24 April 2023

The One Thing Diane Abbot Hasn’t Been Suspended For Is Anti-Semitism

Why did the Community Security Trust, which claims it is working towards the elimination of racism and anti-Semitism’ invite Suella Braverman to its 2023 Annual Dinner?

Cruella and the Refugee ‘Invasion’

There is no doubt that Diane Abbot’s letter to the Observer could have been better worded. Pigmentation or colour isn’t the cause of racism though in Britain, because of our colonial heritage, being Black and being victims of racism are synonymous. By racism I mean institutionalised and state racism not prejudice. But nothing in her letter was in any way racist or anti-Semitic.

It is those who are calling for Diane’s expulsion, such as the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism and the Jewish Chronicle who are the most virulent racists. They give unqualified support to the world’s only apartheid state, Israel.

It was only last week that the Jewish Chronicle Leader stated that There is no ‘context’ to the murder of the Dees’ referring to the killing of three British settlers in the West Bank. They alleged that the settlers were killed because they were Jewish rather than because they were settlers.

The context they denied was the murder of 95 Palestinians, including 17 children, by Israel in the first quarter of this year. To say nothing of the reign of terror by settlers against Palestinians which culminated in a pogrom at Huwara and a call to ‘wipe out’ the town by Israeli Finance and Settlement Minister Bezalel Smotrich. This is because to the Jewish Chronicle and the CAA Palestinian Lives Don’t Matter.

Even the Times of Israel carried the headline Settler extremists are sowing terror, Huwara riot was a ‘pogrom,’ top general says’.

Diane Abbot was wrong to say that Gypsy Roma or Travellers don’t experience state racism. They clearly do and the current Public Order Act, which gives Police further powers to harass Gypsy Roma is proof of that. It is also clear that in the past the Irish have been victims of British state racism, as have Jews in the more distant past.

Starmer and CST gaolbird Gerald Ronson

However there is nothing anti-Semitic about saying that today Jews are a privileged section of White British society and that they are not victims of racism, as opposed to prejudice. The real reason for Diane Abbot’s suspension lies in the determination of Starmer to remove the last vestiges of the Labour Left in Parliament whilst emphasising his support for the ‘anti-Semitism’ weapon which the British state wields against supporters of the Palestinians.

British Movement activists 

If Starmer were genuinely concerned about racism then Neil Coyle, a right-wing Labour MP who was suspended from Parliament for 5 days for abusing a British Chinese journalist, Henry Dyer and also abusing a parliamentary assistant to another MP, would not have had the whip restored. Nor would Trevor Philips, the racist broadcaster who believes Muslims are a nation within a nation, been reinstated to the Labour Party. Diane Abbot on the other hand has been the subject of more racist abuse than any other MP.

The organisation which is responsible for combating ‘Anti-Semitism’ is the Community Security Trust, which is  a project of Israel’s Mossad (MI6 ).

Cruella's Concern About 'Antisemitism' Stands in Contrast to Her Racist Attacks on Refugees and Indifference To the Windrush Scandal

Asa Winstanley of Electronic Intifada revealed the CST had denounced Jewish critics of Israel in secret reports to the government in 2011.’ Winstanley described how ‘evidence suggested that the CST works behind the scenes with an assertively pro-Israel agenda not stated in its charitable remit.’ The article also raised ‘serious questions over the CST’s links to the government of Israel and, allegedly, to its intelligence services.’ When asked to comment on these allegations the CST preferred to remain silent.

Gerald Ronson (left), Chair of the CST, was gaoled for one year for fraud in the Guinness trial - second left is Mark Gardner, the CST's CEO

In particular, in a report sent to the Home Office, the CST denounced several “anti-Zionist British Jewish individuals and groups” as “extreme groups,” claiming they were “unrepresentative of the vast majority of British Jews.”

The report was primarily an attempt to help the government deport Palestinian political activist Raed Salah expressed concern that certain Jews had “voiced support for Salah,” recommending that the “extent of their credibility to speak on these issues should be considered.”

David Hearst of the Guardian wrote about how

just 17 minutes after receiving a report on the activist, prepared by Michael Whine of the Community Security Trust… Faye Johnson, private secretary to the home secretary, emailed about a parliamentary event Salah was due to attend.

"Is there anything that we can do to prevent him from attending (eg could we exclude him on the grounds of unacceptable behaviour?)"

