Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘People’s Assembly

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

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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.

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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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StalinAssasin

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.

 

John Rees (Counterfire/People’s Assembly/Stop the War Coalition) Compares anti-Brexit March to “mild (as yet)” “mass fascist or populist right wing” movement.

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Clive Lewis and Lloyd Russell-Moyle “Angry Middle Class moblised for its own purposes by sections of the elite”.

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John Rees is a leader of the groupuscule, Counterfire, a split from the Socialist Workers Party. He is a national officer for the Stop the War Coalition (STWC) and a key figure in the People’s Assembly Against Austerity.

Counterfire has worked with many groups and individuals, as part of what they pretentiously call “united fronts”, including George Galloway of the Respect Coalition and Andrew Murray, now an adviser to the Labour Leader on Brexit.

Recently they have engaged with the Full Brexit, an alliance of the Family Faith and Flag Blue Labour, the Communist Party of Britain, writers for Spiked, left “magic money” Sovereigntists, and bee-in-bonnet anti European Union loud-mouths. Two of the groups involved, Labour Leave, and Trade Unionists Against the EU, have received money from hard-right millionaire, Arron Banks.

Feyzi Ismail from Counterfire spoke at their hundred strong Rally in London this Monday.

Rees, and Lindsey German, have close links with Jeremy Corbyn, including a long history of joint work in the StWC.

Rees claims to be inspired by revolutionary Marxism.

A revolutionary organisation remains the indispensable tool for overcoming the unevenness in working-class consciousness, maximising the effectively of working-class struggler recalling the lessons of past victories and defeats, and educating and leading workers in struggle. Formed from the working class by working-class people to help generalise and organise the struggle of the whole class it is itself a dialectical organism. Without the struggle to build such an organisation, the danger remains that the dialectic of capitalist development will remain blind or destructive; but if the struggle to build such and organisation is successful, we have a change – more, not less power – to make the leap from the realm of necessity to the realm of freedom.”

Page 302 The Algebra of Revolution. The Dialectics and the Classical Marxist Tradition. John Rees. Routledge 1998.

With these arms in hand Rees has seen fit to advise Labour on strategy.

In February this year he wrote,

Corbynistas! Up your game, or lose the game

….Jeremy Corbyn, who has historically held an anti-EU position only altered under pressure from the right wing in the first days of his leadership, and now aware that Labour would lose the next general election if Labour deserts the very large number of Leave voters, is embattled at the head of his party.

One way of improving Labour’s prospects would be to face down the remainers and second referendumers. All the placatory talk of Labour being a broad church which can accommodate diametrically opposed views is doing nothing to quell the determination on the part of the remain right-wingers to see the end of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

..

At a moment when the Parliamentary system is manifestly failing, when every dog in the street knows that the government is willing to sacrifice the interest of ordinary citizens on the altar of Tory party unity, why would any left-wing organisation simply play by the Parliamentary rules?

Mass activity can never be a ladder which activists climb and then kick away once leadership has been attained.

The Labour Party and the trade unions should have by now called a second demonstration to ram home to the political establishment the simple message that voters will not tolerate a government which flouts every day democratic norms to stay in power no matter how many votes it loses in the House of Commons.

Call the rallies now. Send left leaders of the movement out to address them. Call a mass national demonstration now. Call on every Labour movement organisation to build for it. Break the bounds of the Parliamentary deadlock and give ordinary people the chance to shift the political spectrum to the left, open up the path to a general election, and win a left Labour victory.

The People’s Assembly held such a march earlier this year on the 11th of January.

Barely noticed, a  few thousand strong, it ended in confusion and fisticuffs between far-right Yellow Jackets and the ‘real’ Yellow Jackets of the demonstration (Hundreds of protesters have joined a ‘yellow vest-inspired’ anti-austerity march through central London this afternoon. The demonstration is organised by The People’s Assembly Against Austerity, which is calling for a general election. Metro.)

Understandably Rees is pleased when the only mass activity in sight has been the campaign for the People’s Vote.

He could have followed Socialist Worker which today describes the call for a Second Referendum by last Saturday million strong march, an ” anti-democratic outrage”.

Rees goes further.

He begins with claims that the march was set up by the wealthy to further the aims of the “overwhelming majority of big capital”.

It is a “middle class movement” with a “vanishingly small” union presence (where it was before it began to vanish is not described).

It is a “variant” of a “mild (as yet)” mass fascist or populist right wing” groundswell.

In other words, confusionist words, the Counterfire leader claims that the gentle anti-Brexit protesters  are manipulated by big business, the “elite”, “grandees” the “high Establishment” into something, which the expert in Dialectical Algebra can see: the beginnings of a “mass fascist or populist movement”.

Rees lectures, in the stentorian tones of somebody who he has spent his entire life in universities, that one should have a “respectful and engaged tone” to some of the demonstrators.

Like calling them part of a proto-fascist movement….

Perhaps Labour MP Clive Lewis could answer the learned dialetician best.

This is a racist Brexit, not fit for the 21st century but for the 19th century. That’s what it represents – deregulation, low taxes, imperialism 2.0. Don’t quote me on that: quote the former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.

..

One of the other things you might know as well is this. There aren’t that many black MPs supporting Brexit. Do you know why? We’ve got a bit of a spider sense when it comes to shit like this. We can see that Brexit wasn’t going to end well for us, for black people, when it has targeted EU migrants. EU visitors here – welcome, welcome comrades. You are comrades, not a bargaining chip.

..

I’m not talking about “Remain and reform”. I’m talking about “Rebel and transform”, to turn Europe into a global entity that can tackle climate change and rebuild this world.

Speech at the Left Bloc Rally at the start of the 23 March People’s Vote anti-Brexit demonstration. The Clarion.

 

People’s Assembly Demo – up to 4 Thousand Strong – ends in Confusion over who are the ‘real’ Yellow Vests.

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Antonia Bright

Some marchers declined to wear the high-vis jackets in case the symbolism might be misinterpreted, however.

Antonia Bright, a campaigner with the anti-racism group Movement for Justice, said she wanted to “steer away from white populism”.

“I don’t need it to march for what I am standing for,” she said.

BBC

Socialist Worker reports,

The demonstration was much smaller than previous marches against the Tories—a sign that the focus on parliament has turned the focus away from the struggle needed to bring them down.

And there were very few trade union banners on the march.

Hundreds of anti-austerity yellow vest protesters have marched on London demanding a UK general election. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said austerity was “tearing apart the very social fabric” of the country. He said he expected Prime Minister Theresa May to lose on Tuesday when MPs vote on her Brexit deal.

Police officers tussled with pro-Brexit demonstrators to stop them getting into Trafalgar Square, where Mr McDonnell was speaking.

The I.

Police officers tussle with Pro-Brexit demonstrators near Trafalgar Square (Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

Jim Scott

 No photo description available.

 

Comment:

The demonstration was small because very few people on the British left and in the trade union movement are going to march for a General Election at a march organised by the groupuscule Counterfire, even if endorsed by labour figures and Moemntum.

Still fewer identity with the politically ambiguous gilets jaunes. *

Channel Four last night interviewed French gilets jaunes, in Calais, all of whom were hard right, either Le Pen voters or backed the sovereigntist racist Philippe de Villiers.

The events of the day amply proved the ambiguous nature of the Yellow Jackets.

The pro-Brexit organisers of the march, Counterfire, who run the People’s Assembly, are the last people to take a lead on this issue.

A General Election will not solve Brexit unless Labour takes a clear stand opposing it.

Or to put it another way, as Red Flag says,

4-5000 people on the People’s Assembly Demonstration in London which the organisers called under the slogan – ‘Britain is broken – for a general election now’. But this ducks the central question in British politics – how can Labour force let alone win an election when its policy on Brexit is indistinguishable from the Tories

* on this see this article Gilets jaunes (in English) Ni Patrie Ni Frontières,

In May 68 we shouted “CRS = SS !”
Today, the Yellow Vests shout : “The police with us!,” “CRS, be with us !”

Written by Andrew Coates

January 13, 2019 at 11:54 am

Yellow Vests UK Moblise for Hard Brexit.

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Far Right Fringe of French Gilets Jaunes Have British Imitators.

 British yellow vests announce second London protest

The British Yellow Vests have announced a ‘Day of Action’ in London on Saturday with a meeting point at Parliament Square, Westminster at 1pm.

The Facebook event page says “Bring your vest and join us!” The event isn’t party political and all are welcome. On Friday sixty protesters hit global headlines after bringing a mass rebellion to the capital.

Activist James Goddard, who is part of the movement and targeted Westminster Bridge, just yards away from the British Parliament told Politicalite: “This is just the start.”

“We wanna see people out on the streets challenging the political class.” “We’re gonna bring cities to a standstill, We all need to start doing this”

“There’s no funding, there’s no leader or political affiliation, this is real people taking action, without the help of people who are high up.”

Tracy Blackwell was also part of the protest, she told Politicalite: “It’s about time the British people stood up to the tyranny of what’s going on in our Establishment.”

She added: “We don’t want another Josh, Harry and George to happen to someone else, and it will it’s not a case of if, its a case of when.”

“We the people have had enough of being used as cannon fodder by the Elite in this country,” said Tracy.

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The far-right opposes “globalism”, which makes it hard to distinguish from ‘anti-globalisation’. Counterfire and their fronts, and many other Brexit Bolsheviks  mobilise against “undemocratic elites”, a pillar of the far-right language replacing class.  It looks increasingly unlikely that the pro-Brexit Counterfire stunt  (below) is going to escape being confused with the national populist right.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 19, 2018 at 5:16 pm

People’s Assembly (Counterfire) to Hold Gilets Jaunes Demo to Show “Will of the People”.

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Gilets Jaunes: Coming to London People’s Assembly March.

Counterfire has a new hobby horse.

During the General Election it was Stop the Tory Coup.

Counterfire joins calls to confront ‘Tory coup’ on the streets (May the 6th 2015)

Now, the action on the streets will be the Yellow Vests, Britain’s own Gilets Jaunes.

Inspired, we imagine,  by an interview on their site with Danièle Obono, a deputy of La France Insoumise, on their site, France: stay on the streets until Macron falls,

“The government could fall very soon.”

As the actuality of the revolution reaches these shores we are invited to take part in this march.

Forget your  criticisms about a People’s Brexit, we can all agree that Counterfire is right:

We say no matter which way you voted in the European referendum, if you care about ending austerity, if you care about homelessness, if you want to see rail and other privatised utilities taken back into public ownership, then a general election is the only way that this can be done. In short it is driving the Tories from power which is the key question for working people in Britain today.

Today the People’s Assembly have called a National Demonstration to show the will of the people.It’s time to get the Tories out.

Spearheading the Will of the People will be the “extra parliamentary” Gilets Jaunes – the Yellow Vests Against Austerity – will be out in force..

See Facebook event here – Please share far and wide

We need an all out extra parliamentary, anti austerity demonstration to push the tories over the edge and force a change of government….

Assemble 12 noon: BBC Portland Place, London. Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

Don’t forget your #YellowVest

#YellowVestsAgainstAusterity

It is not clear if the demo will demand cheaper petrol and lower taxes, or whether these people will be invited;

 

From mondialisme.org

Written by Andrew Coates

December 14, 2018 at 1:08 pm

“Confusion in politics internationally is great.” Lindsey German, Counterfire.

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“Great disorder under the Heavens and the situation is excellent.”

The Convener of the Stop the War Coalition and leading member of the groupusucle Counterfire, writes a Weekly Briefing.

It always  brings a kind smile weary activist’s’ lips.

Today her latest has a click-bait title:  The Brexit blizzard is there to blind us; it’s time to take out the Tories and that means a general election, argues Lindsey German

She begins by talking about the  ‘Britain is Broken, We can’t afford the Tories’ campaign which the People’s Assembly (largely Counterfire’s enterprises these days) organised.

After this stirring moment the she shifts to an emollient  mood.

The partner of John, ‘actuality of the revolution’ Rees, brought back some happy memories to this reader,

When I first became politically active nearly 50 years ago, there was a sense of working class power in Britain.”

Followed by a swift turn back to the stony realism for which those who who only during the last election were calling for mass action in the streets against the threat of a Tory “coup” can bring to a debate.

Today, while the majority of people still see themselves as working class, there is not that sense of working class power.

Being a kindly gent myself I can only agree with this comment,

The danger is the combination of Labour adopting a second referendum position, while at the same time doing far too little to support and spread the resistance to Tory austerity policies. That would be an unpopular retreat on the one hand, but also a failure to mobilise working class organisation over issues affecting everyone’s lives. In places like Doncaster or Sunderland, where Labour councils are implementing the austerity policies, that could be a very serious failure indeed.

There is much to learn about “neo-liberals” assembled at the G20 summit. One can only applaud that German keeps us on our toes with this bold  analysis:

It is hard for anyone to see anything but further crises and conflict coming out of the summit.

After, wisely, avoiding details about the Gilets Jaunes the august leader observes,

The confusion in politics internationally is great – there is bitter resentment of governments but no clear path forward. It’s a big task for the left, but one we have to take on.

How true, how very true.

German claims that,

We can make a start by demonstrating against the fascist Tommy Robinson next Sunday 9 December who is using the Brexit issue to spread his hate. I’m very glad that this looks like being one united demo now – well done to those making that happen.

In a spirit of unity I hope to present her with this seasonal gift:

 

Related image

 

Written by Andrew Coates

December 3, 2018 at 5:18 pm