Tag Archives: Socialist

Raving racist Norman Tebbit admits he’s more right-wing than Hitler

Tebbit’s law: the law of the far-right thug, apparently.

What a confession.

Norman Tebbit, writing in the Daily Telegraph has admitted that he thinks Adolf Hitler’s Nazi government of Germany in the 1930s and 40s was left-wing – because it had the word “socialist” in its title.

It’s an old, and easily-defeated, false argument but let’s all take a moment to enjoy the fact that the skeletal old thug has admitted that his own politics are more extreme even than Hitler’s. We all suspected; now we know.

He wrote: “Churchill was the great wartime leader in the fight to save this country and liberate our friends on the continent from the curse of Hitler’s extreme Left, anti-Semitic, German National Socialist Workers’ Party regime.”

“Extreme Left”? “Extreme Left“?

Reality check, please!

There y’go. And if Nazism was “extreme right-wing fascism” but Norman Tebbit considers it to be of the “extreme Left”, then clearly Mr Tebbit is so right-wing he should be quarantined to prevent his own fascism from infecting anybody nearby – and the Torygraph sanctioned for publishing his vile opinions.

The article has produced some sharp responses, which are worth celebrating, though:

If you’re not aware of this, the label “cricket racist” arises from his infamous 1990 ‘cricket test’ in which black Britons were invited to pick a side to support when England played the West Indies. The implication was that they were more likely to support the foreign team than their own national side. Some have tried to claim that the comment was not racist but it is very similar to an anti-Semitic trope which suggests that all Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the UK. If the latter is anti-Semitic (and This Writer would certainly say it is, despite a pathetic attempt by the Labour Party to suggest otherwise with an extremely selective quotation) then the former is certainly racist.

https://twitter.com/philipproudfoot/status/1275744626486448128

Need any more be said?

Yes?

Okay, here’s Sean Connery, from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

“Goose-stepping morons like [Tebbit] should try reading books instead of burning them!”

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Socialist Labour MPs demand action on leaked Labour report but Starmer’s too busy saving his officials

Socialist Labour MPs – in other words, proper Labour MPs – have demanded action from party leader Keir Starmer, after a report showing how party officers sabotaged the party was leaked to the public.

The Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs has issued a statement as follows:

“In light of the recent revelations about senior officials undermining the 2017 general election campaign, we, as members of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs, make the following demands:

“1. The report should be published in full officially by the Labour Party.

“2. An emergency National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting should be convened to discuss its contents.

“3. That NEC meeting must establish a transparent process to investigate the conduct alleged in the leaked document, with the terms of reference set by the NEC officers.

“4. This process must produce a report, that is publicly available, which restores faith among Labour members in the practices of our party.

“We understand the disappointment and frustration that many Labour members will feel with the details revealed in this report. It contains revelations of senior officials undermining the 2017 general election campaign and suggests there are cases to answer on bullying, harassment, sexism and racism.

“We express our solidarity with Labour volunteers who give up their spare time to fight for a better society and to get a Labour government.

“We believe people must stay and fight for a Labour Government, organise to defend our socialist manifesto and push for action.”

The statement is signed by Diane Abbott, Paula Barker, Apsana Begum, Olivia Blake, Richard Burgon, Ian Byrne, Dan Carden, Mary Foy, Rachel Hopkins, Imran Hussain, Kim Johnson, Clive Lewis, Ian Lavery, Rachael Maskell, John McDonnell, Ian Mearns, Nav Mishra, Grahame Morris, Kate Osamor, Kate Osborne, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Zarah Sultana, Sam Tarry, Jon Trickett, Beth Winter, Claudia Webbe, Mick Whitley and Nadia Whittome.

But Mr Starmer has released a statement of his own, saying he intends to investigate: the background and circumstances in which the report was commissioned – despite the fact that we’re told he has been in possession of the report for more than a week; the contents and wider culture and practices referred to in the report – which suggests an intention to find that it is not accurate; and the circumstances in which the report was put into the public domain – which suggests that he wants to attack the people who leaked it because he thinks that is much worse than gross misconduct and betrayal of every single Labour member and voter in the United Kingdom.

So it seems this has become a matter of trust.

The wider membership of the party will have to base its future choices on what Starmer chooses to do. But I will say this:

There is enough prima facie evidence in this report to justify the suspension of every Labour official, MP and member who is named in it as having acted against the interests of the party. Starmer should take this step, to justify members’ continued support – and to ensure that the accused don’t end up investigating themselves.

