atmosphere of hysteria inside the NCLC based on allegations of an assassination plot aimed against himself. The acceptance of these bizarre allegations severed most of the remaining links between NCLC members and everyday reality.

Operation Mop Up was preceded by months of squabbling between the NCLC and the Communist Party USA. NCLC members had frequently disrupted CP meetings with long harangues from the floor. The CP began tossing them out and published articles alleging that they were government agents. Matters escalated in early 1973 when the NCLC announced a conference in Philadelphia to build a national organization for welfare recipients and the unemployed. CP members and other local activists started a campaign to discredit the conference, calling its NCLC organizers racists as well as agents. The NCLC leadership was furious. A New Solidarity front-page editorial, entitled “Deadly Crisis for CPUSA,” warned the CP that if it didn’t back off it would face an all-out counterattack. The CP failed to take the threat seriously.

On the conference’s opening day the anti-NCLC coalition sent a sound truck through the black community and staged a picket line with signs comparing the NCLC to the Ku Klux Klan. This failed to stop the event, which was attended by several hundred white middle-class activists and a handful of welfare mothers. The harassment did, however, give LaRouche the pretext he needed. He called an emergency meeting of the East Coast NCLC. “From here on in,” he declared, “the CP cannot hold a meeting on the East Coast . . . We’ll mop them up in two months.” The NCLC, he promised, would seize “hegemony” on the left—i.e., replace the CP as the dominant organization.

Many NCLC members were shocked and frightened by LaRouche’s announcement, but he anticipated their reluctance: “I know you better than you know yourselves, and for the most part you’re full of crap,” he said. “This isn’t a debating society anymore.”

For further information see  LYNDON LAROUCHE AND THE NEW AMERICAN FASCISM

There’s plenty more to say about his career, but this is a gem:

Britain, The Empire of Evil, Pushes Genocide and World War

2015.

As Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arrived Wednesday in Germany for a three-day visit, the truly Satanic nature of the British Empire was on full display. Prince Philip’s top aide, Martin Palmer, is the principal organizer of a French government-sponsored Paris conference in July, peddling the same genocidal program of “Earth stewardship” that would-be mass murderer John Schellnhuber inserted into the recent Papal Encyclical on climate change. The Paris conference is part of the propaganda assault, leading to the next ‘Copenhagen’ conference at the end of the year, also in Paris. The Worldwatch Institute, founded by Lester Brown, has just issued a report, demanding an end to all subsidies for fossil-fuel and nuclear power, as part of the drive for a total conversion to renewables like solar and wind power.

Any such reversal of the core principle of increased energy- flux density means mass genocide, on the scale that Prince Philip and Schellnhuber have been advocating for decades. Leading Italian economist Nino Galloni has penned an excellent attack on the recent Papal Encyclical, precisely from the standpoint of the concept of “energy-flux density” developed by Lyndon LaRouche.

The question that must be posed to all sane citizens is: Are you for the British Empire’s genocide, or are you for the human race? Are you with Zeus or Prometheus?

This is no abstract question. With the entire European financial system just days away from potential complete meltdown, around the showdown with Greece, and with a British-led NATO explicitly provoking thermonuclear confrontation with both Russia and China, the very survival of mankind is on the line.

There is no question where President Obama stands. He is a British agent, fully committed to the genocidal agenda of Prince Philip, Martin Palmer, John Schellnhuber, and the rest. Yesterday, the internationally renowned Doctors Without Borders issued a highly unusual, scathing attack on Obama, for his Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade swindle, which, the release details, will shut off affordable medicine to at least a half billion people, under the secret clauses of the treaty, written in league with the major pharmaceutical companies. This is mass murder, plain and simple, and this is Obama.

The greatest danger to human survival is the British Empire’s plan for mass genocide, as expressed by the Queen’s agent Schellnhuber. This is a full-blown commitment by the British Royal Family to reduce the world population to under one billion people. Any other matters are distractions and intentionally engineered distractions to prevent any effective counter to the genocide plans.

The British Empire is a Satanic force, and is the continuation of the European Empire system that has been at war with mankind, ever since the launching of the 15th-Century Renaissance by Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa. The Empire’s response to Cusa and the Renaissance was the launching of 150 years of uninterrupted religious war on the European continent.

