EU: Stalinists get themselves into a twist … again

January 13, 2016 at 10:22 pm (Europe, Jim D, stalinism)

As Cameron signals that the EU referendum is likely to be held within months, the less moronic of the “left” anti-EU’ers are changing their minds in the realisation that “Exit Left” is a reactionary fantasy . Owen Jones, for instance:

“There is no influential left-leaning “exit” campaign; it is under the control of the right. A vote to leave would not be seen as a rejection of TTIP (try asking people on the street if they know what it is), but rather more to do with, say, opposition to immigration  … With Cameron in retreat, Labour can unite behind “in” while calling for a different EU.”

And just for a moment, it seemed that the Morning Star and its political masters, the Communist Party of Britain, had also reached the same conclusion, at last turning their backs upon decades of little-Englandism, finally facing the reality of modern capitalism and British political reality; on Monday January 11, the Star reported Communist Review editor Martin Levy telling party’s executive committee:

There is no Exit Left on the agenda, simply an exit, which could end up with a more right-wing, anti-working class government in Britain.”

It seemed that, at long last, the CP was facing reality.

Well, I don’t know for sure what Comrade Levy actually said at the CP’s executive meeting, but the Morning Star of  Wednesday 13 2010 published the following “clarification” [for which there is no link]:

The report on last Saturday’s executive committee (EC) meeting of the Communist Party of Britain was unfortunately truncated so as to give a misleading impression of the party’s position on the European Union referendum.

Mr Levy’s statement to the EC was that “while an EU referendum will create major divisions within the government, the major problem for the left is that the predominant case for a No vote is being made by right-wing Tories, Business for Britain and xenophobes such as Ukip.

“Unless the projection of the case for a left exit was speedily enhanced, the labour movement could be faced with an exit that resulted in a still more right-0wing and anti-working class government.”

Mr Levy highlighted the fact that many within the labour movement still erroneously view the EU “as a source of jobs and workplace rights, of protection of peace and stability within Europe.”


Only a vote to leave the EU contains the possibility of moving British politics genuinely to the left, in the context of a likely split in the Tory Party and a general election in which Jeremy Corbyn leads Labour to victory on a manifesto of socialist measures. The 2exit left” needs to be put on the agenda.

Readers may note that there seems to be little relationship between the Star‘s original report of what “Mr” (not “Comrade”?) Levy had to say about the referendum, and what the “clarification” has to say. Students of Stalinist re-writing of history and congenital lying about simple facts will not be particularly surprised.

So the CP and its mouthpiece the Morning Star remain wedded to little-Englandism and will side with reaction and racism in the forthcoming referendum. And maybe “Mr” Levy will be air-brushed out of history.


  1. Political Tourist said,

    Ah the good old Soggy Oggies.
    A world famous English rock musician with an interesting taste in politics passes away and the SOs say nothing.

    • Jim Denham said,

      ” an interesting taste in politics “: do you mean his pro-fascist comments in the 1970s, while off his head on drugs?

      Not aware of any other political statements or activity.

  2. David Walsh said,

    The SWP seem to be having some difficulty too, reading between the lines of ST’S report this week of their national conference. I guess there may still be some old stagers left who remember the stushie of 1975.

  3. Steven Johnston said,

    I would urge all socialists not to vote in the referendum or if you you want to show you zeal just write “World socialism” on your ballot paper.

  4. Political Tourist said,

    In the end the EU referendum is nothing more than a fight between the various wings of British Nationalism.
    Should be fun watching a Brit rehash of the Scottish referendum.
    Especially those North of England and Welsh Labour MPs jumping ship if the alarm is pressed.
    Would mention Scottish Labour MPs but that would be pointless since SLAB committed Hari Kari for their beloved Imperial Masters.

    • Glasgow Working Class said,

      The Jock Nats will be pretty fucked if the British vote to get out of the corrupt EU gravy train. They seem to think that the EU will automatically let them join. As for the oil it belongs to all the British people and Westminster should enforce this irrespective of any referendum result.

      • Political Tourist said,

        Shouldn’t you be in Wales helping Ukip.

    • Joe Baxter said,

      “In the end the EU referendum is nothing more than a fight between the various wings of British Nationalism.”

      Don’t think the SNP see it that way.

      If it is a rehash of the referendum we can only hope the result is similar, i.e. the small-minded nationalists lose.

