EU - Roads to Travel

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wojtek
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Jan 30 2019 11:32

Novara's take from 53 minutes:
https://youtu.be/ibz5tHy7OpQ

Mike Harman
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Jan 30 2019 12:57

OK a bit more sectariania, it's somewhat of a diversion, but I think it's relevant to the milieu that 'lexit' support comes from, which is a weird convergence of ex-anarchists and Stalinists.

The Commune originated from Red Star

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Star_(UK)

And Red Star itself originated from AWL (and some other places). You can see David Broder writing about leaving the AWL here: https://shirazsocialist.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/the-awl-israel-and-iran...

https://weeklyworker.co.uk/worker/685/david-broder-no-platformed/

This was all around 2007-10:

Then Socialist Fight in 2017 documents Broder's conversion to Stalinism: https://socialistfight.com/2017/10/27/david-broder-the-renegade-from-tro... - that (incredibly long and boring) blog post also mentions tankie Alex Gordon of the RMT.

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cantdocartwheels
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Jan 31 2019 20:14

yeah i wish lexit was a joke, sadly though as fantasist as the ''the EU won't let us renationalise the busses'' stuff is, its hard to get away from the fact that the reason the UK is leaving the EU is in large part because neither the tories nor the labour left campaigned to follow the scottish referendum model and didn't give the vote to millions of non-citizens or 16-18 year olds in the eu referendum thus inevitably tipping the vote in favour of the white british and older population

https://www.indy100.com/article/brexit-leave-remain-52-48-per-cent-voter...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36619342

https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/british-population/de...

Personally therefore i think this is partly driven by a demographic backlash,and that the radical left or ultra left are not immune from such social trends and neither are the labour/reformist left. Hence, imo the origin of some of the more dubious lexiteer arguements people have highlighted on here.

I know there's problems with a ''clash of generations'' type thesis as it veers away from a class analysis and that its not the only reason behind brexit, but equally its a very odd thing to ignore when discussing the issue as some do.

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R Totale
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Feb 2 2019 14:22

This is an interesting development: https://www.facebook.com/Spoons-Workers-Against-Brexit-2267527593490704/

Which, in some ways, reminds me of this story (was frustratingly hard to find anything other than the Sun and Breitbart reporting on it): https://www.royalmailchat.co.uk/community/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=74144

wojtek
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Feb 7 2019 04:56

https://discoversociety.org/2019/02/06/focus-brexit-and-rethinking-the-b...

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R Totale
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Feb 8 2019 13:58

Leaving this here for want of anywhere better: https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2535897316482778&id=4580489642...

Christ, the IWCA puts out some right dodgy stuff nowadays. Not got the time for a full analysis now, but apart from the utter fantasist claim that Labour have a no borders policy(!), the thing that really disappoints me is that it's class politics without the working class, it's all politicians and economists with the working class just being vaguely evoked as this mass to speak for, but never really directly engaged with. Ultimately, not that far from the mainstream/centrist/Labour politics they so despise.

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Feb 8 2019 14:46

Apart from positively quoting George W Bush's speech writer (wtf?!), the main thing I'm always curious about which side pro-border leftists would take on stuff like the attacks on Immigration Enforcement officers in Shadwell and Deptford (or the Stansted 15, for that matter). Do they support the Immigration Enforcement Officers? Or the working-class people resisting deportations?

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R Totale
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Mar 31 2019 13:54

Not really the most important issue to come out of Brexit, but does anyone have any takes on the spat between lexit Stalinist Eddie Dempsey and remainer trot Michael Chessum? On the one hand, Dempsey seems like a thoroughly nasty piece of work, and the whole Full Brexit thing of "proper working-class politics, oh also we were set up by an actual Lord" is pretty ludicrous, but on the other, people are complaining about him saying "the one thing that unites [Tommy Robinson supporters], whatever other bigotry is going on, is their hatred of the liberal left and they are right to hate them", which seems to be presented as this super-shocking thing but feels not that unreasonable to me? Like, are we not allowed to hate liberals now?

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Mar 31 2019 14:29

I think the main thing is that it's bollocks though, no? Like, it seems pretty obvious that if you were gonna choose 'one thing' that unites Tommy Robinson supporters, it would be hatred of Muslims.

This seems (to me, anyway, could be wrong) to be part of Dempsey's strategy of socialist nationalism so he's minimising the reactionary nature of Tommy Robinson supporters ('they primarily hate the liberal left') while also claiming some of their reactionary views 'for the left' (i.e. border controls, Lexit etc).

Should also point out he had a go at Chessum/Another Europe is Possible for having pockets 'full of Soros money', which is obviously the classic anti-Semitic dog whistle; he didn't say they have pockets 'full of Joseph Rowntree Foundation money', for instance, coz that wouldn't have the same political effect. Not to mention the distinction he makes between 'the working class' and 'ethnic minorities'.

Dempsey's obviously not a racist or anti-Semite himself, but I feel like all this is more an attempt to harness right-wing buzzwords and slogans 'for the left'.

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R Totale
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Mar 31 2019 15:23

Yeah, I think that's mainly fair enough, I was just a bit taken aback by the way some people were reacting to it, which seemed to be less what you said above and more "you can't say that it's good to hate the liberal left!"
On the bit about "the distinction he makes between 'the working class' and 'ethnic minorities'", I think we'd probably mostly agree with that critique of Labour strategy which sees it as attempting to forge a top-down alliance with certain people who are seen as "community representatives", and so solidifying rather than challenging internal hierarchies within those communities on the lines of class, gender, and so on, along the lines of Crossaints and Roses and all that, so I think if you want to be charitable you can read his argument as being something along those lines - poorly expressed, maybe, but then people don't always express their ideas while speaking as neatly as they do when writing. But on the other hand, if people don't feel like being charitable to him, cos he does definitely seem to have some pretty rotten tendencies, then that's understandable too. In some ways I guess it's a question of whether people have any more sympathy for Chessum's side or if it's just a case of a plague on both their houses.

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fingers malone
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Apr 1 2019 12:51

The 'liberal' in 'liberal left' can mean very different things, it can mean liberal in the way people use it on libcom, but it can also mean being supportive of LGBT rights and feminism and migrants, and this is an important ambiguity here.

It's not a question of having more sympathy for 'Chessum's side', Eddie Dempsey says that Angela Nagle is right about 'nonsense abstract no borders demands being left cover for right wing politics'. I'm not having more sympathy for Chessum (I mean, I don't know him or anything, so I have nothing really for or against him) I'm having more sympathy for the people suffering from border violence. I got called neoliberal by someone in another union in my local area for arguing with him about no borders, and I'm pretty sure that both Dempsey and that guy earn plenty more than I do, I also know I'm not any kind of liberal except the 'LGBT is fine by me' meaning of liberal.

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fingers malone
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Mar 31 2019 19:51

If I'm speaking harshly I apologise but I've been upset about this for days. This reactionary strain of the left is really strong, there is a guy called Paul Embury in the FBU who is so reactionary it's unreal, he says children should be brought up by straight couples, he is against choice in the question of abortion, he is against single mothers, he is of course massively against migrants. And there are plenty like him and like Dempsey.

Mike Harman
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Mar 31 2019 20:29

Dempsey has not only argued that border controls are a good way to increase wages, but also that Marx argued this which is extremely disingenous - and why people should assume that when he says 'liberal' he means 'anyone left of Stalin'. QQ did a response to some of this lot here, although it sort of needs a part II (for Marx's letter on Irish immigration and similar) https://libcom.org/blog/over-supply-labour-depressing-wages-30102018

Also as pointed out already in the thread, he's one of the 'no borders gives cover to neo-liberals' Nagle-ites - saying this just a couple of days before ur-neoliberal Hillary Clinton called for Europe to close its borders which was amusing. https://twitter.com/libcomorg/status/1065615807902818307

There is mutual appreciation between Dempsey and Paul Embery (despite Embery writing regularly for Spiked! - whose pockets are apparently full of Koch brothers money).

Chessum is as far as I know a full time employee for 'Another Europe', which is explicitly pro-Remain and reform, and for a second referendum.

While I am very anti-lexit (just fucking stupid nationalism), I am not pro-remain, there are versions of Brexit which may not change the status of EU migrants for the worse, and there are versions of remain which might. Or in other words the Remain campaign was also extremely anti-immigration it just promised to control it within the framework of the EU - big reason why Leave won the referendum I think was that the Remain campaign repeated the messaging.

I agree that 'left liberal' here means 'left people who are against border controls, homophobia and transphobia'. Dempsey is a fan of the phrase 'radlibs' which is a tankie term for anyone to the left of them, not actual 'radical liberals' like Monbiot or Naomi Klein.

Mike Harman
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Apr 5 2019 07:18

Not so much related to the EU, but related to Dempsey and the RMT - turns out Dempsey wrote a eulogy for 'anti-fascist' (in fact, far right Putin supporter) Alexei Mozgovoi, having attended a tour of 'Novorossiya'. Also looks to be friendly with Galloway on twitter.

https://russia -insider.com/en/ukraine-man-who-led-ghost-brigade/ri7518

wojtek
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Apr 5 2019 10:09

The Romanian Wave: The Documentary
Romanians work right across the UK economy. So why do they get such a bad press?
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csz36x
3 million have emigrated, the highest behind Syria.

Mike Harman
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Apr 5 2019 13:24
Ed wrote:
I think the main thing is that it's bollocks though, no? Like, it seems pretty obvious that if you were gonna choose 'one thing' that unites Tommy Robinson supporters, it would be hatred of Muslims.

Yeah it's bollocks and it also massively plays into far-right talking points quite a lot.

If we look at James Delingpole in Breitbart:

https://www.breitbart. com/politics/2018/10/21/more-muslim-rape-gangs-convicted-more-weasel-excuses-from-the-left/ Britain’s Liberal Elite Still in Denial About Muslim Rape Gangs

This is extremely reminiscent of older far-right conspiracy theories about Jews/communists encouraging immigration to destroy the west. A lot of 'anti-liberalism' ends up being about this in the end, and people should be a lot more careful than they are bandying it about.

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R Totale
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Apr 6 2019 14:51

Pulled together a quick(ish) blog post, mostly about how much of a dick Dempsey is, here: http://libcom.org/blog/three-impossible-things-breakfast-some-comments-f...

Maclane Horton
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Apr 13 2019 18:33

BURC
There are four ongoing debates in the great Brexit controversy – in a nutshell:

BACKSTOP
UNION
REFERENDUM
CANCELLATION

IRISH BACKSTOP: Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland stay in the EU customs union. Britain negotiates a separate deal on tariffs and customs. There a border for residence, jobs and goods down the middle of the Irish Sea.

CUSTOMS UNION: Whole of the UK stays in a customs union while leaving for immigration and services.

SECOND REFERENDUM: Vote again and see what happens.

FIFTY CANCELLATION: Revoke article 50. UK stays in EU.

These are the publicly debated issues. A fifth issue is discussed behind closed doors. This is to bribe or blackmail the Irish Government and the EU officers into betraying the Good Friday agreement and accepting a hard border between North and South.

Personally I would go for the Irish Backstop. It frees Britain from the multi-national control exercised through the EU. And it holds out the prospect of a united Ireland that could also break free from the EU. Dublin could then do something about its ridiculously unbalanced leprechaun economy.

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Apr 14 2019 20:17
Maclane Horton wrote:
Personally I would go for the Irish Backstop. It frees Britain from the multi-national control exercised through the EU.

Weird take. Britain won't somehow magically float free of the control of the world economy if it leaves the EU. There's no freedom in the economy. But anyhow why should we be concerened with trading arangments between capitalist blocks? Left nationalism is as much of a problem as right nationalism.

Brexit is of concern only to the extent that it takes the form of an assault on labour, in this case migrant labour in particular.

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LeninistGirl
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Apr 18 2019 07:09
Quote:
Weird take. Britain won't somehow magically float free of the control of the world economy if it leaves the EU.

There are instances of the EU-court standing over the national labor courts in EU-countries, like Sweden, where actions of the trade union movement in defense of EU-migrant workers(i.e allowing them to work under the same collective barging agreement-conditions as the workers movement has struggled for) was not condemned by the Swedish labor court, but it was condemned by the EU-court because it "hinders the free movement of capital" and the EU-court stands above the Swedish labor court.

So in some aspects I would agree that leaving the EU would in general create less international barriers for the trade union movements.

Mike Harman
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Apr 18 2019 07:21

George Galloway has just endorsed Nigel Farage's Brexit party. Farage also recently appeared on the Spiked! Online podcast with Brendan O'Neill. Along with recent outbursts from Eddie Dempsey and Paul Embery the reactionary social democrat / tankie set are getting a bit more explicit about exactly how reactionary they are.

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Apr 27 2019 07:20
Mike Harman wrote:
George Galloway has just endorsed Nigel Farage's Brexit party. Farage also recently appeared on the Spiked! Online podcast with Brendan O'Neill. Along with recent outbursts from Eddie Dempsey and Paul Embery the reactionary social democrat / tankie set are getting a bit more explicit about exactly how reactionary they are.

Looks like James Heartfield can be added to the list too

Mike Harman
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Apr 27 2019 07:28

Yep Claire Fox, James Heartfield are both RCP old guard now standing as MEP candidates for the Brexit Party.

Alka Sehgal Cuthbert also a Brexit Party candidate and has been writing for Spiked since 2014 (so probably not actual RCP cadre).