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Rolling Back INF: Time to Speak Out!

Those of us living at Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp remember the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) when it was signed by Reagan and Gorbachev on the 8th of December 1987

It agreed to eliminate the intermediate range nuclear weapons and launchers located at land sites by the USA and the then Soviet Union. In the case of the USA this included the Cruise missiles based at USAF Greenham Common and at Molesworth in England, bases no longer in operation

The treaty was the result of six years of constant non-violent direct action and demonstrating by thousands of people including the women at Greenham Common. Thousands were arrested and many of those imprisoned

Even after the treaty was signed Cruise Missile convoys continued to be deployed to Salisbury Plain, up to twice a month until July 1990, every one resisted non violently by the women at the camp

A formal rejection of the treaty by the USA is in line with NATOs policy of expansion up to the borders of Russia

In 1987 it would have seemed incredible that in 2016 the USA military would install nuclear capable weapons systems in Romania and Poland. Yet in mainstream media here it draws no comment

Never more relevant than today, let us remember the Greenham slogan of 1987

‘Here to stay. Here to verify’

Kathrine Jones, Vice-President, Socialist Labour Party

HERE to read as pdf

Second Referendum ... Socialists Must Say No!

Often we are chastised by the pro EU 'left' for our 'unholy alliances' with right wing opponents of the European Union

In reality of course no such alliance exists. The divide between those who want to remain in the EU and those who do not rests only in their attitude to the possibilities of political change. While among those who want 'out' there are very different dreams, what is not shared with 'remain' is the willingness to 'accept' that the direction of our political life is set, determined by an omnipotent political class

'Remain' is the default position of the political 'centre', marking the 'moderate' orthodoxy, both conservative and progressive, which sees, in the imposition of its will on the rest of the world, the triumph of 'democracy'

Our 'moderate' politicians, the sensible people who wage wars to destroy nations and change governments, are working at 'home' to remove the democratically elected President of the USA, replace the democratically elected leader of the British Labour Party and reverse the result of a referendum on the EU because it failed to rubber stamp the already established arrangement

Back the so called 'people's vote' Jeremy and in the end it will be the people not the warmongers who will bring you down!

HERE for Arthur Scargill's statement on the calls for a second referendum

HERE for Arthur's statement on Labour's embrace of the customs union

HERE for John Tyrrell on misrepresentations of the Leave cause

HERE for Kim Bryan on the ideology of 'Left Against Brexit'

Labour Party is aligning itself closer to capitalism

The Labour Party conference held this year in Liverpool has shown our working class how easy and dangerous it is to be lured into the easy route of accepting the British capitalist system. No wonder that the bosses of British industry have been taking a particular interest in their conference, meeting with major figures in the Party’s hierarchy.

The major giveaway to the Party’s future intentions has been the introduction of a policy to spread share ownership amongst British workers. This policy was pushed forward by the Thatcher regime but was generally unsuccessful since a maximum of only about 13 per cent of the population were ever share owners.

The distribution of profits by dividends to a generally privileged section of the population via the ownership of shares is a characteristic of our sick society that needs stamping out, not encouraging. The fruits of British labour need to be distributed evenly as well as surpluses being pumped into the building up of our industrial base to post World War 11 levels. Tying British workers even closer to a totally corrupt system which staggers from crisis to crisis is no way forward for our people.

A further sop to the existing system that came out at the Liverpool conference was the statement from the platform that the intention was to alleviate debt for the young in Britain. Why not the whole population, including those middle aged and older people who have been conned by the bankers and the system in general with the excessive rates of interest which accompanied the introduction of credit cards and the mass of new financial products and services following in the wake of the Thatcher regime’s free market capitalist con job?

The Labour Party is also representing the British Establishment in relation to keeping open the option of forcing upon us a second referendum in order to overturn the June 2016 Brexit result. The British Establishment obviously has a huge stake in maintaining the Capitalist club known as the European Union from which the elite benefit at the expense of the vast majority. The decision to leave should have been implemented immediately and the delaying tactics know no bounds. The British working class are, once again, being shown total contempt by an unelected elite. The problem is the links of many in the Labour Party to this elite. In some cases, they appear to be spokespersons for the elite. With the BBC and other pro capitalist media continually bombarding politicians as to when they will call a second referendum in order to overturn the June 2016 vote, a true workers Party would hold firm in their defence of that Brexit vote.

In regard to nationalisation of British Rail, Labour has said that that they hope to achieve this over 5 years. Compensation to the privatised companies will be in the form of government bonds. Here again, we in the Socialist Labour Party would have great divergence over policy. We would take British Rail under workers control at the stroke of a pen but any compensation would be from the privatising rip-off merchants back to the British working class for the suffering and pain that has been inflicted by these companies in the form of fare and service exploitation. Labour is just discussing the tip of the iceberg with its proposed nationalisations. We in the SLP would go for wholesale public ownership of all significant companies and institutions in our Country which continue to fail us from decade to decade. Unlike the British Labour Party, we are not out to prop up the capitalist system. Neither are we as cynical with regard to Socialism.

