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Posts Tagged ‘Counterfire

‘Plutocrats’, ‘Elites’ “Oligarchy’, how Brexit backers from Left to Right poison political language.

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The Poisonous Language of ‘plutocracy’: Soros, Rothschild and ‘elites’. 

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink.

George Orwell Politics and the English Language.

The EU plutocracy’s hopes of being able to get a Labour administration to back a second referendum are not wholly misplaced.

John Ress. Counterfire September 2018.The Salzburg shakedown

The people are being betrayed by Britain’s elite in collusion with the European plutocracy.

Austin Mitchell, one time Labour MP. Brexit Central July 2018.

A large segment of opposition MPs and a small band of Tory EU loyalists thus began openly agitating for “the people” to have a “final say” on the Prime Minister’s deal, with the option of staying in the EU after all if they voted against it.

This campaign has been organised under the cross-party “People’s Vote” banner and bankrolled in part by billionaire plutocrat George Soros ..

Breitbart. November. 2018.

Plutocrat – not just a billionaire, but a plutocratic one!

Elites, not to mention oligarchy……a quick google shows how  the language of Brexiter politics has become infected with words which most people, about ten years ago, thought was exhausted.

The whole Brexit row is apparently about “elites” against “the people”.

No prezzies for guessing which side the hard-Brexit lot claim to be on.

Never mind that in English the people rarely takes the definite article.

Never mind that elite, no more than it does in its French original, is no more something you could speak about in ordinary speech.

Never mind that in politics these terms originated not from the left from that curious mixture of former leftists  and outright fascists, Gaetano Mosca, Vilfredo Pareto, and Robert Michels.

To put it simply they thought elites inevitable , and in Pareto’s case, describable (sometimes known as the “the vital few and trivial many”).

The actions of the ‘elites’ described in the citations above are also very different from that of the New Leftist C.Wright Mill’s The Power elite (1956).

Not only did he try to outline (contentiously) a whole set of overlapping and often competing groups, but they had no conscious purpose. “Mills explains that the elite themselves may not be aware of their status as an elite, noting that “often they are uncertain about their roles” and “without conscious effort hey absorb the aspiration to be … The Ones Who Decide.” 

PLutocrats may well be the title of a book about the super-rich by Chrystia Freeland. (Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super Rich. 2012).

But it hardly needs adding that “plutocrat” is a word clearly associated with the far-right infamously with the Nazis.

See the source image

It also goes back to the anti-Semitic side in the Dreyfus affair who talked of “notre ploutocratie républicaine.” (Le vocabulaire de l’antisémitisme en France pendant l’affaire Dreyfus)

Mill’s idea that the US ‘elite’ is a nevertheless a semi-hereditary caste is pretty dubious when we look at Trump today, who has little caste about him.

In short, it is today not a genuine sociological or political concept – pitting  Farage (anti-‘elite’) against the elites it all about sending a signal, not a real criticism of the way power if organised in society.

More to the point the way the language of ‘elites’ is used by national populists and Brexit Boslevikcs is all about conscious organised groups out to thwart the ‘will of the people’.

This is poisonous talk in itself: not about the clash of real interests or class, but putting evil on one side and virtue on the other.

Those who claim to be on the left do themselves no favours by indulging in this rhetoric.

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Written by Andrew Coates

January 21, 2019 at 12:33 pm

People’s Assembly Demo – up to 4 Thousand Strong – ends in Confusion over who are the ‘real’ Yellow Vests.

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Antonia Bright

Some marchers declined to wear the high-vis jackets in case the symbolism might be misinterpreted, however.

Antonia Bright, a campaigner with the anti-racism group Movement for Justice, said she wanted to “steer away from white populism”.

“I don’t need it to march for what I am standing for,” she said.

BBC

Socialist Worker reports,

The demonstration was much smaller than previous marches against the Tories—a sign that the focus on parliament has turned the focus away from the struggle needed to bring them down.

And there were very few trade union banners on the march.

Hundreds of anti-austerity yellow vest protesters have marched on London demanding a UK general election. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said austerity was “tearing apart the very social fabric” of the country. He said he expected Prime Minister Theresa May to lose on Tuesday when MPs vote on her Brexit deal.

Police officers tussled with pro-Brexit demonstrators to stop them getting into Trafalgar Square, where Mr McDonnell was speaking.

The I.

Police officers tussle with Pro-Brexit demonstrators near Trafalgar Square (Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Jim Scott

 No photo description available.

 

Comment:

The demonstration was small because very few people on the British left and in the trade union movement are going to march for a General Election at a march organised by the groupuscule Counterfire, even if endorsed by labour figures and Moemntum.

Still fewer identity with the politically ambiguous gilets jaunes. *

Channel Four last night interviewed French gilets jaunes, in Calais, all of whom were hard right, either Le Pen voters or backed the sovereigntist racist Philippe de Villiers.

The events of the day amply proved the ambiguous nature of the Yellow Jackets.

The pro-Brexit organisers of the march, Counterfire, who run the People’s Assembly, are the last people to take a lead on this issue.

