Socialists giving themselves a bad name


by Sunny
11th July, 2009 at 2:48 pm    

Only about a week ago Andy Newman of the blog Socialist Unity was attacking me for criticising the Respect Party and apparently being racist because I called the party communalist. Then voltaire’s priest pointed me to this post on SU by the same Mr Newman where he defends the Chinese attack on the Uyghurs. Apparently criticising China is ‘sinophobic’. I won’t even bother criticising the article because it’s stupidity is plain to see how. However, I am tickled by the fact that it puts Andy Newman on the same side as a whole bunch of nutjobs who were last week applauding the Chinese for their actions because they hate all Muslims. Politics – don’t you just love it?


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Filed in: China,Current affairs,Race politics,Terrorism






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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Socialists giving themselves a bad name http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5127




  1. Grzeg — on 11th July, 2009 at 3:05 pm  

    You’d be hard pressed to find someone loonier than the sort of bizarre Crypto-Stalinist maniacs you find in the crusty upper attics of Respect/SWP.

    The SWP and their various disguises still see the Muslim community as large vote fodder so want to be seen as defending them at every oportunity no matter how tenuous, and ideally as manically as possible. Usually on megaphones.

  2. Rob — on 11th July, 2009 at 3:09 pm  

    I thought that you were all ‘Comrades’ on the left.

    This holding hands and singing cumbya does not hold up very well in the real world, does it?

    I think the Liberals take the biscuit though. Courting the Gay, and Muslim vote.

    Wow!

  3. Bill Corr — on 11th July, 2009 at 4:09 pm  

    Struck off!
    For mentioning La Mission Civilisatrice Chinoise in Turkestan and Tibet?
    Or mentioning Kipling’s awful ‘White Man’s Burden’ poem?
    Or mentioning Kashmir and Nagaland?

  4. Rumbold — on 11th July, 2009 at 4:10 pm  

    You are on probabtion Bill Corr. Anymore racist claptrap on any threads and you are gone for good.

  5. Bill Corr — on 11th July, 2009 at 4:11 pm  

    And yes, altho’ my Froggie is not VERY rusty since my Algerian days, I DID quite literally mean The Chinese Civilizing Mission in Turkestan and Tibet.

  6. Sunny — on 11th July, 2009 at 4:26 pm  

    I think the Liberals take the biscuit though. Courting the Gay, and Muslim vote.

    Absolutely terrible that liberals should stand up for the rights of minorities when white people are being oppressed every day everywhere!

  7. Scots Tiger — on 11th July, 2009 at 4:33 pm  

    If there are Sinophobes, there are also Sinophiles.

    One might distinguish between Sinophiles who are directly or indirectly on Beijing’s payroll – and there are many of these in Britain and the U.S.A. – and those who fall into a few distinct categories, such as:

    Admirers of ruthless despotisms, so long as there is a pretence of adherence to socialism in the official ideology. Cuba, Vietnam, China and the D.P.R.K. all qualify.

    Then there are those who truly believe that the Great Chinese Motherland is benefitting the Tibetans, Uighers, Kazakhs, Kirghiz and so on by conferring the blessings of stability and superior civilization upon them. The very aged Han Suyin (Dr Elisabeth Comber) living quietly in Lausanne is the finest example of this kind of person, although she certainly did well out of being a sympathetic spokesperson for the People’s Republic from the very day of its founding.

  8. oldrightie — on 11th July, 2009 at 5:49 pm  

    Absolutely terrible that liberals should stand up for the rights of minorities when white people are being oppressed every day everywhere!

    —————————
    I wouldn’t say The UK was everywhere!

  9. Scots Tiger — on 11th July, 2009 at 6:09 pm  

    Today is an especially moving day, watching – on BBC – the film footage of Obama – The One Himself – visiting the very place from which his lovely wife’s great-grand-father was despatched after having been sold into slavery by her kith and kin.

    As all know, Dinesh D’Souza observed, after consulting the records, that chieftains on the Gold Coast were so distreesed by the end of the Atlantic Slave Trade that they sent a delegation to London to protest about the end of this lucrative trade.

    We need not even consider the issue of what a dreadfully bad idea it was to take Africans to the New World.

  10. Shatterface — on 11th July, 2009 at 6:56 pm  

    We saw the ‘sinophobia’ gambit used on Sp!ked in the build up to the Olympics and whenever Tibet is mentioned.

    They even dredged up some pics of Fu Manchu and Ming the Merciless to illustrate it because we are all obviously 100 years old and when we think about China the first thing that pops into our heads is pre-Communist yellow peril adventure stories rather than footage of protestors facing down tanks.

    Like ‘Islamophobia’, that card Is devalued every time it’s played.

  11. Scots Tiger — on 11th July, 2009 at 7:11 pm  

    Is Shatterface suggesting that the Sinophile blogs are in the hands of those unswervingly loyal to – or in the pay of – the dreadful lackeys of the PRC.

    FOR SHAME!

    SAILING THE SEAS DEPENDS ON THE HELMSMAN!

  12. douglas clark — on 11th July, 2009 at 7:24 pm  

    I thought Shatterface was making the rather obvious point that it is easy to generalise. Especially if you are a communist who lacks judgement, such as Andy Newman. Andy Newman probably knows more about Rosa Luxembourg than is actually healthy.

  13. Shatterface — on 11th July, 2009 at 8:31 pm  

    I wonder what interest ‘communists’ have in China these days anyway: it’s been a capitalist country for years, it just hasn’t become a democratic one.

  14. soru — on 11th July, 2009 at 11:18 pm  

    ‘Sinophiles who are directly or indirectly on Beijing’s payroll – and there are many of these in Britain and the U.S.A’

    That _is_ pretty noticeable. Anyone ever done any research as to who exactly is getting how many yuans per word?

  15. Shuggy — on 11th July, 2009 at 11:47 pm  

    Sinophilia is all the rage for former Marxists who have dispensed with any sense of social justice and are left only with the residual feeling that righteousness is a function of being on the right side of History. It is often the case that it is the historical determinism that is the last thing to go. Hence the appalling doggerel you link from the Stalinist above. What these don’t seem to realise is that they have become, effectively, Nietzscheans who get moist at the demonstration of pure power. By describing these degenerates as ‘socialists’ doesn’t really help matters, frankly.

  16. MaidMarian — on 11th July, 2009 at 11:51 pm  

    Shatterface – Spiked actually takes a pretty good view of China. Right now, many of the 1989 protesters demands have been more or less met.

    Sure, we could not set up PP, or even Spiked, in China right now but many of the freedoms are there.

    What is ‘wrong’ with China is it’s tin ear to workers rights, pollution and labour rights. Spiked has written on these points.

    There is much to criticise China for, it’s just that many of the leftist blogs seem to miss the point – odd given that many of the cirticims are very much ‘old labour.’

  17. dave bones — on 12th July, 2009 at 12:27 am  

    ha ha that is funny Sunny.

    Yes I have noticed that some of my lefty political mates defend China against Tibet and Uighers. I have read it all in passing but I don’t really understand it. These people are much more well read than I and they tend to believe things they read, which I always try not to. People who call themselves Socialists write in terms of big government which is something I have no concept of really. I haven’t got a philosophy for society. I only see it in terms of tendencies and likelihoods.

  18. dave bones — on 12th July, 2009 at 12:35 am  

    From what I gather they always look for the CIA behind any breakaway/independence movement in the area. I simply have no idea. If I wanted to know about Uighers I would probably ask a guy called Richard Hering who won a Rory peck award for a film about them a while back.

  19. halima — on 12th July, 2009 at 7:33 am  

    Hi Sunny

    Interesting post.

    I do think there is a lot of misunderstanding of China. Above all, the thing to remember is that it’s sheer size makes it impossible to generalise.

    Interestingly, Beijing is one of the more diverse places I have visited – there is an international emerging business class which is poised here to make the best use of commercial opportunities in the next 20 years or so. All the big international advertising firms, arts bodies, music venues, clothes companies, designer companies have outlets here so it’s difficult to generalise about what China is these days. Shanghai of coarse, surpasses all other Chinese cities and is being promoted as a major competitor to Hong Kong.

    Anyway, I am writing from Guilin which is in southern China and it is the legendary backpacker town in China with the beautiful limestone landscape( though I would say the number of tourists here remind me of Spain). Again to underscore the point, this part of China is nothing like the bright lights of shimmering towers in Shanghai – or the coastal cities where China’s spectacular growth has taken place in the last 30 years.

  20. billericaydicky — on 12th July, 2009 at 8:55 am  

    Good post Sunny, I don’t know what is happening but you are writng things that I am agreeing with! Socialist Unity is of course a complete misnomer because a more disunited bunch it would be harder to imagine.

    I am told by people who know him that Newman is what is known as a “Tanky” this is a totally unreconstructed Stalinist whose answer to all dissent is to send in the tanks. Today is the anniversary of the uprising against communism in Hungary which was smashed by the tanks of the Red Army. It will be interesting to see if Newman writes an article about that.

    The others who write there are very largely Trotskyists but in terms of tactics and aims there is little to distinguish between the two except for the dispute over who was right and the heir to Lenin, Stalin or Trotsky.

    There are a number of things that are common to both groups.
    A belief that whatever might have gone wrong afterwards, the Bolshevik coup of October 1917 is the model for an revolutionary elite taking power in the name of the working class and peasantry.

    An absolute belief that each group has all the answers and that only they correctly understand and can correctly interpret history and the future from the holy books of Marx,Engels,Lenin,Stalin,Trotsky and other more minor saints and scribes.

    Anyone who disagrees is either naive in which case educations is possible. Persistently disagreeing with the party line means that a person is a class enemy/agent of Imperialism and must be sent for re-education or liquidated.

    The leadership of these groups consists of people who have severe psychological problems who find difficulty in forming real friendships or relationships and the party becomes a substitute for both rather in the way that the moonies or various gurus do for other people.

    In the case of the Trotskyists there tends to be a huge turnover of young people mainly students. A fugure given to me recently for the SWP was 80% every 18 months. As most of the income for the party comes from subscriptions there is a constant need for new members and therefore as many front groups as possible.

    Hence Stop the War, Respect, The Left List etc. The biggest money spinner was Unite Against Fascism which has had millions from the unions much of which was diverted to pay the salaries of the SWP full timers.

    Without doubt the biggest failure and the one that has led to a real crisis was the failure of Respect. As Sunny points out, and myself and other people have, it was always the left, or the section of it around the SWP, that saw the chance of using some very reactionary elements within Islam to build a mass party of the left.

    One of the main players Lindsey German actuall said that womens and gay right were “shibboleths” which were not “sacrosanct” which, when the numbers of Muslims on the first anti war demos were seen, were rapidly dumped.

    Consequently, when the whole opportunistic charade began to unravel in Tower Hamlets, the two main organisers and promoters of Respect within the SWP, German and Rees, got the blame and were removed from the central committee.

    The SWP and all its fronts are in serious trouble as is witnessed by a recent letter from the SWP to the anti fascist movement for unity against the BNP and a new approach. This is a sign of their weakness and an admission that they are very much on the fringes.

    Sunny has had experience of their tactics when he was heckled recently by Ger Francis at the City Circle meeting. They must consider you a threat Sunny to dispatch an important SWP/Respect functionary to attack you when they had George Galloway’s bash going on over at Bishopsgate.

    Or was he there to mind Salma Yaqoob as there are persistent rumours that she is talking to Labour about the nomination for one of the Birmingham seats. I hear that she will bring a sizable Pakistani block of votes with her rather as various Bangladeshi Respect politicians have done in Tower Hamlets.

  21. munir — on 12th July, 2009 at 10:11 am  

    billeracy dicky
    “One of the main players Lindsey German actuall said that womens and gay right were “shibboleths” which were not “sacrosanct” which, when the numbers of Muslims on the first anti war demos were seen, were rapidly dumped.”

    Yes because Muslims must be against womens rights or gay rights. You must be overjoyed at whats happening in East Turkestan dicky

  22. munir — on 12th July, 2009 at 10:13 am  

    Shatterface
    “We saw the ’sinophobia’ gambit used on Sp!ked in the build up to the Olympics and whenever Tibet is mentioned.

    They even dredged up some pics of Fu Manchu and Ming the Merciless to illustrate it because we are all obviously 100 years old and when we think about China the first thing that pops into our heads is pre-Communist yellow peril adventure stories rather than footage of protestors facing down tanks.

    Like ‘Islamophobia’, that card Is devalued every time it’s played.”

    And of course the classic “anti-semitism ” everytime anyone criticises Israel

  23. dave bones — on 12th July, 2009 at 11:56 am  

    The leadership of these groups consists of people who have severe psychological problems who find difficulty in forming real friendships or relationships and the party becomes a substitute for both rather in the way that the moonies or various gurus do for other people.

    bang on. That is totally what they are isn’t it.

    There is a brilliant doco about such things connected to the French revolution on the iplayer here

  24. A Councillor Writes — on 12th July, 2009 at 1:22 pm  

    Dicky @ 20 – I think we can lay the rumours of Salma getting a Labour seat in Birmingham to rest these days.

    1. There aren’t any available unless there’s a sudden retirement. If there’s a sudden retirement, can they a) parachute Salma and b) hold the seat. They are under a certain amount of pressure in every single seat they hold in Birmingham.

    2. Does she want to join Labour? Birmingham Labour, especially in the inner cities, is a particularly murky and unprogressive variety of the Labour party. She was quite friendly towards an Albert Bore charm offensive to start with, but has cooled off over the last couple of years.

    I just don’t see it happening, she’ll fight Hall Green for Respect, but unless something unusual happens, she’ll lose and probably come a good third.

  25. Scots Tiger — on 12th July, 2009 at 4:18 pm  

    RESPECT is a losers’ club – Gorgeous George and a platoon of people with unreassuring names …

    Surely THE COUNCILLOR is aware that there are plenty of Labour MPs who are old-style Trade Union Morons, who could easily be chloroformed without anyone really even caring – or even noticing – so that his safe seat could be occupied by Salma on condition that she drops all this ludicrously-outmoded Oppressed Minority stuff and starts talking like a Girton or St. Hilda’s girl (we need not mention taking the shawl off her head, but letting it slide an inch or two a month would do the trick.)

  26. A Councillor Writes — on 12th July, 2009 at 5:05 pm  

    Perhaps Scots Tiger should note that there are no safe seats left for Labour in Birmingham that are inhabited by “old style trades union morons”. They’ll be challenged by one party or another in every seat in the second city in the next election. The only safe seat in Birmingham is Sutton Coldfield (which is Tory).

  27. Left Outside — on 12th July, 2009 at 10:04 pm  

    You think Andy got it wrong on China. Check out this weird nonsense. The man’s an idiot (Tanky is a fantastic term).

    I have no idea how it’s sinophobic to criticise the Chinese Government, there are 1000s of protests, strikes and petitions every year against the actions of the Government form Chinese people. Are they sinophobic?

    China ceased to maintain any Socialist credentials a long time ago. Why defend it? There’s nothing but the worst excesses of capitalism and authoritarianism there these days.

  28. Sunny — on 12th July, 2009 at 11:51 pm  

    ha ha! Yeah I forgot that post about Nortk Korea. Brilliant stuff that.

    shuggy – good point. Would you also call him a ‘tanky’? (wtf?)

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