Saturday, January 15, 2005

Weekly Worker Jan 13th 2005 'Make charity history'

Weekly Worker 559 (Jan 13th 2005) has a 'Make charity history' front-cover.

Coverage of Jerry Springer: The Opera has a useful expose of the anti-Jerry pro-censorship Christian activists which turns ins focus on the SWP 's silence on the affair, alleging this is due to the '(largely phantom) allies to its right in Respect to set the agenda: namely the Muslim Association of Britain, which favours the suppression of material it considers offensive' before quoting an MAB press release calling for its banning. Why didn't SW mention Jerry Springer?

I wasn't impressed by Weekly Worker's critique of the SWP's alleged 'pro-charity' position last week. They're following this up as crucial issue, focusing on Make Poverty History as a route to again criticising the SWP and Respect as 'charity-mongers'. They essentially want to demand the repudiation of the massive debts of poor countries, 'from below'. The various NGOs are seen as continuing the charity of Franciscan monks in medieval Christendom. Instead WW points to the tradition of Comintern Red Aid in the 1920s. Trouble with this is, of course, that it remains abstract. It's something to say to people, but when millions are giving to charity and there is a good chance that those NGOs, including MPH, might be responssible for mobilising thousands or tens of thousands of people to the G8 meeting in Scotland in July, traditions of working with people who want to see change and are prepared to do somthing about it are best. Meanwhile last week I thought Callinicos's criticisms of MPH were enough to show to that WW had got the SWP wrong, but this week the WW line is that the SWP is being pathetic and Callinicos feeble and timid and again they seek to root this in the SWP's relationship to Respect and the MAB. I've got them down as critics for the sake of criticism over this! On the other hand last week I thought they were being very abstract in calling for politically oriented donations, but on the CPGB web-site there is now a good overview of those workers movement and political organisations that could use some money. G

Lengthiest article in WW is Jack Conrad on 'Marxism, the general strike and 1905 revolution'. Yes, I'll postpone reading this.

A lengthy article on 'Multiculturalism' ends, surprise, surprise, with a critique of the SWP's relationship to Respect and the MAB.

And finally (yes I've omitted a couple of things) a discussion of must-see Mike Leigh film Vera Drake under the heading 'No return to back-street abortion' moves its focus onto Andrea Butcher's article in the previous weeks SW, which they link to Candy Unwin of the SWP saying there is no current threat to abortion rights in the UK and Lindsey German opposing a line on abortion for Respect.

BTW: #558 is now on-line.


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