Skip to content

The unions link up with the SWP?

Another one of these groups campaigning against cuts in a bloated public sector. What\’s interesting to see though is that we\’ve now got the unions tying up with those apologists for rape from the Socialist Workers\’ Party.

And isn\’t it going to be fun having the SWP and the Communist Party of Britain in the same organisation? The Trots and the Stalinists?

And yes, of course Ritchie approves of this. Gives an insight into where he gets his vacuous ideas from eh?

Tony Benn President, Coalition of Resistance

Len McCluskey General secretary, Unite the Union
Mark Serwotka General secretary, PCS
Christine Blower General secretary, NUT
Michelle Stanistreet General secretary, NUJ
Manuel Cortez General secretary, TSSA
Billy Hayes General secretary, CWU
Bob Crow General secretary, RMT
Mick Whelan General secretary, Aslef
Kevin Courtney Deputy general secretary, NUT
Paul Mackney Former general secretary Natfhe (now UCU)
Vicky Baars NUS union development
Kevin Donnelly Trade Union Council JCC

Caroline Lucas MP
Katy Clark MP
Jeremy Corbyn MP
John McDonnell MP
Murad Qureshi London assembly member
Dawn Butler Former Labour minister for young citizens and youth engagement

Tariq Ali Author
John Pilger Journalist
Ken Loach Filmmaker
Owen Jones Writer
James Meadway Senior economist, New Economics Foundation

Dot Gibson National Pensioners Convention Keep our NHS Public
Merry Cross Disabled People Against the Cuts
John Hendy QC Co-chair, People’s Charter
John Hilary Director, War on Want
Sam Fairbairn National secretary, Coalition of Resistance
Imran Khan Solicitor, co-chair, People’s Charter
Rachael Newton People’s Charter
Romayne Phoenix Chair, Coalition of Resistance
Zita Holbourne Co-chair, Black activists rising against the cuts
Clare Solomon Vice-chair, Coalition of Resistance
Andrew Burgin Vice-chair, Coalition of Resistance
Colin Hampton Co-ordinator, National Unemployed Workers Centres Combine
Anita Wright Secretary, National Association of Women
Joginder Bains Association of Indian Women
Shang Gahonia Indian Workers Association
Carolyn Jones Director, Institute of Employment Rights

Lindsey German Convenor, Stop the War Coalition
Kate Hudson General secretary, CND
Bruce Kent Peace campaigner

Mark Steel Comedian
Lee Hall Playwright
Roger Lloyd Pack Actor
Josie Long Comedian
Iain Banks Author
Arthur Smith Comedian
Roy Bailey Folk singer
Francesca Martinez Comedian
Richard Wilson Actor

John Rees Counterfire editorial board
Natalie Bennett Leader of the Green Party England and Wales
Fred Leplat Socialist Resistance
Robert Griffiths General secretary, Communist Party of Britain
Bill Greenshields Chair, Communist Party of Britain
Richard Bagley Editor, Morning Star

39 thoughts on “The unions link up with the SWP?”

  1. I find it’s better to not know the political allegiances of actors, since I think Roger Lloyd-Pack and Richard Wilson are great at what they do, especially the former’s brilliant performance in Doctor Who.
    That’s quite a list for the Death Note though. (I am, of course, joking).

  2. “Iain Banks Author”

    How do you get so many good sci-fi authors who are total idiots? Banks, Stross, Macleod – maybe its a scottish thing.

  3. Now if only Stalin was still around to scrawl his initials along the bottom of that list with his customary blue pencil then that’s another load of oxygen wasters dealt with.

  4. Coalition of Resistance

    What a great name for a bunch of onanists.

    As for every single name on that list, they would protest anything to the right of Pol Pot. Its about as surprising and impact-full as seeing a list of teenagers against homework.

  5. Oh FFS! Now it doesnt like dashes within quotes. OK. French quotes. See if that fools it.


    Curious coincidence, but I ve been reading through the the Stross œuvre & his fiction has a marked libertarian bent. The Laundry series central character is scathing about bureaucracy. The one I m currently reading pits a paternalist State against free market anarchists with its central character incorporated as a company & contracting his law enforcement & defence requirement out to private sector providers.
    Often wonder if the public leftwingedness of a lot of authors isnt just self preservation. If you dont talk the talk you dont get the reviews & interviews, dont get publicity & dont sell books.

  6. “Zita Holbourne Co-chair, Black activists rising against the cuts”
    Presumably the chair is superfluous to requirements, then? Unless her co chair is sitting this one out.

  7. Anthony Masters,

    “I find it’s better to not know the political allegiances of actors”

    Rule of thumb: if they mostly work for the BBC or theatre, they’ll be lefties. A lot of them would be a lot poorer if all art was free market. Jason Statham’s political opinions are unknown.

  8. Bloke in Spain, Singularity Sky was one of his first. I think he was a libertarian and converted away.

  9. @ Richard Allan
    Maybe it depends which flavour of libertarianism you move away from. I moved away from the individualist version the day after I discovered it, because it obviously hasnt a snowballs chance in hell of being attainable. Some form of collective libertarianism seems more viable, which is why Id come down on the side of determining what benefit recipients can use their benefits for, on another thread. You want help from the collective? Then accept the collectives terms for providing it. Or find yourself another collective, with deep pockets.

  10. I would have thought that once you’re ideologically committed to excusing or denying the murder and immiseration of millions, then some wannabe commissar ‘taking according to his need’ from dim-witted groupies would seem utterly trivial.

  11. For Gods sake grow up! Both the democratic left and the free market freakazoid right are menaced by the Homeownerist ruling class that stays in power by putting -up house prices for their bribed silly majority constituency in the country and doing fuck all else. Homeownerism has taken over all the major UK parties. Time was when Enoch Powell called the British trade unions “innocent as new born lambs” while Margaret Thatcher attacked them for causing inflation (impossible said Powell) in the name of “her people”: homeowners (she also tried to fit them up with shares which they promptly sold). The unions did n’t care whether the employers were private or public sector as long as they paid good wages and provided minimally safe working-conditions. Right and Left should combine (both want an increase in general demand) against the Homeownerist ‘enemy within’ which makes sure Keynesian demand management just inflates property bubbles that trap the unemployed in depressed areas instead of increasing wages and job/social mobility.

  12. Where is a meteorite hit when you need one? Caroline Lucas and Mark Serwotka in one flash would raise the collective morale of this island but imagine the joy of an entire AGM collective removed by what the insurance trade would most aptly call an Act of God! I am overcome with euphoria at the thought.

  13. BIS, there are already conditions attached to benefits. All collective enterprises have conditions attached, which is why (as an individualist at the emotional level) I prefer to avoid wherever possible collective involvement, whether compulsory or nominally voluntary.

    The question in that thread, as with all such questions, is what conditions are reasonable, proportionate, useful, logical, etc. Which is one reason that Interested’s “crack cocaine” example was so wrong; it said, “if any condition is acceptable, all conditions are acceptable”.

    So, it’s like, “you must endeavor to seek work” may be seen as reasonable, proportionate, etc. Whereas “you must make yourself sexually available to Party leaders” generally wouldn’t be. Which tangents into employment contracts at the Bolshoi, and the like.

    Stigler@12 my own experience of theatre is that the more subsidised it gets, the more lefty it gets.

  14. Which ones are SWP, Tim? I can’t see any.

    You could say Lindsey German and John Rees, but they were both anathamatised (sp?) for being a slightly different kind of bonkers to the leadership at the time, so don’t count.

    You also forgot to mention that Tony Benn was nearly put on trial by the NUS National Exec for being a rape apologist (aka saying the wrong thing about Assange, causing the wombats to go mad).

  15. Also, I don’t think the Stalinists and the Trots really exist any more. They’ve all been basically New Left since the takeover of the Gramscians.

  16. Am I the only one who imagines DBC Reed sitting in his back bedroom,with every single square inch of floor, ceiling, wall and window space covered with banner headlines from the Mail about property stories, and estate agents’ particulars?

    Actually, I still don’t think they’ve caught the guy who killed Suzy Lamplugh.

  17. (Mind you, I agree with the loon about property prices and politics – just another version of Milton Friedman’s edict about the uses of other people’s money.)

  18. DBC is basically right. However, one criticism would be the question of why homeowners become homeownerists. Most homeowners are not property magnates prospering enormously. Some prosper. Others are just trying to get a roof they own over their heads.

    The problem is that once property inflation starts (as it did here in the early 1970s when the banks were allowed to provide mortgages), people get sucked in. They have to take out a mortgage to buy a home. Now, they are trapped in a usurous loan with a very long term to it. So, they live in terror of negative equity, because if that happens, they are stuck with a loan that is for more than the worth of the property. So, they become homeownerists.

    So, we have isolated the cause of the problem. Now, the hard part; how to stop the carousel without ruining everyone on it?

  19. Build more houses and allow interest rates to rise. It won’t ruin everyone, only those who have foolishly overextended themselves, and that’s tough.

    The problem is, human beings like to be told life is risk free, but reality will eventually intrude.

  20. Interested, you’re not taking the political dimension (fear of neg equity) into account. And *I* get accused of “not start from here” thinking…

    We’re stuck in a rut in which people are pushed into “foolishly overextending themselves”. It’s how to get everyone out of it with minimal collateral damage that we need to work out.

    Some years ago, when I was an engineer, I was stuck on a train platform in Hackney, trains cancelled willy-nilly, and got talking to this chap. He had an ordinary City job. He was buying a proportion (I think a third) of his very modest flat, in the hope of one day buying it all. To get on the “property ladder”. This is basically an absurd situation for us to have got into. It’s getting people like him off the carousel that we need to figure out how to do.

  21. Ian, I’m not saying jack interest rates up to 10% overnight, or only build a hundred new houses.

    Though I do take your point, political solutions are what have got us into this – indeed today’s low interest rates are political.

    There are no pain free answers.

  22. I recognised Roger Lloyd-Pack in our local once, and thought I knew the face of one of the women with him. Eventually it came to me – Kika Markham. It could have been her sister though as I discovered RL-P is married to her. Since Kika M was a trot with the Redgraves and others back in the day, it’s not too surprising that RL-P is of the same persuasion.

  23. Sorry Ian but I am really a lot more interested in what works than what would be nice in a perfect world. The a***oles on that list above will get a proportion of what they want because they work together. Hell, they & their friends have come a long way since they were passing round pamphlets in back rooms in the 60s. The UK may not be a Peoples Republic yet but in far to many ways it has all the trappings of one. They use the three threads. Political involvement, legitimate protest & behind it, the threat of extra-legal action for added pressure. Go look at the personal histories of half of the last government & a large proportion of what looks increasingly likely to be the next one. What they were doing in their teens & twenties.
    Meanwhile what do libertarians do? Sit round arguing about how many Austrian economists can dance on the head of a pin.
    You want to be an individualist, Ian, I ve a nice bit of land for you, miles from anywhere. You can sit up there, mill your own flour & fish in the stream. Till the taxman comes calling coz you can never be rid of those b*****ds.
    Everybody has to slot into a society to some extent, so theres no such thing as an individualist. You want a society worth living in, get together with like minded people & play that lot above at their own game. Use their tactics against them. Hell. They re mostly stupid f*****s. You should be able to do it much better than they can.

  24. German, Reese, Steele and Meadway are all ex-SWP. They split off years ago over something too tedious for the memory to catalogue, and I suspect their numbers are being swelled by socialists who have recently disassociated themselves from the party.

    I don’t know. I am not opposed to the state with the force of the regulars here but you do have to wonder if these exiles have ever sat down and thanked their lucky stars that their central committee had no powers beyond sending unpleasant emails. If by some miracle they had managed to spearhead a revolution it could have been far more difficult to safely depart.

  25. In today’s issue of “blog coincidences”, Charles Stross and John Birmingham have just finished presenting a panel together at a Perth sci-fi con.

  26. Bemused Bystander

    Lloyd-Pack signs his name to all this sort of shit these days. Is he that desperate for a gig?

  27. @Ian B
    Many thanks for the support( I shall always wear it!) No seriously the occasional kind word is much appreciated in the face of such bonehead ad hominem criticism .It is one thing being called an onanist, quite another to be called a monomaniac. Why, I can, and do, bore on about a whole range of subjects .
    How to get out of this homeownerist mess is of course ,as you say, the question. But it is not helped when people waste their time in reflex attacks on the Left as it existed in the 1960’s. I thought a huge economic crash which started in the American housing market and spread globally because the American banks and financial institutions were in too deep with dodgy home loans might have been the significant psychological moment. But not a bit of it. Everybody in the centre of British politics went back to laughing at the Guardian journalists incl. Polly Toynbee who are ironically well onto the property market’s case .As is the Financial Times. We are not going to get anywhere without a general recognition that there is a problem with the housing market that has massive economic implications. The UK political parties are in denial as is the mass of the population.

  28. Surreptitious Evil

    Why, I can, and do, bore on about a whole range of subjects.

    But, here, you’re an LVT monomaniac. And, wrong.

    But, like IanB, keep believing in your unjustified utopia. It prevents you actually having to think, I suppose.

    The UK political parties are in denial as is the mass of the population.

    The more I see of the internet, the more I worry that most of its denizens wouldn’t recognise reality if it slapped them around the face with a whole klippfish.

  29. Another of my highly unpopular areas of interest
    is Social Credit (see above).This too is right. I have discussed this on this blog particularly in respect of Ezra Pound at which point Tim W intervened to say I was reckless to intro this, given this gaff’s clientele .BTW Tim W is a land taxer ; though you would n’t notice.

  30. So,

    an identical list from Stop The War (minus a random Muslim group and the Gobshite George G and the SWP, which says a lot).

    I wouldn’t worry. These people have done their best/worst on the national stage.

    The only thing which came out of what ever they did was they all ended up hating each other (hence German, Rees, Solomon had to leave the mothership SWP and found another group to skim money off.

    So the same useless collection of arrogant farts will meet and pontificate – but no body is listening except maybe a few public sector workers hoping to protect their over-inflated pensions.

    Although since they are likely to be one of the 1,000 SWP left nothing will come of it, since they hate these loser more than you do.

    Its nothing more than a job creation scheme (for those at the top).

    Oh and why is the the black group leader has to have such an over-inflated Monica? Is it because fewer people are listening to this egoist than the others (if that is possible)?


  31. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this
    matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *