Friday, 24 December 2021

On Christmas Eve with the Polar Express

Just a few hours to go as we all make the final preparations for Christmas and settle in front of the TV here's a something to entertain children of all ages. 

This is a wonderful Christmas layout built in "S" Gauge to feature the Polar Express. The author has put in lots of "Easter Eggs". See if you can spot them!

What will Santa be bringing you this year? What you didn't ask for a train set........

Friday, 17 December 2021

The Night She Disappeared - Lisa Jewell (Penguin)


I don't read a crime novel in a while and suddenly three come along at once. The Night She Disappeared is the second book I've picked up from the "Richard & Judy Book Club" in WHSmiths and once again is an author I am already familiar with having read her major seller The Family Upstairs which according to the blurb is to get a sequel in July next year. That'll be on my list.

This is a story about a young couple who go missing after a party in the "Dark Place and leave their baby behind in a mystery that gradually builds as the tale is woven through time by the author. Tualulah's mother Kim is distraught and despite a police search nothing is ever found.

Then a year or so later Sophie, a young author joins her boyfriend at the local private college.  It is here that the story really beins as an arrow that points to the ground reveals a clue which leads to the meeting of writer and grandmother who gradually co-operate to work out the mystery.

There's plenty to to keep the reader occupied with a jealous boyfriend, a strange set of snotty students and then a sign appears. Dig Here a note says. What does it reveal? Why now and why does the finder lie about how she saw the sign.

There's also a missing husband. They all seem to have disappeared in the woods. Why? And are they actually connected. Love, sex, betrayal and disappearances that need resolving as this mystery picks up pace to a crescendo of an ending. And more......

Rating: 5 Stars (Recommended)

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

Religious censorship threatens right of expression

Since the protests against Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses the main focus on religious fundamentalism and extremism has been on Islam. Whilst it has been right to monitor and combat Islamism, the political movement that is violently dangerous both here and tin the Muslim world itself society has had a tendency to forget that extremism exists within all religions.

Probably the main one that comes to mind is the more militant sections of the Christian anti-abortion movement whose actions have been far from peaceful and especially intimidating towards women seeking to control their bodies.  In Africa American missionaries have been behind an upsurge of homophobia. In Britain a cartoon version of Old Harry's Game a comedy radio show about the Devil set in Hell was withdrawn after objections from the church.

The latter instance a direct result of one religions's extremism empowering anthers fundamentalism. Not that most of these types need an excuse but sensitivities become enhanced amongst publishers and broadcasters when religion causes controversy. Currently it is the gender politcs machine which leads the censor in this country but extreme followers of religion will always be ready to punce when they feel the need to be "offended".

France is one of those countries where religion plays a censorious role in what they try to proclaim is a "secular state". Islamism is on the rise and as a result we also see the rise of Catholic extremism from within the majority religion.

The National Secular Society reports that a Swedish musician had to hold a secret concert as she apparently promotes "satanism". Having listened to her music ( a sample of which is published below) I do not see this. Even fellow Swedish performers Ghost who do openly use satanic imagery clearly only do it for entertainment 

The NSS writes:

Swedish organist and singer Anna von Hausswolff performed in secret on Thursday night, after two of her French concerts were cancelled due to pressure from fundamentalist Catholics.

It's bizarre to say the least that in 21st century Europe, concerns about 'blasphemy' still have the power to shut down concerts.

Our vision for a secular democracy is underpinned by the fundamental human right to free speech. Without this, democracy cannot exist. Read more and join our campaign:

Anna's music may not be to everybody's taste (though I rather liked it after purchasing an album in Solidarity) but it's interesting and her use of the pipe organ does rather necessitate a church!  

Monday, 13 December 2021

Hawkwind - Dust Of Time (Cherry Red Records)


Just in time for Christmas comes a worthy compilation album from the ever productive Hawkwind, This two CD set covers their work over their entire history from when they formed in 1969 to today. Hawkwind have released 34 studio and seventeen compilation albums plus a dozen live performances over the years.

Like many people of my generation I first came across the band with their second album released in 1971 In Search Of Space. I still have a copy of this though the cover has seen better days! It went Gold. For the general public it was probably their single Silver Machine (included in this compilation) that brought them attention. The follow up Urban Guerilla was withdrawn after an assassination of an Italian politician but remains a classic. 

I first saw this band in Guildford back in the seventies and then again in the noughties where they seem to have two distinct groups of followers. Ageing rockers like me and a much younger crowd. Either way they continue to make good music.

