Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘Labour Party

Morning Star Hails “much-needed intervention” as Communist Party of Britain Stands Against Labour in Local Elections.

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Candidates Against Labour, “for a sovereign, united and internationalist working class.

The Morning Star, independent of the Communist Party of Britain, and owned by the co-op, leads with this Editorial Britain’s communists and the May elections: a much-needed intervention.

For many years British Communists have stood ‘witness candidates’ in elections. This year the Communist Party of Britain is running in local elections.

They are engaged in a battle across the country. Who are our enemies, who are our friends? They ask.

TOMORROW sees the launch of the Communist manifesto — the Communist Party (CP) of Britain’s manifesto for the Scottish, Welsh and English local elections, that is.

Revolutionary Left.

The party is standing its biggest slate of candidates since the 1980s after six years in which it didn’t stand — calling, as did much of the revolutionary left, for maximum support for Labour during the Jeremy Corbyn years.

Much of the labour movement remains sceptical of voting left of Labour. Despite the party’s lurch right under Keir Starmer, there is a widespread belief that a non-Labour vote only helps the Tories in England and Wales, and the SNP in Scotland.

Here is the Communist Party of Britain standing up to the right:

Labour Movement Welcome.

Labour’s poor projections nationally — with polls placing it about 10 points behind the Conservatives — can encourage this caution. Yet there are good reasons the renewal of communist election campaigning should be welcomed across the movement.

The British government’s handling of coronavirus has been catastrophic. We have one of the highest death tolls anywhere in the world and the deepest recession in Europe. Tens of thousands of lives could have been saved, hundreds of thousands would not have lost their jobs, had Britain adopted the zero-Covid strategies implemented by countries as diverse as China and New Zealand.

Follow the successful models of Cuba and Venezuela!

As countries which have successfully kept deaths and disruption to a minimum have proved, Covid-19 did not need to provoke a prolonged crisis. The worst-affected countries have been the heartlands of neoliberal capitalism — western Europe and the United States in particular. In Latin America, the contrast between the performance of socialist-led countries such as Cuba (40 deaths per million) and Venezuela (62) and neoliberal ones like Ecuador (995), Colombia (1,308) and Brazil (1,673) has been especially dramatic (figures from statista.com).

Covid has put the status quo to the test and found it wanting. There are plenty of people who recognise that. The point is regularly made from trade-union platforms and at online meetings.

But the pandemic struck Britain just as Labour was transitioning from a socialist leadership to a restorationist (??? Note to Subs, translate) one that has rowed back on the Corbyn movement’s searing critique of economic inequality and social injustice while stressing its support for (fawning on) “business as usual.”

With a handful of honourable exceptions, this has deprived institutional politics of voices drawing out the lessons of the pandemic to challenge the capitalist system itself.

Public Debate.

Yet we sorely need a public debate on an alternative economic and political strategy: one that understands the role of the market in creating the jobs crisis, the housing crisis, the climate crisis — and outlines real solutions to these, which must involve a big expansion of public ownership and economic planning.

Labour is not raising these issues. In a campaign in which it seems determined to compete with Priti Patel’s increasingly authoritarian Tories for the “law and order” vote, and in which it has even been caught distributing race-baiting anti-Gypsy and Traveller leaflets, the importance of an intervention from the left is paramount.

Learn from China’s Example of Racial and Political Tolerance!

Standing Against Labour Will Help Left Unity.

Far from undermining left unity, the left within Labour will be strengthened by the promotion of socialist solutions to the crisis and by leftward pressure on Labour candidates across Britain.

But besides that, we know that Labour’s long assumption that working-class voters have nowhere to go has been exploded by events — for years now in Scotland, more recently elsewhere. Refusing to challenge Labour from the left has not upheld its vote: it has simply meant disillusionment and anger at a party that no longer seems to represent ordinary people has been expressed by not voting at all or by voting for parties to its right.

The left has lost a lot of ground across Britain over the past year. We cannot sit out the first significant Britain-wide platform for political debate since the pandemic struck. The Communist Party’s election campaign will be a significant contribution to the revival of a militant and combative socialist movement.

What serious spotters want to know is if there are any contests between Communist candidates and the Socialist and Trade Union Coalition (TUSC), and the Monster Raving Loony Party.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 13, 2021 at 11:07 am

Revolutionary Defeatism in Hartlepool.

