Tendance Coatesy

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Labour Activists Call to Fight No Deal Brexit as Morning Star and the Red Brown Front Back Pushing Hard Brexit Through.

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Turning the Tide Against Brexit.

Today the Morning Star, Jeremy Corbyn’s self-appointed Best Friend, carries this Editorial.

The writer claims that efforts to prevent a No Deal Brexit through Parliament are misplaced, if that’s not too mild a way of putting it.

Pious observations about “parliamentary sovereignty” and repeated bids by the Commons to “take back control” of the Brexit agenda have not impressed a public that sees through the democratic rhetoric to the anti-democratic reality — that these have been bids to frustrate implementation of the largest democratic vote in Britain’s history, the 2016 vote to leave the European Union.

The key sentences that follow are these, attacking a National Government.

This spectre, which is not on the cards, any more than Caroline Lucas’ all-woman Cabinet, is ‘hard right’ – as opposed to the actually existing Hard Right ERC led Boris Johnson Cabinet….

As with the “state of emergency” used by French President Emmanuel Macron to rule by decree and attack workers’ rights, it would enable the undemocratic imposition of a hard-right reactionary agenda.

A Labour pitch to defeat Johnson based on preventing a no-deal Brexit helps feed his chosen image as the champion of the 2016 popular mandate to leave.

This – ignoring the state of emergency needed to push through a No Deal Brexit –  is  followed by the following guff, “Labour should speak for the public’s anger against a Parliament that has thoroughly earned it…” whose important phrase is this demand “freedom from the pro-corporate competition rules imposed by the EU single market..”

In other words, Back Brexit, No Deal or Not.

This is what Brexit means

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The Morning Star is not alone is misrepresenting the political line up over Brexit.

To cite one example, Left-wingers in other countries would get the impression from the pages of the US Jacobin, and other self-identifying left publications, who cover the issue by articles from various factions who have come out of the SWP and supporters of the Red-Brown Front, the Full Brexit, that the British radical left has roughly similar politics to the Morning Star on this issue.

But the majority of the UK the left is at the forefront of the right against a No Deal Brexit, and a large section is against Brexit tout court. 

This battle is gathering momentum.

The hard right has made this call:

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As the Independent reports today the left is counter-attacking.

Labour activists tell Corbyn he must back cancelling Brexit to stop UK crashing out with no deal

Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to back cancelling Brexit altogether if it is the only way to stop the UK crashing out of the EU, as another battle with Labour activists looms.

Almost 30 local parties are demanding Labour “support revoking Article 50 if necessary to prevent no deal”, in motions being submitted to its conference in September.

The move threatens to shatter the fragile peace over Brexit policy since the shadow cabinet agreed Labour would campaign for Remain in any fresh referendum held while the Conservatives are in power.

The policy was attacked as a fudge – after Mr Corbyn admitted Labour could yet fight a general election as a pro-Brexit party – and says nothing about wider strategy to stop the no deal Boris Johnson is threatening

Now the local Labour parties have signed up to a campaign to maximise pressure in Brighton in September, launched by the grassroots groups Another Europe is Possible, Labour for a Socialist Europe and Open Labour.

The motion “notes the vast majority of Labour members and voters oppose Brexit” and says the party still needs “a clear Brexit policy”.

It then states: “Labour will campaign energetically for a public vote and to Remain. We support revoking Article 50 if necessary to prevent no deal.”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, a Labour MP backing the campaign, said: “No deal would be a catastrophic moment for the Labour Party and the people we represent. It would mean a huge economic crisis which the right wing of the Tory party would use to drive an agenda of deregulation.

“We must be willing to do absolutely anything to stop it – and of course that would mean, if we had to, whipping to revoke Article 50.”

And Michael Chessum, national organiser for Another Europe is Possible, said: “It’s not the tool we would choose, but if revoking is the only option left on the table to stop the disaster capitalists, Labour has to be willing to use it. There can’t be any fudge or ambiguity on that.”

This year, anti-Brexit activists are likely to make a commitment to revoking Article 50, if necessary, a “red line” in the marathon Sunday evening get-together of constituency parties, trade unions and affiliated groups.

..

In total, 50 constituencies have already voted to submit anti-Brexit motions to the Brighton conference, of which at least 29 explicitly call for the Article 50 notice to be withdrawn.

The Morning Star  has promoted an alternative campaign Leave-Fight-Transform.

