Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘British Left

It looks as if Howard Beckett is maintaining his Unite Candidacy to Split the left vote.

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Just look at the Stripe of Beckett’s Supporters.

There have been no puffs of white smoke from the negotiations amongst the rival, three, left candidates, for the Unite top job. But it looks as if Beckett, the least popular of the candidates, is maintaining his candidacy.

He is now rantin’ and a ravin’ against the Labour Party.

Cde Owen writes:

Owen Jones 

I’ve never seen such an act of suicidal political behaviour, of such total self-destruction, as the left in the race to become Unite’s next general secretary.

Firstly, Unite – and I should say I’ve been a member since its foundation – plays an absolutely critical role to anyone on the left in Britain. They played a decisive role in Labour’s leftward shift, and they were critical in supporting movements from anti-tax avoidance UKUncut to the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

They have scored decisive victories for workers over the last few years in the face of a relentless assault from the Tories. Instrumental to all of this has been Len McCluskey, who has bee accordingly vilified by the media – a sign of his effectiveness.

There are now three left-wing candidates standing to be his successor, and one right-wing candidate. The election is – absurdly – being held under first past the post. That means the right-wing candidate, Gerard Coyne, is likely to win.

All three left-wing candidates – Steve Turner, Sharon Graham and Howard Beckett – have undeniably strong positives. What matters, for me, is how we stop the right taking over the union. If that happens, the union will abandon fighting for workers. It will pull the plug on all the positive left-wing initiatives that Unite backs. It will vote to shut down all democracy in the Labour party, including stitching up the leadership rules so no left-winger can ever win ever again.

The official left grouping in Unite – United Left – which was the machine behind Len McCluskey’s election victories voted several months to choose Steve Turner over Howard Beckett as the left-wing candidate. That was supposed to mean unity behind whoever won: that did not happen.

I’ve seen so much rubbish about Steve Turner being right-wing online that I don’t even know where to start. Turner is a former member of the Trotskyist Militant Tendency. He ran Len McCluskey’s successful campaigns to become general secretary. He’s the co-chair of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. He campaigned for Jeremy Corbyn to become Labour leader twice and voted for Rebecca Long Bailey. His candidacy is backed by the Communist Party.

He’s a lifelong anti-fascist and union militant.Anyone who thinks Turner is right-wing or centrist is so divorced from reality it’s genuinely very difficult to even know what to say.In the nominations process – in which grassroots members of union branches decide who to support – Turner won by a mile, including in the major workplaces with the most votes. Graham came second, and Beckett came third.But here’s the thing. Back in the 2017 election, McCluskey won 1,185 branch nominations, compared to 187 for Coyne. The final result? 45.4% for McCluskey and 41.5% for Coyne.You might therefore respond well, that shows nominations don’t count for anything.

But what it actually shows is that the right always do better in the internal election than the nominations. So even though – again – Coyne got the least nominations, he’s likely to win far more votes – while the three left-wing candidates are going to split the votes between them

.Beckett has a run a really vibrant online campaign that’s resonated with a lot of people who are – like me, as anyone who reads my articles or listen to my videos and podcasts knows – angry with Keir Starmer.

The problem is Beckett came third in nominations. If you struggle to get grassroots members to nominate you in branches, that does not bode well for getting out a vote in a union-wide election. A lot of the people inspired by his campaign aren’t members of Unite – which is entirely legitimate – but the problem is they can’t vote.

If Beckett had won the most nominations, I would be just as adamant in my support for him.

The problem is, he didn’t.

And my fear is lessons we’re learnt from the Northern Independence Party – who ran a really brilliant online campaign – but whose candidate won 250 votes, or 0.8%, in the Hartlepool by-election. If you went by Facebook and Twitter, you’d have expected them to have won by a mile.

Some keep leaving comments like – well, Jeremy Corbyn got the least nominations but he became leader by a landslide! But they’re not comparing like for like. Corbyn won few nominations from MPs – but from Constituency Labour Parties he won by a mile in 2015 and 2016, as well as union nominations. That showed he was the frontrunner – and he was!

There are others making false claims that right-wingers are backing Turner – they’re not, they’re backing Coyne, who they now think – rightly – will win because there are three left-wing candidates. (One comment by a right-wing Labour figure who is in any case backing Coyne is repeatedly being circulated – who actually voted for McCluskey previously – does that make McCluskey right-wing?)

If Turner was leader, he’d fight for left-wing policies in Unite, get left-wing candidates selected, and oppose attempts to stitch up the leadership rules so a left-winger couldn’t get on the ballot paper. If Coyne wins, the left faces being put into a sealed tomb.I’ve had lots of comments in response to my position calling me a Tory, a neoliberal, a centrist, a Blairite, an establishment shill who is only doing what my “paymasters” are telling me to do. I’m sorry but this is, to say the least, unhinged David Icke-level conspiracy theory type madness.

