Lair Of A Squirrel Red


Fuck aye. by korakious
February 9, 2008, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Scottish politics, sectariana, Sheridan, SSP

The following is a letter to the Morning Star by comrade David Stevenson. It happens to be entirely correct.

SSP will outlast Sheridan’s sinking ship
(Friday 08 February 2008)

I LAUGHED when I read John Wight’s horror story (M Star February 3) of a “socialist taliban who seized control of the Scottish Socialist Party leadership and who were responsible for destroying it as a broad, inclusive and vibrant socialist alternative.”

However, laughable as it is, it shouldn’t go unchallenged. The reality is that the majority of SSP members ultimately saw Tommy Sheridan for what he was.

Consequently, his tabloid-launched campaign to regain the convenership of the SSP hit the buffers and, as a result, he and his fan club ran away to form the inaptly named Solidarity, an organisation composed of two political organisations that can’t stand each other – and which do almost zero campaigning for Solidarity – plus individuals who can’t escape the need for a “personality” to lead them.

As predicted, this organisation is coming apart at the seams – in the week that Tommy Sheridan was charged with perjury, Solidarity’s sole councillor left to join Labour.

This was accompanied by the “leaking” of an SWP discussion document that referred to its association with Solidarity in the past tense and a flurry of online discussion, including a contribution from John Wight, which as good as admitted that Solidarity was a dead duck.

Funnily enough, his letter doesn’t mention Solidarity even once. The sinking ship is in the process of being deserted.

There have been changes in the political landscape that have been detrimental to the SSP, but the objective conditions that contributed to the growth of the party have not changed much and there is still a real need for a left alternative at various political levels in Scotland.

The SSP, having maintained its integrity, retains the potential to fulfil this role and will be around long after Solidarity has sunk into the swamp which it has created for itself.

DAVID STEVENSON



Uhm, this is just wrong, ok? by korakious
September 29, 2007, 6:58 pm
Filed under: Scottish politics, sectariana

Dear Daily Record,

Please don’t do this ever again.

Kthanx

No comments.



SWP thuggery by korakious
July 10, 2007, 9:13 am
Filed under: sectariana, Trotskyists

The following is from Weekly Worker. Readers should know by now that my politics are quite at odds with the CPGB’s, however, I thought that the following was too serious not to be passed on by the Lair.

Condemn physical assaults on this year’s Marxism!

