Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Strange Suicide of 'Stop the War'

'SUICIDE is Painless' was on a movie soundtrack in the 1970s, but last Monday (16th May) a strange event reportedly took place when the rampant revolutionaries of the Stop the War campaign were joined on the streets of London by a Libyan band of green flag waving supporters of Gadaffi; all calling for an end to the NATO backed 'No fly zone' over Libya. And the cry goes up 'Hands off Libya's Oil', from the agents of Gadaffi and the British Left alike; as a small dissident contingent of Libyan rebel protesters from the large Libyan community in Manchester joined by the well-known Manchester anarchist, John-the-Hat, heckled them in Whitehall.

Seldom since communists and Sir Oswald Mosley's blackshirts joined the same demonstration to protest at the time of the Edward VIII abdication has anything so odd happened. It was certainly a rum do last week seeing the stalwarts of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and neo-communists rubbing shoulders with Gadaffi's agents and followers. Stranger things happened in 1930s Germany of course, when the German Communists, on instructions from Moscow, supported a National Socialist (Nazi) plebiscite against the Social Democrat government of Prussia. According to the Italian novelist, Ignazio Silone, who wrote: 'On that occasion Communist groups were to be seen in harmonious unison with storm-troopers, forming "speaking choirs" in the courtyards of the big blocks of workers' flats and in the streets, urging the electors to vote against the Social Democrat government.'

Are we about to see a repeat of the folly of 1930s communism committed by the British Left? Are we witnessing the decline and fall of serious left-wing politics under what passes for British socialism? Are we seeing the strange suicide of 'Stop the War' as its members join hands with Gadaffi's pals?

What was reported to have happened in London on last Monday's 'Stop the War' demo is extraordinary but it is symptomatic of a movement that appears to have outlived its mission. Admittedly our source is from the Libyan rebel supporters in Manchester but there is a ring of truth in all this because the position of 'Stop the War', and much of the British Left, is objectively pro-Gadaffi.

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