Quote Of The Day #60

August Bebel (attributed)

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“Anti-Semitism is the Socialism of fools.”

(German: “Der Antisemitismus ist der Socialismus der dummen kerle.”) Continue reading “Quote Of The Day #60”

Labour And Anti-Semitism Update #2

Is Jeremy Corbyn a racist?

The Labour anti-Semitism row shows little sign of dying down. I have to admit I thought this was one of those silly August stories (like Boris Johnson and the burka) that would quickly die and be forgotten. Unfortunately, it seems that anti-Semitism has become a proxy for the ongoing battle between the Corbynite hard left, the Blairites and more traditional Labour MPs for control of the party. The resignation of Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead since 1979, is a disturbing sign of the times and the growing division between Labour and its traditional working class supporters.

 

Original post can be seen here.

 

The first update, including the Der Sturmer-like rant of Corbyn ally Peter Willsman, here. Continue reading “Labour And Anti-Semitism Update #2”

‘Left’ And ‘Right Are Outdated Concepts Part Three

The tyranny of binary thinking

In this case, a picture is worth a million word.

 

Since both the ‘left’ and ‘right’ in the modern West are committed to the main elements of neoliberal economics – privatised public utilities, low taxes for the mega-wealthy and corporate welfare for big business, especially the banks – it seems that the only thing that separates the two sides of politics are the people they hate. The ‘left’ hates the white working class, Americans and Jews whilst the ‘right’ hates immigrants, Brussels apparatchiks and single mothers. As well as in economic policy, they are united in their desire to maintain the current system and their privileged place in that system. My inner Leninist suggesting the whole system is beyond repair and needs to be swept away in tis entirety.

 

Part One of this post here.

 

Part Two here.

‘Left’ And ‘Right’ Are Outdated Concepts Part Two

The tyranny of binary thinking

The first part of this post can be seen here.

In the first part of this post, I expressed my deep dissatisfaction with the binary thinking so prevalent in the West today. It seems that a great many people in politics, the media and online care less about truth than about their ‘team’ being on the winning side of an argument. In the UK, the 2016 vote to leave the European Union has poisoned public life to such an extent that everything is seem through the prism of ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain.’ Abuse, especially online, has become a real problem. The denigration of Margaret Hodge for daring to challenge Jeremy Corbyn over anti-Semitism in the Labour Party or of Sarah Champion for speaking out about the scandal of young girls in her constituency being raped and exploited by some British-Pakistani man has been particularly unpleasant. In both cases there was an undeniable element of misogyny in the language used and the disgusting rape threats. This is deeply troubling- it appears that some people believe that the anonymity afforded by the internet allows them to engage in behaviour that would never be tolerated in normal everyday encounters. Continue reading “‘Left’ And ‘Right’ Are Outdated Concepts Part Two”

Labour And Anti-Semitism Update

Is Jeremy Corbyn a racist?

This is shocking stuff…

 

https://news.sky.com/video/corbyn-ally-blames-jewish-trump-fanatics-11454857

 

Peter Willsman is a member of the National Executive Committee of the UK Labour Party. He is not a fringe figure. Yet here he is ranting about Jews  at an NEC meeting like a reader of Der Sturmer. Notice the typical anti-Semitic trope about Jewish people controlling the media – “they can falsify social media very easily.”

 

I don’t think Jeremy Corbyn is a racist but it is clear he has some kind of problems with Jewish people. This repugnant outburst would have seen Willsman kicked out of the Labour Party quicker than Owen Jones can invent a phobia had any other racial, religious or sexual minority been the subject of his rant.

 

Here is the original post I wrote on this issue.

 

 

‘Left’ And ‘Right’ Are Outdated Concepts Part One

The tyranny of binary thinking

When I was a university undergraduate (between 1987 and 1990 if anyone is interested) probably the most annoying group of student politicians was the Socialist Workers’ Party Student Society. (This is relative – in my experience, 99%+ of student politicians are annoying). I recall one of the slogans they used on their posters…

 

“Neither Washington nor Moscow but international socialism.”

 

I am reminded of this slogan because it rejected the binary nature of politics in my youth. During the Cold War, it was difficult not to fall into the orbit of either the United States or the Soviet Union; the Toytown Trotskyists of the SWP claimed to have found a way between the two. Whilst I rejected the cod-Marxism of the Socialist Workers at university, I think they were right to challenge the binary thinking so prevalent in my teenage years. Such thinking is a hallmark of our times, typified by the either/or choice of Remain/Leave embraced by fanatics on both sides of that divide and fuelled by the intemperate commentary of much of the media. Continue reading “‘Left’ And ‘Right’ Are Outdated Concepts Part One”

Labour And Anti-Semitism

Is Jeremy Corbyn a racist?

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”