Category: UK
Cyprus Issue: The KKE warns about the dangerous partition “solution” that is being promoted

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cyprus Issue: The KKE warns about the dangerous partition “solution” that is being promoted

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/cyprus-issue-kke-warns-about-dangerous.html
Source: inter.kke.gr.
On July 11, 2017 a discussion of the leaders of the political parties was held in the Greek parliament regarding the developments in the Cyprus issue and the outcome of the negotiations in Geneva.
During the discussion, Dimitris Koutsoumbas, GS of the CC of KKE, underlined that the Cyprus issue is an international problem of invasion and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus by Turkey. It is a problem that bears the stamp of NATO intervention, of the general imperialist plans for the region.
He reminded that the KKE combatively opposed the partitionist “Anan” plan, that was neither just nor viable and would engage the peoples of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey in new adventures.
He highlighted that in the recent period, the “solution” being “cooked” under the pretext of “Bicommunal Bizonal Federation” is a partition of Cyprus; it is a partitionist and dangerous solution, and he went on adding: “We fear that this is the objective of the various propositions elaborated by the staffs of USA, Great Britain, and also of the United Nations, with the co-responsibility of the Cypriot and the Greek government, such as for example the propositions for an international police-military force with the participation of Turkish forces, looking for a mechanism of observation for a solution, before this solution has been found.
“In effect, the systematic interventions of the USA, of Great Britain, France and the EU as a whole, in order for the talks to be sped up and for a deal to be struck, aim at closing up the deal quickly so that the road for the exploitation of the energy resources of the island opens in favor of the interests of sections of the capitalist classes of the implicated states and of the various euroatlantic plans.
“At the same time, they aim at utilizing the geostrategic position of Cyprus, where NATO and British military bases have been installed, in the competition with Russia, in conditions of sharpening of the already acute contradictions internationally.”
Simultaneously, D. Koutsoumbas highlighted the responsibilities of the bourgeois political forces for the dangerous developments, noting: “The responsibilities of the government of SYRIZA-ANEL, as well as of the ND and of the other parties that support the one-way of the euroNATOist “prison” for our country are immense.
“On the one hand you praise the participation of Greece and Turkey in NATO as a factor of “peace and security” and when the Turkish provocations become outrageous and when the air and sea borders of our country suffer multiple violations, then you “draw from the sleeve”, as a new “lifejacket”, the so-called “tripartite alliance” of our country with Israel, Cyprus, Egypt.
“You cultivate that way, in both circumstances, hollow hopes, either by sweet-talking Turkey, or by calling the “police” of the USA in Eastern Mediterranean, trying to convince that both in Greece and in Cyprus we will be able to use the energy resources for the so-called “development” and for exiting the crisis.
“You lie, you lie consciously! Because you know very well that these resources and the profits that will come of them will go directly into the pockets of the megatheriums of energy, the monopolies of this sector of economy.
“These deposits, in conditions of monopoly capitalism, of imperialism, attract as honey attracts bees, the powerful competitions, the imperialist wars.”
In the end, referring to the proposition of KKE, he underlined:
“That is why our position, the grounds upon KKE’s position is founded, is a great distance away of the positions that you serve, of the space that you open so that the plans foreign to the real interests of the cypriot people – Greekcypriots and Turkishcypriots – come to pass, plans foreign to the Greek people’s interests, which struggles in a tornado of cross purposes, and of the Turkish people that bleeds under an authoritarian regime and sheds its blood for the interests of the Turkish capitalist class.
KKE Sec. General D.Koutsoumbas during his
speech at the Parliament.
“We struggle for the unitary interests of the whole of the working people of Cyprus, not in favor of the energy monopolies, of the USA, of NATO, of the rest of your allies!
“We underline the necessity of coordinating the struggle of the working class and of the popular strata of Cyprus, of Turkey, of Greece, for the abolition of the consequences of the occupation in the perspective of total emancipation from the chains of exploitation.
“We stand in favor of the immediate retreat of the occupation forces and all the rest of the foreign military troops from Cyprus.
“Generally, we support the abolition of the consequences of the Turkish occupation, the end of colonization and dealing with this problem considering social, humanitarian criteria, we support the right of the refuges to return to their hearths and homes.
“We support the closing down of the NATO-British military bases and the abolition of the favorable status in effect since many years ago, we continue the struggle so that the military base of Suda in Crete and the rest of the US-NATO bases in Greece also close down.
“The KKE believes that the struggle of the working class, of the popular strata, must be aimed at the objective of a Cyprus where its people, Greekcypriots and Turkishcypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latinos, will be real masters of their fates.
“A Cyprus United, Independent, with One and Only Sovereignty, one Citizenship and International Personality, without foreign bases and troops, without foreign guarantors and patrons.”
14.07.2017.
The Grenfell Tower Tragedy: Another crime of Capitalism