Whine's report said Salah's record of provocative statements carried a risk that his presence in the UK could have "a radicalising impact" on his audiences.

Raed Salah - Palestinian Israeli activist attacked and imprisoned by Israel on false charges of racism - it is only Israeli Arabs who are ever charged with racism

UK Border Agency officials were dubious about the CST’s evidence and they were proved right. Andy Smith of the Special Cases Directorate said the action would not only prolong Salah's stay in the UK but raise his profile. In the end the warning of Smith and others proved correct and Saleh ended up receiving compensation for false imprisonment  and overturning his deportation order. The CST ‘evidence’ consisted of doctored quotes and fabrications.

The crux of the false evidence that the CST supplied against Salah was that he wrote an anti-Semitic poem containing the line: “You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques”. As Asa Winstanley wrote

This “poem” was fabricated in the context of a long-standing Israeli campaign of attacks, detentions and disinformation against Salah. This particular forgery looks to have been originally carried out by an editorial writer at the Jerusalem Post. But this highly problematic, hostile 2009 article was cited by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) as the primary factual basis for both the exclusion and deportation orders

Unsurprisingly Saleh won his appeal. The real question is why an organisation whose remit is opposing anti-Semitism in Britain should feel the need to echo Israel’s racist attacks on a Palestinian Israeli citizen. The reason is the close links between the CST and Mossad, which has trained the Community Security Trust’s staff and volunteers.

In its attacks on Raed Salah, who should the CST quote in paragraph 28-30 of its submission to the First Tier Immigration Tribunal?  A racist Israeli professor who makes the British National Party seem mild by comparison.

‘When the Muslim population gets to a critical mass you have problems. That is a general rule, so if it applies everywhere it applies in Australia." and ‘Australia should cap Muslim immigration or risk being swamped by Indonesians.’

‘Muslim immigrants had a reputation for manipulating the values of Western countries, taking advantage of their hospitality and tolerance.’ ‘"French people say they are strangers in their own country. This is a point of no return.’

The First Tier Tribunal criticised the CST for having

'failed to distinguish between anti-Semitism and criticism of the actions of the Israeli State and therefore gives an unbalanced perspective… '

The CST declares that its mission is to

Promote good relations between British Jews and the rest of British society by working towards the elimination of racism, and antisemitism in particular.

However its decision to invite Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who takes pride in her racist vitriol against migrants and refugees, describing them as an ‘invasion’, as the guest speaker at its 2023 Annual Dinner, gives the lie to its claim to have anything to do with opposing racism. When it talks of 'antisemitism' what it really means is opposition to Zionism and Apartheid.

The CST claims that it is a continuation of the Jewish 43 and 62 Groups which physically confronted and fought a resurgent neo-Nazi and fascist movement after the war and in the 1960s. However the evidence suggests otherwise.

Paul Besser, who regularly demonstrates with former Zionist Federation Vice-Chair Jonathan Hoffman

The CST has never physically opposed fascist or neo-Nazi groups in Britain. In June 2010 it stood by whilst a Zionist demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy was joined by members of the English Defence League. It has never raised any objection to the participation in Zionist demonstrations of Zionist activists  like Jonathan Hoffman, who have worked openly with members of fascist/neo-Nazi groups like Paul Besser of Britain First.

Arrest of Morris Beckman of 43 Group

The CST is a Zionist group which works with the Police whereas the 43 and 62 groups were regularly attacked by the police. In his pamphlet on the 62 Group Steve Silver described how

It was not the two organised attempts by the police to break the spirit of the 62 Group in 1963 and again in 1969 that caused the Group’s decline. In 1963 the police used brutal violence and fit-ups; in 1969 it was a directive issued by a Deputy Commissioner to all Borough Commanders instructing them to arrest on sight a list of around 15 people. (The Fighting Sixties, p.15)

The CST doesn’t simply work hand in glove with the Board of Deputies, it came out of them and other Jewish Establishment groups. Dave Rich, the CST’s Head of Policy explained that

The Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, JACOB and others all did their bit until the disparate strands of Jewish communal defence eventually evolved into today’s CST.

Two nazi teenagers salute National Socialist Movement leaders, Colin Jordan and John Tyndall, in Trafalgar Square July 1962.

In the 1930s the Board refused to even publicly oppose fascism, stating that ‘We cannot declare ourselves against Fascism, per se’. Daniel Sonabend described in his book We Fight Fascists [pp. 7-8] how ‘there was deep resentment among the East End Jewish community towards the Board’ because of its inaction when it came to fighting the fascists.

