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“Starmer is the candidate for the Police, MI5 and the British State” – says Vice President of Labour Against the Witch-hunt.

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Ken Loach and Friends (Greenstein on the the far left).

 

Keir Starmer is the candidate that the Deep State & the British Establishment want you to vote for.

Tony Greenstein.

Starmer is the candidate of MI5 and the Political Police – he is Establishment down to his manicured fingers. ‘Sir’ Keir has pointed to his role in providing legal advice to striking miners and print workers.  This is true but it was a long time ago when he was a socialist. Today he is the darling of the Right.

Anyone who is fooled by this ‘lurch to the left’ is truly pathetic. Starmer is the candidate for the Police, MI5 and the British State that eviscerated Corbyn.  It was just one of Corbyn’s idiocies that when Starmer resigned in the chicken coup that he was let back in to wreak more havoc.

Mr Greenstein is the Vice-President of Labour Against the Witch-hunt and a frequent contributor to the Weekly Worker.

He has also contributed to Al-Jazeera’s web site.

LAW’s honorary presidents are Professor Moshé Machover and Ken Livingstone.

LAW’s sponsors include:

  • Ken Livingstone
  • Alexei Sayle, comedian
  • Professor Moshé Machover, Israeli socialist and founder of Matzpen
  • Ian Hodson, president of the Bakers Union
  • Ken Loach, film director
  • Noam Chomsky, author and activist.

If you had doubts before, Starmer is now the candidate to back!

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 6, 2020 at 12:45 pm

White Guilt. From Stickers in Ipswich to Identitarian Politics.

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Racist stickers found on streets of Ipswich

A council has taken down around 60 white supremacist posters plastered around a UK town over the weekend, authorities have said.

“It’s OK to be white” and “reject white guilt” were written on signs across Ipswich, according to images shared on social media.

Max Stocker, a council spokesperson, told The Independent they have been working to remove the posters, which also included the message “beware non-white rape gangs”.

Similar messages have been spotted around different parts of the UK in recent months, including Hull and Perth, according to local media.

Signs saying “it’s OK to be white” were also put up in Bristol city centre last week.

Some of these posters bear the mark of Hundred-Hands, a group encouraging the spread of posters containing messages of white supremacy over social media.

Sam Murray, an Ipswich resident, claimed she removed 10 signs in the town herself.

“This does not have a place here,” she told The Independent.

“Ipswich is a nice town,” she said. “It is diverse and normally people just get on with their lives.”

Bryony Rudkin, deputy leader of Ipswich Borough Council, called the white supremacist messages “deplorable”.

“This racist behaviour does not represent the people of Ipswich or our town,” she said.

“Council staff have been out over the weekend taking these stickers down.”

Police are investigating the posters and aware of similar reports in other areas of the UK, a Suffolk Police spokesperson said.

“It’s OK to be white” spread as a slogan across the US several years ago, and posters started appearing across American universities.

One of the few telling points in Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission (2015) was his invention of a group called “Indigenous European – a direct response to the Indigènes de la République which claims to represent “colonial subjects” on French territory.  This is not the product of the jaded writer’s imagination. I Identity politics is the mainstay not just of campus politics but also, in Houellebecq’s twist, of an influential section of the European right. Génération Identitaire claims to stand for Europe against the “Islamisation of Europe” and the “migrant invasion”. Hope Not Hate writes that the British offshoot, Generation Identity, has this basis.

Martin Sellner, de facto spokesperson for the movement, talks of the need to preserve “ethno cultural identity” which extends back to an ancient European heritage.

Houellebecq illustrates how identity politics have moved on from the time when Naomi Klein could regret that “The need for greater diversity – the rallying call of my universality years – is now no only accepted by the culture industries. It is the mart of global capital. And identity politics, as they were practiced in the nineties, weren’t a threat, they were a gold mine.” Hollywood and the media aside, these issues have shifted into national populism, fall out from the EU Referendum, and the efforts of those who failed to oppose the Hard Right Brexit project to throw a smokescreen about Labour’s election disaster. (1)

Now we have people putting up stickers spreading the right-wing identity message. Those there say that at the Farage rally to celebrate Brexit last Friday some also repeated other ideas from this quarter, the fight against “cultural Marxism” held responsible for the other side, in the argument, liberal identity politics.

This is not just a fringe movement.