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-grenfell-tower-tragedy-another.html

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Grenfell Tower Tragedy: Another crime of Capitalism

“When one individual inflicts bodily injury upon another such that death results, we call the deed manslaughter; when the assailant knew in advance that the injury would be fatal, we call his deed murder. But when society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; when it deprives thousands of the necessaries of life, places them under conditions in which they cannot live – forces them, through the strong arm of the law, to remain in such conditions until that death ensues which is the inevitable consequence – knows that these thousands of victims must perish, and yet permits these conditions to remain, its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual…

– Friedrich Engels, Condition of the Working Class in England, 1845.

Abstract from The “New Worker”, weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain, June 23, 2017 edition, page 3:

IN THE 1990s Tory grandee Lord Heseltine declared that his party would make “a bonfire of red tape” – getting rid of rules and regulations that hindered maximum profit-making and including health and safety regulations. In 2009 Boris Johnson, as mayor of London, declared that “safety fears” were “mak- ing the UK safe for extremely stupid people”. And in 2011 the then Prime Minister David Camer- on said: “I will kill off safety culture; we need to realise, collectively, that we cannot eliminate risk and that some accidents are inevitable.”
On Wednesday morning 14th of June we saw the terrible consequences of their en- deavours as the giant Grenfell tower block in Kensington became a flaming inferno in a very short time, because in a cheap cosmetic ‘renovation’ two years ago it had been fitted with flammable plastic and aluminium cladding. This type of cladding has been involved in several fatal fires and is now banned in many countries. The block was owned by the Royal Borough of Kens- ington and Chelsea (RBKC), but control and administra- tion had been outsourced to the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organ- isation (KCTMO) who sup- posedly manage all social housing in RBKC on the Council’s behalf. Responsibility for fire safe- ty inspections was also trans- ferred to KCTMO from the fire brigade as Boris Johnson was making drastic cuts to the London Fire Service.
Tenants had complained for years, over and over again, about fire safety issues and dangerous electrical surges that destroyed some of their appliances. They formed the Grenfell Action Group (GAG) and ended up being threatened with arrest if they did not stop “harassing” the council and its agents. “All our warnings fell on deaf ears and we predicted that a catastrophe like this was inevitable and just a matter of time,” they said. The fire that started it all was a small one in a kitchen, which the fire brigade dealt with quickly. They were pack- ing up ready to go when they noticed that the cladding on the outside of the building had caught alight. From there it quickly turned into the worst fire disaster in Britain since the Blitz.
[VIDEO] THE GRENFELL MASSACRE: BURNING & LOOTING.
By ProletarianTV.
In its leaflet under the title “Housing: a crisis of Capitalism”, the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) points out the following:

The horrific fire at Grenfell Tower in London, which has killed so many working-class people, demonstrates the terrible reality of housing in Britain today.

In the capital’s richest borough, with house prices over 38 times the average annual salary, people ultimately died because flammable cladding cost the borough and construction companies a mere £5,000 less per metre.

