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Left Media Review, Labour, Brexit, Tories and the aftermath of the Peterborough By-Election.

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front page of the guardian

Brexit Can’t Be Wished Away by Calls for Labour ‘Unity’ around pro-Brexit Policy.

The Morning Star was one of the first off the block to respond to the Peterborough result.

Labour unity around their pro-Brexit policy was, their Editorial on Saturday asserted,  the only basis for electoral victory.

Tory disunity is Labour’s opportunity. But it must take it

Jeremy Corbyn’s determination that the party must stand for working-class unity and move beyond the referendum’s divisions stands vindicated.

….

… Labour’s chances of forming the next government rest on finding a principled basis for uniting the labour movement with and within the party that best represents its diversity.

The only credible basis for such unity lies in convincing a decisive majority of voters, most particularly Labour’s core constituency of skilled and lesser skilled workers, that Corbyn meant it when he said Labour would respect the referendum result.

A wide spectrum of opinion in the party understands this simple truth. It needs to become a decisive majority.

Socialist Appeal , which now poses as a leading voice on the Labour left,  told everybody who dissented to shut up:

Labour victory in Peterborough silences the cynics

The began with the spotlight on the ‘Blairites’ and the Jewish Labour Movement’s “plan”.

The plan was that Corbyn was to take the blame for allowing a hard-right, hard-Brexiteer MP to enter Westminster, having already overseen a tepid performance in the recent local elections and a poor one in the Euros.

Yet,

The Blairites, for their part, were more bitterly disappointed than anyone. Labour’s temerity to win in Peterborough represented a major setback for all their hard work to sabotage the party and finally get rid of Corbyn.

They went onto say this,

Brexit was supposed to be the ultimate expression of this cultural divide, with people culturally identifying with their stance on the EU to a far greater degree than any social class. The Euro elections were seen to confirm this, with the Brexit Party and strongly-remain Lib Dems gaining at the Tories’ and Labour’s expense.

Many on the left of the Labour Party (including so-called socialists like Owen Jones and Paul Mason) bought into this propaganda.

Despairing at the rise of the Brexit Party, which had apparently lulled the working class under the spell of racism and nationalism, these pessimists and sceptics concluded that Leave constituencies like Peterborough were a lost cause, and that Corbyn had to embrace a second referendum to at least hold onto his middle-class Remainers.

Who cares what the “middle class” think and vote, surely the sturdy working class would see the wool being pulled over their eyes.

As apparently they could

However, the 2017 general election and the Peterborough by-election both show that class-based demands can bridge the Brexit gulf. The by-election also proves that the European election results are not a good measure of Labour’s potential for success in a general election. The party’s vote share in the by-election was up 14 percent compared to the EU elections last month.

That is, when Labour came behind the Liberal Democrats…

This demonstrates that plenty of people who voted for other parties over Europe would return to Labour in a general election – as long as it runs on a bold, anti-austerity programme.

Apparently,

It has also vindicated Corbyn’s refusal to back a second referendum. It is very possible the result might have been different had the party gone down this route. Between this victory, Corbyn’s address at the Trump demo, and the newly launched tour of public rallies (‘Labour Roots’), there is the potential to take the initiative back to the grassroots.

After the Peterborough result, Corbyn challenged the Tories to “bring on” a general election. “We’re ready”, he said.

It is imperative this is accomplished as soon as possible, taking full advantage of the Tories’ internal crisis, and in order to avoid being bogged in the Brexit myre.

John Rees from the revolutionary socialist Counterfire is less sure.

He observes that, “concerns about a new coup” against Corbyn, “have persisted”

Writing yesterday the leader of a successful, several thousand strong march to demand a general election earlier this year he says,

 the issue of remaining in the European Union and of a second referendum which may prove even more consequential.

He has this stark warning against plotters,

the danger in this comes less from increasingly discredited figures like Tom Watson and those who support him in this argument such as former revolutionary socialist Paul Mason, who now calls for the sacking of Seamus Milne, Corbyn’s trusted head of communications and strategy.

It comes rather from members of the shadow cabinet who, although they were not part of the original Corbyn left, and although they share little of Corbyn’s radicalism, have been seen as loyal to Corbyn because they have observed the discipline of being Shadow Cabinet members.

Rees wants Labour to demand a People’s Brexit,

It would be better if Labour did not break faith with working-class Leave voters, and returned to the policy of a People’s Brexit, silently and stupidly retired before it had the chance to pull together both those who voted Remain but respected the referendum result and those who voted Leave.

How the left can take the initiative

A contrasting approach is taken by Socialist Resistance.

Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Emily Thornberry are correct on Brexit

The article, which is important and should be read in full, begins,

The Corbyn project is in crisis, writes Alan Davies. The EU elections results were a disaster for Labour, brought about by a major failure by the Corbyn leadership. It was an election that Labour could have won and within the terms of the policy agreed by conference last year, but this policy was repeatedly watered down by the front bench.

This is a crisis that is a direct threat to the most important development ever on the left in Britain in modern times; the Corbyn leadership of the Labour Party, which has opened up a real prospect of a left anti-austerity government at a time when world politics is moving to the right. That prospect is still there but the Labour leadership’s stance on Brexit, the issue that defines politics in Britain at the present time, is going to have to change.

