Tories spread Stalinist smear

Published on: Mon, 09/12/2019 - 22:02

Colin Foster

The far right blogger "Guido Fawkes" has taken up the story, first invented by the anonymous Stalinist Red London Facebook page, that Socialist Organiser (a forerunner of Solidarity) "published pro-paedophile articles". And the Express is recycling Fawke's story.

Fawkes and the Express aim to smear Jeremy Corbyn as well as us, complaining that Corbyn wrote frequently for Socialist Organiser in the 1980s.

The bit about Corbyn writing is true. The rest is not.

Fawkes's prize exhibit is an article from Socialist Organiser in January 1981 which protested against the use of the catch-all and

The world of online hate

Published on: Wed, 30/10/2019 - 10:09

Cathy Nugent

In 2013, the Australian journalist Ginger Gorman became the subject of an online hate campaign.

In 2010, she had interviewed two gay men, seemingly an ordinary couple, about their adoption of a young boy. Three years later the men were convicted of child sexual exploitation; they had been involved in an international paedophile network.

Naturally Gorman was mortified that she had, however inadvertently, given these men a platform. But a few days after the conviction Gorman began to be inundated by tweets from ″conservatives″ saying she was a paedophile collaborator, and, equally horrifying to

A new humanist politics?

Published on: Wed, 05/06/2019 - 11:02

Matt Kinsella

Paul Mason’s latest book, Clear Bright Future, is written as a defence of humanism and human-centred politics, against the resurgent threat of the far-right, from Trump to Bolsonaro, Le Pen to Salvini. The title is a reference to Leon Trotsky’s testament. Mason entreats us to fight “all evil, oppression, and violence”, and shares Trotsky’s optimism for the future.

Mason draws a convincing link from the financial crash in 2007-08 to Trump’s election. Mason emphasises how the monopolisation of information (think Google and Facebook) has led to systems outside our control, for example, of online

Reading or stagnating?

Published on: Wed, 01/05/2019 - 11:52

Daisy Thomas

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or book long enough to suit me.” – C. S. Lewis

When I was a young child, I learned an appreciation for the written word through both of my parents reading aloud to me and through listening to audiobooks on long car trips.

Somewhere during the dreaded forced reading during my secondary and tertiary schooling, I lost my fascination with reading. Then, over time, with that lack, I noticed other things were lacking.

There are so many reasons to read: to inform, to amuse, to connect, to understand, to critique, and so on. Reading is a fantastic way to

Dangerous nonsense: Bower on Corbyn

Published on: Tue, 09/04/2019 - 18:48

Dale Street

Every Labour canvasser will have come across him (and, invariably, it is a he).

Leering out of his doorway he delivers a deranged tirade about how the country is going to the dogs. Communist-run trade unions. Moscow gold. Economy wrecked by strikes. Scroungers living off the dole. Better off than him, an honest hardworking man.

Of course, not a racist. But too many immigrants. Especially Muslims. Bogus asylum-seekers. Should stay in France. Got a council house instead of his daughter. Live off the state. He’s accused of racism for telling the truth. In his own country!

And, in the more up

Boycott the Guardian?

Published on: Wed, 31/10/2018 - 09:18

Journalist Matt Kennard is one of the figures calling for a boycott of the Guardian. He spoke to Martin Thomas from Solidarity.

K: It’s not really a formal campaign, but it was ignited on social media by left activists, journalists, and commentators who support the Corbyn project.

Obviously you expect outlets like the Telegraph and the Sun to be on the other side. But in fact the Guardian has morphed into the biggest and most consistent critic of Corbyn, and under an editor, Kath Viner, who was voted in as the left candidate. It’s a nominally left-wing paper which is trying to destroy the

Ten times the price, but…

Published on: Wed, 10/10/2018 - 11:58

Martin Thomas

The history of the old Labour left weekly Tribune was not a glorious one. In its early years, which were also the time of the Moscow Trials, it supported Stalin’s regime in the USSR uncritically.

Between 1947 and 1950 it was firmly on the side of the USA and NATO in the Cold War.

From the mid-1980s, under Nigel Williamson and then Phil Kelly as editors, its politics dissolved into soft-leftist alignment with Labour’s establishment, and its last 30 years were a slow but dismal slide into extinction.

But in its best years, with Michael Foot in the 1950s, and to some degree even in its not-so

The Morning Star and tackling transphobia

Published on: Fri, 06/07/2018 - 09:42

Ira Berkovic

In the justified storm of criticism following the Morning Star’s publication of an anti-trans open letter, a number of critical open letters have been circulated in response. 

One is headed Morning Star readers against transphobia”. It is good that this letter has criticised the Morning Star’s consistent record of giving houseroom to transphobia. It makes those points well. But it couches its criticisms in lavish praise of the paper. Its signatories say they “wholeheartedly support and champion the Morning Star”, and that it “makes a vital contribution to the British labour movement”.


The People of the Book

Published on: Wed, 14/02/2018 - 12:04

Martin Thomas

Books have been a great factor in human culture. The Qur’an says: “Do not argue with the People of the Book except only by the best manner, except the unjust among them. Tell them, ‘We believe in what is revealed to us and to you. Our Lord and your Lord is one. We have submitted ourselves to His will’.”

By “People of the Book” it meant principally Jews and Christians. These book-based religions were an intellectual innovation. The book-basis gave Christianity and Islam an expansive power and a cultural breadth that earlier religions had not had. Through books, at least for a minority,

The newspapers’ film

Published on: Wed, 31/01/2018 - 13:16

Simon Nelson

Simon Nelson reviews The Post, in cinemas now

Steven Spielberg’s film was designed to win Oscars. With big name actors, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, this could have been an exciting story about press freedom and government cover-ups, and a positive message of the good side winning against the bad and dishonest.

It is the story of the 1971 Pentagon Papers. Utterly shocking when first the New York Times, then the Washington Post and others papers published them, they documented the US policy in Vietnam since the Second World War. How US’s secretive interventions had backed up the vicious Diem

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