Lair Of A Squirrel Red


Tesco, SNPs 100 and the unmarxism of left-unionists. by korakious
April 29, 2007, 9:02 pm
Filed under: independence, Theory, UK politics


Some days ago, Alex “St Bernard’s” Salmond, leader of the Scottish National Party, announced a list of 100 business supporters of his party’s electoral campaign, further confirming the SNP’s identity as the newest business ass licker. For left unionists, this was more proof that Scottish independence will be a disaster for the socialist movement and the working class in Britain, meaning that all principled socialists should oppose the break up of the British empire state, in the interests of working class unity (as if proletarian internationalism is created or sustained by bourgeois state apparatuses) . This of course, by extension means, for them, that we, are crap.

Soon after this glen shattering revelation however, the chairman of Tesco announced his support for the Union, saying that it has “served us well” until now. Who this “us” refers to, I’ll leave the reader to decide.

But wait a minute! Tesco is the UK’s largest and the world’s fourth largest retailer, as the infinite source of knowledge that is Wikipedia tells us. What then is wrong with the heads of this burgeoning firm’s bosses? Can’t they see what a titanic victory against the conscious working class the break up of the UK would be?

The answer’s no, they can’t. And neither can the big shots of CBI. And how could they? It makes absolutely no sense for capital to break up one of the most powerful imperialist constructs in history. All the endless “we’re too small”, “terrorists everywhere” tirades of New Labour, as well as the “we’re stronger together, please stay” Tory rhetoric are just reflections of the cold hard fact that British capital loves the British state and wants to keep it intact. That doesn’t of course go to say that British capital can’t survive if Scotland breaks away, but merely, that the fat cats would rather it wouldn’t. If they could survive the setting up of the Republic of Ireland and the death of colonialism, they can definitely tolerate Scotland breaking away. But for reasons that should be obvious to four year-olds, they would prefer to keep unitary political control over these isles.

Why then, would a section of Scottish capital wish to dissolve the Union and forfeit the benefits of having access to such a formidable machinery of violence? A Marxist analysis actually makes the motives behind the new found patriotism of Scottish capital quite clear. By Marxist, I do not mean the kind of vulgar mechanistic determinism upheld by left unionists and their sects, but an actual concrete look at the class dynamics of a given social process. The vulgar Marxism of left unionists (and many others) consists in forcing preconceived ideas, derived from the study of older situations, on the currently unfolding events. They do not engage in a “concrete analysis of concrete circumstances” as Lenin would put it, but seek to push the concrete current situation into their familiar ideological boxes. Thus, according to their black & white mode of thinking, if the bourgeoisie wants something, there is zero chance that the working class might benefit for it. But enough with those web-covered, dusty “Marxists”. Let’s take a look at what’s happening here.

The first thing to do is take a look at the synthesis of this infamous list of business owners that love the SNP so much. We should remember that the bourgeoisie is not a uniform class. It is heavily stratified internally – more so than the working class – and grasping this is a key to understanding why it may sometimes act in ways that don’t make sense if we regard it as a monolith. Now, looking at the names on the list (you can find it by following the first link and scrolling to the bottom) we find that it is predominately composed of small to medium size businesses, with tourism being a particularly large section. There are legal firms, a bed and breakfast, a tour company, a couple of management companies and… a kilt maker.

But what about the big shot supporters like the Royal Bank big shot Sir George Mathewson. What can small tourism based businesses like Hotel Ceilidh-donia and finance capital magnates have in common?

The answer isn’t that complicated. They would all benefit from a sovereign Holyrood parliament with economic powers, or even a non-sovereign parliament with fiscal independence as the trajectory of the SNP seems to suggest will soon be the case. They would also not be particularly affected by the loss of Britain’s imperialist strong arm. The existence of nuclear weapons on the Clyde as well as shock & awe all around the world are of little concern to the Linlithgow Tours company or to Kilts by Lindsay.

