Thursday, 9 December 2010

A Revolutionary Idea

Following the angry protests on the streets outside of Parliament tonight and the pathetic capitulation of LibDem MPs who either abstained or voted for the tuition fees bill, I began thinking to myself "you know what the anti-cuts movement needs now? Another dedicated campaign group patronised by a revolutionary socialist group". And when I turned to this week's Socialist, it was as if my thoughts were made flesh. Well known Socialist Party activist Rob Williams has the story:
Just as the student movement reaches Day X, the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) has set out the agenda for its anti-cuts conference on 22 January. On 4 December, the NSSN steering committee agreed that the conference will launch the 'NSSN All-Britain Anti-Cuts Campaign - unions and communities together to save jobs and services'.
Don't you think the name kinda rolls off the tongue?

That now makes three national anti-cuts campaigns, each lining up - entirely coincidentally - with three revolutionary organisations. The SWP's Right to Work outfit. The Counterfire-sponsored Coalition of Resistance. And now the NSSN/SP-backed NSSNABACC-UCTSJS. I suppose you could make it four if you count the internet-based but extremely effective
UK Uncut website/blog.

The point is ... well ... what is the point of having yet another anti-cuts group? We are
told there is little evidence of democracy in the SWP's Right to Work. Plus ├ža change. (Though, to be fair, the SWP/RtW has done an excellent job mobilising people and assisting the radicalisation of thousands). And the Coalition of Resistance? Apparently the prior existence of the NSSN and its "successes" are enough to justify the formation of another campaigning body with its own steering committee, round of meetings and conferences, and timetable of activity. I love revolutionary replication.

I have another, alternative idea. Some may call it foolish. Others devilishly daring.

How about trying to unite things under one clear and unambiguous banner? I'm lukewarm on the name, but the Coalition of Resistance is
not dominated by Counterfire in the same way RtW is by the SWP. It has a higher media profile than the Trotskyist-sponsored alternatives. Some of its leading figures have name recognition beyond the far left/activist milieu and, in the person of Clare Solomon, a militant alternative to the supine NUS leadership under Aaron Porter. To top it all off its founding conference was packed with "normal people" and not party members shipped in from all over to make it look more significant than it actually was. It's not perfect by any means, but CoR is far better placed than anything else to cohere the anti-cuts movement.

So why don't the revolutionary left actually do something revolutionary by pooling their strength and pulling in the same direction for a change. Is it too much to expect?

21 comments:

Floyd said...

Last weekend Right to Work hosted a meeting of the various anti-cuts groups, with reps from various unions (including Unite), the LRC, the SP, and some campaigning groups (disability action and so on). This discussed moving towards unity, which was very much the aim of most of the people in the room.

R2W people there (not all of whom were in the SWP) offered to open up the conference they have planned on the 12th of February to be one for everyone, not just one group. This is a fairly serious offer and one that should be considered seriously.

There is a long way to go on this, but I do think it's a positive offer and one that could bring together the various diverse forces for the new year.

Chris Bambery's report is here

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=23287

There is also a report by Paul Brandon of R2W here:

http://sites.google.com/site/righttoworkconference/home/reports/unityforuminitiatedbyrighttowork

Boffy said...

Phil,

I agree with the sentiments, but not necessarily with the conclusion. As this latest front organisation shows the sects are part of the problem, not part of the solution. In every previous instance you can think of, it has been the attempt to use any of these organisations to party build, that has meant each sect either spends most of its time manouvring against the others, or else ends up splitting away when it can't take advantage, only to set up its own more "pure" front. We just have all thse fronts set up to begin with in this case.

Last week Mike McNair in WW argued the need to build a bottom up organisation bringing all the various groups together in a single organisation, but based on some real democracy. He too argues that COR is perhaps the best of a bad bunch for the reasons you set out, but like STW, Counterfire see it as just another Popular Frontist organisation, which means preventing it from having any kind of decent politics.

Yet, as I've pointed out in my reply to Mike McNair, his desire to overcome this by the establishment of a democratic strcuture is really nothing more than a pious wish. As I point out his allusion to the Soviets in 1917 as an example of the kind of structure required is a bad one. Trotsky himself described how the Soviets were packed out undemocratically, and how people from various organisations were able to get on to them though they represented nobody. The left sects have been very good over the years by using their organisation and discipline at such "electoralism", as ameans of getting their members on to such bodies, or on to TU Executives and so on way out of proprtion to any support they have amongst workers. Any democratic structure would simply be open to them doing the same, and so these bodies would descend once more into becoming sectarian bear pits, and succumbing to schism.

In fact, it might be that one democratic measure required for building such democratic bodies would be that only workers who are not a member of any of the sects should be eligible for election to any of the posts, in the same way that after the fall of Stalinism in the USSR, the CP was denied the right to use its muscle to try to inveigle its way back in.

Dave said...

Give Workers' Power six month to expose the reformist bankruptcy of the other leaderships, and hopefully they will launch a fourth.

andyb said...

Phil, obviously trying to suggest that the NSSN is just another anti-cuts movement which has arrived late in the day merely to complicate things, you say somewhat sarcastically,

“I began thinking to myself "you know what the anti-cuts movement needs now? Another dedicated campaign group patronised by a revolutionary socialist group"

So as to leave no doubt about what you are trying to say you go on to add,

“And now the NSSN/SP-backed NSSNABACC-UCTSJS” followed by,

“what is the point of having yet another anti-cuts group?”

But Phil, the article you refer to correctly states that the NSSN has been part of the anti-cuts movement from the beginning and was created before COR & RTW.

In fact the origins of the NSSN go back even further. When you were still a member of the Socialist Party and proud to call yourself a 'revolutionary'  you attended a NSSN meeting in Stoke in September of 2008 which brought together some of the best local trade union militants from the PCS and CWU.

On the 29 September this year a day of action against cuts was jointly organised in Stoke by supporters of the NSSN and Youth Fight For Jobs which received coverage in our local paper, the Sentinel and on Stoke Socialist Party's website. (checkout - http://www.stokesocialistparty.org.uk/?p=454)

At a North Staffs TUC meeting on 13 October you proposed booking a bus to send activists to Manchester to support the NSSN lobby of the TUC Conference on the 23 October 2010 which was calling on them to organise a national march against cuts.

Phil continues in sarcastic vein by saying,

“I have another, alternative idea. Some may call it foolish. Others devilishly daring. How about trying to unite things under one clear and unambiguous banner?”

But Phil if you read the Socialist more often and without preconceived ideas you would find out that the NSSN is part of ongoing discussions with RTW, COR and other anti-cuts organisations on practical unity.

However, a unity which can potentially defeat the cuts cannot be built with abstract slogans like for example, "we're all in this together". Particularly as we get near the council's budget days the debate about our attitude to Labour councils in particular will intensify and we don't believe that there is yet common agreement on this.

Some think that we must involve councillors who carry out cuts in the anti-cuts movement to convince them to fight. The SP however believes that we should oppose ALL cuts and that standing against such councillors is a legitimate tactic.

I wouldn't blame council workers in Neath/Port Talbot council having nothing to do with the anti-cuts movement if such Labour councillors were invited on to our platforms as others suggest. The reality is that these councillors are more likely to fight if they feel the pressure rather than if they are given a left cover.

We need to prevent the government or local councils from trying to divide the anti cuts movement by playing off one campaign against another - “if we save your children's centre we will have to close that swimming pool” would be a recipe for disaster. This is why we need a concrete unity of opposition to ALL cuts whether implemented by the Con Dem government or Labour councilors.

In Stoke-on Trent, Phil, we have even greater complications where your party, Labour, despite being the largest party has formed a Cuts Coalition along with the Tories, Lib Dems and some independents.

