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Posts Tagged ‘Morning Star

Morning Star Warms of Labour ‘Thermidor” and Attacks ‘Neoliberal” Keir Starmer’s “Bat Squeaks”.

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Communists Advising on Labour Strategy: “Starmer’s base is, “metropolitan stratum that derives from socially liberal and economically unadventurous middle-class values”.

The Morning Star, wholly independent of the Communist Party of Britain and owned by the Co-op gives prominent space to the views of one Nick Wright, responsible for the Communist Party of Britain’s media work, (and a former member of Straight Left)  on Labour Party “contradictions”.

Make no mistake — the competition is between the neoliberal wing and the class conscious wing of the party, writes NICK WRIGHT

Two poles of understanding seem to be emerging. On one hand we have a liberal pole of which the best exemplar is Starmer. This is gaining an impressive number of constituency nominations in meetings which, by some accounts seem older and reinforced by those who departed the scene after Jeremy Corbyn renewed his leadership and now see their Thermidor.

“Thermidor”, a word that has strayed from supporters of  Red Flag to the Morning Star (” Starmer represents the victory of the Thermidorian reaction”)

The word was used by Trotsky to refer to the way Stalin establish his power to rein in the Russian Revolution. It quickly fell out of use when it was pointed out that the ‘Thermidor’ which put an end to the Terror in the French Revolution, was not only inappropriate for a rule that vastly expanded the terror in the USSR, it  referred to the way one fraction of radical bpeurgeisie and its allies, during the bourgeois revolution was replaced by another, bourgeois,fraction. (1)

Is Wright suggesting that Corbyn led a bourgeois revolution, or a new Soviet Revolution  and that its gravedigger is in the wings?

One the other hand we have a more explicitly socialist pole given clearest expression by Rebecca Long Bailey.

What is important here are the bat-squeaks. These are emitted at such a high frequency that to hear them requires devoted attention. Comrade Starmer has doubled down on his pledges to respect the Corbyn heritage and presents a package of policies modelled in all surface appearances on the most distinctive elements in the 2017 and 2019 manifestos.

Cde Wright battens onto his favourite candidate,

These, by contrast,  are the politics we need,

 ….a more thoroughgoing critique of capitalism, encapsulated in classically class-conscious language and predicated on an assumption that fighting for these policies is an existential challenge to the main features of contemporary British capitalism……

Rebecca Long Bailey has made a good job of clothing this class perspective in the kind of thought-out detail that can convince the electorate. Her command of the Green New Deal, which she authored, must be a central feature of Labour’s pitch whoever comes out on top in the leadership contest.

The Green New Deal has not been a surefire winner for European left parties.

Benoît Hamon scored  6.36% of the vote in the French Presidential election, as the Parti Socialiste candidate,  after making this, dubbed “ecological transition”, a central part of his platform.

He won a 3,27% and no seats in the 2019  European election after his splinter group, Génération.s ran a list in co-operation with DieM25 and others,   which centred on the issues, called the “federalist European Green New Deal”.

The Podemos breakway Más País, led by  Íñigo Errejón has also given priority to the “La transición ecológica”.

After repeated failure (in the  2019 Spanish General Eleciton they got 2.40% of the vote  3 seats in the Spanish Parliament)  they have now retreated back to their Madrid bases, or “put in a draw” as the Spanish press puts it, “Errejón guarda Más País en un cajón“).

But nothing douses Wright’s ethusiasm for Long-Bailey.

What a contrast, he laments, with Keir Starmer,

Starmer’s particular appeal (as was Thornberry’s) to a spectrum of opinion that wants to move on from, away from, or even reverse Corbyn’s positions is clothed in the cultural and linguistic signifiers of a metropolitan stratum that derives from socially liberal and economically unadventurous middle-class values.

As they say down at the Slaughtered Lamb, “wot bleeding linguistic signifiers are these? How do they, deal with the Brexit “contradiction between working-class priorities and middle-class values”? More like Starmer embodies “the class interests of the dominant section of Britain’s capitalist class underpinned the Remain campaign and the People’s Vote device.”