Contrast this with its eagerness to defend the Israeli state. The height of its hypocrisy was when the BOD organised its first demonstration against ‘anti-Semitism’ in March 2018, against Jeremy Corbyn. When it came to overtly fascist and anti-Semitic groups the Board has always preferred to do nothing.

Morris Beckman, the founder of the 43 Group, described how ‘Outraged (Jewish) ex-servicemen engaged in furious dialogue’ with the BOD’s Jewish Defence Committee about the renewed activity of Sir Oswald Moseley’s fascists after the war only to be told that ‘it was no time to make waves’. [The 43 Group, pp.15-16, 1993, Centerprise Publications].

Silver described how

The activities of the 62 Group resurrected the old defence debate about the best way to fight antisemitism, with the Board of Deputies’ Jewish Defence Committee publicly frowning on the gung-ho activities of the Jewish anti-fascists. (p.12)

Braverman Explaining That Past Massacres of Refugees in Rwanda Won’t Deter Her From Sending More to the Country

Far from being an anti-racist body the CST is funded by a Tory government whose racist vitriol against refugees as a means of dividing its opponents is second to none. Braverman took the opportunity of the CST’s annual dinner to announce a ‘task force to tackle antisemitism’.

Home Office funding for the CST will also rise by £1m to £15m to provide guards for Jewish synagogues and schools. Given the lack of any threat to either, compared to the situation in the 1950s and 60s, one can only conclude that this money is intended to create fear of a threat that isn’t actually there.

Contrast this with the non-stop attacks on mosques and other Islamic groups in Britain. According to Al Jazeera,

About 42 percent of surveyed mosques or Islamic bodies in the UK have come under attack in the last three years, a new report says.’  So why you might ask is there such concern over a non-existent threat to synagogues compared to the very real threat to mosques which don’t receive government funding for  the purposes of security.

Braverman told the CST’s Annual Dinner that

Antisemitism is one of the great evils in the world. It is vital that all people, but especially political leaders, challenge antisemitism whenever and wherever they encounter it.’

Why should a Home Secretary who described the migration of refugees across the Channel as an ‘invasion’ and who boasts that her ‘dream’ is to deport refugees to Rwanda, be so concerned about anti-Semitism? The answer is that she’s not concerned about genuine anti-Semitism but is about opposition to Zionism and the Israeli state which is characterised as anti-Semitism.

Hence why Braverman pledged to

“reaffirm the government’s support for the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, and encourage its further adoption.

 Since the IHRA is used solely to target support for the Palestinians and opposition to Israeli Apartheid, whilst being useless in the fight against neo-Nazism, we can see how and why Braverman are so keen to conflate anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

For Cruella and the CST Fighting 'Antisemitism' and Supporting Racism Against Asylum Seekers Go Hand in Hand

This scaremongering about anti-Semitism and creating an atmosphere of fear amongst British Jews is merely another demonstration of the cynical hypocrisy of the present government.  Not forgetting of course that Starmer was also a guest at the CST dinner. In total the CST has received £122 million from the Home Office since 2015. 

When was the last time you heard Braverman talking about Islamaphobia? She and her ilk in the Conservative Party deny that such a thing even exists yet she had no compunction in criticising the Police for treating anti-Semitism as ‘racism lite’. Apparently

Abusive behaviour towards Jews tended to be “accepted” and “normalised”, she said. By contrast, such bullying would have “triggered a very firm response from law enforcement” if it was directed at other minorities.

Police must understand that Jews do count, says Braverman

Cruella finds the idea of sending refugees to a country whose regime tortures and murders refugees hilarious

On 8 December 2021 the Islamic Human Rights Commission wrote a letter to the Charity Commission calling for an investigation into the Community Security Trust because

it is clear that the CST’s raison d’etre is actually to protect the state of Israel from criticism and censure.

This is evidenced from the fact that the organisation frequently attacks and challenges those who organise or take part in campaigning for the rights of the Palestinians, invariably using the tactics of character assassination, false accusations, Islamophobia and racism.

Gerald Ronson, Chair of the CST addresses the dinner guests - in May 1990 he was gaoled for a year for theft, conspiracy and false accounting

Tony Lerman, the founder of the Institute of Jewish Policy Research, who was witchhunted out of the job of Director, documented in his article Antisemitism Redefined [Haymarket Book, Jewish Voice for Peace, 2017], how in the 1990’s the Israeli state moved to take over the monitoring of statistics on anti-Semitism:

I had close personal experience of the role the Mossad played in establishing Israeli hegemony over the monitoring and combating of antisemitism. While I was director of the Institute of Jewish Affairs (IJA) and its successor, the 'Institute for Jewish Policy Research’ I founded and was principal editor of the annual Antisemitism World Report, the first objective, independent , country-by-country survey of anti semitism worldwide. The London Mossad representative dealing with antisemitism made it clear to me that they were very unhappy about our independent operation and then tried to pressure us into either ceasing publication or merging our report with one that the then new Project for the Study of Antisemitism at Tel Aviv University, headed by Professor Dina Porat and part-financed by the Mossad, was beginning to produce. [On Anti-Semitism, p.12].

What you might ask is Mossad, Israel’s equivalent of MI6 or the CIA, doing being in charge of monitoring statistics about anti-Semitism? What relationship does an intelligence service have to questions of racism unless it is engaged in Black Ops?

Colin Jordan at the BNP rally in May 1960 in Trafalgar Square

The only logical explanation for why Mossad, wanted to take over something that clearly has nothing to do with them is because the inexorable ‘rise of anti-Semitism’ has become a Zionist theme whose counterpart is that only the ‘Jewish State’ is safe for Jews. 

‘Anti-Semitism’ has become the Zionists’ principal weapon in the fight against anti-Zionism, BDS and support for the Palestinians. Indeed the logic of the current ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign is that Jews should do what the anti-Semites want – which is to leave the countries they live in.

It is this that explains the appearance from nowhere of groups like the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. The CAA arose in the middle of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s genocidal attack on the Gaza Strip.

The CST has been given the responsibility of compiling statistics of anti-Semitism in Britain. They have been careful not to overplay their hand. That is why they reject many complaints of anti-Semitism. This has ironically meant rejecting in practice the IHRA definition because this would make it too obvious that they are engaging in statistical fraud. This is despite their support for the IHRA politically.

They have done this because they know that once their statistics match the IHRA definition, i.e. that any manifestation of anti-Zionism equals anti-Semitism, their statistics would lose all credibility.

Nonetheless the CST has massaged the figures, highlighting social media anti-Semitism (which could be infinite since a single individual can post thousands of ‘anti-Semitic incidents) as well as providing an elastic and fuzzy definition of what constitutes anti-Semitism.

The CST’s figures show an inexorable statistical increase, year on year, in anti-Semitic incidents, thus feeding into the myth of increasing anti-Semitism. They depend on self-reporting and thus the perception of the ‘victim’. There is no way of judging whether the reports are true or false since the vast majority never result in prosecution or conviction. There has also been a continual and marked divergence between their statistics and those of the Police.

For further reading see

Attempts by Mossad front groups to have police target Jewish and other activists

Labour hands more power to Israel’s lobby

EI exclusive: UK charity with Mossad links secretly denounced anti-Zionist Jews to government

Manipulating Antisemitism Statistics - the CST and CAA

The Community Security Trust - Policeman of the Jewish Community

Proof that the Community Security Trust's statistics of 'anti-Semitism' are subject to Political Manipulation

CST Gets Too Big for its Boots as Jewish Critics Multiply

Zionist Community Security Trust in Dilemma over Islamaphobic Conference

The Community Security Trust cites the racist Hebrew University Professor Raphael Israeli to denounce the ‘anti-Semitism’ of Sheikh Raed Salah.

Community Security Trust Supplies False Information to Deport Sheikh Raed Salah

Israeli Professor Moshe Machover is the target of a Renewed Attempt at Expulsion by the Zionist Community Security Trust

CST Thugs Violently Eject 2 Jewish People from Zionist ‘Environmental‘Meeting

How the Zionist Community Security Trust and Theresa May Colluded at the Behest of Racists to Deport Raed Salah & Prevent Free Speech

17 April 2023

By Standing as an Independent Jeremy Corbyn Can Help Destroy the Warmongers and Neo-Liberals behind Liar Starmer

Labour is Dead as a Party Representing The Working Class and Oppressed

Ken Loach on Slippery Starmer

I had a personal and political reason for knowing that Starmer was lying when he stood as a Corbyn continuity candidate for the Labour leadership. That he should have jettisoned his 10 Pledges so quickly was no surprise whatsoever. That he should have called himself a Zionist ‘without qualification’ was also no surprise. Racism and Starmer go together like Laurel and Hardy.