You don’t have to agree with me – that’s fine. But please at least understand the basis of this argument. Under an electoral system that doesn’t let you preference your candidates, in an election in which the right-wing candidate always does better than their nominations suggest, if there are three left-wing candidates standing and competing for the same votes, the right-wing candidate is probably going to win.

I cannot emphasise how catastrophic this situation is. We are running out of time, while certain blogs whip people up into thinking that Beckett is the only left-wing candidate, that it’s him or bust. If that doesn’t change, then Coyne is going to win the election and the left in this country is going to suffer a catastrophic defeat. It is beyond belief that so many people, even now, reading this refuse to accept this objectively undeniable situation as they say ‘my candidate or bust!’ Well, bust it is.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 14, 2021 at 7:35 pm

Leftist Trainspotting Quiz of the Year (2019).

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Related image

Many things have happened since 1980…

Leftist Trainspotting Quiz of the Year.


1) George Galloway made  headlines after the General Election when he created the Workers’ Party of Britain, with close involvement of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist).

The CPGB (M-L), its Eternal Honorary Chairman of the Party and his daughter, Joti, are the scions of which dynasty.

  • The Rabbits of the Br’er.
  • House Targaryen.
  • Brar.

2) The Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) split this year over the issue of ‘Mandelism’.

What is Mandelism?

  • A  sweet almond based cake.
  • The ideas associated with much liked and respected Ernest Mandel, the Belgium Marxist economist.
  •  A deadly political virus which brought women’s and gay liberation – political correctness gone mad -into Trotskyism

3) Gilles Fraser, darling of the Occupy Movement outside St Paul’s and fellow traveller of the SWP, has now announced that he is a Tory.

He is the Vicar of which parish?

  • Bray.
  • Dibley.
  • Brexit.

4) Who were the  Socialist Labour Group and why did they resurface during, and after, the Brexit vote?

  • They are doughty champions of national independence and the rights of Rochdale.
  • They are Lamberists,  the deadliest enemies of socialist internationalism.
  • They are part of the Red-Brown front.

5)  The  International Socialist Organization dissolved this year.

What was the name of its respected  paper?

6) James Heartfield was a leading cadre of the Revolutionary Communist Party and has close links to Spiked.

Before bottling out he was going to stand for the Brexit Party in the General Election.

What is his  original name?

  • James Field of Hearts.
  • James Heartfelt.
  • James Hughes.

7) In which European election did the CPB, in the pages of the Morning Star, (wholly owned by the Co-Op), advocate not voting Labour?

  • 1918.
  • 1945.
  • 2019.

8) Anti-rootless cosmopolitan campaigner Paul Embery is a member or associated with the following?

  • Blue Labour
  • ‘Trade Unionists’ against the European Union.
  • Spiked.
  • The Full Brexit.
  • Kate Hoey.

9) Who is the UK’s most celebrated political vegan?

  • Lord Voldemort.
  • Sauron.
  • Chris Williamson.

10) Pabloism has been in the news again.


Written by Andrew Coates

December 27, 2019 at 11:22 am

Leftist Trivia Quiz 2017.

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Image result for as soon as this pub closes left wing john sullivan


Following the a soaraway  success of Hatful of History’s quiz we have our own for 2017.

  1. Who developed an interest in Lenin’s support for Nudism this year?
  2. In 2016 Ben Chacko, Editor of the Morning Star, organ of the Communist Party of Britain,  sent a message of solidarity to a pro-Brexit  Trotskyist rally in Paris. What is the name of this Trotskyist group and why were they in the new again in 2017?
  3. What are the names of the groups that Gerry Downing’s Liaison Committee for the Fourth International has links with?
  4. Who is the former bag-man for George Galloway and now best mates with Counterfire, who was prepared to fight to the last French person against the Front National in this year’s Presidential election?
  5. The name of the former faction in the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) of Labour’s present Executive Director of Strategy and Communications was i) LGBT Left. ii) Straight Left.
  6. Which  issues of Socialist Worker in 2017 carried heartfelt denunciations of sexual harassment?
  7. Which group was ruled ineligible for Labour Party membership?
  8. What is the current name of Workers’ Power, British Section of the League for the Fifth International?
  9.  What is the name of the People’s Assembly 2017 Xmas song (hard one this).
  10. Who is the other member of the Monster Raving Greenstein Party?

Written by Andrew Coates

December 30, 2017 at 11:21 am