A General Election will not solve Brexit unless Labour takes a clear stand opposing it.

Or to put it another way, as Red Flag says,

4-5000 people on the People’s Assembly Demonstration in London which the organisers called under the slogan – ‘Britain is broken – for a general election now’. But this ducks the central question in British politics – how can Labour force let alone win an election when its policy on Brexit is indistinguishable from the Tories

* on this see this article Gilets jaunes (in English) Ni Patrie Ni Frontières,

In May 68 we shouted “CRS = SS !”
Today, the Yellow Vests shout : “The police with us!,” “CRS, be with us !”

Written by Andrew Coates

January 13, 2019 at 11:54 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

Yellow Vests UK Moblise for Hard Brexit.

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Far Right Fringe of French Gilets Jaunes Have British Imitators.

 British yellow vests announce second London protest

The British Yellow Vests have announced a ‘Day of Action’ in London on Saturday with a meeting point at Parliament Square, Westminster at 1pm.

The Facebook event page says “Bring your vest and join us!” The event isn’t party political and all are welcome. On Friday sixty protesters hit global headlines after bringing a mass rebellion to the capital.

Activist James Goddard, who is part of the movement and targeted Westminster Bridge, just yards away from the British Parliament told Politicalite: “This is just the start.”

“We wanna see people out on the streets challenging the political class.” “We’re gonna bring cities to a standstill, We all need to start doing this”

“There’s no funding, there’s no leader or political affiliation, this is real people taking action, without the help of people who are high up.”

Tracy Blackwell was also part of the protest, she told Politicalite: “It’s about time the British people stood up to the tyranny of what’s going on in our Establishment.”

She added: “We don’t want another Josh, Harry and George to happen to someone else, and it will it’s not a case of if, its a case of when.”

“We the people have had enough of being used as cannon fodder by the Elite in this country,” said Tracy.

Image result for yellow Vests Britain

The far-right opposes “globalism”, which makes it hard to distinguish from ‘anti-globalisation’. Counterfire and their fronts, and many other Brexit Bolsheviks  mobilise against “undemocratic elites”, a pillar of the far-right language replacing class.  It looks increasingly unlikely that the pro-Brexit Counterfire stunt  (below) is going to escape being confused with the national populist right.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 19, 2018 at 5:16 pm

People’s Assembly (Counterfire) to Hold Gilets Jaunes Demo to Show “Will of the People”.

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Gilets Jaunes: Coming to London People’s Assembly March.

Counterfire has a new hobby horse.

During the General Election it was Stop the Tory Coup.

Counterfire joins calls to confront ‘Tory coup’ on the streets (May the 6th 2015)

Now, the action on the streets will be the Yellow Vests, Britain’s own Gilets Jaunes.

Inspired, we imagine,  by an interview on their site with Danièle Obono, a deputy of La France Insoumise, on their site, France: stay on the streets until Macron falls,

“The government could fall very soon.”

As the actuality of the revolution reaches these shores we are invited to take part in this march.

Forget your  criticisms about a People’s Brexit, we can all agree that Counterfire is right:

We say no matter which way you voted in the European referendum, if you care about ending austerity, if you care about homelessness, if you want to see rail and other privatised utilities taken back into public ownership, then a general election is the only way that this can be done. In short it is driving the Tories from power which is the key question for working people in Britain today.

Today the People’s Assembly have called a National Demonstration to show the will of the people.It’s time to get the Tories out.

Spearheading the Will of the People will be the “extra parliamentary” Gilets Jaunes – the Yellow Vests Against Austerity – will be out in force..

See Facebook event here – Please share far and wide

We need an all out extra parliamentary, anti austerity demonstration to push the tories over the edge and force a change of government….

Assemble 12 noon: BBC Portland Place, London. Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

Don’t forget your #YellowVest

#YellowVestsAgainstAusterity

It is not clear if the demo will demand cheaper petrol and lower taxes, or whether these people will be invited;

 

From mondialisme.org

Written by Andrew Coates

December 14, 2018 at 1:08 pm

As Tories Flounder Pro-Brexit Left Clutches at Straws.

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Brexit Left Has Record of Sound Predictions.

The Sovereigntist Morning Star, no doubt refreshed from a trip to the Donbass*, yells,

Who can “deliver Brexit”?

Can it be delivered at all?

The Morning Star’s allies in Counterfire are worried,

Lindsey German writes,

The Tories shan’t topple on their own, we need to build and maintain the pressure against them, 

there are increasing demands for a second referendum.

such a referendum wouldn’t change anything, even if it could get through Parliament, which is still a big if. And while we don’t need to necessarily speculate over whether it would lead to riots among Leave voters, it certainly would cause widespread anger and even further distrust, if possible, for politicians.  The pressure from within Labour for this second referendum is, however, intense, and is also very dangerous. It can lead to a greater bitterness in Leave areas which, even if it doesn’t lose Labour many seats, can lead to an alienation from Labour which will damage Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

She notes,

Any resolution to the Brexit crisis which ends up benefiting working people will of necessity entail a level of popular protest on the streets, an increase in industrial action and a very hard fight to secure a Labour victory. All of this will require a turn to class politics and organisation.

Pray, what is this “resolution”?

If ruthless Tories can’t get a ‘good deal’ what chance a People’s Brexit?

Socialist Worker clings to the wreckage,

Resistance to the Tory vision of Brexit can’t mean supporting a new referendum. It must mean putting forward an alternative vision of Brexit and of society where ordinary people’s interests are put before those of the bosses.

Membership of the EU is incompatible with such a vision. We must fight for an anti-racist, anti-austerity Brexit.

While the Heralds of the Red Dawn remain true from the US pro-Brexit progressive magazine Jacobin comes a cry for help –  please please Theresa May call a General Election!

The People’s Vote Illusion

Dawn Foster.

The campaigners for a so-called “People’s Vote” illustrate the problem most clearly: a cabal of almost entirely middle-class centrists detached from the groundswell of public opinion, preoccupied with obscure legal loopholes that supposedly might scupper attempts to push Brexit through Parliament or any process that sees the UK leave the EU at all. They function entirely as an echo chamber, with a record of excruciatingly embarrassing attempts at protest.

Such a gamble makes no sense and Labour would be wrong to back it. What makes far more sense is to call for a general election, as Labour has repeatedly done. Theresa May has lost the support of the Democratic Unionist Party; the ten Northern Irish MPs with whom she forged a “confidence and supply” deal last May do not have the numbers to make a true majority. Without those MPs, May cannot pass anything in Parliament without the help of Labour rebels. And considering that close to a hundred Conservative MPs have said they’ll rebel against her Brexit deal, it is increasingly clear that she has no democratic mandate whatsoever. Returning to Brussels to renegotiate, she would likely be told that the negotiators had no confidence in her passing anything they might offer.

The pro-Brexit Boss of Jacobin is said to be almost as scornful of the European Union as his British Op-Ed editor,  ‘Race Play BDSM  games’  Richard Seymour.

Seymour, for a jellyfish, still packs a sting.

The extent to which a large number of people on the Left identify with the European Union is bewildering and rather frightening and sinister.

The Brexit Debacle Richard Seymour.

Update:

The People’s Assembly have called a demo to support the Counterfire line of General Election Now! People’s Assembly Demo in January Britain is Broken,

“Today the People’s Assembly have called a National Demonstration to show the will of the people.”

“Don’t forget your #YellowVest #YellowVestsAgainstAusterity.

Cheap petrol now!

*  See: Light in the Donbass Window. Among the “anti-imperialist” foreign volunteers in East Ukraine. 

“The Donbass is the spiritual homeland, the Olduvai Gorge of all tankiedom. “

“Confusion in politics internationally is great.” Lindsey German, Counterfire.

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“Great disorder under the Heavens and the situation is excellent.”

The Convener of the Stop the War Coalition and leading member of the groupusucle Counterfire, writes a Weekly Briefing.

It always  brings a kind smile weary activist’s’ lips.

Today her latest has a click-bait title:  The Brexit blizzard is there to blind us; it’s time to take out the Tories and that means a general election, argues Lindsey German

She begins by talking about the  ‘Britain is Broken, We can’t afford the Tories’ campaign which the People’s Assembly (largely Counterfire’s enterprises these days) organised.

After this stirring moment the she shifts to an emollient  mood.

The partner of John, ‘actuality of the revolution’ Rees, brought back some happy memories to this reader,

When I first became politically active nearly 50 years ago, there was a sense of working class power in Britain.”

Followed by a swift turn back to the stony realism for which those who who only during the last election were calling for mass action in the streets against the threat of a Tory “coup” can bring to a debate.

Today, while the majority of people still see themselves as working class, there is not that sense of working class power.

Being a kindly gent myself I can only agree with this comment,

The danger is the combination of Labour adopting a second referendum position, while at the same time doing far too little to support and spread the resistance to Tory austerity policies. That would be an unpopular retreat on the one hand, but also a failure to mobilise working class organisation over issues affecting everyone’s lives. In places like Doncaster or Sunderland, where Labour councils are implementing the austerity policies, that could be a very serious failure indeed.

There is much to learn about “neo-liberals” assembled at the G20 summit. One can only applaud that German keeps us on our toes with this bold  analysis:

It is hard for anyone to see anything but further crises and conflict coming out of the summit.

After, wisely, avoiding details about the Gilets Jaunes the august leader observes,

The confusion in politics internationally is great – there is bitter resentment of governments but no clear path forward. It’s a big task for the left, but one we have to take on.

How true, how very true.

German claims that,

We can make a start by demonstrating against the fascist Tommy Robinson next Sunday 9 December who is using the Brexit issue to spread his hate. I’m very glad that this looks like being one united demo now – well done to those making that happen.

In a spirit of unity I hope to present her with this seasonal gift:

 

Related image

 

Written by Andrew Coates

December 3, 2018 at 5:18 pm