the rise of the far right and anti-fascism: february 16th, sheffield

The next communist forum in Sheffield will be a discussion on the rise of the far right in Britain today, the character of fascism, and how we should organise against this threat.

The meeting takes place from 7pm on  Tuesday 16th February at The Rutland Arms, 86 Brown Street, Sheffield S1 2BS. Email to express your interest or ask for more info – see below for some background reading for the meeting. Continue reading “the rise of the far right and anti-fascism: february 16th, sheffield”

the shipwrecked (part IV): anti-fascist refugees during world war II

The ideological breakdown of the left and extreme left at the time cannot be explained if we forget the fate of the hundreds of thousands of ‘shipwrecked’. Last in a series by João Bernardo: see here for parts one, two and three. Translated by Carlos Ferrão.


As odd as it may seem, after all I have discussed in the previous articles, in the last days of the Second World War there were still those who dreamed of revolution. Continue reading “the shipwrecked (part IV): anti-fascist refugees during world war II”

a thousand eyes turn to swp no platform debate

by David Broder

The evenings are getting darker, the leaves are falling off the trees, and oppositional texts are appearing in the Socialist Workers Party “discussion bulletin”. Yes, it’s that time of year again: the “pre-conference discussion period”, the three months of the year allotted by the SWP to limited discussion of party strategy, the only time when factions are allowed to exist and express themselves.


Former SWP leader John Rees and his followers have taken the opportunity to declare a ‘Left Faction’ and submitted a motion to the last Party Council advocating ‘No Platform to fascists’ – a resolution remarkably similar in tone to the rival motion submitted by the existing leadership. So is the revolutionary party opening up, or not? Continue reading “a thousand eyes turn to swp no platform debate”

should “we” ban the bnp?

by Kofi Kyerewaa

Despite the repetitive Nazi name-calling, the British National Party achieved their hope of getting elected into the European Parliament, and the British hard left once again finds itself at the margins of electoral politics and unable to match the BNP in votes even across its fractured political front. The landscape has changed: the British National Party can command 900,000 votes, while a hotch-pot of Stalinist bureaucrats, Impossibilists (SPGB) and Scottish Socialists garnered less than half at 350,000.

What is Socialist Workers Party leader Martin Smith’s remedy to this tragic state of affairs? More of the same with added egg throwing, “No freedom of speech for fascists”, “we should ban the BNP” and, bizarrely on BBC’s Newsnight Smith exclaimed to the polite but patronising Jeremy Paxman and Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes that the BNP had to be stopped because “they are counter-revolutionaries [to a Socialist Revolution?]!” Continue reading “should “we” ban the bnp?”

the european elections, the left and anti-fascism

David Broder gives his (personal) view on the EU elections and the BNP

The Times has carried several articles in the last week predicting that the recent outcry at the “MPs’ expenses scandal” has boosted the chances of the British National Party winning at least one seat in the European Parliament in the June 4th elections. Most people can only be sickened by this prospect – and indeed the extra revenue and organising power this would afford the BNP –  but in a sense the election results will merely reflect the ‘already existing’ organising strength of the different parties. Of course, at election time we ought to be concerned not only by the growth of the BNP, which has expanded ten-fold in the last decade, but also by the much greater – continuing –  strength of the Tories and New Labour, who already have both the (state) power and determination to attack migrants.

Typically of the media (both corporate and leftist) The Times devotes great attention to all the activities of the BNP – wholly unwarranted by its size or power – much as the press swallowed the far-right group’s own ludicrous claims to have played a leading role in January’s Lindsey Oil Refinery wildcat strikes.  The paper fears the BNP playing on “anti-establishment” anger and widespread disaffection with the mainstream parties. Editorial pieces over the last week have extolled the virtues of Parliamentary democracy and pointed to the criminal records, violent past and sloppy attendance record of BNP councillors. A May 11th editorial piece encouraging voter turnout to stop the group securing an MEP commented:

“To alert voters to the reality of the BNP, the main parties need to make their own case and persuade people that, no matter what they think about the state of politics in general, the BNP is worse than just useless, it is bad. A vote for the BNP is a vote for extremism and intolerance.”

Of course, it is no surprise that The Times, the long-standing newspaper of record and ‘authoritative’, ‘serious’ voice of the elite, should defend the established order of ‘normal’ politics and ‘mainstream’ parties against ‘extremists’ (surely it would have the same attitude towards a sizeable communist alternative to the establishment). So why does the traditional left’s “anti-fascism” look so similar? Continue reading “the european elections, the left and anti-fascism”