On my comrade and friend: Comandante Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro is the greatest man I ever met. I was honoured to be invited to pay tribute to him today at Latin America Adelante 2016. Below are the two speeches I gave.
The old is dying, the new is struggling to be born…
Thugs will not silence me
Many of you will have read about an unpleasant and, at the time, distressing experience I had at the University of Aberdeen earlier this week, which was widely reported in the national news. Someone, who claimed responsibility on Twitter, calling themselves “trans” and an “anarchist”, led a five person attack on me as I began my speech, with no intervention from university security, and threw a then unknown substance into my face from point blank range. We had warned the university of a planned protest, which we suspected would be violent, and provided them with the names and faces of the expected aggressors – who did in fact turn out to be the aggressors – yet nothing was done to prevent it.
As someone who has recently been violently attacked a number of times in public, including in broad daylight, this was alarming. I continued as normal, while my pregnant wife bravely tried to detain and then chased after the attackers.
I raise this point not only to express my criticisms of the University of Aberdeen – which has still not replied to me – but because it is symptomatic of a wider problem on the “left”, or at least of many who self-identify as left-wing, even revolutionary (though they are anything but). Few weeks go by when the “identity politics” crowd don’t strike one campus or another, with their “no platform” demands, often employing physical violence. Other recent targets of their rage include Germaine Greer, the world’s most famous feminist, and Peter Tatchell, the world’s most famous gay rights activist.
I would like to clarify that while Peter Tatchell and I profoundly oppose each other on many political issues, and I hold no candle for him and he none for me, he is someone, like myself, who has travelled around the world and put his life on the line, literally, for his cause. Yet now we both face cowardly intimidation, threats and “no platform” demands from tiny, insignificant groups with ultra-radical sounding language, who have never lifted a finger for the causes they claim to support, and cannot point to any meaningful achievements in aid of those they claim to defend.
I was not silenced or intimidated by Blair, New Labour and the right wing media during the Iraq war who did all they could to destroy my career and reputation, I’ve never been silenced by daily abuse from Zionists, racists and terrorist sympathisers, nor by death threats, kidnapping or physical assault by all of these groups. So if the Aberdeen “United Student Left” think they are going to silence me, they had better think again, and I hope more and more people will find the courage to stand up to them and their ilk.
The Return of the Blair Rich Project
The return of the aforementioned war criminal Tony Blair to front line politics – but not to the front line of politics, an important distinction – with the aim of preventing what he sees as the “catastrophe” of Brexit, simply proves that our governing elite, like the Bourbons, learns nothing and forgets nothing. Just today it was reported in the media that a number of his former henchmen/propagandists, including Lord Mandelson, Alaistar Campbell and John Sawyer (former head of MI6) met in an exclusive London location – no prizes for guessing what they were talking about.
It does not take too much reading between the lines to see what Blair promises to oversee, albeit as puppet master in the shadows rather than messianic deceiver-in-chief as he once was: a pro-EU, centrist, socially liberal, economically neoliberal, and undoubtedly “interventionist” on the world stage, bloc of Lib Dems, “New” Labour and “Cameronite” Tories.
While such a formation would be bitterly opposed by tens of millions of people, I believe the majority of the population, there is no doubt it does have an appeal to some. It would have the support of the media, the establishment and finance capital, and as its social base could appeal to many relatively wealthy, urban professionals, who benefit economically and socially from globalisation and see the national state as little more than an anachronism, an inconvenience.
However, just like Remain itself, just like Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, just like Nicholas Sarkozy’s bid to be Republican Presidential nominee in France, I believe such a bid is doomed, that it is swimming against the current of history. People know establishment has destroyed their jobs, gutted their communities, ruined their lives, that it sees them as stupid, their views irrelevant.
People are ready to try alternatives, even if they may be volatile and unstable. I do not believe the majority are “ignorant” or easily deceived as the liberal media would have us believe; rather I believe most voting for change know full well that the alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy, to the ruling elite, may not be better, in fact could be worse, than what they have currently, but crucially, that it could be better.
They know on the other hand that if they keep voting for the same people who have been dismantling everything they hold dear for decades, and profiting from it, who do not even bother to promise a change of direction, then things can only continue to get worse – and they are already at breaking point, so this is simply not an option. Therefore, it is axiomatic in such a situation, that people will vote for whoever is the option promising to disrupt the status quo with the greatest chance of winning.
