30 March 2022

Open Letter to John McDonnell - What Purpose Do You Serve When Hauling Up The White Flag Is Your Only Strategy?

 As Miners' Leader Mick McGahey Once Said, ‘They’ll Stop Chasing You When You Stop Running’

John McDonell in Surrender Mode with Andrew Marr – He Totally Accepted the fake ‘Anti-Semitism’ Narrative Whose Purpose was to Destroy Corbyn

Dear John,

On 24th February, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, Stop the War Coalition issued a statement calling for an end to the war, whilst addressing the underlying causes of the war, namely NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe. NATO expansion had been contrary to repeated assurances that Bush, Baker, Genscher and others had given to Gorbachev at the time of German unification in 1991.

It was pretty mild stuff and yet 11 members of the Campaign Group who signed the statement, including yourself, were threatened by Starmer with loss of the Whip. Instead of standing up to him you all meekly complied. Not one of you had the courage to defy him.

On March 2 Starmer threatened you and Diane Abbot with the loss of the Whip if you spoke at a Stop the War rally. Again Starmer threatened you with loss of the Whip. Again you complied. Under Starmer’s Stalinist regime free speech has been abolished.

StWC described NATO as an offensive not a defensive alliance referring to ‘its record in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Libya over the last generation, not to mention the US-British attack on Iraq.’

These are incontestable facts but you didn’t even mount a protest at what had happened. What is the point of your gestures of opposition if at the end of the day you always back down?

The reaction of Starmer was predictable. He was elected as leader on the basis of 10 pledges, number 4 of which promised to ‘promote peace and human rights’.

No more illegal wars. Introduce a Prevention of Military Intervention Act and put human rights at the heart of foreign policy. Review all UK arms sales and make us a force for international peace and justice.

This was of course a lie. In a contest between Johnson and Starmer one would be hard pressed to decide who is the bigger liar. Yet you didn’t see fit to point these, simple facts, out.

NATO’s willingness to fight Russia down to the last Ukrainian was an ideal issue on which to make a stand but once again you bottled it. You could for example have pointed out that the United States and Britain have openly armed neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine. You could have asked how this squared with his commitment to rooting out anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. You did none of these things.

The obvious response to someone who makes a Dalek seem an empathetic human being was to tell Starmer to go take a swim in the River Thames. Preferably without a life jacket. But you did none of these things.

You and the Cowardly 10 chose to place a premium on your seats in parliament even though Starmer has made it clear that you are unlikely to be allowed to stand for Labour again.

To put your behaviour in context it is worth looking at what happened during previous witchhunts by the Right and how the Left responded.

In 1939 Sir Stafford Cripps and Aneurin Bevan refused to back down when they supported an anti-fascist united front with the Communist  Party. As a result they were expelled.

Bevan first and then Cripps were readmitted to the Labour Party.  Bevan went on to found the NHS and Cripps, who at one time rivalled Churchill in war-time popularity, became a member of the War Cabinet and in 1947, Chancellor of the Exchequer. As George Orwell wrote:

The outstanding thing about Sir Stafford Cripps, however, has always been his utter unwillingness to compromise his political principles.

I doubt if even your best friend could say that about you John. If there is one thing that marks you out it is your willingness to surrender. No principle is so precious that you won’t give it up.

Do you remember that toe curlingly embarrassing interview with Andrew Marr on Labour ‘anti-Semitism’? Not once did you challenge the assumption that Labour was overrun by anti-Semitism. You simply took as gospel what the supporters of Israeli Apartheid said.

Today we face not only NATO inspired carnage in the Ukraine but the possibility of nuclear conflagration if the US continues find pretexts for war in order to retain military and economic hegemony. That is why it has created the Aukus Pact as part of its pivot to Asia and undeclared war against China. Always of course in the name of ‘human rights’!

Graham Bash, who was recently expelled after 53 years membership, described you as the best Labour MP he had known, which makes me shudder as to the rest of them. You are 71. After 25 years in parliament you will have a good parliamentary pension.  You and Dianne Abbot will not suffer if you are deselected.  Who knows you could even win against Starmer Labour.