The latest expression of the British Monarchy’s commitment to that same mass extinction is the Schellnhuber operation run against the Pope. It is around this issue that the future of mankind will be decided in the immediate period ahead.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 13, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Rise in anti-Semitic Acts in France.

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2018, 69 % increase of  anti-semitic acts in France.(Plantu)

(To underline this the Plantu FB page where this cartoon comes from, is already full of racist, and anti-semite, comments.

eg, “Pourquoi la France serait-elle à l’abri d’actes antisémites provoqués par l’attitude des Juifs”).)

Number of antisemitic attacks in France rise by 74% in one year

Independent.

‘These acts are revolting,’ prime minister says

Portraits of a Holocaust survivor stained with swastikas. A memorial in honour of a Jewish man vandalised. A bagel shop with the German word “Juden” sprayed on its front window.

These are just a few of the hundreds of antisemitic acts that have been committed in recent months in France, home to the world’s largest Jewish population outside Israel and the United States.

According to French authorities, registered incidents of antisemitism rose to 541 last year from 311 in 2017, an increase of 74 per cent.

“These acts are revolting,” prime minister Edouard Philippe said at the French parliament on Tuesday. “Day after day I’m noticing scandalous degradation and inscriptions. Day after day, I’m noticing that symbols and venues our country cherishes are attacked.”

The French left daily, l’Humanité talks of a foul stench from the 1930s.

The FSU says:

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Libération leads on a wave of anti-Semitic acts sweeping across Europe;

L’Europe menacée par une «déferlante» d’antisémitisme.

Opinion polls and statistics show a worsening of anti-Semitic incidents and the growing concern of the Jewish community. A third of European Jews have considered emigrating.

….

 the upward trend observed in France is confirmed elsewhere. And especially in Britain, where the second largest Jewish community in Europe after France lives.

According to the Jewish Community Security Trust (CST), which has been tracking antisemitic incidents in the United Kingdom since 1984 and has just published its 2018 report , these acts increased by 16% last year, from 1420 to 1652. the third consecutive year, the level of  incidents rose again, which confirms,  the CSE highlighted , the existence of a strong trend.  In detail, the organisation has recorded 122 violent attacks, 78 cases of vanadalism or desecration, 109 physical or verbal threats and about 1,300 cases of “abusive behaviour”, a category encompassing both verbal attacks, hate e-mails, graffiti and antisemitic messages on social networks.

In another article in Libération Antisémitisme : un fléau sans finBernadette Sauvaget) this point is made,

..it is too early to put forward any definitive explanations for this recent increase anti-Jewish acts.  “We are witnessing a resurgence of traditional anti-Semitism,” said Marc Knobel. The historian noted the return of themes such as the supposed link between Jews and money, typical of 1930s anti-Semitism. “If Macron had been the director of Crédit Agricole, nobody would have said anything about it, explains Marc Knobel. The fact that he worked at the Rothschild bank fueled a lot of rumours. ” There appears to be a convergence  between the propagation of conspiracy theories (which take up the theme of the supposed hidden power of the Jews), their widespread dissemination on social networks, the influence of the ultra-right and the generalization of a climate of violence in society .

The Times leads on this:

Yellow vests fuel surge in antisemitism across France

But the following comment has been made, by Business Day,

the rise in anti-Semitic acts in France predates the “yellow vest” movement and there was no evidence on Tuesday tying the latest incidents to the movement.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner said anti-Jewish offences reported to the police surged 74% in 2018 to 541 from 311 in 2017. Castaner said 183 involved assaults and at least one murder, while 358 were anti-Semitic threats or insults.

“Anti-Semitism is spreading like poison,” Castaner said while visiting a memorial site outside Paris for a young Jewish man who was tortured to death in 2006.

A tree planted at the site where 23-year-old Ilan Halimi’s body was found had been chopped down, and a second tree was partly sawed through.

The following has been announced: (Europe 1)

Une manifestation contre l’antisémitisme ? Ce serait “une très belle initiative”, selon ces “gilets jaunes

A demonstration against anti-Semitism? It would be “a very good initiative”, according to these “yellow vests”

Pourquoi en appeler ainsi aux “gilets jaunes” ? Pour l’heure, aucune des enquêtes sur des actes récents d’antisémitisme n’impute la responsabilité aux “gilets jaunes”. Pourtant, plusieurs voix établissent un lien entre ces actes et les agissements d’une minorité radicalisée se réclamant du mouvement qui agite la France depuis le 17 novembre. La présence de certains groupuscules violents d’extrême droite au sein des cortèges, elle aussi, inquiète.