..

Had Labour placed itself at the head of the growing anti-Brexit movement the result could have been very different. Overall, the European election vote was pro-remain with pro-remain at 40.3%. and hard Brexit at 34.9%. The Brexit party result was no surprise. It is not a new party as Farage claims but UKIP mark 2. UKIP polled 28%in the last EU election and this transferred to Brexit with some additional votes mostly from the Tories.

Although Labour went on to win the Peterborough by-election – which was important in that it denied momentum to the Brexit Party at this point – it did so on a reduced vote and because the Brexit vote was split (equally according to John Curtice) between the Brexit party and the Tories and reflected the same underlying situation. The Labour candidate, Lisa Forbes, who beat the Brexit party by just 683 votes, argued that her campaign had been successful because it had ignored Brexit and concentrated on local issues. This is a seriously wrong analysis that has been widely accepted on the Labour left and in particular by Momentum.

Davis continues,

The danger with this fence sitting is that it is based on avoiding crucial issues. On the one hand, the further away we get from what was already an undemocratic referendum – in that EU citizens and under 18’s were denied a vote – and as material circumstances changed, the less legitimacy the 2016 result has. This has never been challenged by the Labour leadership. Even worse was the idea that it would be possible to leave the EU without reducing the living standards of the vast majority in the process, or that there could be a Brexit that protected jobs. Ironically those areas where the majority voted leave which may well suffer most if Brexit goes ahead.

There is another very important reason as well to have a second referendum, and actually the most important, that is because it has become a democratic right at this stage of the Brexit shambles to have another vote. A second vote is itself a democratic right as circumstances change. Democracy can’t be a once off event that must be imposed despite the consequences and impact on peoples’ lives. The government has failed to implement what was promised in the referendum and crashing out without a deal cannot be remotely seen as what people voted for then the natural process must be to go back to the voters.

In the Clarion Martin Thomas is equally direct on the Peterborough result.

Labour won essentially because the Tory vote held up better than in the 23 May Euro-elections. Enough Tory voters thought that they will soon have Boris Johnson or another hard-Brexiter as leader, and so no longer have to protest by voting Farage.

Labour still lost many votes to Lib-Dems and to abstention.

The easing of pressure to oust the 3 Ms, the Milne-Murray-Murphy group who run the Leader’s Office, is not good. Seamus Milne and Andrew Murray are longstanding Stalinists, and responsible for shaping Labour’s shameful evasions on Brexit and antisemitism.

Those evasions affront most members, and demoralise and lose members. They affront most Labour voters, and lose votes.

They have ruined Jeremy Corbyn’s personal standing with the broad electorate. The latest poll (YouGov, 5-6 June) had Theresa May, at 29%, scoring much better as “best prime minister” than Corbyn, at 17% – even after May had resigned!

To all appearances, Corbyn is demoralised.

Labour after Peterborough

There is another aspect to take up , the depth of the fight against National Populism, something which the internationalist left and this Blog, have had underlined.

Mike Phipps puts this clearly in Labour Hub

The Big Debate II: Alternative Perspectives on Brexit

In Europe and beyond, the rise of rightwing economic and political nationalism is producing a polarisation into two distinct camps. On the one hand, there are those that support rational, tolerant, liberal, humanitarian, internationalist values and on the other, those that support irrational, intolerant, illiberal, anti-humanitarian, nationalist values. We must be the most consistent part of the first camp.

Internationalism should guide our approach to Brexit too. If leaving the EU were right for Britain, it would presumably be right for all member states, and logically we should call for the destruction of the EU and all its institutions. In practice, few argue for this. Internationally, all other significant socialist currents want to Reform the EU, which implies Remaining.

..

It’s time for a change of strategy. We are not economic nationalists, but nor are we content with the neoliberal European order. Above all, Labour is more credible when it is clearly advocating what it believes in, putting forward real solutions to problems, rather than trying to tack between different interests within the movement. Let’s press the  reset button and commit to a distinctive socialist policy towards Europe – radically overhauling its institutions to make them work in the interests of the many, not the elites.

Comrade Mike may well be right in stating the following, but we have to do everything we can to promote the following stand,

In the unlikely event of a new referendum, we should seek to break out of the binary choice of Leave or Remain and focus on Reform, which obviously entails Remaining. But it separates us from the passive Remain camp of the Lib Dems and Change UK. Our message is radically different: the EU is not fit for purpose and must be radically restructured.

The polarisation of poltiics, the evidence of those who support “irrational, intolerant, illiberal, anti-humanitarian, nationalist values.” could be seen in the previous post on this Blog, from the identity politics of Spiked.

For all their bombast about ‘Blairites’ the Lexit left are remarkably complacent about their allies in the Brexit camp.

The intellectual centre of this camp is the Full Brexit.

Its “mission” is  “to reshape Britain for the better” – with Brexit. The “left’s proper role is to be the architect of a better, more democratic future and, second, that a clean break with the EU is needed to realise that potential”

This brings together  supporters of the Morning Star’s Communist Party of Britain and Counterfire (such as Feyzi Ismail),   Blue Labour ( Lord Maurice Glasman, ‘anti-cosmopolitan’ Paul Embery) , prominent New Left Review contributor, Wolfgang Streeck, the Somewhere versus Nowhere People David Goodhart, Edouard Husson (for a French right-wing for everybody, “. Une droite de la France pour tous),  Labour Leave, the self-identifying ‘left-wing’ national sovereigntist, Thomas Fazi, and Spiked supporters and other Brexit Party members and supporters.