Prominent Spectator writer Douglas Murray’s Madness of Crowds (2019) is a sally against the “religion of social justice” prompted by “identity politics”. His The Strange Death of Europe (2017) is a lament about the suicide of Europe through mass immigration. The Spectator writes ends with a plea against those politicians who wish to “change our home into an utterly different place.” In short, Europe’s identity is under threat from others. Murray anglicised Éric Zemmour’s complaints against post-68 ‘cultural Marxist’ attacks on “(famille, nation, travail” with Renaud Camus’s fear of Europe’s inhabitants being replaced by newcomers, the Grand Remplacement. (2)

During Brexit we’ve often heard that the ancestral inhabitants of Britain are under threat from metropolitan, and cosmopolitan, elites. The late Roger Scruton observed in 2017 that, “The question of identity is bound up with that of sovereignty: who governs us, and from where?” Spiked runs a profitable ‘anti-woke’ troll farm promoting national populist, and pro=Brexit,  identity politics under the mask of saying, “Identity politics is really for rich white people“.   This ‘question’ has received a left response: the ‘real’ working class, who struck a blow against the capitalist EU in the Leave revolt, is under attack from liberal identity politics. Some with no doubt admirable aims speak of “the caricature of the white working class as racist and culturally conservative”.  In Haringey Labour it’s been debated that the working class needs its separate party group (Haringey: Labour members call for ‘working-class section’ in bid to regain power).

Identitarians.

The identitarians, who have branches across Europe, including Britain, were founded in France. Struggling against ‘cultural Marxism’, affirming their culture and selves. Douglas Murray has talked about “desire to continue to feel yourself guilty..” for the legacy of Empire. This is an idea can be traced back to Pascal Bruckner’s Le Sanglot de l’homme blanc (1983). From disillusionment with Third Worldism, the belief that revolution would come from the global South, the French essayist has not stopped exploiting the theme. In La Tyrannie de la Pénitance he already observed, in 2006 Western “masochism”, the desire to apologise for the, very real, crimes of imperialism. Imprisoning people in their ethnic and racial identities, leads to individuals staking up a tally of resentments, not to free themselves as a collective group with universal right. Many will sympathise with Bruckner and his conclusion that “shame” should be replaced by a common search for freedom. But most people who read La Tyrannie would retain the diatribe against those protesting at past atrocities and injustices, and his mocking at the “agglomeration of tribes” standing against the common identity of Citizenship. (4)

There is a point at which identity politics on the left meets the far right and that point has been reached by the French Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR) The PIR’s spokesperson Houria Bouteldja offers a picture of the world in imitation of US Black Power. She melds attacks on ‘Whiteness’ (Blanchité) and laments for the decline in Arab virility. Bouteldja takes it upon herself to speak for the “nous”, the “Noirs”, the blacks to the ‘vous’, the ‘Blancs’, the Whites, and has some words of advice to the “vous”, the ‘Juifs’, the Jews. In the struggle for the voice of the indigenous she affirms a belief that commemorating the memory of the Shoah is, for whites, the “the bunker of abstract humanism”. Anti-Zionism is the “space for an historic confrontation between us and the whites”. She has been pictured with a placard reading “Zionists to the Gulag”. Bouteldja is fêted in Berkley and other ‘post-colonial’ academic quarters. She has been given space in the populist US left journal, Jacobin. A certain Richard Seymour has called her “admirable”. (5)

White Guilt.

Those now rushing to affirm working class identity should take note of that adventure. Those who wish to talk about a halt to White Guilt have more in common with their approach than they might wish. Both the side attacking some kind of inheritance of ‘whiteness’ and those trying to stand up for an indigenous, left-behind, working class share something with the right-wing ‘identitarians’. That is the immense weight they claim for the past. The enemy of human rights and the French Revolution,Edmund Burke, would be amused to find that political debate has become a squabble about the “Inheritance from our forefathers”, the ” partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”

This Blog prefers another side of the dispute altogether

Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the ages and generations which preceded it. The vanity of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies.

Tom Paine.

 

 

  1. Page 115. No Logo, Naomi Klein. Flamingo. 2000.
  2. Page 320. The Strange Death of Europe. Immigration, Identity, Islam. Douglas Murray. Bloomsbury. 2017. Eric Zemmour, Le Suicide Français. Albin Michel. 2014. Le Grand Remplacement. Renaud Camus. 2011.
  3. Page 4. Where We Are. The State of Britain Now. Roger Scruton. Bloomsbury. 2017.
  4. Page 175. Murray. Op cit.
  5. Les Blancs, les Juifs et nous. Houria Bouteldja. La Fabrique. 2016.

As Crisis in International Trotskyism Reaches Breaking Point, Hold the Front Page: Gerry Downing, Ian Donovan and the Split in the Trotskyist faction.

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a complete decay of communist consciousness and the embrace of opportunism.”

 

Take your eyes off the bleeding ball for a minute, and all hell breaks loose.

““When I interrupted Ian to call out his insane rant about the Rothschilds’ he became outraged, shouted and threw his pen on the table..”

