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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Embery

Factionalism in the Time of Coronavirus Part 3: the Red-Brown Front ‘The Full Brexit’.

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Exclusive: Video: The Full Brexit in conversation - the British ...


Exclusive:Video: The Full Brexit in conversation -available from the Morning Star.

The Full Brexit is a group that brings together Blue Labour, ‘anti-rootless cosmopolitan’ campaigners like Trade Unionists Against the EU’s leader Paul Embery, the Communist Party of Britain, traditional Labour Party anti-EU types, left sovereigntists, New Left Review star Wolfgang Streeck, supporters and candidates for the extreme-right Brexit Party, largely drawn from the ‘Spiked Network’ (see Bob’s Going full Brexit: from Red Front to red-brown front, )’funny money’ theorists (‘new monetary theory’)such as Patricia Pino,  and assorted odd-balls, like Green Party member Larry O’Nutter, better known under his pen-name of Larry O’Hara, and even a stray (?) member of the Conservative Party,

At the end of March they launched this new initiative.

COVID-19: We’re Not In Control.

The declaration begins with this:

Seven weeks ago, Britain formally withdrew from the European Union (EU), belatedly enacting the decision of the referendum of 2016. The referendum was famously won by the Leave campaign on the slogan “Take Back Control”. This slogan resonated effectively with voters because it pointed beyond the injunction merely to restore the national sovereignty lost to the EU (see Analysis #2 – Popular Sovereignty and “Taking Back Control”: What it Means and Why it Matters). It captured widespread feelings of political alienation from the state, disenchantment with a remote technocratic elite, and widespread regional immiseration – sentiments that could effectively and meaningfully be bundled up with the injunction to restore sovereignty. For all the calumny heaped on Leave voters as atavistic and spiteful nationalists, in truth the vote to leave expressed a powerful and ultimately rational democratic instinct – that the people should rule.

The leading Full Brexit intellectuals  then rant,

the new Tory police state declared overnight is strikingly uneven: freedom of assembly has been banned, but some movement is encouraged in the form of daily state-sanctioned exercise.

What we have is a post-modern police state whose biopolitical justification is the health of the population, not the political life of the nation. It is a performance of state power and authority, not its reality. Police forces in the north that did nothing to defend working class girls from paedophile gangnow use drones to enforce social distancing on citizens walking through empty countryside.

The conclusions of this distasteful stream-of-consciousness by ‘academics’Dr Philip Cunliffe Senior Lecturer in International Conflict at the University of Kent. Dr George Hoare a London-based researcher and author. Dr Lee Jones  Reader in International Politics at Queen Mary University of London. Prof Peter Ramsay Professor of Law at the London School of Economics.  are,

The people have to find a way to take control. In addition to the Brexit vote itself, the social basis for taking greater control is perhaps beginning to emerge: the 600,000-strong volunteer army for the NHS indicates a greater willingness to collaborate in the pursuit of social goods and collective ends, and a greater willingness to involve ourselves in the public good. In stepping up, citizens embarrass those who claim to lead us.

The follow up to the rhetoric, complete with sub-Foucault and Felix Guattari stuff about the “bio-political”  has been meagre.

This pseudo-academic waffle, which rivals Dominic Cummings on an off-day, is one result,

Tara McCormack and Lee Jones

The COVID-19 pandemic is not simply a public health crisis. Perhaps more importantly, it is a crisis of a whole way of governing society. The shift to regulatory statehood and transnational governance has hollowed out the practical capacities needed to respond meaningfully to genuine threats to public welfare. From being a Hobbesian Leviathan to whom citizens defer in exchange for protection, the state has become an enfeebled coordinator of multi-sectoral partnerships, desperately trying to protect itself from the public: “stay home – protect the NHS – save lives”.

Western governments’ faltering responses to the pandemic re-poses a question already raised by Brexit: can we re-learn the art of government, as opposed to governance? For those still mired in the regulatory regionalism of the European Union, the outlook seems dismal.

It looks as if a whole group of ageing left national populists, who, in the distant past, read Foucault on ‘governance’ and never got over it.

Admirer of Poland’s Law and Justice Party (Why Poland’s Law and Justice Party appeals) Paul Embery, Full Brexit pillar,  Arron Bank’s- financial – friend,  tweets a perkier messages reflecting his present-day hobby-horses.

Their Full Brexit’s mates in Spiked are going their own merry way:

And it’s back to attacks on “cosmopolitanism”

Meanwhile stalwart Eddie Dempsey (Transforming Britain After Brexit: Eddie Dempsey and the Divided Left. The Full Brexit) appears to have disappeared, at least from Twitter.

The Full Brexit, having helped to poison political debate, encourage national populism, and help the Tories to victory, has, in short, little new to say.

This, from loudmouth ‘Heartfield’ (born, James Hughes),  former Revolutionary Communist Party cadre, Full Brexiter, and would-be candidate for the Brexit Party (he bottled out) is still dripping venom into the public space.


After Morning Star Apology for “cartoon which was offensive to trans people” controversy continues.

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Image result for morning star trans cartoon


There have been further strong reactions to this cartoon, followed by a belated retraction.

Last Sunday the Morning Star issued a statement.

An apology for the cartoon published last Tuesday

The Morning Star apologises unreservedly for the publication last Tuesday of a cartoon which was offensive to trans people.

The cartoon had not been authorised for publication and its appearance in the print edition represents a failure to follow our own procedures for approving submissions. It was removed from online editions of the paper the same day, as soon as it was seen by the editor.

A notice was sent round staff on Tuesday reminding them of the process by which cartoon submissions must be approved before publication and we are determined that such a lapse in standards will not recur.

Again, we apologise for the offence caused by this cartoon, especially to our trans contributors and readers whom we have let down.

The Metro picked up the story:

Newspaper apologises after transphobic cartoon sparks outrage.  Lucy Middleton

A newspaper has been forced to apologise after printing a transphobic cartoon this week. The picture, published in socialist paper The Morning Star on Tuesday, shows a crocodile slithering into a small pond containing newts. In speech bubbles, the newts can be seen saying, ‘But you can’t come in here! This is our safe space!’ The crocodile then replies: ‘Don’t worry your pretty little heads! I’m transitioning as a newt!’

Critics of the cartoon, drawn by Stella Perrett, accused it of perpetuating false stereotypes about trans people being predatory and dangerous to others in society. One person on Twitter wrote: ‘Could barely believe my eyes seeing this dehumanising, fascist imagery in a socialist paper.

Mumsnet became involved in the controversy,

This statement is interesting:

Kristina Harrison (prominent gender. critical transwoman, WPUK supporter) just posted this on Twitter – apparently it was published in the Morning Star.

KH wrote “This cartoon appeared in The Morning Star earlier this week @M_Star_Online It is a horrific, generalised demonisation of trans people which does not belong in a civilised society, let alone a socialist newspaper. I condemn it utterly. Trans people & progressive opponents of identity politics are owed an unequivocal apology, an explanation & reassurance about what action is being taken to ensure that the line between fierce but legitimate argument and bigotry is never crossed again. Totally unacceptable. (not posting a direct link as I don’t want to facilitate any pile on against Kristina, clearly this is a sensitive personal issue for a transwoman).

Comments are supportive of KH so far. I thought it’d be a good topic for discussion here – does this ‘demonise trans people’ or does it baldly illustrate safeguarding concerns with self-ID? Is it different from the popular/accepted(?) ‘Fox identifying into the henhouse’ analogy? Hopefully we can keep things civil and respectful with no personal criticisms of Kristina.

The issue for many  has not been about the freedom to offend, but the why a self-identifying left daily chose to publish this material.

The Morning Star is no defender of the absolute right to say what you want about anybody.

This is what one of their columnists  said about the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper-Casher murders in 2015,

Muslims held to a double standard

….some faux-left journalists who gave enthusiastic backing to the Blair-Bush wars and are now equally gung-ho about giving the widest possible circulation of material intended to enrage Muslims.

B52 liberal Nick Cohen accuses of cowardice those choosing not to carry anti-Muslim cartoons and alleges that radical Islam is winning successive battles, including effective introduction of a blasphemy law by means of self-censorship.


Why should running images of Mohammed be seen as the acid test of commitment to press freedom?

Powerful people’s wealth has prevented more stories from being published than pressure from any religious quarter.

Charles Windsor’s recent success in the pulling of a TV programme examining his finances exposes the reality behind claims of unlimited media freedom.

Would our freedom of expression be enhanced by publication of cartoons depicting Jesus being buggered by the Holy Ghost or a naked Muslim woman with a piece of blue cloth protruding from her anus and the comment that burkhas can be worn but only on the inside?

The only thing worse than publishing such puerile work would be reacting repressively by banning it.


Why would any left-wing journalist or cartoonist jeopardise that essential by insulting fellow workers simply because they can?


Women’s Place UK  criticised the cartoon on reasonable grounds:

The crocodile cartoon that appeared in the Morning Star this week works against the respectful debate and discussion to which WPUK is committed – it was misjudged and offensive and it is right that the Morning Star has apologised.

WPUK has been calling for respectful discussion since our inception and it is to their credit that the Morning Star has hosted many articles from different viewpoints on the subject which have enabled this discussion to take place. These articles have brought a clarity to such discussions.

We are grateful to those trans people who have worked with us, spoken at our meetings and supported the sex based rights of women and girls. Their solidarity has meant so much to so many and we stand beside them now.

We have been the subject of much offensive imagery and we have always condemned it. We are happy to do so now.

Let’s move forward progressively and in solidarity.

23rd February 2020

UNISON has responded:

Left-wing newspaper that published ‘vile transphobic cartoon’ slammed by UK’s largest trade union

Pink News.

The Morning Star was condemned this week for printing a “dehumanising, fascist, transphobic” cartoon – and now, Britain’s largest trade union has said that the newspaper has sunk to “a new low”.

UNISON, which represents staff who provide public services, said the “shocking, vile, transphobic cartoon” saw “the paper sink to a new low”.

“When I saw the image shared on social media over the weekend, I assumed it had been published in the Daily Mail, not for one moment did I think the dreadful drawing had appeared in the Morning Star,” wrote Liz Snape, UNISON’s assistant general secretary, in an open letter to the newspaper’s editor, Ben Chacko.

Snape added: “Images like this peddle the dangerous myth that trans people are a threat, when they’re the ones whose safety is most at risk. The irresponsible publishing of such appalling images does nothing to make them feel more secure.

“By publishing this hurtful cartoon, the publication so many trade unionists support and hold dear risks appearing no better than the right-wing media they despise.”

Solidarity has published this analysis:

The Morning Star (linked to the Communist Party of Britain) has been forced to apologise for printing a transphobic cartoon by Stella Perrett, published in the print edition of Tuesday 18 February.

The cartoon depicting a slavering, slithering crocodile ogling terrified and defenceless newts and invading their “safe space” with the excuse that the crocodile is “transitioning to a newt”. The cartoon is grossly offensive, showing trans people as predatory and deceitful and cis women as weak and in need of protection.

As the cartoon circulated online, trade union LGBT+ groups began to organise against the Star, calling for withdrawal of union funds. A petition was set up by PCS Rainbow Collective which attracted hundreds of signatures in a few hours. The Morning Star was called out on Twitter.

The cartoon was removed from the online version of the paper with an apology claiming it “had not been authorised for publication and its appearance in the print edition represents a failure to follow… procedures for approving submissions.” The apology doesn’t explain how the cartoon was commissioned and printed without the editor noticing. The apology also skirts around the fact that the cartoon was not an aberration, but a logical conclusion of a longstanding pattern of the Morning Star publishing transphobic articles. The moral panic around “protecting women’s spaces” from trans women stems from seeing trans women as innately dangerous and threatening to cis women.


The cartoon has shone a light on the official labour movement’s extensive funding and support for the Morning Star. According to the Star, Community, CWU, FBU, GMB, NUM, POA, RMT, and Unite are represented on its management committee.

It has yet to be seen if the apology is enough to dampen the calls for unions to distance themselves from the paper. I certainly hope not. The Morning Star should be made to account for its scapegoating of an oppressed minority, dividing workers against each other and propagating the myth that our rights run counter to each other.

Though our unions fund the paper, most of us do not regularly read it and would be shocked by the lies that flow readily from its pages. As well as transphobic cartoons, activists in Boycott the Morning Star have unearthed cartoons by Stella Perrett containing antisemitic caricatures which were published in 2016.

The paper repeats Chinese state lies to cover the persecution of the Uyghur people, one of the Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region. It celebrated the “liberation” of Aleppo by Assad. It repeated right wing lies about migrants driving down wages.

Reactionary, conservative politics dressed up as left-wing are the bread and butter of the Morning Star. It is about time our unions stopped paying for it.

While this furore continues the following event in planned.

The presence of  anti-rootless cosmopolitan campaigner and stalwart of the Arron banks backed ‘Trade Unionists’ Against the EU (supported by the Morning Star and the Socialist Party)   Paul Embery is causing concern.

This is a recent Embery tweet:



Written by Andrew Coates

February 27, 2020 at 2:10 pm

Pro-Brexit ‘left’: Paul Embery, Trade Unionists Against the EU, Backs Polish National Populist Law and Justice Party.

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Paul Embery, Trade Unionists Against the EU.

Embery is not only a FBU member, the leader of the above campaign, he is a” Member of the Labour Party since 1994, and active within the Blue Labour tendency.”

Why Poland’s Law and Justice Party appeals


Commonly – though somewhat lazily – characterised as ‘Right-wing’, PiS, after coming to office in 2015, set about redressing economic inequality. It boosted the minimum wage, lowered the retirement age and increased the state pension. It also made heavy investment in a variety of social and welfare programmes, helping to free thousands from poverty. That Poland currently enjoys an economic growth rate superior to many of its European neighbours should command attention.

PiS also promotes the type of cultural traditionalism – with much emphasis on family values – that is in keeping with the country’s Catholic heritage and appeals to much of small-town and rural Poland. It is certainly far from perfect: its opponents have accused it of authoritarianism, and it is seen as hostile to the LGBT community.

But its wide support and retention of power should be seen as instructive.

Some of us have been arguing for a long time that a similar sweet spot exists in British politics, where an enthusiasm for economic radicalism fuses with a desire for cultural security. 

Millions of voters here would see themselves as falling into this category, but feel unrepresented by any of the mainstream parties. It was the anger and alienation of these millions that gave us the Brexit vote, and has been instrumental in the ongoing polarisation of our politics and breaking down of normal tribal loyalties.

These voters, often (though not exclusively) residing in the poorer parts of the UK – such as the post-industrial towns across the north and Midlands – would find great appeal in a party that was, on the one hand, committed to delivering an economy built around redistribution, intervention and investment, while, on the other, placing a high value on place, family and nation. The politics of economic fairness mixed with the politics of belonging.

The Polish Law and Justice Partym  Prawo i Sprawiedliwoś (PiS) is called right wing and far right.

This is one of the reasons:

Critics accused the PiS of fomenting homophobia during the election campaign, with party officials calling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights an invasive foreign influence that threatens Poland’s national identity.

“They are trying to impose a narrative that we are in a culture and civilisation war,” Scheuring-Wielgus said, adding the bill is aimed at intimidating and silencing educators and activists.

Al Jazeera.

This is another,

The re-election of the conservative-nationalist group, founded and led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has heightened fears among the journalists and academics that freedom of the press will be further restricted in the party’s pursuit of a proposed “new media order”. 

PiS announced in its 232-page election manifesto that it wanted to regulate the status of journalists, promising a “new media order”.

And another,

Poland’s democracy is not a priority for many of its voters

Derek Scally Irish Times.

A week ago, the “wrong kind of Pole” won the Nobel Prize in Literature. This is the friend-foe language of Poland’s Law and Justice (Pis) party, winner of a second term in Sunday’s general election.

For her admirers, Olga Tokarczuk is a writer who brings dignity – and, now, international attention – to the lives of ordinary Poles. In PiS doctrine, Poland’s sixth Nobel literature laureate is a targowiczanin, a traitor, that the country would be better without. Why? Because in her writing and activism she questions the populist ruling party’s claim to be supreme arbiter of the Polish soul.

Because she, and other “traitors” like her, challenge the PiS campaign for absolute control of public institutions and debate. Because they warn against reshaping the Polish history as a patriotic pick and mix that ignores, obfuscates or contests everything that does not serve a Polish victim narrative – from Nazi collaboration to Polish anti-Jewish pogroms. (In the muddied waters of PiS Poland, a critic cannot be a patriot.)

Days before Tokarczuk was awarded the highest prize in the literary world, the PiS culture minister said he had never finished any of her books because they were too difficult. That was a mild criticism by PiS standards of the writer who, in the election campaign, warned of the social cost of a united church-state alliance against the LGBT community.

Embery’s right wing cultural politics and caring for our own folk economics has got the backing of the former Henry Jackson Society chief, Marko Attila Hoare.

Embery campaigned for Leave during the 2016 referendum.

His group, Trade Unionists Against the EU appeared on platforms organised by the Socialist Party front, TUSC.

In Ipswich a speaker ranted and raved about their internationalism. As evidence he bellowed about a Paris Meeting – which turned out to have been run by the dodgy French nationalist Trotskyists of the  Parti ouvrier indépendant démocratique (POID). They published this: International anti-EU rally report.

POID published a real account, emphasising the role of their own party in holding the rally and the speech of their chauvinist  General Secretary (at the time) Gérard Schivardi  ( 123 540 votes, 0,34 % in the 2007 French Presidential elections): Le grand meeting de la Porte Charenton du 26 septembre (La Tribune des travailleurs).


Embery spoke at this event in Cardiff:

Paul Embery speaks at the TUSC meeting in Cardiff photo Ross Saunders

“We built a united front of speakers from genuine workers’ organisations, willing to come together to fight the EU ‘Employers’ Union’. This included Owen Herbert, regional secretary of transport union RMT; London regional secretary of firefighters’ union FBU, Paul Embery, from Trade Unionists Against the EU; and Hannah Sell, deputy general secretary of the Socialist Party.” TUSC anti-EU tour touches down in Wales

Trade Unionists Against the EU received money from Arron Banks.

Donations were also made, between March and June 2016, to WAG TV Limited (who made an anti-EU film), Ukip (led at the time by Farage), Veterans for Britain… and Trade Unionists Against the EU (TUAEU). Hang on a minute! Trade Unionists Against the EU! Isn’t that a supposedly “left wing” organisation, regularly promoted in the pages of the Morning Star? And it received funding from Arron Banks? Yes, dear reader, I have to tell you that it did: £54,000 according to the Electoral Commission.

Jim Denham

More on this: Lexit and Brexit collaboration-what did the Morning Star know? John Rogan

There was this (April 2019)

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

Paul Embery refused to apologise despite criticism over an ‘antisemitic’ comment about Brexit referring to ‘rootless cosmopolitans’

Embery’s antics meant he got into a spot of bother with this FBU.

He received the support of the Red-Brown National Populist site Spiked,

The scandal of Paul Embery’s sacking

He was dumped by the Fire Brigades Union for speaking at a pro-Brexit rally.

Now Embery is onto higher things….

The politics of national populism, a new leash of life for “solidarisme”,  in the sense of solidarity between people from the same society, the  ‘somewhere’ people, social Catholicism, nationalist economics, intolerant towards cultural diversity and critics of good order, is now on Blue Labour’s agenda.

Perhaps they will invite somebody from these traditions to speak at a future Full Brexit event er, possibly somebody like Marine Le Pen, who also combines a conservative social agenda, hostility to  globalisation (‘Globalism’), support for social protection, and a staunch defence of the Somewhere people.

ewhere people.His new best friend elaborates on the future strategy.