Poor Lives Matter: Class and Identity Politics

To many of us the “All Lives Matter” and “White Lives Matter” response to the Black Lives Matter protests seems either knowingly racist or at the very least wilfully ignorant and/or disingenuous. But a recent conversation I had suggested another possibility.

I pointed out to someone that the full meaning of the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is actually something like “Black Lives also matter”, or perhaps “Black Lives Matter as well.” Or maybe “Black Lives Matter as much as white lives“. Whichever way you define it to me and I am sure all of us on the left, the phrase “Black Lives Matter” clearly entails the idea that ‘all’ lives matter.

However, the person I was talking to seemed genuinely surprised by this idea and said to me, “Why don’t they say that then?” Continue reading

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The LP is finished as an alternative to the Tories.

The LP is finished as an alternative to the Tories. Even the LP as ‘the lesser of 2 evils’ is debatable because at least the Tories are authentically the Tories and actually believe in their destructive, divisive, exploitative philosophy. New Labour’s centrist liberalism is Toryism without the guts to see it through. New Labourism is simply the “compassionate Toryism” of the LIbDems, which is of course a contradiction in terms.

For any genuine socialists to remain in the LP after the behaviour of the PLP and party bureaucracy as exposed by the leaked report, behaviour which is currently being endorsed and perpetuated under Starmer’s leadership, is to participate in the destruction of a socialist alternative to the Tories. Staying in the LP is not ‘fighting on for socialism’, it is guaranteeing the defeat of socialism. Continue reading

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“Tropes” – The Curse Of Contemporary Public Discourse

 


trope
noun

1./ a figurative or metaphorical use of a word or expression. “both clothes and illness became tropes for new attitudes toward the self”

2./ a significant or recurrent theme; a motif. “she uses the Eucharist as a pictorial trope”


The problem with “tropes” in any discourse is that they are essentially interpretive and require interpolation (the insertion of something of a different nature into something else). They involve the ‘discovering’ and ‘decoding’ of malign meanings, motives and intentions from statements which in and off themselves may not be malign.

If someone were to make the assertion that, “Indian and Pakistani immigrants are good at running corner shops”, this is, in and of itself, a fairly innocuous statement that contains an  element of truth, i.e. in the UK Indian and Pakistani immigrants have in the last 50 years made great success out of running corner shops and local grocery stores.

So what’s the problem? Well, anyone with a liberal sensitivity will have immediately  been on the alert reading that sentence because the statement while containing some truth, is also regarded as a racist “trope”. Why? Because it is an idea that generalises about millions of people and because it is an idea that is sometimes used by racists to characterise people of Indian and Pakistani heritage in order to denigrate, demean and limit them.

Thus some people of a liberal bent would read the fairly innocuous statement that “Indian and Pakistani people are good at running corner shops”, as in fact a racist statement in and off itself, even though the speaker may never have intended it to be. Continue reading

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Momentum: The Glory Year of 2016… Crushed By Labourism

The online discussions of the LP leaked report have made me reflect sadly on the first year of Momentum back in 2016.

I joined the LP on 9th September 2015, the day Jeremy Corbyn was elected party leader. By January 2016, 3 months later, there had been no meeting of my local CLP, Stratford Upon Avon, or my local branch, Shipston-on-Stour. I had had only one email from the CLP which was a sniffy reponse to my offer to help set up a branch meeting in Shipston.

I had partly joined the party in order to connect with fellow Corbyn supporters in the LP but instead still felt as isolated as I had before I joined. So I contacted Momentum and asked if there was a local group. There wasn’t so I asked if I could start one. They said please do. So I did. Continue reading

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Labourism; Is the Labour Party part of the solution or part of the problem?

Many years ago a friend of mine in the SWP told me that with regard to social and economic justice the Labour Party is not part of the solution but part of the problem. Another friend in the SWP said that after New Labour the left v right divide in UK politics no longer ran between Labour and The Tories but ran straight down the middle of the LP. Continue reading

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The right wing of the Labour Party are the most morally bankrupt fuckers in UK politics.

The right wing of the Labour Party are the most morally bankrupt fuckers in UK politics. They are worse than Tories, worse than Farage, worse than Dominic Cummings… Truly, truly evil.

The whole of “The Party” machine was and is entirely corrupt. The double-dealing, swaggering, hectoring, bullying, playground moral bankruptcy of Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandelson, taken up as a philosophy of life by small, small men. Pathetic if so much wasn’t at stake. Continue reading

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