So I say this with confidence: If the establishment needs Tony Blair to save it, if second referendum campaign need him, they are done for. The best thing Blair can do to ensure Brexit is to identify himself publicly with the campaign to oppose it. I say bring it on, and for my part, I like many others will not rest until I see him in court for war crimes.
A French turn up for the books
To paraphrase the much misunderstood and misrepresented – not least by his own advocates – Italian communist Antonio Gramsci; the old world is dying, but the new world is struggling to be born.
Nicolas Sarkozy crashed out in a well-deserved ignominious end to his presidential aspirations and, surely, his political career, after coming third in the Republic Party primaries behind Alain Juppe and the until then little knowns Francois Fillon.
Monsieur Fillon is, at least to my world-view, a walking paradox: economically and socially a Thatcherite and Anglophile, he would appear to be opposed to me in almost every sense. Yet on many of the big issues of the day – the need to restore relations with Russia, to pull back from the mad drive for regime change in Syria and support for throat-cutting, head-chopping, heart eating terrorists, and end to NATO expansionism – I am in full agreement with him. And, he could be the best hope of halting the rise of the fascist Front National.
On the other hand, centre-left candidate Francois Hollande will run on a platform of conintinued aggression towards Russia, NATO expansion, support for terrorists. So what do left and right mean today? We are witnessing an era in which, to quote John Prescott – not something I do very often – the tectonic plates are shifting. The kaleidoscope is in flux.
Which brings me back the point in my opening paragraph. Things right now could go either way. The rise of the right in France shows that a revolution does not always make things better, and could in fact make things a lot worse, as would be the case if, God forbid, the Front National were to lead the next government.
However, and I now refer to the situation across “the west” and not just to France, as Jeremy Corbyn’s two victories in the past Labour leadership elections show, and as the rise and resilience of Bernie Sanders and the movement behind him continues to offer hope for in the US, the left can also emerge as an alternative to the status quo in these circumstances. However, in order to do so, it must be absolutely clear that, on the one hand, we defend everyone’s right to be proud of and defend multiple identities – ethnic, national, religious, sexual, gender – yet at the same time, our loyalty is to the working class, this is the bedrock of our movement, this is what we come out of and this is who we represent.
This is the fundamental dividing line for society and the fundamental basis of any left-wing mass movement with a hope of winning and exercising power effectively. And we must not only understand, but implement and emphasise this principle as a matter of urgency, because now more than ever, it is now or never.
Ireland Tour November 2016
Calling all Irish supporters:
I will be touring Ireland with The Killing$ of Tony Blair this month. Put these dates in your diary:
Derry, November 27, 7.30pm, Film + Q&A, Gasyard Centre
Belfast, November 28, 7pm, Film + Q&A, St Mary’s College
South Armagh, November 29, 7pm, Film + Q&A, Ti Chullainn Conference Centre
Dublin, November 30, 7pm, Film + Q&A, Temple Bar (Curved Street)
I hope to see you there!
One week on: What kind of President will Donald Trump be?
In a multitude of ways, last week’s US Presidential election has turned the world on its head, or at least shot down in flames many of the sacred tenets of the so-called liberal world order. But will will Trump’s actions in office match his rhetoric on the campaign trail? He’s putting together his team, and there have already been some controversial appointments…
President-Elect of the United States Donald Trump ran, and won, the election on an economically left of centre platform. To the left of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to the left of any US President. He threatened corporations that if they closed their factories and moved production outside the US, he would place tariffs on them to price them out of the US market; he promised the so-called Rust Belt, the post-industrial states which won him the election, that he would bring back their industry, he promised a massive public spending infrastructure programme whilst cutting taxes – a devastating blow to right wingers for whom the deficit is the be all and end all.
However, according to much of the US media, some Trump supporters have been on something of a rampage against minorities inside the US. But even on this point, it won’t do to look at the last eight years through rose coloured glasses. Black people have been gunned down almost daily under Obama’s Presidency, just as they were incarcerated en mass under Bill Clinton. Could this get even worse with Donald Trump in the White House? This is certainly something of which we must be vigilant. But the biggest issue for those of us not in the US is the foreign policy one.
So what can we expect? Trump ran on a policy of restoring relations with Russia, of halting US support for the head-chopping, throat cutting, heart-eating maniacs running rampage in Syria and Iraq. Yet the people in the frame for the Secretary of State Position, all have a long track record of absolute hostility to Russia and Iran, and effusive relations not just with the Israel lobby in the US, but with Israel itself. The worst of these would be John Bolton, the fanatical neocon ideologue, and not much better is Newt Gingrich, who is unspeakable in other ways. The best of the frontrunners would probably be Rudy Giuliani, who is generally an ideological lightweight and will do what the bottom line tells him. If Trump runs the government like he runs his businesses, he’ll be making the decisions, not his advisors, and I’d rather have Trump making Foreign Policy decisions than Bolton or Gingrich.
On the issue of Israel, while Trump’s connections to hard-line Zionists from the Breitbart school are concerning, it should be noted the Israel-lobby overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton, and Trump owes them very little. While I expect him to be worse than Obama on this issue, I do not believe he will be as bad as Clinton would have been. And we must be brutally honest: as long as no Arab government, no Muslim country (except Iran) lifts a finger to help the Palestinians, as long as they maintain intimate covert (such as in the case of Saudi Arabia) or overt (such as in the case of Turkey) relations with Israel, why should we expect a US President to care? The Arab and Muslim countries must put their own house in order first and then bring pressure to bear on the US on this issue, until that happens we will not see any change of direction whoever is in the White House.
So, what kind of President will Donald Trump be? If he keeps his promises to bring back jobs, industry and dignity to the benighted states of the post-industrial Rust Belt, end “free trade” deals such as TTIP, TPP and others, which are anything but free trade, if he ends the confrontation with Russia and stops US support for ISIS and Al Qaeda, he will make a lot of people very happy. And if he doesn’t, it will be a better opportunity than ever before to mobilise opposition around the world to US foreign policy, which has been laid bare by this election campaign as a result, it must be acknowledged, of his candidacy, which blew the traditional bipartisan consensus on these issues out of the water.
Finally, one thing which we must hope will dawn on the rest of the world after this election: the US is not our “leader”, much less our “father”. It is a sovereign country with its own interests and its own borders. It has a right to protect them just as we have a right to protect ours. We have no right to enter or leave the US as we please, and the US has no right to enter or leave other countries as it pleases, to place its military bases around the world, to “intervene” wherever and whenever it likes, invariably creating chaos or worsening existing crises to the benefit of its own establishment interests, and to the detriment of working class people everywhere including its own.
So let the Americans build a wall, let them put up tariffs to protect their own economy, let them ban whoever they want from their own country. That’s entirely up to them, it’s their own country and I don’t care. But the lesson we must draw is to protect our own national interests, whatever country we are in, rather than hoping some illusory “Pax Americana” will take care of everything for us. I’m building a wall here, and I’m saying US, stay on the other side of it. Do what you like in your own country, just don’t interfere in ours.
Think white voters won it for Trump? Think again…(Post-election reflections Part II)
The “left” must take stock. I say this with the caveat that of course Clinton, the epitome of the political establishment, of neoliberal economics and neoconservative foreign policy, supported by almost the entirety of Wall St, the media and the Zionist lobby (which is mostly Christian) and (all but openly) by George Bush is far from a leftist. However most of the left, at least in the English speaking world, rallied behind her, however reluctantly, repeating tropes about Trump’s racist, ignorant supporters, retreat to nationalism, and in many cases, shamefully claiming a Clinton presidency would be a victory for women.
Tell that to the women of Serbia, Somalia, Iraq, Libya and Syria, who were obliterated along with their husbands, sons and fathers. Who in many cases now live under extreme oppression from self-declared “religious” fanatics, who have reimposed modern-day slavery in once secular and prosperous countries, filling the vacuum created by decades of sanctions, bombs and interventions implemented by the Clinton dynasty or enthusiastically cheered on by them, and often directly armed by her as Secretary of State. And talk about racism to the black migrants lynched in Libya by the “rebels” Clinton so enthusiastically armed and empowered through airstrikes, even as she gleefully joked “We came, we saw, he died”, a reference to the death of dictator Muammar Gaddafi at the hands of a mob. The laughter never sounded so hollow.
On the day that Francis Fukuyama writes in The Financial Times that his dream of the end of history is over, dying, fittingly, on the 9th November 2016, exactly 27 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall (though some would say it in fact perished long before), the dynasty which more than any other exemplified the “post ideology” 1990s suffered the most humiliating defeat in political history.
Despite having outspent her opponent by a ratio of 2:1, despite having almost the full support of the mainstream media and the entire political class not only in the US but globally, despite almost every expert, including many from the Republican Party, telling us Trump – cast as “a poor man’s Barry Goldwater” by ‘Labour tribalist’ Telegraph columnist Dan Hodges, and to be fair many others in America who had less excuse to not know better – was going down to a historic landslide defeat, that his campaign lacked any kind of machine, that the attacks on Clinton had little effect and that he coalition of progressive white middle classes, women and minorities would easily see of Trump’s ragtag band of “deplorables”.
Yet, as the early hours of the 9th November 2016 drew to a close, London learned, along with the rest of the world, that President Trump had gone from joke, to possibility, to probability, to reality. I predicted this back in May, again at the beginning of this month, and again on the night itself as the very first results came in and the Clinton camp put the champagne on ice.
So how did we get here? And what are the lessons for Britain? The liberals and, sadly, some on the left, are still repeating the same tropes about a racist white uprising, although in the latter case with some qualification. Although it cannot be denied that nationalism and in some cases racism were actors in this election, the most disastrous strategy for anyone wishing to rebuild the left in the wake of the destruction left by Clinton’s hijacking of their activist bases, would be to simply double down and deplore the deplorable Trumpeters – and although many of his core supporters are deplorable, this hardly helps us to explain why he was able to win over 48% of voters, many of whom previously voted for Barack Obama, many of whom are black, Latino or Asian themselves, and can hardly be considered White Supremacists. Bertolt Brecht’s quip “The People have lost the confidence of The Party; I propose The Party dissolve The People and elect a new one”, is one of my favourite quotes, but not if you take it seriously.
So we must start with a fact check, and look at that which is hidden in plain sight in the polling figures, though not commented on by any mainstream media (as far as I can tell). We were often told by “experts” that Trump had an incredibly narrow “path to victory”, that his polling numbers were identical to Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican candidate who Barack Obama comfortably defeated, and that while he would probably maintain the Republican core vote of white, male, wealthy voters, he would be unable to make any inroads, and would suffer heavy losses amongst women and hispanics, while perhaps doing even worse than Mitt Romney among black voters (who got only 5%).
So what happened? A quick look at the polling figures is very revealing. According to the New York Times exit poll, Trump’s vote only increased 1% among white voters compared to Romney. Among black voters, Trump increased his share 7% on Romney (more than doubling it), 8% among Hispanics, and 11% among Asians. Clinton was only able to increase 1% amongst women compared with Barack Obama, while she went down 5% with men. She increased 9% on Obama’s share in the top income bracket, but he increased 16% on Romney in the lowest income bracket.
Therefore, while as expected Clinton did maintain the Democrats overall majorities amongst the lowest income voters, minorities and women, it is the direction of travel which is most relevant: she lost ground to Trump with her core supporters whilst he was able to sufficiently maintain the support of his own. Especially in the post-industrial wastelands of the Great Lakes region where many of the swing states are located, this may well prove to have been vital.
It may be no exaggeration to say that it was that 7% swing amongst black voters in the north mid-western industrial cities, and Latino voters in Florida, that won it for Trump, as the swing amongst white working class voters alone would not have been sufficient.
So, in effect, Clinton’s imagined coalition of white liberals, women and minorities, was not only not enough to see off Trump’s core white voters, but never materialised. Her only real gain was among upper income voters, which was more than offset by working class and poor voters.
Surprise surprise, what Bernie Sanders’ people tried to tell the Clintonites, what so many of us have been arguing for not just months but years, even decades in my case, proved to be true: you cannot implement progressive policies whilst staying slavishly loyal to parasitic finance capitalism, “free trade” and endless foreign intervention, (whether of the “neocon” or “liberal” variety makes little difference in practice and increasingly even in theory).
Of course black, latino and other minorities, and women workers, are subjected to extra oppression as minorities or women. But, if your campaign focuses primarily on this, while at best being equivocal or at worst actively defending or even supporting the forces of neoliberal globalisation and “liberal interventionism”, people will not trust you.