In a master stroke Wright show’s the issues at stake, “if this leadership contest results in a more-clearly articulated distinction between the liberal pole in Labour politics and the class-politics pole so much the better.”

On Lisa Nanday he has these kind words,

But the logic of her challenge has compelled her to re-energise several strands of traditionally reactionary politics in British Labour. The result is a cacophony of conflicting messages which are acquiring coherence only by her now more-precisely articulated reactionary ideas.

This Blog will not deal with his further reflections as surely the news turns that, hope against hope, a window opens for Labour to “emulate Corbyn at his best.”

Rebecca long-Bailey is said to be gladdened at this response to her heartfelt appeal.

Labour can look forward to Corbyn’s winning advice for a long time to come!

Meanwhile in East Anglia:

The signatories include Ipswich council leader David Ellesmere, the leader of the Labour opposition at Suffolk County Council Sarah Adams and the Labour group leaders on both East and West Suffolk councils Peter Byatt and Diane Hind.

 

Here

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(1) On this point, and why Trotskyists questioned the term see: Chapter 1. Michel Lequenne. Le Trotskisme, une histoire sans fard (2018 edition)

 

Written by Andrew Coates

February 21, 2020 at 1:20 pm

Communist Party of Britain Hails “achievement” of Leaving the European Union.

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Peoples of Britain Rise Up! Communists Hail Brexit “Achievement.

Thanks LH.

The leader of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), said to have influence on the independent daily, the Morning Star, owned by the “Co-op”, recently declared – two weeks ago……

EU, BREXIT, THE PEOPLES – communist party general secretary Robert Griffiths says,

“Today we begin the process of finally leaving the European Union. This achievement, which required many struggles, must not be underestimated. It certainly won’t be in the City and ruling circles of the EU.


The vote of 2016, demonstrated the desire of people for more democracy, self- government and an end to austerity. The result came as a shock to the ruling class in Britain and its allies abroad.


This year is an opportunity to fight for a Brexit that delivers legislation and policies that serve the people’s interests, not the City and big business.


There is much to play for. This is not a strong government. It can be stopped. The communists will play the leading role expected of them, in the struggle to come. We urge supporters to consider applying for membership to our growing party.

Message of Hope.


Britain leaving the EU sends a message of hope to beleaguered peoples on the continent who share our opposition to the Bosses’ Club and yearn for more democracy, rather than ECJ, ECB and Commission diktat.


The Communists will campaign for greater cooperation across all of Europe and beyond, for medical and scientific cooperation and coordinated measures to deal with the climate change crisis. This weekend, we reject the doom and gloom brigade and as a sign of our confidence in the future, announce a new edition of the CP programme ‘Britain’s Road to Socialism’, will be released on 15 March to coincide with the commemoration of Marx at Highgate cemetery.”

The CPB has sage words for the Labour leadership contenders.

In their party sheet they declare,

Labour would be wrong to argue for a close alignment to the EU as John McDonnell suggested on the andrew Marr show early this month.

This would tie the parliamentary left to the Labour right wing’s strategy and weaken the position of a future Labour government. it gives cover to those whose strategy made electoral
defeat inevitable. it is a slap in the face of working class commitment to Brexit, denies the lessons of the election defeat and erects new barriers to rebuilding working class political strength in the deindustrialised areas where Labour is weakened.

The Communist Party has joined with allies to strengthen the Leave – Fight – Transform, Campaign. LeFT makes the case for what can be achieved outside the EU and to fight to rebuild the left in our communities in all of Britain.

In particular, the Communist Party leader said the labour movement should spell out how Brexit could benefit working-class communities.

This week they declared:

CP urges left to advance not retreat

Reporting to the Communist Party’s political committee on Wednesday evening (February 12), the party’s trade union organiser Andy Bain said the Labour leadership contests had so far been a ‘dispiriting fiasco’.

