SWP on MAB; Respect's money; Labourstart; the Socialist Alliance's money; "Unite against terror"
SWP: DON'T KILL PEOPLE, JOIN MAB
Up till now the SWP’s promotion of the Muslim Association of Britain has been mostly indirect — co-sponsoring anti-war demos, endorsing MAB members as Respect candidates and so on. Now they are promoting their friends in this offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood explicitly.
“Instead of killing ordinary people” (!!!), writes prominent SWPer John Molyneux in the Guardian on 14 July, “they [young Muslims] should channel their anger into political action. They should follow the lead of the Muslim Association of Britain, which helped organise the great anti-war demonstrations.”
As if “killing people” is just a misguided tactic or waste of time, like a focus on buying fair trade chocolate — or something that the vast majority of young Muslims would even consider!
Someone should demand an apology from John Molyneux for his almost racist patronising of Muslims. Meanwhile, contact the SWP office for an MAB membership form…
RESPECT DONOR BLAMES JEWS FOR 7/7
Under British law, political parties are required to inform the public of the names of their major donors. A visit to the Electoral Commission website reveals that most of the money donated to Respect came from one man, Dr Mohammed Naseem. Dr Naseem was a Respect candidate in Birmingham at the last general election; he is also a leading figure in the Islamic Party of Britain, a group whose website makes for some very interesting reading.
According to the IPB, Islamists were not responsible for the London bombings. “The Jews” did it, through Mossad working in tandem with the Blair government.
However, the IPB’s progressive views are not limited to this issue. The “Question forum” section of their site also rules out “intermarriage” between people of different religions, praises the Taliban for establishing “protection for ordinary people” in Afghanistan and advocates the death penalty for public displays of “homosexual lewdness”, which it compares to paedophilia.
Dr Naseem must be very much at home in Respect!
LABOURSTART A ZIONIST FRONT?
“Anti-Zionist” crusader Tony Greenstein has launched an attack on the trade union news website LabourStart and its founder Eric Lee — and works the AWL in there too. “Why don't you (AWL) and Labour Start just fuck off?” he says. “Nothing you write is of the slightest interest. LabourStart is just a Zionist front.” Moreover, Greenstein has posted to a variety of left-wing email lists claiming that Lee’s “coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian issue is avowedly [!] racist”.
The AWL has many disagreements with Eric Lee. However, LabourStart — which is in no way run by the AWL — is an extremely useful labour movement website which has greatly facilitated international working-class solidarity — including with Palestinian trade unionists harrassed by the Israeli army.
[By production mishap, a misedited version of this piece was printed, including this passage after "… with Eric Lee" - "not least concerning his softness on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. We have made these disagreements clear on many occasions, and will do so again in future". In fact, as far as we know, Eric Lee opposes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, as AWL does. As can be verified from the archives on this website, disputes we have in fact had with Eric have concerned Bolshevism vs Menshevism, and the run-up to the Iraq war. Apologies to Eric for this mistake].
WHERE'S THE MONEY GONE?
The last Socialist Alliance conference, at which the SWP forced through the decision to shut down in favour of Respect, agreed that any remaining funds should be used to pay off the SA’s debts, including £3000 borrowed from Walsall Democratic Labour Party for the 1999 West Midlands Euro-election campaign. This decision was taken against the wishes of the SWP, who wanted the money to go to Respect.
What a surprise that Nick Wrack and Rob Hoveman, the SWP-supporting Chair and National Secretary of the SA have failed to carry out the decision to pay back the DLP (or indeed any other decision taken by the conference)!
Seven members of the former SA executive have written to Wrack and Hoveman demanding to know what’s going on. Watch this space to see how the SWP tries to get out of it. . .
UNITE WITH WHO?
The founding statement of “Unite Against Terror”, a sub-group created by Labour Friends of Iraq (LFIQ) in response to the London bombings, says some good things and is mostly unobjectionable waffle. About half way through, however, comes the punchline: “in the face of such an enemy, we believe it is vital that democratic political forces in all countries unite.”
In case anyone is in doubt about what this means, the front page of the website includes a link to a speech by Tony Blair. And on Norman Geras’ website, statement-writer Alan Johnson gushes about Tony Blair’s “bloody marvellous” speech which he finds “strikingly similar” to his own text! (No doubt Blair went straight to the Labour Friends of Iraq site when he was told about the bombings. . )
By “democratic”, in other words, LFIQ and UAT are indicating anyone opposed to al-Qaeda — presumably including the Iraqi government, George Bush, the Tories and all sorts of other reactionaries. Little things like, you know, working-class politics don’t exist in universe of these ex-socialists.