Intellectually & Morally Bankrupt: British Left
IN the January issue of Freedom, the anarchist paper, Dave Douglass a former miner wrote: 'Sunday 6th November 2011 I am confronted out of the blue, by a political development in anarchism which has knocked me off my feet. Surrounded by comrades in a fairly well attended meeting of the Northern Anarchist Network (NAN), and the North East Anarchists last Sunday at The Bridge Hotel Newcastle I listened with my jaw dropping to the item on the agenda marked Libyan Solidarity Campaign.' He added: 'The Support NATO bombing tendency is how I would roughly designate it ...' and he went on to claim that Ian Bone’s blog was the origin 'of this absurd and reactionary viewpoint'.
As I write this the shells of the security forces of the Syrian army fall on Homs for the 19th consecutive day of a bombardment that activists say has claimed the lives of hundreds of trapped civilians. Meanwhile, at CND and Stop the War meetings white skinned and left-wing militants on these islands of ours, urge that there be no intervention despite the bloodshed. One supporter of the NAN even told me that we must always oppose our own British forces no matter what the cause.
If anything could illustrate the utter moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the British left these conflicts in Syria and Libia bring it into focus. Dave Douglass admitted that Gaddafi's agents may have marched with Stop the War supporters in London last year but claimed that he understood why they were there.
To support his argument Dave Douglass quoted from the Morning Star: 'The Morning Star Thurs Nov 10th (p13) reported on the Al-Qaida flag flying over the main Benghazi Courthouse, not that having the flag flying next to the new ‘official’ Libyan flag of the former kind, demonstrates the level of political support, but the fact no-one dared take it down might.' Dave trusts the Morning Star as his authority, but Barry Woodling who spoke at the Northern Anarchist Network conference last November has taken the trouble over the last few years to contact Libian exiles and address this matter empirically. He may still get it wrong, he may still develop a faulty analysis, it may be that Libya could turn out to be another tragedy but at least he is doing some homework which is more than I can say for Dave Douglass and those cookbook politicians in the Stop the War movement.
NORTHERN VOICES 13
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The next issue of Northern Voices, NV13 out in February, will include an interview between Barry Woodling and a member of the Libyan community in Manchester: this Libyan lad has now returned to Benghazi to participate in the unfolding events there.
Also in the Northern Voices 13 will be an article by the Jim Petty on the militant pacifist Philip Morrell, MP for Burnley 1910-1918, who almost alone in the House of Commons opposed the First World War forcing a debate.