On February 18th, hours after I had been expelled, Starmer welcomed my expulsion with one word – ‘good’. A man of few words and even fewer ideas.

Keeping Starmer in his Shadow Cabinet, despite his personal responsibility for what has happened to Julian Assange, his proposal to gaol those guilty of over claiming benefits for 10 years (not tax dodgers of course) and his refusal to prosecute police murderers such as the killer of Ian Tomlinson, should have given him ample warning of Starmer’s Brutus like treachery.

Below is an article which I largely agree with, from Adam Johannes, a Welsh socialist. It is clear that despite the Tories self-imploding over the summer with Liz Truss’s 44 day leadership, the shortest in history, Starmer has failed to capitalise on it.

Thornberry attacks the Crown Prosecution Service under Starmer for its failure to prosecute Jimmy Savile

Sunak has now stabilised the Tory government and Starmer has nothing to say, hence his childish ad accusing him of not wanting to gaol child abusers when it was he who refused to prosecute Jimmy Savile. Starmer himself has never denied his part in the decision not to prosecute Savile.

Starmer represents the British state in all its ugliness and hypocrisy. He is, as I wrote, two months before he was elected leader, ‘the candidate that the Deep State & the British Establishment want you to vote for.’

For me the key was Starmer’s pivotal role in the persecution of Julian Assange, whose only crime was the revelation of American war crimes in the illegal Iraq War. Starmer also ensured that thousands of CPS files were destroyed.

Corbyn made many mistakes during his leadership but the key one was appeasing those who were out to destroy him. Instead of calling out Israel’s supporters in the Jewish Labour Movement he tried to work with them.

Corbyn failed to understand the nature of the attack on him and took these attacks as if they had been made in good faith. In particular he accepted the ‘anti-Semitism’ narrative.

As Asa Winstanley made clear, The Jewish Labour Movement had been refounded precisely in order to destroy Corbyn. Yet, as the Labour Leaked Report revealed (p. 306)

Jeremy Corbyn himself and members of his staff team requested to GLU that particular antisemitism cases be dealt with. In 2017 LOTO staff chased for action on high-profile antisemitism cases Ken Livingstone, Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth, stressing that these cases were of great concern to Jewish stakeholders and that resolving them was essential to “rebuilding trust between the Labour Party and the Jewish community”.

Well we were all expelled or forced out of the Labour Party yet was trust rebuilt? Yet instead of realising his mistake Corbyn went on trying to appease the Zionists. Chris Williamson, his most faithful supporter in Parliament was thrown to the wolves. Jennie Formby boasted about how many socialists she had expelled compared to Iain McNicol.

The crowning mistake was at the Labour Party Conference in 2018 when Corbyn opposed reselection. I spoke with Chris Williamson at the Labour Against the Witchhunt fringe meeting and I said to him after the meeting that by taking this decision, and persuading Len McLuskey of UNITE to oppose it, Corbyn had driven the final nail into the coffin of the Corbyn Project.

Tony Benn and Jon Lansman

In one sense Corbyn and Tony Benn before him represented the fatal weakness of the Labour Left. In Benn’s famous phrase an airplane needs two wings to fly. This is of course true but when it has two pilots determined to fly in different directions that is a disaster.

The Labour left had little or no imagination and could never imagine life without the pro-war, pro-capitalist Labour Right. In practice what this meant was that the Labour Left abandoned all hope of socialism and put its faith in minor reforms to capitalism. The history of the Labour Left is a history of retreat, ideological confusion and betrayal.

This has now reached its logical end point with a Socialist Campaign Group that has, to all intent and purposes, abandoned any criticism of Starmer or his policy of faithfully following every twist and turn of US foreign policy.

John McDonnell and the SCG support the United States’s proxy war in Ukraine. Just as McDonnell, perhaps the most pathetic of the leaders of the Labour left there has ever been, praising Starmer’s do nothing, see nothing, say nothing refusal to criticise Boris Johnson over the COVID pandemic.

However Corbyn can make amends. To paraphrase Shakespeare, nothing would become Corbyn so much as his leaving of the Labour Party to stand as a socialist independent. The question is whether he will take that step and lead the fight against Starmer and for a new socialist formation.