However bad Blair was Starmer is even worse. What is it that prevents you and what’s left of the Socialist Campaign Group mounting a political attack on Starmer, who is the Tory enemy from within, and his shadowy backers like Mandelson and Labour Friends of Israel?

Starmer himself is insignificant. A political nonentity. He has less charisma than the average mannequin. There is no lie that he is not willing to tell, nor any promise that he is not prepared to break.

He was a fervent Remainer but now he supports Brexit. He promised to ‘root out’ Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ and then he expelled record numbers of Jews! So much so that if you are a Jew in Labour then you are 5 times more likely to be expelled than non-Jews.

Luke Stanger, a vile anti-Roma racist was welcomed back to the Labour Party by David Evans, Starmer and local MP Peter Kyle

The only true thing Starmer has said since becoming leader is that he is a Zionist ‘without qualification’, i.e. a racist for whom Black Lives Matter was a ‘moment’. Starmer has readmitted to Labour racists like Trevor Philips, for whom Muslims are a nation within a nation and Luke Stanger for whom Roma and Gypsies are ‘a nasty blight on society.’ Through all of this you have kept silent.

If there is any one individual, bar Jon Lansman, who bears responsibility for the defeat of the Corbyn project, it is you. It wasn’t long ago when you were ‘tearing your hair out’ about anti-Semitism. You apologised for non-existent anti-Semitism. You told us that we should take the advice of the Zionist Board of Deputies on anti-Semitism even though the BOD has a proven record of attacking Palestinian supporters and anti-Zionists as ‘anti-Semitic’.

Even worse you and Lansman supported the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism which was designed precisely in order to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

It was as if you had loaned out your brain. I was the first Jewish person to be expelled from Labour as a consequence of the ‘anti-Semitism’ allegations. The first person to welcome my expulsion was Starmer. It was clear then that the concern of the Tory press and the Labour Right about ‘anti-Semitism’ was contrived. Yet you and the Campaign Group remained silent.

When Ken Livingstone was suspended instead of defending him you told him that the Jews were a forgiving people!  Perhaps, but Zionists aren’t that forgiving.

Did you ever ask why should those who demonised asylum seekers and Muslims should be so concerned about anti-Semitism? It was New Labour, with Alan Johnson as Home Secretary, who first created the ‘hostile environment’ policy that Theresa May ran with. If Jews were genuinely suffering from anti-Semitism, then the Tories and Labour Right would be the last people to complain.

Did you never ask yourself why The Times, whose editor Geoffrey Dawson forbade all criticism of Hitler’s anti-Semitism in the 1930s, was so concerned about ‘anti-Semitism’?  Or the Daily Mail which led with ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts’ and employed a neo-Nazi, Katie Hopkins as a columnist, was a cheerleader for Hitler in the 30s?

Lord Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail with friend

When Hitler ‘won’ the unfree elections in March 1933, the Mail wrote that if Hitler used his majority “prudently and peacefully, no one here will shed any tears for the disappearance of German democracy”. Yet we are supposed to believe that the Mail has now repented and it too is now concerned about Labour ‘anti-Semitism’.

What possessed you to praise the Board of Deputies, a body that has never organised a demonstration against genuine anti-Semitism? In October 1936, it advised Jews to stay away from the anti-fascist mobilisation against Moseley’s British Union of Fascists in the East End of London. The Jewish working class, which today does not exist, ignored the BOD. Did it not strike you as strange that their first demonstration against ‘anti-Semitism’ in March 2018 was against Corbyn?  A demonstration which those well known anti-racists Ian Paisley and Norman Tebbit attended?

It was obvious in 2016 that the British Establishment and the US and Israeli states had resolved that someone opposed to NATO and its wars could not be allowed to be the leader of the second major party in their closest European ally. Anti-Semitism was their chosen weapon.