The unnecessary cladding, which would have made residents’ fuel bills marginally cheaper, had the effect of prettifying the tower for the surrounding neighbourhood of luxury properties, and raising the value of nearby council-owned land.

Kensington and Chelsea council spent £8.6m on the ‘refurbishment’ of the tower, while ignoring, or rather hiring companies to ignore, the needs of residents. The Grenfell Action Group has comprehensively documented problems and complaints made to the council over the years, including power surges and faulty wiring.

Grenfell must be seen in the context of ongoing social cleansing in London, which has already seen thousands of families conned or evicted from their homes so that property developers can create investment opportunities for the super-wealthy.

Around 1,400 homes in the borough remain empty year-round, at a combined value of £664m, and house prices in Kensington and Chelsea have tripled in the past 20 years.

No inquest or inquiry into Grenfell will provide justice for the dead or security for the survivors. While some companies, CEOs and public of officials may receive fines and jail time, and some survivors have been housed in new luxury flats, the reality is that the working class in Britain will never have safe, affordable and secure housing while the capitalist system remains.

A ladder with no bottom rungs

House prices across Britain are now, on average, 7.6 times the average annual salary – a figure which has more than doubled in the past 20 years.

The median price for a home increased by 259% over this period, while average earnings only rose by 68%. This gap is getting steadily wider, so that each year 70,000 more people are priced out of the market – one third of them in London alone.

Young people needing a home today find there is no council housing available and are thus forced onto the mercy of a private rentals market in which rents are extortionate, conditions often poor, and security nil.

To even consider buying, not only do they need to earn above-average wages, but they often also have to look far away from work, friends and family. Commutes of well over an hour are now common.

Subsidising the developers  

The vast majority of new houses today are being built by private developers, not for sale or rent to ordinary workers but as investment opportunities for the rich.
Development for profit leads to shoddy building practices, small room sizes, and inadequate provision of green spaces, community facilities, transport links and other amenities.
Instead of building and maintaining social housing, the government is using the housing budget to subsidise private developers and keep their profits high.
One scheme offers a 20 percent discount on small ‘starter homes’, but, with an average price of £215k, these are way out of reach for most workers. Similarly, ‘help to buy’ offers a deposit loan of up to 20 percent of purchase price.
While such measures may help better-off first-timers into a home (and a crippling debt burden), the schemes are at the same time pricing out millions more by stimulating an overheated market and further inflating prices.
And the pulling down of working-class housing estates in desirable city-centre locations (so that the sites can be redeveloped commercially) is adding fuel to the fire.
The drive to ‘invest’ in housing has ultimately been created by the global capitalist crisis of overproduction, as opportunities for productive ways to make profits have dried up. These estate demolitions, while driving thousands of workers out of previously secure homes and into the waiting arms of private landlords (driving up rents and pushing down standards for most) are making room for yet more luxury developments in which the super-rich can rest their surplus capital.
Decent homes for all
There are over 700,000 empty houses in Britain, 19,845 of them in London (the London properties alone are worth £9.4bn in total). In recent years, hundreds of thousands of half-built homes have been demolished in order to preserve high prices.
Despite a minor slow-down in the rate of increase of property prices, and a minor panic after Brexit, our ruling class is using every trick available to it to keep prices high.
The CPGB-ML holds that houses should be homes for people, not investment opportunities for billionaires. The rights to shelter and to a secure family life are fundamental human rights.
By its utter inability to solve the housing question and meet this basic need of working people, the capitalist system is providing yet more proof that it is well past its use-by date and due for demolition.
We demand:
1. The immediate scrapping of the 2016-17 housing bill, which threatens hundreds of thousands with poverty and homelessness.
2. The end of the ‘right to buy’ and the scrapping of all other schemes that fuel prices, create shortages and offer subsidies to landlords and developers.
3. The return of housing association and ‘non-profit’ properties to council ownership, the abolition of housing charities and the reintroduction of the legal right to decent, secure housing for all; slums, overcrowding and homelessness are an indictment on capitalism and a crime against humanity.
4. The confiscation of all empty homes and unfinished developments and their transformation into council housing.
5. The provision of at least 300,000 new council houses per year to end the crisis.
6. Guaranteed, secure and well-maintained social housing for all who want it, close to people’s work and families, and the abolition of divisive allocation criteria.
7. The introduction of a rent cap at 20 percent of minimum wage for all privately rented accommodation, and the scrapping of housing benefit (a subsidy to landlords that has helped to fuel rent rises).
8. The establishment of residents’ management committees to oversee planning and maintenance and ensure that all workers have access to adequate space, necessary amenities and decent facilities, including having usable and pleasant outdoor spaces and community halls.
The CPGB-ML believes that the welfare of workers can only be safeguarded by a socialist system of economy, controlled and administered by the working people themselves.
Let the capitalists’ ministers try and show us otherwise; let them start by meeting this list of simple demands.
Nuclear Strike Would Be ‘As Grave a War Crime as It is Possible to Conceive’
| June 29, 2017 | 8:26 pm | Analysis, struggle against nuclear war, UK | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201706291055094146-uk-lawsuit-on-use-of-nukes/