Just a suggestion you might want to consider Phil, instead of merely commentating on events and complaining about everything and everybody that isn't part of what you consider to be the labour movement perhaps your time would be better spent trying to convince your party in Stoke to break its coalition with the Tories and Lib Dems and instead actually join the fight against cuts.

Chris said...

I think the actions of the police finally put pay to the idea that forces within the state will seek to undermine these ruling class cuts.

On so called sect building, well, where is the ‘workers’ party when you need them? We see with the NUS hierarchy that careerist politicians (present and future) and the parties they control have currently nothing to offer any movement engaged in defensive struggles. What the ‘sects’ are doing is attempting to give the struggle some direction, some coordination and I think they are playing a positive role in the student movement. The real problem is that the trade unions are sitting on their backsides doing nothing and why is that? Again careerist leaders too embedded in the system. The time has come to stop relying on the careerists.

Loz said...

Ah Chris, absolutely classic - blame the trade unions again.

I'm a full-time union official, a "leader" if you like, currently involved in a very serious dispute over ongoing pay freezes with a private sector employer, and I've just ended up hospitalised with pneumonia as a result of travelling extensively around the country on trains to try to organise disparate workers into a national struggle. Managing to pull through, and I'll be back at it on Monday and then I'll be working over Christmas and New Year to ensure industrial action notices are delivered properly.

I am just absolutely sick to my arse being blamed for there being no proper broad anti-cuts campaign by armchair socialist failures like you.

The sects ARE to blame. I bet my life that in spite of the bluster, the three current anti-cuts groups will not ally with each other properly and there will end up being competing events and confusion over strategy and tactics and all will end up blaming each other for the failure whilst all, obviously, will ultimately blame the trade unions for their inability to get on.

People I know, both the union members I am employed by and my personal friends keep asking me "these cuts are shit, where do I go to find out what is happening to fight them".

I have to send them about five links to different groups and campaigns at any one time because the socialist left can't get its shit together collectively and even have one website.

Maybe there are some elements in the trade unions, the NUS, the Labour Party and wherever else that don't help things. But I have to say I think the biggest barrier to pulling something coherent together is venom-spitting, jealous sectarian antagonism towards trade unionists by the likes of you.

The sects seem to have plenty of (unelected) full-timers as well - why aren't they ever held up to scrutiny for their actions?

Chris said...

Loz,

I am active in Unison and am speaking from personal experience.

I am not blaming unions for anything, merely pointing out that their repsonse to the most savage cuts in living memory has been, shall we say, disproportionate.

I would have expected a much more pro active campaign, maybe that will come but I still think we need to stop relying on careerists within the movement. Be that trade union leaders, councillors or politicians. One reason the Tories have been able to push through such extreme measures despite no mandate whatsoever is the gap between the public and the decisions that affect the services they receive. If we don't close that gap, stop that reliance, then any movement for change is doomed.

Loz said...

OK, I am pretty confident there are bad practices in UNISON, and hear a lot about them to be honest. There are bad practices in many unions, unfortunately.

The solution to this is to organise the beat the leadership if you are unhappy.

But oh look at the last UNISON election there's two left candidates standing against each other on virtually the same platform.

I am sure there are all manner of reasons as to why this happened and depending on which sect you are in, you will defend the decision to stand your candidate and broadly denounce the other as some kind of traitor.

To everyone else this just seems pointlessly and destructively sectarian.

At the end of it, both their votes combined didn't come close to beating the leadership.

"Ah" you will say. "That's because of the bureaucratic regime that swung behind the established candidates".

Yes, that's right, evil full timers went round to thousands of members houses, stood over them as they voted to ensure they went the right way, then ensured they took them to the post box.

And presumably the other 80% of members who didn't even bother to vote in a secret ballot are too enfeebled to even countenance doing so because of the actions of the same regime.

I actually happen to think that a union mobilisation should have happened by now, and should certainly happen before March. My union continues to push this line and is supportive both theoretically and practically with the students current demonstrations.