Here's a selection of tracks to wet your appetite. I've avoided the obvious ones!

Paradox - Hall Of The Mountain Grill (1974)

Psi Power (Live Version 1984)

Angels Of Death - Sonic Attack (1981)

Available from:

(Also available is a luxury six CD set with 81 tracks) 


Sunday, 12 December 2021

The Burning Girls - C.J.Tudor (Penguin)


It's been a while since I read let alone reviewed a paperback thriller and this despite wanting to pick this particular book up for a while. I've become a fan of C.J.Tudor since she started writing novels. Having read her previous three masterpieces The Chalk Man (currently being made into a BBC TV series apparently), The Taking Of Annie Thorne and The Other People I expected an equally good story in this tome and I was not to be disappointed.

Oddly this book caught my attention in WHSmith's as I waled past their "Richard & Judy Book Club section and just picked it up like a shot. And at half price I might add! This is a special edition with extras from the former TV hosts who both write short introductions and provide questions for Book Club members to discuss at the end plus a short interview with the author. 

For once I was grateful for an introduction as Judy made it clear that "Jack" our main character was in fact a woman. Having just watched an old episode of Emmerdale where their Jack is in prison I'm sure I would have assumed Jack was a bloke at least for the first few pages.

Of course our maverick vicar isn't a bloke and is in fact a woman and single parent as well. Her daughter Flo will turn out to be very central to the mystery as it develops. Like all her novels there's a supernatural element element, the burning girls, little dolls made by some villagers to commemorate religious persecution some five hundred years past.

There's a mysterious death of her predecessor, apparitions for both our Jack and her daughter, some bullies, a weirdo, a fugitive and more in this continually twisting tale of lies, deceit, murder and lots of disappearances in the recent past. All this keeps the reader thinking right to the end as the tale weaved by it's author reaches a climax no one will have seen coming.

This novel is also due to made into a TV series. 

Rating: 5 Stars (Highly Recommended)

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Urgent: the US Announces Boycott, the UK Must Follow!


Last night, the Biden administration announced that the United States will not be sending any officials or diplomats to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. This is a direct response to the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing human rights atrocities.

We have campaigned hard for this moment. Joe Biden has made a stand. Now we need to push others to follow.

Thousands of you contacted the Prime Minister a couple of weeks ago but it appears that he did not get our message. Now is the time to up the pressure. Will you help by contacting UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson again, demanding he announces a boycott of Beijing’s bloody Winter Games?

For over a year, Free Tibet and its friends around the world have been campaigning with a strong message: a government that carries out torture and genocide should never have been granted the Winter Games. We must boycott Beijing 2022.

Thanks to your continued support we are now seeing results. Biden’s announcement is a significant victory and there have been exciting developments in the UK too. In July, parliament voted in favour of a boycott of Beijing 2022, and several members of the government have said they will not be attending. But that is not enough.

The UK government must officially announce a boycott and they must announce it now. That’s where you come in. Will you demand that Boris Johnson acts now for human rights, and boycotts Beijing 2022?

Friday, 3 December 2021

Galloway & Williamson to unite the dark side?


Hot on the heels of the latest splits, resignations and squabbles inside the around the various groupies of LAW, LIE and the LPM (see articles below) it seems that Chris Williamson is entering yet another electoral arrangement with his tiny band of followers with that George Galloway character.

In his latest tweet Chris "Nosferatu" Williamson announces he will be sharing a platform with the gorgeous one at the Workers Party HQ building which is the rather unfortunately named Moseley Street. A wee bit too close to the truth methinks...

It seems the mash-up between Gerorge Galloway and the pro-North Korean Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) known as the Workers Party is planning to run candidates in the 2022 local elections. Williamson is going to send his familiars to lend a hand or two with their campaign.

How his other alliance with the Trade Union & Socialist Coalition will react is not yet known, The remnants of the Socialist Party (Militant) backed Williamson's Resist candidates during the last election. No doubt the TUSC will be running what candidates it can and maybe Williamson hopes that getting the backing of both Trotskyists and Stalinists will double his chances of losing any contest.

Meanwhile the Greenstein faction reels from yet another court ruling that poor old Tony has lost. Greenstein was found guilty of harassing Labour Party employees and has been banned from contacting them or the Labour Party for two years (1). That comes on top the other court decision that he can be described as an antisemite because of his writings  rantings on line and elsewhere (2).