Not only does this alienate white workers – the majority in most western countries, and therefore one would imagine, pretty obviously a central plank of any genuinely progressive movement – it also has been shown to repel many minority and women workers. Perhaps it is time to realise that most working class women do not see their fathers, husbands or sons as “the enemy”, most black workers do not see white workers as the enemy, and the left would be better placed to offer industrialisation as a means to restore well-paid, skilled jobs, improving living standards and giving back the working class its dignity.
This is what Trump’s vague promises on trade, protectionism and infrastructure projects, coupled with tax cuts, alluded to. Whether those will be workable or not, time will tell, but the point is the left must address these issues in its own way. The actual policies are not the point so much as the core message, that industrial jobs are at the heart of our agenda, that the working class is our class, regardless of whatever other identity people may hold.
In fact, this is what Jeremy Corbyn is attempting to recover for Labour, and we must offer him our full support on this side of the pond. Bernie Sanders also took a similar message to the Democratic Party, and if they had listened, we would today be saluting President Sanders. It is time for the Democrats to now learn from this, and rebuild along radically different lines.
These points have been made by many others on the left, though perhaps not with as much detailed polling evidence as above. However, another issue, more of a taboo and therefore less often acknowledged, has to be faced up to. Unlimited immigration is not a left-wing cause. Supporting illegal immigration much less so. It harms all workers, by driving down their wages or making them easily replaceable, much like off-shoring or outsourcing. This applies to the whole working class, whatever colour, whatever creed…in fact it is black and other minority voters who are hurt most of all by it.
And, equally importantly, the idea that opposing illegal immigration or open borders makes you unpopular with legal or established immigrants or their children and grandchildren, has been blown out of the water once again (though not for the first time). Minority voters in Britain were key to ensuring Brexit, as they saw their communities, jobs and business overwhelmed or out-competed by white Eastern Europeans. While it is too early to say if this was a factor in the significant swing of black and Latino voters to Trump, it surely must be considered a serious possibility. A left wing candidate dealing seriously with these issues would have been able to integrate a serious control of immigration as part of a socialist, working class, anti-imperialist manifesto.
Finally, one last lesson. Trump’s victory shows how bankrupt, how detached, how profoundly disoriented, the mainstream media and their chosen “experts” have become. How could I predict this yet every news channel told us “no one saw it coming”? What this shows of course is that today you can win without the media, without a significant party machine, even spending considerably less than your opponents. Unhappy (justifiably) with media bias in favour of Clinton, Trump began LiveStreaming his rallies on Facebook, to tens of millions. Likewise, as and when stories broke, he by-passed the media and spoke straight to his followers via Twitter and, perhaps even more significantly, Facebook.
Social media has completely changed the game, and while this may sound a cliche, very few in the establishment really grasped what this meant until Tuesday night (though perhaps Brexit should have been an early warning sign). This is not only about electoral campaigns, but about the fact that people can now form their entire worldview outside of the filters imposed by corporate and state media. In such an environment, an anti-establishment candidate already has fertile ground to work on, and can then harness the power of social media to build on what are, in effect, already existing “movements”, however nebulous and ill-defined, waiting for political articulation.
This is something which progressive forces can and must harness. Time to ditch the establishment candidates, the Clintons and Clinton-lites, the Blairs and Blairites, time to offer real working class policies and stop worrying about what the mainstream media, or corporate lobbyists, or “experts” think. If this had been understood a few months ago, we could have President Sanders today, and the picture would look so different. As it is, these lessons must be learned urgently, as the right capitalises on discontent around the world and will continue to do so as long as the left fails to address globalisation, pernicious “liberal interventionist” ideology and unlimited immigration. Time is of the essence…
The lesser of two evils may just have won (Post-election reflections Part I)
As one of the very few people who predicted Donald Trump’s victory, first back in May, and then again at the beginning of November, and on the night of the election itself just as the exit polls closed, to the widespread derision of the commentariat home and abroad, I repeatedly described this campaign as a choice between Satan and Beelzebub.
But I have come to the conclusion, and many of you will not like it, that a Clinton Presidency would have been the greater danger to the world. To put it crudely, when they say “better the devil you know”, I answer, “it depends just how devilish they are”. Clinton’s Presidency was a mushroom cloud waiting to happen. She has a proven track record as a warmonger and a cold, calculating killer, the architect of the disasters in Libya and Syria, and as a hard-line anti-Russia hawk. Under her, the world situation could only continue to deteriorate, with us here in Europe caught in the middle, an American nuclear base.
