Counterfire

“Labour Transformed” launches

Published on: Wed, 27/11/2019 - 19:16

A new Labour left organisation is being launched from elements around Labour Campaigns Together.

Labour Transformed has put out a launch statement and plans a conference on 14 December in London. It’s not clear why it has been scheduled to clash with the Another Europe Is Possible conference.

Prime movers include James Meadway, formerly of Counterfire, and a former adviser to John McDonnell, and Seth Wheeler, formerly of Plan C.

The statement contains much to agree with on anti-capitalism, socialism, internationalism and the importance of democracy in our movement. It says, rightly:

“Whatever

Letters

Published on: Wed, 10/04/2019 - 08:20

As Aristotle is one of the “giants” on whose shoulders Marx stands, we should take an interest in issues of distortion or vulgarisation of Aristotle’s key ideas. It might be that Martin Thomas’s comments on Aristotle (Solidarity 499) carry a “trace” of this process.

One thing Marx and Aristotle certainly have in common is their having been subject to sustained vulgarisation and distortion. The vulgarisation of Marx is a part of our inheritance and that demands we are scrupulous and forensic in our approach to classic texts (comrades might find useful the work of Michael Heinrich on the

What’s wrong with “Stop the War”?

Published on: Wed, 19/10/2016 - 12:18
Author

Simon Nelson

The Stop The War Coalition enjoyed its heyday around the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but has regained some prominence since David Cameron’s government first proposed the bombing of Syria in August 2013.

Feeding on perceptions that UK involvement in the Middle East has led to prolonged campaigns of bombing, loss of life, and the creation of unstable regimes, with very little of the humanity supposed to exist in “humanitarian intervention”, the STWC has called a number of demonstrations and got some media coverage for its opposition to the UK and US involvement in coalition bombing of

The left and the Brexit vote

Published on: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 23:10
Author

Martin Thomas

On 24 June, as the Brexit referendum result hit the school where I work, both students and teachers were aghast.

The idea that this was a “working-class revolt” inflicting “a massive reverse” on the rich and powerful had no takers in a school whose catchment area is among the 5% poorest in the country. Some students told me “I have dual nationality, Slovak and British [or whatever it might be], so I’ll be all right. But...” And they’d sigh.

Yet some on the left are jubilant. The Socialist Party claims “the fundamental character of the exit vote... was a working class revolt” causing “the

Unite and a new Popular Front

Published on: Tue, 19/05/2015 - 18:20
Author

Jim Denham

“ … The [Labour] party’s leaders in parliament know that if they were to lose Unite, there could be an English Syriza formed with more resources and dynamism than the party it would replace”, Counterfire

It hasn’t been widely publicised, but for the last couple of years Unite leader Len McCluskey has been saying that in the event of Labour losing the general election, Unite would seriously consider disaffiliating from the party.

Many of us considered this a bizarre position to take: surely the aftermath of a Labour defeat, and the ensuing ideological struggle between the Blairite right and

Is Tower Hamlets really an Establishment conspiracy?

Published on: Tue, 05/05/2015 - 17:46
Author

Sacha Ismail

None of the socialist organisations politically defending ousted Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman seriously analyse the judgement made against him by election commissioner Richard Mawrey. None mention George Galloway previously hailing a judgement by Mawrey (against the Labour Party and in favour of Galloway’s Respect) in 2007 — in a speech republished in full on the Socialist Worker website!

Socialists have no confidence in bourgeois judges, but the idea that Mawrey is a ruling-class assassin or bug-eyed Islamophobe is absurd.

The pro-Rahman left's main argument is that he is the victim of

Stop some wars?

Published on: Tue, 28/04/2015 - 16:53

The Syria Solidarity Movement UK reports that at a Migrant Lives Matter protest in London on 25 April, the Stop the War Coalition stopped the Syrian movement representative speaking.

The Syrian group calls for “a peaceful, democratic Syria, a Syria without Assad and a Syria without ISIS”. Their speech would have demanded the British government take in more refugees from Syria.

“Stop the War” started by denouncing the NATO bombing which forced Serbia out of Kosova in 1999, but saying nothing about Serbia's slaughter and driving-out of Kosovars. It flourished in justified protest against the US

A visit to Putin's camp

Published on: Wed, 04/06/2014 - 11:40

Workers’ Liberty members attended the “Solidarity with the Antifascist Resistance in Ukraine” meeting on 4 June, organised by the SOAS Marxist Society (Socialist Appeal).

On the panel were Russian leftist Boris Kagarlitsky, Sergei Kirichuk from the Stalinist Borotba via Skype, Richard Brenner from Workers’ Power, Lindsey German from Counterfire, Andrew Murray from the Communist Party of Britain, and Alan Woods from Socialist Appeal. It was chaired by Joy McCready, a member of Left Unity.

All the panel, whether so-called “Trotskyist” or die-hard Stalinists like Murray, shared variations of

“Third camp” or no camp?

Published on: Tue, 18/03/2014 - 17:12

Many responses from the left to the Ukraine crisis have ignored, sidestepped, or downplayed the right to self-determination of the Ukrainian people.

Yet Ukraine is one of the longest-oppressed large nations in the world. In an article of 1939 where he raised Ukraine’s right to self-determination as an urgent question, Leon Trotsky wrote: “The Ukrainian question, which many governments and many ‘socialists’ and even ‘communists’ have tried to forget or to relegate to the deep strongbox of history, has once again been placed on the order of the day and this time with redoubled force”.

The same

Hands off Ukraine! Russian troops out!

Published on: Wed, 05/03/2014 - 12:32

Ukraine got independence only in 1991. Ninety per cent of its people, west and east, voted to separate from Russia after the old bureaucratic command-economy regime collapsed.

They had been under foreign rule, Russian or Polish, for centuries. By 1991 they had been under especially vicious foreign rule — Stalinist terror, deliberately-sustained famine, then police-state bureaucratic “Russification” — for six decades (east) or five (west).

Russia’s creeping invasion of Ukraine is a drive to restore that foreign domination.

Probably Russia’s ruler Vladimir Putin does not aim at the old direct

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