Saturday 25 April 2009

No2EU Update

Earlier today a group of comrades got together to plan the work for the No2EU campaign in North Staffs. It was also a welcome opportunity to share news about the campaign.

First things first; the lists. Thankfully, at long last, all candidates have been selected. Some comrades will have picked up rumours of who's standing at
this thread on Socialist Unity and via this muckraking piece in the Weekly Worker. I'm afraid comrades are going to have to wait a little while longer for official announcements ... but not too long! 1st May is when the lists will be made public.

No2EU will be contesting all 11 European constituencies, which is the first time a left-of-
Labour challenge has managed to do so. The coalition will qualify for a free election broadcast and mail shot. But all this costs money and donations are urgently needed, so please rush your cheques/postal orders/used fivers to No2EU, 39 Chalton Street, London NW1 1JD. Cheques payable to 'No2EU - Yes to Democracy'.

On a Stoke-level we've got a huge job of work ahead of us. We have organised two public meetings - 8th May and 1st June (venues tbc). We will also be doing No2EU stalls (first one next Saturday at 10am in Hanley) and organising leaflet drops all over the county.

Our No2EU group enters this campaign with a core group of
Socialist Party, Communist Party and independent activists, but we need more local comrades to step up to the plate. Remember, the BNP's chances have been talked up by the Labour party to try and mobilise what remains of its activist base. No2EU however is the only radical alternative poised to take votes from away from them. No2EU offers a more positive and political means of lessening the fascists' chances in the West Midlands and the North West than the hoary old 'don't vote Nazi' or 'vote hope, not hate'-type campaigning.

If you are in Staffordshire and want to get involved drop me a line at my email via my
profile. Don't forget to remove the NOSPAM! But elsewhere No2EU isn't beating volunteers off with a stick! Either give the office a bell at 0207 529 8824 or drop the campaign an email via

Sunday edit: As pointed out in the comments, Iain at Leftwing Criminologist carries an article by the SP's Hannah Sell on why we are supporting No2EU. You can read it here.


Chris S said...

Phil, I see that you have not taken up any of the criticisms that from the WW. Any reason why?

Phil said...

Because Chris Brennan is about as serious as Michael Wainwright? ;)

That said I did start writing something but don't know if I'll find the time this weekend to finish it off. We'll see.

Phil said...

Btw, what is the cpgb's position? Seems all over the place if you ask me. One moment you're denouncing No2EU. Then you're criticising it. Then the WW gives it guarded support. And now we back in denunciation mode. What's it to be?

Leftwing Criminologist said...

There's a very good SP article on NO2EU thats gonna be in next month's Socialism Today that I've reported on my blog.

Anonymous said...

That's a real disservice to Wainwright, Brennan is clearly far less serious. At least Wainwright took the time to write a political criticism (which the SP published online and responded to). That weekly worker article is a pathetic rant which has very little base in reality. Anyone in the SP over the last few year will simply not recognise what he is talking about. I am surprised even the ww decided to publish it. Is it me or is there paper heading downhill?

Eddie Truman said...

Alan McCombes has written an article for the SSP website taking apart NO2EU from a Scottish perspective here

Chris S said...

I think it is unfair on Chris Brennan to not take his criticisms seriously. Putting your head in the sand wont make his criticisms go away. As you know, you are welcome (I would encourage you) to respond in the letters column.

The CPGB's position is against the platform and the project unless the politics can be changed through an open process which has been missing from the start.

You are correct that there was some change between Peter Manson's first and second articles, but only in with regards to participating in any discussions within No2EU and to not rule out absolutely supporting No2EU, because of the possibility of changes. Personally I think Communists cannot support No2EU and it is a shame that SPEW is tailing the left bureaucrats and providing left cover for the campaign.

Phil said...

I might write something tomorrow night. There's an incredible amount of crap in his article that cannot be allowed to stand. Prob won't make it in time for the good old 6pm WW deadline though!

Chris S said...

Phil, send it through anyway, even if it goes in next week.

I always miss the deadline...

Phil said...

Lol, what if it grows into a 15,000 word monster? That said I remember brother Manson and his "robust" approach to editing.

Brother S said...

Just got the programme for the May Day event in Wolverhampton this Friday. Good to see Dave Nellist on the same platform as some CPers.
Brenda Proctor of North Stafs TUC is speaking on the 25th anniversary of the Miners' Strike. Perhaps you could post some details on SU phil.

Boffy said...

I was very sorry to see the SP join up with the Stalinists over this No2EU Nationalist nonsense. It reminds me of the same kind of Little Englander stuff that the CP and other sections of the Left fell into with the anti-Common market campaign of the 1970's, or the attempt to blame foreigners for the problems of British Capitalism that was the mainstay of the Alternative Economic Strategy.

I thought the SP's attitude in relation to the refinery strikes in supporting the strikes whilst condmning and working to overturn the reactionary nationalist demands of "British Jobs 4 British Workers", was quite right, because that was a matter of a spontaneous movement of workers who were just wrong in the demands they were raising - the Stalinists of course failed to oppose those demands because that reactionary Nationalism is consistent with the National Socialist ideology of Stalinism stemming from the theory of Socialism in One Country, and which is the ideology that runs through No2EU.

But, No2EU is different from those strikes for precisley that reason. It is not a spontaneous act by ordinary workers, but a project of a conscious Stalinist sect. It is not a matter of workers being simply wrong in the nationalist demands they happen to have raised, but those demands being an intrinisic aspect of the reactionary nationalist ideology of Stalinism. I think the SP has done itself and the working class a disservice by lending its name to it.

I've read the stuff on the No2EU website, and as I've written on my blog The Cancer of Nationalism in the Workers Movement to be honest I found it difficult to distinguish much of it from the programme put forward by the BNP in the recent By-Election. In fact, on some points the BNP were if anything more cogent.

I understand the SP will be trying to change the platform to put over their own message etc., but really they should have given this reactionary nonsense a wide birth, and looked instead to building a European wide, socialist intervention in the EU elections.

Andrew Walton said...

Arthur Bough -

I don't remember seeing "No to racism and fascism, Yes to international solidarity of working people" or "Keep Out the BNP" on the BNP's programme!

Chris S said...

Manchester launch report

Boffy said...


I didn't say the programme of "British Jobs 4 British Workers", sorry "No 2 EU" was identical to that of the BNP, I said "I found it difficult to distinguish much of it from the programme put forward by the BNP in the recent By-Election".

Simply sticking in the No To Racism etc. slogan as some kind of fig leaf is rather meaningless when the whole ideology behind the Programme of which it is a part is itself, based on a reactionary Nationalism!!!!

Saying, you are for "international working class solidarity" is even more meaningless when the whole basis of the programme and campaign is to do the exact opposite to line British Workers up with British Bosses against workers in the EU!!!!

Phil said...

Just to let you know Arthur I plan on replying to yours and other objections to No2EU later in the week when the candidate lists (finally) get released.

Michael Moran said...

Be good to have you respond to any of the criticisms I raise Phil. Typical Stalinist 'no serious criticisms'. Anybody in the SP will recognize the criticisms. I have all of the emails sent to the SP center, I have minutes of meetings. Stop talking bull shit. The problem is most SPers are so dulled ny the 'cadre development' system that they would not recognize any criticisms, it is literally bred out of them. It is not for nothing that the newest members are chosen to attend congress.

Phil said...

How strange that our branch regularly pushes for new people to attend congress, and that most of the youth speakers this year had less than 12 months membership under their belts.

But anyway why should I respond to your rather sad 'look at me' article in the WW when most of the issues - the CNWP, Lindsey, No2EU, the organisation of the SP - has been done to death on here and elsewhere?

If there is originality in your piece, it lay in the unique level of personalist bile you have toward your former comrades. Given WP is much smaller, much more doctrinaire and far less democratic than the SP how long will it be before you turn your own ultra revolutionary criticisms on our super-dooper bolsheviks? Perhaps I'll start a book.

Michael Moran said...

The article stands, as dfoes my further criticisms of the SP. You can answer them or you can spout bile. As for my alleged bile? I would ask where this bile surfaces in the piece? My comments regarding a certain Huddersfield Doctor are merely the views of most people in the party and especially Yorkshire, whereas I personally quite liked said person.

I await a devastating critique with baited breath.

Phil said...

This is truly desperate stuff. Your critique, such as it is relies on straw man arguments, outright distortion and pathetic character assassination. But I and other comrades know that your piece is not really aimed at the SP - after all, if you were serious about changing its direction you would have tried to do so - instead of practically retiring from activity and not paying subs for a long period of time. No, it's about trying to justify to yourself your retreat from active participation in class struggle politics. Of course, we all have the right to take a step back from time to time - but don't try and dress it up as some kind of principled move.