This was a complete pack of lies from start to finish. Another comrade who was there wrote:

“Sorry, E, I do not recall Ian raising his voice and shouting at all”

Looks like a duel at dawn between Gerry Downing and Ian Donovan.

In an effort to calm things down I have volunteered to mediate

Extracts: 

Trotskyist Faction statement on Communist financial norms, democratic accountability, security and membership standards.

This statement was already written when we discovered that on 30 Jan 2020 Gerry Downing fraudulently put out his statement denouncing Gilad Atzmon and some of his associated and co-thinkers, in the name of Socialist Fight, 13 days after a 17th January vote was taken in which he failed to get a majority. He now claims that one member who had clearly lapsed, JC, whose case is addressed below, was a full member all along, and that gave him a majority after all. This question was raised at the 17th January meeting and various arguments were made to the effect that JC should be treated as a member. This was never agreed and ratified in an endorsed set of minutes in any case.

Objections had been raised by comrade Donovan in the meeting on the grounds that JC had made not paid subs, only made sporadic donations and had not been to any meetings for well over a year. The draft minutes mistakenly recorded that it was agreed that he was a member, after a hue and cry from Gerry and his ‘candidate members’ whose presence was itself contentious, and unwanted as the meeting in which it took place had originally been booked and planned by the decision of full members as a private meeting for those full members only.

Harsh words indeed,

Followed by,

Thus comrade Downing has not only betrayed the consistent anti-Zionist positions he used to uphold, he has flagrantly betrayed the democracy of his own organisation by fraudulently and retrospectively rewriting the history of a vote he didn’t win; he has fraudulently declared an ex-member to be a full member in order to claim to have ‘won’ a vote he failed to win, and he has in the process totally betrayed the Bolshevik tradition on the party question.

All this indicates, as the statement below shows, a complete decay of communist consciousness and the embrace of opportunism.

It gets hotter,

There is the smear, also against comrade Donovan, by ED. After the branch meeting at the Lucas Arms on 17 January, which was booked on the understanding it was supposed to be a private meeting to resolve this issue among full members only, but which Gerry declared Open with a public email on the day, and then GW and ED turned up and Gerry inveigled them in, after that ED made the following accusation against comrade Donovan a week later. She wrote:

“When I interrupted Ian to call out his insane rant about the Rothschilds’ he became outraged, shouted and threw his pen on the table..”

This was a complete pack of lies from start to finish. Another comrade who was there wrote:

“Sorry, E, I do not recall Ian raising his voice and shouting at all”

To which comrade Donovan responded and pointed out that he had challenged Gerry a week earlier about Gerry’s shouting in the meeting:

“Indeed. I note that when I challenged Gerry about shouting, he justified it on political grounds. But he did not say ‘well Ian shouted too’ when criticised for it by [another comrade]. If I had shouted at E he would have condemned me and been angry.

“This alone corroborates that this is untrue”.

And it did. And do E was compelled to admit:

 “Hiya folks, maybe I misspoke…“

They conclude,

To reassert principled politics, we need to draw those boundaries properly, and to re-establish Socialist Fight on proper Communist organisational norms. These are difficult and reactionary times, and some basic discipline and good security is essential to ensure that we are effective going forward.

Here is the infamous ‘statement’.

Socialist Fight statement on Gilad Atzmon, Devon Nola, Ian Greenhalgh of Veterans Today, anti-communism, racism and antisemitism 25-1-2020

The minutes of the meeting of 17 January, taken by Ian’s supporter in the Trotskyist Faction, Turan, confirming the meeting’s agreement that John Carty is a full member of Socialist Fight. Ian now says it was only Gerry Downing’s suggestion, that it was never agreed and anyway the minutes were never agreed as a true record – pathetic!

Signed by Gerry Downing, Mick Artur, Paul Humphreys, John Carty (full members), Charlie Walsh, Ella Downing, Gareth Martin (candidate members), Wilhelm Specklin (Holland), Dov Winter (USA), (International sympathisers).

 

The Socialist Fight Statement

 

Socialist Fight unreservedly condemns as racist and antisemitic Gilad Atzmon, Devon Nola and Ian Greenhalgh of Veterans Today and most of the milieu they attract and those who support them. And Gilad Atzmon notoriously said: “I despise the Jew in me and detest the Jew in you”, clearly indicating he was antisemitic. Socialist Fight rejects the Judeo-Bolshevik conspiracy theories they promulgate and identify them as irreconcilable enemies of Socialist Fight, Trotskyism in general and all who wish to fight for a socialist future. [1]

The public debate is still hotting up!

This is a disjointed drivel on nonsense. So the meeting agreed that John Carty was a member. Turan, Ian’s supporter, recorded the decision on which all, including Ian, agreed but IT NEVER HAPPENED. And the only reason it never hapoened was because Ian did not like it. Democracy how are you? That and the vile abuse heaped on me, Ella and Gareth and outrageous bureaucratic attempts to prevent new members joining, to prevent even a candadate membership and alleging I had “fraudulently” paid their dues so he would not bank the cheques.

Of course support for Gilad Atzmon and his defence of David Duke is the central crime here, calculated to do the maximum possible damage to Socialist Fight. Ian had moved sharply rightwards since the defeat of Labour on 12th December. Now he is openly proclaiming that the Jewish Zionist bourgeoisie is the main enemy and is totally incapable of answering the Socialist Fight statement. Unfortunately Turan and Dipak are riding with him from the margins to the extreme margins, always alibying open racist comments by the claim that Zionism is tge main enemy. Obviously Socialist Fight will not tolerate this defence of Holocaust deniers and far right kkk racists on the excuse that “the Zionists made them do it”.

The whole notion of “left-wing anti-Semitism” is a diabolical fraud created by fascist Zionist lobbying, the CIA and Western propaganda to topsy-turvy depict anyone for the Palestinian cause, the Arab world, anti-Zionism and socialism in general as racist or even fascist.

Peace and Love Cdes!

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The Brexit Left’s Responsibility in Labour’s Defeat.

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The Internationalist Left.

With a solid Tory majority the results of the General Election are still sinking in. It would take a mind as large as a web cloud to take account of all the writing on the reasons for Labour’s defeat. Much of the debate has been dominated by the claim that the Party was able to sustain support among  “cosmopolitan” and pro-European urban centres, while being unable to reach out to the rooted communities which backed Brexit.

Don Flyn offers a glimpse into these, the pro-Brexit working class voters (After the Deluge. Chartist) The dispute over Brexit “offered people who had lost the habit of digging in and fighting back the chance to at least take sides in an argument that was driven by splits in the ruling class. Rebellion, in pursuit of its own interests had ceased to be a part of the daily life of these communities, but at least they could now take on a foot soldier’s role in someone else’s revolt.”

This football fan politics gave hope to Farage’s Brexit Party, but did not end with it getting any seats. The Conservative Party, having flirted with populist appeals to “Get Brexit Done” against a hung-Parliament, has now settled down to the more modest strategy of offering a few sweets to their new friends in the North and getting the chimes of Big Ben ringing at the end of the month.

“Given the divisions within the electorate, as well as within the Parliamentary Party and wider party membership”, Duncan Bowie writes, it was difficult for the Party to develop which avoided further divisions.” (Retrospect and Prospects Chartist.January 2020). The ambiguities, and near impossibility to explain on the doorstep, Labour’s position, a call to renegotiate a  (‘better’) deal and then to put it a referendum, was the result. Another was that Labour’s policies, many of which, such as tax reform and social ownership, had been worked out in some depth under Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s direction, failed to strike a chord. They were overshadowed by what Unite chief Len McCluskey called an “incontinent stream” of new promises which appeared during the election campaign.

Many writers have explored these areas, from the sociological profile of new Tory voters (always remembering this: The myth of the working class Tory: Just three in ten voted blue) and the electorate as a whole, to the reception of Labour’s manifesto. In many ways this parallels the debates, and systematic critiques of the one opened up around the polemics of Christophe Guilluy, on La France périphérique. One of Guilluy’s central points, that the many of the “popular classes”, in France and across much of Europe, have become detached from long-established political loyalties on the left, is undeniable. But the set up pitting the  “peripheral”, versus the “metropolitan” – “elite” areas, the Somewhere, and the Nowhere, people (the words of the pro-Brexit David Goodhart, The Road to Somewhere. 2017), all heavily loaded terms, leads to national populist inflection only the “real” rooted people, not the city living cosmopolitans, matter. (1)

One area that few have tackled is the way the left; aligned to the Corbyn leadership, or independent of it, has acted.

From its beginnings Momentum described itself as the flag bearer of Corbyn. Faced with the genuine prospect of factionalism, and oddities such as the Socialist Party’s brief attempt to create its own ‘Trade Union Momentum’, it centralised control. Momentum came to resemble a mini-France insoumise, run by virtual digital ‘democracy’ behind a ‘charismatic leader’. It encouraged the atmosphere of a ‘cult’.

The failure this left-populism in France, and the limits of a more genuinely popular party, Podemos, in Spain, had little effect on them. They have launched a plebiscite behind the “Corbyn continuity” candidate, Rebecca Long-Bailey, in the Labour leadership election. They may not have adopted in full Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s picture of a “people’s epoch” (l’ère du peuple. 2017) but they support a candidate embodying a not distant vision of “progressive nationalism”.

Not many have looked into the contribution of the pro-Brexit left on Labour’s defeat. Not only did the ‘Lexit’ campaign legitimate Leave voting in the communities now at the centre of attention, but the Brexit left helped confuse Labour’s strategy. Counterfire, unknown to the general public, but which headed the Anti-Austerity People’ Assembly, and made a welcome and serious contribution to its organisation, advanced the view that a movement to “take back control” would be one result of the Referendum vote.

The Morning Star, the echo chamber of a wider group of national sovereigntists, pursued its dream of a socialist Britain, a beacon the world, independent of the European Union. In bad faith, having helped create the conditions that confused the nature of the hard-right Brexit, they have pleaded for consideration for working class voters whose anti-EU thrust they support. Counterfire argued, to diminishing effect, for ‘mobilisation”, that is street protests. This did not happen, and the  slogan of the pro-Leave factionalist, a ‘People’s Brexit’, ended up as a headline in Daily Telegraph.

Counterfire were also amongst the loudest voices calling for a General Election as soon as possible. None of their leaders takes any responsibility for their advice being listened to. It can be assumed that Corbyn’s call for Labour to be the Party of Resistance reflects what it left of the strategy of Counterfire.

An article in the populist US magazine, Jacobin, by the Deputy Editor of New Left Review, Daniel Finn, puts the blame for Labour’s defeat on “The Obsessive Remainers“. Voices from these quarters have been keen to criticise the internationalist left of Another Europe is Possible (AEIP). John Rees, of Counterfire, talked of the EIP “clique”, “whose only practical effect is to have forced Labour into a position which materially assisted in its election defeat.”

In fact, the alliance of the radical left, greens and Labour centre, has every reason to be proud of its record. AEIP led the way in unmasking the confusion offered by the pro-Brexit forces within the left, pointing to the hard right nature of Brexit. . Only by making clear what was in store for the country with Brexit would it have been possible to win over electors undecided about the future. It argued that internationalism couldn’t begin by cutting the UK loose from the EU. That rhetoric about Fortress Europe was cheap when the only alternative on offer was a state aligned around the policies of European Reform Group. The left needed to back transformations, in partnership with the rest of the European left, of the existing institutions.  It participated in the movement for a Second Referendum, demonstrating in our own ‘left bloc’.

AEIP’s resolutions were widely supported within Labour, bringing together different sections of the party. Thwarted by bureaucratic manoeuvres, it laid the basis for longer-term co-operation within the labour movement.”

Counterfire  says, “”These motions were drawing inspiration from a plethora of organisations such as Another Europe is Possible (a cross-party ‘stay in Europe but reform’ outfit), Love Socialism, Hate Brexit (around which soft left Labour MPs coalesced such as Clive Lewis, Anneliese Dodds and Chi Onwurah), Labour for a Socialist Europe (driven by Labour grassroots organisers) (The Corbyn Project was defeated by the historic strengths of conservatism and liberalism Mark Wayne). The fault was that the membership backed them, “The tragedy for Labour was the strength of liberalism inside the membership and not just inside the Parliamentary Labour Party.”

At present the Labour leadership contest dominates the politics of the left. It is important to judge the politics of the contenders in wider terms than Brexit. But those who stand for the generous internationalist and human rights agenda, that is not too far from the politics of AEIP, something the remnants of believers in the ‘actuality of the revolution” in Counterfire call “liberalism”. With more radical socialist input needed we will still be looking to those who support this kind of politics, and, for all that we can both admire and question some of his record,  it’s Keir Starmer who looks the best in the running.

Or perhaps Counterfire could elect a new Labour Party membership.

*******

(1) His latest book No Society, La fin de la classe moyenne occidentale. Flammarion. 2018. See also his Le Crépuscule de la France d’en haut. Champs. 2017.

Qasem Soleimani, hated commander of the Islamic Republic’s Quds Force has been killed – Worker Communist Party of Iran.

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“Qasem Soleimani, the hated commander of the Islamic Republic’s Quds Force” – Worker-communist Party of Iran.

The Stop the War Coalition responded differently.

The assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani is an act of war by Donald Trump. The act was carried out in Baghdad, violating all agreements with the Iraqi government. Both Iran and Iraq will retaliate. Trump has been heading for war since tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran and if he succeeds will create a bigger war than we have seen in the Middle East. It will draw in major players across the region including Israel, Saudi Arabia and possibly Russia.

This is the bloody result of two decades of war started by the US after 9/11. Those of us who said war in Iraq would lead to endless conflict and misery were absolutely right to do so. And those who justified those wars are now looking on while the situation escalates.

We must do everything we can to oppose war with Iran – and attacks on Iraq if it demands the withdrawal of US troops.

Lindsey German.

German says not a word about this war criminal’s actions.