Greenstein seemingly aims to link up with Williamson and form a new party, possibly with Galloway  who gave Greenstein a platform on his RT TV propaganda chat show.(3). No doubt the major political parties will not be taking much notice of this ramshackle outfit of failed politico's though these extremists will target seats with high Muslim populations to push their grandiloquent anti-imperialist campaign riddled with so-called anti-Zionism.



(1) www.brightonandhovenews

(2) Notorious antisemite loses libel case


Wednesday, 1 December 2021

A Resignation letter from Jackie Walker & Friends from Labour Against the Witch Hunt


Following yesterdays report on the antics of the overlapping memberships of Labour Against the Witch Hunt (LAW) and Labour in Exile (LIE) Jackie Walker and her Communist Party of Great Britain (Weekly Worker) supporters have issued a letter which I have reproduced in it's original entirety for your entertainment..

Further updates will no doubt be sent out for the benefit of their cheering masses (some 27 supporters judging by the vote) in the edition of Weekly Worker due out on Friday. This blog along with the working class awaits with baited breath....... well maybe not but this story of sectarian folly will no doubt continue showing how inherently useless these people really are.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Labour Against the Witch Hunt: A Merger followed by a split.


The internal civil war between the really unsavoury hard left tyes around Labour Against the Witch Hunt (LAW) and Labour In Exile (LIE) has become a fascinating example of the hopelessness and navel gazing hatreds of the far left.

As previously reported there has been trouble inside these organisations as an ideological and personality fallout took place between the followers of Tony Greenstein and those around the Labour Party Marxists (LPM) (a front for the Communist Party of Great Britain/Weekly Worker) crowd. 

It seems most members of both these organisations are now outside the Labour Party having recently been joined by a number of activists from the fake Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) hate group likewise.. being expelled.

Greenstein & his charming ally Esther Giles proposed that LAW & LIE merge which even caused Tina Werkman to initially oppose what she saw even as an ex-member of the CPGB a "hostile takeover"

This causes a dilemma for the LAW Steering Committee majority dominated by the LPM (CPGB) who in advance of the vote wrote:

There are a number of problems with this proposal.

The most serious is that, despite the claim to have a “focus” on fighting the witch-hunt, that is precisely what will be ended - fighting the witch-hunt in the Labour Party. To produce a combined organisation for general political activity out of LAW and LIEN is to accept that there is no longer a need for a campaign focused on that priority. Remember that LAW is already committed to fighting to transform the Labour Party into a united front of a special kind - of all trade unions, working class partisans, socialist groups and parties. For unity to be worthwhile, for unity to be a net good, it would have to be on a serious basis that would supersede the otherwise separate existence of its components. That seriousness is partly a matter of immediate practicality and partly of principle.

Now we go to the practicalities of the squabble as the mass organisations of the Labour hard Left met to do battle. The two groups had to meet on separate days as some of their members belong to both groups which should be taken into account when examining g the derisory voting fidgures at their respective meetings.

First up LIE met on Friday and voted 31 to 8 in favour of a merger. A total of just 39 particpants from a group that once threatened to set up "Shadow CLP's". They would have indeed been a very small shaow in a dark comer not even noticeable to any adult.

Then came Saturday and the massed ranks of LAW voted 47 to 27 in favour of the merger (the 27 being presumably the entire membership of the CPGB which has only around that number of members). There were 12 abstentions. A grand total of 86.

That was not the end of it as the infamous Jackie Walker, Stan Keable, Tina Werkman and Kevin Bean resign from LAW.

One assumes they will now rename themselves Left Out of Labour. (LOL).

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Peter & the Wolf -Viv Stanshall with Various Artists (Cherry Red Records)


Those of us from a certain generation will be familiar with Peter and the Wolf from our schooldays. This classical work was originally written by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) in 1936 and uses a story to introduce listeners to the whole range of the orchestra. A wonderful piece still performed to this day by orchestras.

It should come as no surprise that it was adapted by "prog rockers" in  1975 and features a whole range of great musicians from that wonderful period of music including Manfred Mann (who "plays" Peter), Gary Brooker as "Bird", Gary Spedding the "duck", Gary Moore as "Duck" and Stephane Grapelli, Wolf.

Other musicians include Eno, Jack Lancaster, Julie Tippet, Bill Bruford, Phil Colllis, Cozy Powell. Aklvin Lee and many more. They are joined by the English Chorale.

Topped off with narration from the wonderful Vivian Stanshall this is certainly a "must have" for any record collection!*

*Yes I know it's a CD but I speak in an old fashioned way!

