Archive for September, 2014

38 Degrees: This is NOT democracy

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

I have just received an email message from 38 Degrees, an online campaigning organization in the UK that claims to have three million members of which, apparently, I am one.  The subject line is “Islamic State” and the message asks me to “vote” on what I think 38 Degrees should do.  I was given this link:

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/page/s/air-strikes-poll-2#petition

This is not democracy — it is just an online poll.  Where do I, or anyone else, have the chance to engage with other members and try to persuade them of my view?  Where I can I hear their views?   (more…)

Taking Ukraine’s side – because of, not in spite of, our history

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Ukraine to many Jews conjures up bad memories – pogroms, collaboration with Nazis, anti-Semitism spanning centuries. So when Russian President Putin claims that Nazis have come to power in a putsch in Kiev, we take notice.

Read the full article on my Times of Israel blog.

TUC silence on Russian aggression is nothing new

Friday, September 19th, 2014

In an otherwise excellent piece on the TUC’s passing of an idiotic resolution on Ukraine, Dale Street writes that “for the first time since the Second World War the territory of a European country has been seized by that of a neighbouring big power.”

That doesn’t sound right — and it isn’t. (more…)

From ‘pro-peace’ to ‘pro-Palestinian’ – the British TUC switches sides

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The decisions taken yesterday by Britain’s Trade Union Congress (TUC) on the subject of Palestine mark the end of an era. (more…)

The anti-anti-semitism of fools

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

This article also appears on Harry’s Place, Howie’s Corner, Solidarity (Workers’ Liberty) and Shiraz Socialist.


 I have just come back from attending a large demonstration in central London protesting the rise of anti-Semitism in the UK.

The demonstration was organised by a new group called the Campaign Against Antisemitism. It was backed by all the major Jewish organisations in Britain, including the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, and many others. Nearly a thousand people signed up to attend the demo on Facebook; it looked to me like there at least that number there. The crowd seemed overwhelmingly Jewish.

Now if this had been a demonstration against racism, organized by the leadership of the Black communities in Britain, I can guarantee you that a wide range of Left groups would have been there to show their solidarity. You would have found assorted Trotskyists and others selling their newspapers, handing out leaflets and showing that they stood shoulder-to-shoulder with an ethnic minority group struggling against racist assaults, while busily trying to recruit new members.

But at this demonstration, I didn’t see a single left group of any kind with an obvious presence. There may have been individual socialists – like myself – there; but there were no banners, newspapers, or flyers. (more…)