Labour Party leadership were this week eulogising about the time when clause 1V formed part of their constitution. If it is so important to them, why haven’t they reinstated clause 1V after its abolition by the Blair regime? Why praise it so much when they have not brought it back immediately upon the Blairites conceding political ground? We can look at them proud in the knowledge that clause 1V does indeed form part of the constitution of the Socialist Labour Party.

Anti Semitic Tropes? Time for the Left to Toughen Up!

Many times we have written about the nature of journalism in nations like the UK. Here, the elite status of Britain on the world stage has produced a news culture in which basic standards of moral integrity are absent. We recognise too that well meaning people who work from within, trusting that at some level they will find in the system a degree of fairness, are often damaged if not destroyed by the experience

Of all the retreats by the Corbyn left, trying it seems to assuage the almost never ending fury of the ruling classes, the impulse to placate the 'left antisemitism' narrative, with its focus on Israel, and by extension the interests of the western alliance, is by far the most seriously misguided

It is true that high status people will have limited insight into the nature of their privilege and its impact on how they view the world. In enjoying open access if not control over the moulding of opinion, it is also true that they will descend to the most cynical of deceits in the defence of their interests. When studies say the idea is false, in this case the 'particular problem' of antisemitism on the left, the studies are redefined as 'denial' becoming 'proof' of the disease. And the antisemtic 'trope' by which anti zionists are assumed to mean something different to what they say is predicated on the precise opposite of the standard reserved by the accusers for themselves

Contrary to what the 'populist' press often says about the poor or minorities, research suggests marginal people rarely invent or embellish experiences of harrassment or discrimination. In the outlandishly exaggerated, dramatised, misrepresented or fabricated nature of many of the public allegations of bullying or antisemitism aimed by the right at the left mostly we are not hearing the voices of excluded or misunderstood people nor any reasoned assessment of their concerns. What we are hearing is described quite accurately by Leon Rosselson as the 'special pleading' of people who have no idea what it is like not being heard

Those promoting the 'left antisemitism' panic, which is very different to exposing antisemitism, are easily identified and it isn't by their race or religion. Universally they are exceptionalists, believers in the right of western nations to subordinate others, a concept entirely contrary to the UN Charter. To the violence of the rich towards the poor they apply a 'standard' not recognisable to anyone else or in any other sphere where human beings interact

If you believe the idea that the Palestinians are wronged is all the result of hatred for 'us' or our 'values' - and ultimately this is the aim - you've been undone by the unthinking eurocentrism that informs the western global narrative. Only in this culture could the perspectives of people living in ghettoes and refugee camps disappear under the weight of outrage at the 'racism' of their cause

In the face of exceptionalism the mindset of most people in the West continues to be one of complicity. The acquiescence therefore of 'mainstream' Jewish organisations in Israel's colonisation of Palestine is to be expected, as is the duplicitous nature of the claim that Zionism is not an ideology but simply the 'expression of Jewish identity'. It isn't that you don't have the right to sympathise with Israel, or take her side, it's just that in an open society you'd fight your corner rather than avoid the debate by pretending its not political

Having witnessed the systematic delegitimisation of Middle Eastern and African nations including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran and Syria, and the decades of torture inflicted upon their societies, the Labour left has surely grasped the painful truth that no concession to the war party, driven as it is by unlimited aims, can ever contain its sense of entitlement. If, instead of looking at Corbyn, we examined the record on 'double standards' and 'self determination' of our 'moderate' politicians and 'commentators' we would surely understand why, in their assessment of the Israel - Palestine conflict the perspectives of those who lost homes and land would not be understood

The surrender of the Corbyn faction to the faux angst of political conjurers mired in crimes against humanity is a major kick in the teeth for everyone campaigning at the grassroots for a more equitable world. By adopting in full a definition of antisemitism (IHRA) rejected by just about everyone on the planet outside rich white countries (and plenty inside), Labour's supposedly left leaning NEC has accepted the subordination of non Jews living in Israel and Palestine. Under the IHRA 'examples' pro war politicians living here may compare their experiences to pogroms and even the Holocaust while for those living under occupation or repression to say the same about their oppressors is 'racism'. Having forced the removal of the 1975 UN General Assembly resolution which viewed Zionism as a form of racism, every capitulation to the IHRA 'small print' is for the exceptionalists another mark in the continual remoulding of history and 'opinion' to reflect their minority interest; in this case establishing the 'role' of Palestinians as people who 'deny' the rights of those who 'settled' their land

Radical people who understand firstly the nature of the Labour Party and secondly the dependency of news media on the 'memes' of our murderous elite, know exactly how and why Corbyn is generating an establishment shift to the right. However sincerely held, the hope on the part of a few anti war people in a pro war party that they might one day have influence could never justify the betrayal that is involved here, not only of Palestine but of the left wing anti racist Jews who are facing the worst abuse, branded 'self hating antisemites', for doing what few of us here dare, speaking out on behalf of the 'other'

Kim Bryan, General Secretary, Socialist Labour Party

HERE to read as pdf

HERE for Professor Norman Finkelstein on distinguishing Anti Semitism from the current Anti Semitism panic

HERE for Kim Bryan on the campaign to redefine Anti Semitism

Resurgent Zionism: The Left Must Rise Above the Noise!

