Stalinism and Unite: Mr Murray’s reply

October 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm (internationalism, Jim D, Libya, stalinism, Unite the union)

Shiraz Socialist is happy to publish the following statement by Andrew Murray, and we accept that what he says about having no relationship with the Stalin Society is true:

I have been directed to this piece by comrades in the union, not having visited this site before. “Shiraz Socialist” is welcome to his own, pro-NATO views in Libya.  he is also of course free to call me a “malevolent clown”, “irresponsible petty-bourgeois” and “despicable/dishonest” because I have a different opinion.  By the standards of many of the comments posted, his ad hominem attacks are almost mature.

But on two points of fact.  I have NEVER been a member of the Stalin Society, attended any of its meetings, donated to its funds, corresponded with it or bought any of its publications.  It does not reflect my own views of Soviet history and I would never associate with a body having its apparent mission.  This is a smear which originated with New Labour back in 2003 when the anti-war movement was at its height and has been retailed from time to time since for obvious political purposes.

Second, I was endorsed as a delegate to the TUC (of which I am a General Council member) by the lay Executive Council of Unite.  Several full-time officials spoke at the Congress on behalf of our union, only one of whom (Len McCluskey) is elected.  This seems a pedantic point for Shiraz to make, and peripheral to the main political argument.

Jim Denham replies:

Thank you for clarifying that point, Mr Murray: I am happy to publish your statement, and will, in fact post it as a piece in its own right.

I am happy, even, to apologise for the factual error of describing you as a “member” of the Stalin Society.

None of this affects in any way your extraordinary role, as a paid employee of of the union, in speaking as a Unite “delegate” (albeit “endorsed” by the EC) at the TUC: this is an issue of basic democracy that needs to be taken up within the union (and I intend to do so).

Nor does it affect in any way the selectivity and dishonesty of what you had to say at the TUC, especially on Libya. You were on the wrong side, Mr Murray!

-Jim Denham


  1. sackcloth and ashes said,

    Murray may not be part of the Stalin Society, but he’s certainly an apologist for the regime that is starving North Korea to death:

    ‘[We] should also be alert to the very real dangers in the Fareast and around Peoples Korea. The clear desire of the USA to effect ‘regime change’ in its second ‘axis of evil’ target could well provoke an armed clash there, too. Our Party has already made its basic position of solidarity with Peoples Korea clear’.

    Murray has also falsely claimed that ‘one of the undoubted successes of the nationalities policy of the Soviet Union was its promotion of the cultural, linguistic and educational development of each ethnic group, no matter how small or how historically marginalised it had been’. If we consider what happened to the Chechens, Ingush and other North Caucasian nationalities during 1943-1944 (just to take one example), we can also see that he is a liar and a genocide denier as well as a Stalinist.

  2. Jim Denham said,

    Now we’ve got the trivial question of your membership (or not) of the Stalin Society out of the way, perhaps we can get to grips with your scabbing on the Libyan revolution, and your claim to be speaking on behalf of Unite while doing so, Mr Murray..?

  3. Faster Passycat Miaow Miaow Miaow! said,

    @Dimbo Murray

    Almost mature?

    What, a ‘blergghhhh’ where people’s imaginary friends shoot streams of virtual piss at each other? There’s nothing ‘mature’ about any of that. Anyone who takes ‘blergghhhhs’ seriously deserves everything they get — which, by the way, is the point of the performance artist M. Jelly.

  4. Monsuer Jelly est Formidable said,

    murray sounds like a right daft cuernT

  5. dave said,

    Well, I don’t know whether Murray still thinks of himself as a Stalinist–he certainly often sounds like one–but that little essay on Georgia–contemptuous of any kind if national independence that doesn’t conform to his lumpen world view–certainly displays the characteristic neo-colonial outlook that we;ve come to associate with much contemporary “anti-imperialism”, which syntesises and keeps alive some of the very worst of the lefts traditions. He even call the overthrow of Sevardnadze a coup, because it was the wrong kind of revolution! Which is, of course, what right-wing commentators always call revolutions.

  6. representingthemambo said,

    Who knew a blog entry would elicit a response from the man himself?
    You should have checked your facts before you wrote the article though, as it has allowed the quite legitimate discussion of his views on Libya to be sidetracked into you making an apology.

    I would be careful not to get too triumphalist over Libya yet too. It will be a while before we can really know whether the revolution was a success.

  7. Steve said,

    “It will be a while before we can really know whether the revolution was a success.”

    Wrong. We will know that very very soon but I am guessing this site will leave that analysis for someone else or simply distort the facts as usual. Shiraz give democracy a bad name, allowing you to throw your views around freely distorts the truth and makes it harder to grasp.

  8. sackcloth and ashes said,

    @ 6 and 7.

    We have your asinine comments on the one hand, and we have the jubilant response of the Libyan people to Qaddafi’s overthrow and death on the other.

    It’s not surprising to see the likes of Murray – and yourselves – align with butchers and mass-murderers against their victims, and to decry the latter’s efforts to fight back. But you’re running out of ‘anti-imperialist’ tyrants to shill for.


    […] saying that they were members of the Stalin Society. [Stalinism and Unite: Mr Murray’s reply,  ]. This resulted in no public rebuke of Denham from the AWL, but from the comments on the Shiraz […]

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