FIGHTBACK!!

Welcome to Tory Britain! Parliament hasn’t even opened yet and already half the country is pissed off, and I’m not surprised. Only 24% of you voted for them, three quarters of the population don’t want this. Yet now the Tories have free licence to plough ahead with their ideological austerity measures which amount to nothing more than class war. So much for living in a democracy…


What we know already.

Just a week after the election and the details of this governments intentions are becoming clearer. We now now that benefit claimants (including the disabled and low waged) face cuts amounting to £12 billion to the welfare system. We know that 1 million more vulnerable people (many elderly and disabled) face the bedroom tax as it is extended. Students and young people know that their youth mental health services face being decimated by cuts amounting to a quarter of their already paltry budget. University’s, colleges and schools in house mental health services, upon which so many rely, face becoming a thing of the past. Students also rightly fear increased tuition fees after it was reported £11,500 per year is believed to be under consideration by David Cameron. And we all face the threat of the repealing of the human rights act. The last 5 years have been bad, but we haven’t seen anything yet.


What can we do?

As I’ve already said, the majority didn’t vote for this. So what can we do? We have to FIGHTBACK! There are demonstrations popping up all around the country, I’m sure you all saw the 4000 on the streets of Bristol. Sheffield also saw 700+ in the same week demonstrate against austerity and Manchester is expecting up to 5000 on Saturday the 23rd. Then on the 30th Nottingham are hoping for 1000+ to take to the streets. And on June 20th 10’s of thousands will take to the streets of London to demand an end to austerity at the peoples assembly demo. These are just a few of the larger demo’s that I know of mentioned here and smaller demos in towns and cities everywhere are happening too so keep an eye out and get involved! The only way to overthrow a government is to make ourselves ungovernable, we need to make it clear to this government from the start that we are not going to roll over. We need to show them that we will fight them from the off and that we intend to win. Labour offers no real opposition any more, they’re just Tories themselves now leaving the working class with out a voice. The only real opposition is the opposition we build ourselves and that is exactly what we must do. We must protest, occupy, agitate and fight. Direct action is the only way forward now and we must all get involved. Actions are being organised everywhere, all we need to do is support them en mass. The Tories have no mandate to govern, so lets show the we won’t be governed! Let’s fightback!!

no war but the class war

Stand up to UKIP!

With just a few weeks to go until the general election UKIP are still polling around 18% and are in the media daily. This group of ex tories, bankers and racists have seen phenomenal growth in support with their own aggressive brand of right wing rhetoric. But who are the people that are supporting UKIP, and what effect has their increase in air time had on the nation?


This week Nigel Farage was seen in the media complaining about the audience at the leaders debate being too left wing, a sentiment that is often echoed by UKIP on all levels. They use the term ‘left wing’ in a derogatory fashion, sometimes in quite aggressive terms, this is a central part of their party rhetoric. Well also this week a UKIP supporter was arrested after he took up arms and shot at 2 labour canvassers going door to door on his street in Rotherham, whilst chanting UKIP, UKIP, UKIP… This disgusting incident is frankly a hate crime and is not a coincidence, nor is it the only time that dangerous right wing extremists have looked upon UKIP as an inspiration. The fascist political party Britain First have recently been quoted urging their supporters to vote UKIP instead of voting for them as they apparently see themselves and UKIP as being part of the same movement. Britain First see themselves as the military branch in their perceived nationalist race war, with UKIP being the “political arm of the movement.”  And even this is not an isolated incident, with the fascist, racist and violent street protest group the EDL (and all their splinter groups) now regularly heard chanting UKIP on their marches. Now for a party that says its not racist, or even right wing for that matter (HA!), to be inspiring such hatred towards others based on their religion, skin colour and political beliefs there is clearly something wrong. And it is clear for all to see that what is wrong is the message UKIP are putting out, it is inspiring nazis, bigots and idiots to carry out hate crimes. And we as a nation cannot stand for that!