Why call so on “yellow vests”? For the moment, none of the investigations into recent acts of anti-Semitism impute liability to the “gilets Jaunes.” However, several voices link these acts to the actions of a radicalized minority claiming the movement that has agitated France since 17 November. The presence of certain violent groups of extreme right within the Gilets Jaunes marches, is equally worrying.

As in:

And this:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 13, 2019 at 1:43 pm

National Populism. Roger Eatwell, Matthew Goodwin. Review: A Feast of Gammon.

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Image result for National Populism. The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018.

A Feast of Gammon.

National Populism. The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018.

Gammon: This word probably derives from the same original as ‘game’ and gamble, but in Victorian and later slang it meant to impose upon, delude, cheat, or play the game on.”

Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Millennium Edition.

Gammon:  term used to describe a particular type of Brexit-voting, europhobic, middle-aged white male, whose meat-faced complexion suggests they are perilously close to a stroke.

The term ‘gammon’ is linked to the unhealthy pink skin tone of such stout yeomen, probably because of high blood pressure caused by decades of ‘PC gone mad’, being defeated in arguments about the non-existent merits of Brexit and women getting the vote.

Gammon often make their appearance on BBC’s Question Time jabbing their porcine fingers at the camera while demanding immediate nuclear strikes against Remain-voting areas, people who eat vegetables and/or cyclists.

When gammon appears en masse it is often referred to as a “wall of gammon”.

The first known usage of the term ‘gammon’ to describe the complexion of men of an overly-jingoistic fashion dates from as far back as 1838 in a description of Mr Gregsbury, a Member of Parliament, in Charles Dickens’ novel, Nicholas Nickleby.

Urban Dictionary.

In George Macdonald Fraser’s Flashman novels the word gammon crops up. As Tom Brown’s bully bluffs and wriggles through life, his career is gammon itself. A red-faced liar, and cowardly racialist, the ardent Imperialist is the forebear of today’s British cured ham populists and patriots.

National Populism refers to, in Eatwell and Goodwin’s view, movements that “prioritise the culture and interests of the nation, and promise to give voice to a people who feel that they have been neglected, even held in contempt, by distant and often corrupt elites.” (Page ix) The authors consider what national supporters “feel” about “corrupt elites”, and movements that promote these themes,  have to be taken at face value. They are not going to be called out as gammon, dismissed as irrational, uneducated, racists. They “see their own arguments as moral.” (Page 171)

From UKIP (which has never held direct political power, The French Front National (now Rassemblement National) – also never in government – to President Trump, Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, Matteo Salvini’s La Lega, in power in Italy with the ‘populist’ , Movimento 5 Stelle, the Freedom parties in the Netherlands and Austria, and others, there are common traits. They are populists in the sense that they wish to “make the popular will heard and acted on”, defend the interests of “plain, ordinary people” and wish to replace “corrupt and distant elites”. To these vague, not to say vacuous, words – thin enough – national populism adds one strong term, nationalism. National populists stand out with a “strong emphasis on immigration and ethnic change” (Page 80). Behind this diversity there is a “fairly broad alliance of people without degrees who share traditional values and a cluster of core concerns about their lack of voice, the position of their group relative to others, and in particularly immigration and ethnic change.”(Page 39)

Distrust of politicians, “rapid ethnic change” a fear of relative deprivation, under the effects of “neoliberal globalisation” (whose economics are left hanging in the air) feed national populism. But the perception of a threat of “ethnic destruction” is the pillar of the demand for “national independence and identity”. Concerned to demolish “misleading myths” Eatwell and Goodwin give legitimacy to fears about “hyper-ethnic change”, or in the words of famous polemicist they do not refer to, Renaud Camus, “le Grand Remplacement” (Révoltez-vous! 2015). This is not the biological racism of the 1930s far right or modern race-war fascism. It is more cultural. To use a word already taken into English, it is “identitarian”; “We do not think the term “racism” should be applied solely because people seek to retain the broad parameters of the ethnic base of country and its national identity, even though this can involve discriminating against outside groups. “(Page 75)

Angry White Men.