It published this piece in the run up to the European Elections,

“A signatory of The Full Brexit’s founding statement explains his decision to stand for The Brexit Party. All of Britain’s major political parties are committed to a feeble Brexit in name only, or cancelling Brexit altogether. TBP is the only major force fighting to defend democracy by carrying through the referendum result, and deserves the support of everyone committed to a Full Brexit.”

As good as The Full Brexit has been at marking out the left-wing case for Brexit, it has not been able to give those ideas a clear organisational expression. There is no Full Brexit Party in a shape to challenge Tory and Labour Parties at the election.

I have joined with the Brexit Party to put myself forward as candidate in Yorkshire and the Humber. I am working with some great people, like Lucy Harris who organised the Leavers of Britain Group, and the libertarian Andrew Allison.

To say we disagree on many things is putting it mildly. But every one of the Brexit Party candidates is committed to Leaving the EU and to democracy. No other party with any prospect of a hearing is even standing on a Leave platform.

The Big Debate II: Alternative Perspectives on Brexit

 

This should focus people’s minds when thinking about why fighting Brexit is part of a wider battle against National Populism and our own Red-Brown Front.

Perhaps this is a good sign..

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After Backing anti-Gay Protests is Roger Godsiff Labour MP for the Chop?

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Protesters holding placards

Bigots still Demonstrating last week against Equality Teaching.

 

The row over gender equality teaching continues to grow.

The campaign is supported by Islamists, some parents, and the far-right StopRSE campaign against ‘sexual liberation’ and “cultural Marxism”.

This is the mixture of extreme right wing and Islamists latest statement (June the 7th).

Muslims against LGBT which we all know it isn’t ….

As Muslims or people of faith we do not need to justify that we are not homophobic – because we are not – in the same way that as Muslims we do not have to apologise for terror attacks – because we are not terrorists…. don’t fall into this trap of apologising for something you haven’t done as it deflects the conversation away from what needs to be discussed …

We are against RSE because it is a clear erosion of parental rights and a state take over of the parenting role which is one of the first steps of a totalitarian regime

We are against RSE because it is open to abuse by nefarious Lobby groups who will use it to push their own sexual ideologies into the classroom

Schools should be about education and that’s all …. ideology must not be allowed through the school gate

The sexual ideologues however are using RSE as a back door in to schools

Do not be fooled by the terms ‘inclusion, diversity, tolerance, equality etc – they have very specific definitions to those who use them than to the way in which the rest of us interpret them …

People are thankfully starting to wake up to the political machinations being played but we have to stay awake and not be lulled back into the warm water 🐸

StopRSE

The protests are continuing now with the backing of right-wing Labour MP Roger Godsiff.

Roger Godsiff reported to chief whip for telling campaigners protesting against LGBT lessons ‘you’re right’

A Labour MP has been reported to the chief whip for telling campaigners protesting against LGBT teaching at a Birmingham primary school “you’re right”.

Roger Godsiff, the MP for the city’s Hall Green constituency, which includes Anderton Park Primary school, also told protesters they had a “just cause” and criticised the headteacher.

The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, said she had reported the “discriminatory and irresponsible” comments to the chief whip, Nick Brown.

Parents have staged weeks of protests outside the school against the teaching of LGBT rights, claiming the lessons were “overemphasising a gay ethos” and contradicting Islam.

The demonstrations, which were described last week as “homophobic” by the West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, led the council to apply for a high court interim injunction, which banned rallies outside the gates from Friday.

Godsiff, who has previously said the equality lessons were not “age appropriate”, was seen telling the protesters they were “right” in a video that emerged this weekend.

The veteran MP, who is seen with Shakeel Afsar, the lead organiser of the protests, said: “I think you have a just cause and I regret the fact that it hasn’t been reciprocated by the headteacher.”

He asked demonstrators to consider calling off the protest as he said they had made their point, but added it would be their choice to do so. He then said: “I will continue to try and fight your corner because you’re right. Nothing more, nothing less. You’re right.”

Wes Streeting, the Labour MP for Ilford North, said he would be tabling a formal complaint to the party about Godsiff. He said: “This made me feel sick to my stomach. One of my own Labour colleagues stood with people who have peddled hatred and bigotry on school gates, intimidating pupils, teachers and parents.”

The Labour LGBT group also called for the whip to be removed and condemned Godsiff’s remarks “unreservedly and unequivocally”.

 

Birmingham LGBT row: MP reported after backing school protest

BBC.

The MP for a primary school facing protests over LGBT teaching has been reported to the chief whip after telling campaigners “you’re right”.

In a video circulated on social media, Birmingham Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff told the Anderton Park Primary School protesters they had a “just cause”.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said she had reported the comments to the chief whip.

Mr Godsiff previously said the equality lessons were not “age appropriate”.

A High Court injunction is in place banning protests, which have been going on for months, outside the school.

Parents started to gather at the gates over concerns children were “too young” to learn about LGBT relationships. They also said the lessons contradicted Islam.

