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Julian Assange: the Price of Exposing the Crimes of Power!

See PRESS RELEASES for our statement opposing the arrest and extradition of the Wikileaks founder. Click HERE to read as pdf

SLP Welcomes Hartlepool Councillors

We are delighted to announce that Hartlepool borough councillors, Allan Barclay and Sandra Belcher, have joined Socialist Labour. On behalf of the SLP they will contest the local elections on 2nd May

With many years of service to the people of the town, Councillor Belcher who represents Jesmond Ward and Councillor Barclay who represents Manor House ward will carry the flag for Socialist Labour in Hartlepool

All our members, supporters and voters we feel sure will join us in congratulating our councillors who have declared their support for our policies. We wish them every success on 2nd May

STOP PRESS Since the local elections FOUR more Hartlepool councillors have quit Labour and joined the SLP

HARTLEPOOL SOCIALIST LABOUR GROUP

'Brexit Day': Lessons from History?

In relation to the current phase of the 'Stop Brexit' saga, we have chosen to make no comment. Instead we ask our readers to join us on a journey back in time. Back in fact to April 1653 and a speech by Oliver Cromwell

It should be noted firstly that the views expressed by Mr Cromwell are not necessarily those of the SLP. Equally, any resemblance to persons living or recently dead is purely coincidental

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE for Arthur's statement on the May-Corbyn EU 'Deal'

Macedonia: a Lesson in EU 'Democracy'

In agreeing yesterday, as a pre condition of EU/NATO membership, to change its name, Macedonia’s journey duplicates that of many small nations; for those of us living in the UK the process whereby the Macedonian people’s belief in their right to own their national identity has resulted in an outcome predicated upon its opposite, is equally instructive

In September 2018 Macedonia too held a ’non binding’ referendum, in this case voting on whether to change name and join EU/NATO. While here our pro EU politicians believed they would win the referendum, the Macedonians it appears did not fancy their chances. Aiming in true ‘peoples vote’ style to fix the result by splitting the no vote, they created a tariff; the vote would be invalid unless it reached a turnout of 50%. Hoping to get the unpopular measure through by default, with small numbers of no voters taking the vote up to the threshold, the government was spurned, a 39% turnout handing victory to the no side

Naturally the government decided the result did not ‘mean’ what it said. Having told the people before the referendum that an abstention would be regarded as a no vote it decided afterwards that an abstention was in fact a yes vote, in the sense that staying at home now conferred legitimacy on the massive yes delivered by those who turned out

In a perfect illustration of how far the power of financial empires shifts the political narrative away from democracy, the broker of the Macedonian deal, the ‘leftist’ Greek PM, Tsipras - yes, the Tsipras elected on a mandate of defending the Greek people from EU imposed austerity – functioned in this case as the instrument of EU expansion

Almost immediately after the 2016 UK referendum result, the political establishment, which regards all ideas in conflict with the West’s right of expansionism as ‘fascism’, shifted to establish another Orwellian narrative, that some votes in the referendum were more equal than others. No remainer, including left leaning sceptics who voted for an institution in which they do not believe, or those who voted on some other issue, to express solidarity with immigrants or to impede the possibility of a right wing Tory government, or who believed scare stories put out by the remain side, or who think 'Europe' is defending us against the 'extremism' of everyone else, or who prioritised economic self interest was exposed to the idea that they didn’t have the right to do what they did. The appearance immediately after the vote of the concept of the ‘soft’ Brexit was the signal that leavers would be judged, and by a very different standard. While remain means remain, the Parliament that gave the people the decision will determine, in the manner of Macedonia, that what we meant by Brexit was really something else

Unless we escape our slumber and rediscover the spirit of sixteen, like the Greeks our democratic ‘moment’ will give way to its opposites; the new 'understanding' on which the second referendum will be predicated is not what the people want but what political power is willing to 'allow'

Kim Bryan, General Secretary, Socialist Labour Party

More Tory Cynicism

The Tory Transport minister Grayling has blamed the Trade Unions for the rail fare increases that have been announced recently. The almost unbelievable cynicism associated with his accusation reflects how totally out of touch with reality are the ruling elites in our Country.

The phenomenal cost to passengers of rail transport these days has built up over decades, involving wage freezes imposed upon employees, huge public subsidisation and massive greed from the owners and shareholders of the privatised rail companies. It has always been the case, going back to Victorian times, that private rail companies have hit financial problems and the sane response from governments has been to take them into public ownership. Compensation to failed private companies should never have been on the agenda but to this day, whenever privatised rail companies hit the buffers, the right-wing Tory and Labour regimes rush in to bale them out.

Grayling is a good reflection of the current Tory regime in that almost everything that he is involved with is failing in one aspect or another. We have just seen the Gatwick Drone debacle with him, once again, appearing to be totally out of his depth.

Areas of the Country, including North Cornwall and North Devon have no links to the National rail network. When Cameron was Prime Minister, he promised a new rail link for the far Western Counties after the Dawlish line was washed away by the combination of rain and high tides. Neither he nor Grayling have lifted a little finger to make good on the promise.

The wages aspect, relating to fares, that Grayling has highlighted is especially cynical at this time. It is reported in the press that bosses’ pay is roughly one hundred and thirty-three times the average wage of employees. Some of the most notorious privatisation bosses stash their cash( and in some cases even live abroad) in tax havens so that none of it gets reinvested in British industry.

The gap between the super rich less than one per cent and the rest of us continues to grow apace. This is hardly surprising since the whole capitalist political system is run to benefit the few rather than the many. EU regulations, of course, make it virtually impossible to take private rail companies into public ownership for normal political, sane reasons. An integrated transport system is impossible without wholesale public ownership of transport facilities. That is why we must escape the disastrous EU bosses’ club without delay.

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


Further (older) news stories from the SLP HERE.