Religious bigot Newman witch-hunts secular Labour woman

June 16, 2013 at 12:06 am (apologists and collaborators, bloggocks, Catholicism, Christianity, Human rights, humanism, immigration, islamism, Jim D, labour party, mccarthyism, relativism, religion, religious right, secularism, unions)

Above: secular campaigners of all races. ‘Cardinal’ Newman doesn’t like this.

The misnamed Socialist Unity blog seeks to witch-hunt a Labour Party woman who dares to fight for secularism:

The increasingly bizarre religious apologist Andy ‘Cardinal’ Newman writes:

I first came across Anne Marie Waters when she put herself forwards for the South Swindon selection, and very unusually for a Labour politician Waters gave as her personal reference a Central Committee member of the Worker Communist Party of Iran, Maryam Namazie. It was also very difficult to get a straight answer from Ms Waters what she actually does for a living, and how it is funded.

Both Namazie and Anne Marie Waters signed a letter in 2010 to the Guardian opposing the state visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to the UK.

I would submit that Newman’s use of the title “His Holiness” tells us all we need to know about this character’s attitude to religion.

Newman gives his filthy, reactionary, little game away when he admits: “alongside her bigoted anti-religious views she is also a pro-NHS campaigner, there is a danger that the left and some unions may support her for the Labour candidacy.”

The liar Newman deliberately misrepresents Waters when he suggests she made an anti-immigration broadcast. Watch it for yourself, and you’ll see she makes it absolutely clear that she’s not arguing against immigration.

Mind you, if you did want to find an example of anti-immigration agitation within the labour movement at the moment, you could do worse than check out the resolutions passed at the recent GMB congress (Mr Newman is an enthusiastic supporter of the GMB leadership), and especially motion 239 (passed with support from the leadership):

“This Congress calls on the GMB, along with the Labour Party, to present a constructive policy on future immigration, in time for the next election, to stop the growth of the smaller political parties, which in most cases are anti-trade union and racist.”

I’m sure we call all work out what that really means.

So Newman’s a rank hypocrite as well as a religious bigot and enemy of democracy, the enlightenment, and secularism.

36 Comments

  1. Sarah AB said,

    Quite – he really misrepresented the video (although I do in fact think one might reasonably want to pick her up on a couple of comments nearer the end). Here’s Tony Collins (comment 11)

    “They can’t answer a simple question, these Harry’s Place, anti-islam types. These are the people who try to post on here saying “we need to equally deal with the EDL and hate preachers” – and then spend 5-6 paragraphs only talking about ‘hate preachers’, not mentioning the EDL again.

    And they’ll go on and on about Sharia law but not have a word to say about other religious courts that already operate in the UK. No one cared until the Muslims came along.

    It’s this sort of thinking that makes people like Waters a bad prospective PPC. People willing to pander to Islamophobia under the guise of being progressive are not the sort of people we should consider to be allies. They’re certainly not welcome on this blog, and I hope they get nowhere when they try to get selected as PPCs.”

    I have tried to post a link to something I wrote on Sharia courts because I don’t think it reflects Tony Collins’ characterisation of Harry’s Place.

    http://hurryupharry.org/2013/04/22/panorama-britain%E2%80%99s-sharia-councils/

    • Jimmy Glesga said,

      There is not such a thing as islamaphobia it is just another silly made up term by some daft lefties (most lefties are as daft as the islamists). Any real leftie should be leading the fight against fascist islam. The left are to blame for the fact the EDL are on the streets.

      • Sarah AB said,

        Quite possible to oppose Islamophobia (and call it something different if you wish) and oppose Muslim extremists too.

      • هههJihadهLegiaه said,

        Islamaphobia is a disease that consumes the brains of its carriers.

  2. Andrew Coates said,

    It is a disgrace of an attack.

    I noticed some grovelling to the last Archbishop of Canterbury and his reactionary support of Sharia courts as well.

    Even so one must still be sympathetic to the poor chap’s plight.

    He is obviously looking for some way to distract attention from his personal angst.

    Notably about Syria.

    Having crawled to political Islam for so long Newman must be deeply upset that the Muslim Brotherhood are now openly calling for an attack on Assad.

  3. Jimmy Glesga said,

    I twigged to Newman dunkies ago.

  4. sheffielder said,

    An astonishing piece by Andy Newlabour. The photo at the top of his article which he chooses to illustrate his point argues for one law for all with black and white hands united, defence of secularism and freedom and equality of women. Which of these principles does he oppose? Tony Collins defends Newman’s puke enducing use of the title ‘His Holiness’ by saying that it is his official title. Well so what? Unless you are a member of the church then don’t use it. He recently called someone a “billy boy” for calling Galloway superstitious and a creationist. Newman’s proto catholicism and Collins likewise love affair with islam is getting a bit bizarre – i am not sure if they do it to wind up secular socialists or they have gone so far down the line that they believe what they are saying. Becoming a catholic or a muslim is so easy that i would have far more respect for someone who openly converted than the line that ‘its not for me personally, but religion is a good thing’. Democracy is too good for the Chinese and secular equality is too good for brown people in the SU world.

    • Jimmy Glesga said,

      They are too thick to wind up anyone.

  5. colin tonyins said,

    Maybe people should start referring to him as “former decades-long member of the SWP Andy Newman, who was also a member of the Socialist Alliance and then of George Galloway’s Respect Party”.

    He forgets to mention these few facts of his political past on his own “please let me become an MP” website. They are clearly irrelevant. Much as I am against witchhunting of people, this is just political honesty. It’s obvious why he’s presenting himself *now* as a GMB / Labour loyalist and as someone who has always been one.

    “Former SWP and ex-Respect Andy Newman” wants to be your Labour MP would be a short hand version.

  6. Sue R said,

    So you think he’s not doing it out of the goodness of his heart? That he has an ulterior motive which doesn’t involve moolah from MIddle Easten despots? It’s not just Andy Newman, it’s the whole crew who stink up his site, but, hey, it’s their party and they can say what they want. Just don’t expect anyone else to admire or respect them.

    • Jimmy Glesga said,

      Newman probably has the gift of the gab like the Irish and could get a Labour ticket if the gullible are around to listen to the knobend. How that turd got back into Labour beats me. Maybe Opus Dei trained!

  7. Modernity's Ghost said,

    What else do you expect?

    Andy Newman may be in the Labour Party. He may support the Chinese dictatorship to a degree that would make Reg Birch weep, but in the end Newman is a prisoner of his political upbringing.

    Newman spent years in the SWP, doing their bidding, whatever was necessary.

    Principles never came into it, it was always political expediency that mattered.

    Now, without a Central Committee to tell him what to do, Newman makes it up as he goes along.

    From mild praise of Assad’s regime to full on admiration for the Beijing dictatorship, Newman is a political hack, and acts accordingly.

    • Not a Socialist Unity Male Model Porn Writer said,

      <Now, without a Central Committee to tell him what to do, Newman makes it up as he goes along.

      Bollocks he does. He’s taken on the standard-‘left’ mindset that you still often find in the Morning Star (but less so compared to the past, before they took on all those syndicalists as journos). No need to make it up on the fly. Comrade Neuman knows it all. It’s a simple black and white mindset.

  8. Jim Denham said,

    More relativist gibberish from Newman, with a dash of Seymouresque pretentiousness. Does this jerk still consider himself a Marxist?

    *******

    Multiculturism is the absolutely central battle for the left to defend. And I think we have to be able to locate pluralism, anti-racism and muddling through the occasionally resulting tensions as an English and even “patriotic” response to our post-colonialist heritage and the philosophical legacy of pragmatism and empiricism.

    What I mean is we cannot abandon without a fight the concept of Englishness to the rightwing.

    What distrubs me most is the rise of the “racist left” and “racist feminist” movement, who essentialise the snap-shot of social attitudes that comprise contemporary metropolitan Britain, and regard that as normative, and expemplary of alleged “universal” human values. Quite ignoring that within our own lifetimes these liberal and permissive sexual and gender politics were considered marginal or contested here in England as well.

    Someone described it on here as a sort of Alamo mentality, and I think that is right, they see their lovely “liberal” Britain under siege by dark skinned immigrants with what they consider to have backwards views.

    It is a tough battle, and I don’t know that we are winning it.

    • Jimmy Glesga said,

      There is only one threat to multiculturism and that is from Islam.

    • It's Good, But It's Not John Wight said,

      I don’t think he exactly understands the concept of Multiculturalism that he is so keen to defend.

      It *is* also about “a sort of Alamo mentality”, where a so-called “English culture” (and probably not one that is “liberal” or “gender or sexually permissive” at that) exists alongside whatever cultures the “backwards dark skinned immigrants” might have, and the two (or seven or seventy) never shall mix. The “community leaders” may get on the news and talk to the government or even each other every now and again, but each “culture” is to be respected and not to be questioned, for fear of that coming across as “imperialist” and so on. Except, of course, for the middle class like Newman, who seem, for some reason, to hate their supposed “own culture” and the few things that are actually good about it, such as women’s and gender rights, social liberalism, etc.

      It’s one big fucked up mind these people kind of have and I wonder what kind of therapeutical analysis is required to work it all out. Sadly the state of the NHS in this respect will not help that occur.

      And, no, I don’t think he does consider himself a Marxist. He just likes the imagery, especially of those Chinese Lady Sailor-Warriors.

    • Howard Fuller said,

      Mr Newman does not consider himself a Marxist but a Social Democrat would you believe.

      Had an exchange of views with him on Left Futures where he said this:

      http://www.leftfutures.org/2013/06/anne-marie-waters-the-worst-possible-ppc-for-brighton-pavillion/

      Btw, I am now banned from Socialist Unity to after trying to post this:

      Good grief what is the matter with you. The comment in brackets is an appalling distortion of what free speech is all about. If that’s how you seek to persuade people (and I really don’t know how you define “right wing” except perhaps its anyone you don’t agree with then its’ you thats damaging whatever the left is supposed to be though I’m not sure what your politcs can be defined as.

      Blogging is supposed to be about exchanging ideas freely, not ranting with extreme prejudice. You like to dish it out but can’t take either criticism or frankly accept people don’t actually think like you it would seem.

      Andy tried to claim he was a “Social Democrat” over at Left Futures, though failed to answer my query about this sites blatant censorship policy. If you want to be a private club, that’s fine but don’t pretend to be something you are not.

      Yeah I know. I’m banned.

    • s4r4hbrown said,

      I think the fact things have moved rapidly with regard to various rights could be used to counter those seeking to demonise Muslims or Islam – but not as a reason to avoid defending, say, LGBT Muslims.

  9. Modernity's Ghost said,

    Jim,

    So do you classify “Jimmy Glesga’s” bigoted contributions here, as a help?

    Or something else?

    • Jim Denham said,

      They’re not a “help” in any sense. So far, it’s my opinion that he hasn’t quite crossed the line. We’re always reluctant to ban people from here, but very occasionally do so in extreme cases. We don’t have a hard-and-fast rule or procedure and – to be honest – the decisions are reached on a pretty arbitrary basis. As I said, it’s my opinion that Glesga’s comments, offensive as they often are, have so far not warranted a ban. That may not, of course, always be the case.

      • Jimmy Glesga said,

        If you banned me for telling the truth which I have and you know it then there would be no point in you having a blog! Unless you want to join the Fascist Cardinal idiot.

        Be honest Mod’s Ghost and face the facts. Anywhere Islam puts its boots then in a short time they want Sharia even when in a minority.
        Islam is a fascist dictatorship and should be opposed vigorously by the left.

  10. blergHhhhhhhhhhhh commemetayraryer said,

    For once I hev to agREE with the appalling MOrality BlRREG. delert glesGA the fashshit crackKPPTte.

    • It's Good, But It's Not John Wight said,

      Indeed. For once I have to agree with the blergHhhhhhhhh above, Mr. Will.

  11. s4r4hbrown said,

    http://socialistunity.com/anne-marie-waters-the-worst-possible-potential-labour-ppc/#comment-658577

    Now Newman is invoking Stormfront’s support for AMW in a reverse appeal-to-authority move. But the fact it’s flagged by Nazis doesn’t make it any better that a secular society’s right to discuss things freely was undermined by violence

    http://www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2012/01/freedom-of-expression-under-threat-by-violent-extremists

    and it should be possible to disagree with AMW (I disagree with her somewhat myself from the little I know of her views) and still think the violent threats were wrong, without reference to what Stormfront thinks.

  12. R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    Contemptible as Newman and his ilk are they do at least show a modicum of political realism in terms of where any real support for ‘left-wing’ politics comes from now.

    And in the UK – or rather England – the old white working class is largely lost – both to the left and in a deeper existential sense.

    the only segments of the population that are sufficiently politicised and sufficiently concentrated to form the base of even a vague local simulacrum of mass left politics are some but not all ethnic minorities and above all those who are Muslims.

    And thanks to their very cultural conservatism and imperfect integration these ‘communities’ are not entirely a fiction and can be reached in ways that the left has not been able to reach the mass of the population since the 1980s.

    So for ageing lefties who want to at least occasionally win something and feel however fleetingly like a mass movement with a future rather than truly pathetic bit part players in history repeating itself as farce there is nowhere else to go.

    Talk politics to white working class youths and they will at best stare at you blankly – but for young Pakistanis and Kashmiris and Bangladeshis politics (in the purest Schmittian sense of dividing the world into friends and enemies) is still in their DNA and deprivation and powerlessness are not just words that they would struggle to spell.

    So vile and unprincipled as they are the Newmans and Galloways show far more political realism than we hopeless idealists who continue to talk exactly as if we are still living in 1973.

    In this dark age only tiny and tainted victories are now possible and those are the ones they pursue and occasionally win.

    For us there is nothing,

    • Jim Denham said,

      Bloody hell, Roger! Pass me the glass of whisky and the pearl-handled revolver, please!

      • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

        ‘Pearl-handled revolver’ – who are you General Patton?

        If there was an edit function I would add something like – unless and until we accept that not just the left but the whole world we knew is dead and beyond resurrection.

        Stuart Hall and the Marxism Today/New Times crowd had some intimation of this (for which see Coatesy’s excellent piece) but still imagined that the ship could somehow be steered away from the rocks and still eventually arrive at if not the original destination at least some sort of destination.

        For us however the ship is wrecked.

        That doesn’t mean you can’t build a new ship – or at least a raft.

  13. Modernity's Ghost said,

    It is noticeable that some of the characteristics of 20th-century Trotskyism are: elation, continual optimism and then the pits of despair.

    Such is Roger’s contribution.

    It should come as no shock that opportunists (Newman, Galloway, SWP, etc) are often surprisingly good at spotting opportunities, but less so on prolonged principled political activism that leads to anything self-supporting or long-term.

    Skirting from one activity to another means they’ve covered a lot of ground, but as yet seem to have had little long-term influence in the areas that Roger suggests.

    • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

      The despair generally results in people ceasing to be Trotskyists.

      And did you actually read the ‘tiny and tainted victories’ line?

      My point is precisely that their opportunism produces only minor and ephemeral triumphs bought at the cost of every principle.

      And ‘influence’ is not what they are after at all.

      To deploy another Schmittian concept this is because they are bourgeois political romantics narcissistically playing at revolution and resistance:

      The romantic acts in such a way that his imagination can be acted upon or affected. He acts insofar as he is moved. Thus an action is not a performance or something one does, but rather an affect or a mood, something one feels. The product of an action is not a result that can be evaluated according to moral standards, but rather an emotional experience that can be judged only in aesthetic and emotive terms. As the Kierkegaardian seducer realized, the romantic is amoral in the sense that he does not concern himself with moral problems. He does not acknowledge any moral position because he does not make moral commitments. To do so would amount to the recognition of norms that hold independently of his own emotional experience, and such an admission would be inconsistent with the romantic attitude. Philosophically, it can be said that the romantic theory of action is committed to an emotive ethics. Something is good when it feels good, bad when it feels bad. In the romantic ethic, therefore, an action is good or bad independent of both its intentions and its practical consequences. The moral qualities of an action depend exclusively upon whether it expresses or evokes certain emotional states. And psychologically, it can be said that the romantic theory of action is committed to an ethic of passivity, quietism, or indifference. One acts only in the sense that one feels, experiences, or suffers emotional states.

      And

      Reality is suspended by the romantic game, which plays it off against a fantasized or imagined reality. The romantic suspends the mundane world, not by actually escaping into another world, but by allowing himself to be gripped by his imagination. Reality is not nullified by a flight into the past, the exotic, or the erotic. It is instead neutralized by dreamlike fantasies of antiquity, adventure, and love. The romanticized object is of interest only insofar as it can serve as an occasional impulse, another first move in a Phantasiespiel, a play of fantasy or a game of the imagination in which reality is aestheticized in the interest of achieving an appropriate mood.

      (Both quotes from Oakes’s introduction to Schmitt’s Political Romanticism)

      So what the pseudo-left are doing is not politics as Robespierre Lenin understood it but just acting out roles in an elaborate collective phantasiespiel whose rituals are designed to produce not actual concrete results but emotional catharses.

      But there is no satisfaction at all in such gamesplaying unless there is at least occasionally a real audience – and in modern Britain only one section of the working class can intermittently be persuaded to take up roles as extras whether in by-elections or demonstrations and provide the illusion that this is all real….

  14. Howard Kirk said,

    Unless they are attacking the SWP, where they get loads of responses, it tends to be the same people patting each other on the back on Socialist Unity – they seem to be banning people rather a lot when they are challenged over what appears to be a ‘useful idiots for Islamism’ blogspot. They seem to be a bit stumped these days as some Islamists are temporarily on the same side as the US in Syria and Libya. They haven’t said much about Turkey either.

    They seem to be only dimly aware that the world has moved on since the Iraq War where lots of people who opposed it like myself & are very critical of Israel and US Imperialism, don’t buy their almost craven surrender to reactionary views and practices which they would be quick enough to comdemn if it was from members of the BNP or EDL.

  15. Sue R said,

    Roger, the fact is that what earthly good is the local hostility of the local Muslims when it comes to unemployment, housing, cost of living or existential questions. You often claim to be from a working class background, and yet you seem to be unaware that British workingclass people are often as alienated as immigrants. As for the political DNA of young people from the Indian sub-continent, we can see what fruits it has borne. What’s the rate of infant mortality? Of wife beating? Of homelessness? Of illiteracy? Of economic development? blah, blah, blah.

    • R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

      Surely you’ve read enough of me to know I am not defending this as a strategy – all I am doing is pointing out that it is a strategy.

      So what is this ‘British working class’? (and interesting Freudian slip there as you say ‘British’ when you clearly mean ‘white’ and ‘English’) – the whole point is that while it was meaningful to talk that way in 1973 it certainly isn’t now as hardly anyone defines themselves in such terms,

      And it is precisely the degree of alienation – and more to the point atomisation – that is the underlying issue while it is the very ‘backwardness’ of not just Muslims but other faith communities (North London Orthodox Jews for instance) and the persistence of real intermediate social connections and networks (even if they are deeply reactionary ones) which differentiates them.

  16. Howard Fuller said,

    Andy Newman is at it again! I’m banned so can’t reply:

    http://socialistunity.com/on-not-fearing-muslims/

    He really is a piece of work. I challenged him to open the debate on his blog to prove SU was more than “just a private club” but he deleted the post. Not interested in open debate is he!

  17. Sue R said,

    Why is he citing Quaradawi as a beacon of mederation. Didn’t that gentleman insist that it is the duty of every pious Sunni Muslim to go to Syria and kill Shia? Anyway, I don’t give a fig what some religious man says is right or wrong: it’s his religion, not mine. To suggest that anyone who quibbles with FGM should go to sub-Saharan Africa and ask the women there what they think of it is facile in the extreme. They all love it and can’t wait to inflict it on their daughters. They have been brought up to believe that it is the right thing to do, but is it? If it is, then there must be good arguments in its favour. Let’s hear them, and not superstitious nonsense about ‘uncontrolled sexuality’ or ‘men like it better’. As I’ve said before, Andy Newman should make sure that he gets paid for his poisonous blog, why give something away for free when you can be paid for it?

  18. s4r4hbrown said,

    A little sympathy-going-on-for-moral-relativism is one thing. But what’s really annoying is the way this kind of position lets down the many liberal (or indeed pretty mainstream) Muslims who would not support such views, not to mention ex-Muslims. It seems perverse not simply to tolerate illiberal views, but *not* to tolerate liberal ones – when they come from Muslims, eg Muslims who are opposed to Sharia courts. I’ve seen a couple of cultural Christian types talk rather grudgingly about Fiyaz Mughal too – with the implication that he is somehow not quite sufficiently Muslim. I was watching a debate between Mehdi Hasan and Irshad Manji yesterday and, although I could *understand* why some of her views troubled him, I think it would be quite peculiar for me, an atheist, to start being critical of her reformist stance.

  19. Sue R said,

    Isee Mr Nooman singled you out for a mention in despatches, Mrs AB, although it was phrased so elliptically I wasn’t quite sure what the point was. Except he was criticisng you.

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