Sunday, January 30, 2005

Weekly Worker 561 Jan 27th 2005

Weekly Worker's (#561 Jan 27th 2005) sinister cover has an image of genocidal horror to accompany the slogan 'Capitalism caused the Nazi holocaust Capitalism turns the Nazi holocaust into an ideological industry'. Eddie Ford has a long and interesting article, based on wide reading on 'Class struggle and the holocaust', focused on Norman Finkelstein's The Holocaust Industry; finding time to praise and, in a way, defend David Irving, while, of course, criticising the SWP.

WW letters are frequently bizarre. This week I want to pick on the claim from American socialist Martin Schreader that out of 250 million Africans taken as slaves 100 million died in the 'middle passage', quoting 'historian Lori Robison' (Lori Robinson I think) for this appalling inflation of any reputable or even possible estimate.

Paul Greenaway writes about the Iraqi elections and Bush's inauguration speech in 'Masters and slaves', which criticises the famous pro-war, pro-occupation left of Nick Cohen et al and doesn't focus on attacking the SWP. One thing missing from WW in recent weeks has been any reflection on the deep and bitter debate about the STW and its attitude to the murder of Iraqi communists and trade unionists. My working hypothesis on this is that they would have been forced to defend, not matter how cautiously, the role and position of the SWP in STW?

Peter Manson in 'Border Wars' calls for a clear Left alternative 'to Tory-Labour attacks on migrants' and a 'fight for the free movement of people and the international organisation of all workers'. I'm sympathetic, but that note the article's focus is on the failings of Respect and the SWP. 'Defence of the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers' isn't enough for WW.
Alan Stephens in 'Organisation, not hot air' looks at the trade union response to the 'so-called 'pensions crisis'' and finds everyone and everything from the trade union bureaucrats to Workers Power (including, natch, Respect('an absolute disgrace') and the SWP) wanting. Ah, if only we had CPGB leadership everything would be fine.

Gregor Gall puts the SSP line at the CPGB's 2004 Communist University in 'Scotland, social trends and socialists'. Just from reading various things by him I've been assuming that Gregor can't be in the SW Platform inside the SSP, but WW makes much of his membership of the SW Platform in a rather rude and aggressive piece by Jack Conrad (which made me think that the famous comrade is suffering from rather nasty boils on the bum) that demands 'Expel him from the SW platform' Jack Conrad argues that the SW Platform should draw the logical conclusion from Gregor Gall's nationalism. Poor old Gregor seems to bear part of the weight for the CPGB's criticisms of the SSP's nationalism and the SWP's 'economism'. The most laughable part of the piece is where Gall is said to have been 'given space in the latest edition of International Socialism to outline his opinions on trade union struggles..'; well Gregory contributes a piece which disagrees with and criticises the SWP line and receives a robust and sharp reply from Martin Smith. Does WW think there is something wrong with that sort of debate?

Mark Fischer takes up the CPGB's factional struggles with an update on the events leading up to the foretold death of the Socialist Alliance. 'Into room 101...' lays into the Socialist Unity Network for proposing the winding up of the SA, which is odd because was I thought, the view of the CPGB. The real reason is that the role of the SUN is a distraction from the need to put the boot into the SWP.

And finally a review by Dave Douglass of Stuart Christie's anarchist memoir, 'Granny made me an anarchist: general Franco, the Angry Brigade and me' (Scriber, 2004, pp423, £10.99) which made me want to read it.

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