But blaming the people who happen to work for the unions for a lack of a coherent anti-cuts strategy, many of whom gladly put in hours well in excess of the members they represent, is just a cop-out for the fact that, as of yet, we have not reached a critical mass on this. Workers I represent ARE pissed off, but not yet to the extent of taking to the streets to bring down the government. You will probably disagree with me, as most sects claim to have a truth monopoly on the fabled working-class-anger barometer. But I still don't think we are yet at the stage where Cameron and Clegg are going to be brought down through a trade union backed anti-cuts coalition.

To blame that lack of anger and lack of general co-ordination on "careerists" is just a over-simplified cop-out. There are lots of full-timers who work for unions I could mention that have actually been put there purely through their sectarian links, and similarly there is actually a disproportionately large sectarian influence in union leadership bodies from the same political parties.

And again, what of the many full-timers for the sects? Presumably they are not careerists...just professional revolutionaries.

When I hear this venom towards people who have jobs within unions, particularly from people who have paid jobs within political parties, it strikes me that it comes purely from a position of petty individual jealousy that they themselves are not in those very union positions they denounce so gladly as being the "cause" of the failure of the left.

Andy said...

It sounded pretty much like you were attacking the unions to me, Chris, and like Loz says, your comments here are usually defined by a venom towards other socialists, which is typical of the attitude of the sects, which Loz is talking about. And, I think Loz is right in his other description of you as some kind of armchair socialist, because in blaming the Trades Unions you have all the hallmarks of those people who think that the Union is something apart from them, that Trades Union action is something that other people do.

You say you are active in UNISON, and that you are speaking from your own experience, but I think I recall that you were asked on one occasion about exactly what action you were involved in, and were unable to back up your claims. Until, you can convince people that you really are a Trade Union militant, and not just an armchair general as Loz describes, you ought to be very careful in how you attack other people like Loz who can show that they are actively involved. In fact, in talking about Careerism, don't I recall seeing somewhere that you described yourself as a high-ranking Accountant advising Local Authority Chief Executives? It seems like you have carved out a pretty lucrative career for yourself.

Boffy said...

Phil,

I don't know if you saw this piece, at Left Foot Forward, about No.10 now challenging Andrew Lansley's proposed reforms of the NHS. It appears that on top of the apparent amateurism of Gove's Education reforms, and the embarassment he was subject to several times, as his Civil Servants provided him with one duff piece of information after another, Lansley is about to suffer a similar fate, as the information he has been putting forward looks like it was equally drawn up on the back of a fag packet by his advisors. What with that and the embarrassment of Police complaining about the Cust they will have to face, and then the Tory HQ getting trashed, and heir to the throne left in the hands of an angry mob, a picture seems to be emerging.

That the Liberal-Tories are a bit amateurish is not hard to beleive, but if the whole of the upper echelons of the State apparatus really is this incompetent, then perhaps the Tories might have a point after all. But, I don't think they are that incompetent, at least not when it comes to being good at protecting their own empires.

The fact that Obama has just introduced another $2 trillion dollar fiscal stimulus in the US must alos begin to put pressure on the Tories, whose austerity measures are increasingly out of step. In that respect the statement of the Icelandic President recommending that Ireland follow their lead in defaulting is also interesting, as is the statement of Paul Krugman, basically endorsing that approach rather than austerity. As I set out in my blog post CPGB Cuts Strategy Falls Between Scylla and Charybdis, the increasing message coming from the strategists of Capital is that austerity is creating the very conditions under which they will not get paid back. As I point out there, the fact that it is organs of the State independent of Government, such as the Central Banks, that are taking action to stimulate economies in the US and UK and Europe, is an indication of where the fault lines exist. A big enough push by workers can force the Liberal-Tories to make concessions and choose a different course. But, we shouldn't be satisfied with that, we need to look to winning actual gains for workers. There was an interesting post on that at the UK Worker Co-operatives site.

Chris said...

Andy,

I think you have been too influenced by other people. People whose narrative is that these cuts are being opposed by 'big' capital or very wealthy people to give them a human face.