Statement of the Worker-communist Party of Iran:

Qasem Soleimani, the hated commander of the Islamic Republic’s Quds Force has been killed

In the early hours of today, Qasem Soleimani, along with a number of key commanders of the Quds Force, and of Hashd Al-Shaabi and Kata’ib Hezbollah, including Kata’ib’s chief commander Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, were killed in a drone strike near Baghdad Airport. The attack comes after clashes between the US and the Islamic Republic forces in Iraq over the past few days. The death of Qasem Soleimani, who was the absolute commander of the Quds Force and one of the most powerful commanders of the Islamic Republic’s Pasdaran paramilitary force (IRGC), is a deadly blow to the Islamic Republic – in Iran, in the region and particularly in Iraq.

Soleimani was one of the most vicious terrorists of the Islamic regime, playing a key role in the organisation of terror groups in Syria, Yemen and particularly in Iraq. He was the architect and organiser of Hashd Al-Shaabi and other Islamic gangs in Iraq and in effect led the suppression of the Iraqi people and their uprising. His killing will no doubt delight the people of Iraq and Iran who detest the Islamic Republic and are engaged in a daily fight with this regime and its mercenaries. People of Iran share in the happiness of the people of Iraq, who have come out dancing and celebrating on the streets of Baghdad.

Following the killing of Qasem Soleimani, the Islamic Republic will no doubt step up its attempts to incite military clashes between the Islamic forces and the American army in the region, and in particular in Iraq. However, the revolutionary people of Iraq and the power of Tahrir Square, which have already driven the fading Iraqi state into a total political crisis and deadlock, will not allow the warlike attempts of the Islamic Republic to succeed. The victim of such attempts will ultimately be the Islamic Republic itself.

The main response of the people of Iran to the rants of the leaders of the Islamic Republic, aimed at militarising and terrorising the social climate, and the way to confront the dangers of a conflict between Islamic terrorism and American militarism, is to step up the struggle for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic in Iran and its expulsion from Iraq, which is a key demand of the people of Iraq.

Victory to the revolution of the people of Iraq!

Down with the Islamic Republic!

Worker-communist Party of Iran

3 January 2020

#Iraq #Iran #Soleimani

Written by Andrew Coates

January 4, 2020 at 12:19 pm

Lexit Left Victory as Johnson Declares ” People’s Brexit” is underway.

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Lexit Left ‘Victory’.

Jim writes (Labour leavers gloat and bleat over Labour’s Brexit stance).

Various uncritical Corbyn-fans, Stalinists and little-Englanders are wasting no time in claiming “we lost because we were too pro-Remain.”

This weekend’s Morning Star, in typical tawdry and dishonest fashion, uses its front page to gloat that “REMAIN IS OVER”, quoting two union leaders (Dave Ward of the CWU and Kevin Courtney of the NEU), neither of whom has any noticeable record of actually campaigning for Brexit/”Lexit” within the labour movement.

The same paper’s editorial bleats that “Labour’s leader was the first to call for Article 50 to be triggered after the referendum result in 2016, and long resisted the efforts to trap his party in a Remain box. Had Labour paid more attention to its leader, it might not have suffered such devastating losses this week.”

The Morning star did more.

It cited the Aaron Banks funded Red-Brown (involved in the ‘Full Brexit’ which brings together Labour Brexiteers, Blue Labour, supporters of the Brexit Party, and Conservatives, ) Trade Unionists Against the EU” .

A  spokesperson, perhaps anti-rootless cosmopolitan campaigner Paul Embery, said.

A spokesperson from campaign group Trade Unionists Against the EU suggested that the Tories could face challenges from the public after pushing through Brexit.

“A Johnson government is a Brexit government, defined by Brexit, elected to deliver Brexit; it has a single purpose: to get Brexit done; it has no other mandate,” it said.

“It legitimacy ceases once we leave the EU.”

‘Remain has been defeated. The movement needs to move on,’ unions say

In other words, good on you my son Johnson, do your job and then we’ll meet in friendly combat.

The enemies of the internationalist left are still at it.

The People’s Brexit mouthpiece Counterfire carries this post:

Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister was unthinkable for the Labour right, and demanding a second referendum was about destroying the Corbyn project, writes John Westmoreland

Speaking for the ‘Pithead’ he declares,

The truth is, no matter how unpalatable, that Johnson’s “Get Brexit done” is what persuaded many workers in the Labour heartlands to vote for parties other than Labour.

….

This tells us that the deciding factor was not the appeal of Boris Johnson, but the desire to reinforce Doncaster’s vote to leave the EU. There is little doubt that if Labour had stuck to upholding the result of the referendum and simultaneously fighting for social and economic justice, the results would be very different.

Hammering home this message Lindsey German wrote on the same site, wearing one of her many hats (Stop the War Coalition onwards), she said,

The People’s Vote Campaign played a big part in forcing this shift and was an amalgam of Tories, the Lib Dems and Blairites like Alastair Campbell. These people claimed, supported by many on the left like the Another Europe is Possible campaign, that they only had to worry about Remain voters and that most Leave voters wouldn’t vote Labour anyway. Well, they haven’t now. And Brexit will follow in the coming weeks.

At yesterday’s successful and, in the circumstances  well-attended (over a hundred)  Another Europe is Possible Conference a number of speakers gave a different message.

The internationalist left heard from a speaker from County Durham who said that we should make no concessions to the nationalist right.

One member spoke of the way in which the Brexit left had thwarted Labour’s need to underline the reactionary charge of Brexit, in any form. He said that the Lexit Left would try to confuse the responsibility for the defeat by blaming the pro-Remain left (see above). Pro-Brexit factions were  one of the main causes of Labour’s disastrous result, by encouraging the belief that there was a progressive ‘People’s Brexit’ on the cards. It was little wonder that voters who heard that message would prefer the only actually existing Brexit: Johnson’s.

 

These are some of the concluding speeches.

Now that the Tories offer a People’s Brexit what’s to stop the Lexiteers joining in?

The fight against the national populists now trying to influence Labour is only just beginning.

Now there is also this:

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

December 15, 2019 at 12:04 pm

Fintan O’Toole on Boris Johnson, from “Sadopopulism” to the “Theatrical Show of Society”.

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British Election, “Theatrical Show of Society”. 

“Where the real world changes into simple images, the simple images become real beings and effective motivations of hypnotic behaviour.”
― Guy Debord, Society Of The Spectacle

This Blog has cited Stuart Hall’s writing on authoritarian populism and Margaret Thatcher as a way to think through how the Tory Party under Johnson has developed.

An important difference, we argued, is that Boris Johnson relies more on ideology, and the politics of the spectacle, show business, than the Tories did in the late ‘seventies and ‘eighties.

Images in British politics are not all that Johnson can rely on: he appeals to many of the feelings stirred up during the Brexit Referendum and following crises.

English nationalism, a simulacrum of class politics turned against Metropolitan ‘elites,’ the rotting remnants of traditionalist politics turned against internationalism, the willingness of the pro-Leave left to indulge the Brexit fantasy, have helped form a base for the Tories in public opinion.

The Irish writer, Fintan o’Toole has been a perceptive observer of how these aspects of Brexit have been played in British politics.

In Heroic Failure (2018) he talked of support for Brexit as “sadopopulism” and the ” rise of the idea of England as a political community [ie, a popular desire for England-only legislation voted on by English-only politicians]”. The Brexit side, far from expressing a wish to “bring back control” indulged in “hysterical self-pity” . O’Toole observed, “It’s a set of feelings rather than a political programme and Brexit offers itself as the way to address it. It says here’s the way to express yourself with an English identity. But it doesn’t answer it.”

Now he has turned his attention directly to Boris Johnson, giving us at least some hope that the Tory Leader’s feet of clay have become visible to the wider public.

The ‘Boris being Boris’ shtick is a cover for racism and lies. But it’s wearing thin

There is now a fundamental problem with the public persona Johnson has constructed so successfully. The persona is not just “Boris” but also, in a more complex formulation, “Boris being Boris”. “Boris” is the character in a long-running comic saga, written, performed and partly produced by Johnson himself. He is an idiot savant, a hapless bumbler who nonetheless tells it as it is. “Boris being Boris”, on the other hand, is the excuse for racism, for homophobia, for constant lies. It has been, for Johnson, a perfect coupling: whenever Boris is a bad boy, whenever he is peddling falsehoods and nastiness, it is just that “Boris being Boris” sometimes involves going too far.

But these twin personae begin to come apart when the clown becomes the ringmaster. It is one thing to be attracted to the Boris persona, quite another to place your trust in “Boris being Boris”. The election campaign has revealed an underlying tension between what Johnson is and what he does. The first part is an asset; the second an anxiety.

Today O’Toole has this to say, (thanks JIm for the text),

“Boris Johnson presents a 21st century postmodern version of this “theatrical show of society”.

That, as Baudrillard might say, the simulacra have replaced reality, Johnson’s charming, phone nicking, picaninny bum-boy bashing image is worth more than what he is saying.

Fintan O’Toole: Boris the loveable buffoon beats Johnson the charlatan

Thanks to the marvellous Jennifer Arcuri, with whom he had a long dalliance, we now know that Boris Johnson’s seduction techniques include the acting out of some lines from Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night. “He was hilarious,” she told ITV, “because he would read it. ‘Will you hoist sail sir? Here lies your way’.” The weird thing is that this passage so neatly summarises Johnson’s other attempted seduction – his wooing of traditional Labour voters.

What’s going in Shakespeare’s scene is that an imposter is trying to deliver a message full of ridiculous bombastic flourishes. Cesario, the would-be messenger, is a complete fake – he is actually a woman dressed up as a man. Olivia, to whom the seductive letter is to be delivered, reckons that the bravado and grandiloquence suggest that something fishy is going on and that the sentiments are “more like to be feigned”. Speaking for those in the English midlands and north who have had Johnson’s dubious charms visited upon them, she tells Cesario: “I heard you were saucy at my gates and allowed your approach rather to wonder at you than to hear you.” He must, she thinks, “have some hideous matter to deliver” if he wraps it up in such palaver.

They choose to wonder at Johnson rather than to hear him, to enjoy the show rather than consider what he is actually offering.

The writer gives a  peek behind the spectacle….

This is the British election in a nutshell. Johnson – and the rather sinister forces behind him – do have some hideous matter to deliver. What they really have to offer is not just one of the most right-wing governments in modern British history. It is the self-harm of a hard Brexit in which, with Northern Ireland ditched, Britain goes for a minimal trade arrangement with the EU and throws itself at the mercy of Donald Trump. This message comes wrapped in Johnson’s debating society orotundity, tied up with the staggeringly mendacious slogan, “Get Brexit Done”.

He continues,

And what makes it all so surreal is that voters seem to know very well that it is all “more like to be feigned”. They know Johnson is a liar. But many of those in the crucial battlegrounds seem not to mind. For they choose to wonder at Johnson rather than to hear him, to enjoy the show rather than consider what he is actually offering.

We are less sure on that point…the poltroon looks ready to funk the act at any moment.

In The English Constitution, a work of 1867 that is still regarded as holy writ, Walter Bagehot explained (approvingly) that the “English constitution in its palpable form is this – the mass of the people yield obedience to a select few”. What they obey, though, is not raw power – it is a spectacle: “They defer to what we may call the theatrical show of society. A certain state passes before them; a certain pomp of great men; a certain spectacle of beautiful women; a wonderful scene of wealth and enjoyment is displayed, and they are coerced by it.”
They know Boris Johnson is a liar. But many of those in the crucial battlegrounds seem not to mind.

Johnson presents a 21st century postmodern version of this “theatrical show of society”. It has, in his Etonian accent and mannerisms and his patent salad dressing of classicisms, a vestige of the old “pomp of great men”. But the show is now openly farcical – a cartoon version of the live action display of 19th century imperial power. And the punters are not coerced by it. Crucially, they collude in it. They don’t believe it but they choose to believe in it.

Perhaps O’Toole should think of Italy’s Berlusconi and how he got away with Bunga Bunga…

Or, the more obvious, imperial splendour of Donald J Trump.

If you look at the focus groups of those critical Labour leave voters at whom the Tory strategy is aimed, conducted for Channel 4 News and for The Guardian, you see something quite new: people saying things about Johnson that are simultaneously horribly insulting and entirely supportive. They don’t trust him: “If he can lie to the Queen [over the prorogation of parliament] he can lie to anybody”; “He’s not admitting how many kids he’s got scattered everywhere”. They know he’s performing: “He’s a good front man.” But they like the show: “I don’t necessarily agree with everything

Vote Labour! he says, but he cheers me up.” “He’s like a puppy: you can’t kick a puppy.” “He reminds me of a bog brush: I like him!” The best expression of the contradictions is a man in Birmingham: “Boris Johnson is such a character. It’s a buffoon to some extent, but it’s a loveable buffoon. And he’s straight-talking. You get an honest answer out of him.”

“The liar who gives you an honest answer; the likeable toilet brush; the loveable buffoon”  – this king of a sceptred isle.

If does not seem that the time is right for another Trump or Berlusconi, and there is all to play tomorrow, the “theatrical show of society” is still in full swing.

Perhaps the post-modern hard right advise Johnson that ““The secret of theory is that truth does not exist.” ― Jean Baudrillard, Fragments.

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There remains, even so, the more substantial ideological stew which the Johnson Musical Hall crowd is nourished on.

If Johnson wins one is reminded of the words of another critic of the society of the spectacle, the 18th century French writer Diderot (1713 – 84).

On objecte que la soumission à une autorité législative dispense de raisonner. Mais, où est la religion, sur la surface de la terre, sans une pareille autorité?”

It’s objected that submitting to a legislative authority does away with individual judgements. But, where would religion be, anywhere on the Earth, without such authority?

Diderot. Pensées Philosophiques. XXXll.

Only religious devotes could support  the “pomp of great men” in this election.

Vote Labour – the Party!

Update: