Communist Party of Britain and Morning Star

Morning Star at odds over antisemitismSJWWed, 04/07/2018 - 12:04

We publish extracts from an article by two leading members of the Communist Party of Britain, Mary Davis and Phil Katz, which appeared in the Morning Star of 20 June.

It makes a refreshing change from the absolute anti-Zionism and denial of antisemitism as a serious problem on the left that generally characterises that paper’s coverage of the subject.

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Star says: trust the Tories, trust the LeagueSJWWed, 30/05/2018 - 10:39

Editorials in the Morning Star on 23 May showed what wretched depths the Star is brought to by its Europhobia.

The Morning Star, continuation of the old Stalinist lie-sheet the Daily Worker, is much faded journalistically, but still gets money from some union leaders: the 23 May issues boasts of subsidies from PCS, Unison, and Unite. It has some influence in Momentum.

No, says the first editorial, there is no risk of the return of a “hard’ Irish border. A report by MEPs has proposed a “smart border”. “Technology” can do the trick. Which is just what the Tories say.

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LETTERS: Pseudo-political Disneyland & Corbyn's International Friends
Seumas Milne
SJWWed, 14/03/2018 - 12:18

Pseudo-political Disneyland

I really enjoyed reading Dan Katz’s article on pulling down statues. He makes a number of valid points.

Maybe I can add a few details. After it was pulled down, Stalin’s statue in Budapest was smashed up and one part of it was used as an improvised public urinal. Pretty soon after, all parts of the statue disappeared including the boots which initially remained stuck on their plinth. Rumour has it that everything was melted down.

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Trans rights are not opposed to women’s rights

Submitted by AWL on 23 August, 2017 - 10:47 Author: Claudia Raven

There has been a great deal of debate within the left over the proposed consultation on, and potential changes to the Gender Recognition Act. This was sparked by an article by National Union of Teachers (NUT) Vice President Kiri Tunks in the Morning Star, claiming the changes will undermine the rights of cisgender women. She argues this against her union’s supportive position, which has been reinforced by a statement coordinated by the NUT LGBT group.

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Re-elect Len McCluskey!

Submitted by Matthew on 29 March, 2017 - 12:42 Author: Ann Field

Ballot papers for Unite the Union’s General Secretary and national Executive Council elections have been sent out to the union’s 1.4 million members. Voting runs to 19 April, and the result will be out on 28 April.

West Midlands Unite full-timer Gerard Coyne is the right-wing challenger to Len McCluskey, the incumbent General Secretary seeking re-election for a third time. Ian Allinson is also standing as the candidate of rank-and-file democracy.

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Fight Brexit all the way

Submitted by Matthew on 29 March, 2017 - 11:40 Author: Vicki Morris

On 29 March, Theresa May will trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, starting the clock on the UK leaving the EU. Unless the UK and all the EU states agree to a special extension on negotiations, the UK will quit the EU in or before March 2019.

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The dangers of Stalinism in Labour

Submitted by Matthew on 1 March, 2017 - 8:54 Author: Martin Thomas

24 September 2016 gave me a condensed snapshot of the problems which are now generating unease among Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters in the Labour Party.


Submitted by AWL on Sun, 12/03/2017 - 09:22

There are number of other aspects and examples of this phenomenon it would be worth mentioning, in connection with Momentum.

For instance, when Fidel Castro died, Momentum put out a statement which read as a fairly uncritical paean to his regime. So we suddenly discovered that an organisation whose leaders think or pretend to think it would be wrong to have policy on broad areas of Labour Party policy, has a policy on the Cuban government! A policy decided purely by the Momentum office naturally. This was before the 10 January coup, but there was as usual no attempt to consult the elected NC or even the Steering Committee.

I challenged a few central Momentum office people about this, and the responses I got were very instructive. One in particular, which was: I'm not a big fan of Castro myself, but don't know you know this is what the movement thinks, and any way we can't say anything out of step with what Jeremy will be saying. And read the statement carefully, it has hints of a more critical view (sort of true, if you were looking for them very, very hard indeed).

So we see in action the ludicrousness, incoherence and hypocrisy of the idea that Momentum shouldn't or doesn't have policy; the unwillingness to - not even criticise Corbyn - but say anything distinct from him; the falling in with dominant labour movement left "common sense"; but also how in practice this leads to Stalinist or Stalinist-ish positions.

(I wondered if the people clustered around the Momentum office on some level, maybe not fully conscious, admire Cuba's undemocratic but supposedly "progressive" regime, but other comrades told me that was an argument too far...)

A student comrade reports how at recent NCAFC conference, a small group of "Lansmanite" youth turned up to move a motion arguing that the left should support withdrawal from the EU, that defending free movement from the EU countries somehow cuts against arguing for migrants' rights more generally, and that only after the EU has been broken up can a socialist Europe emerge. (They were heavily defeated.) In other words: a Stalinist or at least Stalinist-influenced position.

Meanwhile, although out and out Stalinists are relatively small minority among young supporters of the Momentum "leadership", they are treated with friendly acceptance by the majority, and their repulsive references to Stalinist witch-hunting and slaughter of Trotskyists in the 1930s - "Correct position", "Vigilance", "Clear them out" and so on - have become common usage in these circles. I suspect that as things develop many of young careerists are adopting elements of their politics, no doubt in softened form, too. Are we seeing a renewal of official labour movement Stalinism for a new generation?

All this is not without contradictions: for instance, many of those working or volunteering at the Momentum office are apparently unhappy about the Labour leadership's retreat on free movement and migrants' rights. We should not fall into scatter-gun or indiscriminate use of terms like Stalinist. But to deny the influence of Stalinism in Momentum is to ignore the facts, and we need to challenge the better people around the leadership about this.

Sacha Ismail

Submitted by AWL on Sun, 12/03/2017 - 09:56

I forgot to mention the embarrassing video Momentum put out where it blamed rail passengers in European countries for the awful state of Britain's railways!


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What’s wrong with “Stop the War”?

Submitted by Matthew on 19 October, 2016 - 12:18 Author: Simon Nelson

The Stop The War Coalition enjoyed its heyday around the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but has regained some prominence since David Cameron’s government first proposed the bombing of Syria in August 2013.

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