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Hope Not Hate Report: Brexit Helped Mainstream “far-right notions around immigration and identity”

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Image result for brexit day celebrations far right

Brexit has both marginalised the far right but also contributed to the mainstreaming of some far-right notions around immigration and identity.”

 

Brexit making far-right ideas mainstream, major report finds

Independent.

‘Cordon sanitaire’ keeping far-right discourse out of mainstream politics has collapsed, Hope Not Hate says

Brexit is causing far-right views on immigration and identity to be drawn into the mainstream, a report has warned.

Research by Hope Not Hate found that Britain’s departure from the EU has fuelled discussions of loyalty, elites and patriotism, “drawing people who might have otherwise have been attracted to the far right back into the mainstream right”.

“The blurring of these boundaries has seen mainstream politicians and commentators using language and rhetoric that was previously found only on the far right [and] seen anti-Muslim prejudice, demeaning rhetoric on migrants and refugees and notions of a ‘cultural war’ against social liberalism increasingly being adopted,” the group’s annual report said.

“This is partly as a consequence of politicians co-opting far-right narratives to gain support and partly because of the newer far right engaging in wider issues.”

Hope Not Hate said the change was responsible for weakening traditional far-right street movements in Britain, seeing a decline in membership and events.

Its report noted that several extremist figures and groups, including Tommy Robinson and Britain First, had called for their supporters to support Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party since he became leader.

“Past and present far-right leaders even attended Brexit Day celebrations in Parliament Square,” it added.

“The ‘cordon sanitaire’ which once kept far-right groups and thought out of mainstream discourse has collapsed, both here and on the continent.”

Extracts from this important report: FAR RIGHT TERROR GOES GLOBAL.

Editorial Nick Lowles. 

This is partly the consequence of the far right engaging in wider cultural and identity issues, but also because centre-right politicians have tried to embrace far-right narratives to win support.

Who really needs far-right propagandists when you have more mainstream commentators like Rod Liddle, Richard Littlejohn, Toby Young and James Delingpole all weighing into the fray?

The ‘cordon sanitaire’ which once kept far-right groups and thought out of mainstream discourse has collapsed, both here and on the Continent.Belgium’s King Philippe has held an official meeting at the Royal Palace with the head of the far-right Vlaams Belang party. It is the first time a Belgian monarch has met a far-right leader since 1936. In Germany, a significant group of Christian Democrat politicians have called for a deal with the far-right Alternative for Germany Party.

The decline of the traditional far right has been happening for some time. As far back as 1999 the British National Party recognised that its strong racist and anti-immigrant message had decreasing traction in a multicultural society where some non-whites were already second or third generation British.

However, this decline has been quickened by the emergence of the internet and the rapidly evolving digital landscape, plus the loosening ties between political parties and people, which has given us all a far wider choice to move between causes and campaigns.

The far right has also been constrained by police action and social media deplatforming. Leaders of many of the more violent far-right groups have been imprisoned, while the action of some social media companies to limit hate speech has massively curtailed the ability of far-right figures to reach audiences and raise money.
………
But it has been Brexit that has really quickened the far right decline. Brexit has dominated the political discourse over the past three years and the traditional far-right organisations have struggled to get their issues heard amid the Brexit roar.

Figures such as Yaxley-Lennon tried to jump aboard the Brexit bandwagon, but after admitting that he hadn’t actually voted in the EU Referendum, he struggled to have any meaningful impact beyond complaining about Muslims and his own sense of persecution.

Last summer, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party was formed and topped the poll in the European elections all within two months. Along the way it claimed to have recruited 150,000 supporters and millions in donations. However, almost as quickly as it emerged it sunk, as Boris Johnson promised to deliver what Farage could only dream about.

This does not mean an end to the far-right. Just as anti-immigrant and anti “cultural leftist” people like Éric Zemmour  is part of the national political landscape in France, so have many of their far-right ideas become part of the British cultural and political terrain.

This may stand for the UK as well, “Raphaël Glucksmann described Zemmour as having “a very clear ambition, which is to erase the divide between the Republican right and the far right under the banner of the far right.”

CULTURAL WAR

The far right are enthusiastic and extreme participants in the culture war and have successfully sought to portray themselves as victims of political correctness, the liberal establishment and gender equality.
And in this they successfully tap into an anxiety and lack of control over their lives that many feel, especially those who feel most pessimistic about the future and those who have been top of the social hierarchies but now feel they are losing out to others.

The report explores how the ‘manosphere’ has snowballed into an ideology that has taken on a life beyond an online niche. Though its organised elements and online communities are still a fringe issue, it taps into broader reactionary attitudes towards towards women, feminism and progressive politics.

More:

“….particular far-right tropes, especially those with a conspiratorial angle, have received attention from mainstream politicians. These include ‘The Great Replacement’ and other identitarian ideas influencing far-right European Parliamentary election campaigns, to Britain’s Nigel Farage using the antisemitic ‘globalist’ dogwhistle and Conservative MP Suella Braverman using another, ‘Cultural Marxism’. On some topics mainstreaming has gone even further. HOPE not hate polling released in June highlighted the worrying extent of British Conservative party supporters’ Islamophobic beliefs, including in once-fringe Islamophobic tropes such as ‘no-go zones’.

..

When it comes to resisting the spread of far-right ideas, the culture war over deplatforming those who spread hate continued in 2019, with doing so continuing to be framed, often cynically by the far right, in terms of a danger to freedom of speech.

Likewise, moral equivocating of the far right and antifascists continued, not least from Trump who in April reiterated a form of his ‘both sides’ response (that he gave when reacting to news of the murder of antiracist demonstrator Heather Heyer in Charlottesville in 2017).

Through our American newsletter, CARD, edited by Melissa Ryan, we also drew attention to  home of the narratives and conspiracies which have begun to gain more of a footing, including the antiLGBTQ+ and misogynist ‘Gender Ideology’ conspiracy which was central, for example, to the Polish far right’s parliamentary election campaigns.”

 

Amongst other issues the section on Labour and Anti-Semitism remains significant.

The relationship between between the Jewish community and the Labour Party was in pretty dire straits at the start of 2019. The summer of 2018 had been dominated by a row over Labour’s eventual acceptance of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which occurred after the unprecedented ‘Enough is Enough’ rally led by Jewish community organisations in Parliament Square.

This stands out,

Chris Williamson.

The disgraced former MP for Derby North became a symbol of Jew-baiting and hatred, and caused an unnecessary saga that took far too long to resolve. Williamson came into 2019 still facing calls for the Labour whip to be suspended from him for sharing platforms with expelled members, denying antisemitism in the Labour Party and signing a petition in support of controversial jazz musician Gilad Atzmon.

Despite this, Jeremy Corbyn told Derbyshire Live: “Chris Williamson is a very good, very effective Labour MP. He’s a very strong anti-racist campaigner. He is not antisemitic in any way.”

Williamson further angered anti-racists in Labour by booking a room in Parliament to host a film screening in Parliament for then-suspended member Jackie Walker. In late February, footage was uncovered of Williamson saying that Labour was “too apologetic” over antisemitism. The party confirmed that he would be under investigation for a pattern of behaviour but would remain as an MP. However, after much anger from then-deputy leader Tom Watson, backbench MPs and a statement from HOPE not Hate, he was suspended.

Unfortunately, this did not prove to be the end of this sorry tale. In June, Williamson’s suspension was lifted by a three-person NEC panel and he was issued with a formal warning. It then took two days, and pressure from 120 MPs and peers, plus 70 Labour staff members, for his suspension to be reimposed. He unsuccessfully attempted to return as a Labour MP through the courts and after he was refused permission to stand as a Labour Party candidate in the General Election, he resigned from the party. He got his final kicking of the year at the ballot box, receiving just 635 votes and losing his deposit in Derby North. However, it should be remembered that his case was yet another that dragged out so long that Labour never had to take the final decision to expel him.

This is one response to the section that mentions one individual:

The Conservatives face this charge:

Limited disciplinary action, a membership riven by Islamophobic views and a leadership which has brushed off criticism – the conservative party’s approach to its islamophobia crisis is deeply disappointing writes Gregory Davis.

Last year there were growing calls for the Conservative Party to tackle the Islamophobia crisis within its ranks. A steady drip-feed of allegations emerged throughout the year of Islamophobic behaviour from individuals at every level of the party, ranging from the grassroots up to the very top with the leadership.

Yet the party has appeared reluctant to acknowledge the scale of the problem, which is the first step towards tackling any issue effectively. It has seemed, at times, as though the party was intent on repeating every mistake that Labour has made in its handling of its antisemitism crisis.

Despite the party’s claims that its disciplinary procedures were ‘transparent’, a consistent refusal to provide basic information about the number of complaints, or their outcomes, has made it impossible for outside observers to verify the actions taken or true scale of the problem. As it stands, the evidence we have already suggests that the problem is larger than the leadership cares to admit.

Identity Politics.

Brexit, it was predicted by some on the left, would lead to a ‘Carnival of Reaction’.

From immigration to national identity the right has gained an advantage by playing the issue of national sovereignty against internationalism and human rights.

There is another way far-right, or, national populist, ideas have shaped the terrain of political debate.

 

The rise of right-wing identity politics, and the inability of the pro-Brexit left to answer without claiming an identity politics of their own, based on the “real” working class, pro-Brexit opposed to “Metropolitan” pro EU “elites”, is striking.

The Morning Star and others, the Socialist Party, Blue Labour and the alliance between the sovereigntist left and the Brexit Party backers, the Full Brexit, have played this game.

Explaining Labour’s defeat Beck Robertson says in the Morning Star,

To win back the working class we must ditch identity politics

The right has seized on our insistence upon all things woke and have used this to parody our whole movement.

…..though Brexit was undoubtedly important, and Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity may have played a part, there is another long-ignored factor — identity politics and its role in the perception of the party as a vehicle for middle-class Islingtonites.

..

Traditional working-class Labour voters, who in their droves turned away from Labour this election, have long complained the party has become London-centric, middle class and out of touch, with too much focus on liberal identity politics.

Nobody is going to tackle national populism and the far right  by pitting the ‘left-behind’, the “Somewhere” working class against the imaginary London metropolitan left – a city with its own working ‘cosmopolitan;’ working class.

Their arguments serve only to reinforce right-wing views, not challenge them.

Not to mention that they sound like Toby Young whingeing about all that ‘identity’ intersectional PC, Woke, nonsense.

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.

After Struggle Between “Trotskyist Method and Organisation” and “Petty Bourgeois Opposition” CWI is on the Way to Refoundation!

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Victors in Fight Against Petty Bourgeois Opposition.

Refounding the Committee for a Workers’ International on the basis of a Trotskyist programme and method

This document recalls the glory days of the 1953 split in the world Trotskyist Movement.

At an historic meeting held in London between July 22nd and 25th over 200 delegates and visitors to an international conference of the International Faction for a Trotskyist and Workers CWI took the decision to refound the Committee for a Workers’ International. Present at the meeting were delegates and visitors from England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Austria, Finland, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Chile, South Africa and the USA. Unfortunately, comrades from South Africa and Nigeria who had planned to attend could not due to visa problems.

This decision has followed an intense debate and political struggle in the CWI over the last seven months. This political struggle has been fought between those represented at this meeting who defend the Trotskyist method and programme the CWI was founded on in 1974 and a petty bourgeois opposition. This opposition has taken a right-ward opportunist turn, buckled to the pressures of identity politics, turned away from conducting a systematic and consistent struggle in the trade unions and blunted the revolutionary socialist programme that the CWI and its sections have fought to defend.

Other views exist..

The Socialist Party, and before it the Militant tendency, has been a section of the Committee for a Workers International (CWI) in England and Wales since 1974. The CWI is an international organisation based on the ideas and methods of democratic socialism, Marxism and Trotskyism, and further developed by the hard work and sacrifices of comrades across the world.

This includes 3 TDs (MPs) in Ireland, an elected council member in Seattle, and members fighting in the revolutionary movements in Sudan, Hong Kong and elsewhere. Sadly, after 45 years, the majority of the leadership of the CWI and England and Wales section have chosen to abandon the CWI and the bold ideas it was founded upon.

On Sunday 21st July, a Special Congress in London passed a resolution stating that the many members of the Socialist Party who still support the CWI, “will have to do so outside of the Socialist Party”. In reality, the resolution is a cowardly method of expulsion from the party, following a campaign of witch-hunts, bullying and lies against the majority of CWI sections.

This was all but confirmed when the SP’s Welsh Secretary said from the platform “goodbye and good riddance” to CWI supporters – a remark the leadership has refused to retract.

The majority of the SP leadership are running scared from a debate about socialist programme and tactics, only half way through an agreed one-year process of debate. Instead of having a discussion in the democratically convened leadership bodies of the CWI – the International Executive Committee and the World Congress (which all sides had agreed to) and risking losing a vote, they have chosen to expel the majority of the organisation and walk away with the resources, including hundreds of thousands of pounds, against the will of the majority of its members.

They have, in effect, attempted to enact the bureaucratic expulsion of the majority of the CWI: entire organisations and groups in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel/Palestine, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Quebec, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, Tunisia, and the USA from the CWI, as well as a majority of members in Germany and South Africa who oppose their plans.

Over 100 comrades in England & Wales, including a majority of active members in over a dozen key cities, stand together with the CWI majority in opposing this course of action. A meeting on 22nd July voted unanimously to refound the CWI in England and Wales, rejecting these bureaucratic expulsions and continuing to organise in the proud tradition of Militant in Britain – the traditions of socialist democracy and Marxism.

Further explanation and analysis will follow. We call on all Socialist Party members, and in the wider workers and social movements to join us in fighting for a socialist world!

One aspect of this dispute could do with some exploring.

The Socialist Party, the leading force in the CWI, and the self-proclaimed ‘victors’ in the battle, has a long record of its own identity politics rooted in opposition to the internationalist Remain side in the Referendum on the EU, and support for the Arron Banks funded Trade Unionists Against the EU (TUAEU).

It is based on the spurious claim that the “real” working class, to which they have unique insight and feeling, back their assertion that the UK outside the EU would be on the path to socialism.

At present this political strategy is in tatters.

Lexit or a ‘People’s Brexit’, a kind of Care Bears version of Boris Johnson’s Trump-led Brexit is marginalised in the Labour Party, and clings on only in the stubborn assertions of a “Labour Party Spokesman” (who’s name is ) and the clique of Andrew Murray, Len McCluskey and other diehards.

  • The Socialist Party also stay true believers.

Writing in their theoretical journal, Socialism Today (July-August)  the Editorial warns against the “The people’s vote clamour.”

.some lefts like the journalist Paul Mason have now adopted the same stop Brexit position is a reflection of the broader evolution of such figures away from socialist ideas in a complex political conjuncture.

After this pompous assertion we learn that,

A rerun referendum – the capitalist establishment telling working-class leave voters they were wrong – would not be guaranteed to result in a Brexit reversal.

Nonetheless the people’s vote propaganda still has its purpose, above all within the Labour Party. It provides an allegedly ‘progressive’ cover for the right wing – deputy leader Tom Watson claims to “support the EU because I’m a socialist” – to build its base to move against Corbyn’s leadership when the time is right, either to sabotage a Corbyn-led government or form a new party.

Combating these agents of capitalism within the workers’ movement is the duty of every socialist.

No editorial from this crew would be complete with a final facile assertion,

The Tories’ Brexit travails are creating new opportunities for the workers’ movement and must be met with a clear programme for a socialist and internationalist opposition to the EU bosses’ club.

This is their own “clear” “socialist” and “internationalist opposition to the EU: the SP worked hand in glove with the TUAEU and it’s infamous Blue Labour, Spiked contributor, leader, Paul Embery – just barred from office from the FBU.

Here is Embery’s backing from a Brexit Party candidate:

Here is the Socialist Party’s own work with the same individual.

The socialist case against the EU: TUSC tour continues

London June 2016

“The Tory government could be brought down if Brexit triumphs” declared Socialist Party general secretary Peter Taaffe to a packed London meeting of 120, part of TUSC’s 20-city tour ‘The Socialist Case Against the EU’ (now in fact 25 cities).

Paul Embery, London secretary of the Fire Brigades Union and national organiser of Trade Unionists Against the EU, pointed out: “The EU is rampantly pro-austerity and that approach has caused suffering throughout Europe, a collapse in living standards, the rise of the far-right and the decimation of public services.”

Critic of “rootless cosmopolitans” Paul Embery is pictured on this tour: (Cardiff 9th of June 2016)

The re-founded CWI was constituted on the basis of the first four congresses of the Comintern, the founding documents of the IV International in 1938 and the congresses of the CWI. The determination and confidence of those present and represented at this conference was reflected in the collection which raised over £25,000.

Just like the early years of the Russian Revolution!

The conference agreed that the International Secretariat will seek to convene a world congress in 2020 of CWI sections and groups that defend the programme of the CWI and also invite revolutionary socialist organisations which are committed to building revolutionary socialist parties based on the working class and which are prepared to discuss and collaborate on an honest and principled basis.

The International Secretariat of the CWI will publish a fuller report of this crucial meeting in London and material related to the debate which has taken place in the coming week which has crucial lessons for all workers’ and revolutionary socialists.

One lesson we have already learnt is that the Socialist Party, which campaigns to be an affiliate of the Labour Party, expels “petty bourgeois” opponents, and would no doubt like to throw out from the Labour Party anybody who is an “agent of capitalism”.

Or who looks at their Leader Peter Taaffe the wrong way….

Other documents emerge:

Spanish section of the CWI walks out

Statement from the ‘In Defence of a Working Class Trotskyist CWI’ Faction to all members of the CWI

Dear comrades,

At the meeting of the International Faction in London held on 27-28 March the Spanish and Portuguese delegations unfortunately walked out of the meeting. In a final declaration JIR made the completely false assertion that they were being excluded from the Faction because they had raised political differences.

At this meeting a series of important political differences arose. This followed a telephone conference which was held between the entire Spanish EC and members of the IS Majority on Friday 22 March. At the meeting comrades from Spain raised a series of differences relating to method, the decisions taken by the leadership of the England and Welsh section at the recent congress of their section and also a clear declaration of important differences relating to the analysis of the CWI regarding the lowering of socialist consciousness following the collapse of the Stalinist regimes and the consequences this had for the international workers’ movement at the time alongwith the extent to which these effects are still present today.

At the end of this telephone conference JIR made clear that these issues were of critical importance to the Spanish leadership. It was agreed that they would be discussed in more depth at the Faction meeting in London. This was done on the first day. In the debate important differences emerged in relation to socialist and political consciousness, the consequences of the collapse of the former Stalinist states and the analysis we have had on Venezuela and some other issues which JIR stated were fundamental questions. During his intervention JIR argued that these questions had not been sufficiently discussed during the process of unification and that the comrades had been “deceived”, something which is completely false. He declared that these issues would be reported back to a special Spanish CC meeting which would then decide on its attitude towards the Faction.

In informal discussion following the meeting between the Spanish, Portuguese comrades and Phillip Stott (Scotland) Clive Heemskerk (England and Wales) and Tony Saunois (IS Majority) JIR made clear that these differences were fundamental and implied that the comrades would recommend to the Spanish EC and CC that they leave the Faction. He also stated that this would mean it would make no sense to remain in the CWI.

It was agreed that he make a formal statement of the situation to the Faction meeting the next day. At that meeting he was asked to make such a statement and argued that firstly Peter Taaffe should reply to the discussion. This was not acceptable as the content of the reply would partly be dependent on the declaration made by JIR

This approach by JIR was a continuation of the ultimatist approach which unfortunately has been the approach adopted by the Spanish leadership throughout the CWI factional struggle. JIR eventually made a declaration protesting against the alleged methods used in the meeting and falsely claiming that the comrades were being excluded from the meeting because they and the Portuguese delegation had raised political differences. As Tony Saunois was responding to this declaration, refuting the allegations made by JIR, stating that we were prepared to continue the discussion on these issues the Spanish and Portuguese delegations walked out of the meeting.

The members of the Faction at this meeting reject the false claims that the Spanish and Portuguese were excluded for raising political differences.

At the meeting it was clear that the Spanish and Portuguese delegations were arguing in our opinion from an ultra-left and sectarian standpoint. The International Faction is involved in a political and theoretical struggle against the opportunist capitulation represented by the Non Faction Faction. However, in conducting a principled defence of the methods and traditions of the CWI against this trend we are not prepared to paper over or mask important political differences with the sectarian approach adopted by the Spanish and supported by the Portuguese leadership for the sake of opportunistic expediency in the factional struggle within the CWI. The Faction openly discusses political issues and, unlike our opponents, we do not hide any disagreements that may arise. The Faction was formed to defend a principled Trotskyist approach in opposition to opportunism within the CWI. Now a sectarian ultra-left trend has also emerged which we will also politically oppose.