It is true that Donald Trump has assembled around him some of the most right-wing forces in America, including the Heritage Foundation and Breitbart. It is true his Presidency could be even worse for the world than Obama’s, or even as bad as a Clinton one would have been. But it may be better than Obama’s, and almost certainly better than Clinton’s would have been. The early signs offer some room for cautious optimism. The President Elect’s acceptance speech was surprisingly statesmanlike, conciliatory even. And mysteriously gone from his page is his promise to ban all Muslims from entering America.
Most important is his apparent willingness to build bridges with Russia over Syria, to step back from the brink of disaster and the mad rush for regime change, from Clinton’s “No Fly Zone” which would have almost certainly meant war with Russia if implemented as she repeatedly declared it should be. Such a change of tack can only be good for the world, sparing us the World War III which a Clinton Presidency made a serious possibility, and for Europe, where millions are out of work and whole regions impoverished by the insane policy of sanctions of Russia.
Likewise, the new President owes nothing to, and is in fact almost certainly hostile to, the satrapies of the Persian Gulf region, who funded Clinton’s campaign, and let’s not forget Foundation, to the tune of untold millions, even as she knew, we now know, that they were arming ISIS and Al Qaeda. Let’s hope he repays them no inexistent favours in Syria and elsewhere.
I do not expect any changes on Palestine, though neither do I expect a Trump government to follow through on its promise to recognise Jerusalem as the Zionist capital. It should be noted the Israel lobby – mostly Christians, in fact – heavily supported Clinton, so while Trump does have ties with the Breitbart crowd, he actually owes Israel and its supporters very little. My prediction is he will be as pro-Israel as Obama, but less so than Clinton would have been.
Will Trump follow through on this or will pressure from the Deep State force him to keep up a policy of confrontation with Russia? Time will tell, but with Clinton we knew nothing would get better, and in fact things would get a whole lot worse, with Trump we don’t know how bad things could be, but there’s a possibility they may actually get better.
So let’s hope that Trump indeed proves to be a transactional President who can get things done, and that he follows through on his message to the American electorate, however vague, to prioritise domestic problems, even protectionism and public spending – policies straight out of the socialist playbook – and worry less about promoting “freedom and democracy” around the world. Certainly if the reactions, public and private, of America’s “friends and allies” the global Foreign Policy establishment, are anything to go by, there is at least a plausible chance of this. I would welcome that, and so should you.
JC re-elected on 62% landslide
Congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn on a stunning victory, increasing his mandate despite 12 months of endless and unprecedented sabotage, slander and destabilisation, despite a rigged coup arbitrarily suspending over 240,000 of his supporters, and despite having the entire mainstream media campaigning tirelessly against him. Like another JC, he walks on water, and today he’ll be walking across the Mersey. More to come…watch this space!
Emily Thornberry, Dermot Murnaghan and the Sky News Pub Quiz
I’m not Emily Thornberry’s biggest fan, and she should have known the name of the French Foreign Minister (whom Boris Johnson had just met) and both the gender and name of the President of South Korea (who had just threatened the nuclear annihilation of North Korea in one of the world’s most dangerous stand-offs).
But she was right to complain about the interview conducted by Sky News’s Dermot Murnaghan though not for the reasons she stated.
It was not “sexist” of Murnaghan to “pub quiz” her on live television, but it was discriminatory.
There can be no doubt left anywhere that the so-called mainstream media is involved up to its neck in the destabilisation, de-legitimisation and disruption of the Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party – the official opposition in Britain I remind you.
Ofcom of course have full responsibility for the obligations of balance on British television (except for the BBC which is a law unto itself) and appear to have abdicated responsibility when it comes to Corbyn, and Labour.
Thornberry was right to infer that no Tory minister would have been subjected by him to such a “pub quiz”. Due deference to their positions in the state would have precluded this. A male member of Jeremy Corbyn’s front bench would have run exactly the same perils as she, not because they were male or female but because they were Labour and serving under a leader the entire state-machine and its media echo-chamber is out to destroy.
But, and here is something most others have missed. All Labour leaders have been fair-game for Sky News et al.
In defending himself against Thornberry’s brave confrontation of his conduct, on-air, Murnaghan prayed in aid, what?
That he had subjected another Labour shadow minister Alan Johnson, when he was shadow Chancellor, to exactly the same tactic!
Ed Miliband was given a remorseless ride as leader of the Labour Party. So was Gordon Brown. So was Neil Kinnock. The only Labour leader who was given “balance” by the MSM was Tony Blair and you will already know why that was (at least if you’ve seen my film “The Killing$ of Tony Blair”)
Of course the onslaught faced by Corbyn (and by extension those like Thornberry who serve in his team) is of a different order of magnitude because the “threat level” of Corbyn and the movement which backs him to the rich and powerful is very much greater.
But in truth there is an institutional bias against Labour as an idea within the media and the deep state in Britain (even Harold Wilson was bugged and burgled by them) and it is this that the Blairites could have but didn’t confront when they had the power to do so.
“The Blitz” (anniversary)
On this day, in September 1940, began the Blitz of Britain, primarily of London, but spreading out across the country. Almost 200,000 of our people were either killed or wounded – mainly civilians, but including of course heroic aircrew, and other civil defence personnel. It was eight months, two weeks, and three days of hell that Britain withstood as the price of standing, at that time, alone, against Hitler fascism.
They did so under the leadership of Winston Churchill, a man of many sins, and not a few crimes and blunders. But all of his sins, crimes and blunders were expiated at the moment that he took the helm of the British people, and decided that we would never surrender to fascism, and that not until he and his fellow Cabinet members lay on the floor in Downing St., “choking in their own blood”, would they succumb.
It was an heroic stand. If it had not been made, I’d be speaking to you now in German. The entire course of the history of the world would have been turned, and turned for the worse. In the Palace, – Buckingham Palace and others – in the Palace of Westminster, in the City of London, in the country houses of England, were many who wanted to make a surrender- peace with Hitler. Either because they sympathised with Hitler, or because they thought the cause was lost. But Churchill rallied the British people, including the British labour movement and the working class, to make that heroic stand against Hitler fascism.
And so, on the anniversary of the beginning of the Blitz, Sputnik on Saturday will be interviewing Lord Alan Watson, a man of distinction, a historian of the first rank, and asking him about Winston Churchill, about the Second World War, and Britain’s glorious role in it. As Churchill said “Never in the course of human history, has so much been owed by so many to so few”. We owe them a lot. And amongst the few is Winston Churchill…whether we like him or not.
Calling all Irish supporters: Galloway comes to Kilkenny
It’s been too long, but this month, finally, I’ll be back in Ireland, for a special screening of “The Killing$ of Tony Blair”, followed by a Q+A. Please see the below press release by my friends from the “Rhyme N Reason – Spoken Word” festival. I’d be delighted to see as many of you there as possible, and for those unable to make it, the event will be streamed live via my official Facebook page.
Radical Politician, Peace Activist and Broadcaster George Galloway comes to Kilkenny City for the Irish Premiere of his film ‘The Killing$ Of Tony Blair’
As part of Rhyme N Reason – Spoken Word Festival George Galloway will attend the Irish premier of ‘The Killing$ Of Tony Blair’ and be part of a Q&A after the screening in The Watergate Theatre Kilkenny on Sunday 18th September at 8pm.
This is the first year of Rhyme N Reason -Spoken Word Festival and the organisers are hopeful it will get people talking in a powerful, passionate and peaceful manner.
The creators of the of Rhyme N Reason festival believe that listening to people’s concerns, ideas and solutions is an antidote to mental health issues, in essence, a form of therapy for a suffering society.
On describing the festival, organiser and artist facilitator Johnny Keenan said ‘Essentially it is all about making the word fresh and giving a voice to the unheard. This is why most of our events are free. We want people to articulate their ideas, passion and anger in receptive environments.”
Rhyme N Reason Spoken Word Festival takes place in Kilkenny City 15-18 September 2016.
The spoken word festival includes artists and contributors both national and international. Discussion debate, poetry, storytelling, soap-box, theatre and film are included in the four day festival programme.
The festival will interest people of all ages and backgrounds who have a voice and a desire for positive change in our communities.
If you want to get some RNR check out full schedule of events @
Some Rhyme N Reason events of note taking place in Kilkenny City 15-18th September 2016
The Irish Premiere Of ‘The Killing$ Of Tony Blair’ followed by Q&A with Creator George Galloway. The Watergate Theatre Kilkenny on Sunday 18th September.
Tickets €12 can be purchased here http://watergatetheatre.com/events/killing-tony-blair/