Nuclear mushroom

Nuclear Strike Would Be ‘As Grave a War Crime as It is Possible to Conceive’

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Britain’s Attorney General is looking into an indictment brought forth against Prime Minister Theresa May by a group of peace activists over her government’s plans to use the UK’s Trident nuclear arsenal in the event of war. Speaking to Sputnik, Public Interest Case Against Trident (PICAT) organizer Robert Manson laid out the group’s case.

An alliance of nearly four hundred activists under the PICAT banner has presented the Attorney General’s Office with an indictment against Prime Minister May and Defense Secretary Michael Fallon amid statements by the officials regarding their readiness to use nuclear weapons, including on a first strike basis.

PICAT says the statements indicate planning for “indiscriminate mass slaughter,” which they say is a violation of section 51(1) of the International Criminal Court Act 2001 on war crimes and crimes against humanity, and section 1 of the UK Criminal Law Act 1977 on conspiracy to commit such crimes.The case now needs to be approved by the Attorney General’s Office in order to proceed.

Speaking to Radio Sputnik, PICAT organizer and retired solicitor Robert Manson laid out the basis for the group’s case.

According to Manson, the unlawful nature of the government’s position stems from the fact that it proposes “the indiscriminate mass slaughter of countless of millions of innocent civilian Muscovite citizens.”

Use of nuclear weapons, he added, would amount to “the blasting to death of the elderly, incineration of the children, the lethal irradiation of mothers who are with child, and of course the radiogenomic malformation of generations as yet to come.”

“This is as grave a war crime as it is possible to conceive if committed,” Manson stressed.

Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious, on patrol off the west coast of Scotland
© AFP 2017/ Andy Buchanan
Trident Nuclear Submarine, HMS Victorious, on patrol off the west coast of Scotland

The activist admitted that it is unlikely that the Attorney General’s Office will allow for legal action to be brought forth against the top government officials. “He is bound to reject it. There is simply no prospect of a government-appointed law officer in this country with the independence of mind and the judicial objectivity to consent to a trial of our long-standing national nuclear defense strategy.”

Nevertheless, Manson emphasized that the group would fight to contest the decision if their case was dismissed without explanation. The rejection would have to be “made on legal grounds, and not on political grounds, and he must be tested to come up with such valid legal grounds,” the activist said. “If successful on a matter of law, our challenge would force the UK government to petition our parliament in London to change that law in order to exempt nuclear weapons.”

Asked how long he expected the appeal to the Attorney General to last, Manson explained that the anti-nuclear campaigners had made the application for the Attorney General’s consent to prosecute last January, and that they are still awaiting a formal response. “If we don’t receive a response in the next few days or weeks, we’ll have no alternative but to go to court and challenge him simply for his delay,” the activist said.

