Monday, 22 September 2014

RMT union elects pro-Labour General Secretary



The breaking news this evening is that Labour Party member Mick Cash has won the election for General Secretary of the RMT union. In a statement on the RMT website Mick said:

“I want to thank the membership of RMT for giving me an overwhelming mandate as the newly elected General Secretary. I am proud and honoured to have been given the enormous responsibility of now taking our fighting and militant union forwards, six months after the bitter loss to the Labour Movement of Bob Crow.

“Let me make this clear. There will be no deviation from the industrial, political and organising strategy mapped out by RMT under Bob’s leadership. Our fight on pay, jobs, working conditions, pensions and safety continues on every front and in every industry where we organise members.

The RMT is probably the most successful trade union in the UK, being one of the only trade unions which is in a position to deliver the goods for it's members. In the long term however there is one adjustment to Bob Crow's legacy that he really does have to tackle head on and that's the RMT backing of the irrelevant Trade Union and Socialist Coalition.

With the general election less than a year away, there is little time for Mr Cash and his supporters to re-orientate the RMT back to the political mainstream, but the fact that the far-left Steve Hedley came third in the ballot illustrates that the TUSC has little to no support amongst ordinary union members.

Change in trade unions is notoriously slow, but the need to remove the current Tory led coalition government has never been greater.

Let us hope the RMT wakes up to that basic reality in due course..

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Labour and the left must combat anti-Semitism and ISIS

The news that Viki Kirby, Labour candidate for Woking has been suspended for her vile tweets calling Hitler "Zionism's God" and advocating an ISIS attack on the Jewish state. Perhaps she would care to tell us what she thinks of the fate of the Yezadhi's under ISIS or the other religious minorities that have been murdered raped and enslaved by her friends in ISIS.

The Christian Post reports:

"[The Islamic State's] actions speak louder than its words and it is only a matter of time and patience before it reaches Palestine to fight the barbaric Jews and kill those of them hiding behind the gharqad trees — the trees of the Jews," the terror group threatens in Dabiq.

"Dabiq" is the on line publication of the ISIS fascists (which I refuse to link to) and translated into plain English interprets as massacring all Jews, not even just Zionists. The same quote for the religion of peace's Koran that Hamas use.

The Labour Party is absolutely right for suspending this woman from it's ranks. They also need to ensure there are no others like this disgraceful woman waiting in the wings. 

There is a fine line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism. All anti-Semites are anti-Zionists, the others tend to be part of the so-called anti-imperialist brigade that sees the destruction of Israel as a way of undermining the West.

Certainly the far-left (with a couple of honourable exceptions) tends to see anti-Semitism as an "inconvenience" and whilst formally condemns ISIS openly opposes any attempt to help those being massacred, including the sending of humanitarian aid.

The laughably named Stop the War Coalition published an article suggesting wind farms where a way of fighting ISIS. No sign of them during the recent demonstration against ISIS organised by the Kurdish community who are now having to flee to Turkey in their thousands from the Islamist fascists in northern Syria.

One tweet on the Independents twitter feed was particularly worrying:

Rolex44 ‏@Rolex0225 6h

@Independent That would have been ordered by Jewish Milliband.

The "Jewish" Miliband?

It will be interesting to see how the anti-racists of the "far-left" react to this story. 

Bet they'll ignore it.

Just like they try to ignore anything else that doesn't suit their blinkered outlook on the world.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Now lets unite against the coalition government

File:Logo Labour Party.svg

The Scottish referendum is over, the decision made a United Kingdom we remain. Alex Salmond has fallen on his sword and stated that a new generation of leadership is needed. His time (and hopefully that of the nationalists) is now over. The next task must be to repeat the engagement of the electorate in another campaign.

Time to kick out the Tories and their Liberal allies.

Much has been made of Gordon Browns speech (see previous post) and it may have turned the tide. Certainly it had an impact and made us all wish he'd showed that passion when he was Prime Minister. At the same time the No camp voters appeared to have been shy about coming forward to state their views giving a false impression of the Nationalists prospects.

The reason? The fanaticism of a section of the nationalist campaign.

Always off-putting. We see this in a variety of ways, inside trade unions where the far-left bully and beguile to get their way, inside the Muslim community where "being a good Muslim" always seems to be the type promoted by the fanatics with the loudest mouth and the use of intimidation both moral and physical.

Such behaviour puts ordinary folk off taking up the cudgel for what they really want.

The time has come for us the ordinary people of this country to take back the politics, the unions, the various faiths and communities from the self appointed "vanguards" or so called "community leaders" that appear out the ether.

The great victory for democracy that arose out of the referendum campaign was the high level of participation, some 84% of the electorate taking part.

Now we need to bring that political will to take part in the democratic process to the rest of the UK.

With the Labour Party conference about to start Ed Miliband must take the lead. He should heed the lesson learned by Gordon Browns speech. The Labour Party must be passionate without being fanatical. It must show a willingness to listen, to encourage ordinary voters to take part in the necessary campaign to restore social and political justice back to the UK.

