Monday, 27 May 2013

Left And Right Must Unite And Fight I

The Morning Star editorialises:

As dogs return to their vomit, so the enthusiasts for a police state in Britain return to the Communications Data Bill.

On television at the weekend Home Secretary Theresa May came as close as she could to calling for this discredited measure to be resurrected. It received a drubbing from a committee of MPs and lords late last year and was then dropped from the Queen's Speech at the insistence of junior coalition leader Nick Clegg.

The Bill would grant sweeping additional powers to the police and intelligence services to monitor everyone's internet communications, whether or not they are suspected of possible terrorist involvement. May had previously argued that these measures were essential in order to combat terrorism and crime planned or instigated through internet-based pages, messages and phone calls.

There appears to be have been no need for such modern technology in the plot to murder a soldier outside Woolwich barracks last Wednesday. But in the backwash of the brutal slaying of Lee Rigby, reintroduction of the Bill has received qualified or outright backing from former Labour home secretaries Jack Straw, John Reid and Alan Johnson, as well as Gordon Brown's national security adviser Lord West.

These four grim horsemen of the apocalypse have previously championed such policies as universal ID cards and 90-day internment without trial. In truth, state agencies such as GCHQ, MI5, MI6 and Special Branch have no need of additional powers. They have all the means required to monitor actual or wannabe terrorists in Britain, buttressed by the issue of 500,000 intercept warrants each year.

We also know that in practice the security and intelligence services have no compunction about acting outside the law should it be deemed necessary. Moreover, it has emerged that MI5 and MI6 knew plenty about at least one of the two men shot by police after the vile slaughter of Drummer Rigby.

The security services had no need of a Communications Data Act to take any action they wished to monitor, recruit or arrest Michael Adebolajo or, indeed, to have him kidnapped and sent abroad for torture as part of Britain's covert involvement in the "extraordinary rendition" programme.

Of course the public here has to be protected from terrorist attacks, from whatever quarter. The same applies to civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. It is the failure to observe the second of these pronouncements that has now added Woolwich to the list of terrorist killings on the streets of our country. Further restricting civil liberties in Britain will not eliminate that jeopardy.

The harsh reality is that shadowing US-led foreign policy in the bombing, invasion and occupation of other countries breeds resistance as well as deranged reactions like those we saw on Wednesday. Western state terrorism and Islamist counter-terrorism feed the same false narrative of a "clash of civilisations" between western Christianity and eastern Islam.

Yet the reality is that US and British foreign policy is driven by the rather more profane requirements of monopoly capitalism. The "war on terror" is the politically and grammatically illiterate concept coined by former US president George W Bush to mask that underlying fact.

If, as William Blum once remarked, a terrorist is someone with a bomb but no air force, an imperialist is someone with both - but, increasingly, no pilot.


  1. The Morning Star has no shame: "As dogs return to their vomit, so the enthusiasts for a police state in Britain..."

  2. A terrorist is someone with a bomb but no airforce.

    I see-drawing an equivalence between us and the machete maniac.

    And this vile stuff, from a newspaper formerly affiliated with the Soviet Union?

    This filthy rag makes the Sun look good.

  3. Always good to hear from the irreconcilably Blairite Hard Right, the Dam Hodges-Oliver Kamm Tendency. Literally the only people who says these things about the Morning Star.

  4. As you so rightly said in February 2010:

    "To those who say that I should not quote from The Morning Star, I say that I also quote from The Guardian, which likewise gives coverage both to unrepentant old Stalinists and to people (Neil Clark, George Galloway) to whom that does not remotely apply, as the unrepentant old Stalinists who periodically write in to The Morning Star to complain about them would be the first to tell you. As quoted above, Neil is Real Labour, plain and simple. Why, I have even been known to quote from Harry's Place, the latest incarnation of Straight Left and to which, therefore, no one else contributes except (as in my own case) on a very occasional basis indeed. And at least The Morning Star was right about Iraq, the key issue in this generation."

  5. They have been at it in earnest tonight, with their unpublishable, largely stream-of-consciousness "comments".

    How the years have rolled back as I have read them. Every hoary old lie, and every cliché from the vanished world of the Euston Manifesto and all that.

    In point of fact, the Morning Star, the Parliamentary Readers' and Supporters' Group of which is the place to see and be seen for the very impressive 2010 Labour intake, was never an official publication of the long-defunct CPGB.

    Unlike Marxism Today, for which Tony Blair wrote. While he was an MP. While he was a Shadow Minister.

    He was published in the official theoretical journal of the Communist Party of Great Britain. I have a feeling that that was while, albeit at the very end, the Soviet Union still existed. If not, then it was extremely soon thereafter. In office, he surrounded himself with the crowd from around that journal.

    That is before we mention John Reid, who has come back from the dead in the course of the debate to which this post is a contribution.

    Look up the signatories to EDM 1334, which calls for an end to the wider media's blackout of the Morning Star. Six parties, one of them in government nationally, another alone in government at devolved level in Scotland. Such noted Hard Leftists as Frank Field, Kate Hoey, Paul Murphy, Sir Gerald Kaufman and the late Sir Stuart Bell, among others.

  6. Kamm turned up under one his pseudonyms on Neil's recent AmCon post about the BBC. We all knew it was him because when accused of it he claimed that Kamm was left-wing.

  7. Yes, I saw that. Very funny. "Leftist" was the word. And we all know the only person who would ever call Oliver Kamm a Leftist.

  8. I wasn't in favour of 90 days ,but it wasn't internment,that was holding on suspicion of being in banned organisation, without trial not holding someone whole questioning them wanting to charge them