Finally, asked what implications the UK would face if May and Fallon were prosecuted, Manson emphasized that “the political implications of such an unimaginable litigation would of course be unparalleled in the constitutional history of our country since King Charles II was tried for treason after the English Civil War. Under the relevant statute, the sentence for such a crime is imprisonment up to life.”

Ultimately, the activist lamented that “the country is nowhere near as informed as it ought to be” when it comes to PICAT’s case. “The popular media, newspapers, and television simply aren’t interested in the subject matter. When approached, they choose not to believe such a contention is possibly valid. Labour, the principle opposition party in London, continues to be hopelessly divided over the merit of our nuclear weapons defense policy. Many, probably most leading legal minds remain utterly wedded to the concept of our national survival being dependent on our ability and preparedness to realistically threaten mass omnicide, especially of the innocents of Moscow,” Manson concluded.

New Hope For Working People

New Hope For Working People

New Hope For Working People

After a series of depressing elections over the last year (the rise of Donald Trump was not the only case), some positive news for working people has arrived at the ballot box. Here are two very different scenarios, with some interesting similarities.

In British Columbia, one of the most right-wing governments in recent Canadian history got the hook on May 9. The Liberals won a few more votes than the NDP, but lost their majority in the Legislature, and the Greens ended up with the balance of power. Barring unexpected events, the NDP will take office by the end of June, ready to implement an accord with the Greens based largely on demands raised by people’s movements across the province. The accord isn’t a program to attack the basic political power of the big corporations, but it can help to reverse the worst impacts of austerity and cutbacks imposed by the Liberals since 2001 (and in fact by the previous NDP government of the 1990s). By any measure, this is a victory. But the only way to build on this accord is through mass mobilization and pressure by the labour and people’s movements.

On a global scale, the setback for Theresa May’s Tories in the UK a month later was a much bigger development. Not just because Britain is a key ally of US imperialism, but also because Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn campaigned as a socialist, on a platform calling for radical reforms.

There is much to discuss and debate about these complex events, along with the continued popularity of Bernie Sanders in the United States. One thing is certain: the myth that working people reject the concept of socialism has been decisively disproven. A better world remains both possible and necessary!

Communist Party: “People’s Brexit: Youth Deserve a Decent start in Life”

Why Are So Many Young Voters Falling for Old Socialists?

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/06/16/opinion/sunday/sanders-corbyn-socialsts.html?emc=edit_th_20170617&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=65411337&referer=
By SARAH LEONARD

At 68, Jeremy Corbyn has been on the Labour Party’s left flank longer than many of his most enthusiastic supporters — the ones who nearly propelled him to an upset victory in this month’s British general election — have been alive. Bernie Sanders, who won more votes from young people in the 2016 primaries than Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton combined, is 75, and has a demeanor that, honestly, reminds me of my Jewish grandfather. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the Communist-backed candidate who, thanks to support from young people, surged in the polls ahead of the first round of France’s presidential election, is a sprightly 65.

What has driven so many young people into passionate political work, sweeping old socialists with old ideas to new heights of popularity? To understand what is going on, you have to realize that politicians like Mr. Sanders and Mr. Corbyn have carried the left-wing torch in a sort of long-distance relay, skipping generations of centrists like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, to hand it to today’s under-35s. And you have to understand why young people are so ready to grab that torch and run with it.

Both Britain and the United States used to have parties that at least pledged allegiance to workers. Since the 1970s, and accelerating in the ’80s and ’90s, the left-wing planks have one by one been ripped from their platforms. Under Mr. Blair, Labour rewrote its famous Clause IV, which had committed the party to the goal of “common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange.” Under Mr. Clinton, the Democratic Party cut welfare programs and pushed anti-worker international trade deals. Writing in 1990, Kevin Phillips, a former strategist for Richard Nixon, called the Democrats “history’s second-most enthusiastic capitalist party.” Elsewhere in Europe, traditional socialist parties became sclerotic and increasingly business-friendly.

All of this left many voters with a sense that there is no left-wing party devoted to protecting the interests of the poor, the working class and the young.