This was released yesterday (Friday 26th November). I pre-ordered a copy but it seems it's out of stock already. In case they do a second pressing here is the link:

Friday, 26 November 2021

There's trouble in Labour Against the Witch Hunt and Williamson to set up a new party.


It seems that the deranged and duplicitous leftists in and around the hard left of the Labour Party are all starting to fall out with each other and even indulging in some of the strangest accusations against anti-racist campaigners that have been heard since the hey days of Gerry Healy's rantings in the pages of The News Line.

According to Chris Williamson the organisation Hope Not Hate (well known for it's anti-racist work over the years in everything from the media to football) is now accused of being racist for reasons best known to the nefarious  one himself.

Talking of Jokers the various activists of Labour Against the Witch Hunt (LAW), Labour In Exile (LIE) and the Labour Left Alliance (LLA) have suddenly discovered antisemitism in the Labour Party probably at the behest of the treacherous Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) that at least one of the signatories of the letter below. It seems it's only antisemitic to expel left wing Jews despite the Greenstiens of this world having spent years to proscribe the mainstream Jewish Labour Movement. 

These schmucks who consider everybody but themselves the "wrong type of Jew" are lashing out as they are expelled for their various misdemeanours and extremist politcs which include covering for and excusing antisemitism within the Corbynite and Marxist left.

Chris Williamson is now turning his Resist groupscule into yet another "Socialist" Party. So many groups now competing for an ever declining audience. Even the Young Communist League is doing better than these sectarian wasters it seems.

Various individuals (all in "personal capacity" of course) are calling for LAW and LIE to merge into one group so that they only have to pay membership for one organisation. Their venom at the moment is aimed at their former allies in the Labour Party Marxists or Communist Party of Great Britain (Weekly Worker) as they have been known for years.

Their slanging match conference is tomorrow. Oh to be a fly on the wall or not...its gonna be a cold day the hot air generated should at least keep them warm!

Monday, 22 November 2021

Free Tibet: Prime Minister, will you say NO to genocide?


This could be HUGE: Last week, reports emerged that US President Joe Biden was preparing an announcement, committing the US to a boycott of the Beijing 2022 Winter Games. Days later, and after mounting pressure in the UK, Boris Johnson is reportedly considering the same option.

This is the news that we have been waiting for, but we need your help to make sure it happens.

Can you contact Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to announce that he will not be attending Beijing’s bloody Winter Games? If you use Twitter, you can send a tweet with a few clicks. If you don’t, you can adapt our text and use the Number 10 contact form.


None of this would have happened without the tireless campaigning by Free Tibet, its friends around the world and you.

Together we have confronted governments, Olympic associations and sponsors with the facts about the CCP’s torture, mass imprisonment and genocide, demanding that they say no to Beijing 2022. In the UK, we even saw parliament vote in favour of a boycott in June this year.

We have already achieved so much, but now is the time to ramp up the pressure.

We need to fill Twitter and the Prime Minister’s inbox with messages to Boris Johnson, demanding that he acts NOW.

More info:

Saturday, 20 November 2021

Deap Vally - Marriage (Cooking Vinyl)

One of the benefits of You Tube is the ability to explore and discover music. Over the years I have come across quite a lot of bands and artists (especially from Europe and Japan) that otherwise I may never had heard of. These bands ranging from Battle Beast in Finland to Lovebites from Japan have have expanded my appreciation of music as their records enter my collection.

Of course I can't buy everything (who can) but there are bands whose music is worth picking up and Deap Valley who I came across by accident are one of them. The ladies have been around since 201l originating in Los Angeles, their music  being best described as "Alternative/Garage Rock". 

The two members Lindsey Troy and of Julie Edwards released their first single back in 2012 and have released four albums of which Marriage is the latest having been released on 19th November 2021. I have chosen two tracks from their new album to illustrate their sound. 

Friday, 19 November 2021

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Raise The Roof (Warner Music)

The latest album collaboration by Robert Plant and Alison Strauss hit the stores today and was well worth both the wait and the the price of entry. This collection of songs is a cross between rock and country music which makes pleasant listening for a quiet afternoon or late night as the mood takes you.

Robert Plant of course needs no introduction having been in the public eye since the late sixties as the lead singer of one of the greatest rock bands of all time Led Zeppelin and his hard hitting vocals have mellowed on this album to deliver something qualitatively quite different.