On July 7, the second full day of this year’s Marxism, SWP national organiser Martin Smith physically assaulted Communist Party comrade, Simon D. The attack occurred while our comrade was waiting for the session on ‘Organising for fighting unions’ to begin.
Simon was a member of the SWP for three years up to 2006, when he was suddenly expelled (by phone!) for “bringing the party into disrepute” – the catch-all charge loved by bureaucrats everywhere. In fact, all he was ‘guilty’ of was raising some criticisms and questions publicly and reporting on his blog – verbatum – the words of leading SWPers at a Respect meeting in Tower Hamlets. At the comrade’s appeal, led by Pat Stack and where Martin Smith gave ‘evidence’, he was not given any specific examples of his alleged crimes. He was subjected to a show trial with no pretence of allowing the comrade a fair hearing and then was simply turfed out.
In the following weeks, comrade Simon attended a Camden SWP public meeting on Respect. Incredibly, the next day Martin Smith left a message on the comrade’s phone telling him that he was henceforth “not allowed to go to any SWP events”. Smith also said he had written to the party organiser in comrade Simon’s area to let them know this. Comrade Simon texted back pointing out that it was advertised as an SWP public meeting and surely, as a member of the public, he was entitled to go. The response came back: “When you are expelled from the [SWP], that means you are not allowed to attend any SWP event, public meeting, Marxism, period.”
To make this crass exclusion official, Smith sent through a letter a few weeks later that put this in black and white: “an expelled member of the SWP cannot attend SWP public events (that includes Marxism/rallies/public meetings)” (Weekly Worker June 8 2006).
The fact is that comrade Simon has attended SWP meetings since – despite threats. Indeed, how many people at this year’s Marxism were once expelled from the SWP? Applied consistently, this would see the exclusion of hundreds of comrades on the left of the working class movement who have been in that organisation and fallen foul of its crass bureaucratic regime.
Clearly Smith is personally slighted because his foul role in the comrade’s crude show trial and expulsion was publicly exposed by the Weekly Worker. This is clearly what prompted Smith to aggressively approach comrade Simon, to demand his ticket to the whole event be returned and to physically attack him. He was wrestled to the floor, sustaining bruising, abrasions and back strain. A second SWPer then joined in and they started to go through our prone comrade’s pockets to take his Marxism ticket.
This is a foul and cowardly act. In their sect, SWP leaders are used to wielding unaccountable power, they treat the ‘party’ and the wider movement almost as their own property. Disgustingly, when Simon was expelled, Pat Stack told him “You’re now not going to have any life on the left – your activist days are over”. Who the hell do these people think they are? Since when have they been in charge of our common movement? Since when has it been their prerogative to decide who is a working class partisan and who is not?
However, this Stack comment and the attack on Simon reveal the foul, anti-Marxist mindset of people who treat their own members as little more than paper-selling and leaflet-distributing machines. And ordinary SWPers are the people who should really be disturbed by the physical assault at this year’s Marxism.
After all, the likes of the thug Smith cannot shut up comrade Simon or – even more frustratingly for him – the Weekly Worker itself. We will feature this story next week to make sure that Martin Smith is exposed for the anti-democratic goon that he is and that this information is widely disseminated in the movement in this country and internationally.
SWPers have no such outlet, of course. We can brush off these sorts of crude incidents; Martin Smith’s reputation will take the really bad bruising here. But comrades of the SWP – if you tolerate this despicable culture in your ranks, what about when you develop differences, what about when you want to criticise and hold your leaders to account?
That’s the real lesson from this new SWP assault on political opponents and it is one SWPers themselves should really take to heart.



Brothers my arse by korakious
June 23, 2007, 11:19 am
Filed under: Scottish politics, sectariana

Most of you will probably remember the rather amusing public meeting held by Solidarity just before the election, when Tommy Sheridan and George Galloway referred to each other as “brothers” during their oh-so-original thunderously booming speeches. To those of you who -by some hideously bizarre paradox of the universe- believe that Galloway is even vaguely associated with the concept of principle and honesty, I am extremely sorry to bring you the following revelation.

Yesterday’s Herald reported that RESPECT is planning to start organizing north of the border. Our ultra-ninja-squirrel-informants had already informed us that this was being planned, with Galloway proposing at RESPECT’s last National Council the setting up of a committee to investigate the possibility of establishing RESPECT presence in Scotland (or is it North Britain?). Back then, I did not want to comment on that filthy idea back then, as there were no other sources and the Squirrel Vanguard always protects its informants. Now however, it’s all out in the open and thus, I can rip into it.

From what I know, Galloway is not at this moment planning to set up yet another party of the left (although whether RESPECT can be considered “left” is rather debatable at this point), but rather, as the Herald puts it, to forge a new alliance, no doubt under his shining leadership. It is quite telling however that, again according to the Herald piece, “a source close to the Respect leader said yesterday the Respect-Solidarity pact not to compete with each other ‘expired with the election'”.

The questions surrounding this potential move are manifold. First, assuming for the sake of argument that it was even theoretically possible for the strange mixture that is Squalidarity to somehow align with RESPECT, it would be rather interesting to see how the two “brothers” will resolve the matter of who gets to be the Great-Wise-Dear-Sunoftheparty-Leader. In Squalidarity, the Sheridan-Byrne co-convenorship was such only in name, with the Tangerine Man always in the spotlight and Byrne being a grey blur. Neither Galloway nor Sheridan however strike me as the kind of person who’s willing to share, let alone forfeit, their Caesarian post. It seems to me that Galloway and the SWP have realised that Sheridan is going to get his arse handed to him by the Scots legal establishment and are preparing to abandon him. Some brotherhood right there!