Meanwhile, people my age — I’m 29 — are more in need of a robust leftist platform than ever. The post-Cold War capitalist order has failed us: Across Europe and the United States, millennials are worse off than their parents were and are too poor to start new families. In the United States, they are loaded with college debt (or far less likely to be employed without a college degree) and are engaged in precarious and non-unionized labor. Also the earth is melting.

There’s nothing inherently radical about youth. But our politics have been shaped by an era of financial crisis and government complicity. Especially since 2008, we have seen corporations take our families’ homes, exploit our medical debt and cost us our jobs. We have seen governments impose brutal austerity to please bankers. The capitalists didn’t do it by accident, they did it for profit, and they invested that profit in our political parties. For many of us, capitalism is something to fear, not celebrate, and our enemy is on Wall Street and in the City of London.

Because we came to political consciousness after 1989, we’re not instinctively freaked out by socialism. In fact, it seems appealing: In a 2016 poll conducted by Harvard, 51 percent of Americans between 18 and 29 rejected capitalism, and a third said they supported socialism. A Pew poll in 2011 showed that the same age bracket had more positive views of socialism than capitalism. What socialism actually means to millennials is in flux — more a falling out with capitalism than an adherence to one specific platform. Still, within this generation, certain universal programs — single-payer health care, public education, free college — and making the rich pay are just common sense.

At the ballot box, our options have been relatively limited. Clinton- and Blair-era liberals have hobbled their parties’ abilities to confront the ills of capitalism. But while left-of-center parties ran into the waiting arms of bankers, Mr. Sanders and Mr. Corbyn held fast to left-wing politics.

In May, when Labour’s manifesto calling for free university education and increased spending on the National Health Service was leaked, Britain’s mainstream press responded with derision: “Labour’s Manifesto to Drag Us Back to the 1970s” read a headline in the Daily Mail. (In fact, some of Mr. Corbyn’s proposals, like nationalizing rail and water companies, hark directly back to Labour’s Clause IV commitments.) To some readers it may have sounded like a threat, but to many young people it was a promise. Following the headlines, Labour’s poll numbers surged. In the election on June 8, the party finished with a shocking 40 percent of the vote, its highest share in years. And much of the success was thanks to young voters.

Of course, Mr. Corbyn, who is famous for cycling to work and being “totally anti-sugar on health grounds,” has a certain ascetic charm. And there’s something appealingly unpretentious about Mr. Sanders’s Brooklyn accent and disheveled appearance. But it seems safe to say that their success with young people has been based on their platforms, not their charisma.

That’s a good thing, too, since, sooner or later, those platforms will need to acquire new representatives. America’s working class is increasingly racially diverse. Hotly contested politics around race, gender and sexuality shape our political terrain (and our experience of downward mobility). Mr. Sanders suffered shortcomings on this front: He freely confessed to not comprehending the scale of American police brutality when he began his campaign; he can sound awkward when it comes to race and gender.

The upside is that Mr. Sanders’s campaign and Mr. Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party have paved the way for a socialist politics that doesn’t just look like them.

The day after the election in Britain, I flew to Chicago to speak at the People’s Summit, a national convention of progressive and left-wing activists organized by people from the Bernie Sanders campaign alongside National Nurses United.

Also attending were a next generation of leftist organizers and candidates: Linda Sarsour, a 37-year-old Palestinian-American organizer from New York known for her skill in building bridges among communities; Dante Barry, the 29-year-old executive director of the Million Hoodies Movement for Justice; and Maria Svart, also in her 30s, who became the national director of the Democratic Socialists of America in 2011.

I encountered many young people who found themselves radicalized over the last couple of years and are now joining campaigns in their communities for state-level single payer health care or for better housing. Those campaigns exist because older campaigners have carried the torch. Out of all this activity, a next generation of socialist candidates who actually reflect America is almost guaranteed to emerge.