So I say to you, my fellow Britons, we need to stand up to UKIP! Now! Before its too late. As citizens in a supposedly free society we should not have to risk being attacked on the streets by bigots for our race, religion, sexual preference or political beliefs. And furthermore we should not tolerate a party like UKIP inspiring these narrow minded groups and individuals. We need to work together as a society to crush these bigots once and for all, socialists, liberals, anarchists, trade unionists, anti fascists and community campaigners together. We cannot let UKIP continue to gain influence and prevalence through more council seats and MP’s. So what can we do? We can do many things, some small, some large, but all valuable. For a start we all need to organise and attend large anti UKIP protests in all their target areas! If they are campaigning in your town or city centre then don’t simply walk past and ignore them, confront them about their rhetoric of hate and make them squirm in public! Or go to their election shops and ask them the awkward questions they can’t handle for the same confrontation! Canvass your area, not for any one party, just against UKIP! If you see a UKIP poster or billboard, graffiti it or rip it down! If you see Nigel Farage or Mark Reckless or any other high profile UKIP member canvassing near you, egg them! Take whatever action you feel is appropriate and that you are comfortable with, every single little thing helps. Just don’t sit back and do nothing… We need to stop them before its too late.

anti ukip

Truth, lies and immigration

The right wing media (supported by the political ruling class) are forever telling us that immigrants are stealing our jobs, homes and prosperity as well as putting massive strain on our NHS, schools and other public services. Along with the likes of UKIP, Britain First and the Tories they would have you believe that immigrants are akin to some kind of invading army. Well to be blunt it’s all bullshit! And here’s why.


Divide and rule

Let’s clear up the most common misconception straight away, immigrants ARE NOT stealing jobs from British workers! Many studies have been carried out on this subject and all have found that migrants are in fact doing jobs that Brits simply will not do nowadays such as cleaning and farming. In a financial services based capitalist economy such as ours these jobs are deemed ‘below us’ by many in society, however that does not mean that they do not need to be done. Many employers have reported that they always advertise these jobs widely and many say they never receive a single application from a British worker, as they would rather work in a call centre to be frank. With nobody to fill these vacancies employers have no choice other than to employ migrant workers, often on far less money than they would employ a Brit. This is the other issue, some employers use migrant labour as a way to cut their costs because they pay migrants less than a Brit for the same job. Working class migrant workers are actually amongst the most exploited groups in society, we should be sympathising with them rather than vilifying them. But as a society we do vilify them, because it is rammed down our throats that we should do so by politicians and the media. This is done for a reason so basic and obvious that its frightening to think that the majority of the general population is blind to it. It is divide and rule, the oldest trick in the book for those in power. While ever the masses are believing that it is the fault of migrants that A+E waiting times are dangerously high, or that our schools are over crowded, or that the council house waiting lists are stretching into decades, people are not seeing the real reasons for all these things. The government has destroyed the NHS, it has privatised the schools and it sold off all the council houses. They are the ones to blame. But they keep getting away with it time and time again by giving the public a scapegoat in the form of immigrants. First it was the Irish, then the Indians, the Jamaicans, Pakistani’s and now its the middle eastern and eastern European migrants that are apparently to blame. Only when the general population wake up to this can anything actually be done about the issues that drive the anti immigrant rhetoric. Concerns about the NHS, schools, housing and other public services are important issues but nothing can be done while ever we are pointing at a tiny group within our communities and blaming them for all the ills of our country rather than blaming those in power who actually control these services. The truth of the matter is that every study ever undertaken has found immigrants to have had an economically positive impact on Britain, if we removed their tax contributions we would still be in recession. And besides this fact another study found that nearly a third of NHS employees were migrants or the children of migrants, if we ‘sent them all back’ as the BNP and other racists would like the NHS would literally collapse and cease to function over night. Migrants are not the enemy of the working man, the political system is. And it is the enemy of the migrant too, and the student, the pensioner, the small business owner and everyone else in the 99% of society. If only people could realise that we might be able to get somewhere.


We all bleed red

When all is said and done we are all human. Whether a person is black, white, or brown should not make them the victims of hatred within society and nor should the country in which they were born. Borders only still exist in the modern world in order to preserve privilege by stopping those in 3rd world countries seeking a better life in richer nations. By doing this the world super powers ensure that poorer nations remain available to be readily exploited for cheap labour and imports. Nationalists say that immigrants are taking our jobs, well we are taking their lives! People come to Britain from places in the middle East, places destroyed by years of western intervention and wars. From Eastern Europe, where western economics force wages and living standards to stay low to suit their own capitalist needs. They flee from their countries, from their families, their friends and all they have ever known for one thing. A better life. A life they cannot have in their country because those with power will not allow it because it doesn’t suit their plans for the world. ‘Globalisation’ is a term used often in the media and business circles. What this term actually means is all I’ve just described, the rich and powerful few controlling the politics of the world to suit their own ends and exploiting billions of people in the process. At the end of the day we are all citizens of the world, and the problems of this world are too numerous to mention. We can only build a better world if we are all pulling in the same direction. So ask yourself, after all I’ve said, does it really matter whether the family next door are from Margate or Mumbai?

no borders

One mans Anarchism

There is a lot of confusion and negative association surrounding anarchism which is caused by a lack of understanding, so in this short piece I am going to outline what anarchism stands for and what it means to me personally.


A short explanation of anarchism

The word anarchy derives from the Greek word anarchos which literally translates as ‘one with out rulers’. Put simply it is the belief that no one person has the right to rule over another as we are all human when all is said and done. It does not mean chaos, destruction and violence as many people would have you believe. There are many different types of anarchists and many different schools of thought on the subject, no single ideology defines the belief. There are anarcho-communists, anarcho-syndicalist’s, environmental anarchists and individualists to name just a few (I will not detail the specific beliefs associated with all of these here as it would make for a very long read). However all anarchists agree on certain core principles, such as the belief that society should be stateless and without rulers and that all people should have the basic freedoms to do what they so choose with their lives, to pursue their own interests and desires, rather than being controlled and oppressed by the ruling classes through their economic systems and social structures. Anarchists often say that we are all effectively slaves as we are all forced to do jobs for money in order to survive. As money is nothing more than a human invention and a means to control the mass population we are all victims of what is called wage slavery, hence many anarchists call for the abolition of money in favour of voluntary systems of work and collectivisation of the production industries so that all products of humanity belong to all people. Anarchists believe that the current global system of capitalism puts the wishes of the few above the needs of the many, that there are more than enough resources on this Earth for all on it to live well and that capitalism puts profits before people and the environment. Anarchism is simply best described as a highly libertarian form of socialism.


My personal anarchism

Anarchism to me means no more wage slavery, the ability to pursue my own interests, to grow and learn as a person and contribute to society in a way that makes me happy instead of working just to survive whilst making profits for someone else. It means not being controlled, watched and oppressed by the state under threat of imprisonment. It means a decent standard of living for all in society instead of an extravagant one for the privileged few. It means no more destruction of the planet, no more pillaging of its valuable natural resources in the name of profit. It means an end to the current inequalities of society, no more racism, no more sexism, a society where we are all equal as just the humans that we are. It means a return to what humanity is meant to be. After all, in the early days of humanity before money and government were even a concept we as a species lived together in communities voluntarily and shared all resources and tasks equally. No single person or group is intended to have control over another, that is not the natural way. Anarchism to me means putting faith in humanity. It means believing that we are by our very nature good, that we do not need to be controlled by others in order to survive. It means destroying the corrupt and unequal society around us and starting again. It means building a better, fairer world. It means hope. In one word anarchism to me means freedom.

nogod_nomasters_anarchism.

EDL splinter groups, an antifa’s guide.

Since Tommy Robinson left the EDL the group is leaderless and has become fractured, leading to the emergence of numerous smaller fascist groups all over Britain. These groups are usually regionally orientated and due to their lower profile they are able to be even more overtly racist than the EDL. But who are these groups? Who are their leaders? And how can we stop them? Below is a profile of some of the most well known groups, followed by a complete list of all the splinter groups I know of to date.


INFIDELS

The Infidels of Britain are one the best known EDL splinter groups, dedicated to similar anti-Islam rhetoric but less coy about their links to the racist far right. The organisation has 2 major factions, the North East infidels and the North West infidels. The North West faction is run by John ‘snowy’ Shaw, a man well known to antifa’s as a particularly vile specimen. He is backed up by another notorious fascist, snowy’s good mate Shane Calvert aka ‘diddyman’. Amongst the notable members of the the 2 infidels factions are the moronic Liam Pinkham and Shane Martin, a charming character, who was jailed for threatening members of hospital staff. The North West infidels will be attempting to spread their hate in Oldham on February 14th.

SOUTH EAST ALLIANCE

The South East alliance are a carbon copy of the EDL, just on a smaller scale, led by ‘Paul Pitt’ real name Paul Prodromou (he doesn’t use his real name for fear of being seen as a foreigner) a man with a long history of violence towards minorities. Other notable members include Kevin Layzell who ran for election as a BNP candidate and Mick Wittman, a nasty old man who ran with the NF for many years. These fascists are trying to branch out from their south east base recently, planning a demo on March 7. This is actually being done because the home office have banned the EDL from returning to Rotherham after 8 demo’s in the past 2 years, so the South East alliance are going instead. Different name, same bullshit.

ENGLISH VOLUNTEER FORCE

The English volunteer force was formed at the end of 2012 and are always seen at EDL national demo’s. Founded by Nazi John Sheridan, the group states that it ‘stands against militant Islam, against republican terror, against the extreme left.’ They also state that ‘militancy is embedded in Islam, therefore Islam must be eradicated from the UK’. Another notable member of the English volunteer force is Timmy Hoban, an evil fascist known particularly for his love of knives. Especially on marches.

CASUALS UNITED

Casuals united are a fascist group that sprang from both the EDL and also from British football hooligan ‘firms’. The group describes itself as ‘uniting the UK’s football tribes against the jihadists’. The group is organised around several British football teams hooligans and is led by Jeff Marsh of Barry, South Wales. Due to their membership consisting of violent football fans Casuals United are a particularly violent group and should be treated as such. They do not demonstrate to spread their fascist message, they demonstrate to fight.

MARCH FOR ENGLAND

Formed in 2007 this is one of the oldest groups to have broken away from the EDL. As the name suggests the groups main focus is organising marches, these range from celebrations of St George’s day to anti EU demo’s and counter demo’s at Islamist events. March for England are not actually friendly with the EDL any more, with leader Dave Smeeton in particular publicly criticising the EDL. However they do show strong support for other EDL splinter groups, especially casuals united.

FULL LIST OF EDL SPLINTER GROUPS

  • English Defence Union
  • United British Patriots
  • East Anglican Patriots
  • Scunthorpe and North Lincs Patriots
  • English Volunteer Force
  • Scottish Volunteer Force
  • Scottish Defence League
  • Welsh Defence League
  • The Valleys Frontline
  • South East Alliance
  • Casuals United
  • Northern Casuals
  • March For England
  • Infidels of Britain
  • North East Infidels
  • North West Infidels
  • Liverpool ‘Scouse’ Nationalists
  • British Patriots Society
  • British Counter Homeland Offensive
  • Anti-Sharia Alliance
  • National English Unity

These groups are now becoming more numerous and scattered across the country therefore keeping track of them nationally is becoming difficult. Some people see the splinter groups as a sign that the EDL is finished and that we are beating them back. Others feel that they are in fact more dangerous than ever now they are scattered across the UK in locally organized groups. I suspect that both are true. What we must do now is to take these splinter groups on on the streets, their numbers are small, we can stop them. Local anti-fascist groups should mobilise against their local splinter groups and smash them before they manage to get a foothold. And when the EDL call a national demo and all these groups unite for the day we must do likewise and mobilise antifa’s from all over Britain to ensure that we outnumber them every time. If we can all do this we can accelerate the decline of the EDL, then all that remains will be to put and end to these small splinter groups in our local areas. We are winning the fight against fascism in Britain, now lets end it once and for all!

antifa

Greece, the beginning of the end for capitalism?