In the video, Mr Godsiff, who is seen with Shakeel Afsar, the lead organiser of the protests, said: “If I had the opportunity of rolling the clock back I would do exactly the same thing again.

“Because I think you have a just cause and I regret the fact that it hasn’t been reciprocated by the head teacher.”

Wikipedia.

In the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum Godsiff supported the Leave campaign,[8] although his constituency voted by 66.4% to remain in the European Union.[1] Unusually for a Brexit-supporting MP, he abstained from the vote to invoke Article 50, to commence the UK’s process of withdrawal from the EU, on the grounds that he was respecting his constituents’ pro-Remain vote.

..

In 2011, The Guardian declared that based on his participation in votes, Godsiff was “Britain’s laziest MP”, being absent from 88% of votes at the start of that year. He has attended less than 50% of parliamentary debates during his whole time in office and refuses to take any part in hustings meetings.[14] He responded to the Birmingham Mail about his participation, saying “when you are in opposition and the government has a substantial majority, you know perfectly well that you aren’t going to be able to have an effect on every vote”.[15]

Godsiff opposed marriage equality in 2013, saying that he did not want to “[redefine] the current definition of marriage.”

Written by Andrew Coates

June 9, 2019 at 11:21 am

Campaign by Religious Bullies Against Sexual Equality Education Reaches a Crisis Point.

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Parents, children and protestors demonstrate against the lessons about gay relationships, which teaches children about LGBT rights at the Anderton Park Primary School, Birmingham

Religious Bullies Try to Stop Equality.

This was on Sky News this morning:

Teachers ‘in tears’ at school gates as row over LGBT classes worsens

The former chief prosecutor for North West England tells Sky News that “outside agents” are responsible for inflamed tension

Sally Lockwood, North of England correspondent.

Mediation between parents and staff over the issue of relationships education at a Birmingham primary school has stalled.

Nazir Afzal who is in charge of steering talks between the council, parents and teachers, told Sky News that six weeks of discussions have been unsuccessful.

He claimed staff at Anderton Park Primary School are at risk and frequently break down in tears because of hostility at the school gates – with protests taking place against teaching children about same-sex relationships.

Mr Afzal, a former chief prosecutor for North West England, said: “I can’t think of any other way to get people round a table again than to speak to you and Sky.

“I’ve looked at the curriculum, there is nothing in the curriculum that is LGBT specific. There is nothing about gay sex.

I’ve seen people walking around outside of that school with stuff that they have downloaded from the internet suggesting this is on the curriculum.

“This is what’s being taught to their children. It’s a lie. And this is what I’m dealing with.”

It is important to note that the movement, called Stop RSE (relationships and sex education)  is not confined to Islamist bigots.

It an equal opportunity bigots’ campaign.

The Stop RSE campaign explains,

There are widespread concerns that the mandatory introduction of RE/RSE into all schools across England, from September 2020, and Wales from 2022, will be used by sex education organisations and LGBTQ+ activists to promote their controversial beliefs to the youngest of children.

There is an international move, backed by international bodies such as the United Nations and by organisations such as the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, to get compulsory sexuality education into all schools worldwide. Their agenda is not to educate children in the biological aspects of reproduction but to teach children that they are sexual beings and have the right on act on their sexual urges with who, what and when they like. There is a concerted effort to undermine parental and religious authority by making school teachers the primary educator of children in all matters of sexuality education, as it has been redefined.

The philosophy behind this new compulsory sex education agenda can be traced back to the sexual revolution, which had its heyday in the 1960s, and is influenced by various social and political movements. Ideologies from Marxism, radical feminism and gender theory have all contributed to this new sexual ideology. They have intertwined with the thought of various protagonists, the most notable being Alfred Kinsey, who is seen as the master architect of sexuality education as it is now being taught.

Their Facebook page promotes this (28th of May), which links paedophilia to RSE education.

Comprehensive Sex Education and the Sexualisation of our Children

“Our children are being assaulted and groomed in the classroom …. according to an FBI definition of grooming*

This lecture at Liberty University Law School makes a connection between traits pedophiles have and early childhood sexuality education is designed to teach in classrooms.

The National Secular Society gave  some background in February,

The National Secular Society has said the government should “not give ground” on relationships and sex education (RSE) in England’s schools after highlighting the bigoted messages of religious anti-RSE campaigners.

An NSS investigation has exclusively revealed that an academic who secured a debate on RSE in parliament has encouraged Muslims to adopt a “psychological” or “mental health” response to same-sex attraction.

In a speech promoting her anti-RSE campaign Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett also said homosexuality results from a lack of “guidance”.

Godfrey-Faussett is playing a key role in the primarily Islam-based Stop RSE campaign, which opposes plans to make RSE teaching compulsory. She also created a petition on the parliament.uk website which demands a parental opt-out from RSE classes.

In her speech about the campaign broadcast online Godfrey-Faussett said many young Muslims were “turning to same sex relationships because they haven’t had the guidance”. She bemoaned the “queering” of the “Muslim community” and said Muslims should “work psychologically or in a mental health capacity” with those experiencing same-sex attraction.

She claimed the government’s move was part of a “totalitarian endeavour to indoctrinate our children in secular ideologies” and criticised “the promotion of the homosexual agenda”.

She also called for “unity” among Muslims, approvingly quoting an imam who said: “While we’re arguing about whether we pray with our hands crossed or our hands by our side, our enemy is actually plotting to cut our hands off.”

Her petition says: “We believe it is the parent’s fundamental right to teach their child RSE topics or to at least decide who teaches them and when and how they are taught. We want the right to opt our children out of RSE when it becomes mandatory.”

Islam though does feature heavily in this campaign,

Downloadable resources which were available on its website until earlier this week included the book Marriage and Morals in Islam. This says: “In the Islamic legal system, homosexuality is a punishable crime against the laws of God. In the case of homosexuality between two males, the active partner is to be lashed a hundred times if he is unmarried and killed if he is married; whereas the passive partner is to be killed regardless of his marital status.

“In the case of two females (i.e. lesbianism), the sinners are to be lashed a hundred times if they are unmarried and stoned to death if they are married.”

he book goes on to say Islam “is not prepared to tolerate any perverted behaviour” and high rates of AIDS show “nature has not accepted” homosexuality “as a normal sexual behaviour”.

It also decries “the moral bankruptcy of the West”, based on some Christian churches’ acceptance of gay relationships.

Dr Kate Godfrey-Faussett  is now being investigated.

The Islamist site, 5 Pillars, has come to her support.

Commenting on the letter sent to the council by the NSS, Dr Godfrey-Faussett told the Observer: “I have simply tried to warn people of the underlying liberal secular agenda of RSE and the harm that it may cause children – and is, in fact, already causing based on reports I am receiving from parents.

“It is well known that if you speak out against the secular narrative they will silence you through smear campaigns and getting you struck off professionally.”

More on this individual:

 

It does not take much effort to find worse, like this American cheerleader, Muslim Skeptic (sic).

Keep It Up! UK Muslims Shut Down LGBT Propaganda at Four Schools

There is no equivalence between sodomite fetishism and healthy sexuality between husband and wife after nikah. The former is a depraved act that debases a human being in every way, spreads moral decay, transforms society into a cesspool of degeneracy and base lust (as the Quran describes with Qawm Lut). The latter is the basis of love and mercy between two halves, man and woman, committed to each other, being fruitful with each other in nourishing a family that becomes the building block of a flourishing society as God Almighty intended.

Teaching Muslims LGBT and promoting “LGBT-friendly Islam” is a well known counter-radicalization tactic. These anti-Islam government agencies know that when a Muslim accepts LGBT, he is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from abandoning Islam entirely. This is one of the main reasons they are so insistent that Muslim children get anal sex lessons in elementary school.

By contrast:

Credit where credit is due, even Socialist Worker has this week taken a principled stand on the issue:

Resist the campaign to stop LGBT+ education

The Parkfield protest organisers, such as Ahmed, flaunt their homophobic bigotry whenever they are interviewed. “We do not accept homosexuality as a valid sexual relationship to have,” he said.

“This is about proselytising homosexuality to young children.”

The protests have been joined by conservative Christian and Jewish figures who oppose sex education.

Ahmed always claims that he isn’t homophobic and organisers say they don’t oppose teaching under the Equality Act.

But the Equality Act is weak. It calls only for the curriculum to be “designed to encourage respect for other people” and it does not apply to independent schools, including faith schools.

The Parkfield protesters stress that they call for “dialogue” and “consultation”, but for them that means getting rid of the No Outsiders programme for good.

At best it means watering down the lessons—to teach tolerance of LGBT+ people, but not that it’s possible to be both LGBT+ and Muslim.

Ezra from LGBT+ Muslim organisation Hidayah said, “The protesters at Parkfield talk about consultation. But I don’t think any consultation would make the parents have the lessons.

“There is no way that they would be happy with it because they view any teaching about different relationships or homosexuality as promoting it.”

The lessons should be reinstated.

Latest news:

In France in 2014 a similar movement of bigots united Islamists, ‘Conservative’ Muslims, and hard-line ‘traditionalist’ Catholics and the French far-right:

“Théorie” du genre : quand extrême droite et musulmans conservateurs font alliance.

Théorie du genre : est-on conscient de la mainmise de l’extrême droite ?

Vendredi 24 janvier et lundi 26 janvier 2014… quelques centaines de familles, parmi lesquelles de nombreuses familles musulmanes, n’envoient pas leurs enfants à l’école. Ils protestent contre des cours d’éducation sexuelle donnés à leurs enfants en bas âge.

Une autre lecture des événements devrait être celles-ci : les 24 et 26 janvier 2014, de nombreux musulmans, en retirant leurs enfants de l’école, en apportant du crédit aux rumeurs propagées par les initiateurs des Journées de retrait de l’école (JRE) apportent leurs soutiens aux mouvements d’extrême droite.

 

Giles Fraser: Families for Brexit, “the ability to stay put and care for each other.”

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Said to be Featuring on “This Time with Alan Partridge”.

“….one of the most common—and strangest—ideas found in the Labour-left anti-Market movement was that of Europe’s being somehow more capitalist in nature than Great Britain and the British State.”

Tom Nairn.  The Left Against Europe. 1972. New Left Review. 1/75.

In Nairn’s 1972 broadside against the nationalist anti-EU left, he cited the German sociologist, Ferdinand Tönnies.

Tönnies was concerned to define and contrast two ‘ideal types’ of human society. Society typified by Gemeinschaft or community is natural human society, founded upon the ties of family, kinship, shared labour and territory. It is based on ‘naturally rooted’ relationships, which issue in instinctively accepted common customs and traditions, and are voiced in a natural language or ‘mother-tongue’. Natural community is in this sense the village, the society of a stable neighbourhood—at most, that of a small town. It is rural rather than urban. It is (like the family) not necessarily democratic, and relies on common experience and shared values to balance its inequalities. It rests upon ‘natural will’ (Wesenwille) expressive of real human nature, and laws ‘in which human beings are related to each other as natural members of a whole’. Gemeinschaft stands (so to speak) for the concrete and personal, the ‘fully human’, as against the abstract and impersonal; for habit and instinct, as against artifice and calculation; for the close, the familiar, the inherited, as against the remote, the intrusive novelty, the alien way of life; for the tribe, as against the metropolis.

This is contrasted with “Gesellschaft” in which (as the common definition goes) “relationships arose in an urban and capitalist setting, characterised by individualism and impersonal monetary connections between people. Social ties were often instrumental and superficial, with self-interest and exploitation increasingly the norm.”

Nairn, who was to pay his own penance on the road to a nationalist Canossa, continued.

The politically crucial point is the identification of romantic Gemeinschaft with the nation. This, surely, is the shared terrain of the left and right wing oppositions to Europe.

Echoes of this distinction can be found in the present Brexit literature, Roger Scruton’s contrast between the impersonal rationalist European law, and the organic British common law, and  Maurice Glasman’s Blue Labour (which re-teweeted the above and published Fraser, Giles Fraser on People’s Vote: what will they say to Walsall’s people?)

Blue Labour ‘s ideas include the following:

The family is the fundamental social institution. It nurtures us from the start of our lives. It is where we learn about love, relationships, and the give and take needed to live good lives. Inspired by the effort of feminism to broaden our idea of worthwhile work, Blue Labour recognises the struggle families face to combine work and car

We want Britain to be a nation of energetic cities, towns and villages, each of which is free to develop its distinct identity. When people feel rooted they can achieve their potential; if power is dispersed, we have the freedom to take greater responsibility for our communities.

The eminent Germanist and thinker Giles Fraser is, in his spare time, a  Canon and Vicar of St Mary’s Newington. 

Fraser’s  political career spans backing for Occupy! at Saint Pauls, floating the idea of a new party, or not (Liberalism has broken us – we need a new party to call Home) and a friendly visit to Syria:

We need to talk about Giles, as a well established rumour has it that he will appear on next week’s Alain Patridge Show.

The priest in residence at Unherd, begins his latest missive.

Why won’t Remainers talk about family?

Last week the Evening Standard – now, of course, a propaganda rag for George Osborne’s Remain-inspired end-of-the-world fearmongering – led with the following front-page headline: “Who’ll look after our elderly post Brexit, ask care chiefs”.

I’m still spitting blood at the arrogance and callousness of that question. It summed up all that I have against the Osborne neoliberal (yes, that’s what it is) world-view. And why I am longing for a full-on Brexit – No Deal, please – to come along and smash the living daylights out of the assumptions behind that question.

Skipping the immediately following ill-wrought paragraph, which include a swipe at Luciana Berger, we come to this.

Fraser opines,

This is the philosophy that preaches freedom of movement, the Remainers’ golden cow. And it is this same philosophy that encourages bright working-class children to leave their communities to become rootless Rōnin, loyal to nothing but the capitalist dream of individual acquisition and self-advancement.

From where I was sitting it is these people – and not George Osborne swanning off to his new £3 million chalet in Verbier – that have got it right. For the attraction of socially conservative and traditional values are that they constitute a highly successful form of mutual care. Indeed, these are the values that have formed the basis for the most effective form of social security the world has even known: family and community life.

The idea that this form of life constitutes “lost earnings” shows how far the Remainer free-market, free-movement philosophy is a threat to the web of support on which the poorer and the most vulnerable especially, have to rely. Remain is all about ever new opportunities for the rich. Brexit seeks a reclamation of something we have lost. The ability to stay put and care for each other.

There is a short response by Steve Peers on the issue of the family:

Family values and Brexit: a reply to Giles Fraser

Fraser’s argument – such as it is – is that children should look after their parents as they get older. To that end, interspersed with three random anecdotes, he criticises “that much over praised value of social mobility”.  The problem is people leaving their communities, in particular in the form of free movement within the EU. But furthermore “it is this same philosophy that encourages bright working-class children to leave their communities to become rootless Rōnin”. I was the first Peers in a thousand generations to be able to go to university. And it seems Fraser would like me to be the last.

In his view, “No amount of economic growth is worth sacrificing all this for”, because “robbed of their most go-ahead young people, working class communities become ghost towns of hopelessness. And this nirvana of social immobility takes a very familiar form: “It is the daughter of the elderly gentleman that should be wiping his bottom”. The rich man in his castle; the poor woman at her picket fence.