When Mr. Sanders took to the stage, I looked around to see hundreds of young organizers cheering his democratic socialist agenda. I hit the convention floor and saw people my own age tabling for new lefty magazines and organizations. A friend texted me a Corbyn emoji: thumbs up.

Three days after Britain’s general election, Mr. Corbyn sat down for an interview with Andrew Marr on the BBC. Mr. Marr grilled the Labour leader on the feasibility of turning his platform into governing policy. Was Mr. Corbyn, at this point in his career, really in it for the long haul? “Look at me!” he said. “I’ve got youth on my side.”

Correction: June 16, 2017

An earlier version of a caption accompanying this article misstated Senator Bernie Sanders’s party. He is an independent, not a Democrat.

Britain’s Real Terror Apologists
| June 15, 2017 | 7:32 pm | Analysis, Jeremy Corbyn, political struggle, UK | No comments
The Leader of Britain's opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn listens to a speech on the first day of the Labour Party conference, in Liverpool, Britain September 25, 2016.

Britain’s Real Terror Apologists

© REUTERS/ Peter Nicholls
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UK General Election 2017 (128)
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https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201706111054524439-britain-real-terror-apologists/

Despite a vicious smear campaign to denigrate Britain’s Labour leader as a “terrorist sympathizer,” Jeremy Corbyn still pulled off an amazing achievement in the general election.

Hardly has a politician in any Western state been so vilified with character assassination, and yet he has proven to be most popular Labour leader in Britain since the Second World War.

After weeks of trailing his Conservative rival Theresa May in the polls, Corbyn’s socialist manifesto appealed to a record number of voters – closing the gap between the parties to only two percentage points behind the Tories.

UK 2017 general election results

Official results
value, %
1
Conservatives (Con)
Theresa May
42,4
2
Labour (Lab)
Jeremy Corbyn
40
3
Liberal Democrats (LD)
Tim Farron
7,4
4
Scottish National Party (SNP)
Nicola Sturgeon
3
5
UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Paul Nuttall
1,8
6
Others
5,3

Seats won

318
12
Con
262
33
Lab
12
3
LD
35
19
SNP
0
1
UKIP
23
4
Others
326 seats required for a majority
Latest update 09.06.17 20:27 GMT

This was in spite of a concerted media campaign to destroy Corbyn in the eyes of the British public as a “terrorist stooge.” The irony here is that the Conservative party is forming a governing coalition with a little-known Northern Ireland party whose history is steeped in British state terrorism. (More on that in a moment.)

For Corbyn, the election outcome was a stunning moral victory. For Prime Minister May it was a humiliating defeat. The Conservatives lost their overall majority in the British parliament and now they have to rely on this reactionary fringe party from Northern Ireland to form a government.May called the snap election because she thought her party would increase its majority and also because she calculated that Corbyn’s socialist direction of Labour would be wiped out. Many Blairite naysayers in his own party thought so too.

The opposite happened. The British public largely rejected May and her neoliberal capitalist, pro-austerity, pro-NATO policies. They instead rallied behind Corbyn. Granted, the Tories still won the election – only narrowly – but the surge in support for Labour under Corbyn means that he has galvanized a party that stands a strong chance of winning if another election is called. And that could be soon, perhaps in the coming months owing May’s shaky ad hoc government collapsing.

Another riveting factor in all this is that Corbyn’s success came amid a torrential Tory and right-wing media campaign to denigrate him as a terrorist sympathizer. The propaganda onslaught was conducted for months since May called the election back in April. And it grew to a frenzy as election day approached last Thursday, especially when the opinion polls showed Labour steadily whittling away the earlier Conservative support.The day before the public went to the polling booths, the Daily Mail ran the front page headline: “Apologist for terror,” with Jeremy Corbyn’s photo below. It looked like a “wanted poster” from the Wild West. The only thing missing was the subhead with the words: “Wanted dead or alive.”

The scurrilous allegation pounded over and over by the largely pro-Conservative British media that Corbyn is “soft on terrorism” stems from his otherwise principled history of campaigning on international justice and peace.