After radical left party syriza’s victory in this weeks Greek elections the right wing media has gone into overdrive with its scaremongering and slander. Proclaiming that Greece ‘must pay its debts’ and that the anti-austerity agenda of syriza threatens Europe with financial meltdown. But what do syriza actually want? And what does their victory actually mean for Europe?


Syriza policies

The media have focused entirely on the promise to have part of Greece’s colossal national debt written off, this may have been 1 key policy but it is just a fraction of what the new government intends to do. Other key policies focus on reducing the poverty crisis they face at present. Amongst a wide ranging manifesto policies include; Action on jobs and wages, with unemployment at 25% and youth unemployment at 50% syriza have pledged to create 300,000 new jobs mainly aimed at the young unemployed. The new government will also significantly increase the minimum wage from £433 to £562 per month. Another key election promise was to give free electricity to 300,000 of the poorest households in Greece and a pledge to scrap tax on heating fuel altogether. Syriza have also outlined their intentions to give food subsidies to 300,000 families who have no income at all and to give free medical care to those who have no medical insurance. To any reasonable person these policies make sense, this is just an attempt to end the brutal cycle of poverty many Greeks are trapped in and restore social justice and dignity to working people.

The debt myth

Greece has a national debt of £239 billion, that is 175% of gdp. The promise to have half of that written off is what has grabbed all the headlines and has prompted almost every European leader to issue a statement saying that Greece must pay its debts and that nothing will be written off, but why? These leaders seem to have forgotten that this has happened before, when Iceland got into a solvency crisis in 2010 they managed to write off every penny of their national debt with the approval of all world leaders. And in fact Germany itself, the country most vocal in saying that Greece must honour its commitments, had more than half of its post ww2 debts written off at the London debt conference in 1953. The hypocrisy of Angela Merkel demanding the Greeks do what the Germans did not is abhorrent. Especially considering the Germans still owe Greece £11 billion from a loan that the Nazi’s forced the bank of Greece to pay them during the occupation, how can Merkel demand Greece pays its debts when she wont even pay her own?

What next?

The world will be watching eagerly to see how successful this new Greek government will be. If the Greeks manage to get even a haircut to their national debt it will give courage to left wing parties in other debt ridden EU countries such as Italy, Portugal and especially Spain where podemos, the radical left sister party of syriza currently leads the polls. If podemos win the general election in Spain and join forces with syriza to demand dignity for their people and an end to austerity they will be doubly hard to ignore. Leftist parties across Europe have seen a surge in support and despite all the media propaganda voters across the EU will be watching with interest. After all, if Greece can show beyond all doubt that austerity is unnecessary and if Spain can follow this up in the same vein then why should the rest of us be forced to suffer endless tax rises and spending cuts.


The establishment are working overtime to discredit the new Greek government as radicals with no answers, they’re only doing this because they are scared. Greece must now show us all that there is an alternative to austerity and indeed to capitalism in general, if they succeed it could trigger a tidal wave of hope for the working class across Europe. We can but hope, but this could be the start of a socialist revolution. To paraphrase George Orwell; If there is hope, it lies in the Greeks.

greece

The con-dem government has condemned a nation.

In 2010 Britain was treated to its first Tory government since the 1990’s, backed up by their coalition partners the Lib Dems. They came to office during the worst recession in a generation and implemented a plan of austerity and debt reduction that has meant massive cuts to public services, with the con-dems proudly vowing to bring public sector spending down to pre 1930’s levels. Here I will look at the true cost to the public of this ideologically driven austerity plan and what it really means.


The rich have gotten richer. while the poor have gotten poorer

In George Osbournes 2012  budget the chancellor cut the top rate of income tax from 50% to 45%, a huge tax cut equating to at least £40,000 for every millionaire in Britain. This at a time when the average family is £1400 per year worse of due to falling incomes and high inflation rates, when wages are 8.5% lower than in 2009 and also at a time when unemployment was at record levels. This is the true aim of the con-dems austerity plan, it is nothing more than an ideological redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top. The Tories believe this is necessary as they want the majority of wealth to be controlled by a tiny elite so that they can invest it in the stock markets and support their crumbling capitalist economy. This redistribution of wealth has however caused an explosion in the numbers of ordinary people living in poverty. “We’re all in this together” David Cameron said, unless you are rich he should have added. This trend of wealth redistribution has been seen globally during this time of global austerity, not just in Britain. With oxfam stating that the richest 1% in the world will soon own more than 50% of the worlds wealth by 2016, up from 44% in 2009, the richest 1% will soon own more than everybody else combined.

Cuts

As I said in the intro to this article the con-dem government has proudly boasted it will reduce public spending to pre 1930’s levels, in other words to the levels of spending last seen during the greatest period of economic depression in history. This has led to huge cuts to (among many things) policing, with 1000’s less officers on the streets than in 2009. Also hit hard is the welfare budget with measures such as ‘sanctions’ and ‘the bedroom tax’ leading to people not even receiving the basic safety net income required to survive, this has been a major contributing factor to the surge in poverty seen in recent years. And hardest hit of all have been local government budgets with over 800,000 civil service jobs lost sine 2010 and many councils now having to resort to measures such as turning off street lights at night and reducing bin collections just to make their budgets balance. And with only 40% of planned spending cuts made in this parliament things are poised to get a whole lot worse.

Tuition fee rises

In 2010 the con-dem government announced plans to treble tuition fees for students from £3000 to £9000 per year. This was despite Nick Clegg promising prior to the election that tuition fee rises would be a “red line issue” should his party form a coalition. His decision to fold on this led to widespread anger which culminated in student demonstrations in London in 2010, indeed such was the anger that these demonstrations turned into riots. It also destroyed Cleggs reputation beyond all repair. Despite this the government ignored the students and pressed ahead, with the rises introduced in 2012. The trebling of university fees has led to a drop in student numbers for the first time in a generation, with students from poorer backgrounds obviously being the ones to suffer. Many feel this was an attempt to once again make education the privilege of the rich. Despite the universal criticism received for this action the con-dems still haven’t learned their lesson, with plans announced in 2014 to allow individual universities to charge even more than the £9000 per year as they see fit.

Privatisation

Royal Mail – Royal Mail was sold off in October 2013 by then business secretary Vince Cable. The sale received widespread criticism as the shares were grossly undervalued by a government trying to rush through the sale to balance the books. Shares were initially offered at 330p, their value soared immediately after the IPO and by the end of 2014 they were worth 70% more than they were sold for.

Schools – The condem government announced early on its intention to convert all schools into privately run academies. These academies are not subject to the same rules as state schools and are not bound to a standard curriculum, allowing them to teach whatever they choose. This has led to several schools attracting negative attention for obscure subjects being taught and we have also seen a rise in the number of schools deemed to be failing.

NHS – As of 2014 more than 50% of NHS contracts are now awarded to private companies, making the NHS a free market and causing it to be seen as a cash cow by wealthy investors. These private companies main aim is to make profits, not to provide good health care, making the system obviously flawed from the start. This alongside the PFI funding used by many NHS trusts during the last Labour government and continued under the condems has led to many NHS trusts (which run health services for entire districts) struggling financially, with some even going bankrupt. In other cases private companies who have been running these trusts have even walked away stating simply that it is no longer profitable to them. Again this brings us back to the main problem here, profit is being put before the quality of medical care.


So that is the legacy of the con-dem government. The rich are getting ever richer whilst more and more ordinary people slip into poverty, Public services have been decimated by cuts and privatisation and tuitions fees are trebled. And there’s still much much more to come. Labour have stated that they will stick to the Tory spending plans if they win the next election, so whoever wins we will see the remaining 60% of the cuts and the destruction they will cause to what remains of our public services. Unless we fight back. Whoever is in office in May 2015 we need to apply pressure to end this relentless march of austerity, we need massive protests as often as possible, we need to agitate and fight them for every penny of our taxes that they want to spend paying for a crisis caused by the bankers rather than paying for our essential needs. If we lay down and take this it will only be the beginning. Our next PM (whoever it is) needs to be reminded that he is but an elected voice of the people and that his only job should be to do what we tell him! We need to fight back Britain, before its too late.

con-dem their cuts