Tendance Coatesy

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Posts Tagged ‘People’s Assembly

Labour Remainers “Main reason for Labour’s Low Standing in Polls” – Counterfire Says Time to “take on” Johnson in Election.

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Old Slogan, New Times?

The dawn of Christmas Day found London laid out in a shroud of snow. Like a body wasted by diseases that had triumphed over it at last, London lay stark and still now, beneath a sky that was as the closed leaden shell of a coffin. It was what is called an old-fashioned Christmas.


Self-identifying Revolutionary Socialist Lindsey German is a leading figure from Counterfire. This split from the Socialist Workers Party was clsoely involved in George Galloway’s Respect Party. At present it  runs what’s left of the Stop the War Coalition (StWC) and the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. At present the groupuscule is  believed to cooperate extensively with the Morning Star, the daily organ of the Communist Party of Britain (CPB).

Every week she present the Alternative View (now re-titled Weekly Briefing) giving advice to the Labour Party and its leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

In the past this often included her organisation’s enthusiasm for a People’s Brexit.

The why and what of a People’s Brexit (Feburary 2018)

Labour should stick with its People’s Brexit strategy argues John Rees, but it has to make it much clearer what this means in practice

More recently Counterfire has been prominent in organising calls for a General Election.

This accelerated during the protests against Boris Johnson’s ‘proroguing’ coup.

Older readers may recall that they held a rally at the beginning of Sepmtber. It was starred by the presence of Tarqi Ali and Eddie Dempsy, and attended by dozens if not a couple of thousand. Many of those there carried EU flags,  Remain, Another Europe Is Possible and Socialist Worker/Stand up to Racism placards, but a careful spotter will have notice a few People’s Assembly posters.

German’s old comrades in Socialist Worker drew this conclusion from the events in parliament itself,

Defeat for Johnson should clear way to a general election Sadie Robinson and Charlie Kimber.

To their delight a  lot of people on the Rally platform agreed with Socialist Worker.

Many speakers on the platform took care to say that, whether people voted Leave or Remain in the referendum, we should unite against the Tories.

Writer Tariq Ali said, “People who voted to leave are not all racists. Many of them did it for good reasons to give the establishment a kick in the bum. They were fed up of neoliberalism.”

He said he was for a general election “the sooner the better”

Now, with the prospect of a Christmas season election coming into view those backing an immediate General Election are still there.

With Tariq Ali’s  moral authority ringing in her mind German writes today,

‘Delays have dangerous ends’ – weekly briefing

Jonson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill has passed its second reading, but he lost the timetable on the bill so will now face lots of scrutiny. Labour wants to prevent it going through. It is right to do so – recent Financial Times revelations showed the intention is to weaken workers’ rights following the deal. The obvious way of doing so would be to demand an election immediately – before Johnson’s 12th December date, which gives him more time to progress the deal.

Unlike the CPB/Morning Star German does not, critically or otherwise, support the present Withdrawal Bill.

With the help perhaps of the Financial Times that is.

Yet she still calls for an election on Johnson’s terms.

As Shakespeare says, ‘delays have dangerous ends’. The refusal by Labour to seize the opportunity of an election will cost it dear, especially since the Lib Dems are now tabling an amendment to the Fixed Term Parliaments Act to have an election on December 9th, backed by the SNP. Labour, I would have thought, will have no choice but to back this – even if it doesn’t, the bill would pass on a simple majority, so starting an election campaign with Labour as the only party voting against it. To be trumped on democracy issues by the Tories and their junior partners is not a good look.

The problem for the Parliamentary Labour Party is that it doesn’t want to lose an election – with the possibility of MPs losing their seats – but it even less wants to win with Corbyn as leader. So delay is the tactic, hoping against hope for a second referendum, trying to repeatedly extend the deadlines from the EU, and probably launching another major attack on Corbyn’s leadership in the new year.

In other words, the Parliamentary Labour Party both wants to win, and to lose…

Worse, they want to stop Brexit!

Who is blame for the prospect of a poor polling?

The backer of a People’s Brexit is in no doubt.

The continuity Remain policy which was forced on Corbyn earlier this year is the main reason for Labour’s low standing in the polls. We were told months ago that Labour had to fully embrace a Remain position in order to win back those who abandoned them in the Euro elections. Labour has agreed to a second referendum with a Remain option on the ballot paper. Luckily delegates at last month’s conference had more sense than to go even further down the Keir Starmer road. That’s more than can be said for those members of the shadow cabinet who posed on the stage at the People’s Vote march.

And the result? Labour continues to lag in the polls, with three published at the weekend showing the Tories at least 10 points ahead of Labour. The policy certainly isn’t working vote wise.

McDonnell, Starmer and Abbott hang your heads in shame!

Rectifying the general line is still possible!

Instead of acknowledging this and trying to find ways to rectify it, Labour is compounding this mistake with one which may turn out to be even greater – running scared of a general election. And of course the two questions are linked.

German continues her attack on Labour by suggesting that the Remain camp, not the Labour MP’s who actually voted for Johnson’s withdrawal deal, are out of order.

Labour’s abandonment of those who voted Leave in 2016 has been led by those for whom membership of the EU is much more important than any of the class issues that face actual and potential Labour voters. They are happy to join in a cross-class alliance with Remain Tories, yellow Tory Lib Dems and Blairites who have left Labour. They remain horrified of a Corbyn government and would be much happier in a national government of the sort they have been touting for months.

She concludes,

 we have to be confident that if Labour builds on and strengthens its 2017 manifesto, if it mobilises its 500,000 members and a much wider number of supporters in a confident and radical way, then it can shift the votes in its direction. If it gets accused of denying the people a vote – which is what Johnson is saying – it will look shifty and scared, and deservedly so in many cases.

Alas, the plea to Labour Remainers appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

This Blog, like many in the Labour Party, remains intensely sceptical about backing a December election, set on Johnson’s terms.

It is not just a No Deal Brexit we are against, but Brexit full stop.

Other reasons are too obvious to list.

But, good news for internationalists:

Cheer up ! From the Morning Star bunker we hear today,

The City of London is a key nexus of imperialism’s nervous system, which is why the prospect of a Stop the War Coalition-supporting premier in Britain with a personal connection to Latin America’s anti-imperialist leaders is the cause of so much alarm in ruling class circles.


Written by Andrew Coates

October 28, 2019 at 12:25 pm

The last of the People’s Brexit Brigade, Counterfire, attacks John McDonnell and Left Internationalists.

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Image result for john rees and galloway

Still Crazy for a People’s Brexit: John Rees and Lindsey German with friend.

Don’t overestimate Boris Johnson…

John Rees, today, on the site of the groupuscule Counterfire, which runs the People’s Assembly (which held an ‘anti-coup’ rally a couple of days ago – who distinctive sectarian message was drowned out by the internationalist anti-Brexit clamour) and the Stop the War Coalition.

Rees is now keen to stress his own faction’s distinctive politics.

Some, like John McDonnell, seem to have become such fervent converts to the EU that they think that Brexit is more important than getting rid of the Tories. This is a mistake.

This is indeed a problem, and one of the Labour leadership’s own making. If they had not tied themselves so completely to the Remain bandwagon they could have appealed to Leave voters more convincingly and undercut Johnson, especially in the wake of the crisis over proroguing parliament in which the prime minister’s Machiavellian plan ended in shredding his credentials as a democrat.

But when the shift to an unequivocal Remain policy took place a while back we were told that it would unlock a huge reservoir of support for Labour. If the polls are to be believed that simply hasn’t happened.

On Brexit Labour should stress that it will negotiate a People’s Brexit, its unwisely abandoned original policy, and put that forward as a realistic alternative to Remain. That would cut the ground from under Johnson’s appeal to working-class Leave voters.

Unkind people may suggest that the conclusion to this puffery just about sums up the politics of Rees and his mates in Counterfire.

The Bullingdon Boys have got by all their lives on bluff and bluster.

Like their mate, this posturing puffer:


Looks like Tariq has more than a soft spot in his head for the Leavers…

As a person of peace I would not endorse this language, but in view of their participation in ‘anti-coup’ rallies, some are now calling the likes of Rees and Ali, the Brexiteers’ fifth column.

No, they are the left-behinds, l’angleterre

As a person of peace I would not endorse this language, but some are now calling the likes of Rees and Ali, who spoke at the ‘anti-coup’ Rally, the Brexiteers’ fifth column.
No, they are the left-behinds, l’angleterre périphérique.

People’s Assembly (Counterfire) “Stop Boris” Rally in Chaos: Ash Sarkar and Owen Jones Refuse to Share Platform with Eddie Dempsey – the Red-Brown Front Bites Back.

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Full Brexit supporter Eddie Dempsey to Speak at People’s Assembly Stop Boris Johnson Rally next week.

“The one thing that unites [the people who turn out for Tommy Robinson]…. is their hatred of the liberal left. And they are right to hate them.”

Eddie Dempsey, 26th of March and Star Speaker at People’s Assembly rally on Tuesday.

More here: Pro-Brexit Morning Star Wades into the “Eddie Dempsey Affair” and Mounts Campaign Against Anti-Brexit Labour MP Clive Lewis. (Tendance Coatesy)

This information circulated widely in the last day (the stats on this Blog echo).

This happened:

The National Populist site, Spiked, bit back.

Counterfire obviously think Dempsey is an ideal figure to bring together supporters of their CareBears version of Brexit supporters with Hard Brexit backers:

Luxury Communist Bastani Is automated to  think so:

This prompts a helpful suggestion:


Spiked, whose network (ex-Revolutionary Communist Party)  are key founders of the Red-Brown Front the Full Brexit, which includes Brexit Party candidates like  James Heartfield, (now proposing to stand for Farage, against Corbyn in Islington North) Communist Party of Britain members, Counterfire supporters, Blue Labour, and all kinds of rag-tails and bob-tails. has leapt to defend Dempsey. *

Not only is Dempsey a national comrade but,

So there we have it. Bourgeois ‘leftists’ have No Platformed a working-class trade unionist. All because he supports Brexit. There could be no better example of how detached these people are from real radical politics and working-class interests.

No Platformed a pro-Brexit trade unionist

The fight against the Red-Brown Front continues.

Pour en finir avec Eddie !


One LM initiative in the post-Referendum period was “The Full Brexit”, an avowedly left-wing pressure group launched in the summer of 2018 to reframe the Brexit narrative as one about “democracy” rather than just bashing immigrants. Alongside a smattering of Blue Labour social conservatives and Lexit Marxists, a good half of its 20 founding signatories are RCP network members. Academic Chris Bickerton has been a Spiked contributor since 2005, when he was a PhD student at St John’s College, Oxford. Philip Cunliffe, Furedi’s colleague at the University of Kent, is another long term Spiked activist. Pauline Hadaway, another academic, is a veteran of the Living Marxism days. James Heartfield was a paid RCP organiser. Lee Jones seems to have been recruited at Oxford around the same time as Bickerton. Tara McCormack is an RCP veteran, as is Suke WoltonBruno Waterfield write for Living Marxism. Other signatories aren’t part of the network but have been promoted by Spiked: Paul Embery and Thomas Fazi for example (Fazi is also connected to the 5 Star Movement and recently retweeted an antisemitic tweet from someone with “Nazbol” in his user name). Many are also involved in Briefings for Brexit, which has several RCP veterans on its advisory committee, and some are involved with Civitas. This is a peculiar form of left-right crossover politics.