What’s more striking however is the sheer dumbness of the whole project. Firstly, there’s the cadre problem. No one in Solidarity, apart from the SWP, would contemplate joining RESPECT Scotland. Everybody knows that CWI-Scotland hate the swips. In a discussion I had on the now no longer public Militant blog, one of the CWI Squalids was busting his arse to convince me that Solidarity is not RESPECT-Scotland. If Solidarity does become RESPECT-Scotland and CWI stay in it, they will face the contradiction of their Scottish group being part of an organization that’s in opposition to their pet project in England. The non-platform Squalids on the other hand are almost exclusively pro-independence Sheridan worshipers. It is rather hard to imagine them joining a unionist coalition that is mostly known for being led by George Galloway. While this might not seem much of a setback, considering that the main activist base of Solidarity in the Central Belt are the swips, it should be kept in mind that the distinctive characteristic of Solidarity is that the bulk of its cadre is concentrated in rural areas like the Highlands and Islands and the South of Scotland, where there is little, if any SWP presence.

Secondly, it appears that the SWP all-wise Central Committee has failed to realise that the RESPECT model has next to zero chance of working in Scotland. The Muslim community in Scotland is not nearly as politically important as it is south of the border and more importantly, there is already a figure in Glasgow around which war-resenting Muslims can rally. Bashir Ahmad was elected to Holyrood from the SNP regional list, becoming the first ever Asian MSP. Similarly, the other half of RESPECT’s politics, George Galloway, has little, if any, popularity in Scotland. On what basis a Scottish RESPECT could function remains a mistery to this humble Squirrel Lair.

Finally, there’s also the possibility that the initiative will create trouble within RESPECT itself, as I suppose that the more principled, less colonially minded organizations that participate in this strange blend of anti-war politics, socialism and political Islam, will not be quite happy about the move.

Bizarrely, this might even end up benefiting the far left in Scotland, by replacing Solidarity with something even more idiotic and even less popular.



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.



If Solidarity came to power…. by korakious
March 29, 2007, 8:20 pm
Filed under: sectariana, Trollings

The following was inspired by a similar post made by my friend Vassilis, on what would happen if Synaspismos won the Greek General Elections of 2004. If you are not familiar with the crisis in the Scottish Socialist Party it will make no sense to you.

A year of Solidarity in power

May 2007

It is May 3rd, the day of the election. Solidarity has registered below 1% in pretty much every poll conducted in the past few months. Nobody expects “Scotland’s socialist movement” to return any MSPs but…

By diabolical coincidence, 1.5 million Scots decide to vote Solidarity, for a laugh. Solidarity becomes the first party to form an absolute majority in Holyrood. Tommy Sheridan, the self proclaimed mild mannered Clark Kent of Scottish politics, dressed in a blue lycra suit (as above), delivers a powerful speech about an obscure Scottish football team taking on Real Madrid and winning. He then likens himself to Evo Morales and goes on to say something about the Scottish working class making the right choice. He spends the rest of the month going around Scotland delivering similar speeches, oblivious to the fact that microphones amplify the volume of one’s voice.

June

After a month of much merriment, Solidarity dissolves into three parties that form a coalition government: SWP, CWI-Scotland and STS (Sheridan’s Tangerine Sycophants). Sheridan announces the initiation of negotiations with London for the separation of Scotland from the UK. The Westminster Parliament unanimously agrees that Scotland should become independent in order to prevent the rest of the UK from becoming the laughingstock of the international community by being associated with Sheridan.

Despite initial hostility to Scottish independence, the SWP finally goes along with it, stating that it will table amendments to the draft constitution of the newly founded state.

On the domestic front, true to his promises, Sheridan brings in the ban of airguns. After such a radical social reform, he announces that Scotland has passed into the stage of socialism.

