Friday, April 27, 2018

It's exhausting



I didn't manage to catch all of my backlog in my last link round-up, so this one also has some stuff stretching back into last month.

Labour antisemitism

I'm getting a bit exhausted with this. The bottom line is there is too much antisemitism circulating in the Party. Despite what Jim rightly describes as Corbyn's best statement so far on antisemitism, the Labour leadership and, even more so, too many rank and file Corbynistas, don't seem to get it. Len McCluskey's intervention was pretty poor, and the show of denialism from the likes of Chris Williamson is embarrassing. Here are some of the best reads I've seen on the topic: Brendan McGeever and David Feldman in the Indy (originally in Ha'aretz), Keith Kahn-Harris in the Guardian, Peter Ryley on his blog and Ralph Leonard on his blog. For a good insight into how antisemitism circulates in the Labour social media sphere, read this important study by Daniel Allington. And here Anti-Nazis United looks at the Labour activists who claim they've never seen antisemitism in the party.

From Windrush to the Hostile Environment

Labour's failure to get to grips with the racism in its ranks should not blind us to the fact that the Tories remain the truest Nasty Party (if you need a reminder, check out the odious  - now suspended - candidate George Stoakley), whose vicious anti-migrant attacks have helped mainstream xenophobia and destroyed lives. It has been heartening to see a shift in the national discourse in the wake of the Windrush scandal, and this needs to lead to a full-on critique of the Hostile Environment policies that continue to target migrants, including Europeans, and non-migrant people of colour. On the Runnymede blog,  Lester Holloway and Sundeep Lidher explore the legacy of Windrush. This brilliant essay by Kenan Malik on elite racism and the white working class as alibi is a really thought-provoking look at the legacy of Powell. Rita Chadha on the MRN blog is sharp on the coming backlash to this shift in the discourse.

Corbyn and Corbynism has been responsible to some extent for a shift in the Overton window that might enable a different conversation about migration, an escape from the old Blair/Brown mantras of "British jobs for British workers" and "tough on immigration, tough on the causes of immigration". But he has also shown a worrying willingness to throw migrant workers under the bus in the name of (national) socialism, and a failure to robustly defend freedom of movement, which I think should be one of the key causes of our time. Here's a post by Peter R that talks about this.

Mainstreaming conspiricism

As the links here showed, the Douma and Salisbury chemical attacks have been the focus of a serious disinformation campaign. Among the journalists documenting this are former Guardian Middle East editor Brian Whitaker ("How “Ian56” keeps the false flags flying on Twitter"), Snopes' Bethania Palma ("Critics Slam Viral Stories Claiming Douma Chemical Attack Victims Died from ‘Dust’"), EAWorldview's Scott Lucas ("Russia’s (Dis)information Warfare and Assad’s Chemical Attacks"), Muhammad Idrees Ahmad ("Truth Is the First Step to Accountability in Syria"), The Intercept's Robert Mackey ("Russia Sows Doubts Over Chemical Attack in Syria, Aided by Pro-Trump Cable Channel") and HuffPo's Chris York ("How An Obscure British Blogger Became Russia's Key Witness Against The White Helmets"). Also read: A quick profile of hardcore racist Ian56789.

Sadly, parts of the British left have played a key role in mainstreaming it (as have parts of the British right, including Peter Hitchens and Arron Banks). Here, a great post on Shiraz takes as its starting point the pernicious role played by the Morning Star. And on the Gerasites back in March, Connor P, in "Novichok for the Soul", explores Corbyn's culpability in this. Idrees explores some UK academics playing a key role. Across the Atlantic, Robert Farley looks at The Nation's role in the disinfo war and Bethania P looks at Dennis Kucinich.

Understanding fascism

I'm not sure if I've already linked to Shane Burley's interview of anti-fascist author Matthew Lyons; at any rate, read it.

Anti-fascism and the fascist international


Toxic masculinity

My comrade Terry Glavin has a characteristically fine piece on Monday's awful terror attack in Toronto.

Ghouta/Idlib/Afrin/Herat: the failure of solidarity


Three pieces in the brilliant al-Jumhuriya: Leila al-Shami on Syria's shock capitalism and demographic engineering (also available in Spanish at Flores en Daraya); revolutionary hero Yassin al-Haj Saleh on Living in the Temporary; and Emran Feroz on the history of the orientalist left's love affair with Russian authoritarianism.


Michael Karadjis on the limits of geopolitics.

An important letter by Robin Yassin-Kattab on Afrin and solidarity. An interview of Robin by the great Bill Fletcher on the survival of the revolution. More like this on Dick Gregory's blog.

DSA activist Tristan Slaughter on why the DSA must reject imperial rhetoric. Brian Whitaker on why tales of regime change make no sense.



2 comments:

Rebecca said...

Thank you for all the links, Bob.

Boffy said...

The anti-Semitism in the Labour Party seems to come from the top. Not from the political top, i.e. from Corbyn, but the bureaucratic top in the party machinery. After all many of those actually expelled from the Party have been Jews, such as Moshe Machover (subsequently reinstated), or Tony Greenstein (the charge of anti-semitism replaced with the vacuous catch all "bringing the party into disrepute.

The anti-Semitism is manifest in the desire to dictate who can be classified as a Jew and who cannot, and thereby to expel all of the "wrong-Jews", and their supporters from the party. The "wrong Jews", i.e. all those who support Corbyn, who oppose the right-wing Blair-rights, and soft lefts, and their alliance with Tories, the Tory media, and the Tories leading up the various alternative Jewish organisations such as the Board of Deputies, or Jewish Leadership Council, are thereby not only deligitmated as Labour Party members, but also simultaneously deligitimated as Jews. Hence the refusal of the BOD and JLC to even sit down with Corbyn in a meeting if these "wrong Jews" from the JVL, or Jewdas were included in the meeting. Perhaps what they should also call for is that the "wrong Jews" have to wear some kind of badge on their clothing so as to distinguish them in public from the right kind of acceptable Jews!!!! After all the Tories leading the BOD and JLC seem happy to welcome Trump and the neo-fascist governments in Eastern Europe, who promote similar kinds of discriminatory policies.