Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Stop the War hustings: the aftermath

The Stop the War Coalition has asked candidates everywhere to answer certain questions. The answers of our candidate in Vauxhall, together with those of some of the other candidates, can be found here. Just type in SW4 7UN.

Following the hustings in Brixton on 19 April, Simon Hardy, a prominent member of the Trotskyist "Workers Power" group, sent in the following comment to another blog:
Just on the WP candidate in Vauxhall. I think it is wrong to see it simply as two socialists standing against each other - the crucial difference is between a socialist organisation, no matter your criticisms, which can connect the election to the war, the financial crisis, the bank bail outs, the problem of housing and the case for a new party, and a candidate who simply talks about socialism.
The difference was clearly shown in a Lambeth Stop the War hustings earlier this week where Jeremy Drinkall made plenty of points about the current political struggles and campaigns happening and what kind of policies a working class candidate needed to fight for. The SPGB candidate just kept saying "the problem is capitalism, we need socialism". At one point all the candidate were asked to support a solidarity campaign for a man imprisoned in Guantanemo Bay, the SPGB candidate just replied that there was no point with such campaigns as long as there is capitalism.
Say what you will but the choice is between a utopian soap box socialist who was happy to spend 3 minutes of his speaking time reading out Socialist Standard from 1914 and a candidate with policies and a campaigning profile in the constituency.
He was seconded by a one of his less polite colleagues, who didn't give his name:
I was at the Vauxhall Stop the War Hustings. To be honest Drinkall of the Anticapitalists which is Workers Power won hands down. The candidates were asked about palestine and the SPGB guy said the Palestinians should give up. What a wanchor.
To which Danny Lambert replied:
You see what you want to see and you hear what you want hear. The reason I read out The Socialist Party's 1914 EC statement on "The war to end all war", was to take the opportunity to put the Socialist case against all war, What's unreported on this blog is that at the end of the statement I said "Same reasons for carnge , different century".
As for the Guantanamo prisoner, I have every sympathy with him, it's an outrage, but while we run around like blue arsed flies campaigning for the release of this one and that one of capitalism's victims, hundreds of thousands like them are and will be imprisoned and brutalised. If you have a problem be forensic go to the root. that is if you are serious about finding a solution, it's what the SPGB has always held.
A for the question of Palestine, I don't know about you but I recoil in horror when I see children, women,men mutilated by high explosive no matter what side they are supposed to be on.
What are the Palestinians fighting for? I've heard it's for their own state, well if that's the case they have no idea what they're fighting for, someone should tell them what all states are. The state is the monopoly of violence the public power of coercion and is is only necessary in a class divided society. If they do succeed they'll have fought and died just to be exploited, coerced and oppressed by a Palestinian ruling class rather than an Israeli ruling class.
Our advice is to campaign peacefully, if they do the will have an infinitely more powerful weapon than a home made rocket or a thrown stone at their disposal, they will have the power of international public opinion with them, a power they forfeit when they turn to violence.
Meanwhile Jeremy Drinkall has put up a video clip of him defending "Iran's right to nuclear weapons", i.e. of the rulers there to waste resources on developing weapons of mass destruction, and also a call to vote for Labour candidates in all but 40 constituencies, i.e. for the two other Labour candidates standing in the Lambeth constituencies, including Tessa Jowell who notoriously voted for the war (ironically, the Labour candidate in Vauxhall, did to her credit vote against). In other words, he is openly calling for the re-election of the current, discredited and pro-war Labour government.


John Bowman said...

I am not sure why you come to the conclusion that the 'anonymous' blog poster is a 'colleague' of Workers Power. Maybe the message was just posted by someone who supports Palestinians in their fight against a brutal occupation.

ajohnstone said...

This is what a Socialist Standard article said during the 2006 invasion of Gaza by the Israel.

"...Socialists are always spontaneously on the side of the oppressed against the oppressors and the massive use of overwhelming force by the state of Israel clearly exposes it as the oppressor. But just because we sympathise with the victims of Israeli oppression does not mean that we favour the solutions popular amongst them.

A Palestinian state would be a capitalist state. "Anti-imperialism" is the slogan of local elites who wish to dominate the region in place of the US, a situation which would still leave the mass of the population there exploited and oppressed..."