Labour And Anti-Semitism

Is Jeremy Corbyn a racist?

Advertisements

A story. Probably only an internet legend but, like all the best fables, it makes an important point…

 

Pint-sized U2 taxdodger Bonio was performing at a concert in Scotland. Between songs he asked the crowd for silence. He began to clap his hands slowly. He announced “Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.” From the crowd came a shout in a broad Scottish accent, “Well stop clapping your hands then, you evil bastard.”

 

One of the most obvious but ultimately futile arguments is to present people who are loudly and annoyingly self-righteous with the ways they fall short of the demands they place on others. The aforementioned Bonio has been spouting nonsense about poverty for decades despite being repeatedly exposed as a tax cheat. Numerous televangelists have been shown to live opulent lifestyles despite allegedly worshiping a man who told his followers to give all they owned to the poor; the less about some of these people’s sexual morals the better. The Romans called this argument ‘tu quoque ‘ (you also). Even the magic carpenter at the centre of Christian mythology used the argument when he demanded his critics “first take the plank out of [your] own eye” (Matthew 7:5).

 

Such is my take on the latest row over anti-Semitism rocking the British Labour Party. Continue reading “Labour And Anti-Semitism”

Book Review #5

Posh Boys: How The English Public Schools Ruin Britain by Robert Verkaik

When I wrote (yet another) post against identity politics – Wealth Not Identity – I made reference to the superb sitcom ‘The Young Ones’ and in particular, the episode Bambi. In that episode, Alexei Sayle delivered the following rant…

 

“…I never really wanted to be a train driver, you know. I mean, they told me when I left school, if I got two CSEs, I’d be head of British Steel. That’s a load of nonsense, isn’t it? You look at the statistics, right? 83% of top British management have been to a public school and Oxbridge; 93% of the BBC have been to a public school and Oxbridge; 98% of the KGB have been to a public school and Oxbridge. All you get from a public school is one, a top job and two, an interest in perverse sexual practices…”

 

I highly recommend you read Robert Verkaik’s book Posh Boys: How The English Public Schools Ruin Britain. Continue reading “Book Review #5”

Brexit: Left Or Right?

Time to learn some history

The Referendum that resulted in the decision for Britain to withdraw from the European Union happened only 25 months ago. It seems longer. Such has been the rage of one section of the Establishment about being torn from the embrace of their neoliberal chums in Brussels that they have thought of little else since June 2016. Don’t get me wrong, I still think the decision to leave the EU was misguided and have little respect for the fantasies of the equally neoliberal section of the Establishment that is obsessed with somehow recreating the times when Britain was economic top dog. Brexit was, is and always shall be about an Elite Civil War.

 

One of the many lies that have grown up around Brexit is that leaving the EU is some right-wing conspiracy and everyone who voted Leave is a either racist thicko or wants to fire up the ovens for immigrants or wants to round up poor people for use as spare organ banks for the plutocratic rich. Or perhaps all three. Dismissing opposition to the EU as mere xenophobia or ‘far right’ populism demonstrates a profound ignorance of both history and economics.

 

Anyone who sees opposition to the EU as only right-wing has never heard of the 1983 Labour Party general election manifesto.
Continue reading “Brexit: Left Or Right?”

Reblog: Maryam Namazie

Ex-Muslims: A community in protest

Haven’t posted much recently as I’ve been obsessing over the World Cup. Last time England were in the semi-finals I was still at university. I do feel for those people who don’t like football – the over-the-top media coverage can be extremely grating. An excellent, if foul-mouthed, rant by fellow WordPress blogger Dioclese here.

 

This post is actually a reblog of a post by Maryam Namazie. I have mentioned Namazie before – she was the lady abused and intimidated by Islamist fascists at Goldsmiths University back in 2015. In any sane world she would be a liberal icon – a softly-spoken, feminist ‘person of colour’ (how I hate that racist expression) who stands up against violent misogynists and their far right ideology. Such is the confusion engendered by identity politics that Namazie is abused as an ‘Islamophobe’ – an entirely meaningless insult – and as a ‘native informant’ – another racist term.

 

The post is rather long and contains a large number of links. The original post can be seen here but I have highlighted what I consider the key points below. Continue reading “Reblog: Maryam Namazie”

Nail On The Head

Abuse will not bring voters over to the ‘progressives’

“…People do not like being told they are idiots, racists or deluded Nazis when voting for what they see as their interests and their national identity.”

 

So true. And yet so astonishing that these words appear in the race-baiting, EU-loving, neoliberal Guardian.

 

Blame liberal democracy’s flaws for Erdogan’s win, not the voters by Simon Jenkins. Continue reading “Nail On The Head”

The Future Of The European Union Update

Reform of the Euro is vital

Original post here.

 

The fault lines in British politics were exposed by the June 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union. Both the main political parties are deeply split by supporters of and opponents of the EU; it is not a straight left/right issue. I have mentioned before that I recall the 1983 general election when the Labour party went to the country with the express policy of withdrawal from the European Economic Community whilst the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher supported continued membership. Strange how things turn out; in the referendum, the most fervent Leavers came from the Thatcherite right, whether UKIP or Conservative. Continue reading “The Future Of The European Union Update”

The Future Of The European Union

Reform of the Euro is vital

Membership of the European Union is not and has never been a particularly vital issue for me. As I have lived outside the UK for more than a decade now I did not vote in the June 2016 Referendum; I did try to register to vote but the website was extremely poorly designed and I gave up. I was convinced that ‘Remain’ would emerge victorious and I was astonished by the result.

 

I have never considered the EU to be the road to utopia that some of the more Europhile politicians and journalists would have people believe. At the same time, I have never believed that the EU to be the anti-Christ so hated by some of the more intemperate voices on the right. If I had voted in the Referendum, I would have probably (and reluctantly) voted Remain. The EU is desperately in need of reform and it is likely that the people of the UK would have voted to stay in had David Cameron secured some meaningful concessions from Angela Merkel and Jean-Claude Juncker back in 2016.

 

Of all the changes needed, reform of the Euro is probably the most urgent.
Continue reading “The Future Of The European Union”