Instead of standing up to the Right and its false anti-Semitism narrative you betrayed the Left and appeased the Right. When Margaret Hodge, whose call for a Whites only housing policy had been praised by the BNP, called Jeremy ‘a fucking anti-Semite’ it was you who opposed any disciplinary action.

This was the same Hodge that demanded that Starmer remove the Whip from Corbyn or she would resign. Is it any wonder, according to Owen Jones and Pogrund/ MacGuire that Corbyn refused to talk to you for many months as a result?

This is the same Hodge who covered up a child abuse scandal in Islington Council when she was leader and who libelled one of the victims. As Matthew Norman wrote With a past like hers, Margaret Hodge might show a bit more humility. Hodge’s reward was being made Children’s Minister by Blair, an act that defied irony yet nonetheless you sought to appease this despicable creature who is now the Jewish Labour Movement’s parliamentary representative.

A different path was always available to you. You could have supported Open Selection of MPs and got rid of Hodge and her detritus. The PLP could have been transformed. Instead you thought you could win over the Ian Austins and John Manns of this world!

It is no surprise therefore that as soon as Starmer barked you and the SCG jumped. The SCG has 35 MPs yet only 11 were even prepared to sign StWC’s statement. As Dylan wrote, you threw it all away.

Today it would be difficult to put a piece of paper between Starmer and Johnson. They are both liars and they are both ‘patriots’ who wrap themselves in the flag.  As Samuel Johnson observed, patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

If you had an ounce of courage or principle you would challenge Starmer for the Tory he is. You would appeal over his head to Labour’s membership and start a campaign against this reactionary representative of the Deep State with his persecution of Assange, his protection of Jimmy Saville and his support for extraordinary rendition.

Instead you retreat in sullen silence. Indeed you even attempted to flatter him. ‘Keir’s got this exactly right’ was your response to Starmer’s Covid strategy. But what was Starmer’s strategy? He promised to support Johnson ‘in the national interest’.

By delaying the first lockdown Johnson killed 20,000 people. By decanting the infected into care homes he killed at least 30,000. Yet you praised him.

If you are not going to fight Starmer inside the Labour Party, the principled thing to do would be for you and the SCG to accept that Labour has abandoned even the pretence of socialism. Your one service to socialism would be to help in the formation of a new, socialist party.

 The Labour Right is determined that there will never be a return to the Corbyn era and you seem determined to help them in that.

The only thing that puzzles me is why the Labour Representation Committee still keeps you on as their President. Perhaps its a case of misplaced nostalgia or just wishful thinking.


Tony Greenstein

27 March 2022

The death of war criminal Madeleine Albright should remind us of who it is that is now supporting ‘freedom’ in Ukraine

 Those who support sanctions against Russia should remember that in Iraq they killed ½ million children but left Saddam Hussein alone

Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State, on why the death of half a million Iraqi children from sanctions was 'a price worth paying'

One of the few instances of good news in the past few weeks has been the death of war criminal and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in the Clinton regime. To bourgeois feminists what is important is that Albright was the first woman to become Secretary of State.

Albright, a fierce anti-communist, became famous for an interview she did with CBS 60 minutes in 1996.

Veteran journalist, Lesley Stahl, interviewed Albright about sanctions on Iraq, which she said had killed half a million children, thousands of them from leukaemia, because they couldn’t import the necessary drugs under the sanctions regime. Stahl told Albright that this was more than the number of children who died at Hiroshima, the most notorious of all American massacres (along with Nagasaki).  Stahl asked whether the price of getting rid of Saddam Hussein was worth it. Without batting an eyelid Albright replied that it was a difficult choice but ‘yes, we think the price is worth it’. 

Albright trying to effect regime change in Venezuela - always in the cause of democracy of course!

Let us not forget this was not a Republican Secretary of State, no Mike Pompeo or Donald Rumsfeld. This was Clinton’s choice of Secretary of State.  You might think that such a notorious and famous interview would merit at least a mention in our ‘free press’ when she died. Obituaries are supposed to include peoples’ bad as well as good sides.

Fleeing African and Indian students face racism at Ukraine border

I know that we are not supposed to talk ill of the dead but what is more important is to tell the truth about them.  Could anyone imagine an obituary of Adolf Hitler that dwelt on the fact that he got rid of unemployment and build the autobahns without mentioning the Holocaust?

Augusto Pinochet was another of the USA's 'democrats'

Yet without exception the press omitted all mention of this interview and Albright’s role in the murder, the cruel calculated murder of half a million children because they happened to be born in a state that had invaded the West’s artificial protectorate in the Middle East, Kuwait. After all the chemical weapons that Saddam had used in Halabja, when he killed 5,000 Kurds, had first been employed in the war against Iran in the 1980s. Indeed it was Germany and other western countries that had supplied Saddam with chemical weapons.

Yet without blinking an eye obituaries in the New York Times, The Guardian, CNN, Washington Post and of course our very own voice of the British Establishment, the BBC, failed even to mention this interview. This was no accidental omission. The BBC, which as we all know, is the voice of the British Establishment, wrote:

On the world stage, Albright advocated aggressively for US and democratic interests. Perhaps aided by her all-too close familiarity with communism and fascism, she was a fierce proponent of human rights and opposition to authoritarianism on the international stage, even if it meant military intervention.

Savour that if you will. Albright was a ‘fierce proponent of human rights’.  What you might ask, about the human rights of Iraq’s half a million children?  Were they not human beings with rights? Richard Medhurst has fun with this hypocrisy in his podcast War Criminal Madeleine Albright Dies at Age 84 and I recommend you watch it.

Madeleine Albright on regime change in Cuba

What did the Guardian, NYT and all the other lie sheets emphasise?  How Albright only found out in later life that she was born Jewish but her parents converted to Catholicism to save her from the Holocaust.  Almost all the headlines concentrated on the fact that she was the first woman Secretary of State.

I sometimes think that if only the Nazis had practised positive discrimination then we might have forgiven them for their atrocities. This is the kind of coverage which passes for serious analysis in the bourgeois press. It wasn’t just one paper but all of them indulged in this feminist imperialism that elevates sex over substance.

America’s first female secretary of state has died of cancer, aged 84 shouted the Economist. CNN’s take was Madeleine Albright, first female US secretary of state, dies. The New York Times variation was Madeleine Albright, First Woman to Serve as Secretary of State, Dies at 84.  Not forgetting the ‘liberal’ Guardian’s creative approach to this war criminal.  Diplomat and scholar of international relations who served as the first female US secretary of state. Only Ahmed Twaj writing for Al Jazeera broke the melody with his piece Let’s remember Madeleine Albright for who she really was.

I often ask myself what possible reason would there ever be for an authoritarian state to impose censorship in the USA or Britain when the newspapers and broadcasters fall over themselves to sing from the same songsheet? Why censor them when they are so good at self-censorship?

This is the same censorship that is currently being employed, along with a hefty dose of racism, the handmaiden of imperialism, when it comes to Ukraine and the refugee crisis.  In unison the BBC, CBS, CNN etc. praise god that the refugees are civilised like us. They are White unlike those Syrians and Afghans, who come from countries that are always at war. 

They forget to tell us that those wars only happen because we start them.  Praise for the fact that Ukrainian refugees are White is the message that comes across as Poland boasts of not allowing Muslims to enter at the same time as they find room for hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians.

Border guards in Poland and Ukraine are sifting out Black and non-White Ukrainians. In the case of Ukrainian border guards they are also preventing trans women from emigrating on the grounds that they are men.

Yet what does the imperialist left, from the SWP to Anti-Capitalist Resistance, have to say about this? Their answer is that self-determination is the most important issue in Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. Russia must be condemned. NATO is irrelevant. The reasons for the invasion is irrelevant. This is the poverty of much of Britain’s far-left.  Even the formation of armed neo-Nazi militias as part of Ukraine’s military is a matter for the Ukrainians alone.