Postscript: And now we learn that Starmer bypassed Labour’s National Executive Committee – which is supposed to be it’s sovereign decision-making body – to announce that an independent investigation on the lines he described would take place. The NEC’s chair is furious:

https://twitter.com/andydaisyfox/status/1249738666848800768

The weird part of it is, Starmer didn’t have to do this to rubber-stamp a decision not to carry out the obvious investigation – into the behaviour of the Labour officials, MPs and members cited as having acted wrongly. Labour’s NEC is now predominantly right-wing and probably would have agreed to a whitewash anyway.

But now he will – or at least, should – be open to questions about why he thinks he is above the scrutiny demanded by the party of its leaders… People like Jeremy Corbyn, to name a topical example.

At this rate, it won’t be long before other leading party figures can demand a quick “no confidence” vote and he can go home.

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Labour usurper Tony Blair gets schooled on what the party REALLY stands for

Tight-lipped: Tony Blair probably wishes he’d been like this during his Nick Robinson interview.

If he had any sense, Tony Blair would be wishing he had kept his mouth shut.

The right-wing former Labour leader took part in a radio interview with former Young Conservatives chairman Nick Robinson in which he moaned about the current direction of Labour.

His question: “Can it be taken back?” is nonsense.

The fact is, the Labour Party has been retaken after Blair turned it away from its socialist background and forced its members to put up with an elitist, centrally-led hierarchy in which our wishes were steamrolled and leader-approved yes-people were parachuted into safe seats, to provide a cushy livelihood for the favourites, no matter what the rest of us may have been suffering.

The backlash was immediate, and severe:

Current Labour backbencher Chris Williamson told the BBC about the current Labour Party in no uncertain terms:

Reporter Paul Mason took a stronger line:

And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had this to say:

Others, including high-profile figures, were far less compromising:

The fact is that Blair’s politics was regressive, not progressive.

I’m giving the last word to Evolve Politics, who provided the following perceptive analysis of Mr Blair’s mistake:

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Uncomfortable facts that should be addressed – not just on Holocaust Memorial Day but every day

A woman and a man at the memorial plaque at Buchenwald concentration camp near Weimar, Germany [Image: Jens Schlueter/Getty Images].

Here‘s a worthwhile article on the Beastrabban blog, making an important point about the way the scope of Holocaust Memorial Day seems to have been limited.

Today is, I believe, Holocaust Remembrance Day, when the world, or at least the Western world, reflects on the Shoah and the calculated extermination of six million Jews.

As we commemorate the sufferings of the Jews during the Nazi regime, we also need to take on board that it isn’t just about anti-Semitism, but about similar horrors that have disfigured human history down the centuries, and murderous, criminal regimes that are perpetrating them today.

Just so. The Nazi Holocaust, the killing of millions of Jews, and the way in which they were murdered, should never be forgotten. But part of this remembrance must involve recognition that similar hate-motivated atrocities can happen – and are happening – even now.

Unfortunately, there are some highly vocal people who seem to want to mask this fact, as we have seen on This Site over the last few days.

Holocaust Remembrance Day isn’t just about commemorating the Holocaust and its victims, but other genocides and their victims that have occurred throughout history. Hitler partly made his decision to go ahead with the extermination of the Jews because of the complete lack of western reaction to the Young Turks’ massacre of the Armenians. He commented, ‘Who remembers the Armenians?’ And before then, the German colonial authorities in what is now Tanganyika had attempted to exterminate the Herrero after they revolted, using similar eugenicist logic.

It is … important to remember the other victims of the Nazi camps as well.

This included the congenitally disabled, who were murdered by Nazi doctors under the Aktion T4 programme with the assistance and supervision of the SS… This prefigured and prepared for the murder of the Jews, particularly in the use of poison gas.

I made the point that disabled people are being persecuted to their deaths by the Conservative government in the United Kingdom – right now – in a response to comments in Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (January 24).

And what initial response did I receive?

Denial. And denial is one of the ten stages of genocide, as we all know from the Holocaust Memorial Day website. Right?

The Nazis also attempted to exterminate the Romanies – the Gypsies – as they too were considered, like the Jews, to be subhuman and a threat to German society and racial industry.

Other victims of the camps included the mentally ill, neurotics, prostitutes, recidivist criminals, Prisoners of War, and political prisoners, such as trade unionists, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, gay men, and slave workers from the Slav nations. The last were worked to death in horrific conditions, including building the Nazi fortifications and tunnels in the Channel Islands.