‘Too many candidates are capitulating to the witch-hunting demands of outside bodies that feminists and supporters of Palestinian rights should be silenced if not driven out of the Labour Party altogether’, Mr Bain charged.  ‘This comes on top of the willingness of most of Labour’s possible leaders and deputy leaders to press the nuclear button and cause millions of civilian deaths instead resolving the cause of the conflict’, he added.

At the root of the problem, the former president of transport staff union TSSA declared, was the shift away from a socialist class analysis of society to the non-class politics of personal and group identity.  ‘The seeds of disunity and intolerance are being sewn by people who in some cases are not interested in promoting unity against all the forms of oppression that assist capital’s exploitation of labour’, Mr Bain argued.

Instead of abandoning class-based left-wing policies, he urged labour movement activists to renew mass campaigning in workplaces and local communities for workers’ rights, the ‘Green New Deal’, public investment, a ‘people’s Brexit’, peace and nuclear disarmament.

‘The trade unions, trades councils, the People’s Assembly, CND, LeFT, Stand Up to Racism and similar movements have a vital part to play in the struggle for left, democratic and progressive policies’, the CP trade union organiser concluded.

Britain’s Communists urged big turnouts for events around International Women’s Day (March 8), International Anti-Racism Day (March 21) and May Day, and for the Marx Oration at Highgate Cemetery on March 15 when the main speakers will be CP General Secretary Robert Griffiths and Joginder Bains of the Indian Workers Association (GB).

 

There is more on the People’s Brexit!

 

What’s not to like!

BRITISH TRAVELLERS FACE BEING TURNED AWAY AT EU AIRPORTS OVER NEW PASSPORT EXPIRY RULES AFTER BREXIT.

Today:  Boris Johnson assembles DREAM TEAM with historic first – Brexiteers delighted

The far-right Express continues,

BORIS Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle means the Prime Minister now has a dream team of Brexit ministers – with all four great offices of state now occupied by Leavers.

Written by Andrew Coates

February 14, 2020 at 12:06 pm

The Brexit Left Hails, “the positive potential of a departure from the EU.”

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Daily Express 1 February 2020

Morning Star Sees “Positive Potential” in Brexit.

The Morning Star, wholly independent of the Communist Party of Britain and owned by the Co-Op, this week hailed the “positive potential” of Brexit Day.

Editorial.

The Morning Star claims that Labour ‘handed control’ of the Brexit process ” to enemies of the working class in Westminster and Brussels” by inflicting “defeats on the government”.

In the New Era,

Now Brexit is happening, Labour urgently needs to do what it should have done in 2016, the essence of which was actually outlined by Corbyn in 2018: to recognise the positive potential of a departure from the EU.

These include expanding public ownership without worrying about the strictures of the Lisbon Treaty, or the “rights” of parasitical firms exploiting our public services for profit; to plan economic development sustainably, intervening to clean and green our economy without allowing transnational companies a “fair playing field” on which to ruin our planet; rewriting public procurement rules so contracts are allocated based on public interest and the welfare of workers and users.

For the moment, none of this is on the table. Brexit is an opportunity, because it removes certain treaties and regulations which are barriers to a socialist transformation of society.

But every silver-lined opportunity has a cloud,

But it is no more than an opportunity. It has not liberated anyone. Britain has elected a hard-right government which is already breaking promises to end austerity and will wage ruthless war on our communities and our workforces. It is a pro-imperialist government aligned as slavishly to an aggressive White House as was Tony Blair’s.

Some on the left will blame all this on Brexit. Actually it marks a continuation of the policies of the past four decades rather than a departure from them. Labour can keep mourning the EU, keep pleading for total alignment with all its anti-worker treaties and court rulings, keep reproaching people for failing to understand what we could lose rather than inspiring them with a vision of what we can win.

Or it can move on.

And agree with the pro-Leave Morning Star.

By accepting the Boris consensus on Brexit we can finally, by leaps and bounds, engage in the real struggle. That is,

 it accepts we have left and throws itself into the fight for a better future.

Another editorial blames faith in the EU for a downturn in workers’ struggles,

A misplaced faith in the EU to protect workers’ rights has seen energies misdirected into lobbying on behalf of the supranational organisation rather than building a movement formidable enough to defend and extend rights.

The EU has prevented Britain from defending the national working class.

In fact EU rules have acted to prevent governments keeping manufacturing and construction contracts in the country to protect jobs.

The same applies to workers’ rights. Trade unions in particular have been systematically stripped of their rights over the past 40 years.

The national working class can only look to national struggles to fight for its rights.

One welcome result of Britain’s departure should therefore be abandoning the myth — laughable given the momentous struggle against attacks on pension rights currently raging in France — that the labour movement can look to the EU for protection. Workers’ rights can only be secured by the working class itself.

Only working-class action can defend workers’ rights

You wonder why the labour movement bothers with any legislation or tries to get MPs elected.

Perhaps the Morning Star will extend the CPB’s call to Boycott Labour and abstain in last year’s European Elections to the next British General Election.

Counterfire, meanwhile has held its conference.

Corbynism, socialists and the resistance – Counterfire’s conference

The revolutionary socialist organisation resolved to back Rebecca Long-Bailey in the Labour leadership contest.

In prose which only they have the secret of the groupuscule declares,

Counterfire is a revolutionary socialist organisation that differs with those in Labour about whether the party can be won to socialism and whether socialism can be attained through Parliament. Nevertheless, we were at the forefront of defending and encouraging the Corbyn project, while being fraternally critical when neccessary (sic).

They instruct,

Socialists in Labour should vote for Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon in the current elections, it will be a boost to the entire left if left-wing candidates win the leadership and deputy leadership of the Labour Party. But the loss of the election has strengthened the right and Corbyn’s resignation is likely to lead to retreats, particularly on foreign policy issues. Increasingly the focus for socialists ought to be outside electoral politics.

On Brexit they declare,

That Brexit still represents an opportunity for rupture with Europe’s capitalist institutions and only makes sense from the left. There is no better deal for capital than the one it currently has.

Conference resolves:

In the context of the end of Corbynism and the inevitable moving rightwards of the Labour Party, to continue making the arguments within the left that making a break with the institutions of the EU is a necessary step on the road to socialism.

Agreeing with their national comrades in the Morning Star Martin Hall writes on Brexit Day that  “future is up for grabs”, to catch it the left must,

Understand that a rupture with the current model of capitalism in order to rebalance capital and labour in favour of the latter can only be achieved outside the EU.

Leaving the EU: this is about what sort of society we want – and it isn’t Johnson’s

Try wishing away this:

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Morning Star Attacks John McDonnell and Labour’s “disastrous embrace of the EU.”

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Should Labour Have Adopted this strategy?

The Morning Star, independent of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB) and the Young Communist League (YCL), and wholly owned by the Co-op are at it again: attacking John McDonnell, the Labour Party,  and the internationalist left.

Editorial:A culture war is no substitute for class politics

Making clear their support for  the “Socialist Campaign Group’s nomination for deputy leader Richard Burgon ” and their hope he “gains the necessary trade union nominations to get onto the ballot to ensure there is a contest and a full debate on the party’s direction and priorities” the daily  looks at John McDonnell’s ” seminar programme on Labour’s future.”

They state, looking at the election disaster,

For McDonnell the culprit is the “era of the finance, data-media complex, capable of combining the traditional financial clout over economic decision-making by governments with the ability to use its ownership and influence of the various media platforms to decisively influence decision-making and even elections.”

The Boycott Labour call of the CPB (during last year’s European election) and the support for Brexit by the paper, had, they modestly assume, no influence on voters who decided to support a Boris Brexit.

Instead, behind Labour’s defeat, were those who opposed Brexit.

One of those weaknesses in Labour’s case was its approach to Brexit. With 52 of the 54 seats lost to the Tories being Leave-voting, the commitment to a second referendum must rank among the mistakes that McDonnell describes as “pretty obvious.”

The disastrous embrace of the EU reflects a failure to do exactly what McDonnell argues we must — analyse the evolution of capitalism itself and how it is changing the political game.