  5. Andrew Coates said,

    Nothing can indicatebetter just how far the reactionary path of anti-Europeanism can take than this,

    “Jacques Sapir, an eminent French economist (really, this is not a joke*), who in 2008 publicly backed the Front de Gauche (to the left of the Socialist Party) , has now passed so far to the extreme right – notably through his opposition to the EU, and the Euro, that his material has just appeared on the front page of one of the vilest racist publications in Europe, Eléments (Nouvelle Droite).”

    • dagmar said,

      and the German equivalent, as analysed by the political foundation of the engineering union IG Metall, is examined here:

      • dagmar said,

        Or this:

        Pedram Shahyar was, I believe, the man Tony Cliff sent over to Germany to smash up/”sort out” the German SWP franchise in the mid-90s and turn it into a SPD/ SPD Young Socialist entryist project (Linksruck) with a very tabloid-ey paper. He was the editor of Linksruck for a long period, and then left once the group collapsed, was in one of the Mandelite groups for a while and presumably ended up in Die Linke. Today he gives tango lessons and has taught Foucault at the Free University of Berlin.

        Lea Frings is a member of Die Linke, a city councillor and “peace activist” who is employed by Russia Today Deutsch as a “journalist”.

        “Ken Jebsen” is a “journalist” who was sacked from his public service radio job in Berlin-Brandenburg on a youth station when someone important actually realised all his programmes were (very popular with the target age group) full of anti-american, and, it was alleged (not entirely without merit), anti-semitic conspiracy theories. His other stage name is “Ken FM”.

        “Prinz Chaos II” is the current name for Florian Kerner, who was the leader of Linksruck from the moment Cliff launched it. He now walks around dressed as a princ(ess) and lives in a castle in east Germany, which he has bought (these things do come cheap), which is a sort-of commune. He sings and acts (he comes from a family with a background in the theatre).

        No idea who the others are, but it is a glowing example of ex-far left and far-right cooperation over the issue of “peace” and soverignty. Of course, the left were irrelevant in all this and a tiny minority, they ended up being cheerleaders and the midwives for what became Pegida; and the AfD.

  6. mark taha said,

    Look, think and vote the way you believe. Politics will always make strange bedfellows.First,get back our right to self-determination,Then-self-determine!

    • Steven Johnston said,

      Agggggggghhhhhhhhhhh, the working class cannot have self-determination under capitalism! Can somebody explain this to Mark? Did he miss the part where Marx said the working classes have no country! Self-determination is just about the nationality of the capitalist class, though given multi-national companies and tax havens even that is suspect these days.

  7. Steven Johnston said,

  8. Jim Denham said,

    Move this motion in your TU and/or LP branch/committee, etc:


    Believes that:
    1. UK withdrawal from the European Union in the upcoming referendum would be a victory for the nationalist right and their vile, racist campaign against migrants, including members – and potential members – of our union.
    2. while the EU promotes privatisation and neoliberalism, the current UK government would press ahead with its attacks on working-class people in or out of the EU, and if the UK leaves the EU, the UK government will step up attacks on workers’ rights.
    3. the biggest “In” campaign, Britain Stronger in Europe, is dominated by Tories and business people and cannot possibly act as a voice for working-class interests, workers’ unity across Europe or migrants’ rights.
    4. we should respond to the capitalist semi-unification of Europe by building stronger working-class and socialist links across the continent and pushing forward towards a united Workers’ Europe – not by seeking to re-raise national barriers.

    Notes that the campaign Another Europe is Possible has been set up to organise a left, anti-austerity, internationalist opposition to withdrawal from the EU; while the Workers’ Europe initiative, which supports AEIP, is developing a specifically working-class and labour movement focus in campaigning.

    Resolves to
    1. campaign for the UK to stay in the EU.
    2. campaign for an end to austerity and the levelling-up of wages, conditions, services and rights across Europe; for democratisation of the EU, including a sovereign European Parliament; and for freedom of movement and an end to “Fortress Europe”.
    3. support and participate in Another Europe is Possible, and promote its materials and initiatives, as well as those of Workers’ Europe.
    4. call for the forthcoming Labour for Europe (official Labour Party) campaign to campaign on a left-wing, pro-working class basis, not on the basis of what is “good for business”, etc.
    5. put migrants’ rights at the forefront of our campaigning around the referendum – defending migrants in Britain, defending the right of workers from EU countries to come here, and demanding the opening of Europe’s doors to refugees and migrants from outside.

  9. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Migrants should stay in their own countries and fight the struggle. It is selfish to leave and keep their country in permanent poverty.

    • Political Tourist said,

      Does take long for the mask to slip and Ukip to be relieved.

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