The utter bollocks of the Morning Star on Europe

April 9, 2015 at 10:15 pm (conspiracy theories, Europe, fantasy, Jim D, publications, stalinism, unions)

Image result for morning star logo

I have sometimes been asked why Shiraz Socialist pays any attention whatsoever to the small-circulation British daily paper the Morning Star. The answer is because, despite its very limited circulation, it is influential within the UK left and trade union movement and – indeed – since the demise of the USSR (which used to fund it) is kept in business by the largess of major unions, including Unite and the RMT. Unfortunately, quite a lot of honest but gullible left-wingers and trade unionists take what the Star says as good coin.

Its coverage of the fighting in Ukraine has been a dishonest pro-Putin disgrace, branding the pro-Russian forces as “anti-Fascists” and the Kiev government as “pro-Fascist”. But it’s when it comes to the European Union that the Star really plumbs the depths of reactionary little-England nationalism, thinly disguised support for increased immigration controls and sheer all-round incoherence.

The editorial that appeared in Thursday’s print edition (Wednesday in the on-line edition) is truly bizarre. Starting out by playing to the gallery with an attack on Tony Blair, the editorial culminates in a truly extraordinary series of blatant falsehoods, conspiracy theories, non-sequiturs and self-defeating “arguments” on the subject of the EU. It is utter bollocks, even by the wretched standards of the Star’s usual commentary on Europe; so bad, in fact, that I feel the final section warrants being held up for ridicule here at Shiraz:

‘By adopting the “no referendum on EU membership” position, Miliband has put the ball in his own net.

Cameron is no less committed to EU membership than Blair and Miliband. How could he not be when this is the confirmed position of big business, especially the City of London, and it is these vested interests that the Tory leader represents?

Cameron’s plan to mobilise anti-EU feeling by offering the phantom of negotiations to “reform” the EU followed by a referendum is a swindle.

Any reforms achieved would be illusory or would underpin already weak workplace rights prior to the Tories uniting to back a Yes vote to remaining in the EU.

The Tories and their corporate backers are relaxed about their referendum pledge, looking back to the previous vote in 1975 when a concerted campaign of misinformation funded by big business and backed by the mass media swung the decision in favour of staying in.

By presenting itself as the party of EU integration, Labour is needlessly antagonising the anti-EU majority and handing votes to the Tories and their Ukip allies.’  

9 Comments

  1. februarycallendar said,

    As I said on Facebook, Blair is right on this, for once.

    And as a friend then said, the gossipy shallow media were unfairly nasty about it.

    And as I then said, Blair lived by that media so he can only expect to die by it.

    And the friend then agreed, happily.

    (Seriously – this is all too depressing for words. The Morning Star’s fantasy is that it is still 1975 and a more socialist Britain if we leave the EU is meaningfully on the table. It isn’t. Realpolitik is the least worst option here. But it shouldn’t even be an issue. Of the reasons for cultural decay and erosion in this country, which the Right are by no means wrong to perceive but are wrong, wrong and wrong again about the causes, the EU probably wouldn’t even be in the top million.)

  2. Robert said,

    Ah, the moaning scar. Oh, the dear nostalgia of not having been wrong about everything, and the adolescent or pitiful near-senile desire to have got less questions wrong than was the case before.
    The sort of view which before 1989 committed its upholders to call any real victim or critic of Stalinism a “fascist” — at least if he or she was Russian and not least if the individual concerned had died in the Gulag!

    The view that John Maclean not only wasn’t mad — I wouldn’t say he was — but that he never suffered the effects of stress.. Any attempt to get at truth is regarded as dangerous, and resisted by exaggerations. The notion that Putin is a nasty fantasist is not to be considered with a view of the evidence, only as a matter of giving ground — concede nothing to evidence and follow the delusion consistent with our other delusions, with the self-defensive neurosis into which they combine, a supposed fraternal spirit which connects people now living and breathing with heroes of the past who actually had minds and would not make the same mistakes again.

    It would be a crime to hide the fact of Ebola,
    and it is a matter of public health concern to continue to record flat earthisms like the Moaning Star — the other one represented by the YES campaign in the Scottish Referendamn belongs to the same species of ghost

  3. Mike Killingworth said,

    A more socialist Britain – or England, or Yorkshire or whatever – isn’t on the table. Period.

    Economists have always been crap at psychology, and that includes Marx. I am never going to care for people on the other side of the world as much as I do for my own kids. Ultra-leftists who denounce that as racism help no one but the capitalists.

    However, I notice that the post falls short of calling for workers to get their TUs to stop funding the Star.

  4. Andrew Coates said,

    Last night at a UNITE for Labour meeting in Ipswich, attended by around 30, including town manual, skilled and unskilled workers, dockers from Felixstowe, and a rep from Sizewell, Europe did come up.

    One person questioned the Ipswich Constituency Labour candidate, David Ellesmere, on what his party did not support holding a referendum on withdrawal.

    Briefly explaining Labour’s reasons (uncertainty, Cameron’s playing internal Tory politics above anything else) he added that he was pro-Europe for social rights, pro-Europe for the interests of workers and unions, and pro-Europe for the economy.

    Applause.

    A full-time official intervened and thoroughly endorsed David’s stand.

    So, the Morning Star is out on a limb in this section of the labour movement.

  5. damon said,

    ”the Star really plumbs the depths of reactionary little-England nationalism, thinly disguised support for increased immigration controls”

    I never really understand this point of view from some of the left.
    Mass immigration and open borders has undermined pay and conditions of British workers I’d presume. As it’s made our labour less valuable.
    It’s great for eastern Europeans if they can come to England for ten years, work in a factory and then go home and buy a house. Great for them, but it doesn’t do much for us who work alongside them who will never be able to afford a house here because wages are kept down and house prices have gone so high – because of a rising population.
    And because of this rising population and the demand for housing, cities like Cambridge have to cover over formerly agricultural land with acres of new housing which pushes the local population up.

    From the Today Programme this morning:
    ”Cambridge is a rapidly growing city; its population is expected to rise by 20 per cent over the next 20 years. New roads and thousands of homes need to be built, but there’s been controversy over whether that means large swathes of the green belt will have to go.”

    They start off talking about it ten minutes into the programme here.

  6. redkorat☭ (@red_korat) said,

    Bollox – 40 years of neo-liberal attacks on workers and their organisations has undermined pay and conditions.

  7. Paul Canning said,

  8. Steven Johnston said,

    To the Morning Star, America is bad, but it was good that Obama was elected, but American foreign and domestic policy are still very bad. It was acceptable (kind of) that the opposition candidate in Russia was assassinated as he had links to America (& was right-wing) and that is bad. Trade with America is bad and Cuba is good, so what they will make of the trade negotiations between Cuba and the US is anyone’s guess. Why the Star considers the democrats better than the republicans is again a mystery, given that Woodrow Wilson sent US troops to fight the Bolsheviks in 1919 and Kennedy stood up to them re the Cuban missile crisis. Even Brezhnev said that they got on better with republicans than democrats.

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