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Left Socialist Blog

Comrade John McDonnell: if there is a Referendum I Will Back Remain.

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Image result for another europe is possible john mcdonnell

John McDonnell sticks to his principles. 

Last night on Channel Four comrade John McDonnell, as part of a longer interview (below)  said clearly that if there is a second referendum he would support Remain.

Labour’s position on Brexit has not, to put it mildly, clear.
The brilliant efforts of comrade Keir Starmer to point out the folly of a No-Deal brexit and the ridiculous notion of a ‘go it alone’ UK have been exemplary.

But during the week there have been attempts to put a spin on a ‘Corbyn style Lexit’.

Forces hostile to socialist internationalism, from the Morning Star to Counterfire, cling to the ‘dancing with unicorns’ strategy of a ‘People’s Brexit’.

There has been speculation on the Labour Leader’s own views.

It has been suggested that Corbyn is not particularly interested in Europe, apart from hostility to the ‘neoliberal’ European Union.

Supporters of Corbyn have  by contrast pointed to the claim that the Labour leader had a conversation with the leader of La France insoumise Jean-Luc  Mélenchon in Spanish. (Jean-Luc Mélenchon : «Avec Corbyn, c’est le début de notre histoire»)

Mélenchon (whose family background is Spanish speaking) is given to citing the poets of Spain and Latin America.

Corbyn has a feline pet which he has named El Gato (the cat).

This witty sobriquet does not suggest great fluency in the language of García Lorca.

Be that as it may, it is clear that any form of Brexit is a disaster for the labour movement, workers’ interests and the left.

John McDonnell shows that we should push for the strategy of Another Europe is Possible.

On Newsnight:

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

January 12, 2019 at 10:57 am

In build up to ‘People’s Assembly ” Yellow Jacket Demo Counterfire attacks Elite “disdain” for Brexit Supporters.

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Elites Show “disdain” for Yellow jacket British Supporters Say Counterfire. 

Yet the liberal establishment, which has been such a strong proponent of globalisation and its consequences, seems incapable of recognising the reasons for opposition and anger, whether from the gilets jaunes in France or the Leave voters in large parts of Britain. Their disdain is palpable.

All this shows politics can’t be left to the elites. The mass of working people have to shape the future – not one based on war, competition and misery.

Bigger than Brexit – weekly briefing

EU monomania shouldn’t blind us to the starker realities of global economic crisis and ever increasing class tensions, argues Lindsey German  

Lindsey German.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

January 9, 2019 at 1:34 pm

As Charlie Hebdo is commemorated US Jacobin Attacks Charlie for being rude about Gammon.

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Nobody should not be rude about Gammon, says alt-left US magazine. 

The supposedly anti-establishment Charlie’s cosy relationship with such élite figures is combined with a wider contempt for working-class French people. For an example we need only look at cartoonist Cabu, who was killed in the 2015 attacks. Long considered one of the pillars of political cartoons in France, Cabu was author of the Mohammed cover in 2006 and known for his anti-clerical and anti-military views.

But he also had a long record of ridiculing the experiences, lifestyles, and behaviors of the working class and the poor. He created the cartoon character Le Beauf in 1974 to this end. The word “beauf” — short for beau-frère (brother in law) — was coined by Cabu and became a staple of French culture to the point that it entered the most renowned French dictionary (Le Robert) to mean the “average Frenchman with narrow ideas, conservative, vulgar and phallocratic.” For Cabu, Le Beauf is the “living symbol of the ordinary loser.”

IMEN NEFFATI

The reaction to the Paris terror attacks in 2015 identified Charlie Hebdo with freedom of speech. Yet the magazine’s anti-working-class smears are today used to silence the gilets jaunes.

The stuck up toff who wrote this is apparently, “a history PhD student at the University of Sheffield working on French satirical press and ideas of free speech.”

On s’en doutait

Meanwhile:

Un hommage officiel aux 17 victimes a lieu lundi, quatre ans après le début des attaques terroristes.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 8, 2019 at 11:48 am

Far Right Gilets Jaunes Attack Railway Union Picket.

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“There can be no unity with fascists even against a Tory government — they are not on our side, they are anti-working class.”

RAILWAY workers have called for people to turn out in defence of their pickets on January 12 after far-right activists attacked striking train guards in Manchester.

RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley said today it is “urgent” that members of the public stand by strikers after a group of thugs dressed up like French “yellow jacket” protesters marched on a picket line at Victoria station, central Manchester, yesterday.

The RMT strike, in defence of safety-critical train guard jobs, was scheduled on the same day that far-right organisers tried to launch a series of “yellow jacket” protests across the country, with a similar protest being held in London.

….

An RMT member of south-east Asian heritage was also singled out for abuse by the “yellow jackets,” who called him a “sex offender” and a “paedophile,” as well as shouting at him that “your lot get away with it” — an apparent reference to the recent grooming scandals in Rochdale and Rotherham.

Morning Star

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Written by Andrew Coates

January 7, 2019 at 11:44 am

As SWP cracks up Morning Star goes Total Tonto.

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Related image

Lessons of History Sadly ignored, says Morning Star top writer. 

The wisdom of Lenin’s What is to be Done?

Morning Star.

“With dissatisfaction and anger growing, with confrontation intensifying, and with more and more institutions and authority discredited, the need for effective responses grows, says ZOLTAN ZIGEDY.”

The cold war and the demonisation of communism further prodded the US and much of the academic and student western European left to distance itself from Leninism.

The ABC phenomenon — Anything But Communism — became deeply embedded in the “radicalism” of the late 20th century.

A “new” left — purposefully new in order to dissociate from Leninism and cold war ostracisation — sought new forms of radicalism, new approaches to struggle, new types of organisations.

Ironically, the new left found answers that had already failed in the past, in the kinds of politics toward which Lenin had earlier targeted his ideological weapons. And today’s US and European left reproduces many of the same tendencies.

It has been a common thread weaving through the US left that so-called participatory democracy is the foundation of radical politics and emancipatory or empowering for oppositional movements.

From the new left of the ’60s to the Occupy and Indignados movements, this approach has been foundational. The fetish for procedure has not only overshadowed establishing a common programme, but often blocked the achievement of one.

I had no idea that us European leftists actually cared that much, though we like the US left, about, er the US left,

History knows of no serious challenge to capitalism emerging automatically, without the intervention of a revolutionary organisation. Nonetheless, many in the US left deny the necessity or the desirability of a Leninist “organisation of revolutionaries.”

Under his pen name  the Morning Star leader writer,  concludes.

What Is To Be Done? demonstrates the need for a political organisation of ardent, committed revolutionaries, united with a programme to overthrow capitalism.

Since the retreat of communism, Leninism has unfortunately been discarded by many on the left. But the wisdom of Lenin’s pamphlet is needed now more than ever.

And i thought the Posadists were bit strange…

Written by Andrew Coates

January 5, 2019 at 2:06 pm

Socialist Workers Party Journal: Trump and Brexit, “two cheeks of the same arse”.

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“Trump and Brexit are, if a measure of crudity might be permitted, two cheeks of the same arse.”

This is quite remarkable, the SWP is cracking up over Brexit.

In a hole and still digging: the left and Brexit

Issue: 161

Wayne Ashe

This has got attention,

For many (most?) people on that march Trump and Brexit are, if a measure of crudity might be permitted, two cheeks of the same arse—both signs of racist reaction with no progressive roots whatsoever.

This a really serious well written article.

A few extracts.

 

” the gate will also be open, of course, for very sinister forces, already building up Britain’s own Dolchstoss, the stab-in-the-back legend which so helped the Nazis rise to power. Millions of Brexit voters are going to be very disappointed by the difference between what they thought they would get and what they in fact got, and will be looking for someone to blame.

….

.

 It is important to understand that the class enemy is entirely clear about this—Farage told the BBC (in January 2017): “If I speak to Trump’s team, Trump’s close advisers, or even to the president-elect himself, none of them think Trump would have won if Brexit had not happened”.38 The fascists marching to demand that Tommy Robinson be freed from jail carried banners supporting Trump and Brexit. The links between Brexit fundamentalists and the Trump administration are becoming closer week by week. Rees-Mogg—who supported Trump before he was elected president—noted that the latter “appealed to voters left behind by the metropolitan elite and he exudes confidence about his own nation and a determination not to be a manager of decline, which also inspires the Brexiteers”.39

Yet the traditional left, so right about Trump (and the rising fascist movement) is currently forced to tell angry people who might be attracted to their political outlook that they are against Trump but pro-Brexit. Opposition to Brexit is growing, yet just what is the left saying to the 700,000 people who marched for a People’s Vote on 20 October 2018?

Imagine a worse case situation in the spring, a chaotic Brexit has led to queues on the M20, factory layoffs, food shortages and high inflation after a currency collapse. We will be forced to tell workers that all this is very dreadful and should be fought, but, ahem…we actually supported Brexit. It won’t wash.

The good news in all this—and yes, there is some—is that the very weakness of the extra-parliamentary left means that a rethink can be carried out without too much impact and upset. While there is time. If the desire is there.

Wayne Asher is a former member of the International Socialists.

In the meantime the Arse replies,

But beyond this we are fearful that in breaking the bipartisan pledge that the Brexit vote be respected, Labou

 ill lose for generations more the trust that the Blair government betrayed and which the Corbyn team has so painstakingly rebuilt. A betrayal of the Brexit vote will supercharge Ukip or worse.

The EU is an irreformable instrument for impoverishing the continental periphery and the working people of each country to the benefit of a predatory class whose wealth increases with every one of capitalism’s succeeding crises.

Communists want a People’s Brexit. Unconstrained by EU treaties, single market rules and directives, a left-led Labour government could develop a worker-led industrial strategy; aid industry, invest in training, youth and jobs, social welfare, housing, education and health services; and take the transport, energy and postal service profiteers back into public ownership.
Nick Wright
Head of communications, Communist party of Britain

Written by Andrew Coates

January 4, 2019 at 1:36 pm

Top Suffolk Tory Intellectual Slams BBC, “Buggers Broadcasting Communism.”

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From here.

A recent picture of Kevin, Suffolk’s leading  Brexiteer.

 

Image result for kevin algar ipswich

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

January 3, 2019 at 12:01 pm