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Rac

Rachel Swindon: Corbynista Ultra, Revolutionary Defeatist.

“The Londoncentric Labour simply doesn’t give two hoots for the opinion of the working class northerner. They might be good at platitudes, and if they are it’s probably the only thing they are any good at, but apart from a few damn good socialists, the rest of the Labour Party is an anti-socialist, anti-working class, tool of the establishment, they bear the torch for the metropolitan liberal elite. They are the attacks dogs of the rich and powerful.

We used to just call them “Tories”. Split The Left Vote? Thelma Walker *IS* The Left Vote In Hartlepool

The anti-Labour site, Skwawkbox is revelling in this:

Weasel Walker is spending his last days, that is until his mates in UNITE pull the plug in the midst of the Hotel and Conference Centre scandal that’s erupted, trying to inflict maximum damage on the Labour Party.

Madness, they call it madness…Canary chief chirps up,

One time European leftists back restoration of Anglo-Saxon Heptarchy.

There is one explanation for this pack’s stand:

In this case the crew wishing Labour defeats do not want their own ruling class defeated, they want the party of the labour movement to lose.

They join the red-brown front at Spiked:

Labour deserves to keep losing

Brexit was only its most egregious betrayal of the working-class voters it claims to represent.

This Blog does not wish ill on anybody in this contest but the Tories…

Historical note: The Myth of Lenin’s “Revolutionary Defeatism” Hal Draper.

(1) On the one hand, we have the leading anti-war internationalists like Trotsky and Luxemburg who were against both camps of imperialism in the war; against voting war credits; for irreconcilable class struggle during the war; for transforming the fight against the war into a fight for socialist power; for breaking with the International of the social-patriots of both camps. They counterposed, to the military victory of their own government’s imperialism, the victory of their own working-class struggle for socialism. To the military victory of their own government, they did not counterpose a desire for its military defeat. They counterposed their own socialist solution to any military outcome, victory or defeat, on the plane of the inter-imperialist conflict.

These anti-war socialists were not “defeatists”.

(2) On the other hand, we have tendencies which were for the defeat of their own government and at the same time pro-war on the basis of a position politically identical with that of their fellow social-patriots across the state lines.

But in the case of the position peculiar to Lenin, we have an attempt at a different kind of “defeatism” – one which sought to combine some variety of “defeat of your own government” with the anti-war policy of opposition to both war camps.

Lenin attempted to combine defeatism and an anti-war line.

Note that this is put in a manner precisely opposite that of the Lenin-myth, which has come to paint “defeatism” as the inescapable and necessary expression of anti-war line, which cannot see any problem at all in making such a combination.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 7, 2021 at 11:08 am

Northern Independence Party in 2% Breakthrough Support for ‘left’ Resurrection of Ancient Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms.

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May be an image of text that says "NPP Northern Independence Party... We are the third party!! 8h Survation poll Hartlepool: CON (49%) LAB (42%) NIP (2%) LD (1%) REFORM (1%) NPP Northern Independence Party Winning Here 71 254 1,297 Show this thread"

“I trust that to very few of you, at least, I need dwell on the sublime origins of these legends. The very names of your borough] bear witness to them. So long as Hammersmith is called Hammersmith, its people will live in the shadow of that primal hero, the Blacksmith, who led the democracy of the Broadway into battle till he drove the chivalry of Kensington before him and overthrew them at that place which in honour of the best blood of the defeated aristocracy is still called Kensington Gore. Men of Hammersmith will not fail to remember that the very name of Kensington originated from the lips of their hero. For at the great banquet of reconciliation held after the war, when the disdainful oligarchs declined to join in the songs of the men of the Broadway (which are to this day of a rude and popular character), the great Republican leader, with his rough humour, said the words which are written in gold upon his monument, ‘Little birds that can sing and won’t sing, must be made to sing.’

So that the Eastern Knights were called Cansings or Kensings ever afterwards. But you also have great memories, O men of Kensington! You showed that you could sing, and sing great war-songs. Even after the dark day of Kensington Gore, history will not forget those three Knights who guarded your disordered retreat from Hyde Park (so called from your hiding there), those three Knights after whom Knightsbridge is named. Nor will it forget the day of your re-emergence, purged in the fire of calamity, cleansed of your oligarchiques.

Is this ancient spirit of the London townships to die out? “

How Regionalism Might Spread to London: The Napoleon of Notting Hill. C. K. Chesterton. 1904.