Yes, it's been provoked if not incited by the media's promotion of the 'left antisemitism' narrative. Nonetheless, arguments used currently by some people on the left about Israeli 'influence' in our political life are misguided

Deflecting responsibility for the crimes of the British state on to 'outsiders' may be tempting but it is wrong. The fact that the UK shields Zionism is far less important than the reasons

Britain's 'foreign policy' is governed by mass murder, as practised routinely and universally by all elite states. In reflecting the immediate interests of our homegrown ruling class, it is not lead by the USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia or anyone else, even where, as often they do, these interests coincide

We might avoid falling into the traps laid for us by the propaganda models if we found the courage to aim a little higher and say rather more than we do

Aiming higher means placing the complicity of the political class, academy and media at the centre of the stage. Once you choose to respond or explain your positions to elite people who live outside the standards of morality recognised by everyone else, nothing you say will compensate for the damage done in accepting the inferiority in rights of oppressed people

The complicity of Labour for instance is not explained by a chap from the Israeli embassy who courts sympathetic politicians. It is explained by the nature and historical role of the Labour Party which is integrated completely into the ruling ideology

It is a mistake to copy the foreign danger/conspiracy themes played by the press. The privileged standard protecting the powerful from accountability means it can never 'work' for us. In missing the target, the 'influence' argument is simply converted into the 'lefties picking on Israel' meme

The ideology of our political class is pervasive, reaching well beyond short term, low level objectives such as 'smearing' Jeremy Corbyn. Unless confronted at its highest level, in exposing its origins, scale and purpose, its aberrant 'standards' are normalised

So long as so many are sharing a party and therefore a platform with pro war politicians, the will to fight the world 'order' they uphold and defend will be found wanting

Kim Bryan, General Secretary, Socialist Labour Party

Their 'Europe' is Not Ours!

News that Jaguar Land Rover has moved production of it's 'Discovery' off roader to Slovakia shows that the programme of the EU is still very much alive and active here in Britain. The Tory Mayor for the West Midlands has greeted the news equivocally stressing promises of new investment

It demonstrates that the livelihoods of people in the West Midlands and the UK remain threatened. The automotive industry was once a staple part of the region’s economy. In contrast by keeping its industry alive Germany has shown it is able to dominate Europe

For some time we have been describing developments on the left in the direction of Lexit, the idea that real political change is now possible only from outside the neo liberal EU

The relocation of production such as JLR Discovery shows how when national democracy is overcome, divisions are created between nations and workers. The fight for a political life beyond the global market can be won only by a rally of the left committed to the interests of workers

Beginning with a conference later this year, the SLP aims for a place at the forefront of this struggle

John Tyrrell, President, Socialist Labour Party

HERE for an introduction to the Lexit Network

Back to Basics! There is No Left Case for the European Union

In shifting its position from fighting the single global market to embracing a 'people's' European Union, a large chunk of the Labour 'left' is abandoning the struggle for global justice

Socialist Labour does not accept that the domination of political life by elitist global institutions and blocs is inevitable

In this struggle, built on the core principle of political sovereignty, the primary weapon of the people is the integrity of the nation state

HERE for Kim Bryan on the ideology of 'Left Against Brexit'

HERE for Anthony Coughlan on James Connolly: why the founder of the original SLP would have had no time for the EU

Britain Out of NATO! Time for a Referendum

In the modern era we have lived through three decades of NATO targeting smaller sovereign states, using military power to impose 'regime change'

The 'process' begins with 'evidence' of 'guilt' or 'threat' which becomes a pretext for conquest. The April 2018 attack on Syria was carried out on the pretext of a chemical weapons attack on Syrian civilians by the Syrian government. While terrorists have carried out chemical attacks there is no proof the government has done so. Witnesses who saw no chemical attack told 'Russia Today' of people being washed down with water and filmed. Was the washing staged to provide an excuse for bombing Syria? Was the real intention of the missile strike to intimidate Russia into abandoning its defence of the country? NATO sees no role for itself beyond the need to exercise dominion

Again, Britain's government and political class consented to a missile attack, in this case retrospectively, unable or unwilling to see the role of the Pentagon and weapons manufacturers in these endless wars

We live in an era of mass killing by NATO. The Israeli state is killing Palestinians and Saudi Arabia bombing civilians in Yemen, both armed and protected by the US, the ruling power in NATO. The need of NATO powers to exercise control in every 'sphere' is leading to increasingly reckless acts with the potential to create a third world war. America's withdrawal from the nuclear deal suggests Iran is back in the frame as a target for the policy of expansionism

While it is SLP policy to pull Britain out of NATO, I believe the world situation is serious enough to warrant an immediate referendum on withdrawal. This time no 'official' campaigns constructed by the elite of the ruling class but publically funded equal representation of all viewpoints

Kathrine Jones, Vice President, Socialist Labour Party

'Me First'! Beware the Rage of Exceptional People

Kim Bryan on how elite people use media smear campaigns to stifle dissent

CLICK HERE


Further (older) news stories from the SLP HERE.