Nooman: being banned by you is a compliment

December 17, 2007 at 1:53 am (blogging, blogosphere, Blogroll, geeks, hell, insanity, Jim D, mental health, perversity, sectarianism, stalinism, thuggery, twat, wankers)

I recently read on Andy Newman’s hilariously misnamed “Socialist” “Unity” website, an attack upon my goodself, closing with this, from the site’s proprietor, Mr Andy Newman, hisself!:

“Jim: I would consider being called ‘reactionary scum’ a compliment from your lips. The AWL are a cancer in the labour movement, and you personally are the most malignant part of that cancer.”

Andy Newman (16 December 2007, @ 8.14 am).

Well, you have to get out of bed early to beat Mr Newman to it, eh?

Anyway: I have no particular objection to Mr Newman’s attack…except for this: he then, immediately switched off the “comments” facility on his blog, so that I couldn’t reply.

This from someone who quite happily allows a physically violent thug like Ger Francis, and a mentally-unstable woman-beater like Ian *******/******* (who needs help) to contribute on a regular basis to his blog…

Nooman: you’re a wanker:


  1. modernityblog said,

    one thing that strikes me about Andy Newman is, he’s immaturity

    on a good day Newman seems fairly rational, but at other times he likes a jumpy 17 year old, full of bold definitive statements which often turn out to be a pile of bollocks once you question his reasoning and lack of logic.

    very peculiar

    but like many limited people the test is, how do they conduct themselves when they’ve got a bit of power? like running a blog

    and in Newman’s case rather predictability, when he’s moderating comments on the SU blog, he acts capriciously, in a petulant and self-important fashion

    it is scary that Newman is allowed into ANY position of power in the Labour movement

  2. voltairespriest said,

    I’m sure any rumours that this is captured footage of Nooman, Ger and ****** discussing how to deal with argument on the internet, are completely unfounded and I wish to distance myself from them at this point.

  3. matewan said,

    On December 17, 2007 at 2:47 am modernityblog said: “it is scary that Newman is allowed into ANY position of power in the Labour movement”

    Ummm, he’s not. He runs a blog, which reveals him to be confused, malicious, petulant, censorious, immature, self-important, self-regarding and possibly dyslexic, something that only that select group of people unfortunate enough to have come across the Bristol SWP over the last 20 years previously would have known. Those whom the Gods, etc, etc,..

  4. Darren said,


    get a grip.


    wish you wouldn’t hide your identity behind one of my favourite films. It spoils it for me.

  5. a very public sociologist said,

    Sorry Jim, but your attacks on Ian ****** are completely out of order and have been dealt with many times over many years ago. Why bring them up now, if not as shit to flick at your opponents? You might accuse Andy of hitting lows in his dispute with you and the AWL, but this shows you’re not averse to grubbing around in the gutter. Very disappointing.

  6. johng said,

    I agree with public sociologist here, but the trouble is whilst I would never raise this, if you align with a blog which is utilizing these kinds of tactics (one of the things I found quite disturbing for example about the ‘fuck circuit’ argument is the kinds of sexist attitudes towards particular women that such stuff can play into, and which certainly do exist) then this kind of thing is just going to degenerate into all kinds of personalised attacks on people which reflects the speedy degeneration going on on that blog. I’m convinced that many on the RR side are uncomfortable with the direction of those personalised slanders but to their discredit, none of them are saying so. None of this is to suggest that there should not be discussion of sexism in the movement but whats going on on SUN has nothing whatsoever to do with such a discussion. I went over to Splintered Sunrise and the earlier discussions they have had around these topics could, at a push, be represented as a bunch of middle aged blokes talking about the trouble they had getting their legs over inside the SWP. Pretty unedifying really and when this is added to circulating tales about other disliked peoples personal lives with no accountability to anyone it makes for this kind of sinking into the sewer.

    There are serious questions about sexism in the movement and discussions to be had about how best to pursue these arguments, but SUN is perhaps a good example of how NOT to do it.

  7. modernityblog said,


    I agree.