The Holocaust Memorial Day website devotes a couple of paragraphs on a page to these victims of the Nazi Holocaust. The highest estimate of the death figures shows they outnumber Jewish victims by a ratio of nearly two to one.

The website also devotes several pages each to the genocides in Cambodia, Darfur, Bosnia and Rwanda, and mentions the atrocities against Armenians which encouraged Hitler to commit his own.

It omits many other genocides, both recent and historical.

Nothing is said about the indigenous people of America, for example. Those of you who are aware of the HMD website may not even know there is a site for Aztec Natives, which makes the following pertinent point:

“The Mexican people are the descendants and the end product of five centuries of genocide – the greatest Holocaust in human history. Over 100 million of our ancestors, i.e. at least 90% of natives were killed.”

100 million dead, and no commemoration on Holocaust Memorial Day. It seems some groups have stronger public relations people than others.

Genocides have continued to be perpetrated, such as the various crimes against humanity committed by Fascist regimes across Latin America, Asia and Africa, supported by American foreign policy. The persecution of the Rohingya is just the latest of these.

Isn’t it interesting how we can identify the wrongdoings of people in other countries, yet we say nothing about what’s happening in our own? “It couldn’t happen here”, as the saying goes.

It has; it does; it is.

Those who deny it are complicit.

Fortunately, the Beastrabban piece provides a ray of hope. We see that not everybody supports the overwhelming concentration of attention on the Nazi Holocaust, and it is important to note that Jewish scholars are among those leading the way in this regard.

And Jews have been involved in protesting and commemorating them and their victims as well. In Canada, the leader of the mainstream Jewish organisation, Bernie Farber, organised a ‘Shabbat for Darfur’ after that city was attacked by the Islamist Janjaweed Militia in the early part of this century. Farber’s generous action has been bitterly criticised by members of the transatlantic conservative Right, who feel that Jews should concentrate solely on their own sufferings in the Holocaust, and not expand their experience of suffering, persecution and attempted genocide to form solidarity with the other persecuted ethnic and religious groups.

Why not form solidarity with other persecuted groups? We all know there is strength in numbers. Is it because making such connections might reveal uncomfortable truths about events closer to home?

Israeli scholars have also noted that the Holocaust, while horrific, was not a unique event. See Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review, edited by Israel W. Charny, the executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust, Jerusalem, and Director of Postgraduate Interdisplinary and Graduate Social Work Programs in Family, Therapy, Bob Shapell School of Social Work, Tel Aviv University. Dr. Charny’s book also includes a chapter on the ethnic cleansing of Israel’s indigenous Arab population, which is definitely unwelcome to the Likudniks.

But it bears out Ilan Pappe’s assertion that Israelis are still decent people, who need to have the situation and issues properly explained to them. But odiously, Netanyahu, Likud and other ethno-nationalists in his ruling coalition are doing all they can to prevent that occurring. As are his little helpers over here in the shape of the Jewish Labour Movement and the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism.

Food for thought, I hope. But I wonder if critics of This Site and This Writer will be able to forgive me for including more groups in my own commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day than they do.

Source: Wishing Everyone a Solemn and Reflective Holocaust Remembrance Day | Beastrabban\’s Weblog


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Robert Halfon suggests new name for the Conservative Party. We’ve seen this tactic before somewhere…

Robert Halfon: Those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat its mistakes,.

People say it is inappropriate to compare the Tories with the Nazi Party of 1920s-40s Germany – but the Tories themselves continue to invite comparisons:

The National Socialist German Workers Party, active in Germany between 1920 and 1945, was neither socialist nor a workers’ party – it merely used these labels in a cynical ploy to make it more attractive to working-class voters.

Now here’s Robert Halfon suggesting exactly the same idea.

Does he think we’re all stupid? And what does this say about the modern Conservative Party?


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For anyone who still insists Nazis were ‘socialists’ – read this and shut up


Credit to Indy100 for the following:

‘Nazi’ is the short name. The full name for the ‘Nazi’ party was the “National Socialist German Workers’ Party” (“Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei” in German).

The fact that the far-right party contained ‘socialist’ in the name was a rebranding gambit to draw workers away from communism and into populist nationalism.

Despite this, the populist nationalists that support the likes of Donald Trump, regualarly take the oportunity to remind modern day liberal or left-leaning critics of white-supremacists and neo-nazis that ‘Socialism’ was included in the Nazi party name.

Hitler’s party positioned as a left-wing organisation based on his rhetoric, rather than his actions, espoused in the 1920s and 1930s to disenfranchised workers frustrated with what they perceived as a two-tier society.

Neither left or right wing want to be known as the side of the political spectrum that Hitler was on, and both sides would argue he was on the other, politically speaking.

One such incident occurred recently on Twitter.

Mike Stuchbery, a teacher and writer whose passion is History, sought to correct the misconception.

This is quite a long dressing down and is a little foulmouthed. You’ve been warned.


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Far-right politicians and their supporters are ‘parasites’ says Corbyn, calling for rejection of the Establishment

Jeremy Corbyn will speak at the conference in Prague [Image: PA].

Jeremy Corbyn will speak at the conference in Prague [Image: PA].

“Political parasites feeding off people’s concerns and worsening conditions” – yes, that would describe the Tories – and UKIP’s – attitude to immigration (for example).

This Writer spent an annoying few moments on Thursday evening explaining to one of the right-wing parties’ cultists that immigrants are not responsible for a shortage of school places near him – Tories are.

The speech seems as eloquent a way of rejecting the politics of Tony Blair as we’re likely to see, too. Blair enthusiastically embraced the neoliberal politics of Margaret Thatcher, which is why she said New Labour was her greatest achievement.

The result, as we have seen, was a United Kingdom that New Labour left ripe for the sale of its remaining public resources into private hands by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition – and also ready for the spread of racist and other antisocial attitudes that we are seeing today.

Mr Corbyn is right. The politics of division will only leave us defenceless against the exploiters of the populist far-right – and don’t be fooled; Theresa May and Nigel Farage are far-right politicians.

This cartoon by Gary Barker for Tribune Magazine illustrates Mr Corbyn's point.

This cartoon by Gary Barker for Tribune Magazine illustrates Mr Corbyn’s point.

Spread the word. Those with the intelligence to recognise the facts will hear.

Europe’s centre-left parties must reject the establishment – or watch the populist far-right win across the continent, Jeremy Corbyn will warn this weekend.

In a speech to Labour’s European sister parties, at the Party of European Socialists conference in Prague, the Labour leader will warn that the populist right had correctly identified problems with the prevailing economic model.

But he will argue the solutions of those anti-immigrant, anti-EU, and anti-Islam parties were only “toxic dead ends” that would not solve people’s problems.

“In many cases the populist right do identify the right problems, but their solutions are toxic dead ends of the past.

“They are political parasites feeding off people’s concerns and worsening conditions, blaming the most vulnerable for society’s ills instead of offering a way for taking back real control of our lives [from] the elites who serve their own interests.

“But unless progressive parties and movements break with a failed economic and political establishment, it is the siren voices of the populist far right that will fill the gap.”

Source: Reject the establishment or watch the far-right take over, Corbyn tells Europe’s centre-left leaders

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Corbyn’s Scottish trip shows he means it when he says he’ll win back support

151002corbynirnbru

“Gotta feel sorry for Corbyn. “Don’t mention Scotland! Drink this! Just Drink. The. Irn. Bru. Try to look happy.”

That’s SNP councillor Mhairi Hunter’s opinion of Jeremy Corbyn’s trip north of the English border – but it’s one that doesn’t seem to reflect the actual state of affairs at all.

Sure, we have the photographs of Labour’s new leader brandishing a bottle of Irn Bru and claims like that in The National, that Scottish Labour has told him not to mention the word ‘Scotland’ for fear of “playing to the nationalist agenda” (it seems he was advised by senior party insiders to refer to towns and cities rather than the country).

Others have been taking the visit more seriously. According to the FT, “Some Labour members think that his left wing views will make it harder for the ruling Scottish National party to portray itself as a champion of socialist values while pursuing centrist policies” (Scottish Labour’s opinion seems to be that the SNP are “New Labour in kilts”).

This, of course, suggests that moving Labour to the left of the political spectrum leaves more of the middle ground for the SNP. Won’t that imply a visible shift in that party’s policies, away from what the electorate thought it was, though?

Mr Corbyn himself seems to endorse that view. Asked how Labour’s anti-austerity stance differs from the SNP’s, he told the Daily Record: “We mean it.”

“We’ve learned the lessons of the economic strategies of the past and the way they haven’t worked. It does mean rebalancing our economy, it does mean maintaining the 50p top rate of tax, it does mean not cutting tax credits for the poorest people in our society.

“We want to invest in a growing, expanding economy across the UK and we fully support the powers in the Scotland Bill, and we are going to be working closely with the Labour Party in Scotland to try to defend the people of Scotland from the worst effects of the Trade Union Bill and, of course, the Welfare Reform Bill.”

Mr Corbyn warned that the SNP plan for “full fiscal autonomy” would lead to “very, very heavy” austerity – implying that the nationalists have been misleading their electorate about the effects of their policies.

He told the Record: “If you go for fiscal autonomy, I don’t know what kind of austerity you are going to have but all I know is it would be very, very heavy. I want to see an end to austerity across all of the UK and that is what the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell did in his speech at the party conference on Monday.”

He made it clear that he rejects SNP claims that they are the only effective opposition to the Tories, and pointed out that Labour membership in Scotland it at its highest in years since he took over as leader.

“I believe we’re going to continue to gain support,” he said. “We’re going to do lot of campaigning and point out that what really matters to people is housing, is education, jobs, opportunities and opposing what the Tories are doing in the Welfare Reform Bill.

“We will do our best to get sufficient powers to the Scottish Parliament to try to reduce the impact of the disastrous welfare reform bill on the people of Scotland.”

And he repeated his position on Trident, saying his belief that it should be scrapped had been well known for years and would win popular support in Scotland.

Hmm. That’s six mentions of ‘Scotland’, just in the comments quoted here. Perhaps Ms Hunter and The National were mistaken?

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MEP group rejects controversial TTIP trade dispute system – almost unanimously

12/07/2014 - Protestors against the EU-US trade deal (TTIP - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) outside the Houses of Parliament march to Europe House, the London Headquarters of the European Commission and the European Parliament, in Smith Square, London [Image: Huffington Post].

12/07/2014 – Protestors against the EU-US trade deal (TTIP – Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) outside the Houses of Parliament march to Europe House, the London Headquarters of the European Commission and the European Parliament, in Smith Square, London [Image: Huffington Post].

The Labour Party has been instrumental in ensuring that a large group in the European Parliament has rejected any use of the controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in trade deals with both the US (TTIP) and Canada (CETA).

The Socialist and Democrats Group in the European Parliament adopted almost unanimously a position paper drafted by a working group headed by UK Labour Party MEPs including David Martin (chair), Jude Kirton-Darling (spokesperson on TTIP and CETA) and Richard Corbett (Labour’s Deputy Leader in the European Parliament).

The proposal was supported by 78 votes to five against.

“We have always been opposed to ISDS as a group, although we didn’t have a chance to adopt a formal decision on this matter since the last European elections in 2014,” said Mr Martin. “In doing so today, we are responding to the thousands of constituents and the many civil society organisations that have asked us to clarify our position.”

Jude Kirton-Darling added: “This decision … will prove to be a real game-changer, not only in the negotiations between the EU and the US but also with respect to the ratification of the Canada agreement.

The European Commission and Europe’s Conservatives will need our support in the end if they want to see TTIP through. Today, we are sending them a loud and clear message that we can only contemplate support if our conditions are met. One such condition is we do not accept the need to have private tribunals in TTIP.”

And Richard Corbett said: “Today the Labour Party has demonstrated that engaging with our neighbours across the EU yields tangible results in the interest of the general public. Labour were instrumental in securing this outcome, and this is a tribute to the hard work, commitment and resolve of Labour MEPs.”

This is an excellent result.

Vox Political has reported public opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership many times over the past few years, and it was clear that the main sticking-point was the intention to allow businesses to sue national government if legislation interfered with their ability to make a profit.

Allowing traders such power is clearly against the interests of the citizens of both the EU and the US (and Canada also, it seems). It would have made it possible for the Conservative Party, here in the UK, to lock its privatisation of the National Health Service into the way that service operates, because of an international agreement that would be binding to the UK.

Now it is clear that Labour – and its group in the European Parliament – will not accept that.

It is a welcome clarification that should silence the naysayers here in the UK, who have been quick to suggest that Labour retains too much of the neoliberalism that plagued the New Labour era, and actually supports moves that could exploit working people.

Any such claim has no credibility now.

Trade agreements between the EU, US and Canada are not inherently bad ideas – but they need to be written to benefit everybody involved, rather than just a few money-grubbing shopkeepers and industrialists.

With this agreement in place, we are a step closer to ensuring this is the case.

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