Students Waving Placards' Journal|
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|Thursday, April 24th, 2008|
|Thursday, March 13th, 2008|
im in ur union pwning ur trotz
I'm at Manchester, and have blogged a good few times here about SWSS / Respect's stranglehold on the Union. They and their stooges have always had places on the Exec. Some of them - Rob Owen, for instance, when he was Campaigns Officer - did a good job. Others of them didn't. Letting Hizb ut Tahrir into the Union and calling anyone who disagreed 'Islamophobic', for instance, banning Facebook in elections when the NOLS / Lib Dems / Tories slate started a group on it for potential candidates, spreading lies about the Jewish Society and calling us racist and Islamophobic, or completely bollocksing up the student newspaper.
This year, however, it's been different. Not ONE Trot candidate got in on the Exec. Every single one of them lost, and we now have an alliance of Lib Dems, NOLS, Jewish students, and left-wing independents. It didn't help that they smeared other left-wing candidates as right-wing (such as one of the girls who was running for Campaigns, who is actually for the same things as they are, but she's a member of HOPI, and we all know what the SWP think of them) and branded a non-J-Soc affiliated Jewish candidate as a 'Zionist'. IY"H the exec will be good this year. The students, it seems, are finally getting sick of idiots with placards and megaphones shouting at them.
Our Campaigns Officer proceeded to post about the elections on Educationet
. Notice how nearly everyone in the comments basically tells him to fuck off. ( Also, here"s a brilliant post from another lefty who hates the SWP.Collapse )
|Saturday, March 1st, 2008|
Free speech is only for Hezbollah, us plebs need not apply.
(CC'd to similar thread on UK Indymedia, etc, etc)
Wow! Went to the Council House in my town (yes, they had the meeting in a public building) tonight and discovered that, guess what? Free speech is only for people that the SWP-Hezbollah-STW agree with. If you don't think that Hezbollah are the best spokespeople for an anti-war group, you get called a cunt, physically threataned, and security guards tell you that you have to leave "for your own safety". Who would have thunk it - that Nazi saluting, racist militarists would only want free speech for themselves!
Happily I wasn't the only one, although nobody else protested in front of the council house apparently a Jewish man got inside and tried to make his feelings known (and got dragged out by security) and another veteran of leftie demos got in and asked Mr. Hezbollah what he was doing at an event protesting war when he was a spokeman for an armed militia. From little acorns large pacifist trees do grow.
I must admit I've never been a pacifist in the past but now I see the logic, in that if you support armed violence then you should be ready to answer for every single person you've killed.
That's enough from me - I can only hope that the SWP fall to bits and a genuine, inclusive anti-war movement can grow in its place - regardless of race, religion or whatever.
The war in Iraq is a horror and our troops should not be there. Anti war protestors should not be inviting racist militants to tea. Why is this even controversial? Current Mood: sick
|Wednesday, February 27th, 2008|
SWP completely lose the plot, invite terrorist spokeman to speak at Stop The War meetings
This is really quite sinister, and leads me to question exactly who is paying the SWP's bills. http://stopwar.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=490&Itemid=1
My emphasis: Tour: Eyewitness from Iraq and Lebanon
UK tour starts in London, 28 February, 6.30pm Friends Meeting House
Hassan Juma'a, President of the Iraqi Oil Workers Union will be speaking with Ibrahim Mousawi, editor of a journal linked to Lebanon's Hezbollah for their only meeting in London. This is a chance to hear what is really going on in the Middle East today. Meetings will take place in the following cities:
London , 28 February
Bristol , 29 February
Birmingham , 1 March
Manchester , 1 March
Cambridge , 2 March
Norwich , 2 March
Cardiff , 3 March
Liverpool , 4 March
Hassan Juma'a, President of the Iraqi Oil Workers Federation and Ibrahim Moussawi, Editor of the journal Al-Intiqad in Lebanon, linked to Hezbollah, will be joined by activists and authors on a tour of the UK.