The blindingly obvious omission here is that EU membership enhances family reunion for those who exercise the right to free movement. There’s a right of admission for spouses, children under 21 or dependent, and dependent parents or parents-in-law. This literally matches the extended family in one of Fraser’s anecdotes (and see the actually relevant anecdote of how free movement can facilitate care for elderly parents here). The EU withdrawal agreement would preserve this position in a limited form, but the position would be more difficult for families in the no deal outcome that Fraser says he longs for. As for future relationships, while some people will still move between the UK and EU, family reunion rights will be more restrictive, not less. With friends like Fraser, family values don’t need any enemies.

More vehemently,

A shit argument for Brexit 

The broader point Giles was trying to make, the one I am struggling to get to through the crap, is that freedom of movement breaks down families because it makes it easier for people to move away. There was of course not the slightest recognition in his piece that ending freedom of movement breaks up families. Neither was there any awareness that the Brexit fetishisation of tackling immigration has led to thousands of children being separated from a parent, many thousands of spouses separated from their significant other, countless grandparents separated from their grandchildren.

But no, in Brexitland we can all be stuck in the towns and villages of our birth, trapped by a lack of opportunities and the newly valueless nature of a British passport. And then we’ll be able to wipe our parents’ backsides when they become frail and incontinent because the arse has been ripped out of social care services by the very same right wing politicians who are so keen to foist the hardest possible Brexit upon us.

Brexit supporters once promised us the sunlit uplands. They promised shedloads of cash for the NHS. Now they’re reduced to making the argument that suffering is good for us, that we should be nostalgic for antiquated gender roles, and telling us to restrict our horizons and not to dare to dream of spreading our wings and flying.  Now they’re reduced to sophistry and telling us that Brexit is good for you because you too can get to wipe the arse of an infirm relative. Giles’ article is quite literally and in every sense of the word, the shittiest of arguments for the shitshow of Brexit.

Apart from being fucking well said, this should put an end to all the gobshite about a Hard Brexit Britain being some cosy Gemeinschaft.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 23, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Roger Scruton Scandal, the “detachment of a Superior Being” faced with the Rabble.

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Fortnight’s Anger, Roger Scruton: “These commissars of political correctness aren’t fit to tie his boots.”

“Roger Scruton claimed sexual harassment “just means sexual advances made by the unattractive” and said date rape victims were “withdrawing consent in retrospect”.

Alex Wickham

BuzzFeed continues,

Conservative pundits leapt to the defence of Scruton in response to BuzzFeed News’ revelations yesterday.

The commentator Toby Young said it was “depressing to see the social media cops trawl through everything Roger Scruton’s ever written in the hope of finding things to be offended by”.

Historian Niall Ferguson praised Scruton as “the greatest living Englishman”, adding: “If only he could be prime minister.” The Guido Fawkes blog tweeted: “He is a moral giant being attacked by midgets.”

Update: Following publication of this article, Roger Scruton said in a statement:

“These highly selective quotes grossly misrepresent an entire lecture. I was in no way suggesting that victims of date rape are not victims of a crime and could have worded my point differently to make this clearer. I’ve spent my life arguing for greater respect between men and women and anyone who takes the time to read my books or listen to my lectures will realise this.”

One of Spiked’s minions writes,

Roger Scruton: thoughtcriminal?

One of his supposedly controversial comments unearthed by Buzzfeedis, ironically, about the marginalisation of conservative viewpoints. ‘In a society devoted to inclusion, the only “phobia” permitted is that of which conservatives are the target’, Scruton wrote, adding that conservatives are ‘frequently marginalised or even demonised as representatives of one of the forbidden “isms” or “phobias” of the day – racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, etc’.

Those calling for Scruton to be sacked are proving his point. You do not have to agree with a single thing he says to see that the intolerance towards his conservative views has been remarkable and alarming.

Another flunky fumes,

Don’t let the offendotrons take down Scruton

If Twitter offendotrons manage to get Maybot and Co to sack Sir Roger Scruton from his new job advising Building Better, Building Beautiful on housing policy, you can safely stick a fork in British civil society. It’s done.

Poor old Scruton:

Written by Andrew Coates

November 8, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Michael Mansfield Withdraws backing from Labour Against the Witch Hunt.

with 4 comments

Greenstein faces New Blow After Michael Mansfield’s statement….

For over 50 years I have been committed to fighting racism in all its forms. Equally I have been a staunch supporter of the rule of law and due process.

I joined the campaign LAWH in order to defend the right of those who wished to voice legitimate criticisms of the government of Israel and their repeated violation of International,law from being unfairly categorised as anti Semitic. An objective shared by fellow campaigners Moshe Machover, Ken Loach and Noam Chomsky.

Recently I have been alerted to the material being promulgated by the campaign,( not by the supporters named above). I was unaware of this and both the tenor and content are unacceptable. For these reasons I wish to,withdraw my sponsorship of the Campaign, whilst at the same time wishing to maintain my enduring support for a responsible and vigorous critique of any government which flagrantly undermines the rule of law.

Michael Mansfield QC

30 September 2018

Official Statement.

More here: Jeremy Corbyn-backing lawyer severs ties with group that calls Labour antisemitism ‘witch hunt’  Lee Harpin

“Michael Mansfield says he was shown ‘material’ the campaign circulated that is ‘unacceptable’.”

All you need to know about this is the following, “The vice-chairman of LAWH is Tony Greenstein.

In another blow to LAW this is today’s news:

Tony Greenstein’s Blog.

