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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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?

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100th Anniversary of the October Revolution: Join us in Southall on Saturday 4th November!

On the 100th anniversary of the great Socialist October Revolution, join us to celebrate the victorious struggles of the mass working class. We will come together to celebrate this working-class revolution, which literally shook the world, and still indicates the path we must take to shatter all exploitation of man by man and nation by nation! We will be holding THE centenary celebration of this festival of progressive humanity in Southall, west London, on Saturday 4th November, at 4.30pm.

Venue: The Dominion Centre, 112 The Green, Southall UB2 4BQ

Map

Get your ticket here

Read more about the October Revolution here

At this meeting, we will bring together members and supporters from around the country and mark the continued development and growth of our organisation, while reminding ourselves of just what it is we are working towards.

Lenin and 1917: a new era

Over the years, the speakers at our meetings have examined in great detail all the most important aspects of the October Revolution. They have paid tribute to the men and women workers who carried out the revolution, and to the leading role of the Bolshevik party – the revolutionary organisation in whose footsteps we hope to follow, which enabled the workers to understand their enemy and to organise themselves to defeat it.

Importantly, in the present climate, our speakers have repeatedly stressed the vital role played by revolutionary theory – especially the immense theoretical contribution of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, who advanced Marxist science by adding to it a precise definition of imperialism (the final stage of decaying capitalism) and who detailed the ways in which imperialism affects the struggle of workers and peasants of all countries for their liberation and social emancipation.

It was Comrade Lenin who created the template for a revolutionary party, working out in the furnace of intense class struggle the essential elements of communist organisation that enabled workers to make their efforts effective. All parties that are serious about overthrowing capitalism and building socialism still follow these organisational tenets today.

Lenin was also a master of strategy and tactics. He solved many important questions, such as the peasant question and the national question, by clearly and precisely explaining their relationship to the socialist revolution. He demonstrated the need for the proletariat to maximise its forces by galvanising as many allies for each phase of the struggle as possible, and showed how it was both possible and necessary to take on the various enemies of socialism one at a time rather than all together.

Unlike Trotsky and his modern-day followers, Lenin did not play at revolution, and was not at all interested in heroic failures. He understood that what was at stake was nothing less than the future of humanity, and he taught the working class how to think and act so it could win.

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Marxism-Leninism: Is it for Young People? – The Question of Education and Employment

One thing Red Youth needs to establish if it wants to be a genuine Marxist youth organisation is whether or not, and if so why, Marxism-Leninism is what the young people of Britain need today. Naturally, we would argue that Marxism-Leninism is exactly what the British youth of today need – and in this article we’re going to use education and employment as two major reasons as to why that is.

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