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Alain Soral, Red Brown National Populist, sentenced to one year in prison for Holocaust denial.

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Alain Soral sentenced to one year in prison for Holocaust denial

le Monde.

The prosecution had required six months of imprisonment against the far right essayist, and 15,000 euros fine against his lawyer, Damien Viguier.

The right-wing essayist Alain Soral was sentenced on Monday, April 15, to one year in prison  for Holocaust denial.

Mr. Soral, 60, was tried in Paris for challenging the existence of the Holocaust and published on his website contentious conclusions of his lawyer in another case. His counsel, Damien Viguier, was sentenced to 5,000 euros fine for complicity, because of the content of these conclusions.

The prosecution had demanded six months in prison against Mr. Soral, and 15,000 euros fine against Damien Viguier.

..

In 2016, the site of Alain Soral, Equality and Reconciliation, had published a drawing representing, on a “one” titled “Chutzpah Hebdo” , the face of Charlie Chaplin in front of the Star of David, with, written in a bubble, the question “Shoah where are you? ” Shoah où t’es ?  , Referring to a controversial first page of Charlie Hebdo after the attacks in Brussels , ” Dad where are you? » « Papa où t’es ? ».

More:

French far-right activist Alain Soral jailed for Holocaust denial.

Radio France International.

Multiple convictions over a contested image

The conviction concerns an image published on Soral’s website Egalité et Réconciliation (Equality and Reconciliation) in 2016 in which a fictional newspaper called “Chutzpah Hebdo” bears a caption reading “disoriented historians”.

Before a Star of David, a likeness of Charlie Chaplin surrounded by a shoe, a wig, a bar of soap and a lampshade asks “Holocaust, where are you?”

The image was a reference to a controversial cover of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo depicting a young man asking “Daddy, where are you?” surrounded by dismembered body parts, published in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels of 22 March 2016.

A court ruled the image on Soral’s site to be an instance of Holocaust denial and fined Soral 10,000 euros with the possibility of imprisonment in case of non-payment.

Monday’s conviction and sentence concerned a text by Viguier that Soral published on the same site in November 2017

In the text, Viguier says the shoes and wig were a “reference to memorial sites and sites of pilgrimage” that were “brought together to stir readers’ imaginations.”

Concerning the wig, Viguier wrote “haircuts occur in all places of concentration for reasons of hygiene,” and said claims that Nazis made soap from human fat and lampshades from human skin were “war propaganda”.

Viguier posted a message on Soral’s website saying they would both appeal the court’s decision.

This sentence may seem harsh but Soral has many previous convictions.(1)

His rabid anti-semitism is only one aspect of a political stand which goes from support for the Syrian regime, the Venezuelan government, hostility to “communitarian” identitarian gay, feminist politics, alliance with the Front National, a Liste Antisioniste (anti-Zionist),

Claiming links with the French Communist Party, the PCF,  in the late 1980s and early 1980s (which they deny, and,  although he has shown a membership card it is hard to prove any activity), Soral came to the public scene through the manifesto, Vers un front national . This followed his anti-EU campaigning against the Maastricht Treaty in 1992.

In some respects this could be considered a template for new red-brown (rouges-bruns) alliances which have more recently marked European politics, above all, over the question of the European Union.

The Manifesto was signed by Jean-Paul Cruse a former member of the Mao-spontex Gauche prolétarienne, and appeared in one time ‘counter-cultural’ paper ‘Idiot international’ founded by Jean-Edern Hallier. It proposed ‘authoritarian politics needed to rebuild the country, to assemble the forces of civilisation against the market, and to advance the cause of the Nations. against Zionism and the stock market. The « front » aimed to group together « the Gaullist hard-liner, Pasqua, Socialist ‘patriot’ Chevènement, communists and ultra-nationalists.

medium_cruse_vers_un_front_national_1.3.jpg

Soral has been closely associated with the French comedian and fellow Holocaust denier, Dieudonné.

His web site  Égalité et Réconciliation offers a red-brown perspective, trumpeting the rooted population against the elite, and combining the “working class” left with the values of the right (Gauche du travail et droite des valeurs ). It intends to continue the perspective of the pre-Great War  Cercle Proudhon, which united a minority of radical, but patriotic   trade unionists with the radical far right maurrassien current.

It is marked by conspiracy theories of all kinds, centring around ‘Zionism’.

Soral has had links with  the ‘Union des organisations islamiques de France (UOIF), and individual ‘anti-Zionist’ Muslims,  Camel Bechikh, and ‘Albert Ali alias Abdelaali Baghezza, ancien responsable des Jeunes Musulmans de France amongst others. He has also had ties with far-right Catholic traditionalists.

Backing for Arab nationalism is long-standing, and continues with support for the Syrian regime.

It is hard to keep up with all the details of this ‘red-brown’ alliance, which can be seen via the above links.

Recently Égalité et Réconciliation has been an enthusiast for the Gilets Jaunes.

….

(1)

  • Le , la cour d’appel de Paris a confirmé le jugement du  par lequel Alain Soral était condamné à une amende de 3 000 € pour incitation à la haine raciale à la suite de propos tenus dans le cadre de l’émission Complément d’enquête sur France 2, le . Entre autres propos de la même veine, celui-ci affirmait : « la formation qualifiante pour exister dans les médias aujourd’hui, c’est d’être sioniste : si t’es antisioniste, si t’es judéo-critique ou quoi que ce soit tu dégages […] »123.
  • Le , Alain Soral est condamné en première instance à 2 500 euros d’amende, un euro symbolique de dommages et intérêts, 3 000 euros au titre des frais de justice, ainsi qu’à la publication, à ses frais, du jugement dans deux journaux, pour diffamation envers le maire socialiste de Paris Bertrand Delanoë, après avoir porté à son encontre des accusations d’enrichissement illégal et de pédophilie, dans une vidéo datée du  sur le site d’Égalité et Réconciliation124. Cette condamnation est confirmée et alourdie en appel, le , avec 2 000 euros de dommages et intérêts et 5 000 euros au titre des frais de justice125.
  • Le , le juge des référés de Bobigny, saisi par la LICRA, ordonne l’interdiction et le retrait des ventes « dans un délai d’un mois » de l’Anthologie des propos contre les juifs, le judaïsme et le sionisme, de Paul-Éric Blanrue et la censure partielle de quatre ouvrages réédités par Kontre Kulture : La France juive d’Édouard DrumontLe Salut par les Juifs de Léon BloyLe Juif international d’Henry Ford et La Controverse de Sion de Douglas Reed. La maison d’édition et Alain Soral sont également condamnés à verser, « à titre de provision », 8 000 euros à la LICRA, ainsi qu’à payer une partie des frais de justice126. La LICRA a également demandé la réparation du préjudice subi pour incitation à la haine raciale et à l’antisémitisme par l’édition du livre Anthologie des propos contre les juifs, le judaïsme et le sionisme. Dans un délibéré daté du , le TGI annule cette condamnation127. Néanmoins, la condamnation d’Alain Soral est à nouveau confirmée définitivement en appel128 et l’ouvrage de Paul-Éric Blanrue figure sur le site de la maison d’édition avec la mention « interdit à la vente à partir du 13 décembre »129.
  • En , l’Union des étudiants juifs de France a déposé plainte contre Alain Soral pour une quenelle réalisée devant le mémorial de la Shoah, à Berlin, qu’il avait ensuite diffusée dans une vidéo en 130. Le , Alain Soral est condamné par le tribunal correctionnel de Paris à verser 100 jours-amendes d’un montant unitaire de 100 euros pour injures à caractère racial, soit 10 000 euros d’amende, ainsi que 14 001 euros de dommages-intérêts au profit des sept associations qui s’étaient constituées parties civiles131. Le , la cour d’appel de Paris réduit la peine à 5 000 euros d’amende et 15 000 euros de dommages et intérêts aux sept associations parties civiles, auxquels s’ajoutent 500 euros à chaque fois pour les frais de justice d’appel132.
  • Le , Alain Soral est condamné à 2 000 euros d’amende, 2 000 euros de dommages et intérêts et 3 000 euros de frais de justice, pour diffamation envers le vice-président du Front national Louis Aliot, après l’avoir qualifié de « con du mois », de « suceur de sionistes », de « saloperie » et de « crétin », dans une vidéo publiée le  sur le site d’Égalité et Réconciliation. Le directeur de la publication de ce site a également été condamné à 1 500 euros d’amende avec sursis133. Ayant fait appel, Soral est à nouveau condamné à verser 2 000 euros à Louis Aliot134.
  • Le , Alain Soral est condamné à 6 000 euros d’amende, 3 000 euros de dommages et intérêts et 2 000 euros de frais de justice, pour provocation à « la haine, la discrimination ou la violence » à l’égard du journaliste juif Frédéric Haziza et de la communauté juive. Il avait, en , publié une vidéo dans laquelle il estimait que Frédéric Haziza faisait « un boulot de censeur tribaliste » et dénonçait « une arrogance, une domination et une malhonnêteté communautaire ». Le tribunal a estimé qu’Alain Soral, « mû par sa vindicte personnelle à l’encontre de Frédéric Haziza, (…) passant du particulier au général et radicalisant ses propos, s’est exprimé dans des termes qui, à l’évidence, visent non pas les seuls juifs sionistes, mais bien les juifs dans leur ensemble »135. Le tribunal a également ordonné à Alain Soral de supprimer les propos concernant Frédéric Haziza de la vidéo dans un délai de huit jours, sous astreinte de 1 000 euros par jour. Il a en outre été condamné à verser un euro de dommages et intérêts et 1 000 euros de frais de justice à la Ligue des droits de l’homme et à l’association « J’accuse », les parties civiles de la Licra, d’SOS Racisme et de l’UEJF ayant été déclarées irrecevables pour des raisons de procédure136,137. Le , la cour d’appel de Paris confirme la condamnation d’Alain Soral à 6 000 euros d’amende pour provocation à la haine envers Frédéric Haziza et les juifs, et lui ordonne de supprimer les propos concernant Frédéric Haziza d’une vidéo circulant sur internet138.
  • Le , le tribunal correctionnel de Paris a également condamné Alain Soral à 4 000 euros d’amende pour diffamation publique en raison de l’orientation sexuelle à l’encontre de Pierre Bergé, en raison de propos tenus dans son livre Dialogues désaccordés, coécrit avec Éric Naulleau. Outre l’amende, le tribunal correctionnel a condamné Alain Soral à verser à Pierre Bergé 10 000 euros de dommages et intérêts, solidairement avec l’éditeur du livre, Hugues Robert de Saint Vincent139. Le , la cour d’appel de Paris condamne Alain Soral à verser 17 000 euros à Pierre Bergé et demande la suppression du passage le concernant des exemplaires commercialisés ; l’éditeur préfère retirer l’ouvrage de la vente140.
  • Le , le tribunal correctionnel de Paris condamne Alain Soral à verser 60 jours-amendes de 50 euros — soit 3 000 euros —, sous peine d’emprisonnement, pour avoir lancé fin 2013 un appel aux dons sur Internet afin de payer la condamnation dont il avait écopé pour des propos diffamatoires à l’encontre de Bertrand Delanoë. Entre juillet 2013 (avant son appel aux dons) et mars 2014, les enquêteurs ont pu déterminer qu’Alain Soral et son association Égalité et Réconciliation ont encaissé au total plus de 350 000 euros141.
  • Le , le tribunal correctionnel de Paris condamne Alain Soral, en tant que directeur de la publication du site d’Égalité & Réconciliation, à 5 000 euros d’amende pour injures et injures antisémites, en raison de commentaires publiés sur le site par des internautes s’en prenant au journaliste Frédéric Haziza. Il doit également verser 3 000 euros de dommages et intérêts, 2 000 euros pour les frais de justice, un euro de dommages et intérêts à la LICRA et 1 000 euros pour les frais de justice142.
  • Le , le tribunal correctionnel de Paris condamne Alain Soral à 10 000 euros d’amende pour injure raciale à l’encontre de Frédéric Haziza à la suite d’un texte publié sur son site internet. Il doit également lui verser 5 000 euros de dommages et intérêts et 3 000 euros pour les frais de justice, ainsi qu’1 euro de dommages et intérêts et 1 000 euros de frais de justice à quatre associations de lutte contre le racisme. Il est par ailleurs déclaré coupable du délit de provocation à la discrimination religieuse pour d’autres passages du texte ainsi que le commentaire d’un internaute143.
  • Le , Alain Soral en tant que responsables de site est condamné144 car il a relayé un article d’Hicham Hamza, auteur du blog conspirationniste (ou complotiste)145,146,147 Panamza.com, qui est condamné en diffamation pour avoir traité Caroline Fourest de « désinformatrice » sur la base d’une séquence de son film Les Obsédés du complot. Sur son blog, il avait accusé Caroline Fourest d’avoir tronqué le sous-titrage d’un dialogue dans son reportage sur les réseaux complotistes mais la cour a admis l’explication de la journaliste qui indiquait que la mauvaise retranscription relevait « d’une erreur de sa monteuse lors du montage du documentaire » « en raison des propos « confus » et « inaudibles »148 ».
  • En juin 2016, il écope de six mois de prison avec sursis pour « apologie de crimes de guerre et contre l’humanité » pour des propos visant Serge et Beate Klarsfeld ; il doit également verser 5 000 euros de dommages et intérêts à chacun des époux, ainsi que 2 000 euros à la LICRA149.
  • Le , Salim Laïbi, chirurgien-dentiste, polémiste, a déposé plainte avec constitution de partie civile contre Alain Soral auprès du TGI de Marseille, pour diffamation à la suite du post Facebook de Alain Soral : « On ne l’entend plus le dentiste obèse ! Il n’appelle plus au djihad anti-Gaulois. C’est pourtant sa ligne depuis des mois ». Selon le quotidien La Provence, Alain Soral refusera de se rendre aux convocations du juge d’instruction malgré un mandat d’amener. Il est également absent à l’audition du  au TGI de Marseille, où son avocat, Me Drici Lahcen, affirme « que son client n’a pas dépassé les limites de la liberté d’expression »150 et que ce n’était pas sa page Facebook. Le , Alain Soral est condamné par le tribunal correctionnel de Marseille pour diffamation publique à une amende pénale de 2 000 euros151.
  • Le , Binti Bangoura, une top modèle et chanteuse française d’origine africaine, dépose plainte contre Alain Soral152,153. Alain Soral est convoqué le  devant le tribunal de Paris, sur citation directe, pour « injures raciales », « menaces », « harcèlement » et « envois réitérés de messages malveillants »154. En novembre 2016, il est condamné à 120 jours-amende de 50 euros (une peine transformée en emprisonnement si la totalité de l’amende n’est pas acquittée) et à verser 8 000 euros à la jeune femme (dommages-intérêts et frais de justice)155,156.
  • Le , Alain Soral est condamné à trois mois de prison ferme pour contestation de crime contre l’humanité et injure raciale, par le tribunal correctionnel de Paris, pour avoir publié sur son site — à la suite des attentats de Bruxelles — un dessin jugé négationniste157. La sentence est confirmée en novembre 2017 par la cour d’appel de Paris158.
  • Le , il est condamné à 6 000 euros d’amende pour avoir publié et mis en vente sur le site d’Égalité & Réconciliation une affiche jugée négationniste, diffamatoire et incitant à la haine envers les Juifs ; il est également condamné à verser solidairement 2 000 euros à la Licra, partie civile et à l’origine de la plainte dans ce dossier159.
  • Le , il est condamné à six mois de prison avec sursis et 10 000 euros d’amende pour avoir publié des caricatures antisémites sur le site d’Égalité & Réconciliation160.
  • Le , il est condamné à deux peines d’emprisonnement avec sursis pour provocation à la haine, après la diffusion de deux dessins jugés antisémites sur le site d’Égalité & Réconciliation161.
  • Le , il est condamné à un an de prison ferme pour injure et provocation à la haine raciale, par le tribunal correctionnel de Bobigny162,163.
  • Le , il est condamné par la Cour d’appel de Paris à trois mois d’emprisonnement avec sursis et 5 000 euros d’amende, pour avoir indiqué de faux directeurs de la publication sur le site d’Égalité et Réconciliation. Cette condamnation est confirmée en cassation le 22 janvier 2019164.
  • Le , il est condamné à un an de prison ferme avec mandat d’arret pour négationnisme de la Shoah. Son avocat, Damien Viguier, est condamné à 5 000 euros d’amende dans la même affa

 

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

April 15, 2019 at 5:13 pm

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

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Image result for socialist sports

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

Pro-Brexit Rallies, Political Confusionism, from Tory Right, National Populist Left, to Anti-Semites.

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Star of the Anti-Brexit Show (Thanks Martin)

Paul Embery, FBU and the Arron Banks Backed Trade Unionists Against the EU.

…this does not mean that communists line up with Nigel Farage’s march on London. Then again, we do not mock it either – by the time it arrives in the capital on the symbolically significant date of March 29 it could be around the same size as the PV event.”

Weekly Worker. March for a national government

Some more of the democratic  chaps around yesterday:

 

Spiked, Brendan O’Neill, ex-Revolutionary Communist Party:

Institute of Ideas, ex-Revolutionary Communist Party Clare Fox.

 

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing

 

Such a contrast with this event:

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 30, 2019 at 12:24 pm

As Farage and Far-Right Moblise for Hard Brexit ‘Left Wing’ Full Brexiters Go for Collaboration with “Brexit Right”.

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Image result for nigel farage

Farage has “done more for Brexit than any socialist since Tony Benn” Tim Pendry, Crisis, Reputation & Political Adviser/Corporate Communications Adviser.

“Independent support for a simple idea – Brexit first, socialism second … all else is suspended until the vote of June 2016 is respected” (Pendry’s Twitter Account).

Brexit: Police brace for disorder after far-right protesters threaten to riot at London rallies

Independent.

Members of the UK “yellow vests”, a conspiracy-driven group of Brexiteers, were sharing a meme on social media that threatened: “If you stop Brexit, we’ll make the Paris riots look like a f***ing tea party.”

Supporters were due to meet near the Shard on Friday afternoon, at the same time several other demonstrations were due to take place on the other side of the Thames.

Tommy Robinson was to speak at Ukip’s Make Brexit Happen rally in Whitehall, which he is also financially sponsoring through his personal “news service”.

Mr Robinson claimed people were being “betrayed” by the prime minister and “traitorous” MPs.

There will be opposition,

“Whether you’re Leave or Remain, these people aren’t having a genuine Brexit protest – it’s a far-right rally,” Stand Up to Racism organiser Michael Bradley told The Independent. “It’s an attempt to make hay while the sun shines.”

But there are already signs that some of the ‘left wing’ pro-Brexit crew intend to ignore this assertion.

They also lay claim to back a “genuine Brexit protest”.

There are signs of an emerging Brown-Red Alliance:

Extract:

The debate became impassioned from the floor (although always civilised). The bulk of the feeling in the room, as I interpreted it, was for collaboration with the Brexit Right against the system. The immediate question was whether to turn up at Parliament Square on March 29th for a demonstration organised by the ‘Faragists’ and where Tommy Robinson might also be present. The official line was to do what one liked as individuals but to have no banners. It would, in this traditional left-wing view, be guilt by association with fascists in trying to persuade the rest of the Left to shift sides from Remain to Brexit with fears of a right-wing or Tory Brexit. The analysis began to break down under scrutiny. For a start, half the audience refused to accept that Farage was a ‘fascist’ – he was just a typical country Tory who had done more for Brexit than any socialist since Tony Benn and his democratic credentials were there for all to see. Pigeon-holing him (as opposed to Tommy Robinson) as Far Right was just not going to work.

…..

The oddest unintended consequence of this farrago may be that British national populism engages in the new Europe that is emerging while liberals look on with mounting horror and wonder precisely what their resistance was all for. The logic is Labour being steadily degraded by the rise of a working and lower middle class national populism for reasons of culture and distrust as much as anything else.

In short, thwarting Brexit paradoxically enhances the revolutionary potential of Brexit … its absence rather than presence creates the ‘revolution’ (more cultural than anything else) whereas an elite Brexit would have dampened down the growing and widespread sense of outrage at the loss of respect for voting rights and ‘agency’ (as Brexiters now see it).

(What May Happen to Socialism Under A Failed Brexit? Tim Pendry.)

Perhaps inspired by  Red-Brown Eddie Dempsey ‘s rousing words against liberal elites he has tweeted.

In a parallel development, FBU official and prominent supporter of The ‘left-wing’ Full Brexit,  Paul Embery denounces “cosmopolitans” and praises the “magnificent protests” of the Gilets Jaunes.

The Trade Union Club for liberal cosmopolitans

Despite the TUC having a history of pledging solidarity to internationalist causes and movements, it has uttered not a word and lifted not a finger in support of the gilets jaunes in France. These magnificent protests – an explosion of genuine working-class anger, a guttural roar against an arrogant, detached establishment, enjoying massive support from workers across urban and rural France (and beyond) – have generated not a syllable of support from the representatives of British workers just a few miles across the Channel.

Gilets Jaunes to Journalist: Bum-Boy You’re working for the Jews!

British Gilets Jaunes.

Embery continues:

Through Brexit, an accidental alliance has emerged between two groups alienated by the modern liberal establishment and holding fast to old-fashioned communitarian, small ‘c’ conservative values: on the one hand the working-class post-industrial towns, and on the other middle-class suburbia. It’s what the commentator David Goodhart has perceptively identified as the ‘Gavin and Stacey’ coalition, an “illustration of a benign independent-mindedness and pride in place that infuses two Brexit heartlands: Essex and ex-industrial South Wales”.

As a passing note,  Larry O’Nutter, under his pseudonym, Larry O’Hara is another Brexiter, and a supporter of the Full Brexit.

We await his ‘anti-fascist’ analysis of this confusionist brown-red alliance.

Update:

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 29, 2019 at 11:44 am

Brexit, End Game and the Left.

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Brexit Publicity by British Tourist Board.

“Tout commence en mystique et finit en politique.”

Charles Péguy. Notre jeunesse.1910.

”Our central argument is that the various and disparate forms of discontent which led 51,9% of voters to vote Leave must not be allowed to fade away until the Brexit process is complete. This discontent is the emergency, which will power our programmes. If Brexit was fuelled, first and foremost, by a sense of the part of many of the British people that the political class had betrayed them, that sense of betrayal must be sustained. Indeed, it can now be focused more accurately since, with the reframing of Leave’s narrow majority as the ‘will of the people’, public anger will be turned most effectively on those members of the political and media establishment who can portrayed as frustrating that will…”(P 359 – 9)

Imperium Foundation. Middle England. Jonathan Coe 2018.

How long ago seems the aftermath of the Brexit vote. After the 2016 result, Roger Scruton talked mystically of the need for “conciliation”, the opportunity it gave to move towards, a decentralised economy, of the kind that existed in the nineteenth century and could exist again. The poet of identity in political communities continued, ”We must build the thing that the British people value most, which is place.” The pseudo people of Anywhere, the “metropolitan elites”, opined David Goodhart, had been answered by a “populist revolt” by the People from Somewhere. Susan Watkins, editor of New Left Review, chimed in, “Critics of the neoliberal order have no reason to regret these knocks to it, against which the entire global establishment – Obama to Abe, Merkel to Modi, Junker to Xi …inveigled.” (1)

Coming to the issue of identity, Eric Kaufmann observes, “What really distinguishes Leave from remain voters is their willingness to sacrifice economic benefits to cut immigration”. In their favourable account of national populism, Eatwell and Goodwin give legitimacy to fears about “hyper-ethnic change”. “We do not think the term “racism” should be applied solely because people seek to retain the broad parameters of the ethnic base of country and its national identity, even though this can involve discriminating against outside groups.” (2)

The Great Replacement.

The poetasters of national identity began to look, to those soaked in the traditions of nationalist European literature,  like a return to the themes of Maurice Barrès and “la terre et ses morts”, “la substance nationale” and hostility to cosmopolitan “dérancinés” In recent days the arch-theorist of a great identity replacement Renaud Camus has sprung into the public eye. The claimed threat of immigrant “colonisateurs” bringing “nocence” (harm and damage) to In-nocent Europe has inspired the most ignoble of reactions. (3)

Alan Thornett was perhaps the first to predict that a Yes Vote for Brexit would mean allow this “carnival of reaction” to flourish. Others, enlightened by Fintan O’Toole, recognise in Brexit, a “genuine national revolution against a phoney oppressor.” A burly figure, the ignored working class, was spoken for by the sovereigntist left. The cry for sovereignty, elaborated into a celebration of sovereign nations was, for some, the People’s Brexit crew,  the vehicle of a new socialist project. This prospect of a British Bolshevik Beacon, found a few takers when the economics did not just add up. British political sovereignty, run by the left, runs up against the need to trade, and the country’s embedded condition in a capitalist world, not the much overdrawn ‘neoliberal’ rules of the EU. Critics could point to the Irish writer’s insight into how mysticism had descended into politics. Behind Brexit, the real steam engine,  lay “Jacob Rees Mogg’s “sovereignty of the super rich and their right to escape.” and a scramble for Parliamentary power.(4)

Rhetoric and Reality.

The rhetoric about “elites”, “oligarchies”, and the political “caste”, has seeped from right to left. It is tempting to dismiss this as an unwanted revival of a strain of 19th century European socialism, hostile to representative democracy, looking for decisive leaders to sweep away the manoeuvres of Parliament and the forces of “financial feudalism”. The reappearance of the references to Rothschild, and newer name of George Soros, has echoes of one such ‘socialist’ diatribe against the “financial aristocracy”, Alphonse Toussenel’s Les Juifs Rois de l’époque (1886). Yet the programme of ‘Imperium’, that is the European Research Group (ERG) is indeed, as fictionalised  lightly in Jonathan Coe’s Middle England,  “to liberate Britain from the EU’s oppressive tax and other regulations and allow it to become a genuine free-trading country with its principle endeavours directed towards Asian and US markets.” It is that faction which is riding high in the Conservative Party. It is the motor behind a drive for the worst possible Brexit possible. (5)

In the (just translated) Le crépuscule de la France d’en haut, Cristophe Gilley hailed the Brexit result. It was sign of the ‘Marronage”, the escape of slaves, from the yoke of the establishment, a development he detected that was well underway in the Hexagon – as would underline as the Gilets Jaunes emerged. The British Somewheres, like “la France périphérique” had found a voice in voting for Sovereignty. No0 doubt Nigel Farage is leading them at this very moment towards the Great Wen. Eatwell and Goodwin suggest that the return to two-party dominance in 2017 is far from a new normal. It “may represent an unstable prelude to populist-right renewal.” (6)

There is one vehicle that can halt this in its tracks. The mass movement against Brexit, led, for the moment by the liberal centre, but backed by sections of the left, is a democratic challenge to the projects of the ERG. If, as Another Europe is Possible argues, it can reach deeper into the Labour Party and the labour movement, it may be able to head off Brexit. There is now everything to play for. Now. (7)

………..

 

 

 

  1. Pages 218, and 223. Where We Are. The State of Britain Now. Roger Scruton. Bloomsbury. 2017. The Road to Somewhere. The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics. David Goodhart. Hurst & Company. 2017.Casting Off? Susan Watkins. New Left Review. No 100. 2016.
  2. Page 201. White Shift. Eric Kaufmann. Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities Penguin 2018. Page 75. National Populism. The Revolt Against Liberal Democracy. Roger Eatwell and Matthew Goodwin. Pelican. 2018.
  3. Pages 281 – 283. Les Déracinés. Maurice Barrès. 1897. Gallimard. 1988. Le Grand Remplacement. Renaud Camus. 2012. Page 70. La Nocence, instrument du Grand Remplacement.
  4. Page 172 Heroic Failure, Brexit and Politics of Pain. Fintan O’Toole. Apollo. 2018.
  5. Page 359. Middle England. Jonathan Coe. Viking 2018.
  6. Page 248. Le crépuscule de la France d’en haut, Cristophe Gilley. Flammarion. 2017. Page 209. National Populism. Op cit.
  7. Another Europe is Possible.

 

Morning Star Tries Failed Left Populist Rhetoric against the “Political Caste” to Back Brexit.

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Last Attempt at Insurgent anti-EU politics.

As popular revolt against Brexit is growing the Morning Star has found nothing better than the warmed up rhetoric of Podemos to come to its Leave campaign.

Railing against the “political caste”, la casta, was all the range some years ago on the Spanish Left.

The ‘caste’ like la caste in French, sounds pretty odd in English.

Apparently backing the popular demand for a referendum in the new conditions is a manoeuvre by this ‘caste’.

This would not matter but the Morning Star has weight in some pro-Brexit Labour and union circles.

Speaking, modestly, for the people, the Morning Star, organ of the British Communist Party, sorry Morning Star Co-op,  talks of Parliament being given, “its marching orders from the electorate” to back Brexit.

They voice this righteous indignation:

Popular anger at a political caste that has not delivered on its promises will only increase every day that leaving the EU is postponed beyond March 29.

As shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon writes in tomorrow’s Morning Star, Labour has a huge amount to offer because it is not led by members of the political caste. Its leaders are radicals ready to transform our country in the interests of the vast majority.

But if it is to do that it has to rekindle the insurgent politics that won it millions of new voters in 2017. The commitment to securing a Brexit deal that works for workers, rather than a second referendum, which Corbyn confirmed on the Sophy Ridge show at the weekend is welcome.

But Labour and its allies at local level should look beyond Brexit to build the campaigns for public ownership, accountable politicians, a fairer economy and action on climate change that both showcase and strengthen our movement’s credentials as the vehicle for change our country needs.

Editorial May’s deal is dead. But what does that mean for Labour?

So sure of their cause why do not the Brexit Left – minus their mates in the Rotters’ Club of the ERG and Farage’s Barmy Army  – organise their own protests?

Here is a helpful suggestion:

But then what exactly are these “insurgent politics”?

Socialist Worker has the answer – Revolution!

Brexit and the sham of capitalist democracy

There is an alternative to the parliamentary farce that means we don’t just have to sit back as spectators. That alternative is fighting back—whether that’s getting out onto the streets, organising strikes or taking direct action.

That’s why it was so important to see the 1.5 million people take part globally in the climate strikes last Friday. Thousands marched around London—and defied the authority of the cops.

And the following day up to 25,000 people marched in London as part of a worldwide day of action against racism and the far right.

Movements outside parliament have the power to take on our rulers.

Whenever people take action, they begin to see that they can challenge their “betters” and make decisions for themselves.

There are always individuals who take a lead in organising action at the beginning.

But as movements grow, they face questions about how to make sure the greatest possible number take part in decision-making.

Real democracy flows from participation in action and discussion. And through taking action we can fight for an entirely different society, a socialist society, where ordinary people call the shots at every level.

NObody takes this seriously, starting from the figures of the people on the demo above.

But left Populism has been the subject of some weighty books and has convinced some groups, from the playing at left politics US Jacobin, to the people who voted for Podemos (which has a democratic, if imperfect) structure to Mélenchon’s La France insoumuise (which has largely the imperfections and is best described as a “rallying point” rather than a genuine party.

Today, left Populism, after the split of Podemos and the descent of La France insoumise to around 8% (7.5% in the very latest poll) of voting intentions for the coming European elections, is dying.

The latest in this sorry saga can be read about here:

Germany’s “left populists” collapse Ann Field

The movement was consciously designed as left-populist. But since left populism is a contradiction in terms, it was simply populist. With Wagenknecht as its figurehead, it took a decidedly anti-immigration and anti-refugee stance.

It also lacked democratic structures. Membership was free and involved no more than providing an e-mail address. Some 170,000 people did so. Thereafter it was steadily downhill.

The e-mail addresses were not the property of the movement but of a separate legal entity, also called Rise Up. Local groups could not establish themselves without the permission of the legal entity. And they could e-mail their own members only through the legal entity, which was also the owner of the Rise Up Facebook page.

Although it was run by the founders of Rise Up, including Wagenknecht herself, that legal entity was not, and was designed not to be, accountable to Rise Up members.

Few “big names” joined Rise Up. Most of those who did were “big names” from the past. Rise Up got round this problem by arguing that it was first and foremost a grassroots movement of “ordinary people”.

Rise Up garnered little support among Green and SPD activists, and only marginally more among Die Linke activists. It got round this problem by arguing that this showed just how out of touch the established political parties were with “ordinary people”.

And it attracted little support for its public activities. In fact, as a top-down creation, it lacked a focus for any activities. Not even Rise Up could get round that problem.

The public face of Rise Up was always Wagenknecht. And the disappearance of that public face will almost certainly be followed by the disappearance of Rise Up. Some of its leading figures have already publicly written off any future for the organisation.

Here is an answer to that lot:

Written by Andrew Coates

March 21, 2019 at 5:18 pm

For a Left Populism. Chantal Mouffe. Review: “Neither Left nor Successful”.

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Left Populism, “Neither Left nor Successful”.

For a Left  Populism. Chantal Mouffe.  Verso. 2018

Review: Andrew Coates.

(From the Latest Chartist Magazine.)

Chantal Mouffe and her partner Ernesto Laclau published Hegemony and Socialist Strategy in 1985 She begins For a Left Populism on the “challenge represented by the ‘populist moment’ by referring to the “incapacity of left politics” during the 1980s to grapple with post-68 movements, from the women’s movement to ecology. Anything that could not be thought of in class terms had been rejected. They offered, she states, an alternative, which became associated with the monthly, Marxism Today, against this “class essentialism”. It focused on bringing these new social forces into a left project, the “radicalisation of democracy”. There were angry debates on the left about these claims, focused around the authors’ ‘post-Marxism’ and the importance of class in left politics.

The world has changed. Today Mouffe argues that neoliberalism, austerity, and “oligarchisation”, has brought down living standards and eroded popular sovereignty. The political system is hollowed out. It is “post-democracy”, a term she takes from Colin Crouch and Jacques Rancière (La Mésentente. 1997). A paradigm of ‘consensus’ around the value of the free-market marks Western societies. There is little more detail about what is ‘post’ democratic in the new millennium’s elections, political competition for government and the possibilities for public debate opened up by social media.

How this differs from the previous consensus around the Keynesian welfare state, known in Britain during the 1950s as ‘Butskellism’, is not explored. The thrust is that social democratic and Labour Parties, notably during Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s premierships, accepted the legacy of Margaret Thatcher. As part of this ‘hegemonic’ package they put concern for the Taxpayer over generous public spending. New Labour agreed that privatisation of state functions and industries were “what works”. They aimed at competing on the global market. .

After the 2007 financial crisis people across Europe began to question the belief that these policies brought them any benefit. Those “left behind” by austerity in the wake of the baking crisis and globalised economies, demanded “democratic recognition”. Many Mouffe says, have turned to anti-establishment populist parties of the right, or have expressed their unhappiness through backing the Hard-Right project of Brexit in the UK European Referendum.

The message of For a Left Populism is, “To stop the rise of right-wing populist parties, it is necessary to design a properly political answer through a left populist movement that will federate all the democratic struggles against post-democracy.” She commends the Spanish Podemos, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France insoumise (LFI) and Labour under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, for “left populist strategies.” 

For a Left Populism draws on many, often very abstract, ideas that Mouffe has developed since the 1980s. This include her writings on Carl Schmitt, Claude Lefort, Jürgen Habermas (amongst many others) and  ‘agonistic democracy”. This is a concept which puts conflict and dissensus at the heart of democratic debate. Conflict, she argues, are the keynotes of pluralist democracy. This is an idea familiar from less elevated works. Bernard Crick’s In Defence of Politics (1964, and later editions) made a vibrant democratic socialist case for the importance of open disagreement and debate for the democratic left. Crick also wrote on how Machiavelli saw “liberty arising from conflicts.” (Introduction to The Discourses. Niccolò Machiavelli. 1970)

For a Left Populism talks about constructing a “collective will”. Left populism, she asserts, draws into its orbit by a “chain of equivalences” a variety of progressive demands, open citizenship. This is the ‘construction of the People”, a collective political agency, “ opposing the ‘people’ against the ‘oligarchy’. For this to work Mouffe follows the late Ernesto Laclau. There has to be “some form of crystallisation of common affects, and affective bonds with a charismatic leader… “ One can see the attraction for Jean-Luc Mélenchon who has made sure that there is no “so-called” democratic opposition in his Web-Platform based movement. It is a “lieu de Rassemblement” (rallying point) not a political party. (1)

Mouffe’s left populism also, centrally, draws on the “libidinal investment at work in national – or regional – forms of identification”…” National identities should be left to the right.  Instead of leaving the field to national populists there should be another outlet, “mobilising…. around a patriotic identification with the more egalitarian aspects of the national tradition.”

Much of this approach to nationalism is drawn out from the tangled thickets of Frédéric Lordon. The French theorist developed from some of  Spinoza’s ideas a picture of the importance of ‘affects’, which he illustrated as attachments of people to national identities, and, above all, nation states. La Société des affects (2013). Lordon, a supporter of Mélenchon has faced charges of nationalism himself. Chantal Mouffe’s French critics have not been slow to point out to the emotional ‘affects’ of voters motivated by anti-immigrant feeling. These are neither legitimate concerns nor are those who have them likely to drop their views to join a left-wing Collective Will. (2)

Since For a Left Populism was published Mélenchon’s Movement has stagnated and declined in polls, down below 10% of voting intentions for the coming European Elections. It has faced a series of internal crises, centring on the lack of democratic decision-making. Marine le Pen appears to have had more of an impact in the Gilets Jaunes uprising than the leader of La France insoumise. After poor regional election results in Andalusia and declining support Podemos, has suffered a serious split. Her interlocutor, Iñigo Errejón (Podemos, In the Name of the People. Iñigo Errejón. Chantal Mouffe. 2016) is now aligned with Más Madrid, a catch-all progressive alliance. Pablo Iglesias is said to project a long-term alliance with the Spanish socialists, the PSOE. The radical left “Anticapitalista” current is in outright opposition.

The problem with left populism is, as Éric Fassin has remarked, is that, “it’s neither left nor a winning strategy.”  Perhaps we should follow his advice and concentrate on creating broad and effective democratic socialist parties and not on ‘federating’ the “people”. (Populisme: le grand ressentiment. 2017) (3)

 

*****

  1. À propos du mouvement «La France insoumise» Jean-Luc Mélenchon. C:\Documents and Settings\Compaq_Owner\My Documents\À propos du mouvement «La France insoumise» Jean-Luc Mélenchon.htm
  2. Populisme de gauche, du nouveau ? Pierre Khalfa
  3. See also: Left-wing populism.A legacy of defeat: Interview with Éric Fassin Radical Philosophy. 2018. For an overview of Mouffe and Fassin see Jacobin, Can There Be a Left Populism?Jacob Hamburger. There is much to say on the intellectual structure of the ‘affects’ argument, and the abstract account by Mouffe construction of the ‘people’ in a counter-hegemonic direction through relations of equivalence which he does not. Hamburger however makes the valdi points that ‘left populism’ is hard to pin down as one thing (the gulf between Sanders and Corbyn alone is immense, and Podemos and La France insoumise) but fails to deal with anything like the different party structures. One can also see that the “degree of porosity between left and right” is politically fraught with dangers, as, even if minority, Gilets Jaunes red-brown cross-overs indicate. One would also prefer an account which focuses on sovereigntism, national independence as a rampart against neoliberalism, something Jacobin writers have themselves embroidered into a ‘left populism’.

 

As the attraction of ‘left populism’, which is still influential in publications such as New Left Review, and the American Jacobin, and other pro-Brexit groups, wanes,  this important article also in the latest Chartist, continues the argument:

THE DANGER OF LEFT NATIONALISM IN THE UK AND EUROPE

Extract:

A recent book on Corbynism by Frederick Harry Pitts and Matt Bolton argues that its key components lie in “seeing the world as constituted essentially of nations” and “posing the nation against global and international capital”. But, the authors point out, the search for sovereignty is destined to fail, not least because “we live in a world structured by capital, a social relation which exists as a world market, from which single states cannot abdicate, no matter how hard they try”. Not only is this emerging aspect of Corbynism pitting itself against the tide of history, but it also produces political rhetoric that shares territory with the nativist Brexiteer right wing. In casting the ‘national community’ as the primary community for whom the left speaks, and in describing not only global flows of capital but also of people as threat to this primary community, the left has clearly contributed to racist othering of migrant workers. Which is why some of Corbyn’s speeches on Europe have drawn praise from the likes of Nigel Farage.

Corbynism’s emerging left nationalism is treading the same path as parts of the French and German left. As far back as 2016 Sahra Wagenknecht of Die Linke challenged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to accept more than one million refugees, calling for limits on entry. In an environment where the far right is stoking fears about ‘violent’ immigrants with fake news and conspiracy theories, Wagenknecht has called for the deportation of any refugees who ‘abuse’ German hospitality: a call in complete contravention of the UN 1951 Refugee Convention, and one that drew praise from the far right Alternative für Deutschland.

Continue Reading.