Posts Tagged ‘Trotksy’

Six Million Were Not Horrifically Murdered to be Used for Israeli Propaganda

September 9, 2021

This has been bugging me for the past week. Wales’ inspirational and triumphant Labour leader, Mark Drakeford, got the Blairites and ultra-Zionists in a tizzy this weekend. He committed the grave crime of speaking at The World Transformed, a fringe, left-Labour event, where he urged the adoption of Universal Basic Income. And plan that threatens to lift the poor in our society out of their starvation and misery is solidly verboten to the Thatcherite true believers. And so came the sneers. One ignorant far-right Labour councillor called the event ‘a Trots jamboree’, despite the fact that no Trotskyite organisations were there. No matter, I doubt the good councillor has any real idea what Trotskyism is anyway. It’s just a term of abuse intended to scare people, full of emotional content – Trots and Commies are everything evil – but I doubt if any of them really know what it is beyond Trotsky himself.

Inevitably the ultra-Zionists raised their heads and made started throwing around accusations of anti-Semitism. This was done by Elured Anderson, whose a member or representative of a Holocaust commemoration organisation. She was incensed that Drakeford was there alongside people who had been thrown out for anti-Semitism, Ken Loach and Jeremy Corbyn. Except neither of these two gents are remotely anti-Semitic. The accusations were contrived because both are long-term critics of Israel and its ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. Corbyn has a proud record of standing up for Britain’s diverse, pluralistic Jewish community, while Loach was warmly welcomed by the very Jewish members of Jewish Voice for Labour.

But I find her attitude towards Zionism and the Holocaust deeply repugnant. The various pro-Israel organisations seem to be trying to spread the message that Israel and Zionism have the exclusive ownership of the Shoah and its commemoration. It’s demonstrated by the Jewish Labour Movement, formerly Paole Zion, running Holocaust commemoration events. As they did when they secretly recorded Jackie Walker in order to leak it and get her thrown out. But ownership of the Holocaust doesn’t belong to Israel, Zionism or any single strand of the Jewish community. In my gentile view, and I apologise if I’m ‘Jewsplaining’, it belongs primarily to the victims and their families, and then to the Jewish community as a whole. And the Jewish community includes individuals and organisations that are critical of Israel.

The militant pro-Israel appropriation of the Holocaust is also hypocritical. In the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust after the War the Zionist organisations played it down. Instead of discussing the specific persecution of the Jews, the Zionists concentrated instead in talking about them as merely one group of a number of political prisoners imprisoned and murdered by the Nazis. This was because they were afraid that talking about the particular genocide of the Jewish people would give the impression that Jews were too weak to have their own country. It’s only since then that pro-Israel groups have embraced the Holocaust and presented themselves as the only worthy organisations capable of its proper commemoration.

And there have been Jewish critics of the way Israel has harnessed the Holocaust to militant Israeli nationalism. One Israeli critic described the way an Israeli jet flew over Auschwitz one year, presumably to show that Israel would protect Jews from any repeat of the horror. The critic stated that Israeli visitors to the murder factory weren’t told anything about the historical reasons for the Holocaust, the rise of anti-Semitism and Nazi persecution. It seemed to them to be just used for Israeli nationalist propaganda. Other Israeli critics of the persecution of the Palestinians have controversially said that it would be better for the Holocaust to be forgotten than for it to be used to justify the Israeli’s states continued attacks on their indigenous Arabs.

Now the Holocaust is being used to smear decent people as anti-Semites in order to get them purged from the Labour party. This includes Jews, who I’m sure have lost people in the Holocaust. Mike put up a meme earlier this week which ran:

Anti-Semitism is a real threat to Jews everywhere. It Is not an excuse to purge left-wingers from the Labour party.

I completely agree, and find it absolutely abhorrent that the Holocaust is being used as part of this smear campaign.

Private Eye on Corbyn and Trotskyite Anti-Parliamentarianism

August 20, 2016

Private Eye was running the old Blairite line yesterday that under Corbyn, Labour was being infiltrated by Trotksyites from the Socialist Worker’s Party. In the ‘Focus on Fact’ strip, which seems to be just the Blairites trying to have their revenge against the old Labour left for slights and incidents in the 1980s, they quoted the Socialist Workers’ a saying that all Momentum events were open to them. As proof of this, they further cited the SWP as saying that they’d managed to sell 127 copies of their paper at Momentum rally Newcastle, and about 20 or 30 odd in one of the southern towns.

Now I might be missing something, but this seems less than conclusive proof that they’ve infiltrated the Labour party. The fact that they are not thrown out of Momentum might show that there is some sympathy for them in Momentum, but it does not show that they have infiltrated it. Look at what was not said: the Socialist Workers did not say that they had infiltrated Momentum, only that they weren’t kicked out of Momentum’s rallies.

As for selling newspapers, at one time all Labour party or trade union events attracted people from the extreme left-wing parties. Way back in the 1980s a friend of mine went to a demonstration in Cheltenham against the banning of trade unions at GCHQ. He came back with a stack of papers being sold by people from the Communist party, including a copy of Worker’s Dreadnought, which was the paper of the ILP, still just about hanging on at that stage. And the Anarchist Ian Bone on his website talked about heckling Ed Miliband when Not So Red Ed came to speak out at an anti-austerity rally.

All this piece really showed is that there were some in Momentum, who weren’t completely hostile to the SWPs attending. But that’s quite different from infiltrating Momentum. If the story is true, of course. And given the fact that the Blairites have lied and lied again as if it’s going out of fashion, there’s no reason to believe that it is.

Elsewhere, the Eye also saw fit to mention that the SWP was against parliamentary democracy. This was to frighten us all again with the spectre of Trotskyites worming their way into Momentum to seize control of the Labour party, win power, and turn this country into Marxist dictatorship. It’s the kind of stupid, paranoid conspiracy theory that the Scum ran in the 1987 General Election, Frederick Forsythe turned into a thriller, and Maggie read and approved. It’s classic Thatcherite scaremongering. But it perversely had the effect of making me actually think higher of the SWP for a moment.

I don’t have much sympathy for the Socialist Workers’ Party. Their leader, Dave Renton, has written some excellent articles for Lobster, but the part itself is a threat and a nuisance because it does try to infiltrate and take over other left-wing protest groups and organisations. I’ve mentioned before how they broke up Rock Against Racism by infiltrating it and turning it into front organisation. There was also trouble on campus in Cheltenham in the 1990s when some of the students organised a demonstration against student fees. Unfortunately, someone also naively invited the Socialist Workers, who turned up with their megaphones haranguing the students, before being chased off by College and NUS staff.

Despite their stupid and destructive tactics, they’re right about parliamentary democracy. The corporate domination of parliament has shown it to be increasingly corrupt. 78 per cent of MPs are millionaires, holding between them 2,800 directorships in 2,400 companies, with a combined workforce of 1.2 million people and £220 billion. The laws passed by parliament reflect this corporate dominance – pro-free trade, anti-welfare, with a concern for ‘flexible labour markets’ through zero-hours and short term contracts. This bears out the Marxist idea that the state is an institution of class oppression.

As for the horrors of soviet-style government, Trotsky and Lenin were champions of the workers, soldiers’ and peasants soviets set up spontaneously by Russia’s working people during the first phase of the 1917 Revolution. Before the Bolshevik coup, these were genuinely democratic institutions. Apart from the Bolsheviks, there were other Socialist parties elected to them, including the Mensheviks, Socialist Revolutionaries and Trudoviks, parties later dissolved and purged by the Bolsheviks. Now I think we need a genuinely democratic system of workers’ assemblies and a workers’ chamber in parliament in this country, because of the overwhelming upper class bias of existing parliamentary institutions. And it isn’t just the Trotskyites in the SWP, who want a system of worker’s soviets. I think Dennis Skinner says something positive about them in his autobiography. And I have the impression that the Tribune group within the Labour party also support this form of government. On their books website they offer a documentary history of the Council Revolution in Germany. This is interesting, because one of the major supporters of the council system, the Bavarian premier Kurt Eisner, did so not because he wanted to destroy democracy, but augment and buttress it using the workers’ and peasants’ soviets.

The Bolsheviks effectively neutered the workers’ council in Russia by taking them over and turning them into the instruments for exclusive Bolshevik government. But this doesn’t mean that they originally weren’t a good idea. And the Eye’s denunciation of the anti-parliamentary attitude of the Socialist Workers to my mind actually makes them look good when parliament is so corrupt, unrepresentative and increasingly hostile to working class representation and policies.