Over his 35 years as an MP, he has voiced consistent support for Palestinian rights under illegal Zionist occupation; he has supported Hezbollah resistance against Israeli and American aggression; and during the conflict in Northern Ireland, Corbyn gave a voice to Irish Republicans who were being assailed by British military violence.Many other international causes could be mentioned, such as Corbyn opposing British government weapons dealing with the despotic Saudi regime which is propagating terrorism in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

He has also campaigned to abandon nuclear weapons and is critical of NATO’s reckless expansion in Europe, which have earned him the jingoistic pillorying by the British establishment of “being soft on Russia.”

Corbyn has never condoned terrorism. Rather he has always sought to properly put it in a wider context of other parties also, unaccountably, using terrorism and thus fueling conflict.

This brings us to so-called Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) from Northern Ireland whose 10 MPs Theresa May’s Tories are now relying on to form a government. This party was formed in the early 1970s by the firebrand Protestant preacher Ian Paisley. While Paisley mellowed in later years before his death in 2014, he spent most of his career preaching vile hatred against Catholics and Irish Republicans, whom he saw as a threat to the political union between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain. In British-run Northern Ireland, it wasn’t acceptable to have a democratic aspiration for an independent Ireland. You were either a pro-British unionist or a “threat.” So much for British democracy.Senior members of Paisley’s pro-British party played a crucial role in smuggling massive caches of weapons into Northern Ireland during the 1980s to illegally arm unionist paramilitaries. These paramilitaries went on to murder hundreds of innocent people simply because they were Catholics, who tended to be Republican. A favored tactic of these paramilitaries was to storm into pubs and homes and indiscriminately mow people down with assault rifles.

One notorious pro-British killer was Gusty Spence who belonged to the Ulster Volunteer Force paramilitary. He later expressed remorse and deplored Ian Paisley, the DUP founder, as the person who incited him to murder innocent Catholics due to his sectarian hate speech.

The paramilitary murder gangs were not just supported covertly by members of the DUP. The British government of Margaret Thatcher – Theresa May’s predecessor and political heroine – orchestrated these same death squads in a covert policy of “dirty war.”British military intelligence colluded with the pro-unionist militants to assassinate Republican politicians and ordinary Catholics alike in a covert policy of state-sponsored terrorism. The objective was to terrorize people in submitting to British rule over Northern Ireland, rather than allowing the island country to become united and independent.

The British government provided intelligence and cover for the death squads and the unionist politicians had helped supply the AK-47 assault rifles and Browning handguns smuggled from Apartheid South Africa.

This secret dirty war policy of the British government and their unionist proxies in Northern Ireland has been uncovered by investigative journalists such as Paul Larkin (see his groundbreaking book “A Very British Jihad: Collusion, Conspiracy and Cover-up in Northern Ireland”); as well as human rights campaign groups like Belfast-based Relatives for Justice and Pat Finucane Centre.

Not even the present government of Theresa May can deny this murderous legacy in Ireland, although there is a determined silence now as she fights for her political survival in the wake of the British election disaster.It is a proven fact that May’s Conservative party and the unionist politicians whom she is now partnering with to govern Britain were complicit in terrorism.

Northern Ireland has since gained a peace settlement in which unionist and republican politicians have been able to work together to form a local governing administration. The Irish peace process was possible partly because of the courageous and principled intervention by British politicians like Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn has never apologized for terrorism. He has sought to overcome it by making politics work. The same cannot be said for Theresa May’s Conservative party. It was an accomplice and an apologist for a covert policy of state-sponsored terrorism during Northern Ireland’s recent 30-year conflict.

The very party whom she is now allied with for governing Britain – the DUP – were also apologists for paramilitaries who routinely smashed their way into family homes and slaughtered victims in cold blood in front of their loved ones.

The ongoing muted policy of May’s government and her unionist proxies about their murderous legacy in Ireland is a testimony to who the real apologists for terror are.

 

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.