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Posts Tagged ‘Nationalism

Green Parties (Scottish, and Green Party in England and Wales) in major fall out over ‘Transphobia’.

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In recent years the British Greens, in the independent Scottish Green Party (SGP) , and the Welsh and English wings (GPEW), has been buoyant. It claims to be “leading the fight for climate action, a people’s vote, and a fairer society for all.” The SGP has 7,500 members, seven MSPs in the Scottish Parliament as of May 2021. As of the 2022 local elections, the party sits on 13 of the 32 Scottish local councils, with a total of 35 councillors.  525 Councillors, if only one MP, and over 54,000 members.

The Green Party of England and Wales, they claim, is leading the fight for climate action, a people’s vote, and a fairer society for all. One might expect them to benefit from public protests over the issue, most recently by Just Stop Oil, including from those who do not support the martyr complex-led stunts of the vanguard activists of these and Extinction Rebellion. A radical wing believes that they offer politics based on “ecology, social justice, grassroots democracy and nonviolence.” Others point to a “post-materialist” social base that appeals to a constituency motivated more by these issues than by the classical right and left divisions, grounded on class and economics.

The Greens in these Isles, YouGov (October 2021) indicates, have an appeal to the better-off, “Voting Green is also more of a middle class pursuit. While 46% of those in the ABC1 social group say their willingness to consider voting Green stands at 5/10 or above, and 20% say it stands at 8/10 or higher, among those in C2DE households those figures are 36% and 12% respectively.” With this kind of electoral basis in mind, the Greens look unlikely candidates for the radical left to pin hopes for “eco-socialism” to challenge neo-liberal hegemony, as only a quick look at their emollient approach indicates, “our health, the people we love, our communities. Our vision for a Green Recovery is about putting people and the planet at the heart of decision making – building a future that is Green and equal. The Green Recovery will address the climate and ecological emergency with bold, decisive action from government, business and communities.” (Green Party)

The Greens do their best to shunt off the antagonistic dimension of politics, as writers such as Chantal Mouffe, Jeremy Gilbert, and Alex Williams, people who cannot be accused of dogmatic class politics, would put it – if they applied their concepts to ecological parties that is. They will “work for everyone” “local communities”, “being fair to everyone”, and “makes people and planet the top priorities'” It is liberal populism without more than the vaguest of enemies.

This all-embracing project appears to have suffered a serious blow. The More Borders Scottish Green Party – which backs Scottish Independence, the demand for a separate currency, and is a separate party – has broken off relations with the Green Party in England and Wales (GPEW).

At stake is a culture war over gender and Transsexuality.

Scottish Greens vote to suspend ties with English party over ‘transphobia’.

At their conference in Dundee, Scottish Greens chose to suspend formal ties with the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) until the latter addressed “both issues of transphobia and respect for the Scottish Green Party”.

While the two parties are separate organisations, the English and Welsh party has said that it values its links to Greens in Scotland.

Bright Green has some explanation for what most people would consider a bizarre decision even from the nationalist Scottish politicians of the SGP.

Scottish Greens vote to sever ties with Green Party of England and Wales over failings on transphobia

The decision is a major escalation in the ongoing conflict within GPEW over trans rights. In recent years, a small minority of members have repeatedly sought to overturn the party’s strong policies in support of LGBTIQA+ rights. The party has also been heavily criticised as a result of comments and actions from some high profile members which have been described as transphobic.”

It is noteworthy that the Scottish patriots, jealous of their autonomy and national rights, have not hesitated to try to interfere in English and Welsh Green politics.

It is also the second time in recent months the Scottish Greens have made a public intervention on GPEW’s record on trans rights. Earlier this year, the Scottish Green Party co-leader Patrick Harvie made the unprecedented move of calling for a candidate for the deputy leadership of GPEW to be expelled from the party.

The article continues, illustrating the bizarre political debates that take place amongst the Greens – groups one would have thought spent their spare time discussing fruitful ideas about composting toilets, and the burning issues such as the availability of vegan options in school dinners.