However  I was not not familiar  with Alison Krauss as the country music scene is not normally to my taste but her influence and vocals on this album make this a worthy addition to any music collection. Around since the mid eighties her music is described as "bluegrass-country" a term with which I am not familiar but seems worth exploring at a later date. You Tube does have it's uses!

Although I missed their live performance of their new single, Can't Let Go on The One Show it has been posted for posterity and is re-posted here to entertain. 

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Tell the UK government: Stop funding repression in Tibet!


Did you know that the UK government is funding Chinese-state surveillance? We must put a stop to this.

Hikvision is the biggest manufacturer of CCTV in the world and it is controlled by the Chinese government. Its cameras are used to support the surveillance of Tibetans and Uyghurs in their own occupied lands.

An investigation by Free Tibet has found that several government departments have bought and use Hikvision security cameras. Unbelievably, UK taxpayer money is being given to a company that supports Chinese government repression in Tibet, the least free place in the world.

Your taxes go from your pocket, to the government, to Hikvision and potentially on to the Chinese government.

Many people are also worried that Hikvision cameras could be accessed by the Chinese government and used to spy on Western nations. Hikvision is already banned by the US government and the UK’s Ministry of Defence told us it advises other departments not to use the company.

The UK government must stop purchasing Hikvision equipment and ban their sales in the UK.

With your help, we can strike a significant blow against a company that is instrumental in the oppression of Tibetan people.

Please sign our petition to Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss MP, to ban Hikvision and stop funding genocide.

Sign the petition

Saturday, 6 November 2021

ABBA - Voyage (Polar)

I was still at school when Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest with their famous song Waterloo. They went on to become one of the worlds most successful bands and were an important part of Sweden's economy at one point! Of course like all the other schoolboys I fancied Agnetha.....

Abba's music hit the charts for near on a decade of number ones and top ten hits plus several studio albums and countless collections (of which I have one) and then in 1982 as the shine inevitably began to fade and their records didn't hit the top ten they retired as a group.

Their music however is timeless and has remained being played on untold numbers of radio stations around the world so the advent of a new album, Voyage is to be welcomed. It is a highly entertaining and polished piece of pure pop music. 

The copy I am listening to belongs to the missus but I couldn't resist blogging about it. A five star recommendation from both of us. 

Here's a couple of tracks:


Friday, 5 November 2021

Mary's Blood - Mary's Blood (JPU Records)

The latest self-titled album from all-girl metal band Mary's Blood has just been released in the UK by JPU Records (see below). and is well worth the long wait. This is their sixth studio album of which this is my third having purchased their previous releases Fate (2016) and Confessions (2019). 

Mary's Blood consist of Eye (vocals), Mari (drums),  Rio (bass), Saki (guitar) plus support from Yashira on guitar. They are a highly skilled group who produce a pure metal sound and are influenced by the eighties. This band is one of several all-girl groups currently emanating from the Japan.

Also worth trying out are Aldious, Lovebites, Bandmaid and Scandal though the latter has become a bit more mainstream of late but are still a great band who introduced me to the Japanese music scene. All these groups have albums released in the UK by JPU records.

If you haven't heard them before their music is readily availbale on You Tube though currently only Starlight from the bands latest offering. 

Available from: 

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Sexual Harrassment and Stalin worship in the Young Communist League

The Young Communist league is not an organisation that comes readily to mind in the 21st century. Indeed if it wasn't for The Morning Star I doubt the official Communist Party of Britain would attract all that attention since they are a pale shadow of even their former selves with around just 800 members. In contrast their youth organisation has reportedly tripled in size to around 1.200 members though this has come with some serious problems.

There is a group of very unpleasant hard-line Stalinists who up until recently had been know as Red London. They were best avoided. Apparently they changed their name to Red Tek which is where this story ties into the Young Communist League. This group have entered en-mass into the YCL.

The conduct of these individuals has been raised not just inside the Communist Party itself but even publicly in letters column of The Morning Star. As a result the leadership of the CPB has issued the following protocols in order to try and bring the situation under control. 

From Unity the CPB Members Bulletin:

“We do not construct or promote ‘Conspiracy theories’ “Our class enemy is the ruling capitalist class, not some secretive sinister cabal of Freemasons, Zionists, the Illuminati or the Bill Gates Foundation..”

The CPB also lays down a timely call to the more enthusiastic ‘anti-Zionist’ recruits, “Posting anything on line which “normalises” anti-Semitic conspiracy theories including holocaust denial in any form – is incompatible with Party membership.”

