Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Five Most Popular Posts in July

Another month passes into the pages of history, and so here are five more posts to commemorate it.

1. Besmirching Labour's Name
2. No Labour Exit from Brexit
3. Donald Trump Protests: What's the Point?
4. Labour's Incompetent Handling of Anti-Semitism
5. Hard Road to a Soft Brexit

The month's been a total shitfest as far as Labour is concerned. Judging by the response to my critical piece on the leadership's handling of anti-semitism, it's mind-boggingly frustrating to find how some comrades just cannot compute how it can simultaneously be an issue and be used for factional advantage. It's almost as if the world is either black or it's white. Well, I suppose it's to be expected when political education is sporadic and the popular alt-left sites (Novara excepted) prefer semi-conspiracy theorising and embarrassing fanboyism. Still, there was room for other politics as well with pieces looking at Labour's relation to Brexit, the Donald Trump protests, and the absolute shambles that is the Tory party.

I'm all for second chances, so this month we're having another look at the return of UKIP in light of the Chequers deal and ask whether Labour have much to fear. The short answer is not much. At least for the time being.

What can we look forward to in August? Well, hopefully I won't be writing on anti-semitism again but if needs must, the Devil will drive. I have a couple of book reviews bubbling under, and perhaps that Engels and materialism piece will see the light of day too.


Phil said...

it's mind-boggingly frustrating to find how some comrades just cannot compute how it can simultaneously be an issue and be used for factional advantage

Ironically, you're guilty of black-and-white thinking yourself here. My position is precisely that it's a real issue which is being weaponised for factional advantage, but I draw very different conclusions from yours. I don't see how adopting a definition of anti-semitism which is patently designed to bring anti-Zionism under that heading - or adopting any definition of anti-semitism, for that matter - helps us address the issue of anti-semitism in the party; as far as I can see it actually makes it a lot harder.

Ken said...

Er, if you could write about what your experiences were as the education officer in your constituency, or on the wider topic of LP education, I would be grateful. Ad would many others I suspect.

Phil said...

Here you go Ken. I wrote about it a very long time ago because I was the PEO a very long time ago! It's here.

Phil said...

I don't think there's anything about Labour's definition that does bring anti-Zionism into it, beyond the idea that when criticising Israel one should not fall into anti-semitic tropes. Obvious stuff, really.

Dialectician1 said...

On political education, (followed the link to your blog in 2010 and your time as PEO with Tristram Hunt): Like you, I found my period In the 1980s as a Labour Party member to be barren times in terms of quality of political analysis and pedagogy at CLP meetings. I remember leaving the Labour Party after Blair introduced the revision to Clause 4, not because of its betrayal of socialism but the way the discussion was closed down at the meeting especially set up to discuss it. Generally at CLP meetings, most members were keen to get into managerialism as quickly as possible and winced and writhed in their seats if you ventured into the bad land, by taking a broader political economy perspective. I'm not sure if much has changed since the Corbyn revolution but in my day, the Labour Party was the last place to go to get a good political education.

Phil said...

Indeed. As I've often said, if you want to avoid politics you should go to a Labour Party meeting.

Ken said...

Thanks: it sounds a bit churlish to suggest a full time intellectual is necessary for enducation such as this. It does seem very heavily skewed towards the current preoccupations at the time and the luck in finding a useful, readable response.