A couple of days ago the Guardian published this dish on the Northern Independence Party (NIP).

Is the Northern Independence party more serious than it looks?

Alex Niven

In recent years, the north of England has become a blank slate for whichever stereotypes the London-based media wants to foist on it. Whether the topic of debate is the “red wall” or “left behind” voters, there is usually an assumption that northerners are socially conservative (patriotic, Brexit-y, even a bit racist). “Northern safari” media features, in which journalists parachute into former mining villages to gather vox-pops from disgruntled, often elderly voters, have tended to back up the point.

Now, a new political movement, the Northern Independence party (NIP), has started to make the case that the north can and should be a place of radical potential rather than a reactionary backwater.

NIP’s tactics are a challenge to established parties that need to raise their game and reconnect with younger voters who don’t seem to feature much in the political debates of the 2020s. One of the latest NIP mottos states: “We joke but we’re serious”. They might just be on to something.

It’s all go with the Nips, or Weasels, Stoats, Seals, Ferrets or Santa’s Little Helpers.

NIP has received a serious broadside from Prometheus writer Ed Mustill.

AGAINST REGIONALISM, AGAINST SEPARATISM, FOR CLASS POLITICS

Anecdotally it appears that a layer of what we might call the post-Corbynite left are considering supporting the NIP. Twitter handles are now adorned with red and yellow icons, as 21st century socialists bizarrely adopt the imagined motif of an Anglo-Saxon kingdom from the 7th century. 

More than that alt-news sites like Skwawkbox, Novara Media, and the Canary, has puffed the Nips.

He continues,

A strong Twitter game has rapidly pushed the NIP towards 50,000 followers. Sparse on details, the party promises a referendum on northern independence, professes democratic socialism and advocates socially progressive positions.

The centrepiece of the NIP’s political offer is a referendum on the creation of an independent state in the north of England to be called Northumbria. The borders of this state, whether it is to be a republic or keep allegiance to the Windsors’ crown, and the currency it will use are all apparently questions to be settled at a later date. 

Pointing that national self-determination is not some student union joke, or an idea from organs like the Suffolk Gazette, but (at present) a deadly serious matter for Kurds, Uighurs and Palestine, Mustill states,

There is only one small problem with applying the principle of self-determination to the north of England: there is no Northumbrian nation. No-one describes their national identity as Northumbrian. There is no distinct Northumbrian language or culture. There is, broadly speaking, a ‘northern’ identity, which is often defined negatively as against the south, and London in particular. But within this the north is home to a patchwork of local and regional identities, many of which are quite different to one another, and none of which constitutes a national group.

Mustill hits the nail on the head by effectively locating the self-identifying socialists of NIP with the right-wing identity politics of the ‘somewhere’ people railing at the ‘anywhere’ foreign, rootless cosmopolitans.

 Their professed enemies – the ‘Westminster elite’ and the City of London that so imbalances the British economy – are the English ruling class, albeit described using lazy populist rhetoric. But they are defined as enemies not primarily in class terms but rather because they are not here but elsewhere. There is a comparison to be made with the Brexit movement. Many who supported Brexit were genuinely opposed to the undemocratic nature of the European Union and perhaps objected to its economic agenda, but the fundamental problem the Brexit movement had with Brussels was that it was over there, it was foreign.

Arguing that calling for more borders is the last thing we need at present he says, ” erecting more national barriers that “will somehow provide solutions to social and economic problems” is a dead end. In fact it’s the basis for the red-brown identarian politics of fronts like The Full Brexit, the Paul Embery Blue Labour vision of patriotism, flag, faith and family reduced to absurdity.

The self-identifying internationalists of Left Unity have now given backing to this motley crew of confusionists.

 This highly recommended article concludes, “Is anger at Keir Starmer or frustration with the Labour Party enough to propel you to devote the next 10, 20, or 50 years of your political energy to resurrecting the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy?”

Why, we ask, stop there? G.K. Chesterton, not normally considered a writer of the left, foresaw a day when the Great Wen itself would splinter into independent statelets. The point is, what began as a joke by the King,   Auberon Quin, got taken seriously by one “earnest young man who takes the cry for regional pride seriously – Adam Wayne,” A is the little Napoleon….

Written by Andrew Coates

April 6, 2021 at 2:52 pm