The unions must line up united behind the Labour Party, their rank & file members need a new government, the public sector in particular or by the 2020 election there will not be any effective unions left in the country after the Tories continue their plans to emasculate our movement.

There are those who remain enemies within. The parasitical far left, the Socialist Party (Militant), The SWP and others whose actions have undermined the unions, the Labour Party and have helped the Tories with their blinkered fanaticism.

Labour is the only alternative.

The far-left and the nationalists (including UKIP) have nothing to offer but division.

Those who claim otherwise are the Tories best friends.

Friday, 19 September 2014

TUC silence on Russian aggression is not new

Cross-post by Eric Lee

In an otherwise excellent piece on the TUC’s passing of an idiotic resolution on Ukraine, Dale Street writes that “for the first time since the Second World War the territory of a European country has been seized by that of a neighbouring big power.”

That doesn’t sound right — and it isn’t.

In fact there have been several occasions since 1945 when European countries have been the victims of aggression by neighboring big powers.

There was the Turkish invasion of Cyprus 40 years resulting in a division of the country and an occupation of its northern part that continues until the present day.

That invasion was exceptional not only in the sense that such invasions are rare in Europe. It’s also exceptional because every other example I can think of involves the Russian army.

Russian tanks and troops invaded Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968, and while they did not redraw any borders, they did impose regimes that were considerably friendlier to the Soviets than the ones the local populations would have liked.

In the 1990s the Russian army waged a brutal war of conquest targetting the breakaway Chechen republic, burying once and for all the Leninist myth about a “right of secession”. (There never was any such right.)

More recently, in 2008 the Russian army — no longer the Red Army — invaded Georgia, wresting control of the provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, turning these into “independent” states recognized only by Moscow.

Actually, that’s not entirely true. The “independent republics” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are also recognized by Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru. Nauru for those of you who are not familiar with the Pacific island country formerly known as “Pleasant Island”, has a population of just over 9,000. The only country in the world that is smaller is the Vatican.

As for Nicaragua and Venezuela, this slavish kowtowing before Russian imperialism is utterly shameless. Even Cuba hasn’t gone so far as to recognize the breakaway provinces, currently occupied by Russian troops.

When tiny Georgia was facing the full might of the Russian army, a number of European leaders flew in to show solidarity, appearing at a rally in Tbilisi’s Freedom Square. These included the presidents of Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia — the same countries that are today worried yet again by Russian sabre-rattling.

Historically, the left understood all this. Prior to 1917, the view on the European left was unanimously Russophobic, with the Tsarist empire branded as a “prison-house of nationalities”.

After the first few years of the Stalinist dictatorship, much of the international left turned anti-Soviet, and once again there would be widespread protests at Stalinist aggression.

But today with post-Soviet Russia reverting to the more traditional forms of imperialist expansion, first in Chechnya, then seizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia, then Crimea, and now eastern Ukraine, you would think that the left would have no hesitation about condemning that aggression.

But none of these have provoked any serious protests, least of all from the organized left.

On the face of it, this is quite strange.

After all, when the Soviet Union was young, and when idealistic leftists believed it incapable of doing any wrong, Stalin could order the Red Army to march into Georgia and annex it once again to Russia. Communists in Britain and elsewhere supported that invasion without protest because it was done under the banner of, well, Communism.

They were wrong, and the social democrats who opposed Stalin were right. But at least one can understand their error. Soviet imperialism at least pretended to be somehow “progressive”. Putin’s aggression makes no such pretense.

The fact that the TUC couldn’t bring itself to condemn Putin this time should come as no surprise, as they didn’t say a word when Russian tanks poured into Georgia six years ago, or Chechnya a decade before that.

Shame on the TUC and the British Left for not speaking out.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Passing of a political gangster

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One of the more fascinating organisations on the far left in the seventies and eighties was the Workers Revolutionary Party. Led by the now somewhat discredited Gerry Healy, it managed to publish a daily newspaper (Workers Press and the News Line), attract more than a few "luvvies " from the Equity Union including Vanessa and Corin Redgrave and maintain a fairly high profile on the left that far outweighed its actual influence.

More of a sect than a political party, the WRP managed to betray every single principle it said it stood for. Gerry Healy its leader was exposed in a factional dispute as a serial abuser of female members of their Young Socialists group and subsequently expelled. At first most outsiders were astonished, shocked or just bemused. The stories about Healy only began to emerge after the now famous headline "G. Healy expelled from the WRP".

Of course as events unfolded there suddenly appeared to be two News Lines one published by the rump WRP under Cliff Slaughter, Sheila Torrance and Mike Banda and the other by Healy himself. The Healy group eventually morphed into the tiny Marxist Party, barely outlasting Healy's own death in 1989.

One of Healy's main collaborators was a man called Michael Banda, a Sri Lankan trotskyist who died recently. Banda was a leading figure in the various groups that eventually became the WRP and even managed to supplant Healy as General Secretary in 1978, though actual power remained quite firmly in Healy's hands.