We see the state reacting hysterically and brutally to student protests, imposed austerity on Ireland as part of the bailout deal. This isn’t right wing populism but a coordinated class project. This is both ideological and a reality of the logic of the system. A logic that protects the wealthiest and powerful and their sprogs and pushes crises and the resulting burden onto the poorest and powerless.

As for lucrative careers local authority accountants are not extravagantly paid by any stretch or anything approaching high flying. You really need to stop viewing the world via stereotypes.

As for attacking trade unions, I seem to remember YOU being the biggest critic of trade unions and not even acknowledging their contribution to the advancement of workers. You put all that down to the civilising mission of capitalism, people like Cecil Rhodes.

And you claimed that the cuts were NOT front loaded if memory serves me right and claimed I was a liar to suggest they were. Well comrades should read todays Guardian page 22, paragraph 3 where they say "Local authorities face some of the most draconian cuts...but those cuts have been front loaded, meaning they have to find half next year"

I think you will find my inside knowledge is of some worth. You tried to suggest these cuts were no big deal, not as bad as we were led to believe, basically you said any old shit to prop up your flawed analysis.

Phil said...

That's good to hear, Floyd. As you probably know I don't like the SWP very much but it has done some good work with RtW and is pushing in the right direction. Long may it continue!

Boffy, I don't take the cpgb's campaigning tips at all seriously as it appears to take an abstentionist line vis a vis struggle. Heavy on what needs to be done, light on what they actually do. I also agree with you on the soviet thing they're pushing: they did try promoting the same thing in the Socialist Alliance.

Phil said...

Andy, I don't know what post you were reading because it clearly wasn't the one above.

Of course I haven't forgotten about the origins of the NSSN - here's the report from that founding meeting. And here's my take on the second NSSN conference from earlier in 2008. However I believe readers are intelligent and sufficiently clued up to already know the NSSN has been around for three years, and can manage without a laborious recounting of its history every time I choose to write about a new development.

If you had read my post more carefully and "without preconceived ideas" you will see that the brunt of my sarcasm is not directed to the NSSN as such, but its decision to launch a *dedicated* anti-cuts campaign. If I were still in the SP I would find the decision as bewildering as I do now, and you know very well if the shoe was on the other foot and the SWP had done the same thing the SP would be criticising them. You know there is no rationale whatsoever for another campaign. You know it locally as activity is being driven through N Staffs Against Cuts, and you know it nationally as other outfits have become important drivers of mobilisation. As you say so yourself, the NSSN is already talking to the SWP and CoR - so why not participate in them as is? The only possible advantage the NSSNABACC-UCTSJS has for the SP is a convenient fig leaf for the party to organise its own anti-cuts public meetings and activity independently of others.

I don't see what relevance Labour councillors have to this particular post. But I will say it would be very foolish indeed to go out of your way to denounce and alienate those who do end up voting for cuts. Not just because they don't see themselves as tribunes of the people in the same way Leninists see themselves, but also it is likely over the next few years that further rounds of cuts could see some councils taking a stand. Especially as, assuming this round of cuts go through, there is nothing left to cut. This is not advocating we sit on our hands until then. More a recognition that Labour councillors who are against us today can, by force of circumstance, be with us tomorrow.

Btw Andy, you'll be pleased to hear I'm as active now as much as I was during most of my time in Stoke SP. If you read my blog more often you might pick up on it. That you don't see me doling leaflets out on windswept stalls doesn't mean I'm up to nowt, in the same way as me never seeing Stoke SP knocking on doors and speaking to people about the cuts and their concerns automatically means you're doing naff all. I do what I can pushing an anti-cuts line and - crucially - arguing for alternatives to them in the local party. It's not easy, but Labour remains a crucial front in the struggle against the cuts. It requires consistent and patient work - something I thought you knew all about.

Phil said...

Hi Boffy, I understand workers in the Department of Health refer to their boss as 'La-La Lansley'.

