• Latin America,  The Left

    RIP Teodoro Petkoff

    I just found out that Teodoro Petkoff, a former Communist guerilla in Venezuela turned democratic socialist and a brave opponent of the regimes of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, died in October at the age of 86. Petkoff, editor of the opposition newspaper Tal Cual, was kind enough to answer some questions from me back in 2005. The same year he published a book contrasting the kind of democratic Left he believed in with what he considered the reactionary, caudillo-style Left embodied by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. In 2015 Petkoff was unable to travel to Madrid to receive an award from the Spanish newspaper El Pais; he had been…

  • antisemitism,  The Left,  UK Politics

    JVL’s 85 Point Plan for taking over the Jewish world

    It’s always good to have an 85 point plan…here’s Jewish Voice for Labour’s. Note the following:   Number 2: Campaigning against IHRA definition Number 8 expose Labour Friends of Israel Number 26 join Labour Against the Witch hunt Number 29 Work with Moshe M for reform of LP disciplinary process Number 35 Open talks with Yachad etc Number 41 Marginalise Lansman’s stance on Israel in Momentum Number 54 Roll out training to CLPs and TUs Number 55 Develop antisemitism workshops Number 76 Get members to stand for BoD  

  • Labour Party,  The Left

    How Corbynism Alienated Everyone

    This is a cross-post by John Wall In Summer 2017 Jeremy Corbyn was riding high after a better than expected election performance largely silenced his critics. He basked in the adulation at Glastonbury and predicted being in Downing Street by Christmas and cancelling the Trident replacement. A second election in 2017 may have been his best chance as the polls have subsequently stagnated but, in terms of who’d make the best PM, his ratings are below both the diminished May and Don’t Know. He’s been found out, when his far-left ideology encountered the real world, such as over Salisbury and Syria  it’s been found wanting, and his past, spent in…

  • antisemitism,  The Left

    Soviet-style antisemitism funded by UK taxpayers

    This is a guest post by Jonathan Hoffman On 21 September 2018 The Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG) – together with ‘Victory to the Intifada’ – held this meeting: The venue was Chadswell Healthy Living Centre near Kings Cross. This is owned by Camden Council and run by a Charity, the Kings Cross-Brunswick Neighbourhood Association (KCBNA) –  registered charity #1083901. It was clear from the notice for the meeting on Facebook that it would be antisemitic (assessed relative to the widely accepted (including by Camden) IHRA Definition).  Here is what the notice said: ‘The aim of the Zionists is to criminalise support for Palestinian resistance against Zionist occupation.’ The word ‘Zionist’ is…

  • LGBT Rights,  Marxism,  The Left

    There is no Return from this Madness

    British universities are lost. There can be no return from this madness. Successive generations of students have been indoctrinated by Marxists with little or no challenge from Liberals, so it has come to this. Read The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn if you have the time. Read this briefer, but considered and detailed essay published by Index on Censorship a generation ago, coincidentally at the start of the final push by Lesbian and Gay activists for equal rights. Here’s an extract: On 23 May 1934, Pravda and Izvestiya published an article by Gorky declaiming, in language reminiscent of a political trial, that homosexuality was the result of pernicious influences from the Western bourgeoisie…

  • Europe,  Labour Party,  Peace,  The Left,  Westminster

    A Nest of Lies

    The story of When Corbyn Met Sarkocy, a Czech spy, during the Cold War has been seized on with glee by the usual press, plus the anti-Corbynites.  My own thoughts are:- 1) Corbyn was a back-bench MP and unlikely to know anything except the price of a cup of tea in the House of Commons café;  Corbyn, though classic useful idiot material, was useless in this case ; 2) this is reminiscent of a Le Carre novel where a clapped out branch of the security services bigs up a bungled operation with a dodgy agent. That’s off the top of my head. Paul Anderson, who knew the milieu, has this…

  • Latin America,  The Left

    Venezuelan political prisoners urge vote in Sunday election

    A few days before regime-sponsored gubernatorial elections on Sunday, 18 Venezuelan political prisoners being held at the notorious El Helicoide prison– a former futuristic shopping mall— released an open letter to the people of Venezuela. The prisoners did not call for a boycott. Instead they urged people to do what they themselves cannot– vote. We’re taking the risk of writing this statement from El Helicoide’s dungeons, where Nicolás Maduro keeps us imprisoned for the crime of exercising our freedom of thought. We do it in the hope that the people of Venezuela will rise up and express their will on behalf of all us who are being silenced. The democracy…

  • Israel,  The Left

    DSA endorses BDS

    The Democratic Socialists of America has seen a surge in membership and attention following the failed campaign of Bernie Sanders. It is, without a doubt, the largest socialist organization in American politics (sorry Social Democrats USA). Last week, they held their largest conference to date in Chicago, debating and passing their current manifesto. During my radical days, the DSA always seemed like a marginal afterthought in political organizing; most of its members were boomers from the Michael Harrington era and not young activists. That has changed with a massive insertion of youth into its ranks. I fancy myself a type of social democrat, so I decided to reassess the group…

  • International,  The Left

    Confronting the Memory of Che

    Not everyone in Che Guevara’s hometown of Rosario, Argentina have a soft spot for the communist revolutionary. Under the motto “a murderer doesn’t deserve state tributes”, Mr López’s foundation has produced videos to educate Argentines, and rosarinos in particular. One shows a clip of Guevara promising to “continue the firing squads for as long as necessary” in a speech to the UN General Assembly in 1964. In another, a narrator reads out the accusatory suicide note of Reinaldo Arenas, a gay novelist who died in 1990 after suffering decades of persecution by Cuba’s government. Mr López is looking for a sympathetic councillor to present the petition on the anniversary of Guevara’s…

  • Stateside,  The Left

    Dealing with Speech at UC Berkeley

    Berkeley has been the front line of recent “free speech” battles raging across universities around the country, but it appears the university administration is finally getting serious about its approach to dealing with controversial speakers on campus. Ben Shaprio, conservative columnist and pundit, was invited by the College Republicans to speak but was told by the university that the school was “unable to identify an available campus venue.” This announcement followed a year of troubled events on campus. Following a riot before Milo Yiannopoulos’ presentation last spring, the university canceled other events set up by the student group to host Ann Coulter and David Horowitz.  Understandably, many on the left…