Another article on LM

115 views
Skip to first unread message

ln...@columbia.edu

unread,
May 16, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/16/99
to
BOARDROOM REVOLUTIONARIES

Nick Cohen (The Observer, October 1998)

When I was a student there was a popular caricature of an unbending
Marxist who refused to give money to starving beggars because charity
ameliorated the contradictions of capitalism and postponed the day
when revolution would sweep the land. I thought the joke was just
that, but now...

We move to Trafalgar Square on 31 March 1990. Mark Steel, the comedian
and writer, was watching the Metropolitan Police fail to contain tens
of thousands of demonstrators. The anti-poll tax riot led to the
biggest campaign of civil disobedience since the War, and the fall of
Margaret Thatcher. Next to Steel was a commissar from the
Revolutionary Communist Party which dismissed those who fought a tax
that took from the poor and gave to the rich as wet liberals. 'There's
nothing to be concerned about,' he sneered down a phone to head
office, 'just a bunch of middle-class kids playing about.' The
revolutionary party also despised Anti-Apartheid for 'helping
capitalism' by supporting sanctions against South Africa and had
nothing but contempt for the NHS. At about the time of the poll tax
revolt, Yunus Baksh, secretary of a Unison branch in Newcastle upon
Tyne, was organising protests against cuts in funding. At one, members
of the RCP handed out leaflets denouncing the cause of better pay for
miserable cleaners and porters. Nurses were jostled and abused when
they questioned whether the NHS was really an instrument of the
repressive state. After a second demo, Baksh and ambulance drivers
worried about their jobs met members of the party in a Newcastle pub.
The comrades shouted at Bakshand punched him in the face. You might
think that a tiny group of cranks-so far gone it agreed with the
Sunday Times that Aids was a 'gay plague' which could never be
contracted by heterosexuals and opposed rallies against the British
National Party-would be a footnote in political history. But today the
RCP is the acme of fashion, all the rage. join it, my dears, and see
the doors of the media, big business and high culture open when you
ring.

Looking good was always a revolutionary priority for the RCP. A man,
who asked to be called 'John' because he did not want to be troubled
by his former friends, said supporters had to serve an apprenticeship
with a handier who monitored their progress. They were allowed to
become full members only when they had shown they had imbibed the
correct ideology by sitting an exam on the party's theory. 'If you
passed you got a clothing allowance, he said. 'You had to be
attractive, trendy, so you would go down well when we tried to find
wealthy recruits at the Edinburgh Festival and outside Sloane Square
tube.' The party stopped active work in the early Nineties and
adherents clustered on its magazine, Living Marxism, which was renamed
LM. Last year Channel 4 broadcast Against Nature a three-hour series
devoted to LM's theme that environmentalists are modem Nazis who throw
fabricated concerns about global warming and the mass extinction of
species in the way of progress. The green movement isn't sacred and
should be able to answer hostile questions, but viewers would have
known where Against Nature was coming from if they had been told that
the assistant producer, Eve Kaye, was a co-ordinator of LM, and that
the director Martin Durkin described himself as a Marxist. (He denied
any link with LM but followed its line.) The documentaries quoted two
'independent experts' who praised human cloning and condemned
sustainable development in the Third World as a western conspiracy
against the wretched of the Earth. One was John Mott, LM's science
correspondent; the other was Frank Furedi, LM's star columnist and
all-round media don from Kent University. (Furedi used to be known as
Frank Richards, incidentally. Like Lenin and Trotsky, many at LM fight
under a nom de guerre.) LM continues the RCP tradition of striking
reactionary postures. Last week a howling book was printed by Jonathan
Hunt, a second-hand car salesman turned journalist, which accused my
colleagues on the Guardian of framing Neil Hamilton. That mighty
moralist and spanker Paul Johnson and the rest of the Spectator crowd
hate the paper for having the impertinence to tell the truth about
Jonathan Aitken, and abuse it weekly. Even they could not bring
themselves to endorse Hunt. He was, however, able to cite support from
LM in his defence. When I dropped into the LM office they gave me
Hamilton's home number and urged me to phone the old brute. 'He calls
us his friends,' said LM's James Heartfield whose real name is James
Hughes.