Big finance capital like the Royal Bank of Scotland is also not dependent on old fashioned big guns imperialism for its growth. Neo-liberal institutions and just plain unfair treaties are good enough for them. Of course, you might argue that in order for the Third World to remain in line, some sort of military bullying will always be necessary. But the RBS doesn’t care about who’s got the guns. As long as the poor countries of the world are kept weak enough to accept their shark loans, the golf playing fat cats are content. Tesco on the other hand really does need cheap fuel, cheap raw materials and of course, good ol’ child and sweat labour.

Now, apart from not being hurt by it, the RBS (and the rest of the great 100), would also benefit by the establishment of an independent Scotland. You see, they would be in a much better position with regards to the levers of power. In the UK, the Royal Bank has to compete for influence with other monsters like Barclay’s, while in Scotland, where it is by far the largest and most powerful bank, it could easily pull the strings of a St. Bernard led administration. As far Scottish smaller businesses go, they have little chance of ever gaining any significant influence on an all British scale. So why not go for independence?

We see therefore that despite Brit left rants, Scottish capital does not support independence as a gain against the working class, but as a gain against its competitors. Any analysis of the effects that Scottish independence would have on the capability for socialists to organize and raise transitional demands necessarily leads to the conclusion that the break up of the UK will be a positive thing, if socialists take an active part in the campaign for independence and strengthen their hegemony over the movement.

The left-unionist tirades about how Scottish independence is an anti working class, bourgeois nationalist project simply write working class agency off history. Some Marxism there!



Oh my. This is hilarious. In a macabre kind of way. by korakious
April 29, 2007, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Fascism

Deary me. The mind blowing stupidity and lack of originality of the BNP hurts my head. Did anyone know about this? I’d heard something about the BNP setting up a union – they do after all care so much about the working class – but this caught me completely off guard.

Funniness aside, the reemergence of Fascism in the UK is something we should deal with, beyond pointless unite against fascism flyers about how the BNP is a neo-Nazi party. We need to seriously challenge them wherever they appear. Fascism is an infant that must be slain in the cradle.



Trotskyist Scandal by korakious
April 24, 2007, 8:12 pm
Filed under: sectariana, Trotskyists

Those who read my post on Venezuela a couple of days ago, will have probably understood that I am not too fond of the sectlet known as the Socialist Equality Party, better known for running the World Socialist Website. For all my dislike of them however, I never could have possibly imagined what I read about them today while browsing a marxist community on Live Journal. While I am not entirely sure of the original source’s credibility, it just makes too much fucking sense to ignore.

Enjoy:

http://community.livejournal.com/marxism/300825.html

WSWS/SEP
From alt.politics.socialism.trotsky

EXHIBIT 1

http://www.grpinc.com/grandriver-people.html

EXHIBIT 2

http://www.irisolutions.com/pressroom/best-places/2003_Crains.BPTW.pdf

(see page 2)

EXHIBIT 3

http://www.weandrews.com/wwwAndrews/Docs/RRD_piworld_1.pdf

(see page 9 of 14)

Some years ago, the communist political cult to which I used to be a
member
for one year (then known as the Workers League, now known as the
Socialist
Equality Party) made an interesting “turn” in its political line.
According to SEPtic,
the unions were no longer organizations of the working class.

I found this “turn” to be quite startling. Upon further thought,
however, it sorta
made sense. David W. Green (“North”), the cult leader of SEPtic,
having run
the cult since the mid 1970s, had been a complete ineffectual. He and
his cult
never organized any workers, ever gained any influence in the labor
movement,
never accomplished anything. So, in a strange way, it made quite a
bit of sense
that “North” was now writing off the unions altogether.

Still, I wondered, how was it that “North” managed to keep control
over a dedicated
cluster in the top leadership.

Today, playing around on the web, I found a possible answer. It seems
that David
W. Green is CEO of the 241st largest printing company in the USA.
EXHIBIT 1
is a link to the company’s site. EXHIBIT 3 show that in 2005 the
company generated
$21mm in sales. EXHIBIT 2 has pictures of “David North” and his wife
in Crain’s,
touting them as some of the best employers in the city.

The “puzzle” now makes sense.

Question: why does the North cult solicit members for donations when
they run
a profitable enterprise that could conceivably fund the SEPtic web
page activities?
Is there any sort of democracy in SEPtic? Were a faction to take over
the cult,
what would be the impact of the North crew vis-a-vis the company
activities?

It’s interesting that CEO North now tells workers that unions are no
longer organizations
of the working class. This same “line” is probably echoed by CEOs at
all unorganized
companies.

I’m not posting this for the sake of “exposure and denunciation” for sectarianism’s sake. I do feel ashamed when certain con artists perpetrate massive frauds on wide sections of the hard left and the youth.
Based on anecdotal evidence (which is unfalsifiable yet will make sense to anyone who has been involved in similar groups) members of the “SEPtic” were expected to empty their pockets to fund their local chapters, while the Good Ship WSWSEP was run rather brusquely, and undemocratically, by Cap’n Green/North.
Already the “Friedrich Engels, too, was a capitalist” defense is being brandished by SEP internet agents, as well as “Don’t believe everything you hear on the internet [WSWS notwithstanding]”, and “[non-SEP]Splitters are the FBI/CoIntelPro’s best tools”.
This scandal ranks up there with the Ukrainian fraud (http://www.internationalist.org/ukraineimpostors0803.html) in the US Trotskyist hall of bloopers, and rivals the transgressions of SEP/Workers League’s former guru Gerry Healy. Marxists and working-class militants must regroup beyond the scope of sterile orthodox commentaries, academia, and abstentionism. For every David North, Bob Avakian, and James Robertson there are hundreds of disillusioned youths and workers –
Down with MLM [Multi-Level Marketing]!

Wait, there’s more!

http://community.livejournal.com/trotskyism/3890.html

A Tale of Two Men
By Joe Hargrave

Here is a story you might find interesting:

I know of two men. One of them is the leader of a small Trotskyist political party in the United States. He is known as David North. The other is the CEO of Grand River Printing & Imaging, a company that earns 25 million dollars a year according to its website. They call him David W. Green.

For nearly 30 years, Mr. North ran his political party and Mr. Green ran his business. Mr. North gave speeches about the exploitation of the working class. Mr. Green exploited his workers, deriving surplus value from their unpaid labor. Mr. North thundered against the corporations that dominate American political life. Mr. Green sought those corporations out as clients, and probably did lunch with some of their executives. Mr. North would talk about the disgusting climate of corporate greed that pervaded the American cultural atmosphere. Mr. Green helped actualize that corporate greed by printing advertisements to help them push their products on consumers.

Of course Mr. Green was no black-hearted tycoon. No, surely Mr. North would have to exempt from his tirades against the corporations that dominate American politics and exploit the entire world certain capitalist leaders who stood out as genuine pillars of their community. Why, Mr. Green had gone to great lengths to make his workers as comfortable as possible. He invested in their training and education, he included them as part of his “larger vision”. But surely Mr. North, who understood Marxism very well, would point out the absence of democratic control of the workplace, or the usual separation of the worker from the instrument of production that is the requisite of capitalist production. After all, his party published in statement after statement that the aim of socialism was to create a democratic economy. Yet none of the reports on Grand River suggested anything about “democracy” or “worker ownership” – Mr. Green may have been a nice man who saw the value in keeping his work horses happy, but he was also a businessman. So surely, should Mr. Green and Mr. North ever meet one another, they would disagree on a great many things.

Unless, of course, they were the same man.

Could it be a case of multipule personality disorder? Not exactly. You see, David Green, alias David North, is a fraud. He is the biggest fraud to hit the socialist movement since James Robertson of the Sparticist Leauge or “Chairman” Bob Avakian of the Revolutionary Communist Party. He owns a multi-million dollar corporation, and the upper echelons of his political cult and members of their family occupy key executive positions.

The rank and file members of the party are completely unaware of the existence of North/Green’s corporate empire, which includes Grand River Printing, Merhing Books, and who knows what else. They assume that the party sustains itself through the donations that it begs for on its website and at its conferences, as well as the regular contributions that members are expected to “pledge” every month. I was exempt from this particular requirement only after I reminded one of its leaders of the considerable amounts of money I had invested in my own local branch. How nice of them. I can only imagine the giddy internal glee that North/Green must have felt every time some naive sucker wrote the SEP a check for a few thousand dollars. To North/Green, and the other party leaders, such donations were in fact chump change.

I can also only begin to imagine the difficult decisions that had to be made on a daily basis, such as, “how little can we put into this whole socialist thing to keep it viable while we live in the lap of luxury?”, and, “should I use a 50 dollar bill or a 100 dollar bill to do this next line of cocaine?” All kidding aside, anyone who is serious about building a revolutionary movement, and who also happened to own a multi-million dollar company, would invest the maximum amount of profits into the former.

What I mean to say is, I could accept the fact that North/Green exploits the labor-power of his workers if the surplus value created by their unpaid labor was being used to build a movement that would one day end all exploitation. The ends, as I generally believe, justify the means if the ends themselves are justified. But this is obviously not taking place. The SEP has full branches in three cities – LA, NY, and Detroit. With the profit margins we can assume a 25 million a year company is capable of, there should be a fully-staffed branch in every major city in the United States. There should be an SEP radio station, a public access program on television, etc., etc., etc. Those profits, in sum, should be used to promote the movement, to expose not tens of thousands but millions of people to socialism.

What could possibly account for a failure to do these things? There is only one inescapable conclusion – that North/Green and his cronies enjoy the good life more than they do the revolutionary life. And they enjoy that life at the expense of the wage-laborers they employ. To dance around these uncomfortable realities they invent all sorts of paternalistic schemes where they provide top quality education and training for their workers – while, of course, “keeping wages competitive”. To read the website of Grand River Publishing & Imaging is to be sickened. Every line is infused with phony corporate enthusiasm and politeness, in order to impress the equally phony corporate clients looking to get their ads published and printed. Contrast that to what you normally read on the WSWS. How can these people sleep at night? They might respond like the fictional Renier Wolfcastle: “On top of piles of money with lots of beautiful ladies”.

It seems that every other week brings some new revelation about this political cult that I could have only wished I had known earlier. I tell you these things so that you can avoid my mistakes.

David North bio

Fucking hell. I was never under the illusion that the SEP(s) consisted of proletarians, as an organization numbering less than a thousand people globally could hardly be able to sustain a daily updated website like the WSWS if its members lived on an ordinary worker’s wage. Also, actual workers hardly ever walk up to people who have given decades of their lives to the socialist movement calling them “middle class radicals”.

But this?

Their sectarian ultra leftism, their sickening arrogance and first world chauvinism suddenly make perfect sense. Not in the manner implied by the author of the above articles, namely, that North/Green whatever his name is doesn’t really give a flying fuck about the socialist movement – which might very well be true – but in that this pitiful excuse for socialist politics held by the SEP is exactly the kind you would expect from a… CEO’s revolutionary consciousness.



Follow up by korakious
April 24, 2007, 10:58 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s a short video of the riots that took place in Moscow after Tsar Yeltsin decided to back his illegal order to dissolve parliament (after its rejection of shock therapy) with tanks.



So long, fucker. by korakious
April 24, 2007, 7:39 am
Filed under: Russia

You know, I was going to make a very long post about how much of piece of shite Yeltsin was.

But I won’t. I don’t need to. No matter how much bourgeois journos weave him peans as a “liberator”, his legacy – and popularity – in Russia speak for themselves.



Good news from Venezuela. by korakious
April 22, 2007, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Chavez, Venezuela

While elections to a bourgeois parliament that isn’t even sovereign will be the most exciting political event in Scotland, at least in the near future, on the other side of the water things are moving on at an ever accelerating pace.

It appears that the establishment of a united socialist party in Venezuela to lead the struggle against both state bureaucracy and capital interests is now under way.

Green Left weekly has an excellent article about this by Federico Fuentes. He reports:

Chavez’s call has opened up a big debate on what the nature and program of such a party should be. For now, apart from Chavez’s party, the Movement for a Fifth Republic (MVR), the main Chavista parties have decided not to dissolve into the new party. However, large fractures have begun to occur as both leaders and rank-and-file members of these parties — Homeland For All (PPT), Podemos and the Venezuelan Communist Party — are leaving en masse. Most of the parties outside of the official Chavista electoral alliance but committed to the revolution have decided to integrate themselves into the new party, with a few waiting on the sidelines to see how things unfold first.

The party will be established along democratic lines, from the bottom up. For several weeks from April 29, 6000 booths will be set up all over the country for people to sign up to the new party. Next, the new joiners will be divided up into basic cells of 200 people based on territorial divisions, universities and factories. Out of each, a spokesperson will be elected to participate in the founding congress. No quotas have been set aside for party officials, nor will anyone automatically secure a place in the congress. Even Chavez will have to be elected by his local cell if he is to participate in the conference.

The founding conference will run for approximately three months. As the congress deliberates, spokespeople will return to their local cell, back to the congress, then back to the community and so on. On December 2, a referendum of all members will decide whether or not to approve the founding program of the new party. To ensure transparency and democracy, the national electoral commission will run the whole process.

Of course, not all forces of the left have been as supportive of the project as they should. As always, the pitiful party bureaucrats and hacks will not willingly support a truly radical party that will challenge their wee leadership positions. Honest socialists in Venezuela should leave their pathetic sects if their all wise leaders choose not to join the new vanguard -over some irreconcilable ideological dispute over the length of Engels’ beard- and leave those rotten bureaucrats to wither away on their own.

While we also have our fair share of ludicrous Trotskopuritan clowns bashing the Bolivarian process in Venezuela over here, they are not a tenth as dangerous as those more-revolutionary-than thou petty gurus that may compromise the unity project in Venezuela. Given the ever increasing lengths that American imperialism will be willing to go to in order to stop a socialist transition in Venezuela as this becomes ever more likely, the crucial need for an indivisible, united political organization of the working class that has both the power and the will to fight for socialism cannot be stressed strongly enough. If the project is successful, we will witness the first ever establishment of a truly mass working class party that is explicitly socialist, rather than social democratic or trade unionist.

Of course, the puritan clowns whose only idea of political activity is reading books and writing huge articles that nobody ever reads apart from others of their ilk – this is what being a proletarian consists in according to them; if you are a political activist, you are probably a middle class radical – will immediately jump and cry that if Chavez had any intention of moving towards socialism, he would have already nationalized the economy etc. The toy town voluntarism of such arguments is stupefyingly, mindblowingly, most incredibly moronic. Those great “Marxist” new Lenin wannabes seem to forget the key tenet of materialism, the primacy of matter over ideas. They ignore that merely by leading the government, Chavez and all honest socialists in Venezuela do not have complete control over the whole of the bourgeois state apparatus. It should also be remembered that not all parties forming the government coalition are socialist.

Chavez’s actions should be evaluated in the constraining framework within which they take place. Under this light, his record is spotless. Not only has Chavez armed the population – unlike the only comparable politician in the history of Latin America, Allende – and established radical democratic recall mechanisms, but also, unlike the great gurus, he has realised that socialism cannot be established via a series of decrees by benevolent leaders, it has to be built by the masses. He has been consistent in his calls to the Venezuelan people to actively defend their gains and move the revolution forward. In his latest speech he also said that those members of the government coalition that are against the formation of the united socialist party should fuck off to the opposition. So much for compromise.

Remember folks. A short bald guy once said that he who expects a pure revolution will never live to see it.



Election fraud in Scotland? No, it can’t be! by korakious
April 22, 2007, 1:48 pm
Filed under: independence, UK politics

The following is from Scotland on Sunday. It appears that the British bourgeoisie has taken some lessons from its American overlords.

THE Holyrood election has been left wide open to fraud on a potentially massive scale after ministers scrapped checks designed to prevent abuse of postal votes.

With just 11 days to go, a Scotland on Sunday investigation has revealed concern at the highest level that key seats could be won by fraudulent postal votes, and that there are already widespread claims of vote-buying by corrupt party activists.

Despite an unprecedented 433,000 postal vote applications, our inquiry has established that:

• Computer checks on ballot signatures will be used in England, but not north of the Border;

• Date of birth checks on the same papers will happen south of the Border, but not in Scotland;

• The Electoral Reform Society in Scotland is “hugely concerned” about the scope for fraud;

• Allegations are circulating that votes are already being bought for as little as £20;

• Police have taken the unprecedented step of issuing every officer with a booklet on how to spot voting crimes.

The claims follow several scandals in England following the decision in 2003 to allow everyone to vote by post. In the 2004 local elections in Birmingham, party activists were accused of taking bundles of votes to ballot stations in black bags. A year later, allegations spread to the London borough of Tower Hamlets where nearly one in seven postal votes was estimated to be fraudulent.

The allegations centre on fraudsters stealing or buying other people’s postal ballot papers and signing them themselves.

As a result of this obvious weakness in the system, England’s council elections on May 3 will use for the first time equipment called postal vote identifiers which compare a voter’s signature on the application form with the signature on the ballot. A further check on the date of birth will also be introduced south of the Border.

But the Scotland Office, which monitors the Holyrood elections, decided last November not to bring it in either measure because electronic counting of votes will also be used for the first time and it was feared so many innovations might overwhelm the system.

Billy Somerville, the president of the Scottish Assessors’ Association – which administers the voting roll – admitted: “The reason it hasn’t been built in is the complexity of the electronic counting for this year. Everyone wants to focus on that, without the added complication of comparing signatures.”

Amy Rodger, director of the Electoral Reform Society in Scotland, last night warned: “We are hugely concerned about it and we do want to see these measures brought in. With the extension of postal voting we were always keen that additional measures to prevent fraud were brought in.”

Scotland on Sunday has spoken to members of the Asian community in Glasgow who claim that fraud there is rife.

Muhammad Shoaib, who left the Labour party to become an independent candidate last year, claimed there was “a deliberate campaign” to abuse the postal vote system.

He said: “Party workers put pressure on people to sign up for a postal vote. They then have a list of addresses which they know are registered for postal votes. They know when the forms arrive and go back saying that ‘we can assist you filling in the form’. There’s a lot of pressure put on people; they effectively force people to fill in the form and to vote for them.”

Another man, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed that in the last election he had been visited by three party activists. “One of them gave me a postal ballot paper and said ‘just tick here’,” he said.

The man said that the practice of literally buying votes was also on-going: “The cost would depend on how much the person knows how the system works. A recent immigrant from Poland might demand £20, an Indian or Pakistani £50, and a non-Asian who knows it’s not allowed would ask for hundreds of pounds.”

One independent candidate in Govan, Asif Nasir, claimed: “Party workers are taking advantage. There are big concerns in the Muslim community, many of whom have never voted in this [new] way.”

Both Labour and the SNP insisted last night that there was no evidence of any fraud by any of their activists. Both the parties are following a new code of conduct, which now bars party activists from handling postal ballots.

Of claims that SNP activists were handling ballot papers, Peter Murrell, the chief executive of the SNP, said: “It is fanciful. I can’t accept that it could happen. None of the parties have heard of anything wrong going on.”

A spokesman for Labour said: “We have clear guidance sent to all candidates and agents and follow, to the letter, the guidance given by the electoral commission regarding handling posting votes. Any breaches would not be tolerated.”

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said: “What we have done is to issue police with guidance in order to aid their officers in identifying and tackling incidents of alleged malpractice. So far, we have not heard of any wrongdoing or attempted offences anywhere in Scotland.”

Police officers have been issued with a “pocket book” so they can spot voting fraud. The guide includes specific references to “false application to vote by post or proxy”.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the Electoral Commission said the guide books were intended to give “beat bobbies” assistance if and when they uncovered evidence of malpractice.

Note that the Scotland Office, which decided to scrap said checks, is a Whitehall, central UK government body, rather than a devolved one under the Scottish Executive.

Given their bleeding support, it appears that Labour hacks are trying to exploit every glitch in the system possible to maintain control over Scotland. This is yet further evidence of abuse of power on the part of the British state and demonstrates well the democratic deficit that Scotland is experiencing by being part of the UK.

The sooner this filthy imperialist construct goes down, the better; for everyone living on these islands.