July,

The SWP presents its motions to parliament. Scotland is to be renamed North Britain and become an Islamic Republic in solidarity the Arab people targeted by American imperialism. In the same manner, Sharia law replaces Scots law. Angela McCormack states that this will send a strong message to the peoples of the world, making Scotland the mothership of the anti-imperialist movement.

Despite controversy, the motions are passed as the only group that opposed them within the Sheridan coalition, CWI-Scotland, was unable to attend the vote for reasons of senility.

Sheridan becomes Caliph.

August,

The opposition parties raise the point that the Islamification of Scotland tramples the human rights of the predominantly non-Muslim population of the country. The SWP replies that there is no country in the world named Scotland. Sheridan adds that such fabrications are reminiscent of the “dark days of Stalinism” and responds by banning all opposition parties that oppose Socialist Islam.

Stevie Arnott, now Ayatollah-Commissar of Cultural Affairs, orders portraits of Sheridan to be displayed at all major public sites. He justifies this action by reminding the North-British population that Sheridan is the most iconic socialist of the post war era and that the move only actualized what was already the case in the realm of ideas (he is a philosopher you see).

September,

Sheridan brings in mandatory prison sentences for knife-carrying. Cameras are installed in houses in order to enforce the new law. Scissors become the most popular utensil for cutting food.

Former SSP members are arrested and sent to labour camps in Orkney. Female members are burned at the stake for witchcraft. Sheridan announces that he has destroyed the scabs that tried to ruin him.

Witch-hunts are reintroduced in North Britain. In the spirit of Socialist Islam and North British tradition, accused women are given the right to appeal against the charges. They are then pushed off Edinburgh castle. If they survive the fall, their delving into the dark arts is proven and they are burned. If they do not, their name is cleared. An STS spokesman states that this is another great victory of Socialist Islam against political correctness gone mad.

October

The government nationalizes all brothels, strip club and sex-related industries. Attempts by the new state employees to organize in unions are ruthlessly suppressed for breaking that internal unity of the working class.

November

Sheridan stars in North British blockbuster “Orangeheart”. The film follows the exploits of the mighty knight Thomas Al-Sheradin as he fights against witches, Queen’s spies, Rupert Murdoch and Real Madrid.

He is awarded the Golden Raspberry for his outstanding performance.

December

Sheridan welcomes a North Korean delegation, sent by Kim Jong Il to share and exchange personality cult knowledge for the benefit of the two great nations. Some days later, Kim Jong Il is reported to have made a crackling speech with football similitudes. He also announces his intention to sue Hollywood for defamation over the film “Team America”.

January 2008

The SWP tables a motion at Parliament suggesting that socialism should cease to be the official description of the North British socio-political system as it may be alienating to non-socialist Muslims. Sheridan agrees.

CWI-Scotland members die of collective heart attack. No one notices.

February,

Sheridan delivers some more speeches.

March,

The nation is shocked as Sheridan is reported to have had a tanning accident. Disappointment sweeps the country as an STS spokesperson announces that the Great Leader was unharmed and more orange than ever!

April,

Without political opponents to play the hero against, Sheridan gets bored. He orders the North British army to invade England and take over Manchester. Cupids is finally merged with the state owned North British Sex Industry.

Westminster demands an explanation. Sheridan refuses to answer and announces his intention to sue the English government for libel, as he has never, ever been to Cupids.

May,

The English army retakes Manchester and within days crosses the border. It enters Edinburgh and overthrows the Sheridan-SWP regime.

This is the first time in history that the Scottish people are happy to see the English army marching into the country.



A Declaration of Trotskyism against Trotskyists by korakious
March 29, 2007, 12:59 am
Filed under: sectariana, Trollings
The Squirrel Vanguard:

  • Reaffirms its belief in the validity of the theory of Permanent Revolution
  • Reaffirms its commitment to the fundamental principle of the political independence of the working class and its vanguard.
  • Restates its opposition to bureaucracy, Stalinism and everything related.

However, the Vanguard denounces, in the strongest manner: