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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.

Internationalist – Love Socialism, Hate Brexit – Left makes headway in Labour Party.

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Internationalist Left  Makes Headway.

On Friday night Ipswich Labour, like many CLPS,  debated the issue of Brexit.

After a serious and good natured debate the meeting supported this resolution by a very large majority:

As the proposer of the motion I was keen to underline that it comes from three, large, groups, Open Labour, an umbrella for what could be called the centre left, that “encourages an inclusive & pluralist ethos within the Labour Party“, the broad alliance Another Europe is Possible, which campaigns to Stop the Tory Brexit, and for “a referendum on the deal with an option to remain in the EU” and Labour for a Socialist Europe, ” a campaign by Labour activists fighting to stop Brexit and build a socialist resistance to the right-wing forces and ideas driving it.

Farage announced that he would not accept defeat for his Hard Brexit campaign, and not should we give up our democratic fight against Brexit.

There were a couple of contributions which appeared to suggest that Labour should come to terms with a soft Brexit.

More representative was the comrade who said that he thought we had to be positive about our plans to transform Europe.

This was echoed by many of the speakers.

Summing up the importance of this, including the strengthened  EU’s agenda for workers’ rights, I pointed to this article written by two Another Europe activists on Labour List,

Labour’s Brexit shift is a victory for the grassroots left, not centrists in suits

We can put forward an ambitious programme of reform. Labour could throw its weight behind the movement for a European Green New Deal, stand up to the far right and campaign against the brutality of Fortress Europe. Instead of closing the borders to Eastern Europeans, let’s promote a programme of levelling up wages, workers’ rights and living standards across the continent. This kind of internationalism was sadly missing from Labour’s European election campaign, which focused on local and national issues.

In the Spread Eagle afterwards I, and another comrade who comes from the same pro-European New Left,  were able to point to how the movement that has grown behind Another Europe has its origins in the 1970s and 1980s. This included, incidentally, Keir Starmer, who was a fellow member of the Socialist Society in the late 1980s.

Today we see this, showing how the internationalist wing of the Labour Party has influence through the allied Love Socialism Hate Brexit campaign by MPs.

Now is a crucial point in deciding Labour’s position on our future relationship with Europe. So Love Socialism MPs invite you to a meeting a week before Labour NEC meets to decide on Labour’s position. We will discuss why Labour support a Public Vote on any deal and need to campaign not to just to stay in the EU but to transform it with our Socialist Colleagues from across the EU.

Love Socialism MPs are a group of MPs from the left of Labour who are radical and socialist in their approach to Europe. A group of MPs who want to stay and reform the European Union and achieve a radical Labour government in Downing Street for the many, not the few.

Headline Speakers:

John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor

Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary

Keir Starmer MP, Shadow Brexit Secretary

more to be announced

Speakers:

Clive Lewis MP

Rachael Maskell MP

Anneliese Dodds MP

Marsha Da Cordova MP

Chairs

Luke Pollard MP and Chi Onwurah MP

Love Socialism MPs and supporters are against Brexit because it is a right-wing, Tory project. It is a huge assault on working class people, on the environment, on migrants and on the communities that the left aims to represent. We need to stop Brexit, kick out the Tories and win a socialist Labour government.

By uniting against Brexit, Labour can bring down the government, rebuild Britain and fight for a transformed Europe based on the internationalist, socialist principles that the party was built on.

Come and join us for the last big meeting before the NEC to discuss these issues and plan our campaign to ‘remain and transform’ Britain and Europe.

 

Written by Andrew Coates

July 14, 2019 at 12:43 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