I agree with Adam Johannes.  Because Starmer has refused to oppose the Tories on economic affairs, civil liberties, racism or indeed anything substantive, the Labour Party today is by no means guaranteed to win the next election.

Dido Harding - only qualification was marriage to a Tory MP

The refusal of Starmer and Streeting to support striking workers, including the nurses and junior doctors is particularly shameful. ‘There is no money’ they repeat in Tory fashion. But there was £37 billion for a failed COVID test and trace system run by Dido Harding. of which there  is no trace other than to say it went to Tory cronies.

There were billions of pounds for a VIP channel for COVID contracts that even the High Court declared unlawful. It is capitalism that prefers to reward ruling class crooks rather than pay ordinary workers that is the problem and the problem with the Labour Left is that they have never opposed a market economy or capitalism.

Tony Greenstein

The Weakness of Starmer Labour and the tasks ahead

Adam Johannes

The latest opinion polls suggest that the days of a 20 point lead by Labour over the Tories are over and we could be heading for a hung parliament in the next election, which could even mean the prospect of another five years of Tory rule.

On the central faultline in British politics the cost-of-living crisis and the economy the Labour Party are not offering a sharp, clear alternative way of resolving the crisis by ending it, or any easily understood solutions to the ills that plague everyday life today: wages, benefits and pensions that don't match rising living costs, the housing crisis, crumbling public services etc.

Labour's plunge in the polls comes as we reach the end of round 1 of the national strike wave which offered the possibility of a national alternative narrative to the establishment on the economic crisis, but has dipped with the drive of the trade union bureaucracy for sectionalism and to settle for pay rises well below inflation, effectively a pay cut, and refusal to link individual disputes into a national programme to end the cost of living crisis.

A stronger, more political, movement of workers in the rank and file will be needed that can push for a winning strategy in the workplaces and articulate an alternative set of national policies to end the crisis, tied in with supporting campaigns against racism, climate breakdown and imperialist war etc.

The permanent dithering of Jeremy Corbyn over whether he will stand as an independent (let alone help build a left wing alternative to Labour) is also problematic, as such such an election campaign even though in one constituency would offer a possibility to give a national profile for an alternative set of national policies and exert pressure on Starmer's Labour from the left.

One of the weaknesses of the Corbyn Project was the beginnings of a sweeping economic programme separated from fighting social movements and militant trade unionism at the base of society, it was as though it could all be done from above. One of the side-effects of the collapse of Corbynism is the beginnings of a revival of social movements and militant trade unionism that often don't link the day-to-day battles with 'high politics' and a sweeping economic programme that challenges the system.

Meanwhile yesterday's canvassers for nationalisation of the commanding heights of the economy now say that all we can do is burrow away at a very local level in our renters unions and workplaces in the hope that in some far flung future we will reach the cumulative strength to articulate a national alternative, politics doesn't progress by gradualness though, but by 'Leaps! Leaps! Leaps!'

The Enough is Enough campaign has also been a setback for the left. The unions involved CWU, RMT, UCU, as well as Tribune and Acorn, and Zarah Sultana should be held to account, you don't play sectarian games during a major economic crisis. Last summer as the cost-of-living crisis began to fight hundreds of thousands signed up to this sham organisation wanting to join a national mass organisation to fight back. It's main achievement has been to derail building a national movement around the cost-of-living crisis and a national community organisation to support the national strike wave, by pretending to fill the space and thereby stopping anything actually being built to occupy the space.

The coming election will probably be the ugliest on record fought out on so-called 'culture war' issues in a bidding war between Tories and Labour over who can be most in the gutter in cynically using the lives of minorities, migrants and marginalised groups, and the poor, for political gain, and Labour deploying right wing tropes around being tough on crime, rather than its causes.

This is a potentially combustible mix. With no strong national left wing voice, as bitterness rips though society over rising living costs coming on top of years of austerity and neoliberalism, all kinds of dark forces may be waiting in the wings.

The left must stand with the oppressed and the scapegoated, but simply remaining in that defensive space means essentially getting bogged down on a terrain decided by the right and where the right is strongest.

What is desperately needed is HOPE a sense of a national movement in political life on the offensive with a progressive economic programme that can unify our people and cut across various cultural divides in society.

Not only repairing years of damage to the fabric of society done by forty years of Thatcherism and individualism, but offering something collective for the common good that goes beyond the welfare state consensus of 1945-1975.