By David James
Anyone who wants to understand why Cameron chose to launch his attack on multiculturalism last week, to the delight of the English Defence League and other fascist groups, need only follow the daily tracker polls carried by YouGov – which are a useful resource. Cameron’s speech was an attempt to bolster Tory support by one of the oldest capitalist manoeuvres – attempting to promote racism to divert the population’s attention from the real problems that are affecting them.
By Frances Davis
This Saturday the fascist English Defence League (EDL) will be demonstrating yet again, this time in Dudley in the West Midlands, to whip up racist hatred against Muslims. (See leaflet for UAF protest)
This follows a series of similar mobilisations by the EDL in the recent period, in Harrow, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester , Stoke upon Trent and most recently in Bolton. On every occasion the EDL has sought confrontation, often violent – a flavour of what fascism represents, and what will happen if they get even the tiniest foothold in any part of society. As the Unite Against Fascism (UAF) has pointed out, despite its attempts to present itself as a legitimate expression of so-called 'English patriotism' and making the ludicrous allegation there is a need to oppose 'creeping Islamification', the EDL is in fact a violent, street fighting fascist organisation. The majority of the EDL’s so-called demonstrations have resulted in physical attacks, most recently in Bolton , where its demonstration was followed by a stabbing allegedly involving the EDL.
By Nicky Dempsey
The new coalition government in Britain has begun a process of attacking working class living standards through public spending cuts, slashing public services and reducing public sector pay, jobs and pensions. Meanwhile one of the dominant themes of the Labour leadership campaign is not an attack on this reactionary economic policy but a wholly ill-informed debate on immigration.
By blaming immigrants for the consequences of New Labour’s own economic failures, and completely distorting the real reasons for its defeat, two purposes are served. One is to forestall any proper debate about that defeat; the other is to set up immigrants in general, but especially poorer Eastern European and black and Asian immigrants, as the culprits within the widespread discontent about economic policy. For now, this is a narrative being created almost entirely by some of Labour’s leaders. But, as unrest grows at the consequences of the new government’s policies, it will no doubt be gratefully seized on to further channel working class anger towards reactionary rather than progressive solutions.
By Andrew Williams Islamophobia – anti-Muslim bigotry – has become an important ideological component in imperialism’s current international offensive. As has been argued in an earlier article on this website, US imperialism’s determination to maintain its international pre-eminence has for the past 30 years required it to increasingly assert its military superiority to compensate for the reduced competitiveness of its domestic economy. Over that period US military activity has extended in all areas of the globe, including in the Middle East, Central Asia and now Latin America. The Middle East and Central Asia are adjoining regions and key to world oil and gas supplies and so of strategic importance to the US – not just because its economy is dependent on these commodities, but also because the degree to which the US can exert control over supplies gives it an advantage over its rivals.
After the Second World War, US hegemony, based on its economic leverage and its role as imperialism’s military police force internationally, meant it could develop client regimes or negotiate favourable contracts for extraction and pipelines, without direct military intervention. But its economic decline has meant that its economic leverage is now sometimes insufficient to secure this, and it increasingly therefore has to resort to military action.
By Andrew Williams
According to conservativehome blog CCHQ (Conservative Campaign Headquarters) has approved a 'strong immigration message for campaigning in marginal seats', and party literature is already being distributed pledging to cut immigration.Anti-racists looking for arguments defending the value of migration can find a useful piece here.
By Tim Robinson
With the economy showing no signs of returning to respectable growth and both living standards and the government’s popularity continuing to fall, the Tories responded by playing the race card on 1 July.
By Stephen MacAvoy
The mobilisation of several thousand anti-fascists - including local Muslim and other faith communities, trade unionists, students, LGBT organisations and many others - in Tower Hamlets on 3 September landed a huge defeat on the EDL by preventing it from entering the borough.
Speakers include: Jack Dromey MP • Helen Goodman MP • Peter Hain MP • Claude Moraes MEP • Jean Lambert MEP • Farooq Murad, Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain • Edie Friedman, Executive Director, Jewish Council for Racial Equality • Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ General Secretary • Hugh Lanning, Dep Gen Secretary, PCS • Steve Hart, Political Director, Unite the Union • Megan Dobney, Regional Secretary SERTUC • Zita Holbourne, PCS NEC • Bob Lambert, co-Director, European Muslim Research Centre • Jody McIntyre, Journalist • Peter Oborne, Journalist • Dilowar Khan, Director, London Muslim Centre • Alaa’ Samarrai, VP Student Affairs, Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) • Kanja Sesay, NUS Black Students’ Officer • Nitin Sawney, Musician • Sabby Dhalu, Secretary, One Society Many Cultures • Denis Fernando, Lesbian and Gay Coalition Against Racism • Weyman Bennett, Joint National Secretary, Unite Against Fascism • Martin Smith, National Co-ordinator, Love Music Hate Racism
The recent grotesque furore whipped up against Diane Abbott, based on an entirely mischievous and unsustainable accusation of racism, coming within a day of the long-awaiting verdict in the Stephen Lawrence trial, looked remarkably like an opportunist backlash against the progressive discussion on racism that began to unfold as a result of the trial.
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Previous publications (PDF):
Revolution and Counter-revolution in the Middle East, pamphlet
Unite to fight the Tory attacks, leaflet
Investment not cuts, leaflet
Drop cuts not bombs, leaflet