There is a history to be written about the writers and academics with a taste for the pink meat, the Gammon left and right. Eatwell and Goodwin began by refusing to scorn national populists as “crude bigots and old white men”,  far -from-well-off, uneducated, and marginalised from society. They point out that many of these parties have a degree of backing from the respectable middle-class, women indeed vote for them, as well as workers. France indeed has a whole array of intellectuals on the national populist side, some of whom, like Michel Onfray, Emmanuel Todd, and Jean-Claude Michéa, still claiming a wavering leftist thread, even a belief in ‘common decency’ for their sovereigntist dreams, others, Éric Zemmour at their head, clearly on the nationalist right.

Reviewing National Populism for – inevitably – Spiked, Jon Holbrook misses that point and rejoices at a counterblast against “the elite’s dismissive response” to “angry white men”. (Populism is a struggle for democracyJanuary 2019). Gammonry’s French cousin, the Beauf, the American Jacobin might add, is equally the much-maligned target of loaded put downs. Populism is a fight for democracy against “supra-nationalism”, the “transfer of power to transnational organisations”. Gérard Bras talks of the contempt expressed by liberal opponents of populism. For them it expresses the irrationality of the people, their ignorance and their characteristic whims. (“ exprime l’irrationalité du peuple, son ignorance et son caractère velléitaire”) Citing Jacques Rancière he asserts that the charge of “populism” expresses the contempt that, the ruling “politically correct hold for the ruled, (“le politiquement correct dominant tient les dominés”). As Holbrook puts it, “political correctness empowered liberalism to double down on its traditional fear of majority opinion….” (1)

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There is widespread awareness of what National Populism calls the “dealignment” of politics, the drift away from life-long political loyalties, and the decline of social democratic and left support in Europe. No doubt with this in mind the rival ‘left populist’ Chantal Mouffe has protested against the “demonising of the enemies of the “bipartisan consensus. They express opposition to this globalised neoliberal “oligarchy”, to what she dubs, “post-democracy”, and a push for popular sovereignty – whose limits and shapes remain to be defined. Inheriting strategic thinking about populism begun by her late partner Ernesto Laclau the interlocutor of Jean-Luc Mélenchon and some of the leaders of the (presently splintered) Podemos, proposes a political response. The red-faced masses’ “Xenophobic language”, writes Chantal Mouffe, “could be formulated in a different vocabulary and directed towards another adversary”. (2)

“Critics of the neo-liberal order” welcomed the UK leave vote, the “rising of the North” from the anti-EU “rust belt regions”. This was an authentic working class that turned it back on the Trade Union majority and the Labour Party’s official position. That is the ‘Lexit’, pro-Brexit, lament against internationalists, the “cosmopolitans’ from nowhere. But this book should give food for thought for those crying over the fate of the left-behind.

The message of National Populism,  is that, taking this into account, “we need to talk about immigration”.  How can, Éric Fassin has commented, the same “affects”, the emotions that fuel this conversation amongst supporters of national populism be retranslated into a left-wing populism? The chances are slim. I would say close to zero. What is their demand? Ending migration would come, if not at the top, at least close to it. National ‘preference’? Putting our ‘ain folk’ first, and, above all the Nation’s Sovereignty,. above class and ‘elites’. But then I have met national populists. They were, are, and will be, gammon. And who is leading them? Flashman Farrage, Flashman Rees Mogg and Ultra-Flashman, Boris Johnson. (3)

***

  1. Populisme: une enquête philosophique sur un concept insaisissable Review and synopsis of Les Voies du peuple (2018)

  2. Page 23. For a Left Populism. Chantal Mouffe. Verso. 2018.

  3. Page 73 Populisme. Le grand ressentiment. Éric Fassin Textuel. 2017 The term ‘affects’, emotions,  an abomination in both English and French, comes from a reading of Spinoza (a small part of his writings) on the emotions in Frédéric Lordon, La société des affects. 2013. In this context, “By affect I understand affections of the body by which the body’s power of acting is increased or diminished, aided or restrained, and at the same time, the ideas of these affections.” Affect (philosophy).