Harvie’s comments related to Shahrar Ali, who came third in the election following a bitter campaign in which he frequently clashed with the ultimate winner Zack Polanski. At one hustings, Polanski accused Ali of “sitting with Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin” on the issue of trans rights. At the time, Ali responded by saying, “As somebody, myself, who has been very outspoken against the horrific crimes of Putin and the double standards and anti-democratic nature of Trump, I do think that’s a bit low.”

Polanski himself delivered a keynote speech to the Scottish Greens’ conference, in which he gave a powerful defence of trans rights. This, it seems, was not enough to alleviate the concerns of Scottish Green Party members – who voted by a substantial majority to suspend their links with GPEW.

The motion passed by the Scottish Greens will see the links between the party and GPEW suspended, “until such time that action is taken that satisfies the membership of the Scottish Green Party, through Conference or SGP Council to address both issues of transphobia and respect for the Scottish Green Party, our independence as a party, and the devolution settlement”.

The Bright Green article fails to clarify whether the dispute involves critical feminists and gay women. In fact you might even think that the opinions of these groups, accused by opponents, rightly or wrongly, as transphobic, do not exist.

Instead it ends with this sanctimonious guff.

Beth Douglas – co-convenor of the Scottish Greens’ official LGBTIQA+ wing, the Rainbow Greens and a proposer of the motion – told Bright Green, “This is a disappointing day for the Green movement in the UK. We have seen our sister party become wrapped up in a culture war against trans people. There is no room for hate in the Green movement and that is why members at the Scottish Green Conference has voted to suspend ties. Hopefully this will be the wake up call that the Green Party of England and Wales needs to rise to the challenge and make their party safe for trans people.”

Responding to the motion, a GPEW spokesperson told Bright Green, “The Green Party of England and Wales values highly our relationship with our sister party, the Scottish Greens, and we are proud of the aims and values that we share in furthering Green policies across the UK.

“The Green Party of England and Wales is clear that trans rights are human rights and we are proud of our strong policies on trans inclusion.

Etc

“It is our priority to champion diversity and be a welcoming and inclusive party for all – that means campaigning for the rights of trans people, women and all oppressed groups, as the Green Party has always done.”

Following the passing of the motion, LGBTIQA+ Greens – GPEW’s official LGBTIQA+ group – said it was “saddened” by the decision, and committed to “continue to fight transphobia. In a statement, the group said, “We are saddened by this decision. But we completely understand why. We will continue to work with the party leadership, other liberation and special interest groups, and other allies to resolve the issues that led to this. We will continue to fight transphobia. We will win.

“This decision must be listened to by all in our party- we must not tolerate transphobia in our institutions, among party candidates for election, or in our wider membership. Our party next door has made it very clear: transphobia is not & will never be a global green value.

“We saw great progress at conference this year, but we must not rest on [our] laurels. We must continue to fix our party and reaffirm the green values that we share with Scottish Greens. We look forward to one day re-establishing ties with them.”

The decision attracted some support from the other side of the frontier:

Others suggest the wish to make their nationalist mark in the same political arena as the SNP was a major reason for this gesture.

There remains this standpoint:

Written by Andrew Coates

October 17, 2022 at 7:57 am

By-Elections: Lib Dem Landslide Win in Tiverton and Honiton, Labour Victory in Wakefield, Northern Independence Party Beaten by Official Monster Raving Party.

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Official Monster Raving Loony Party: Celebrating Victory Over Northern Independence Party Till the Wee Hours.

Tiverton and Honiton:

The Liberal Democrats have overturned a 24,000 Tory majority to win the Tiverton and Honiton by-election.

A dramatic swing of almost 30% from the Tories to the Liberal Democrats saw Richard Foord achieve a majority of 6,144 in the Devon constituency on Thursday.

Sky

Wakefield:

Labour has won the Wakefield by-election to regain the West Yorkshire seat it lost to the Conservatives at the 2019 General Election.

Simon Lightwood defeated Tory candidate Nadeem Ahmed by 4,925 votes in the poll to overturn a majority of 3,358.

The vote followed the resignation of ex-Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan, who was jailed in May for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.

The victory signifies Labour’s first by-election gain since Corby in 2012.

BBC.

Trainspotters did not fail to notice the triumph of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party, candidate Sir Archibald Earl Eaton Stanton 171 ballot papers over their so-called rivals of the Northern Independence Party (NIP) – represented by Christopher Jones, 84 votes.

It was not long ago that the leftish media published respectful articles about the newly founded NIPs. Created by the thinker, Phillip Proudfoot, the scion of an ancient Hobbit family known to J.R. Tolkien, was seen as potentially “the start of a more general realignment in British politics”. A piece in New Left Review declared that the Nippers were no “unicium” (translation, one-off). It had a place in the “remarkable rise in regionalist sentiment; conflicts between Catalans, Basques and Spaniards, Northerners and mezzogiornisti, Flemings and Walloons all puncture the post-national age.”

What were its politics? ” The nip is demanding that the uk Parliament hold a referendum on an Independent Northern England, with a ‘yes’ vote leading to ‘the establishment of a sovereign Northern Republic.’” The self-identifying democratic socialist party called for the creation of an independent state restoring an ancient anglo-saxon kingdom in Northumbria that had existed between the 7th and 10th century.

Proudfoot’s party has friendly relations with the more borders Left Unity party (who also back Scottish nationalist plans to create more European frontiers), and other micro parties in the Left. A high point was enthusiastically reported by the anti-Labour site Skwawkbox, “NIP, Breakthrough Party, Left Unity, TUSC and others announce new PAL electoral coalition.” (20.1.22) The alt news site Novara Media was still describing NIP as a significant force back in April, “The Northern Independence Party Is a Triple Threat to Labour. Strong northern identity, unapologetic socialism and passionate activists – the NIP has everything Starmer doesn’t.” Ell Folan.

Pal’s friendship with TUSC was not to last – there was an acrimonious bust up over George Galloway a few months ago. But the Nips did not faced any left competition in the Wakefield election. The field, we might say, was clear for their “unapologetic socialism” and fired up supporters.

Alas….

It looks as if not only the Monster Raving Loonies have beaten the NIPs but that what regionalist feeling there is in Wakefield has been captured by the social democratic Yorkshire Party, which “campaigns for the establishment of a devolved Yorkshire Assembly within the UK, with powers over education, environment, transport and housing.” Their candidate, David Herdson, scored a respectable 1182 votes.

Wakefield
NamePartyVotes%
AHMED, NadeemThe Conservative Party Candidate824130.0
AKBAR, AkefIndependent20907.6
BICKERDIKE, PaulChristian Peoples Alliance1440.5
DODGSON, MickFreedom Alliance. Real People. Real Alternative1870.7
EARL ‘EATON, Sir Archibald StantonThe Official Monster Raving Loony Party1710.6
FRANSEN, JaydaIndependent230.1
GASKELL, Jordan JamesUK Independence Party (UKIP)1240.5
HERDSON, David John RowntreeYorkshire Party11824.3
HIRST, ThereseEnglish Democrats – `Putting England First`1350.5
JONES, Christopher RichardNorthern Independence Party – Nationalise Energy Companies840.3
LIGHTWOOD, Simon Robert (Elected)Labour Party1316647.9
NEEDLE, Jamie LukeLiberal Democrats5081.8
ROUTH, Ashley Theo BlueGreen Party5872.1
SIMON, AshleaBritain First – No To Immigration3111.1
WALSH, ChrisReform UK5131.9
Majority492517.9
Spoiled Votes62
% turnout39.5
Total Votes27,466

Boris Johnson Faces No-Confidence: Reflections on the Jubilee Crisis.

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Boris Johnson news – live: PM’s anti-corruption tsar quits before no-confidence vote.

 “an appetite for the latest-stirring information is excited with the return of their meals; and a glass of old port or humming ale hardly relishes as it ought without the infusion of some lively topic that had its birth with the day, and perishes before night. ‘Then come in the sweets of the evening’: — the Queen, the coronation, the last new play, the next fight, the insurrection of the Greeks or Neapolitans, the price of stocks, or death of kings, and the result of the Tory Confidence Vote, keep them on the alert till bedtime. No question comes amiss to them that is quite new — none is ever heard of that is at all old.”

“On Coffee-House Politicians” William Hazlitt. 1822.

The minstrels of the eventide, the State Coach, holding a stereoscopic magic lantern of the Royal, the ursine champion of the People’s Monarchy, have passed. Mass enjoyment of the Crown is today followed by a bitter struggle over the machinery of government, the leadership of the Conservative Party and the Premiership of the House. After decades of championing “modern” new civic nations that will “re-encounter nature, “a rapprochement “with pre-history and the bases of human society.” (Tom Nairn, Pariah: Misfortunes of the British Kingdom, Verso, 2002.) The essayist and critics of the House of Windsor’s Enchanted Glass, has finally struck gold. Historians will note the correlation between the assault on the Glamour of the Crown on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral and Boris Johnson’s contretemps turned catastrophe.

It is plain to all that Johnson, a haggard figure, is teetering on the brink. On the news this morning they said the Tory faithful were approaching their MPs with a look in their eyes as if the politician had just had a puppy die. Is the man, a disgrace, on the way to the rubbish tip?

Whatever way the Tory vote turns out Boris Johnson will be damaged. Will this benefit those whom the Scottish nationalist called its British Socialist vassals? Labour has been blowing its credentials as ” the true party of patriotism and British values.” “As we unite for the jubilee, let’s believe Britain’s best days are ahead, not behind” writes Labour’s Lucy Powell. It may be that Labour will stand tall – with a sense of State and dignity as the Tories descend into inner-party warfare.

Or will it be another chip in the old United Kingdom block. Why have we even had such a PM? How has he been allowed to wreak havoc? How can such a character hold the position? This thought may inspire, through the creation of more borders, “a new politics of democratic, national independence from the Union state” including an England that is “ecological, networked, liberty-loving, European and republican.” (Anthony Arblaster. Deciding Britain’s Future: ​​Tom Nairn, Gordon Brown, Marxism and Nationalism. 2022)

The critical approach to nationalism represents one of Marxism’s great historical achievements. Nations are not the motors of history but social formations shaped by the mode of production, class struggle, and politics. The problematic issue of nationalism and patriotism is not one of feeling, of quiet, or loud, admiration and adherence to a nationality or decency towards one’s national fellow citizens, or the fight against national oppression – highlighted in bold letters by the invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Nor does it lie in the invention of tradition or the medium of its imagined communities. Except in this deeper sense, as works of the political imagination nations become parts of a political project, a projection of the future, a programme for creating states, and more borders, not alliances between workers and peoples of different countries. That is a strategy for exclusion, not bringing people together,

As Tom Nairn put it, reflecting, in alembic prose, on Régis Debray’s Éloge des frontières (2010), ” what if the solution to managing power is not fewer borders but more?” He concluded, The alternative would appear to be ‘Scotland in Europe’: leaving the raft and (after the lessons learned at Holyrood) finally deciding to swim on our own. Isn’t that what the new frontiers should be for?” (Frontiers: a re-evaluation).

Boris Johnson to face confidence vote as rebel Tories mount biggest challenge to his leadership.

Following months of speculation over Boris Johnson’s leadership in the wake of the partygate allegations, enough Conservative MPs have submitted letters of no confidence in the PM. He needs half of MPs, plus one, to survive the vote.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 6, 2022 at 12:01 pm