Last year LM ran a story from a German engineer turned journalist who
defends the Serbian leadership against all too clear charges of
murder, systematic rape and ethnic cleansing. The magazine claimed ITN
had fooled the world by forging its famous pictures of starving
Bosnians herded behind barbed wire by the Serbs. ITN sued and the
liberal aristocracy LM loathes came to its aid. Harold Evans, Doris
Lessing, Fay Weldon and Paul Theroux reproached ITN for a 'deplorable
attack on press freedom'. Decent journalists see the British libel
laws as a menace. They know that powerful frauds, such as Aitken and
Hamilton, can use them to suppress awkward inquiries. Doubtless Evans
and the rest thought they were defending a plucky little magazine
against an overbearing media conglomerate. As George Monbiot points
out in an article in Prospect, global capital and living Marxists get
on famously. Anti-imperialist LM runs pieces by Roger Bate of the
farright Institute for Economic Affairs which believes that African
countries would be better governed if they were sold to
multinationals. This year it printed the theory of one Ron Arnold who
claimed that the Unabomber was an environmentalist and QED! -
environmentalists were therefore terrorists. Arnold is Vice President
of the Centre of the Defence of Free Enterprise, which campaigns
against restrictions on corporate America. Against Nature not only
featured LM contributors, but Reaganite economists and members of the
Cato Institute, another wellendowed American think-tank which works
with the British Adam Smith Institute to promote the dismantling of
the Chilean welfare state by the topical General Pinochet as a model
for the US and UK. All agreed with LM that leftie greens were
endangering human happiness. The Independent Television Commission
forced Channel 4 to make a prime-time apology. The links with
corporations are not merely ideological. A leaked memo is causing
great hilarity in the consumer movement. It appears to show the
radical Frank Furedi/Richards offering his services to the supermarket
cartel. For £7,500 be will provide research which will 'educate'
consumers towards a 'less emotive' consideration of food safety.
Businessfriendly dismissals of 'panics' about BSE and genetically
modified food feature strongly in LM's 'libertarian' philosophy.
Furedi says that although he has received no money from supermarkets
he would be willing to accept payments.

I think it is it at this point that an obscure group becomes an
authentic representative of the spirit of an age where corporate
values undermine all others. The party leaders talk of 'UK plc', as if
democracy were a business and the electorate were consumers to be
swindled by advertising executives (or spin doctors, as Westminster
journalists call them) and chivvied into snapping up bargain buys by
the shop girls formerly known as politicians. Last week David Blunkett
announced a new training college for head teachers would be set up at
a business school. The Education Secretary said heads were like 4
managing directors of big companies' and showed no sign of knowing
that managing directors do not have a duty to produce an educated
public which appreciates learning for its own sake, and would be
sacked in seconds if they said they did. I could quote examples for
ever. I think, however, it is with LM that we see multinational
triumphalism reaching an apotheosis. We can now gaze on the gorgeous
spectacle of corporate Marxists: the boardroom's revolutionary arm.
If, that is, you can say that LM is revolutionary. Its spokeswoman,
Clare Fox (I don't know if that's a real name), said in true Blairite
fashion that differences between Left and Right didn't amount to a
hill of beans these days and she is far more concerned with restraints
on freedom. Yet there was one organisation that supported the poll
tax, low pay for hospital workers, the lifting of sanctions against
South Africa, Neil Hamilton and unlimited freedom for corporations:
the Conservative Party. Most put it on the Right.

The Conservatives had no time for drips who gave change to beggars.
Nor does RCP/LM. 'John,' our former supporter, was out with his
handler when he passed a beggar and dropped 50 pence into his hat. His
minder exploded. 'Don't you realise you're helping capitalism?' he
roared. 'Don't you realise you are subsidising poverty? All John
realised was that he had had more than enough of 'middle-class kids
playing about' and quit.


--Louis Proyect

(For Marxist discussion: www.panix.com/~lnp3/marxism.html)

Claude de Paris

unread,
May 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/17/99
to

<ln...@columbia.edu> wrote in message
news:373f43b6...@news.columbia.edu...

>Last year Channel 4 broadcast Against Nature a three-hour series
> devoted to LM's theme that environmentalists are modem Nazis who throw
> fabricated concerns about global warming and the mass extinction of
> species in the way of progress. The green movement isn't sacred and
> should be able to answer hostile questions, but viewers would have
> known where Against Nature was coming from if they had been told that
> the assistant producer, Eve Kaye, was a co-ordinator of LM, and that
> the director Martin Durkin described himself as a Marxist. (He denied
> any link with LM but followed its line.) The documentaries quoted two
> 'independent experts' who praised human cloning and condemned
> sustainable development in the Third World as a western conspiracy
> against the wretched of the Earth. One was John Mott, LM's science
> correspondent; the other was Frank Furedi, LM's star columnist and
> all-round media don from Kent University. (Furedi used to be known as
> Frank Richards, incidentally. Like Lenin and Trotsky, many at LM fight
> under a nom de guerre.)

Rather gives the lie to the claim by Captain Justin that the RCP had nothing
do with this program. Another example of the lies, twists and squirming that
typifies the RCP's arguments on this newsgroup.

Gary Dale

unread,
May 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/17/99
to
Nick Cohen is just a gossip columnist, I wouldn't take him too seriously.

Last I article of his I read was an pathetic attempt to dig up a one-quarter
century old bit of staff-room gossip about Chris Woodhead's affair with
a six-former. Woodhead is Blair's man responsible for standards in British
schools, and Cohen thinks his wife was unfairly treated because they didn't
publish her account. I have no particular sympathy with Woodhead's policy
on schools, but I do resent the underhand and sleazy campaign to oust him.


CFPottins

unread,
May 17, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/17/99
to
I don't always agree with Nick Cohen, but for a mere "gossip columnist" he does
a good job in airing serious issues in the mainstream liberal bourgeois press,
including his quite lengthy piece on RCP/LM, which I'd guess he had to argue
for (editors tend to assume their readers are "not interested in that sort of
thing").
Cohen has also been among the first in the liberal media to be prepared to
attack Blair, Jack Straw and co. Again, he deals with issues, not just
"images" (unlike perhaps the would be trendies at LM), and doesn't just air his
own petulance and prejudice (unlike some other Guardian/Observer columnists,
past and present).
While I'm at it, I'd also pay tribute to Francis Wheen's often well-researched
items, unfashionable in an age of trivia. Again, I don't always agree (I think
he's wrong on the NATO war, but can understand how he got to that position, and
respect his motives - unlike those of say, the "Committee for Peace in the
Balkans" or the SWP).

Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/18/99
to
In article <373f43b6...@news.columbia.edu>,
ln...@columbia.edu wrote:
> BOARDROOM REVOLUTIONARIES

Nice one, Proyect. You'll probably be able to find at the British
National Party site something about the "dirty yids and nigger-lovers
behind this loony LM cult" as well. I guess I just don't have what it
takes to be a Trotskyist revolutionary nowadays.


--== Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/ ==--
---Share what you know. Learn what you don't.---

redflag

unread,
May 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/18/99
to
Captain Schwingg <captain_...@my-dejanews.com> wrote in message
news:7hrecp$dc$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...

> In article <373f43b6...@news.columbia.edu>,
> ln...@columbia.edu wrote:
> > BOARDROOM REVOLUTIONARIES
>
> Nice one, Proyect. You'll probably be able to find at the British
> National Party site something about the "dirty yids and nigger-lovers
> behind this loony LM cult" as well. I guess I just don't have what it
> takes to be a Trotskyist revolutionary nowadays.

No, but you seem to possess one thing that qualifies you to be an
LM commisar: The ability to hurl innuendo.

--
"Nowadays, atheism is itself *culpa levis*, as compared
with criticism of existing property relations."

Access The People on-line by using our
gopher on the Internet at gopher://gopher.slp.org:7019/
Access our web page at http://www.slp.org


Gary Dale

unread,
May 18, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/18/99
to

>While I'm at it, I'd also pay tribute to Francis Wheen's often well-researched

He's another one who looked like he was part of the sleazy campaign against
Woodhead. The joke is how quick he has been to condemn tabloid journalism
(e.g. the Sun's 'are we run by a gay mafia' story), but his comments on Woodhead
suggest where he is coming from - the gutter.

I can understand why editors might not find Cohen's resurrecting ancient
sectarian-inspired gossip on the old RCP interesting or relevant.


Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/19/99
to
In article <19990517160204...@ng-cm1.aol.com>,

cfpo...@aol.com (CFPottins) wrote:
> I don't always agree with Nick Cohen, but for a mere "gossip
> columnist" he does a good job in airing serious issues in the
> mainstream liberal bourgeois press, including his quite lengthy piece
> on RCP/LM, which I'd guess he had to argue for (editors tend to
> assume their readers are "not interested in that sort of thing").

On the contrary, the piece was inspired by the Observer group's outrage
at Thomas Deichman's LM article exposing the truth about the ITN
pictures which fooled the world into believing the Serbs were running
Nazi-style death camps in Bosnia.

> Again, he deals with issues, not just "images" (unlike perhaps the
> would be trendies at LM), and doesn't just air his own petulance and
> prejudice

That must be why he writes about the smart clothes worn by supporters
of the old RCP and talks of a "clothing allowance", right?

The pathetic and disgusting sectarianism of the left is made blatant by
the attitudes you and others have taken over this article and the
latest one in the Guardian. You'd think that the left would have an
interest in helping LM in its libel case against ITN and hence exposing
the myth of the Serbs as "genocidal maniacs" - after all, there is a
war on against the Serbs, isn't there, which the left is opposed to?
Instead, many so-called anti-imperialists in a.p.s.t. prefer to recycle
the slanders which have appeared in the British press to demonise LM
because of its defence against ITN's libel writ. It seems the left's
sectarianism here doesn't just extend to parroting rubbish about LM but
is even prepared to see the Serbs sacrificed on the altar, as long as
the knife is firmly put into the magazine.

Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 19, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/19/99
to
In article <p3p03.1381$kx....@news4.mia>,

"redflag" <red...@bellsouth.net> wrote:
> Captain Schwingg <captain_...@my-dejanews.com> wrote in message
> news:7hrecp$dc$1...@nnrp1.deja.com...
> > In article <373f43b6...@news.columbia.edu>,
> > ln...@columbia.edu wrote:
> > > BOARDROOM REVOLUTIONARIES
> >
> > Nice one, Proyect. You'll probably be able to find at the British
> > National Party site something about the "dirty yids and nigger-
> > lovers behind this loony LM cult" as well. I guess I just don't

> > have what it takes to be a Trotskyist revolutionary nowadays.
>
> No, but you seem to possess one thing that qualifies you to be an
> LM commisar: The ability to hurl innuendo.

I don't deal in innuendo. I make my accusations loud and clear and
politically reasoned. For innuendo you'd be hard put to beat the
Guardian's article which opens with comments on the suspiciously thick
glassware seen on a table at an LM conference, or Claude and Proyect's
shameless recycling of these crass smears.

Claude de Paris

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to

Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7hu6ls$r65$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>The pathetic and disgusting sectarianism of the left

As opposed to the RCP's valiant efforts to build united fronts on the left,
persumably

>is made blatant by
>the attitudes you and others have taken over this article and the
>latest one in the Guardian.

Its just amusing to see the Guardian (a liberal paper) is able to criticise
the LM from the Left nowadays.

>You'd think that the left would have an
>interest in helping LM in its libel case against ITN

Is this the same left that you ritually villify and denounce as having
become irrelevant and consigned to the dustbin of history? Why would you
care what this left says or thinks?

>It seems the left's
>sectarianism here doesn't just extend to parroting rubbish about LM but
>is even prepared to see the Serbs sacrificed on the altar, as long as
>the knife is firmly put into the magazine.


Methinks you doth protest too much, Capitan. I somehow think that the
victory or otherwise of NATO in Yugoslavia will have precisely zero
relationship to whether ITN succeeds in its libel case against an
ex-'Marxist' cult that has now gone over to the other side.

Of course, if ITN were attacking any group on the left I would defend them.
But that is not the case here. It is fitting and ironic that LM should be
bankrupted (hopefully) by the same political forces that they aspire, so
desparately, to be a part of. I know I won't be shedding many tears.

Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to
In article <uJvx9vso#GA.320@cpmsnbbsa03>,

"Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Of course, if ITN were attacking any group on the left I would defend
> them. But that is not the case here. It is fitting and ironic that
> LM should be bankrupted (hopefully) by the same political forces that
> they aspire, so desparately, to be a part of. I know I won't be
> shedding many tears.

So much for freedom of speech and refuting the lies told by the Western
media about the "genocidal" Serbs, a key justification for NATO's
bombing campaign. Thanks for making your sectarianism clear to
everyone, Clod.

Claude de Paris

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to

Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7hu6s7$r85$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>For innuendo you'd be hard put to beat the
>Guardian's article which opens with comments on the suspiciously thick
>glassware seen on a table at an LM conference, or Claude and Proyect's
>shameless recycling of these crass smears.


Crass indeed. I herewith withdraw any comments that may have been taken to
mean that I condoned the Guardian's smear that the LM conference was
infested with thick glasses. I understand they were actually classes of
regular thickness.


Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to
In article <Oej6ckto#GA.292@cpmsnbbsa05>,

"Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> actually glasses of regular thickness.

No they weren't, they were thick, weighty, expensive-looking jugs and
tumblers as befits a gathering of high-brows. There is no virtue in
cheap glassware.

I went for a pint at lunchtime today, Claude, with an old friend (of a
friend). Years ago, when we first met, our mutual acquaintance told
him of my sympathies with the RCP, sending him into fits of derision
about Marx, Lenin etc, you know the kind of thing I mean, we all do.
He's twenty years older than me and was involved in the left in the
1970's, subsequently moving on via journalism with the Guardian into
the familiar liberal orbit. Anyway, as we sipped our beers, I
mentioned the news that BSE is now suspected to have nothing to do with
feeding cows to cows, and also the recent prosecution of a parent in a
Scottish court for spanking his tantrum-prone, dentist-fearing
daughter. He volunteered his opinion that there were a lot of these
food panics around at the moment, and also a lot of uncertainty about
parenting, and suggested that I get hold of a really good book he'd
read recently by a Kent academic called, what was it again?, "Culture
of Fear". "Is that by Frank Furedi", I asked with a straight face.
"Yes, that's the guy, have you heard of him then?"

I think you'll see my point.

Claude de Paris

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to
Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i1g8d$7v4$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>In article <Oej6ckto#GA.292@cpmsnbbsa05>,
> "Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7hu6s7$r85$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
>>
>> >For innuendo you'd be hard put to beat the
>> >Guardian's article which opens with comments on the suspiciously
>> >thick glassware seen on a table at an LM conference, or Claude and
>> >Proyect's shameless recycling of these crass smears.
>>
>> Crass indeed. I herewith withdraw any comments that may have been
>> taken to mean that I condoned the Guardian's smear that the LM
>> conference was infested with thick glasses. I understand they were
>> actually glasses of regular thickness.
>
>No they weren't, they were thick, weighty, expensive-looking jugs and
>tumblers

Er... so where's the smear?

>I went for a pint at lunchtime today, Claude, with an old friend (of a
>friend). Years ago, when we first met, our mutual acquaintance told
>him of my sympathies with the RCP, sending him into fits of derision
>about Marx, Lenin etc, you know the kind of thing I mean, we all do.
>He's twenty years older than me and was involved in the left in the
>1970's, subsequently moving on via journalism with the Guardian into
>the familiar liberal orbit. Anyway, as we sipped our beers, I
>mentioned the news that BSE is now suspected to have nothing to do with
>feeding cows to cows, and also the recent prosecution of a parent in a
>Scottish court for spanking his tantrum-prone, dentist-fearing
>daughter. He volunteered his opinion that there were a lot of these
>food panics around at the moment, and also a lot of uncertainty about
>parenting, and suggested that I get hold of a really good book he'd
>read recently by a Kent academic called, what was it again?, "Culture
>of Fear". "Is that by Frank Furedi", I asked with a straight face.
>"Yes, that's the guy, have you heard of him then?"
>
>I think you'll see my point.


I certainly do! Your friend had moved from the left, via liberalism to the
politics of LM.

A consistent rightward trajectory. This is not so unusual. Many an excitable
young leftie turns right wing as the get older. So anyway,
............what's your point?


rabhegmarlen

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to

Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i1a51$2rb$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
>In article <uJvx9vso#GA.320@cpmsnbbsa03>,

> "Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> Of course, if ITN were attacking any group on the left I would defend
>> them. But that is not the case here. It is fitting and ironic that
>> LM should be bankrupted (hopefully) by the same political forces that
>> they aspire, so desparately, to be a part of. I know I won't be
>> shedding many tears.
>
>So much for freedom of speech and refuting the lies told by the Western
>media about the "genocidal" Serbs, a key justification for NATO's
>bombing campaign. Thanks for making your sectarianism clear to
>everyone, Clod.

I think Claude is wrong here. Marxists would defend LM against the
bourgeois media. At least they are supporting Yugoslavia against NATO and
we should support them against the bourgeoisie. I don't agree with freedom
of speech for fascists, but LM, despite their Thatcherite rhetoric on the
*welfare state* etc., are a long way from that. You can still argue with
them, Claude.

rab
*************************************************
Roger Alan Blackwell of Norwich, Britain
Pager: 01523 187644
*************************************************


Claude de Paris

unread,
May 20, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/20/99
to

rabhegmarlen wrote in message <7i1or0$clk$2...@news8.svr.pol.co.uk>...

>I think Claude is wrong here. Marxists would defend LM against the
>bourgeois media. At least they are supporting Yugoslavia against NATO and
>we should support them against the bourgeoisie. I don't agree with freedom
>of speech for fascists, but LM, despite their Thatcherite rhetoric on the
>*welfare state* etc., are a long way from that. You can still argue with
>them, Claude.


Just having a bit of fun, Roger. Do I actually advocate this type of legal
action as a way of dealing with the RCP? No. Do I think it is a terribly
important case? No. Despite the Capitan's pompous claims I don't think the
outcome of the NATO action hinges on this issue. Do I consider this an
attack on the left in general? No. If this were an attack on *any* section
of the Left (including every single Trot group that I can think of) I would
throw my energies into defending them. As it is I regard this rather like I
do the Republican's attempt to attack Clinton by using the Monica Lewinsky
affair. Yes, its something I oppose theoretically, but I'll be buggered if
I'll waste any of my precious time or money fighting it.

I don't regard them as part of the left because, it has long been my
experience that, from the earliest days when they were a wildly
ultra-leftist group, the RCP has functioned as a SCAB formation and agent
provacteurs in the labour movement.
They have scabbed on one struggle after another from campaigning for a
ballot during the miners strike to supporting the Tory attempts to smash the
political levy in unions to opposing the closed shop. Before they used to
hide behind ultra-leftist verbiage to justify their scabbing. Now, having
explicitly renounced Marxism and the working class, they do it openly.

And, well, damn it all Roger, It IS amusing to see them twisting in the
wind. After all, they are being attacked by the very same multi-nationals
that the RCP champions month after month in its scabby journal. This is the
very same bourgeois media and middle class journalists and editors that they
desperately court in their seminars and conferences.

Those who live by the sword....

Gary Dale

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
> Of course, if ITN were attacking any group on the left I would defend
> them.

Your 'principle' is free speech, but only for those in political agreement with you!

Now what was it we were hearing about a 'narrow conception of freedom'?


Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
In article <7i1or0$clk$2...@news8.svr.pol.co.uk>,

"rabhegmarlen" <rog...@blackwell23.freeserve.co.uk> wrote:
>
> Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i1a51$2rb$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
> >In article <uJvx9vso#GA.320@cpmsnbbsa03>,
> > "Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> Of course, if ITN were attacking any group on the left I would
> >> defend them. But that is not the case here. It is fitting and

> >> ironic that LM should be bankrupted (hopefully) by the same
> >> political forces that they aspire, so desparately, to be a part
> >> of. I know I won't be shedding many tears.
> >
> >So much for freedom of speech and refuting the lies told by the
> >Western media about the "genocidal" Serbs, a key justification for
> >NATO's bombing campaign. Thanks for making your sectarianism clear
> >to everyone, Clod.
>
> I think Claude is wrong here. Marxists would defend LM against the
> bourgeois media. At least they are supporting Yugoslavia against
> NATO and we should support them against the bourgeoisie. I don't
> agree with freedom of speech for fascists, but LM, despite their
> Thatcherite rhetoric on the *welfare state* etc., are a long way from
> that. You can still argue with them, Claude.

I think the stakes in the LM v ITN libel case are much higher than
that. The article being litigated over explains that the pictures ITN
sent from a Bosnian Serb transit camp in August 1992 were misleading,
giving the impression that the Serbs were running Nazi-style
concentration camps. US State Department officials, as well as ITN,
have explained that those pictures decisively changed the impression in
the West of what was happening in Bosnia, and directly led to the West
massively increasing its intervention in the civil war, which in turn
helped to escalate the war and plunge the people of Bosnia into yet
more years of fraticidal bloodshed. As the present NATO intervention
over Kosovo has been explicitly justified by claims of Serb genocide,
supported by the idea that "they've already been proved to be genocidal
in the Bosnian war", it shouldn't be underestimated how significant a
victory for LM in the libel case would be for those opposed to NATO.

Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
In article <uQ2OcSwo#GA.140@cpmsnbbsa02>,

"Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> rabhegmarlen wrote in message <7i1or0$clk$2...@news8.svr.pol.co.uk>...
>
> >I think Claude is wrong here. Marxists would defend LM against the
> >bourgeois media. At least they are supporting Yugoslavia against
> >NATO and we should support them against the bourgeoisie. I don't
> >agree with freedom of speech for fascists, but LM, despite their
> >Thatcherite rhetoric on the *welfare state* etc., are a long way
> >from that. You can still argue with
> >them, Claude.
>
> Just having a bit of fun, Roger.

Somehow, I don't believe you, Claude. Make a donation to LM's legal
fund and show where your true sympathies lie. A victory for LM would
be a victory for all those anti-imperialists opposing NATO's
warmongering.

Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
In article <O1mwRbvo#GA.76@cpmsnbbsa05>,

"Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i1g8d$7v4$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
> >In article <Oej6ckto#GA.292@cpmsnbbsa05>,

> > "Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> >> Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7hu6s7$r85$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
> >>
> >> >For innuendo you'd be hard put to beat the
> >> >Guardian's article which opens with comments on the suspiciously
> >> >thick glassware seen on a table at an LM conference, or Claude and
> >> >Proyect's shameless recycling of these crass smears.
> >>
> >> Crass indeed. I herewith withdraw any comments that may have been
> >> taken to mean that I condoned the Guardian's smear that the LM
> >> conference was infested with thick glasses. I understand they were
> >> actually glasses of regular thickness.
> >
> >No they weren't, they were thick, weighty, expensive-looking jugs and
> >tumblers
>
> Er... so where's the smear?

In the Guardian journalist's mind, which they hope to get over to their
readership. The article you posted from Saturday's Guardian
systematically avoided any mention of the reasoning behind LM's
arguments, pretending that the magazine is some kind of elaborate joke
at the expense of the politically correct. That is the methodology of
dishonest simpletons - is that why you have adopted the same critical
tactics, Claude?

> >I went for a pint at lunchtime today, Claude, with an old friend (of
> >a friend). Years ago, when we first met, our mutual acquaintance
> >told him of my sympathies with the RCP, sending him into fits of
> >derision about Marx, Lenin etc, you know the kind of thing I mean,
> >we all do. He's twenty years older than me and was involved in the
> >left in the 1970's, subsequently moving on via journalism with the
> >Guardian into the familiar liberal orbit. Anyway, as we sipped our
> >beers, I mentioned the news that BSE is now suspected to have
> >nothing to do with feeding cows to cows, and also the recent
> >prosecution of a parent in a Scottish court for spanking his tantrum-
> >prone, dentist-fearing daughter. He volunteered his opinion that
> >there were a lot of these food panics around at the moment, and also
> >a lot of uncertainty about parenting, and suggested that I get hold
> >of a really good book he'd read recently by a Kent academic called,
> >what was it again?, "Culture of Fear". "Is that by Frank Furedi", I
> >asked with a straight face. "Yes, that's the guy, have you heard of
> >him then?"
> >
> >I think you'll see my point.
>
> I certainly do! Your friend had moved from the left, via liberalism
> to the politics of LM.

Actually, I thought that there were two interesting points:-

1. LM's critique of the "culture of fear" makes sense of the new
political culture in a way that dogmatic assertions of the age-old
"Trotskyism" doesn't.

2. Nowadays, presenting yourself as a Marxist-Leninist to your
potential audience is unfortunately counter-productive, such is the
discredit the left has heaped upon itself through decades of confusion
and opportunism.

> A consistent rightward trajectory. This is not so unusual. Many an
> excitable young leftie turns right wing as the get older. So anyway,
> ............what's your point?

Your hope that ITN bankrupts LM for daring to question the Western
media's perceptions of the war in Bosnia is a perfect example of that.

Claude de Paris

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to

Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i3dp1$j93$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>Your hope that ITN bankrupts LM for daring to question the Western
>media's perceptions of the war in Bosnia is a perfect example of that.


Oh dearie me. You really can't take a joke, can you Justin. For someone who
throws out abuse and slander and lies with gay abandon (a method you
obviously learned from LM) you have a very thin skin.


Claude de Paris

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to

Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i3d0c$iqt$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
>In article <uQ2OcSwo#GA.140@cpmsnbbsa02>,

> "Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>> Just having a bit of fun, Roger.
>
>Somehow, I don't believe you, Claude. Make a donation to LM's legal
>fund and show where your true sympathies lie.


You really think I would donate my hard earned cash to some right wing,
counter-revolutionary rag that is being sued by a multi-national?? You must
be even crazier than you appear.

There are, of course, many nutty right wing magazines and organizations
that, for reasons of their own, will adopt a nominally 'correct' position on
an individual issue. Does that mean that I have to support them all with my
money? For a time, for example, the british fascists developed a bad case of
Strasserism in which they started 'promoting' the interests of workers. Or
there are right wing bourgeois organisations that happen to oppose the EU,
just like I do. Does that mean I should give my money to them? Of course
not.

You obviously missed the following sentence in my post:

Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
In article <eeelFz4o#GA.243@cpmsnbbsa02>,

"Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i3d0c$iqt$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
> >In article <uQ2OcSwo#GA.140@cpmsnbbsa02>,
> > "Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> >> Just having a bit of fun, Roger.
> >
> >Somehow, I don't believe you, Claude. Make a donation to LM's legal
> >fund and show where your true sympathies lie.
>
> You really think I would donate my hard earned cash to some right
> wing, counter-revolutionary rag that is being sued by a multi-
> national?? You must be even crazier than you appear.

No, I didn't really expect you to make a donation, I raised the
possibility to show that your subsequent comment that you were only
"having a bit of fun" was a lie to stop you looking like a reactionary
piece of shit who supports the state repression of democratic rights.

Mission accomplished.

Claude de Paris

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to

Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i3dp1$j93

>> A consistent rightward trajectory. This is not so unusual. Many an
>> excitable young leftie turns right wing as the get older. So anyway,
>> ............what's your point?
>

>Your hope that ITN bankrupts LM for daring to question the Western
>media's perceptions of the war in Bosnia is a perfect example of that.


I can see here the beginnings of a new 'slander campaign' from you, Capitan.
Just as in the past you did not shirk from posting lies about my alleged
support for Blair, New Labour and the NATO bombing, you are desparately
trying to create a new 'straw man' out of an obvious tongue-in-cheek posting
that you can use to villify me whenever you can't deal with the political
points being made.

This is what I expect from someone trained in the LM school of abuse and
villification. And it makes a nonsense of your earlier self-rightous
protestations that you, poor soul, are trying to have a serious discussion.


Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
In article <OaIZ5u4o#GA.341@cpmsnbbsa02>,

"Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i3dp1$j93$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>
> >Your hope that ITN bankrupts LM for daring to question the Western
> >media's perceptions of the war in Bosnia is a perfect example of
> >that.
>
> Oh dearie me. You really can't take a joke, can you Justin.

You weren't joking, Claude. That was a lie that you proved incapable
of sustaining for even 24 hours. Now we all know just how
"revolutionary" your "Marxism" is.

Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
In article <eMsm414o#GA.383@cpmsnbbsa02>,

"Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i3dp1$j93
>
> >> A consistent rightward trajectory. This is not so unusual. Many an
> >> excitable young leftie turns right wing as the get older. So
> >> anyway, ............what's your point?
> >
> >Your hope that ITN bankrupts LM for daring to question the Western
> >media's perceptions of the war in Bosnia is a perfect example of
> >that.
>
> I can see here the beginnings of a new 'slander campaign' from you,
> Capitan. Just as in the past you did not shirk from posting lies
> about my alleged support for Blair, New Labour and the NATO bombing,
> you are desparately trying to create a new 'straw man' out of an
> obvious tongue-in-cheek posting that you can use to villify me
> whenever you can't deal with the political points being made.

I didn't accuse you of "supporting NATO's bombing", nor of supporting
Blair, I know you are opposed to both of these things, which is a far
more generous and level-headed attitude on my part than anything you've
shown to me. I argued that your politics on third world NGOs etc
shared some of the assumptions that underlie the support given by
Western radicals to NATO's actions, and that the British left's long-
standing support in the past for the Labour Party had led to the
triumph of Blairism over the working class movement.

Claude de Paris

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to

Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i3q0s$rrp$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>> You really think I would donate my hard earned cash to some right
>> wing, counter-revolutionary rag that is being sued by a multi-
>> national?? You must be even crazier than you appear.
>
>No, I didn't really expect you to make a donation, I raised the
>possibility to show that your subsequent comment that you were only
>"having a bit of fun" was a lie to stop you looking like a reactionary
>piece of shit who supports the state repression of democratic rights.


Oh, well proven, lawyer Justin. Unfortunately all it proves is that you have
no sense of humour and that you have serious delusional problems regarding
the importance of the magazine called LM.

Don't be so fucking po-faced. If you can't take a little jibbing you should
stick to alt. politics.libertarian

Gary Dale

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to
>"they've already been proved to be genocidal
>in the Bosnian war", it shouldn't be underestimated how significant a
>victory for LM in the libel case would be for those opposed to NATO.

If the court accepts the argument that LM was 'improperly motivated' because
of it's politics, then any and every political group could be a libel threat
away form being silenced.

I think Clods problem is that he doesn't support free speech - period. He
probably thinks if the despised working class are exposed to the arguments,
they will only vote for the likes of Thatcher instead of some clapped-out
lefties.


Claude de Paris

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to

Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i3r6a$sr7$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...

>> I can see here the beginnings of a new 'slander campaign' from you,
>> Capitan. Just as in the past you did not shirk from posting lies
>> about my alleged support for Blair, New Labour and the NATO bombing,
>> you are desparately trying to create a new 'straw man' out of an
>> obvious tongue-in-cheek posting that you can use to villify me
>> whenever you can't deal with the political points being made.
>
>I didn't accuse you of "supporting NATO's bombing", nor of supporting
>Blair, I know you are opposed to both of these things, which is a far
>more generous and level-headed attitude on my part than anything you've
>shown to me.

Either you are a congenital liar or a split personality. I have copies of
your original posting AND your subsequent retractions, which you only issued
when you were unable to substantiate your accusations. If you like I can
repost both to this newsgroup.

Claude de Paris

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to

Gary Dale wrote in message <7i3srj$mdt$1...@scotsman.ed.ac.uk>...

>I think Clods problem is that he doesn't support free speech - period. He
>probably thinks if the despised working class are exposed to the arguments,
>they will only vote for the likes of Thatcher instead of some clapped-out
>lefties.


You know, Gary old chum, it struck me how you seem to operate like the
Capitan's little bumbling sidekick. While he poses as the intellectual you
provide the more vulgar aspect of the argument - except that you never quite
understand the plot. A little like Watson to Sherlock.

But then, Justin is no Sherlock, more like Laurel to Justin's Hardy then.

Jim Tyson

unread,
May 21, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/21/99
to

CFPottins wrote:

> I don't always agree with Nick Cohen, but for a mere "gossip columnist" he does
> a good job in airing serious issues in the mainstream liberal bourgeois press,
> including his quite lengthy piece on RCP/LM, which I'd guess he had to argue
> for (editors tend to assume their readers are "not interested in that sort of
> thing").

> Cohen has also been among the first in the liberal media to be prepared to
> attack Blair, Jack Straw and co. Again, he deals with issues, not just


> "images" (unlike perhaps the would be trendies at LM), and doesn't just air his

> own petulance and prejudice (unlike some other Guardian/Observer columnists,
> past and present).


> While I'm at it, I'd also pay tribute to Francis Wheen's often well-researched

> items, unfashionable in an age of trivia. Again, I don't always agree (I think
> he's wrong on the NATO war, but can understand how he got to that position, and
> respect his motives - unlike those of say, the "Committee for Peace in the
> Balkans" or the SWP)

Cohen's article was twaddle from beginning to end. The vestiges of the RCP are
big enuf and ugly enuf to take care of themselves, they don't need my help, but
at least one aspect of Cohen's drivel deserves pointing out.

Cohen got some of his clap-trap from a pamphlet, a lovely little satire on the
left, called "As soon as this pub closes". In this little gem there is a hilarious

skit on David Yaffe's work on the tendency of the rate of profit to fall,
including side splittingly funny reference to the velocimeter which can
calculate said rate to 5 decimal places. Cohen, poor dear, repeats this
joke with a straight face, obviously believing that Yaffe, who is highly enuf
thought of even amongst academics to have been cited by Meghnan Desai,
really bit said machine and showed it off.

Cohen's further bluster relies heavily on unattributable quotes form shady
ex-members (surely Fran and co have lost interested in bad mouthing
the RCP by now?). As someone who listened with some
attention to what the RCP had to say for a long time, I know that most
of what he writes consists of lies, half-lies and innuendo. I am not surprised
that anyone who finds Cohen's slanderous fantasizing a rewarding read
is also enamoured of war monger Wheen, they make obvious bed
fellows.

> .


Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/24/99
to
In article <#9$oan5o#GA.115@cpmsnbbsa02>,

"Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Captain Schwingg wrote in message <7i3q0s$rrp$1...@nnrp1.deja.com>...
>
> >> You really think I would donate my hard earned cash to some right
> >> wing, counter-revolutionary rag that is being sued by a multi-
> >> national?? You must be even crazier than you appear.
> >
> >No, I didn't really expect you to make a donation, I raised the
> >possibility to show that your subsequent comment that you were only
> >"having a bit of fun" was a lie to stop you looking like a
> >reactionary piece of shit who supports the state repression of
> >democratic rights.
>
> Oh, well proven, lawyer Justin. Unfortunately all it proves is that
> you have no sense of humour and that you have serious delusional
> problems regarding the importance of the magazine called LM.

It's true that I have often laughed at you, but never with you.

Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/24/99
to
In article <e$sXHD9o#GA.297@cpmsnbbsa02>,

"Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Gary Dale wrote in message <7i3srj$mdt$1...@scotsman.ed.ac.uk>...
>
> >I think Clods problem is that he doesn't support free speech -
> >period. He probably thinks if the despised working class are
> >exposed to the arguments, they will only vote for the likes of
> >Thatcher instead of some clapped-out lefties.
>
> You know, Gary old chum, it struck me how you seem to operate like the
> Capitan's little bumbling sidekick. While he poses as the
> intellectual you provide the more vulgar aspect of the argument -
> except that you never quite understand the plot. A little like Watson
> to Sherlock.

Now, now, remember Watson is in your eco-camp, playing Tweedledum to
your Tweedledumber.

Captain Schwingg

unread,
May 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/24/99
to
In article <eQfb6t5o#GA.279@cpmsnbbsa05>,

"Claude de Paris" <cdep...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
> Either you are a congenital liar or a split personality. I have
> copies of your original posting AND your subsequent retractions,
> which you only issued when you were unable to substantiate your
> accusations. If you like I can repost both to this newsgroup.

While you're at it, why not repost your support for New Labour's
"ethical foreign policy"? How's the exposure of that coming on, by the
way?

Gary Dale

unread,
May 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM5/24/99
to

gd> >I think Clods problem is that he doesn't support free speech -
gd> >period.

Clod> [blah, blah, blah...]

Is that a definite 'yes', then?

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages