Saturday, January 26, 2013

Orwell/Serge/SWP/antisemitism/Syria

I marched today against the proposed closure of my local hospital, and plan to blog on that in next couple of days. Instead, while my family watch a dreadful Harry Potter movie, I've been trying to catch up on some of my reading. Here's some of it.

There's loads of stuff around about George Orwell right now, it being "Orwell day" last week. Most of it is shit, but among the good stuff is this by the Fat Man. Victor Serge is one of the people closest to Orwell; Shiraz Socialist publishes Richard Greeman on what would have become of Serge.

International Socialist was once a party in the Serge tradition, sadly devolving over the years into the horrifically authoritarian, sectarian, opportunistic and unprincipled SWP, one of the largest and most destructive forces on the UK left. I have to say that despite the human suffering at its heart (serial sexual abuse), I have been getting some pleasure from watching its break-up. Here's Max Dunbar's take on it.

From the SWP, inevitably, to antisemitism. Recent days have seen some outbreaks of liberal antisemitism, from Bradford Liberal Democrat MP David Ward and in the comment thread at Liberal Conspiracy, among others, as discussed by the Soupy One. Flesh is Grass also discusses Ward here, and passes on a sharp critique of antisemitism in the SWP breakaway International Socialist Group.

Kellie at Airforce Amazons has two posts on what's going on in Syria, where the death toll continues to mount, and the West continues to watch. This one, and this more substantive one, which you should definately read.

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