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Posts Tagged ‘People’s Assembly

Dominic Cummings Covid Scandal: Starmer Failing, Mass Mobilisations Needed for a ‘New Normal’, Says Morning Star.

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We’re all Normal and we Demand a New Normal to Beat Johnson ! says Morning Star.

Cummings’s bombshells won’t hurt the Tories until we have a real opposition

Morning Star Generously Offers Advice on Leading ‘Real Opposition’.

Despite the Cummings Revelations, the Daily Paper of the Left, independent of the electorally successful Communist Party of Britain and owned by the co-op, says,

The problem confronting the left is that these facts have not undermined the Tories’ political dominance.

Polls at the weekend showed Labour 18 points behind. Sir Keir Starmer did his best to embarrass Johnson with the Cummings testimony at today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, but Johnson brushed off the attack, jeering that Labour was obsessed with looking in “the rear-view mirror.” In a country relieved by vaccination progress and cherishing the renewed ability to meet family and friends, Johnson’s bluster may work.

The whole Cummings episode has echoes of incidents during the Donald Trump presidency; the US leader’s fallings out with former close allies like Steve Bannon and John Bolton prompted furious public retaliation aimed at shredding his credibility. But if Starmer is tempted to take comfort in this he should think again.

There is no evidence that such rows at the top affected Trump’s popularity. And the ex-president’s outrageous bid to deny the election result helped mask how narrow Joe Biden’s victory actually was. The US’s deep polarisation into pro- and anti-Trump camps is not mirrored here.

British politics was similarly polarised from 2016-19, but this is not true now, with the Tories enjoying a huge lead in England and opposition to them fragmented both politically and along national lines.

Will the public turn on the Tories because Cummings says they are a pack of lying incompetents? Many will simply shrug. Political lying has become so established since the Iraq war — ministers no longer even resign when forced to admit they have misled Parliament — that further examples are unlikely to shift voters from one party to another, though they continue to undermine confidence in the political system itself.

(Note helpful unifying reminder of Labour Lying….)

The only way to surmount this is to address that lack of confidence directly, by challenging the political system. Labour’s 2017 vote surge and the huge expansion of the party under Jeremy Corbyn showed the appetite for a “different kind of politics” was sizeable.

Which led to the electoral success we know,

What is the present day plan of the strategists of the Morning Star?

T”hat a mass campaign delivered by hundreds of thousands of activists could cut through political apathy and a word-of-mouth movement for change could engage workmates, neighbours and friends.

The left will not land a punch on the Tories unless it can embrace the politics of mass mobilisation again, starting with showing support for a real alternative through maximum turnout at the People’s Assembly demonstration for a new normal on June 26.”

Demand a New Normal!

Cummings’ revelations: Nemesis comes to Number 10 – CounterBlast

The Covid crisis has shown that it is possible to radically change society, quickly. A government that sneered at public spending has had to find billions to deal with the crisis. But now, it’s clear that they want to try to return ordinary working people to the old life of austerity and privatisation while they throw public money at their big business mates. In transport, we can see this happening all too clearly every day as the Tories gear up for a multi-faceted attack on our jobs and standard of living while handing massive bailout and guaranteed profits to the privateers. And to make sure they get away with this smash and grab raid, they are preparing new laws to restrict democracy and outlaw protest. We cannot let them get away with this.


Yes a catch-all demo will make all the difference to Johnson’s government.

Here is the Killer Punch!

From the actuality of the Revolution, the groupuscule Counterfire which run the People’s Assembly, we hear,

 Cummings has provided valuable ammunition for exposing the corruption and venality of the Tory Party that has inflicted so much unnecessary suffering on the UK population. The former chief advisor vividly describes Johnson as being like “a shopping trolley smashing from one side of the aisle to the other”. This is undoubtedly true but the same can be said for the entire ruling class that has allowed such a sociopathic personality to rise to power.

Demand a new normal at the People’s Assembly National Demonstration on 26 June

We are Normal and We Want our Freedom!

Written by Andrew Coates

May 27, 2021 at 11:50 am

Counterfire to Spearhead Fightback Against Labour’s Keir Starmer.

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Fighting “Starmer’s rightward shift” “in the workplaces, the communities and on the streets”.

Last week the Convenor of the Stop the War Coalition (StWC), Lindsey German, asserted,

…there is no road to success for the left inside Labour.

The battle is on: and the left can’t win in Labour – weekly briefing

She observes,

Perhaps the most important reason for the failure of Corbynism was that there was none of the ruthlessness towards the right that we now see being used against the left.

We are informed that

Many Labour lefts backed Starmer despite the fairly obvious writing on the wall. This was for a variety of reasons: the shock and demoralisation of defeat and the call for ‘electability’; the continuing Brexit debate (where the People’s Vote campaign did real damage to the Corbyn left); the promises of Starmer that he would unite the party; the continuing rows over antisemitism.

These look pretty convincing reasons to have backed Starmer.

Most socialist internationalists (unlike Counterfire) opposed Brexit and saw no reason to go along with the pro-Brexit supporters around Corbyn.

Is anti-semitism within Labour, a hysterical ‘anti-Zionism’ with plenty of complotism around it that shades and indeed is, full of prejudice, an imaginary problem?

Most people think it is neither manufactured nor dreamt up.

The issue remains open as to what role the left can find within the Labour Party

But those who intend to make a hobby of “fighting” in the party have lost before starting.

Few wish to listen to them and their loud-mouthed insults.

So perhaps German is right to say that,

the fight is going to be outside of Labour, and organising inside will be an extremely pale shadow of that, with very high likelihood of failure on every major front.

The future is to go back to the left strategies of the early years of the new millenium,

We desperately need a mass socialist party in Britain, but Labour is not going to be it. At present there is no such party on the horizon, however there are hundreds of thousands who would identify with it. There are also major struggles ahead as we face unemployment, pandemic and attacks on workers. The building of such a party will most likely come from working in those campaigns and perhaps with an organised split from Labour (although this is unlikely to contain MPs). It has to be centred on those struggles and not on electoralism.

German has learnt a lesson from the massive electoral failures of previous efforts to create a “mass socialist party” outside of Labour: its inability to do well through “electoralism” – the ballot box.

Her comrades have plenty of experience in this area, one thinks of  the prominent role Lindsey German and John Rees played in George Galloway’s Respect Party….

The piece ends, “whether you stay or go, the key thing is to fight.”

How many battalions do these people have?

Counterfire runs what remains of the People’s Assembly, and has an influential position within the Stop the War Coalition, now comments on the actuality of the Revolution.

It has now launched an appeal on the lines sketched by German.

Starmer takes Labour right: It’s time for an extra-parliamentary left

In a statement the groupuscule (around 100 members) states,

Counterfire energetically supported the Corbyn project while always pointing out the pitfalls and the limitations of a purely parliamentary strategy for change. It’s very important now that we are clear about the new situation. Starmer’s witch-hunting of the left, his positioning as a reasonable and loyal opponent of this calamitous government shows that the attempt to transform Labour has been defeated. But this doesn’t mean that the phase of popular opposition is over.

Pausing to note the Tories’ “arrogance and incompetence” and the Black Lives Matter protests, they state,

..the fight is on. But it’s not going to be fought in the Labour Party, it is going to take place in the workplaces, the communities and on the streets.

This leads them to assert,

We urge everyone who is sickened by Starmer’s rightward shift to get involved in this kind of mass politics – building workplace organisation, supporting the People’s Assembly, fighting every cutback and closure on the ground.

Counterfire urges the creation of  working class movement.

Counterfire has been at the heart of the resistance since we launched just ten years ago. Our online support is growing daily, our website is read by tens of thousands every week, but we need active, participatory socialist organisation everywhere to create the kind of working-class movement that can win.

Counterfire is now committed to organising  “a dynamic extra-parliamentary left in every part of the country.”

Extra-Parliamentary, that is, as an alternative to the Parliamentary Road to Socialism, the Labour Party.

Some might suggest that a major factor in this turn is that Lindsey German and John Rees – and their ex-(and present) Communist Party of Britain mates – no longer have the ear of a friendly Labour leader who put up with their enthusiasms, rages, and belief that politics is decided by street theatre.


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