"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in"
(Leonard Cohen)
"Ignore all proffered rules and create your own, suitable for what you want to say"
(Michael Moorcock)
"Look for your own. Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings."
(Andre Gide)
"I want my place, my own place, my true place in the world, my proper sphere, my thing which Nature intended me to perform when she fashioned me thus awry, and which I have vainly sought all my life-time."
(Nathaniel Hawthorne)
"Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached."
(Franz Kafka)
"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated"
(John Donne)
“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
(Robert J. Hanlon)
"Life is beautiful, but the world is hell"
(Harold Pinter)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Nick Griffin on Question time
EXTRACTThe last incident shows that we need the SWP’s “united front” strategy like we need a hole in the head, given that it sacrifices independent working class politics in favour of building the broadest populist fronts possible - effectively constituting itself as a ‘left’ outrider for the establishment. With absolute predictability, the SWP is now repeating the same mistake with the UAF’s sad mirror image, Stand Up To Ukip. In the Internal Bulletin the SWP tells us that it is “important” to restate that Ukip is “not a fascist party”: therefore, it requires a “different” kind of response from that developed to “beat back” the EDL and BNP. What would that be perchance? You guessed it: a “broad-based” campaign with the “single intention” to “undermine” and “expose” Ukip - essentially portraying it as some sort of alien or ‘extremist’ menace to the status quo. Unpatriotic. In pursuance of this wretched aim, as the SWP used to say on its website and still does on Facebook, it wants “people of goodwill” to come together and say no to Ukip’s “racism” - “regardless of our differing views on Europe or other political issues”, which presumably must include anti-Ukip Tories.
In other words, there is nothing “different” about the SWP’s response to Ukip - it is the same old approach of tailing the liberalistic, anti-racist/anti-fascist consensus, only this time the word ‘Nazi’ has been scratched out and replaced with ‘Ukip’. The comrades do not even consider challenging the national chauvinism which Ukip shares with the mainstream parties, a key component of which is bourgeois or institutional anti-racism and myths about the ‘anti-fascist’ crusade fought by British imperialism during World War II.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Farage parks his tanks

Nigel Farage: balance of power?
EXTRACTThe SWP spectacularly misses the point. The idea that Ukip is so utterly different from the Tories, Lib Dems or - for that matter, Labour - is delusional. As we have pointed out quite a few times, Farage is coming out with the thoroughly mainstream view that migrants are a problem if there are too many of them - acting as a drain on the NHS and taking jobs that should go to British workers, as Gordon Brown pointed out not so long ago. In other words, Farage fully signs up to the ‘common sense’ national chauvinist consensus - or, to use the words attributed to him in the SWP’s internal Party Notes, this is “not a race question”, but rather a question of “our country’s needs” (May 5 2014). From that angle, communists have no problem in believing Farage when he says that Ukip is a “non-racist” party - why shouldn’t we, or is Gordon Brown a racist too? Then what about George Galloway, who argues for a points-based immigration system? Or the No2EU lash-up between the Morning Star’s Communist Party of Britain and the Socialist Party in England and Wales, which wants to introduce ‘socialist’ border controls?
Leaving aside the SWP’s cynical attempt to earn brownie points from the establishment, Farage genuinely wants previous immigrants - whatever their ethnicity - and their descendants to integrate into official British society: enthusiastically waving the flag, fighting to preserve the union and loving the queen. In reality, to one degree or another all the mainstream parties appeal and pander to British nationalism.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Cameron's Can of Worms

No return to the status quo
EXTRACTThis serves to illustrate that, contrary to the arguments of many on the left, whether supporting a supposedly socialist ‘yes’ or ‘no’, the referendum was never a simple or straightforward question - a philistine and naive idea, as we in the CPGB always said. Rather, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to what exactly? Alex Johnstone, Tory MSP for the North East Scotland region, could not have been more wrong when he said the people of Scotland made a “very definite decision” on September 18. The politics involved are complex, which is the main reason why referenda are so problematic. By dealing with just one issue out of its wider context, they tend to atomise people and obscure what should be fundamental lines of class and democratic demarcation: the very opposite of what we Marxists want.
Referenda are clearly not a properly democratic way of proceeding and foster the sometimes dangerous illusion that people do actually have direct power - which can easily turn to disenchantment when cold reality sets in. Near perfect conditions for all manner of reactionary ideas to flourish - especially nationalism, of course, as we are seeing right now. As internationalists and consistent democrats, we were correct to call for a boycott of the referendum and a pox on both houses.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Catalonia: backward project of nationalism

Result would be a cert
EXTRACT: What is the communist response? We fight for the maximum level of working class unity that is objectively possible - which of necessity requires extreme or consistent democracy. Therefore in Catalonia, for example, we call for the abolition of the undemocratic basic law which denies the right of Catalonia and other peoples, such as the Basques, to self-determination. As a matter of principle and elementary democracy, they ought to have the right to freely decide their own future. The unacceptable status quo must be ended, just as in Scotland.
But that does not mean for a minute that communists are indifferent as to how that right is exercised or its potential consequences. We do not want to see a fracturing of the Spanish working class or a Balkanisation of the country - that would be a disaster. Therefore we reject the nationalist demand for separation. Catalonian nationalism, just like Scottish nationalism, is a fundamentally backward project - driven by the politics of resentment and petty grievances, real and imagined. We want to positively deal with problems where they exist, which by definition requires the transcending of national resentments and antagonisms - by ending all arrangements based on involuntary ‘unity’ and instead move towards genuine voluntary unity as part of the revolutionary struggle for socialism.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ukraine: No Siding With Nationalists

Nothing progressive about him
EXTRACTThe reactionary, and totally utopian, nature of the statement is clear. To call for the self-determination of Ukraine “as a whole” by definition means the denial of the right of the Russian peoples in the south-east to self-determination - ditto with the demand for the “restoration” of Crimea into Ukraine. And how is this going to be done exactly - by force of arms? The current crisis was not sparked off by Russian expansionism, as the AWL would have us believe, but far more by a western-backed coup against Yanukovych, carried out with the aid of fascistic street fighting squads. It was hardly an accident that two of the very first actions of the Kiev government were to downgrade - delegitimise - the Russian language and to move towards banning the Communist Party of Ukraine. Explicitly far-right and Banderite militias comprise the main bulk of the Ukrainian National Guard, forces that have pitilessly bombarded Donetsk, Luhansk and other cities.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Debating out Differences

Camilla Power: communism is our nature
EXTRACTStill on the theme of war, CU stalwart Hillel Ticktin gave three talks on World War I, whose impact is still felt today. After all, it led to the collapse of three empires (Austro-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey, tsarist Russia) and produced the Russian Revolution. The ultimate cause of the war, in the opinion of the comrade, arose from the fact that Britain was the world’s imperial overlord, but was in a state of relative decline - in the period leading up to the war its share of global production had slipped from 32% to about half that; France was also slipping down the ranks. The US and Germany were eager to muscle in.
Slightly more controversially and revealing his “pathological anti-Stalinism” - as he cheerfully put it - comrade Ticktin dismissed Stalin almost from the day he was born as a “criminal” and “incompetent” who never amounted to anything, and reiterated the idea that Trotsky should have seized power and become a “revolutionary Napoleon”. Some comrades were not convinced, emphasising the objective factors facing a desperately backward country like the Soviet Union - a better explanation than Stalin’s original sin. Comrade John Bridge spoke of how Stalin to a very large degree was forced to do certain things, it is the very nature of freak societies to throw up weird leaders - Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim il-Sung, etc.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Dynamic Towards Full-Scale Confrontation

Will they fight?
But, ratcheting up the tensions regardless, Nato’s secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, stated that there was a “high probability” of Russian attack “under the guise of a humanitarian operation” - surely this was a descent into cold war-style paranoia. On August 12, French president François Hollande told Putin in a phone call that he had “grave concerns” about Russia’s ongoing “unilateral” mission in Ukraine. Barack Obama and Angela Merkel issued a joint statement saying that Russia would face “additional consequences” if it went ahead with its convoy without explicit permission from the Kiev government.

What does the west want Kiev to do - block the convoy? Maybe, seeing how Arsen Avakov, Kiev’s minister of internal affairs, posted a Facebook message on August 13 saying that “no Putin ‘humanitarian convoy’” will be allowed across the territory of Kharkiv, describing it as a “provocation by a cynical aggressor”. Western hypocrisy is astounding. It is now intervening militarily in northern Iraq to supposedly prevent the ‘genocide’ of Yazidis, Christian and other minorities trapped on the mountains. But if they spoke Russian they would probably be allowed to starve - if not get fired upon by US fighter jets.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Imperialism: Judge it by Results

Killed by Anglo-French militia
EXTRACT: Libya is rapidly becoming another failed state, with ‘Made in the west’ stamped all over it. Imperialist representatives may have promised freedom and democracy, but they are no longer willing even to remain in the country. A real vote of confidence. If privileged embassy officials felt they had to get out quick, just imagine what life must be like for ordinary civilians - pure hell on earth. Just like Iraq, oddly.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

BNP: From the sewer and back

A great victory?
EXTRACTWe should not forget, however, the other big factor in the BNP’s seeming demise - BBC’s Question time show in October 2009. Or more accurately, Let’s do Griffin Time, when a peak audience of 8.2 million saw Griffin totally humiliated by the BBC bosses’ deliberate decision to platform him - exposing the BNP leader as a thoroughly incompetent and bumbling politician with no real answers to anything. An emperor with no clothes. Yet, at the time, the UAF stupidly campaigned to prevent him appearing. 

Particularly disastrous on that evening was Griffin’s refusal to answer a direct question about the Nazi genocide on the feeble basis that “European law” prevented him elaborating upon his views - making him look cowardly, shifty and decidedly suspect. Not something you really want in your populist leader. Unsurprisingly, many of the BNP’s own members were mortified by Griffin’s performance - immediately attacking him, and the BBC, on the BNP’s website. Nor has the BBC been forgiven. In the readers’ comments on the Daily Mail website, discussing an article about the BNP leadership change, ‘George W’ from London reminds us of the BBC’s nefarious role: “[Griffin] never recovered from his ill-advised appearance on Question time. Remember it? The whole structure of the normal programme changed and he was attacked by the other four on the panel, as well as 99% of the audience. The BBC called it fair and balanced. It was modern bear-baiting.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

West's Propaganda War

Right Sector: explanation for Russian separatism
EXTRACT: What has essentially taken place in the Ukraine is a western power grab - with both the EU/Nato and the US attempting to expand their sphere of influence considerably to the east. The sudden and forced removal of the elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, represented a direct threat to Moscow’s interests - which were already threatened by the growing western presence in the former Soviet republics to its south. Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchins - brother to the deceased socialist-cum-neocon, Christopher - argued that the “aggressor” in the current war was the EU, “backed by the USA”, as they “sought to bring Ukraine into its orbit” through “violence and illegality”, “an armed mob” and the “overthrow of an elected president” (July 20). Hitchens may be a reactionary British nationalist, but here he does have a point.