  8. johng said,

    Oh I see that Ian ****** has in fact condemned this stuff. On the Tommy Sheridan thread. I don’t agree with his political take on why this kind of thing goes on (before anyone jumps in, I don’t share his analyses of feminism) but fair enough that he said it, although it would have been better if he had ploughed in on the thread were it was going on. I would say though that I was a bit shocked about what he’d said to stroppy (it doesn’t seem in charecter to me though).

  9. modernityblog said,


    Newman held a leadership position in the StWC, as I understand it.

    and you can bet he’s angling for a senior place in the new Respect Renewal

    you can ask Newman about his union work (which strangely is the only time he seems half way mature)

  10. Darren said,


    I thought your comment of “it is scary that Newman is allowed into ANY position of power in the Labour movement” was OTT, tbh.

    And Matewan’s comment?

    Well, s/he is posting behind a pseudonym, so for all we know it’s nothing more than the bile of an SWP member.

  11. stroppybird said,

    My post on the subject was in annoyance at being told I was allowing bullying and sexism on my blog by Andy and then seeing some pretty nasty thuggish behaviour on his. It pissed me off and in hindsight perhaps I should not have reacted as I did on mine.

    Its just that to be attacked for being one of the very worst blogs for intimidation and then seeing what i considered bullying and threatening language it seemed like hypocrisy.

    To be honest seeing some of the RR activists over at SU it has made me even less inclined to go anywhere near RR .

    Also seeing the whole level of debate at the moment it really makes me wonder why i should bother at all being involved in the left. Life is to short to be amongst so called comrades who spend much of their time arguing in such hateful ways at each other.

  12. modernityblog said,

    Darren wrote:

    And Matewan’s comment?

    Matewan wrote:

    Ummm, he’s not. He runs a blog,

    so yes, Newman has been in various leadership positions within the Labour movement, and if you inquire of him he will detail them.

    I hope that’s clear?

    and frankly, I see a correlation between poor and immature leadership, such as Newman epitomises, and the failure of the contemporary Left to achieve any noticeable impact on the working class

    the two are tied together.

  13. Darren said,



    I wasn’t directing or associating the business of Matewan’s comment towards yourself. I was just trying to fit two points into one comment. (Which has now been made redundant by this follow up comment 😉

  14. modernityblog said,


    ahh OK, if you can write in a slightly less abbreviated form, then your meaning will be much clearer 🙂

    but tell me, as you presumably employ logic in your work, do you think there is no correlation between poor quality of leadership on the contemporary Left and the size of the Left

  15. johng said,

    Oh and Splintered has just posted another long diatribe about nameless individuals and their alleged behaviour, but buried deeply is a nugget about ‘uber-feminists’ in the SWP running ‘brainwashing’ campaigns about sexism. Sad lads.

    More politically, this is connected to a long and unpublished article by Chris Harman, from which tiny titbits have been extracted by Andy on the basis that the ‘lies’ have to be dealt with before the substance of the argument can be addressed.

    When I pointed out that Andy had not exposed a single ‘lie’ in there (as opposed to political judgements he disagreed with) he stated that he would return to this ‘later’.

    Importantly all this is in response to the allegation that it was disturbing that when Bengali women turned up to a meeting which involved voting, leading figures in the RR camp had said ‘we’ve left our wives at home what are you doing here’, and they were left to stand outside the meeting in the rain with their children. This was thought to be a bit disturbing. And it is by any standards.

    Importantly it was Rania Khan who was central to this argument, a Respect Counciler that George Galloway as recently as June this year had praised as an outstanding political figure in Respect, but who was not included in the revised nominations to conference, and is discussed now in the most dismissive terms. Its occassionally useful to see individuals, so here is Rania Khan speaking at the Respect conference:

    One of the ironies of this is that it had always been an argument, including with many on this blog, that those who were dismissive of women like Rania because she was a Muslim or wore Hijab never bothered listening to what they had to say. RR for all its sound and fury was not prepared to listen in this case either.