Medium Censors Remove My Blog – Outing Zionists and Fascists is ‘targeted harassment’ and contrary to the Corporate Rulebook

Medium have decided, without warning, to make my blog ‘unavailable’

Meandering and ponderous articles are fine but try uncovering foul deeds, tricksters, shysters, fascists and assorted thugs and Media’s Corporate Admen will be onto you like a flash.

Are these two blows related?

Here is one of Greenstein’s previous hits in the medium still left open to him;

View image on Twitter

Written by Andrew Coates

October 4, 2018 at 12:57 pm

Verso Publishes Norman Finkelstein’s diatribe that “Jews have too much power in Britain.”

with 13 comments

Image result for norman finkelstein on charlie hebdo

Finkelstein, “Jew have too Much Power in Britain” – to join Gerry Downing in Socialist Fight? 

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

Amongst Finkelstein’s pseudo-learning we hear that,

Jews have too much power in Britain. The three richest Brits are Jewish.[12] Jews comprise only .5 percent of the population but fully 20 percent of the 100 richest Brits.[13] Relative both to the general population and to other ethno-religious groups, British Jews are in the aggregate disproportionately wealthy, educated, and professionally successful.[14] These data track closely with the picture elsewhere. Jews comprise only 2 percent of the US population but fully 30 percent of the 100 richest Americans, while Jews enjoy the highest household income among religious groups.

Jews comprise less than .2 percent of the world’s population but, of the world’s 200 richest people, fully 20 percent are Jewish.

Jews are incomparably organized as they have created a plethora of interlocking, overlapping, and mutually reinforcing communal and defense organizations that operate in both the domestic and international arenas. In many countries, not least the US and the UK, Jews occupy strategic positions in the entertainment industry, the arts, publishing, journals of opinion, the academy, the legal profession, and government. “Jews are represented in Britain in numbers that are many times their proportion of the population,” British-Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer notes, “in both Houses of Parliament, on the Sunday Times Rich List, in media, academia, professions, and just about every walk of public life.”

The wonder would be if these raw data didn’t translate into outsized Jewish political power. The Israel-based Jewish People Policy Planning Institute rhapsodizes that “The Jewish People today is at a historical zenith of wealth creation” and “has never been as powerful as now.”[18]

It is certainly legitimate to query the amplitude of this political power and whether it has been exaggerated,[19] but it cannot be right to deny (or suppress) critical socioeconomic facts.

He continues, froth speckling,

Were it not for the outsized power of British Jews, it’s hard to conceive that British society would be interminably chasing after a hobgoblin. True, although fighting anti-Semitism is the rallying cry, a broad array of powerful entrenched social forces, acting on not-so-hidden agendas of their own, have coalesced around this putative cause. It cannot be gainsaid, however, that Jewish organizations form the poisoned tip of this spear.

He (provisionally) concludes with that mind-reading ability that is the gift of those able to see beyond mere appearance,

..the truth is, Jewish elites do not for a moment believe that anti-Semitism is a burning issue. If they truly feared that it posed a clear and present danger now or in the foreseeable future, they wouldn’t be shouting from the rooftops that Corbyn was a “fucking anti-Semite.” For, if the UK was awash with closet anti-Semites, then, logically, broadcasting this accusation would hand Corbyn free publicity as it would be dulcet tones to the ears of potential voters. Far from damaging him, its diffusion could only facilitate Corbyn’s victory and pave the way for a second Holocaust.

On the contrary, Jewish organizations know full well that vilifying Corbyn as an anti-Semite would drastically reduce his appeal, as anti-Semitism resonates only among assorted antediluvians, troglodytes, and fruitcakes. In other words, the irrefutable proof that Corbyn’s pursuers don’t believe a word they’re saying is that by labeling him an anti-Semite they hope and expect to isolate him.

However, as the accusation is manifestly a red herring, it’s also possible that the current hysteria will pass most people by entirely, not because they are unconcerned by anti-Semitism but because it hardly occurs to them as an issue at all. If the controversy has an effect it will be restricted to exacerbating divisions in the Labour leadership and perhaps also adding to a more general perception that the stories promoted by mainstream media are fake news.

Here is another aspect of Finkelstein’s politics that makes this Blog loathe him even more: he spat on the graves of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

“World renowned political science professor says he has ‘no sympathy’ for staff at Charlie Hebdo.”

 

New Left Review and Verso Stalwart Tariq Ali has had many friendly echanges with Finkelstein.

Perhaps he will invite him to the follow up to this event:

It would be remiss, surely, if Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan, pioneers in this matter, did not get an invite as well.

Why Marxists must address the Jewish Question concretely today

…the outcome of WWII, and then the rise of Israel, destroyed this worldview among the imperialist bourgeoisie. What took its place was an emerging understanding that the Jewish bourgeoisie was an important reserve for the survival of capitalism itself, particularly in its ability to see beyond narrow national horizons and look out for the interests of the bourgeois class on a broader basis.

As a distinct caste, this depends on the Zionist project for its internal coherence; without it this caste would disappear through assimilation into the separate imperialist bourgeoisies. The end of ethnocracy in Israel would spell the defeat of this extra resource of imperialism, which today’s Western ruling classes value highly indeed.

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

August 22, 2018 at 11:50 am