The European Union is an integral part of that network and its “four freedoms” relating to capital, goods, labour and services massively restrict the freedom of governments to determine independent economic policies.

….

McDonnell argues for a “culture war” which we can win with “leading edge creativity.” But that is no substitute at all for challenging the actual existing mechanisms by which corporate power is exercised. Socialism entails public ownership and control of the economy.

A serious strategy for confronting capitalism cannot ignore this. But so far Labour largely has.

Jim, at Shiraz , offers an excellent overview and history of how the Morning Star and the Lexit left helped the Tories win, by confusing people on the nature of the Hard Right Brexit project. and holding out false hopes of a workers’ or People’s Brexit.

They also ignore their own contribution in creating what became Labour’s hard-to-explain election stand.

“Left” Brexiteers re-write history

Labour’s final policy – negotiating a new Brexit deal and putting it to a referendum without stating which side it would take, “was actually drawn up by none other than, er, Dave Ward and Unite leader Len McCluskey, in an attempt to [prevent] Labour backing Remain outright.”

And in a New Statesman article last November Ward and McCluskey declared “Labour’s policy on Brexit is not only clear – it could and should be a vote-winner … it’s strengths are obvious … it offers both ‘leavers’ and ‘remainers’ what they want. It places Labour as the only party trying to speak to the whole country on this matter, looking beyond the binary division which so poisoned political life over the past few years. And it offers a democratic end to the national debater, putting people themselves in the driving seat.”

The confusion, hypocrisy and downright dishonesty of these “left” Brexiteers appears to know no bounds. But, I suppose, if you want to re-write history (including your own political history), your natural home will be amongst the specialists in that particular subject – the Stalinists of the CPB and the Morning Star.

The Full Brexit, which brings together Brexit Party members, the ‘left’, including members of the Communist Party of Britain, and a variety of oddballs,  is holding this event tonight.

No doubt Morning Star supporters will be welcome guests.

As The Full Brexit consistently warned, the left’s failure to lead a campaign for leaving the EU has resulted in electoral disaster for the Labour Party. The Corbyn project lies in ruins while the Conservatives have captured dozens of “Labour heartland” seats. Britain will finally leave the European Union, but with Boris Johnson at the helm.

What next for the British left after its disastrous handling of Brexit?

Can the Labour Party repair its relationship with working-class voters, or are they lost for good? If Labour is to be rebuilt, on what basis? Should “Corbynism” be ditched for “social conservatism”, as some are arguing? Is the future of Labour “blue”? Or is Labour’s implosion an opportunity for the left to build something new and better?

To discuss all this and more, join our panel debate, featuring:

  • Costas Lapavitsas, professor of Economics at SOAS and former member of the Greek parliament, (member of tiny group, Popular Unity , that scored 0,28% in the 2019 Greek election)
  • Maurice Glasman, founder of the Blue Labour movement, (‘Burkean”, Work, Family and Flag’ patriotic social conservative’).
  • Philip Cunliffe, senior lecturer in politics at the University of Kent, Spiked network (1) and
  • Eddie Dempsey, trade union activist. (needs no introduction).

Let’s hope the Fat Boy Who likes to make your flesh creep Dempsey does not make an exhibition of himself, as he did when he appeared at this  Full Brexit public meeting March 2019)

Eddie stated that “whatever you think of people that turn up for those Tommy Robinson demos or any other march like that – the one thing that unites those people, whatever other bigotry is going on, is their hatred of the liberal left and they are right to hate them”. He also remarked that “too many in the Labour Party have made a calculation that there’s a certain section at the top end of the working class, in alliance with people, they calculate, from ethnic minorities and liberals, that’s enough to get them into power.”

Full Brexit.

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  1. Dr Cunliffe is a Senior Lecturer in International Conflict at Kent University, “it is well known that he is closely associated with the former Living Marxism or LM network, known for promoting libertarian and anti-environmentalist ideas. Cunliffe with his Sovereignty And Its Discontents (SAID) Working Group, has been a sponsor of The Battle of Ideas organised by the Academy of Ideas (Institute of Ideas), since at least 2004, and he has participated and presented several times more recently. He like the former director and founder of the Institute of Ideas, Claire Fox, who is now an MEP for the Brexit Party, is a passionate supporter of Brexit. He describes himself on Twitter as a “Brexit Bolshevik”. He helped to found the “The Full Brexit”, a pro-Brexit campaigning network. He will be a speaker at The Battle of Ideas in September 2019.

Morning Star Promotes ‘Socialist Patriotism’.

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The Patriots of the Communist Party of Britain.

One of the best known takes on patriotism and nationalism comes through the concept of ‘imagined communities’.

Benedict Anderson said, a nation is “an imagined political community”.

regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship. Ultimately it is this fraternity that makes it possible, over the past two centuries, for so many millions of people, not so much to kill, as willingly to die for such limited imaginings.

Anderson’s definition, based on substantial arguments in  Imagined Communities, (1983), puts concepts like the ‘invention of tradition'( Eric Hobsbawm) in the context of this ‘comradeship’.

It has obvious echoes of the right wing French republican and philologist Ernest Renan’s (1882) claim that, the “spiritual’ (that is ‘imaginary) principle  of a nation is based on  these common thoughts and emotions, “The existence of a nation (you will pardon me this metaphor) is a daily referendum, just as the continuing existence of an individual is a perpetual affirmation of life.”

There is a whole library of books  trying to distinguish patriotism (good) from nationalism (bad).

George Orwell made these famous comments,

Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By ‘patriotism’ I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality..

Notes on Nationalism 1945

More recently Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe have talked of ‘articulating’ nationalist  sentiment into the construction of an opposition between the ‘People’ and the the Elite, the Caste…

In her most recent book, For a Left Populism t2018) she talks about constructing a “collective will”. Left populism, she asserts, draws into its orbit by a “chain of equivalences” a variety of progressive demands, open citizenship. This is the ‘construction of the People”, a collective political agency, “ opposing the ‘people’ against the ‘oligarchy’. For this to work Mouffe follows the late Ernesto Laclau. There has to be “some form of crystallisation of common affects, and affective bonds with a charismatic leader… “ In this way left populists can challenge the right-wing, national populist, claim to be the real patriots.

The only way to fight right wing populism is to give a progressive answer to the demands they are expressing in a xenophobic language. This means recognising the existence of a democratic nucleus in those demands and the possibility, through a different discourse, of articulating those demands in a radical democratic direction..

Populists are on the rise but this can be a moment for progressives too

Amongst Mouffe’s left populist movements, Jean-Luc Mélenchon led La France insoumise, made patriotism a central theme, beginning some time back.

 

Mélenchon, or M. 6,31% as he is known after his score in last year’s European elections, has not had much success with this idea, or any other part of his own, or Mouffe’s strategy

Talk of a “democratic nucleus” to patriotism in present day conditions can mean just about anything.

It can imply as Orwell stated, the quiet love of people and things dear.

Or, as we have seen during the Brexit disputes, a violent claim, coloured by xenophobia,  to assert sovereignty in the service of a hard right Brexit. In this case it is nationalism , or as we would now say, by national populism.

There is very little quietness about this.

That is after all what “imaginary communities” are like, you can dream up just about anything to put behind the label.

Matt Widdowson, a member of the hard-line pro-Brexit Communist Party of Britain, (Reform and Revolution by Matthew Widdowson) has, defending Rebecca Long Bailey’s defence of “progressive patriotism”  now joined this game.

In this story populism seems to have vanished and all we have left is “articulating” patriotism, towards the left.

There is no contradiction between patriotism and socialism

We need to articulate socialist patriotism a genuine love of our country and its people — in opposition to the militarism and imperialism, writes MATT WIDDOWSON

REBECCA LONG BAILEY’S call to “revive this progressive patriotism” (Guardian, December 29 2019) appeared to be greeted with horror by “Left Twitter.” While Long Bailey’s article did not expand further on what she meant by “progressive patriotism” or what policies would be guided by this slogan, it appeared to be the very word “patriotism” that was so shocking.

Social media was awash with a mixture of liberal disdain (mainly from those with EU flags in their Twitter handles – apparently, not all flag-waving is bad) and the typical ultra-leftist complaints about “socialism in one country.”

What exactly is this ‘love’, what does it mean?

Perhaps there is also fear among the opponents of “progressive patriotism” about ceding ground to reactionary nationalism (particularly the ethno-nationalism of the far right). This is perhaps understandable as there has been a noticeable and troubling shift towards the hard right around the world. But again, this misses the difference between the “official” nationalism promoted by the ruling class and the potential for a socialist patriotism based on popular sovereignty and international solidarity.

Indeed there is little evidence of any other amorous feeling around the topic. Official nationalism is bad pararently but look to the people and it can turn to pure gold.

Nationalist sentiment relies on stories and symbols and, a progressive vision needs to rely on the peoples’ counter-narrative to the official story of Britain. This is the radical history of Britain. It is the story of the Levellers, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, the Suffragettes, Red Clydeside, the Greenham Common camps and the miners’ strikes.

In other words, something the Morning Star’s old Euro Communist enemies called “the national popular”.

Nobody doubts that from this genuine history one can make up as many stories as one likes.

The Brexit Party backing Spiked site  already entered the race last year in this event to commemorate the Peterloo massacre.

 

But what are the politics behind, “a socialist patriotism based on popular sovereignty and international solidarity?

With a left-wing government in power, an alternative patriotism would need to build on this radical past in order to look to the future: what sort of society should we build? How should we strive towards a more peaceful and co-operative world?

Patriotism then becomes a commitment to a national project; a patriotism which is inclusive as it would not be dependent on ethnicity or the country of one’s birth, but on commitment to the collective goal. What else was the NHS but a collective national project involving people from around the world who were galvanised by a commitment to its founding principles?

If the left is to succeed then we need to start talking about concepts such as patriotism and nationalism without simply reaffirming inflexible dogma or resorting to hysteria. In a world where the nation state remains a reality and the only realistic path to socialism, the British left needs to articulate its own socialist patriotism in contrast to the chauvinism, conservatism and militarism which characterises the nationalism of the right.

Nobody has any idea of what this means, other than a trip to the dream time of imaginary communities built around a left wing government.

Nobody has a clear idea of what “popular sovereignty” means in a post-Brexit Britain dominated by the business interests behind Johnson. Not to mention a globalised basis to the economy.

But everybody can be sure that at the moment the patriotism evoked here is in the service of national sovereignty, sovereigntism, in a world where the British nation state is a vehicle for the capitalist  and the Conservative Party  converted to serve a Hard Right Brexit.

 

 

Morning Star Pushing Brexit and ‘Leave-Fight-Transform’ Campaign linked to Red-Brown ‘Full Brexit’.

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Still Backing Brexit.

Morning Star Retweeted

Leave Fight Transform

The origins of this campaign lie in the Red-Brown Front  Full Brexit, which brings together supporters of the Brexit Party, the Communist Party of Britain, Labour Leave, sovereigntists, and an assortment of odd bods, from Lambertists to Larry O’Nutter (better known under his pen name of Larry O’Hara), and funny money chaps.

Co-founders of The Full Brexit are pleased to be part of a new grassroots campaign supporting Brexit and the subsequent transformation of British society. It is called “Leave – Fight – Transform: The LeFT Campaign”, and launched today with a letter and accompanying article in The Morning Star.

Its site has been dead for some weeks now, but has sprung into life anew.

“Join us for a day of discussion and planning, as we reflect on the General Election result and the Brexit process to date, the lessons it has for us in the labour movement, and begin planning the fightback to transform British society in the interests of the working class.”

These meetings are obviously aimed at weighing on the Labour leadership campaign.

Note the list of those involved in these events.

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

January 7, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Morning Star Puffs Long Bailey as Counterfire Attacks “Another Europe is Possible clique”.

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John Rees: Another Europe is Possible clique, Starmer and John McDonnell,  Responsible for Labour Defeat.

In today’s Editorial the Morning Star, wholly owned by the Co-op and independent of the Communist Party of Britain, argues for ‘left unity’ against any part of the left which opposes their own pro-Brexit line.

Left unity and the Labour leadership contest

The  response to Rebecca Long Bailey’s clearest pitch yet to succeed Jeremy Corbyn at the helm of the Labour Party shows that the contest is going to be difficult to navigate — not just for the candidates, but more importantly for the socialist left.

The Editorial does not pull its punches.

It’s plausible to see the most vocally pro-Remain shadow cabinet members as having accepted positions under Corbyn because they saw it as the best way to shift Labour to a pro-Remain position.

It has praise for Long Bailey but cautiously refrains from mentioning a single reason why the left criticise her.

Long Bailey’s first intervention in the race lays down a number of markers, in support for radical economic change and the crucial importance of trade unionism, which show she does not intend to accommodate to the status quo.

Watch  out the saboteurs are about…

It also holds out hope that the role of anti-socialist MPs in sabotaging the Corbyn project has been noted, pledging to democratise the Labour Party.

The the wrecking centre has a name and it is…..

But advocating unity cannot become an excuse to avoid the hard questions. The left has frequently pulled its punches in the name of unity since 2015, whether over reselection or in the battles over Brexit where elite-funded campaigns such as the People’s Vote were able to exercise a huge and distorting influence on Labour, dragging it towards a liberal accommodation with market principles and resulting in the absurd contradiction where the party of the organised working class was demanding that the Conservatives do more to ensure the frictionless movement of capital and goods across borders free of the threat of economic policy being changed by elected governments.

The Editorial  concludes that the working class must be vigilant!

That the interests of working-class people and those of capitalists are diametrically opposed.

A movement which forgets that, which cites Bank of England and big business concerns to oppose popular sovereignty, cannot authentically speak or fight for workers. That truth will need articulating as Labour picks its next leader.

Unpicking this ‘articulation’ this means than anybody who is an a pro-European internationalist should watch out!

The leader of the groupuscule Counterfire is another one who fancies he is a player in Labour Politics.

He is somewhat clearer not limiting his ire at the People’s Vote, but extending it to the internationalist left as a whole.

Another struggle is possible

Jeremy Corbyn’s perceived weakness as a leader is partly related to the issue of Brexit, although actually his stubborn insistence on retreating as slowly as he felt he could from the 2017 position of respecting the Leave vote speaks to the opposite case.

The forces ranged against him on this issue, from Sir Keir Starmer to John McDonnell, are actually to blame for the debacle. They and the Another Europe is Possible clique ran a uniquely unsuccessful campaign whose only practical effect is to have forced Labour into a position which materially assisted in its election defeat.

..

The  sage concluded with swipes against two Labour leadership contenders.

Sir Keir Starmer is the real candidate of the right, since they know the ridiculous Jess Philips is not a realistic option. He, and Emily Thornberry, are the architects of the Remain policy that wrecked Labour’s chances in this election. Both are mainstream economically and Trident/NATO Atlanticists…which is entirely consistent with a bit of Democrat-inspired Trump baiting.

Clive Lewis is an even more enthusiastic NATO supporter, attempting to steer left by backing a reselection scheme which won’t get past a first PLP meeting.

Many people will be hoping that this sectarian rant by Galloway’s old best friend mark a welcome return to the margins of politics for Counterfire.

His own groupuscule’s responsibility for encouraging illusions in Brexit, in their imaginary “People’s Brexit”,  should be a warning about indulging illusions that led to the only actually existing Brexit, the right-wing Brexit.

The Morning Star  is a more power visibly still a player, but one suspects that influence is bleeding away from its nationalist camp.

Seriously, who is going to back “progressive nationalism”?

Written by Andrew Coates

December 31, 2019 at 12:50 pm