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LeFT: campaigning for Boris Johnson’s No Deal Brexit

Key figures in the CPB, its associated organisations and its milieu are well-represented – including CPB General Secretary Robert Griffiths. Some of the Labour Party signatories are very close to the CPB, eg Marcus Barnett and Eddie Dempsey (the latter is the one who said that Tommy Robinson supporters are “right to hate the liberal left”). It’s worth noting that these were the organisers of a campaign for people to boycott the European elections, ie to refuse to campaign or vote for Labour even – or it might be more accurate to say because of – the Brexit Party surge.

Some comrades have speculated that this new organisation was launched because a pre-existing one, “The Full Brexit”, was too discredited by a number of its founders supporting and in one case – James Heartfield – standing for, the Brexit Party. This group distinguished itself by publishing an article from two of its leading people denouncing Irish republican groups as “the armed wing of the European Union” and calling for violent British state action to crush their opposition to a hard border.

But TFB has been quick to get a statement out supporting and trumpeting its involvement in LeFT. And the initial LeFT signatories include Phil Cunliffe, a central participant in the same ex-Revolutionary Communist Party/Spiked network as Heartfield, fellow Brexit Party candidate (now MEP) Claire Fox et al – and himself a supporter of the Brexit Party! Plus another Spiked writer, George Hoare.

This is not an initiative any self-respecting socialist should have anything to do with.

It was therefore genuinely disappointing to see that LeFT’s signatories include a number of supporters of the anti-Stalinist (ex-SWP) socialist group RS21: I recognised the names Jen Wilkinson, Brian Parkin and Colin Wilson. It seems surreal that these comrades could put their names to such a thing.

The Red Brown Front (an alliance of sovereigntist left individuals, Counterfire supporters, the CPB, which runs the Morning Star, Blue Labour social conservatives,  and Brexit Party backers)  in the Full Brexit, backs this campaign.

This is the alternative:

This is also worth reading: Prominent Centrists and the Fiction of the White Working Class

 

 

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Italy: Five Star Movement – once critically admired by New Left Review – on the Ropes.

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Italy: Two Populisms Fall out.

The dramatic move on Thursday came after months of fighting between the League and its coalition partners, the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S).

The cavernous differences between the parties were clearly exposed on Wednesday when parliament rejected a motion by M5S to block a high-speed rail project linking Italy and France. M5S has built most of its popularity on vehemently opposing the long-stalled project but was outvoted by the League and opposition parties.

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Salvini has been threatening new elections for weeks as the League reached 39% in opinion polls. Meanwhile, support for M5S has more than halved to 15% over the last year.

The League also triumphed in May’s European elections, winning 24% of the vote. The M5S only managed 17%, putting it in third place behind the centre-left Democratic party, which took 23%.

The Italian 5 Star Movement (Movimento 5 Stelle), it is often forgotten today, was at one time considered by some on the anglophone left to be ‘wing-left’ as well as populist.

Counterfire – who run what’s left of the Stop the War Coalition and the People’s Assembly, also called them, once upon a time,a “sort of coalition of resistance” (Beppe Grillo has wiped the smile off the face of the European elite argues Jo Franks. 2013)

Toby Abse, whose articles on Italy this Blog often relies upon, and are highly regarded by all, published this book review in 2016,

What sort of populism?

Toby Abse reviews: Filippo Tronconi (ed) ‘Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement: organisation, communication and ideology’, Ashgate Publishing, 2015.

This, which is long standing theme of comrade Abse, caught many people’s eyes,

Regrettably, Grillo’s most ardent British fans outside Ukip circles – where Arron Banks has actually suggested Ukip needs to copy M5S – have been the staunch Brexiteers of the New Left Review, a journal that in happier days popularised continental Marxism, and once even published an entire issue devoted to Tom Nairn’s challenge to the Europhobic anti-European Economic Community consensus of the British left in the 1970s.

This is no exaggeration.

While some call the movement “eclectic” and “anti-elitist”  – a way of avoiding saying right-wing red-browners –  New Left Review rated the movement for its opposition the system.

The thriving through Chaos, pro-Brexit, and publisher of a variety of sovereigntists such as Wolfgang Steek (that’s enough Coatesy) Editor of New Left Review editor Susan Watkins, was impressed enough to devote a section of one of the journal’s ponderous Editorials to the movement.

This are her assessments of the builders of the Red Brown Front in Italy:

SUSAN WATKINS. OPPOSITIONS March 2016. NLR 98.

This starts, “…only in the last few years have left oppositions started to produce national political projects with an impact at state level—flanked, and sometimes outflanked, by the radical right.”  Watkins continues looking at Corbyn, Syriza, Bernie Sanders, and (remember him, jean Luc-Mélenchon),  and, then, pausing, “Many on the Italian left would deny that Beppe Grillo (at the time 5 Star leader, the Jiminy Cricket founder of the movement now run by Luigi Di Maio) deserves a place in their ranks; not without reason”.

And yet….

The social profile of M5S’s 109 deputies and 54 senators was a marked departure from Italian norms (as with Podemos deputies in Spain): they were it workers, students, housewives and the unemployed, mostly in their twenties and thirties—rather than lawyers, professors and party officials. The M5S deputies pointedly took only half their allotted salaries, donating the rest to local projects; they disdain the formalities of the Palazzo Montecitorio, addressing their fellow deputies as ‘Citizen’ rather than ‘Honourable’—unlike the Corbynistas or Podemos. Uniquely, Five Star parliamentarians were obliged to vote according to their mandates, determined by online plebiscites in which at most 30,000 took part. Ignoring the mandate brought immediate expulsion; around a quarter of the parliamentary caucus has been ejected to date.

She continued,

 ..proponents of online direct democracy, the Five Stars take a position of radical iconoclasm towards Italy’s existing system: they aim to ‘open it up’ to the public by livestreaming back-room negotiations; with the rest of the left and the Northern League, they have assailed Renzi’s new constitution, but went farther in calling for pd President Napolitano’s impeachment over his illegal manoeuvrings to install Monti as prime minister in 2011.

And,

Grillo targets Renzi’s grand-coalition government, rather than ‘the rich’, for ‘destroying the welfare state, the rights of workers and the education system and selling off strategic Italian assets’ to pay down the debt.

This was the key point for the NLR national sovereigntists,

Grillo, who had given full support to the Syriza referendum, derided the capitulation—‘It would have been hard to defend the interests of the Greek people worse than Tsipras did’—and went on to formulate a Plan B for monetary sovereignty within the eu.

This is her conclusion – bizarre as it looks today,

Italy’s Five Star Movement, which can’t properly be categorized as social-democratic—although the policy overlaps are remarkable: M5S shares Sanders’s views on immigration, Mélenchon’s on the euro, Corbyn’s on Western military intervention. One difference is Grillo’s stress on helping small and medium-sized manufacturers: although they all say this, he really seems to mean it—this is his own social background, after all, and an sme orientation also speaks to M5S’s new, ex-Lega supporters.

Another lies in the distinctive social demographics of the Five Stars’ base: they do well among students, the unemployed, unskilled workers, retailers and craftsmen, but less well among white-collar workers and badly among teachers—sectors that are far more supportive of Sanders, Corbyn, the Front de gauche and Podemos.footnote19 The reasons for that may lie in scepticism about the Five Stars’ version of online direct democracy—which can seem whimsical and, indeed, undemocratic—or dislike of Grillo’s coarseness: encouraging his audiences to shout ‘Vaffanculo!’ at images of politicians with criminal convictions, for example. But however poor Grillo’s taste, or repellent his jokes, M5S should be judged, like any political movement, by its actions. Its voter base, despite an influx of Lega Nord and ex-Berlusconi supporters, is still predominantly on the left.

A clearer analysis of the 5 Star Movement was hardly hiding in the broad daylight of left political journals.

Back in 2013 this appeared in Red Pepper,

How Beppe Grillo stole the left’s clothes. Lorenzo Fe 

Let us make clear that this is no victory for the left. M5S is an extremely ambiguous phenomenon. As Giuliano Santoro points out, Grillo and the co-founder of his movement, marketer Gianroberto Casaleggio, are both millionaires with a proprietorial conception of their organisation.

M5S’s constitution, written by Grillo and Casaleggio, states: ‘The name of the Five Star Movement is attached to a trademark registered under the name of Beppe Grillo, the sole holder of rights on its use.’ These rights have been consistently used to expel anyone who has tried to make the movement more autonomous from Grillo’s personal style of leadership.

rillo claims that ‘left’ and ‘right’ are now useless categories. Accordingly, he mixes environmentalism, degrowth and anti-austerity with anti-immigration remarks typical of the far right (for example he rejects citizenship for the children of migrants). When talking to CasaPound, who are self-declared fascists, Grillo stated that ‘anti-fascism’ does not concern him and that everybody is welcome to join the movement.

As the leftist collective of authors Wu Ming noted, Grillo’s proposals are ‘a chaotic programme where neoliberal and anti-neoliberal, centralist and federalist, libertarian and authoritarian ideas coexist’. Wu Ming also accuse Grillo of having channelled popular discontent against austerity in a purely electoral and politically very ambivalent direction, suggesting that this is one of the reasons why there was no Occupy or Indignados movement in Italy.

On the real nature of the 5 Star movement Toby himself noted,

The authors acknowledge that populism is not always rightwing, since no Italian political scientist can ignore the rise and fall of the left-populist Italia dei Valori party led by Antonio Di Pietro. But they see most successful European populist parties of recent times as being on the right (often the extreme right), and marked by anti-immigrant and anti-EU stances in their programmes. The problem with M5S for political scientists is that it fits neither category particularly well. Its original programme – the Carta di Firenze of 2009 – claimed that the Five Stars of its title stood for “[public] water, environment, [public] transport, [sustainable] development and [renewable] energy”.

However, whilst the original 2009 programme has never been repudiated, the absolute centrality to the party of Grillo’s blog has meant that he has shifted M5S to the right by repeated ex cathedra pronouncements on that blog about such topics as immigration. As Vignati points out (p19), “In 2000, Grillo criticised the ‘natural racism’ of Italians”. Regardless of whether Grillo’s recent anti-immigrant stance – particularly his opposition to the granting of Italian citizenship to the children of immigrants born in Italy – is due to electoral considerations, as Lorenzo Mosca suggests on p159, or to the influence of Gianroberto Casaleggio, as Vignati seems to imply on p19, it does make it impossible to define M5S as ‘left-libertarian’ in programmatic terms.

Casaleggio’s assertion in a 2013 text – that “M5S sees the word ‘leader’ as belonging to the past; it is a dirty word, perverted” – is unceasingly belied by its practice, for, as Vignati rightly observes, “its ‘leaderist’ character prevails over the ‘leaderless’ rhetoric with which it is imbued” (p11). Given the emphasis on political families for classificatory purposes, it is rather surprising that none of the contributors comment on Grillo’s lash-up with Farage in the European parliament.

On whether the 5 Star Movement was ever ‘left’ he notes,

There is some disagreement amongst the contributors as to whether the M5S electorate could ever have been categorised as predominantly leftwing, although there seems to be broad agreement that its current constituency is very heterogeneous. Andrea Pedrazzani and Luca Pinto in chapter 4 – ‘The electoral base: the “political revolution” in evolution’ (pp76-98) – see the 2012 local elections as a watershed. Before then, “more than half of Five Star voters expressed preferences ranging from extreme left to centre left (52%) and the rest were divided between respondents who refused to be placed along the left-right dimension (21.6%), centre voters (13%) and rightwing voters (13.4%)” (p94). After the 2013 general election, “the percentage of leftwing voters in the M5S was just 38.4%; rightwing voters almost doubled, increasing to 22.3%; and people who refused to be placed along the left-right divide reached 27.7%” (p95). Or, to quote the same authors’ less statistical summary, “In its early days, the M5S was quite similar to those supporting the left-libertarian parties that formed across Europe in the 80s” (p95), but “Grillo’s anti-system stance has led to a relevant change in the composition of the Five Star electorate, which has gradually become more heterogeneous” (p96).

Also worth looking at:

More articles by comrade Toby: from 2018 to early 2019.

Italy’s government provoking a clash with EU

Against the background of attempts to form a new rightwing coalition across Europe, Toby Abse looks at the manoeuvrings of the rival Italian populists.

Recession and xenophobia

Toby Abse reports on the latest shenanigans of the right-populist government – and the stirrings of organised working class opposition

 

Written by Andrew Coates

August 9, 2019 at 4:56 pm

News From the Red-Brown Front: Bannon and Galloway Scheme Revolution as WRP Calls for General Strike for Brexit.

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Bannon and Galloway Scheme Revolution over some Tasty Grub in Kazakhstan. 

This is on the agenda….

Or so the WRP says,

Workers shake Labour to its foundations with their vote for Brexit!

The News Line says,

This means that a Brexit on October 31 or before, carried out by the working class taking general strike action to bring in a workers government, will be welcomed by workers all over Europe and lead to the revolutionary replacement of the EU by a Socialist United States of Europe.

Only the WRP and the Young Socialists are fighting for this policy and perspective. We urge all workers and youth to join today and to fight for the victory of the British and world socialist revolutions!

The Communist Party of Britain (Marxist Leninist ) founded by Reg Birch and whose best known former member is Alexei Sayle – not to be confused with Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) who ‘best known’ member is Harpal Brar – is also chorting.

Long believed to have disappeared into red bases in Thetford Forest the one-time supporters of Enver Hoxha  finds in the Brexit Party an instrument of the working class.

Its organ declares,

The working class has used the Brexit party to tell the pro-EU ruling class to carry out our 2016 instruction to leave and we have given that ruling class a bloody nose.

Three years after we voted to leave, it was a staggering failure that we were made to participate in the EU’s elections. Even May herself admitted that taking part in these elections would amount to “failure”.

Fresh from their triumphal implementation of the red-brown mass line the former Revolutionary Communist Party, now Spiked, finds time for a whinge by some useless idiot, Isaac Doel.

Recently Nigel Farage was pictured drenched in milkshake after a pro-Remain protester launched the drink at him. This fuelled debate about the ethics of ‘milkshaking’ as a form of protest. Many jumped to the protester’s defence, claiming that throwing milkshake was an acceptable form of protest when dealing with ‘fascists’ like Farage.

High-profile Remainers frequently use the f-word to describe Nigel Farage. In a video recently posted on his Twitter account, the deputy leader of the Labour Party, Tom Watson, said Farage ‘represents the creep of fascism across Europe’. ‘Fascist’ is a term used by those who oppose Farage’s politics to attempt to damage his reputation and delegitimise his Brexit movement.

Quite right!

Le Monde merely calls them “extreme right wing“: “le leader d’extrême droite, Nigel Farage”.

We prefer national populist.

The theme that the voters of the Brexit Party were expressing ‘working class anger’ is dear to many on the Lexit left.

In more measured tones LIndsey German comments, from Counterfire, that Labour’s poor showing was

..the result of trying to put a position which unites both sides of the referendum divide at a time when both sides are becoming more polarised. Jeremy Corbyn’s original position of a People’s Brexit had more chance of working. It was an approach that accepted the referendum result but committed Labour to a progressive Brexit.

In other words Labour should have adopted Counterfire’s views.

She suggests, not unreasonably,

The impasse at the top of politics can only be resolved elsewhere. That requires a focus on wider politics as well as trying to address the EU question. The major class divisions which cut across leave/remain, the issues facing people over their jobs, housing, education, are the ones on which people can find some unity. The left also needs to ask itself some questions: can the Corbyn project succeed in winning an election and making the first steps towards changing British government policies? How can Labour’s right be defeated? How can the left relate especially to working class people in the old industrial areas?

But this comes back to the “EU question”, and internationalists are not going to “unite” with the Brexit camp, ‘People’s’ or not.

Pompous Padre Giles Fraser says,

He found time yesterday to show some solidarity with the Red-Brown inner core:

Meanwhile more details emerge of the top Galloway Bannon summit.

Perhaps the WRP, the CPB (M-L) and the CPGB (M-L) should get an invite to the next jamboree.

 

 

National Populist Farage’s “Real target is Britain’s ‘failed’ democracy, not Brexit.”

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National Populist Egocrat. 

Sky reporter Lewis Goodall has been one of the most perceptive writers about Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party.

His article in the Observer today is a must-read.

Nigel Farage’s real target is Britain’s ‘failed’ democracy, not Brexit

Ukip was deeply and recognisably British. The half-colonels; the angry golf-playing uncles; the rankling over “elf and safety” and political correctness. Its pound-sign logo was almost quaint: It was a Britain Orwell would have recognised. Ideologically, too, its Euroscepticism mined a deep vein in British politics, tracing back to our entry in 1973, if not before.

But,

Politics has moved on – and so has Farage.

Brexit now isn’t even his principal concern, its failure the mere embodiment of a wider malaise. Instead, the collapse of the Brexit process is proof of his new analysis: that British democracy does not work and does not even exist. Worse, that every organ of the state and political life, be it the parties, the media, the courts – parliamentary democracy itself – are malign and work against the interests of “the people”. Never before have we had a major political force that operates with that basic reflex.

Goodhall concludes,

For Brexit party success will surely change the alchemy of the Tory makeup. Indeed, it already has, setting the seal on the end of Theresa May’s premiership and ensuring the all-but-certain election of a no-dealer in her stead. Far from a Conservative turn to the kind of broad, centrist Christian democracy to which Theresa May once aspired, her party may follow the Republicans in becoming a hard-edged populist movement. In an age where “one-nation” seems impossible and where we are at least two, Farage and his success will force them to choose. Out of fear, they will choose him

 

Goodhall clearly has his finger on one essential aspect of National Populism.

With a belief that the “elite” is working against the “people” it splits the world into the camp of implacable  enemies and the real “folks” (as Farage, speaking American says).

This is anti-pluralism.

The Sky journalist notes,

Being at those rallies, it struck me how many of my friends would listen to what they heard on the stage and the sentiment of those in the crowd and feel complete loathing and fear, at the same time as those around me cheered with joy and expectation. We no longer just disagree with each other, we don’t even begin to understand how our fellow citizens think.

This chimes with the analysis offered by Jan-Werner Müller in What Is Populism? (2016).

He argued that “only some of the people are really the people” and at populism’s core is a rejection of pluralism. Populists will always claim that they and they alone represent the people and their true interests. 

Not only liberals should be concerned.

Democratic socialism is the expression of a plurality of interests, against different forms of oppression and exploitation, brought together in a common purpose for socialist objectives.

Its origins lie in institutions, like the labour movement, which were built by people themselves. In this century left wing and radical campaigns and trade unions are also the created  and runby the membership democratically. The political parties of the democratic socialist left, unlike Stalinist parties, and despite a tendency to their own “oligarchical” structures, are in principle based on member-wide democracy. A wide spectrum of views, social democratic, ‘revisionism’, types of democratic socialism, various forms of democratic Marxism, are part of this movement.

The democratic basis of politics lies on different versions of this belief, put forward his later writings by the Socialisme ou Barbarie  thinker, Claude Lefort,

For Lefort democracy is the system characterized by the institutionalization of conflict within society, the division of social body; it recognizes and even considers legitimate the existence of divergent interests, conflicting opinions, visions of the world that are opposed and even incompatible. Lefort’s vision makes the disappearance of the leader as a political body – the putting to death of the king, as Kantorowicz calls it – the founding moment of democracy because it makes the seat of power, hitherto occupied by an eternal substance transcending the mere physical existence of monarchs, into an “empty space” where groups with shared interests and opinions can succeed each other, but only for a time and at the will of elections. Power is no longer tied to any specific programme, goal, or proposal; it is nothing but a collection of instruments put temporarily at the disposal of those who win a majority. “In Lefort’s invented and inventive democracy,” writes Dominique Colas, “power comes from the people and belongs to no one.

Farage and the National Populists  wish to monopolise the political space and make this “power” belong to their “people”.

They, the embodiment of the ‘real’ people, that is those who voted for Brexit, the “somewhere” people, the genuine salt of the earth types with roots, in the land and memory of the country and the ancestors of the nation.

Above all the National Populists equally deny the ” uncertainty” of politics and wish to impose their, ‘real’ majority views on the state and the inhabitants of a country.

Many of the present day populist parties, using as David Runciman (How Democracy Ends. 2018)  and many others note, new communication technology, have formed ‘parties’ and movements as business start-ups, run by the leadership, and typically one ‘charismatic’ figure.

They claim to stand for the real People against the Oligarchy –  the elites – and “globalism”.

In some respects Farage resembles what Lefort called an “egocrat” in the totalitarian mould (Un Homme en trop. Essai sur l’archipel du goulag de Soljénitsyne. New Edition. 2015).

His wishes run through the party organs.

Clearly the age of Stalinist, Fascist and Nazi “total” terror is ended and it would be seriously wrong to compare the Brexit Party to these “conspiracies in broad daylight” with their Gulag, Camps and mass murder.

Müller predicted that “..with their basic commitment to the idea that only they represented the people”. Once installed in office, “they will engage in occupying the state mass clientelism and corruption, and the suppression of anything like a critical civil society. (What Is Populism? Page 102)

The Brexit Party is, above all, a vehicle for the demand to end the complexity of politics and to impose the figure of its leader in the “empty space”, the seat of power than anybody and nobody can occupy in democratic institutions – the Sovereign. It wishes to make social life ‘transparent’ contest between itself and its targets, the EU and the non-people.

Nothing can be gained by ‘listening’ to the demands of the political forces of the Brexit Party.

The attempt by ‘left populists’ to speak to this audience in the hope that they can give a voice to some of the ‘democratic’ aspects of their demands in unable to grapple with the way that the thrust of National Populism is against democratic pluralism.

In many respects they are more of a danger than the ‘dark enlightenment‘  of the far right that seeks a new form of openly anti-democratic politics.

National Populists are, to cite Chantal Mouffe in her use of Carl Schmitt , “the enemy” (The Return of the Political. Chantal Mouffe. 2005). 

This has already been Farage’s impact in the UK this month.

Brexit Party’s rise forced dithering Tory MPs to ditch Theresa May.

One expects more when the European election results are announced this evening.

Paul Embery Resurfaces in Row with Jess Phillips and Defence of Danny Baker.

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Pledge card for a post-Brexit manifesto. 

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) official (Executive Council), Spiked Contributor, Full Brexit supporter, and head of the  Arron Banks funded Trade Unionists Against the EU, Paul Embery, came to wider attention this April after denouncing ‘rootless cosmopolitans’.

He was told to shut up by the highly regarded trade union the FBU.

Union official told to ‘cease’ social media after ‘rootless cosmopolitans’ tweet

On the Nigel Farage Brexit Party supporting Spiked site Embery was unrepentant,

This really captures the divide in our society, as I tweeted, between ‘a rootless, cosmopolitan, bohemian middle class’ and a ‘rooted, communitarian, patriotic working class’.

Bohemian, cosmopolitan, all words often in the air down at the Rose and Crown.

In fact not even bleeding used chez Coatesy except in quotes.

Embery continued,

These scarlet-faced witch-finders are a threat to free speech, and they need to be faced down remorselessly.

The labour movement has turned against the working class

Now he continues his battle for free speech:

In a lengthy thread this can be signaled;

In an attempt to cover his arse he added,

Now he is engaged in a war on another front.

Jess Phillips may not be everybody’s cup of tea.

But she often says things that need saying, even if you disagree with her.

She lives in Brum.

Her children go to an ordinary Birmingham state school. She is seen in the local supermarkets.

I have not heard the city called “metropolitan liberal” before.

Wikipedia says,

Phillips left the Labour Party during the years of Tony Blair‘s leadership, rejoining after the 2010 general election. She told Rachel Cooke in her interview in The Guardian it was because her parents stopped paying her membership direct debit. Her period at Women’s Aid made Phillips “utterly pragmatic… I learned that my principles don’t matter as much as [people’s] lives.”In the 2012 local elections, she was elected as a Labour councillor for the Longbridge ward, taking the seat from the Conservatives.

Embery claims he aims to restore a “sense of belonging”,

Where we currently have disunity and atomisation throughout our communities – not least because identity politics proliferates – we must foster instead a spirit of civic nationalism that generates a sense of belonging, patriotism and shared citizenship between all of our people. (How to fix Britain after Brexit)

Beginning by insulting comrade Jess Phillips.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 11, 2019 at 11:15 am

Walks Outs by “ultra-left and sectarian” Spanish and Portuguese Sections in Growing Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) Split.

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Socialist Party in Split with “ultra-left and sectarian” Spanish and Portuguese Sections.

It seems as if the international far-left is undergoing some serious splits.

The American International Socialist Organization, which is known to the present site for some serious political articles over the years), has dissolved.

THE ISO’S VOTE TO DISSOLVE AND WHAT COMES NEXT

MEMBERS AND recent ex-members of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) have decided to dissolve the organization and end publication of SocialistWorker.org over the coming weeks, but also to support several working groups and initiatives going forward, and to work toward continued collaboration in rebuilding independent revolutionary socialist organization.

These decisions followed a week of online voting that ended March 29 on nearly two-dozen proposals put forward ahead of an all-member conference call on March 24. Nearly 500 members, participants in disaffiliated branches and recently resigned members took part in the vote.

The decisions came in the wake of a severe crisis in the ISO after information surfaced about a horribly mishandled sexual assault accusation in 2013. An independent disciplinary committee at the time came to the conclusion that an ISO member had clearly violated the organization’s code of conduct and should be expelled, but the 2013 Steering Committee interfered with the committee’s work, overturned its decision and effectively

Meanwhile the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI), best known for its British section, the stridently pro-Brexit Socialist Party, and which has yet to produce any serious political articles, is undergoing a split of its own.

It seems that in its dispute with the Irish group SP leader Peter Taaffe has found himself in the minority.

This is latest (April the 2nd).

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 along with 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.

Signed:

Tony Saunois, Bob Labi, Clare Doyle, Niall Mulholland, Senan Uthaya (International Secretariat);

Peter Taaffe, Hannah Sell, Judy Beishon (International Secretariat and English and Welsh EC);

Paula Mitchell, Clive Heemskerk (English and Welsh EC);

OKSascha Stanicic, Micheal Koschitzki (IEC and German EC), Angelika Teweleit (German EC);

Christine Thomas (IEC and Italy EC);

Phillip Stott (IEC and Scottish EC).

Further material available here: More documents from the CWI faction fight

From Trainspotters – the texts are now in the public domain.

The sentence, “The International Faction is involved in a political and theoretical struggle against the opportunist capitulation represented by the Non Faction Faction.” already looks headed for the annals of classical Marxist quotations.

Morning Star Promotes the “Red Gyms” of Merrie Olde England.

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No St George’s Cross on this banner.

The Red Gyms of England — a new front for anti-fascism

A new movement of socialist fight-sports clubs is smashing misconceptions that the left is a muddle of middle-class milquetoasts, writes JAMES CROSSLEY

English identity is a ready-made collective identity that can help develop a movement for the many not the few.”

James Crossley is Professor of Bible, Society and Politics at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. He writes mainly on religion and politics in the twentieth and twenty-first century and the historical Jesus in the first century.”

I have no idea of what kind of toast is milque but this indicates something:

The story of why this happened is well known. Attacks on trade unions by Conservative and New Labour governments, and New Labour’s obsession with middle-class swing voters, alienated working classes from socialist movements…

..

Enter a socialist culture from below.

..

161 are part of a countrywide re-emergence of “red gyms.” One of the most prominent is women-led Solstar Sports Association, based at the Refugee and Workers Cultural Association, a Turkish and Kurdish socialist community centre in Tottenham, North London. Solstar run boxing, martial arts and self-defence classes for adults and kids. It is based on socialist principles and is always run by three experienced female trainers, presently Ella Gilbert, Paula Lamont and Anna Zucchelli: they argue one of the simplest ways to fight sexism is to have women in charge, especially in what are traditionally male-gendered roles.

Like all their politics, this is a subtle, rather than headbanging approach — and the gym is free of the trite and self-congratulatory sloganeering of liberal feminism: the gym is women-led but decidedly open to all. (Including liberal feminists?)

….

Last month I went to a new gym run by the Cambridge Socialist Club (CSC). The design and socialist aesthetics of the club banner (pictured) might even rival the rightly praised posters produced by Manchester Momentum. Not only is CSC grounded in socialist values, it promotes its links to the trade unions—and if you are a GMB member then you’ll get to train for free.

CSC is based at East Barnwell Community Centre and located well away from the world of Cambridge academics and assorted intellectual posers. Like Solstar, the participants come from a range of abilities and backgrounds—including people from Romanian, Lebanese, Portuguese, and Turkish families.

But Crossley then says,

GMB rep Gordy Cullum was the inspiration behind starting this new red gym in 2018. After seeing a return of far-right violence on the streets in London last year, he decided to take his gloves back off the hook and start a club for the local community. I sparred with Gordy as he trained for his upcoming fight, when CSC met up with 0161 and Solstar for an interclub boxing card in Manchester.

….

I  spoke with Gordy about the role of the St George’s Cross on the club banner—something 0161 have also used unashamedly. Isn’t a national flag and its tainted history something that makes leftists and liberals queasy?

Gordy’s response was that the England flag should not be confused with the Union Jack—the flag of British imperialism. What’s more, his take on the flag is that it does not represent the Queen and all the associated pomp and ceremony. Nor is this the England of the far right, no matter how hard they try to hijack the flag as the far right try to hijack national flags everywhere else.

Instead, the English flag points to something else that has an obvious popular appeal, and this includes a shared, ongoing and ever-changing history. Underlying his point is something important: if socialism is alien to everyday interests of local communities, who do take the English flag seriously, then how can socialism expect to win? Indeed, is it even socialism if a movement remains dominated by academia and middle-class intellectuals uninterested or even opposed to the English flag?

English identity is a ready-made collective identity that can help develop a movement for the many not the few. To succeed, this needs to be a wider cultural socialism that doesn’t just tolerate an English heritage but makes it clear that this is English heritage.

Whatever the merits of the red gyms it does not seem appropriate to tack on these claims about “English identity” to the word red.

If England has no link to the history of imperialism, then, what is this?

“This royal throne of kings, this scepter’d isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars … This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England”.

The “popular appeal” of the St George’s Flag includes its use by the far-right English Defence League, UKIP, and other National Populists.

Saying that any one of these groups “hijacks” the banner is to claim that its rightful owner is somebody else.

Really?

The flag of the St George Cross, is a royal symbol used because St George was considered a “warrior saint” .

A moment’s thought tells you that this, a counterpart to the failed ‘left populist’ attempt by La France insoumise to appropriate the Tricolore, is riddled with problems.

Some people are not too fond of Saints, national symbols, nor, for that matter, boxing.

Taking the “the English flag seriously” as part of a socialist project…….you’re having a laugh.

Unless of course this is a further sign of the pro-Brexit Morning Star’s further descent into the identitarian Blue Labour politics of  Familyfaith and flag.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 2, 2019 at 11:54 am