Ibrahim Moussawi is the editor of the Hezbollah newspaper, Al Intiqad. He is based in Lebanon.
This has already caused controversy on my local indymedia board.
Counter-reply- note the heavy use of ad-hominem attacks. BTW, the poster FAILS miserably.http://www.bristol.indymedia.org/article/687969?condense_comments=false#commentsQuo vadis
, STW? You say you want to stop the war but you give an unopposed platform for a Hezbollah propagandist. If they wanted to show people what it was like in the ME, why not bring ordinary people from all the countries affected by the wars there?
It seems to me that there are two possibilities:
1) They're taking Hezbollah's money. This is probably against the law, as Hezbollox are a well known gang of international terrorists and war criminals, not unlike the Western military-industrial complex that SWP claim to oppose.
2) They're taking the British governments' money. The government would dearly love to shut down protest but they need a reason. A tour like this seems incredibly provocative, to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if physical violence broke out - already anti-fascists are talking about "giving Moussawi the welcome he deserves". The government could then ban all protests that don't have explicit police permission in advance, as is already the case in central London.
Of course, perhaps I am just being paranoid. It's an occupational hazard when dealing with far-left politics and the SWP and it's front groups do have a long, long history of being really, really stupid - but how come they are always stupid in such a way as to cause the protest movements they take over to fail? And how come they have so much money to print their papers, bus people around the country and form multiple front groups? Socialist / Communist newspapers such as the Morning Star
and the Weekly Worker
are constantly begging for money, donations, handouts etc - but the SWP seems able to run at a loss indefinitely.
Who is paying for this? Current Mood: Angry and a little afraid
|Tuesday, November 20th, 2007|
|Monday, October 15th, 2007|
The SWP starts purging its own members.
Three prominent SWPers - Nick Wrack, Rob Hoveman and Kevin Ovenden - have been booted out of the SWP for associating themselves too closely with the George Galloway/Salma Yaqoob wing of Respect.
The way things are going, it seems almost inevitable that the SWP will wind up splitting from Respect.
This does beg the question of what will happen to the two groups.
The SWP: back to oblivion, probably. An inglorious future as just another irrelevant Trot group.
Respect: that could be an interesting question. With the Trots jettisoned, where will it go? Possibly becoming a party for Muslim small businessmen. Conceivably it might wind up as an Islamist front.
|Saturday, September 29th, 2007|
How to lose an argument
Following the welcome news that the proposed boycott of Israeli academics has been scrapped for legal reasons (quick summary: the Universities and Colleges Union sought legal advice and discovered that they'd be violating anti-discrimination laws if they went ahead with the boycott) this has left a few SWPers trying vainly to defend the indefensible.
On this thread on Harry's Place
we have a truly spectacular display of Fail by the SWP's John Game.
Scroll down the page until you get to "Posted by: johng at September 29, 2007 11:01 AM". Then the Fail begins, as he twists and turns his pseudo-logic, trying first to come up with all kinds of bizarre reasons why the boycott proposal shouldn't have been put to a ballot of the full membership (real reason why he wouldn't have wanted that: it would have been overwhelmingly defeated).
Then he starts referring to a racist, discriminatory boycott as "solidarity work"...
...Then, bizarrely, he starts claiming that the rejection of the boycott amounts to a blanket ban on Palestinians visiting UK universities. Of course, it's nothing of the sort.
This he does in the face of increasing counter-argument, ridicule and disbelief from the other commenters on the thread.
As several people point out, John Game is a professional academic, working towards a PhD in international politics at SOAS, but somehow seems incapable of grasping basic logic or simple arguments.
It's worth reading not so much as a masterclass in how to lose an argument; more of how to try to resurrect an argument that's already been lost, then lose again and come back and lose some more.
|Tuesday, September 4th, 2007|
George vs the SWP
I haven't posted in this community for some time, since baiting the SWP eventually gets a bit tedious, rather like poking a monkey with a stick through the bars of its cage.
Still, I couldn't resist sharing this one. A memo from George Galloway to the SWP has been leaked onto the Internet.
And what a memo it is. It's nothing less than a full-blown, utterly damning critique of the SWP's methods as a party. It pretty much highlights all the points the critics of the SWP have been making for years, such as:
...Disorganised approach to finance..None of the Respect staff appears to have been tasked with either membership or fundraising responsibilities. Or if they have it isn’t working. There is a deep-seated culture of amateurism and irresponsibility on the question of money. Activities are not properly budgeted and even where budgets are set they are not adhered to. Take, for example, the Fighting Unions Conference which was full to the rafters but still managed to lose £5000. The intervention at Pride, where we gave away merchandise rather than sold it, lost £2000.
...Control-freakery...Further, what ought to have been the unalloyed success of the Pride intervention was seriously marred. Instead of a simple encouragement for members to attend – with a logical emphasis on LGBT members and young people – several members in elected office were subjected to a high-handed “instruction” from the national office to take part. It appeared to them to be some kind of misplaced test of their commitment to the equality programme of the organisation. This is frankly absurd.
...Arbitrary hiring and firing of staff based on favouritism...People pop up as staff members in jobs which have not been advertised, for which there have been no interviews and whose job descriptions are unclear and certainly unpublished. One staff member was appointed at a meeting at which that same staff member was present, making it obviously embarrassing for anyone to query whether they were the right person for the job, whether they could be afforded or why the job should go to them rather than someone else. This unnecessarily poor management leads to tensions, even animosity and the suspicion that staff are recruited for their political opinions on internal matters rather than on a proper basis. Sometimes the conduct of some staff buttresses this suspicion.
...Vilifying and ostracising anyone who doesn't slavishly follow the party line...There is a custom of anathematisation in the organisation which is deeply unhealthy and has been the ruin of many a left-wing group before us. This began with Salma Yaqoob, once one of our star turns, promoted on virtually every platform, and who is responsible for some of the greatest election victories (and near misses) during our era. Now she has been airbrushed from our history at just the time when she is becoming a regular feature on the national media and her impact on the politics of Britain’s second city has never been higher. There appears to be no plan to rescue her from this perdition
All these criticisms of the SWP have been made many times. It's just a surprise to hear George Galloway of all people saying it, especially since he's been guilty of much of the above in the past. Maybe he's finally realised that he's shackled himself to a gang of idiots.
Whatever one thinks of Galloway, his assessment in this document sounds pretty much spot-on. It'd be interested to be a fly-on-the-wall at the next meeting between George and the SWP.
This part is also probably true:The crossroads at which we now stand can take us either down the Shadwell route or the road to Southall.
Instead of three MPs and a presence on the GLA we could have no MPs and no one on the GLA by this time next year. A few honest moments thoughts should suffice to calibrate where that would leave us. Oblivion.
|Friday, February 9th, 2007|
I haven't posted in this community for a while, but I couldn't help noticing this, on the Respect Party website
:Released without charge - Again!
The government has much to answer for in justifying how exactly the rights and freedoms of the two Birmingham “terror plot” suspects, released without charge this morning, were safeguarded by the British justice system. Even after being released, they were given no explanation as to why they were held. All they were left with were allegations in the media of plotting to kidnap and behead a British Muslim soldier.
The stated priority of the Crown Prosecution Service, responsible for the investigation of the nine men held without trial or charge in Birmingham last week, is to balance the needs between the safety of the public against the rights of the men in custody. Neither is being served with current anti-terrorism measures.
True, two men were released without charge.
Shame about the five guys who were formally charged with terrorism offences this morning.
|Wednesday, January 24th, 2007|
pots and kettles
Gorgious George was having a go at Tony Blair for not respecting parliment today.
Out of anybody they could have found to interview, they pick ...
The guy who went he represented Glasgow Kelvin as an ind, attended 3% of the votes in parliment
The guy who still only attends about 13 % of all votes
The guy who went parliment were debating if they should dig up his constiuency, he was pretending to be a cat on tv
is he really the right person to talk about treating parliment with respect ?
|Saturday, December 9th, 2006|
From the Respect website:Student Respect hails Conference success
Over 100 delegates came to Student Respect's first full conference last weekend. They represented Student Respect groups from around the country and the event was a fantastic opportunity to discuss the way forward for Student Respect.
Erm, they held a full national conference, and they only got 100 delegates????
I mean, normally when I read an account of numbers on SWP conferences/protests I usually mentally halve the number, in order to take into account the SWP's notorious exaggerating of numbers for every event, but on this occasion I'm willing to grant them the 100 just because otherwise they would be practically talking to an empty room.
I thought Stoodent Wespeckt were supposed to be launching a major new movement of energised and radicalised students?
|Sunday, November 26th, 2006|
Galloway spills George Orwell's pint
Over on Counterpunch magazine
there's red hot George-on-George action.
George Galloway is putting the boot into George Orwell.John Cornford was the grandson of Charles Darwin, son of the Victorian poet Frances Cornford, and part of the golden generation of the British left who went to fight fascism in Spain. That their memory has been sullied by Orwell's slanders, unfortunately reinforced by Ken Loach's film Land and Freedom, and now lies largely forgotten on the Iberian peninsula by the progressives of the 21st century is the main reason why I am working on an historical novel, Heart of the heartless World at the centre of which is the tall handsome figure of John Cornford.
Okay, so not only accusing Orwell of perpetrating "slanders" against the International Brigades, but also criticising Ken Loach too. That'll cause some awkward silences at the next Respect meeting.
Galloway follows this with a 10 page rebuttal of Orwell's claims about the Spanish Civil War, complete with footnotes and historical sources....well, actually, no he doesn't. He just makes the usual Stalinist mutterings about slanders and whatnot. Orwell was a bit of a Trot, don't you know? He failed to understand the glorious achievements of the Soviet Union and its allies around the world.
|Saturday, November 18th, 2006|
Dis-Organisation of Fighting Unions
Just to prove that the Respect Coalition *do* actually care about something other than sucking up to the Muslim vote, they've formed the Organisation of Fighting Unions.
Great. Trade unionism. A bit of good old-fashioned socialism. Put some ass-kicking back into the unions.
And last Saturday they held their 'Organising for Fighting Unions' conference. Between 600 and 900 trade unionists turned up. Good turn-out.
How could they possibly fail to kick-start something interesting in the trade union movement?
Well, Dave's Part
has collated several accounts detailing EXACTLY how the SWP managed to royally fuck things up.
It's worth going to his blog and reading the various accounts in full, but here's the potted summary:
1. Virtually no debate on actually organising unions.
2. Lots of blather instead about Islamophobia, the veil, Iraq, the US elections.
3. Carefully choreographed proceedings, so anyone invited to speak from the floor was invariably from the SWP.
I mean, honestly, do the SWP really
think that the primary issues of concern to trade union members are Islamophobia and the veil? Speaking as a trade union steward myself (though admittedly for the uber-pussywhipped Royal College of Nursing) I'd say that most of our members are concerned about employment rights, pay scales, securing their pensions and having access to a decent rep if they ever wind up on a disciplinary. Not sexy. Not nearly as exciting as screaming "ZOMG BUSH AND BLIAR IZ HITLER!!!!!!" Even so, it's what most people join a union for, and it's what they'd expect their union to concentrate on.
I also suspect that a majority of them hold views on, say, the Danish cartoons or the veil that the SWP/Respect would consider "Islamophobic", though personally I'd prefer to call it the triumph of secularism.
Also, I note from the comments thread that a number of trade unionists mention that they would have attended, were it not for childcare commitments. At this point Jim Denham pops up and points out that although the organisers provided a prayer room, they didn't provide a creche.
Religion, eh? No longer the opium of the people. More the crack that the SWP leadership are on.
|Friday, October 20th, 2006|
|Monday, October 16th, 2006|
Another reason to hate George.
Slightly off-topic, but it's worth posting here.
There is an anti-choice motion going around at the moment. If your MP was one of the ones who signed it, and you can check here
, write to them or send them a postcard and complain. It is vital that this country does NOT follow in America's footsteps. Hopefully it will not be passed. I've noticed, to my great distress, that members of the Lib Dems have signed it.
Fucking hell. I'm so angry right now.( Text for the linkophobesCollapse )
Why did I post it here? No prizes for guessing who one of the signatories is. So women's rights aren't important then, George? Current Mood: angry
|Thursday, October 12th, 2006|
I Beg You In.
With all sincerity and humility, I am a British representative and loyal supporter of a great and sadly deposed leader in the Middle East.
I write you this proposal based on the fact that I need your aid to relocate to a small about of money that we have liberated from the evil invaders who are trying to bring unholy concepts like freedom and democracy to our once great land. This money is the proceeds of oil that the noble President allowed me to sell on his behalf.
You see, the evil imperialist forces demanded that he sell his oil to by food and medicine for his loyal (and not so loyal) followers. Yet these are the forces that preach about free trade so surely he should have the right to buy whatever he wants with the proceeds, be it a chemical weapons system or another couple of palaces that would reflect the glory of is reign
The sad news is that since I live in a decedent country that still has not dared to abolish a free press, there are many rumours about my financial dealings and I fear that I may be investigated. In this backwards country where I live, the press are used to incite public feeling and I fear that they may get the wrong idea about my links with various Middle Eastern despots and Islamic terrorist organisations.
So, after sending as much of this money to brave freedom fighters in the caves of Afghanistan, fighting to break the tyranny of the US and its puppet states, I have a small amount left over which I hope you can help me deal with.
The amount, a pittance of £13,987,678.45, needs to be removed from my bank account as soon as possible. I am hoping that you can help out.
Please replay to this email with your bank account and passport details.
George Galloway MP
I thought some of you might like this.
A guy called Matt, who is my band's drummer's little brother and who spiritof1976
and I worked with at Reading, recalls on Facebook his little encounter with George Galloway.We just had George Galloway talk at our Uni and he spouted his usual arrogant, contradictory and one-sided rhetoric and it was an absolute joke. When people challenged his inconsistancies and errors they were shouted out that they were wrong. He was talking about respect and peace yet when someone challenged his point of view he challenged him to "3 rounds outside because he is "not a pacifist".
It is very difficult to take the man seriously, his voting record in Parliament is quite frankly appauling. How can any self-respecting representative of the opressed muslim community of the East End of London justify this?
The sooner he leaves the realms of politics the better. The sad thing is that some people fail to see the other side of the argument and take in his sensationalism and believe in it.
I was fortunate to engage in a "discussion" with him in Waterstones, where he decided to ignore my point that the Israelis and Palestinians have both committed atrocities and that he should see things from both sides by saying that Israel is founded by terrorism so they should expect terrorism in return. When challenged on his appauling voting record he said that I was wrong and that I should read my facts because I am an "Israeli ambassador" and a "conservative". I'm glad he thinks he can label me, especially since I really don't like the Conservative Party.
What an absolute knobhead. I continued to shout at him when he stormed out of Waterstones. Apparently he wasn't happy. Hopefully it was guilt for all of the lies he has spoken!
Ha! Ha! Ha! Current Mood: kvelling
|Tuesday, October 10th, 2006|
Manchester's student paper is in trouble.
You may recall I whinged on here a few months back about the I-Soc / SWSS slate taking over our Union. Well, one of my fears was confirmed - the Student Direct editor has abused his position already. ( Read more...Collapse )
The TV listings are back, however, the music section has been dropped. After Ben and James were sacked, other members of the team walked out in protest, and the paper is basically being written for by Sajid's cronies and various freshers. More seriously, it was recently discovered by lettersfade
that Sajid had been plagiarising letters and articles from other sources and claiming them as his own, or as having been written by Manchester students. As the students here will know, plagiarism is a very serious offence and can get your arse booted out of uni if you're found nicking other people's work. The Save Student Direct group on Facebook, on which all of this was posted, has been gaining attention in local papers, as well as Gair Rhydd (the notorious Cardiff paper, which Sajid totally slagged off in his first column over the cartoon debacle).
We are considering taking this to a general meeting, but we're undecided as to whether Sajid should be made to resign, or just called out and ordered to do his damned job. Also, one thing that worries me is that one article about this ended up at the notoriously right-wing and anti-Muslim Frontpage magazine, with lots of comments from readers about how the evil jihadists are taking over the UK and so forth, and the last thing anyone - especially the Jewish Society - wants is this becoming a religious issue.
I'm not pissed off because he's a Muslim and I'm a Jew. I'm pissed off because he's the editor of a paper that used to be good, and he's turning it into wank. Current Mood: annoyed
|Monday, October 9th, 2006|
Before we look at today's news, let's have a brief history lesson about a term that's been used to describe, the SWP, Respect and their ilk: "Useful Idiots".
It's a term that's been used by some of the pro-war bloggers and journalists to describe anyone who opposed the War in Iraq - they're simply the useful idiots of Saddam. I don't think it's an appropriate description, as there were many prudent reasons to oppose the invasion - concern that the WMD evidence wasn't convincing enough, fear of destabilising the Middle East and creating a thousand Bin Ladens, the possibility of finding our armies stuck in a guerrilla war with an increasingly hostile population. Pretty much all the reasons that turned out to be correct.
But when it comes to the SWP, Respect, Stop the War and George Galloway touting the likes of Hamas, Hezbollah and Castro as though they're some kind of progressives - kind of a bunch of Guardian-reading liberals with AK47s - then the Useful Idiots tag becomes much more appropriate.
The term Useful Idiots, incidentally, dates back to the Cold War, to describe journalists, politicians and intellectuals from the West who praised the Soviet Union as a wonderful socialist paradise, unencumbered by the nasty inconvenience of ever having to actaully live
there. According to some accounts, the term was meant to have been invented by Lenin himself, to describe Western journalists visiting the Soviet Union on carefully choreographed tours designed to show that all was fine and dandy in Mother Russia.
Now, moving back to today, we hear that North Korea has detonated a nuclear bomb
, thus throwing the international community into crisis and threatening to start a new arms race in South East Asia.
And we turn to the websites of the Socialist Worker
, the Respect Coalition
, the Stop the War Coalition
Useful Idiocy will commence in 10...9....8....7...
|Thursday, October 5th, 2006|
Respect party dying on its arse
Via Dave's Part
there's some news about the current state of the Respect Coalition. A Respect member reports. The results of all this are most clearly expressed in the moribund state of a number of Respect branches and declining membership figures, which now stand at 2160 according to the annual report – down from 3040 last year. True some of this membership decline may be down to poor administration, and the right figure might be a bit higher– but the overall picture is clear enough.
The fact is 2160 members is a fraction of the potential membership available to an organisation which emerged as the political expression of a mass anti-war movement at a time when new Labour was loosing it traditional supporters hand over fist and which quickly won a high degree of name recognition. It is substantially less than the membership of the SWP itself.
Wow, less members in Respect than in the actual SWP. I was always under the assumption that if you were in the SWP, you were also in Respect.
Also in that report is an unusual event - an admission by a Respect member that Celebrity Big Brother was a disaster for the party. Then came Celebrity Big Brother, by far the biggest crisis Respect had faced in its short existence. It was not just the humiliation of Respect by the antics of George Galloway, it was the fact that Galloway was shown to be completely unaccountable when push came to shove. The refusal of the majority on the NC to make a statement clearly separating itself from the CBB fiasco made the matter worse.
Thus, Respect finds itself in the unusual position of being even more fucked, membership-wise, than New Labour.