The WRP became renowned for its mad sectarianism, denouncing every other organisation as "Pabloites" long after Michel Pablo had left the trotskyist movement. They also ran a bizarre international campaign claiming that other veteran trotskyists were GPU/CIA agents and complicit in the murder of Leon Trotsky. Absurd to the extreme, their political line claimed that a military coup was in the offing for years and demanded a level of activism and loyalty from their membership reminiscent of religious cults.

It included demands on their women, something hidden from public view until the WRP fell apart in 1985/86. Banda took part in the coup against Healy, but soon fell out with all the other players in the organisation and ended up out on a limb.

According to a more sympathetic obituary published by A World to Win, one of the remnants of the WRP:

Banda, hitherto Healy’s strongest political ally, now began to spin around politically. He proved incapable of resisting the combined pressures of a rapidly-changing political situation, a financial meltdown and massive efforts to destabilise him politically. Casting aside decades of political training, Banda now became deeply disoriented, descending to the crudest anti-Marxism and personal attacks. He thus became the instrument of the most reactionary elements in the leadership to split the WRP down the middle, opening the party door to the Fleet Street media to witch-hunt Healy, the man who had been his closest comrade......

The manipulation of the WRP’s substantial assets and subsequent financial crisis played a crucial role in undermining a dedicated Marxist and revolutionary. This came together with a concerted international campaign to destroy his relationship with Healy, playing on Banda’s ego and volatile temperament. His actions in 1985 were those of someone who tragically could not cope with the tremendous pressure that revolutionaries come under at crucial moments in the class struggle. He thus ended up helping to destroy the very organisation he had worked so hard to create.

In many ways this view of Banda is almost the same as the line David North, an American protege of Healy, wrote about the death of his own former master:

For a long and difficult period, Gerry Healy was a crucial human link in the historical continuity of the Fourth International. For decades he fought against stalinism and opportunism. In the end he broke beneath the pressure of this tremendous struggle.

Denial. The inability to cope with the very real failings that this party went through.

Michael Banda represented a form of politics that offered up some of the worst that humanity has to offer. Imagine what world would have come into being under the likes of Banda or Healy. No different to that which became known as "Stalinism", the very thing the trotskyists themselves claim to be opposing.

Marxism (whether through Lenin, Trotsky or Stalin) has proved itself a false faith, yet continues to attract it's adherents blinded through ideology that allows the individuals ability to think for themselves to be supplanted by the party, and ultimately the leader of that party.

Banda and Healy were just two of many false messiahs. 

The far-left still contains many such people.

"Comrade delta" and the "Prof" come to mind.

Best avoided and frankly consigned to the dustbin of history!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Gordon Brown's Better Together speech


Better Together

An excellent speech from Gordon Brown. 

Please VOTE NO and keep this country united!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Is the SWP still working with "Comrade Delta"?

If there is one thing we all know about the Socialist Workers Party is that is parasitically sectarian when it comes to campaigns, publications and websites in order to get its members and supporters to toe the "line". So when Hope Not Hate sets up a running campaign to expose the more lunatic elements of UKIP, the SWP go and form their own campaign, Stand up to UKIP.

 

You see it all the time, it just happens to be the latest of their shenanigans.

One thing they really don't like is members of their cult promoting anyone elses work. So imagine my surprise when when leading SWP member Candy Udwin posted this on the PCS Union members Face Book Page:

Candy Udwin We are all better off if Scotland votes Yes. Nice video of what is described as a Yes flash mob in Glasgowhttp://www.dreamdeferred.org.uk/.../video-huge-flashmob.../


Now Dream Deferred is a website best avoided. Why? Because its the latest political project of Martin Smith, the former SWP National Secretary at the centre of serious allegations widely commented on across the media, including the mainstream press given the nature of the accusations made against him.

Now nothing has been or probably ever will be proved due to the disgraceful way the SWP cult dealt with the issue and treated the alleged victim. Even now hostility towards the SWP is very visible, especially in the universities and across the Feminist movement.

The defence of "Delta" by the Prof and his "lynch mob" not only caused outrage, but managed to split the SWP apart. It is a pale reflection of its former self, which frankly isn't a bad thing for this hateful little sect. 

One of the people on the "Disciplinary Committee" that "exonerated" him was none other than leading hack Candy Udwin. Delta subsequently left the SWP, managed to cause an outcry when he re-appeared at Liverpool Hope University and then all went quiet.

Now he has a website, working with a journalist called, you guessed it Dream Deferred. Most observers though he might just have disappeared into the ether, but no here he is and promoted once again by a leading SWP member.

Rumours of a long term plan to "rehabilitate" the man have abounded across the Internet. The arrogance of the Profs cult knows no bounds so could there be some remaining connections with Delta?

Are the SWP quietly working with delta?

Time will tell. 

And many will be watching.....