  16. Waterloo Sunset said,

    I hear what you’re saying about Newman’s attacks on your blog, Stroppy. If you actually compare the two threads side by side, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

    It’s hardly the first thread he’s let that happen on either. One thread I was on (which I now can’t find, which is ‘odd’), contained several of us making political criticisms of Searchlight. Which led to a number of Searchlight supporters (who I’d not seen previously over there nor have I seen them since) going on the attack. Including large amounts of personal insults. Someone falsely claiming to be a member of the antifa. Accusations that prominent Searchlight critics were fascists, with no attempt to back it up. Etc. Newman’s response? To have a go at us for daring to say mean things about his friends. It doesn’t even matter here if you agree with our criticisms or not. Newman is still a hypocritical Stalinoid fuck. (Just for the record, I very rarely make personal attacks like this). If I’d make the same kind of comment that Ger made in that thread, he’d have started deleting all my comments on sight.

    Somewhat ironically, this whole incident has actually had the opposite effect on me that it’s had on Stroppy. I’m now feeling less disillusioned with the anarchist movement then I have done for years. Yeah, it’s crap a fair chunk of the time. But fucking hell, things could be so much worse.

  17. johng said,

    Another person who was involved in this argument speaking at Respect argument. You can sometimes forget that this involves real arguments with real people.

  18. stroppybird said,


    I feel pissed off as much with the fact that I allowed myself to get caught up in all that shit.

    I still, after all these uyears, expect the left to behave in a comradely way and they don’t. They seem to hate each other more than the Right . I got angry at having been attacked and yet seen much worse going on. I got angry at not being listened to, being dismissed and the fact that for all its talk, RR is no better than what went before.

    I just feel like stepping back from it all for a while. Hey, perhaps spend time among people who don’t point score and hate ecah other !

  19. johng said,

    And another one:

    It brings out rather clearly that this is not a Muslim vs Socialist split. its a left right split.

  20. johng said,

    Another TH Respect Counciler (currently being witch hunted by the evening standard):

  21. tim said,

    You seem keen to throw around terms like witch hunt.
    Archer Aitken Were no more witch hunted than Sheridan and Galloway.
    Puruing bent perjurers is not a witch hunt.

  22. johng said,

    Oh no, of course Murdoch’s press in full cry against the one, the Telegraph and the US senate against the other. Not witch hunts no of course not.

  23. WoW said,

    Well Tommy expected 11 people to lie for him.
    And George and Wife got over a million dollars of Oil Cash.

    Fair game.
    Like Archer and Aitken.

  24. Johnny Rook said,

    Kumar Murshid is not a councillor though John.

  25. Darren said,


    You’re asking the wrong person. There are people who I greatly admire politically – both past and present – but leaders really aren’t my thing,


  26. johng said,

    oh right thanks johnny.

  27. Jim Denham said,

    It gave me no pleasure to expose Ian ******/****** as a woman-beater, because there *were* mitigating circumstances…but
    1. The allegations *are* true, and not (as far as I know), denied;
    2. Whatever the mitigation and provocation, a man hitting a woman is simply contemptible, whatever the circumstances;
    3. I warned ****** that I would expose him, if he continued with his outrageous attacks upon myself and/or the AWL…he continued. He acn’t complain that he wasn’t warned well in advance.

  28. a very public sociologist said,

    It is a shame someone like Stropps feels the way she does. I’m pretty sure if the left was as established online as it is now when I was getting involved in socialist politics, the mountains of bile, the pettiness, the real hate some comrades display toward one another would have simply driven me away. What effect is it having on young people fresh to the left who stumble across our left blogs? A none-too-favourable one I’d think.

  29. a very public sociologist said,

    So Jim, if you happened to find yourself on a Palestinian demo and got yourself hassled and denounced as a pro-ethnic cleansing zionist, a violent Islamophobe, and supporter of
    Mossad by a cult who’d exposed you to years of psychological abuse; and you were to hit one of your tormentors in a moment of uncontrollable anger, does that automatically make you a thug?

    Would it then be ok for your critics to describe you as someone who beats their opponents, as you’re currently describing Ian? No, it does not. It just makes anyone stooping to that level to throw mud very sad, and very much part of the problem Stroppy describes above.

  30. johng said,

    I’m thinking perhaps that I should listen to wiser comrades and cease and desist on the SUN and related blogs. As public sociologist suggests, all thats left for most people is the nastiness.

  31. tim said,

    Whatever ****** is or isn’t he’s hitched himself up to grouplet led by a spiv.

    Getting banned by Andy makes me chuckle.
    I posted that Rob Hoveman was carrying cheques for George,that George was going to slit Respect and go with the Islamists,that George would back the right wing Jamaati Miah for Bethnal,and that Galloway was misusing Club Row and his parliamentary office and staff to run his media businesses.
    All of which were true and news to Andy.

    Of course I got banned.

    Of course we all know Andy will get screwd by Galloway the spiv,who will not stand at the next election.
    Arresting perjurers in their talk Radio car parks seems like a good idea to me.

  32. a very public sociologist said,

    But Tim, Andy was right to ban you because you have absolutely nothing to declare except your rather unusual and quite frankly disturbing Galloway obsession. Do you do anything else with your time?

  33. tim said,

    I think you’ll find I was right on all the above.

  34. modernityblog said,

    Tim is a good watchdog for Galloway stuff, and when all said and done, Tim will probably be vindicated in warning people about Galloway dodgy connections, strange business deals, even stranger associations and the gullible souls in Respect Renewal greatly disappointed by Galloway’s shenanigans.

    Then you can’t say you haven’t been warned about Galloway, time and again.

  35. Waterloo Sunset said,

    Possibly. But considering that Tim never references any of his posts, frankly most of us aren’t going to bother sifting through them to work out where he’s correct.

    Equally (and this does apply to you to a lesser extent as well) I’m less minded to take seriously political criticisms from those who post regularly on Harry’s Place, yet have never said anything about David T’s “extremely racist” friends and promotion of Atzmon.

  36. tim said,

    What references would you like?

  37. Waterloo Sunset said,

    It’s a general comment about your posts to be honest. I’d just prefer to be able to see where you’re getting your stories from, so I can look at them myself. (Preferably Internet sources, because I’m lazy).

  38. Lobby Ludd said,

    Jim Denham says:

    “Whatever the mitigation and provocation, a man hitting a woman is simply contemptible, whatever the circumstances;”

    That in itself is perhaps a backtrack from the more general attribution of ‘woman beater’, which implies, I think, that it was habitual.

    “a man hitting a woman is simply contemptible, whatever the circumstances” – is that so?

    As a rule of thumb that is half right. But, ‘whatever the circumstances’? Surely not. I am afraid that I have seen appalling violence initiated by women, as an ‘avant garde’, as a provocation to then allow ‘their men’ to finish of the gratuitous violence.

    This is of course rare – and says little about the more general problem of violence by men against women.

    But, ‘whatever the circumstances’ – bollocks, when it comes to violence then circumstances are all (unless, of course, you are a pacifist).

  39. tim said,

    The stuff about Galloways business dealings was a piece of original research.
    The agreement to support Abjol Miah was in confidence.
    I’ll try harder next time to give you a source.

  40. Waterloo Sunset said,

    Is there any chance of you only bringing it up on threads that are at least vaguely related, or is that pushing it?

  41. modernityblog said,

    waterloo wrote:

    I’m less minded to take seriously political criticisms from those who post regularly on Harry’s Place,

    equally, you might say that of any blog, couldn’t you?

    I think it’s what people say and what they argue, that’s more important than some scary connection to HP.

    eg. often Andy Newman would use people’s Labour Party membership against them, rather than listen to their arguments and try to logically refute them, he would retort something like “but you’re a member of the Labour Party, the Labour Party are shit, therefore your arguments can be ignored” which is not exactly a foolproof argument, is it or worthy of too much thought?

  42. voltaires_priest said,

    So… LL, would it be correct to say that you think there are mitigating circumstances, ****** was provoked, that apparently hitting a woman therefore was excusable/explicable, and that furthermore his subsequent comments such as (I am told) “CIA whore” towards Stroppy, are equally OK?

  43. Lobby Ludd said,

    VP, I do not agree with your putative chain of events, necessarily. It is the ‘and that furthermore’ type bits that offend me. You can have one without out the others.

  44. John A said,

    Hi Jim:

    “It gave me no pleasure to expose Ian ******/****** as a woman-beater, because there *were* mitigating circumstances…but
    1. The allegations *are* true, and not (as far as I know), denied;
    2. Whatever the mitigation and provocation, a man hitting a woman is simply contemptible, whatever the circumstances;
    3. I warned ****** that I would expose him, if he continued with his outrageous attacks upon myself and/or the AWL…he continued. He acn’t complain that he wasn’t warned well in advance.”

    Was there any better way to stop the abuse?


  45. voltairespriest said,

    I wasn’t trying to offend you Lobby. As I thought I’d made clear before, I’m guessing (such as one can over the internet) that you’re basically a decent person, albeit one with whom I’d have certain sharp political disagreements. However, when it comes to the question of men hitting women, I think (barring truly bizarre circumstances, for instance if I met a female Gestapo officer about to pull the trigger on someone) that there’s actually a fundamental at play here.

    I for one simply don’t have it in me to hit a woman. It’s not because of conscious restraint due to acquired political principles. It’s not because even of my (genuine) revulsion towards male abusers of women. It’s because it just would be sick-making and vile to me, personally, if I were to hit a woman. My gut reaction is that anyone who does that, is scum.

    Now, setting my views in that context, and bearing in mind that it’s extraordinarily patronising to people with mental health issues to suggest that they as a “blanket” group are somehow incapable of exercising responsibility for their actions, what’s the issue here?

  46. Lobby Ludd said,

    “The agreement to support Abjol Miah was in confidence.”

    There’s a little problem.

  47. voltairespriest said,

    Who said that?

  48. Lobby Ludd said,

    What is the point of your last paragraph? Who is it referring to?

    My use of the term ‘offend’ was tongue-in-cheek.

    I agree with your sentiments.

    There is nothing to disagree with apart from the conjoiner “whatever the circumstances”.

    Such a universal statement cannot be right in the abstract. I have seen situations in the concrete where it makes no sense.

    However true that may be, it says nothing about the abiding problem of violence by men against women, and in particular in ‘everyday life’.

    My intentions were to mean no other.

  49. voltairespriest said,

    Well, I never said anything in condfidence about Abjol Miah, if you’re referring to my last post.

  50. Lobby Ludd said,

    I do not know why I pursue this, since I am in no way affected, but.

    “I warned **** that I would expose him, if he continued with his outrageous attacks upon myself and/or the AWL…he continued. He acn’t complain that he wasn’t warned well in advance.”

    That to me looks like “Lay off the party, or I’ll expose you as…”

    That’s not exactly unproblematic, is it?

  51. stroppybird said,

    “Not because of what he said about ****** you understand, it’s just that otherwise he might end up on the air. ”

    Talk Denham plus a bit of jazz thrown in 🙂

  52. The Indefatigable Sprout said,

    Newman’s just deleted my post for being critical of him using his stewardship of a blog entitled ‘Socialist Unity’ (he seems to believe in neither) to make sectarian attacks on any socialist organisation he’s doesn’t subscribe to.

    I pity the man. Those around him may be nice to him, but he’d be better served by their being honest with him about what a fool he is making himself look.

    I give up on his blog. I’ve tried to be pleasant, avuncular, comradely, and concilliatory. But he just makes sectarian attacks on committed socialists and then deletes anything that reveals his idiocy. A careerist moron. Goodnight.

  53. martinohr said,

    I just noticed that shiraz socialist is no longer linked to from the socialist unity website, you’ve been replaced by Socialist Environmental Republican News from Wales

  54. Jim Denham said,

    Actually, Lobby: you have a point.
    It was either right to expose ******/******, or it wasn’t. The stuff he was coming out with about the AWL and/or myself, shouldn’t have been the deciding factor, I think it *was* right to expose him. But, that it because he continues to accuse others (not just me and the AWL), of “racism”, “Islamophobia”,etc. Under these circumstances, I think it is right and proper to expose the nature of the man making these accusations. I thought long and hard about mentioning his mental health issues, but as these are, essentially, the “mitigation” for his physical assault upon a woman, I thought it quite proper to mention them.

  55. Jules said,

    JIm, what you’re actually doing is responding to political criticism with personal abuse. You have dishonestly referred to him as a “women beater”, implying a pattern of behaviour rather than an isolated incident. Now, you’re claiming that he’s mentally ill, a trick straight out of the Stalinist school of dealing with political opponents. The “mitigating circumstances” in the instance reffered to are surely the prolonged abuse ****** suffered at the hands of the Spartacist League, a Trotskyist version of the Scientologists who reserve their worst hate campiagns for heretical ex members.

    At any rate you have not “exposed” ******, the event being discussed is a matter of public record. Ian has both acknowledged and condemned his own behaviour. See here:

    You’ve come out alot worse from all this than he has.

  56. Jim Denham said,

    Jules: he *IS* mentaly ill; that is his mitigation. but, by his own admission, he *did* physically attack a woman; is any of thas untrue? Or should not be said? especially as ******/****** is very judgemental about other peoples’ shortcomings…

  57. voltaires_priest said,

    Furthermore, I don’t recall Jim ever referring to a woman as a “whore” in any comment, whereas I am told that ****** did.

  58. voltairespriest said,


    Thanks for that – I’m sure that Socialist Environmental Repulican News from Wales is a totally thrilling read. Anyways, I have removed our link to “Socialist” “Unity” – seems only fair.

  59. Splitters! | karlmarxstrasse said,

    […] look at linkesticker, and, this being an ‘ultra-left’ website, I just wondered if the ironically-named Socialist Unity website has started a German […]

  60. martinohr said,

    There’s another further shit-storm kicking off at socialist unity now too

    in case you don’t want to read the whole lot here’s a summary:

    in the commens tawfiq chabourne declared his new years resolution was to dust of his hobnail boots and ‘get stuck into the awl’
    jim said ok, name the subject, time and place and we’ll debate you
    tawfiq said how about iraq
    jim said shall I book a meeting room in london
    tawfiq said nothing
    jim said tawfiq are you chickening out
    tawfiq said nothing for a couple of days
    jim said come on tawfiq answer
    tawfiq said: what’s all this about booking a room and having a debate, I meant debate on the socialist unity blog
    jim said: tawfiq you’re a coward
    tawfiq got all upset and said some nasty things
    jim called tawfiq too thick
    tawfiq said jim is a racist
    Ian ******, louise and newman all got stuck into denouncing jim and the awl for being right wing racists.

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so scary. The frightening thing is that I think Andy Newman does actually believe that Jim is a racist and by extension the AWL whereas ****** at least has the sense to just use this opportunity to try and beat down the awl without beleiving any of it.

  61. modernity said,

    that thread on SU just shows the really nasty off-putting side of the Left, altho I am an avid reader of the SU, it does tend to reflect that negative side of the British Left with poor argumention and lowest common denominator politics

    I suppose that it partly explains why the Left is still so, so small.

  62. Waterloo Sunset said,

    I like the “everyone should use their real name”. Considering Newman supports socialists giving evidence in court against their comrades and all. Hell, people can say what they like about the “ultra-left”. At least we ain’t fucking grasses.

  63. voltaires_priest said,

    They also bleat about “intimidating” language at the same time as defaming people openly on their blog. Ironically a tactic that smells of organiser training from certain trot groups…

  64. modernity said,

    you mean like “SU re-educational camps”?

    the moderation on SU is appalling, capricious, lopsided and politically biased, however, amongst the dunghill of the SU blog is often found the odd gem, or reasoned political argument

    I know it is a struggle to sift through the detritus and sectarian vomit which litters many of the posts but it can be humourous and informative, occasionally

    and I am sure that in the future, when (not if) Respect Renewal goes down the political toilet, and the last remaining socialist elements are flushed away that SU will contain an amusing (if not entirely accurate) rendition of events

  65. Waterloo Sunset said,

    I remember when ****** threw a hissy fit about being called “middle class” by Red Action. It was very fucking funny.

  66. voltaires_priest said,

    I do think it’s very funny that someone has let Sideshow Ger Francis post on the internet. Very unwise of them – you only have to scratch the surface to see the “real him” come out at the best of times, and on the internet it’s there for all to see… 😉

  67. modernity said,

    oh god, now they are fawning over Atzmon at SU (but fair play to Andy, he’s spotted Atzmon for the anti-Jewish racist that he is), shame that the rest of the SU commenters can’t see the racism in Atzmon’s work

  68. Simon B said,

    On the name thing, it is childish but hadly racist to change his name, after all Jim used to frequently have his name changed when he was a prolific commenter on Lenny’s Tombola.
    I think the problem is that for Andy Nooman and co racism is any thing directed at someone who happens not to be white regardless of the reason.
    It is a paternalistic head-patting type of racism which, imho, is quite nauseating.
    See his post about Kenya for the same sort of odd behaviour where he said he had waited to comment until some Africans had! I think if he had had a look at some African newspapers, or found African blogs or gone away and talked to some Africans he would have found that there had been quite a lot of comment from Africans already.

    Relativists and third-worldists like Nooman and co will offer nothing sensible to most discussions. This is a bizzare and extreme example.

  69. Waterloo Sunset said,

    Mod- To be fair to Andy (which is something I thought I’d never say), he’s always been totally sound on the Atzmon issue. It depresses me that being able to recognise a blatant racist is currently something that warrants praise in certain segments of the left. But it is. That and his stance on national identity (which is obviously debatable, but still less stupid then the reverse ‘cricket test’ that some lefties seem to work by. Where you’re not a real socialist if you don’t want the England team to lose) are his main political strongpoints I think.

    Simon- I wouldn’t disagree with any of that. (Although Andy’s not exactly above childishness himself. Look at his responses to Bill J. While I suspect nobody on this thread agrees with PR’s politics, it’s still the case that Bill is never anything other then civil and Andy goes out of his way to insult him. He’s just a hypocritical coward who can give it out, but not take it).

    But it goes a bit further I think. There’s several factors at play.

    Firstly, much of the traditional left have actually given up on the working class as a whole, in practise if not in theory. While I suspect he wouldn’t like the parallel, Newman’s position on this is actually very similar to those Maoists who believe the Western working class has been “bought off” and that the hope lies entirely with the the developing world. (The RCG take a similar, though modifed, position). It’s not as far down the line with Newman and his cohorts. But if you look at a recent thread they’ve moved from denying that they target working class Muslims as Muslims first and foremost, to defending that position. And accusing anyone who actually thinks that class is primary in these discussions of having a reductionist approach. They also are (possibly deliberately) muddying the waters between the argument that a working class organisation should have no middle class people in it. And the argument that a working class organisation should prioritise working class interests. And arguably take organisational measures to make sure that middle class members don’t end up dominating the organisation- not deliberately necessarily, but simply as a byproduct of the confidence their class gives them.

    The other main factor is the fact that the traditional left has largely bought the tenents of establishment multiculturalism- and more specifically the idea that different groups within the class are to be seen as having seperate, often competing, interests. From that perspective, Newman’s position, and his capitulation to cultural nationalism, makes perfect sense.

    The minor factor is Newman himself. Changing your political views over time is one thing, but Newman really has been all over the shop. (As for that matter has ******). Not just in terms of politics, but also in terms of personalities. Which is why he gets sulky when you quote stuff like his previous views on Ger Francis back at him. It is so pronounced that I think you have to call his judgement into question. If he has been, in his view, “wrong” so many times, I have to ask how he possibly can act so sure that he’s right this time.

  70. modernity said,


    great analysis, you put the matter perfectly!

  71. modernity said,

    that thread at Newman’s has turned into a Holocaust denier’s den, what a pit:

    who would have thought that “socialist” blogs like SU would draw in such people?

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