It takes dissident Tory contrarians like Peter Hitchens (ex-SWP!) to point out the obvious that it isn't alright that 'only' 20% of a Ukrainian army unit consists of fully fledged Nazis. That if NATO is arming fully fledged Nazis, forget the 'neo' then what does it say about Ukrainian resistance? What I wonder has happened to the brain dead SWP/ACR/AWL/RS21?

Thank God They Are White

This points to the utter degeneration of the British left. Lowkey is absolutely right when he says in his podcast with Electronic Intifada journalist Asa Winstanley that large sections of the British left now finds itself to the right of Henry Kissinger, who argued that Ukraine should be a bridge to not a bulwark against Russia. The podcast A History of NATO and Nazis, is well worth watching.

Although I have my criticised them in the past, the only group on the left that has resisted the patriotic hysteria and national chauvinism is the small Communist  Party of Great Britain for which I penned an article this week Key issue is not Russia (despite the appalling headline!).

Below is an excellent article by Michael Arria. See also Jonathan Cook’s If Putin is a war criminal, then Madeleine Albright was no less of one

Tony Greenstein

Albright with fellow war criminal Bill Clinton

Madeleine Albright’s legacy is a reminder that Clinton’s Iraq policy was murderous too

Madeleine Albright's honest appraisal of Iraq sanctions highlighted the brutality of U.S. foreign policy

By Michael Arria March 25, 2022 

Madeleine Albright has died at the age of 84. She was Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State from 1997-2001, the first woman to ever hold that position. From 1993-1997 she was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. For some the enduring legacy of Albright won’t involve anything she did during her historic political career. She will be most remembered for something she said.

Something very rare happened on May 12, 1996. That evening viewers of CBS’ 60 Minutes witnessed a thorough and critical segment about U.S. foreign policy that was based around actual reporting. The program, which would go on to win correspondent Lesley Stahl an Emmy and a duPont-Columbia journalism award, was called “Punishing Saddam” and it detailed the U.S. government’s Iraq sanctions policy.

Let’s begin by stepping back. When it comes to Iraq, some Americans might view the Clinton years as an uneventful gap between Bush 1’s Gulf War and Bush 2’s Iraq War. “Eight Years of Peace, Progress, and Prosperity” went the Democratic mantra. However, the Iraqi people certainly experienced no peace during that era. After less than six months in office (in full violation of international law of course) Clinton lobbed 23 cruise missiles into the country. Three hit residential areas, killing nine people and wounding 12. The acclaimed Iraqi painter Layla Al Attar was one of the victims. Her husband and their housekeeper were also killed. Her daughter was blinded. The bombings continued from there. Operation Desert Strike occurred later that year, then there was Operation Desert Fox in 1998. In 1998 Clinton also signed the Iraq Liberation Act, instituting an official U.S. policy of “regime change” and planting the seeds for Bush’s war crimes.

Then there were the sanctions, which a UN-commissioned study found responsible for the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. Those numbers have been challenged in subsequent years, but it’s important to remember a couple things. The “Oil-for-Food” program’s first coordinator Denis Halliday quit his position in protest of the policy in 1998, calling it “genocidal.” The respected diplomat had worked at the U.N. for 34 years.

“When I got to Iraq in 1998, the hospitals in Baghdad, and also of course in Basra and other cities, were full of children suffering from leukemia,” Halliday told The Progressive last year. “Those children, we reckon perhaps 200,000 children, died of leukemia. At the same time, Washington and London withheld some of the medicines and treatment components that leukemia requires, again, it seemed, in a genocidal manner, denying Iraqi children the right to remain alive.” Dennis Halliday, UN Coordinator ‘Oil for Food’ programme

Halliday’s successor, Hans von Sponeck, quit a couple years later for the same reasons.

“For how long should the civilian population, which is totally innocent on all this, be exposed to such punishment for something they have never done?” he asked.” Hans von Sponeck, UN Coordinator Food for Oil Programme

So 26 years ago, Albright was interviewed by 60 Minutes as the Clinton administration’s spokesperson on the matter. Here was the most infamous portion of the exchange:

Stahl: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.

The striking thing about this exchange is Albright’s honesty. You almost never see a story like this in the mainstream media, but when you do the protocol is pretty consistent. We’re currently seeing it play out with pro-Israel groups and Amnesty International’s apartheid report. You smear and deflect, but you never actually acknowledge the crimes.

As I mentioned, the legacy of Albright’s comments is the compelling part. The deaths of Iraqi children were consistently cited by Osama bin Laden in interviews and recruitment videos. “A million innocent children are dying at this time as we speak, killed in Iraq without any guilt,” he declared about a month after the 9/11 attacks. At the time The Guardian looked into the claim and concluded that he was overstating things. However, the paper also quoted Dr Peter Pellett, a professor of nutrition at UMass, who served on multiple UN food and agriculture missions to Iraq: “All recent food and nutrition surveys have reported essentially the same story: malnourished children… increased mortality, and a general breakdown in the whole fabric of society.” When it came to Iraqi kids “Bin Laden’s propaganda may be exaggerated and one-sided. But he does perhaps have a point” the article admitted.

Even if you happened to watch and remember that 60 Minutes episode from 1996, the mainstream press certainly wasn’t acknowledging the Albright quote within the context of 9/11 after the towers fell. It’s doubtful that many Americans were reminded of it. Here’s Rahul Mahajan in FAIR from November 2001:

Albright’s quote, calmly asserting that U.S. policy objectives were worth the sacrifice of half a million Arab children, has been much quoted in the Arabic press. It’s also been cited in the United States in alternative commentary on the September 11 attacks. But a Dow Jones search of mainstream news sources since September 11 turns up only one reference to the quote–in an op-ed in the Orange Country Register. This omission is striking, given the major role that Iraq sanctions play in the ideology of archenemy Osama bin Laden; his recruitment video features pictures of Iraqi babies wasting away from malnutrition and lack of medicine.

A couple years after Albright made those comments she was questioned by students at Ohio State during an event that was televised by CNN. Albright (by then Secretary of State) had come to the campus with Defense Secretary William Cohen national security adviser, Samuel Berger to make the case for attacking Iraq. Again, a concept with roots far deeper than 2003.

Albright fielded a question from Jon Strange, who was a 22-year-old substitute teacher at the time. Here’s that exchange:

Strange: What do you have to say about dictators in countries like Indonesia, who we sell weapons to yet they are slaughtering people in East Timor. What do you have to say about Israel, who is slaughtering Palestinians, who imposed martial law. What do you have to say about that? Those are our allies. Why do we sell weapons to these countries? Why do we support them? Why do we bomb Iraq when it commits similar problems?


Albright: There are various examples of things that are not right in this world and the United States is trying..I am really surprised that people feel it is necessary to defend the rights of Saddam Hussein, when we what ought to be thinking about is how to make sure that he does not use weapons of mass destruction.

Strange:  I’m not defending him in the least. What I am saying is that there needs to be consistent application of U.S. foreign policy. We cannot support people who are committing the same violations because they are political allies. That is not acceptable. We cannot violate U.N. resolutions when it is not convenient to us. You’re not answering my question Madam Albright.

“Madeleine was always a force for goodness, grace, and decency — and for freedom,” said President Biden in a statement after her death. Last week Biden sent Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia after the country urgently requested them. On the campaign trail Biden declared that he would end U.S. support for and make Saudi Arabia a pariah, but Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has changed the calculus. Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, with 17 million people food insecure. 2.2 million of them are children. Biden presumably views it as a very hard choice, but ultimately thinks the price is worth it.

For more examples of how the BBC is essentially a propaganda extension of NATO see Skawkbox’s excellent

Exclusive: BBC claims Ukrainian nazis are exaggerated – but shows video of Bowen with nazi unit