slp banner

Latest News & Comment

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

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

We Must Never Abandon Palestine!

On Friday 20th July 2018, a day after its parliament declared the supremacy of Jews in Palestine, and five months after its soldiers killed more than a hundred protesting civilians on the border, Israel launched another mass bombing of Gaza

Israel doesn't face the prospect of annihilation as did Iraq, Libya and Syria. No great power, coveting its resources, seeks the destruction of its civil society. It's opponents are not outside actors who cannot be called to account but 'enemies' from within whose aspirations are rudimentary. Naturally its excesses are criticised - this confers on Israel the status it seeks - but, unlike Syria, Israel has a voice, Israel is forgiven, Israel is 'understood'

The elevated status of the Israeli state as an 'entitled' power, equivalent to its allies in the West, is the core reason peace across the territory, and the possibility of co existence, is denied to those who live there. Unless our directing principle is equal respect and esteem, reconcilaition between peoples is unachievable

It is in the perception of Israel as exceptional, like the US or UK, we find the basis of the latest drive by radical Zionists to entrench the de-legitimisation of Palestine, in this case by writing up its cause as anti semitism

Be assured, they can call us what they like. Nobody here will be ' persuaded' to 'see' the Palestinians as the 'great' wish us to see them - terrorists, fanatics, people who 'hate' their oppressors - nor frightened into abandoning their cause

Palestinian self determination remains, for many outside the corridors of global power, their cause. For millions - and if we dig deep for all of us - the 'standard' is not 'exceptional' but very ordinary, the protection of laws and rights which apply to the poor as they do the rich

HERE for Kim Bryan on the campaign to redefine anti semitism

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

Our London based Parliament is completely unrepresentative of the feelings and thoughts of the vast majority of the population

Watching the debates in the House of Commons concerning the illegal blitzing of Syria has highlighted once again how unrepresentative are the vast majority of M.P.’s.

There have only ever been a tiny number of members of Parliament who have not been swept along by jingoism, lies, deception and the interests of weapons manufacturers when interventions in the Middle East have been called for by the British government executive. Corbyn, for instance has normally been one of the few voices of dissent, as in the case of the illegal Iraq War intervention. It appears that although he is now leader of the Labour Party, he is still a voice in the wilderness in the current Parliament.

It is almost impossible to find any difference between the utterances of many Tory and Labour M.P.’s in connection with the Syrian conflict and Labour members can be seen to stand up and praise the actions of the Tory Prime Minister. Where were all the calls denouncing use of poison gases when it was the Western powers’ ally Saddam Hussein using them against his then Iraqi and other opponents in the Middle East. The hypocrisy and humbug of so many M.P.’s is galling to us.

As recently pointed out in the media, the Prime Minister seems to have a conflict of interest since her husband has close connections via share ownerships to British and American arms manufacturers whose shares have risen as a result of the Syrian intervention

Again, it has been mentioned in the media that Israel and Saudi Arabia have been pushing for more ‘western’ intervention in Syria to counter any Iranian influence. The shadowy ‘White Helmet’ group who reported the recent gas attacks are, apparently, tied up closely to terrorist groups operating in Syria and it is in their interests, with defeat looming, to summon in the support of the western powers who finance them. Since the precedent has been set for intervention, it is now easy for them to summon in western interventions at any time.

In too many cases, the interventions of western powers have been instigated by spurious and ‘false flag’ incidents. These have included the ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ incident at the start of the Vietnam war. The false accounts of Serb atrocities leading to interventions in order to break up the old Yugoslavian workers’ state and the notorious ‘weapons of mass destruction leading to Blair and Bush’s Iraq War. In another example, U.S. General Colin Powell also gave his misleading lecture to the United Nations.

It would, therefore, be highly desirable, if the true facts were established before Parliament made any decision on intervention in a sovereign state, thereby enabling the British executive to act through the auspices of the UN. Unfortunately, too many of our M.P’s have vested interests in helping the arms manufacturers maximise their profits. There is also an imbalance and illogicality of too many M.P.’s who take the side of Israel against the interests of the Palestinians. The recent murders of Palestinians and other mass casualties in the Gaza ‘prison camp’ setting have received very little attention in Parliament or the British media.

The testing of public opinion in Britain in connection with possible UK intervention in Syria has found that it is generally of the order of two to one against any intervention. This has not been reflected at all in Parliament in the subsequent debate following the Western powers bombardment, unauthorised by the U.N.

The fact that those very few cool heads calling for evidence have been marginalised in the House of Commons means that nothing has been learned in this ’House of Bedlam’ from past illegal conflicts and the continued vandalism inflicted on opponents of Israel, Saudi Arabia and their few friends in the Middle East. The decimation of Libya, Iraq and Yemen spring to mind. It is clearly evident that the real enemies of the British people are those dragging us into the conflicts. We have even had the example of a Labour M.P. calling for action against anyone opposed to the intervention. How anyone should want to be part of a Political Party harbouring such a viewpoint stiffens our resolve to build an alternative harbour for the support (and votes wherever possible) of the majority of Britain’s working class.

'Me First'! Beware the Rage of Exceptional People

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


Further (older) news stories from the SLP HERE.