To speculate about the causes of the diminution of the quality of the Tories' leading cadre, one stem has to have something to do with their growing up in periods of relative class peace, of always having everything their own way and not meeting determined opposition to their policies. Looking at the front bench who's had direct experience of facing down the labour movement and other upwellings from below? Ken Clarke probably ... anyone else?

Re: Ireland and defaulting - it's very hard to say. Because of the nature of the bail out and their integration into the Eurozone, it would probably be much harder for them to do an Iceland. Time will tell. But there, as here, are sections of capital and the state opposed to the self-destructive and totally unnecessary cuts for their own reasons. Obviously it would be foolish for the anti-cuts movement to rely on them, but how they would manifest their opposition could open new opportunities to see the Tories off.

Phil said...

Chris, I think you over-estimate the unity of capital behind the Tory/LibDem project. The ruling class were not fully united behind Thatcher - though of course, that did not necessarily make them on our side. Some sections of capital are deeply ambivalent about the cuts and are worried the cuts in the public sector could hit them too. We have to be alive to such divisions and make use of them when we can.

Andy said...

Chris,

Are you on some kind of mind bending drugs???? Where have I said any of the things you claim I've said about Trades Unions not defending workers rights, about Cecil Rhodes advancing workers conditions, or about the Cuts being back loaded?

I've not made any such comments anywhere. You seem to have just gone into another of your venomous rants as Loz describes it rather than defend the position you put forward of defending the sects, and attacking the unions.

From what you have previously said you were not some kind of run of the mill Local Authority Accountant. From what I recall, though I'd have to look it up, you said something about talking to Chief Executives all over the country, and I wouldn't imagine that is the kind of thing that any ordinary LA Accountant sitting in an office would do. I'd imagine that to do that you'd have to be pretty well at the top, and being paid accordingly. Either way you seem to have chosen your career, and hardly in a position to criticise active Trade Unionsists like Loz, when you have all the signs of being some kind of armchair general yourself.

Boffy said...

Phil,

I agree entirely with your last two comments. I think that the comment from Ed Yardeni, who coined the phrase "Bond Vigilantes" back in 1983 is educative. Quoted in an article by Richard Milne in the FT, he says,

"Individually, it is driven more by fear than a vigilante desire to punish Governments. But, as a group investors are in effect maintaining law and order, because they have given up on expecting fiscal and budgetary discipline."

In other words they don't see Governments being able to carry through austerity, and as Pippa Malmgren, who is a strategist for another of these big financial companies put it on CNBC a week or so ago, Ireland simply cannot carry through the austerity measures - possibly at all - and certainly not be able to achieve growth, which means as yardeni says, Bond hodlers will not get paid back, and big Construction companies etc. will go to the wall, not to mention the effect on British exporters.

I saw John Major on Tv this morning talking about the EU, and it facing low growth for ten years as a result of carrying through austerity measures. At a time when China is growing more powerful by the day through its growth, and as the US looks like pulling out of recession due to massive fiscal stimulus that is simply not tolerable for EU Capital - probably not for foreign multinational Capital operating in Europe. As I set out in my blog response to the CPGB, the most significant parts of Europe are growing strongly, and they are not going to blow their project by allowing the Eurozone to fracture. They will use it to push through a further integration of the EU - with or without the UK - and then through the issue of EBonds - which German State officials are already backing while Merkel speaks against the idea - the monetisation of the debt, and an EU wide Keynesian growth strategy, begin to restructure Capital within Europe.

But, of course you are right, whether sections of Capital do or do not do that does not change the response of Marxists and their advice to workers. Marx and Engels expected German Capital to fight in 1848, and learned the lessons of that mistake. As I've written in all my blogs on socialist strategy our advcie to workers is to maintain their independence of Capital and its State, which is why we shouldn't simply become apologists for, and make alliances with State capitalism, and the bureaucrats who manage it.

But, the whole emphasis of Marx and Engels analysis in practice such as in The Eighteenth Brumaire of the Civil War in France, is trhe need to be sensitive to divisions within the Capitalist Class, to not fall into a crude determinism or two class model, and Lenin's great strength was to take that, and to insist upon tactics that took advantage of such divisions.

Chris said...

Andy,

Have you heard of conferences? I know the Chief Exec because he played on the same five-a-side footy team as me and we get to hear stuff. And everything I said came to fruition!! As I warned comrades, these cuts are drastic and front loaded, contrary to the complacent attitude of others.

Not only did you say these cuts were not as bad as we were led to believe, quoting Costas Lapavitsas no less, I will remind you that your first response to these cuts was to point out how inefficient we in the public sector are! You based your assertion on a heap of false and out dated information, like some old Tory on his last gin of the day.
The whole flow of your analysis is designed to fit into your singular path to socialism – cooperatives. You fail to be objective but grope around for the facts to fit this minority left view.

To be fair to Loz I may have oversimplified matters by lumping trade unionists, councillors and politicians all together –but sometimes you need to abstract to make a general point. I still think the system of devolved responsibility to elected leaders and the like is now having a detrimental affect on the advancement of humanity and needs to be superceded. I also think these leaders tend become embedded in the system. This is shown by the Condem savage cuts, people really have little idea what services local authorities provide, which is why they are happy to see them cut, just as long as they don’t affect them personally! I believe if we had a more direct form of democracy this situation would not occur and different solutions would be sought to overcome any economic problems. We would certainly not see the irresponsible rush job of savage, extreme cuts that the barley elected and the elected on a pack of lies are inflicting upon us.

Talking about venom, shall we go through all the socialists you can’t stand and are venomous towards?

Oh and by the way, just to repeat page 22 of Saturday's Guardian, paragraph 3. These cuts are front loaded!!!!

Boffy said...

Chris,

I repeat, are you on some kind of mind bending drugs or something. Please cite where I have said anything about Co-ops, or any of the other things you cite????

You seem desperate to avoid dealing with the point by going off on a venomous pointless rant.

Andy said...

I'm confused, who is replying to who here? Boffy, I'm assuming you replied to Chris, because he appears to be going off on another of his rants against you.

Chris, you have not replied to the points I made. By the way I do not buy the excuse you gave over the Chief Executives. I took the trouble to look up what you have said. In your post of 15th July, which I looked up, you said, “This isn’t my assertion but the view of Chief executives I speak to.”

So what was this then a 5 a side convention for Local Government Chief executives you just happened to be attending???

Boffy said...

Andy,

"Chris" is a troll and a fantasist. he changes his political standpoint with each persona he adopts. That is why you were able to catch him out on the Chief Executive nonsense. As a fantasist, he usually has to assign to himself some senior position to justify having some "inside" or superior knowledge. He then ties himself up, because he has to rely on his time in the Library and on the Net to try to acquire the necessary information.

Like all trolls his modus operandi is to issue various unsubstantiated allegations such as those above, in the knowledge that it takes much more time and words to respond to allegations than it does to issue them. When you respond he simply issues another set of allegations. That's why I've already said I wouldn't respond to him. I've asked him several times to prove he's a real person, and to provide quotes and sources of where I'm supposed to have said things, and he continually fails. He's failed again.

But, his comments above have shown something else. Amongst the rant he talks about me supporting Cecil Rhodes as part of the "Civilising Mission of Capital". Besides the fact that this shows he doesn't understand the term, because it has nothing to do with Colonialism, and is another preposterous allegation against me, more importantly you will not find any comments by me in my my responses to him above!

However, I did have a "discussion" on this point on my own blog 18 MONTHS AGO with a troll who went under a variety of names. Recognising the style it was not difficult for me to tarce the source of these comments to show that they came from the same source, and indeed came from the same source as another troll who under the persona of The Sentinel, poses as a BNP'er. Having made this known on my blog he disappeared.

Its perhaps not surprising then that "Chris" who seems to have this Obsessive Compulsive need to "counter" my statements not just here, but on other left blogs, has not decided to "counter" them in the most obvious place - on my own blog!