5 years without Tony Benn – Stop the War laments

benn

Stop the war campaign is now largely defunct, but at the time of the second Iraq War in 2003 it had a genuinely mass following.

Lindsey German still loves to wax lyrical about the glorious “2 million person march”, which was the defining moment of her career and the high point of StW. Despite this march being largely organised and mobilised by sections of the national (capitalist) press, and in fact the movement totally failing in its aims to stop the IRAQ or ANY OTHER war, she revels in the movement, even 15 years on.

Principally because she still doesn’t understand what led to the fleeting ‘success’ of that moment, and secondarily because it was all down-hill from there! That doesn’t bother Lindsay. There’s still just enough political credibility to be rinsed and money to be garnered from the echoes of that movement, so it is rare to hear her start any speech without alluding to her rebelliousness for “trampling the grass of Hyde park” underfoot.

Moreover, despite the leeches of the SWP dominating its position and finances (later Counterfire seized the organisation from them when they split away from their trotskyist brethren), in the 5 years or so after the Iraq war started, StW formerly maintained participation from many political groups and shades of opinion.

But with StW leadership monopolised by the worst elements of trotskyite and revisionist ‘socialists’ (John Reese, Lindsey German, Andrew Murray), they practiced their divisive sectarianism and censorship relentlessly, gradually driving out all perceived ‘opposition’ from their ranks, and confining the movement to the channels of limp parliamentary cretinism.

Repeated calls from the conference floor to encourage and lead campaigns for non-cooperation to imperialist war crimes were ignored, and when eventually these resolutions were forced through their congress they were shelved and sidelined.

Dominated by ‘left labourites’ such as Benn and Corbyn, the latter kept the anti-war movement tied to the Labour party, despite the fact that Labour was in fact waging the very war they claimed to oppose (Tony Blair was THEIR leader, let us not forget.)

This was then and in altered form remains now, the modus operandi of the British ‘left’ Labour-allied trotskyite and revisionist movement. They were viciously sectarian in hounding out opposition to this social democratic servitude, and to any voice raise against the Labour party.

Campaigning fo the Labour party (not their remit!), has remained the core mission of StW and the meaning of their cries of ‘non-sectarian’, which always acts as a prop for parliamentary cretinism, and social chauvinism – and is their occasionally stated reason for refusing to draw the anti-war movement into creative channels of actually threatening imperialist war. Nothing must be done to damage the chances of Corbyn’s election possibilities, we are told ( – perhaps they should give this advice to JC himself!)

As a result ’Stop’ the war ultimately wound up following its Labour masters (‘Red Ed Miliband’) into SUPPORTING imperialist wars of destabilisation, notably against Libya in 2011 and Syria in 2012.

To return to Counterfire’s (StW) hypocritical lionisation of themselves in the form of Tony Benn, let us be unafraid to give him his historical due. Two facts alone will suffice to recall his true role and character:

  1. Tony Benn was a tireless fighter for more and grater sanctions against the starving people of Iraq in 2003 (Along with such ‘democrats’ as Madeleine Albright). He had a singular ability to frame these attacks as being ‘against war’ (“Sanctions have not run their course”), while being impeccably pro-imperialist!
  1. Tony Benn, as British Secretary of State for energy, conspired with the racist apartheid state of South Africa to rob occupied Namibia (then SW Africa) of its uranium for British nuclear power and weapons. Check the details of the Rossingham contract, and see for yourself.

Now that is a Good social-pacifist / social-imperialist, as Lenin would have termed him! No wonder the campaign for nuclear disarmament (CND) considered him, like his successor JC a safe pair of hands to ‘lead’ and limit the scope of their ‘peace movement.’

‘Stop the war’ tell us, of their good friend and former comrade (Benn): “He never left Labour, but was critical of much of its politics and always encouraged people to be involved in activity as their starting point in politics.”

Moreover, say StW, “he was completely committed to united work. He disliked sectarians [anti-imperialists] and couldn’t understand why some on the left spent their time attacking one another [ie criticising the Labour Party and its betrayal of the working class].”

Indeed. Tony Benn was determined to act as a prop of the parliamentary system (‘democracy’ – if only for the wealthy) and the Labour party (social-democracy), which in turn acts as the chief conductor of British ruling-class influence into the British working class movement.

He gave up his peerage – but never his love and service for the British ruling class. With friends like these, what need have the working-class for enemies?

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Support the Venezuelan People: Support President Maduro! No war for Oil!

 

 

 

2019-01-09On Friday 4th January 2019, the Lima Group of nations, at a conference in which Trump’s Secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, made an appearance by video-link, have issued a declaration that the Venezuelan government is illegitimate, denounced it for human rights violations, questioned its territorial legitimacy, and imposed sanctions on Venezuela.

 President Nicolas Maduro has characterised this move as an imperialist-sponsored attack on the constitutional and democratic order of Venezuela, and a move towards Coup d’état and direct military intervention, with the aim of gaining control of the natural resources of the Venezuelan people. 

***Support the Venezuelan people: attend the Venezuelan Embassy tomorrow, 10th January, 11am – 3pm, to show your support for the inauguration of President Nicholas Maduro! 1 Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 2HW***

Continue reading “Support the Venezuelan People: Support President Maduro! No war for Oil!”

Hands off Syria!

Red Youth have organised and taken part in demonstrations in London, outside Downing street, and across the country over the last few days, to tell ‘our’ Prime Minister and the imperialist government she heads up, that British youth and British workers say NO TO HER WAR ON SYRIA!

We don’t buy her lies and propaganda! We say victory to the real democratically elected government of Syria! We say Victory to the Syrian Arab Army! We call for defeat of ‘our’ cowardly British pilots, who took off from their base in occupied Cyprus to fire 4 tomahawk cruise missiles at the Sovereign people of Syria. They deserve to be shot down for their crimes.

This was not a humanitarian mission, it was an illegal and unprovoked attack on the right of a Sovereign people to self-determination. It is just one episode in the long stream of aggressive wars and interventions that Britain under NATO has taken a shameful part in – we say: NOT IN OUR NAME!

Watch footage from the London demonstration, including speeches and interviews from CPGB-ML comrades here:

Well done to everyone who joined us to demonstrate against war in Syria on Friday. Comrades also held demonstrations across the country on Sunday 15 April in Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, and Manchester.

Although touted as a “one-off” strike to chide Assad for the fictional chemical attack in Douma, we know it is in reality one part in a long series of aggressions against not just the Syrian people, but against all nations that dare stand outside the sphere of western imperialism.

Hear what Syrian representative to the United Nations, Dr Bashar Ja’afari, had to say about the illegal strikes against his country here:

We know that, unfortunately, the solution to war is not to be found in a big enough demonstration, a strongly-worded petition, nor the prospect of an ‘anti-war’ government, as no such thing is permissable while we live under the heel of imperialism.

It is clear that a wide section of the British population are becoming increasingly skeptical of the bourgeois government and media. The opportunity to bring our message to workers and point them in the direction of our class enemy has not been so clear in a long time.

Understand imperialism’s drive to war:

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Communist Party of Britain’s General Secretary: “communism is unsustainable”

On the occasion of the centenary of the Great Socialist October Revolution, on the 6 November on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, CPB General Secretary Robert Griffiths was invited to speak amongst a barrage of anti-communist propaganda. Rather than countering the inevitable and obvious attack with a defense of communism and the Soviet Union, he merely added that “we have had to make a very serious analysis of what went wrong in the Soviet Union… we have to take seriously the reasons as to why in the end that system was not sustainable.” He then goes on to say that we need to replace British capitalism with a “fairer society”. Having just described communism, which was immensely successful in the Soviet Union, as “unsustainable” Rob now leaves us wondering what British capitalism could be replaced with?

Continue reading “Communist Party of Britain’s General Secretary: “communism is unsustainable””

Salute to Red Robbo who has died today aged 90

Red Robbo

Birmingham Worker and the local branch of the CPGB-ML salute the life of Derek Robinson, aka “Red Robbo”, famous communist trade unionist who died this morning. Derek Robinson, played an important role throughout his life in defending the working conditions of Birmingham workers at British Leylands car manufacturing plant in Longbridge through a period of concerted attack on working people by Margaret Thatcher and the betrayal of numerous struggles opposed to these atatcks by the Labour party, not least the heroic Great Miners Strike of 1984.

As the Communist Party at that time continued it’s decline towards eventual liquidation, and the Soviet Union headed for collapse following the total betrayal of socialism by revionism, Derek Robinson holds a place in British working class history as a fighter for the interests of his class in exceptionally difficult circumstances. It was revealed in the years which followed Derek Robinsons dismissal from British Leyland that Mi5 had conspired with revisonists and agents within the old CPGB to work against Robinson and his comrades at Leyland who represented workers at the Longbridge plant. A hate campaign in the local media led by the reactionary Birmingham Mail (which continues it’s anti-worker activities today during the bin strike) was instrumental in undermining the solidarity of workers at the British Leyland factory who eventually were bribed and blackmailed into acquiescing in Robinson’s sacking with the connivance of “right wing” (Labour Party) union officials.

Red Salute to Derek Robinson!

(a fuller and very interesting obituary can be read on the website of labour movement historian Graham Stevenson, the leader of the revisionist “Communist Party of Britain” which still has a small branch in Birmingham)