That alone should send warning bells about the internal goings on inside the Young Communist League. However of more concer is the departure of a number of (mainly) women members who have complained about the sexual harassment that is taking place inside the organisation.

The following video is from a brave woman prepared to speak out.

It goes without saying that the allegation of sexual assault should not be dealt with in house as the Socialist Workers Party tried to to do with "Comrade Delta". In these cases the police should be involved. No political party is above the law.

The nature of Red London leadership and antics over the years have been outlined in a comment published under the above video. I have not published the name for legal reasons as these are all allegations untested in a court of law and I remain unsure of the legal position.

...... the lead figure in Redtek, has a long history of this kind of thing. For folks that are unaware, he was chased out of every anarchist space around ~10-15yrs ago amid a long list of alleged sexual assaults and instances of violence against anyone speaking out against him. He reinvented himself as a syndacalist, which led to the official disbanding of Liberty & Solidarity in the wake of allegations of sexual assault by him there. He then reinvented himself as a Lenninist under the name Red London and was alledlgedly involved in sexual assaults, grooming minors, and violent attacks (including invading the home of a trans woman). The last rumour of his whereabouts that made it to me were that he and his cronies were under investigation for misconduct at events connected to Momentum/The Labour Party and there were allegations of misconduct by him in connection with CPGB party organ The Morning Star, however I'm not really as connected with those than the earlier activities. Hearing the same issues again is heartbreaking, as no matter the professed ideals or political affiliation, their reported actions have remained the same. When chucked out they just move to somewhere folks are unaware of their past.

I came into the world of blogging a decade ago following amongst other things the antics of the SWP in dealing with a similar affair and watched them implode. Despite their supposedly progressive agendas the hard left has a long history of such abuse in it's ranks the best known of which was the Gerry Healy Affair in the Workers Revolutionary Party. 

These organisations have transformed from political parties into cults and as such are prone to abusing their memberships on every level. 

Friday, 29 October 2021

Musical Influences - Siouxsie And The Banshees

Life isn't all about politics and music is very central to me as regular readers both here and on my previous blog will be aware. I thought it time to move on from the influences of "Prog Rock" thopugh I may return to a couple of seventies bands later in this series. Music changes and so do tastes and although most punk music did not appeal there was an off-shoot around what is best described as the "Goth Scene" and one of the earliest acts I latched on to was Siouxsie And The Banshees.

The sound that Siouxsie produced was for me unique and creative. The first actual album I picked uo was the live Nocturne double LP but did go on to collect several of her albums and singles amongst which were more than a few of those 12" mixes that were so popular in the eighties. 

This album was recorded at the Royal Albert Hall which funnily enough was where I saw her perform just the once when she released Peek-A-Boo on of my favourite songs and albums of that decade.

Israel - No 41 1980

Cities In Dust - No 21 1985

Peek-A-Boo - No 16 1988

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Urgent Action Requested: Free Soheil Arabi & mother! Defend Mina Ahadi!


An Appeal from Maryam Namazie

Your urgent action and solidarity are requested.


Over 200 organisations and individuals have called for the release of an Iranian blogger imprisoned for 'blasphemy'. The initiative aims to free atheist Soheil Arabi who has been imprisoned in Iran since 2013.

Since 19 October, Arabi has been on hunger strike and his mother, Farangis Mazloum, has been summoned to serve an 18-month prison sentence for demanding justice for her son. Mazloum says she is extremely concerned about her son's situation and has not heard from him.

Please continue to support Soheil and his mother.

Send a souvenir postcard from your city to Arabi and his mother expressing your support and solidarity. You can post the postcard to BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX.

Sign a petition at calling for his release. It currently has over 100,000 signatures.

Raise awareness using the hashtags #FreeSoheil #SoheilDay #SoheilArabi and #FarangisMazloum...

Find out more about what you can do via the National Secular Society.


Following a 15 October protest against Cologne City Council’s permit to mosques to broadcast the call to prayer or Azaan, Islamists have threatened Mina Ahadi with death. German police believe the threats to be serious and have placed her under police protection.

According to Mina Ahadi: “The fight against the Azaan is a fight against the Islamist movement and a defence of secular spaces. It is not against religious freedom. People have a right to religion but the Azaan, which is intrinsically linked to Islamist suppression in places like Iran, cannot be allowed to occupy the public space.”

Express your solidarity with Mina Ahadi, a leading figure in the ex-Muslim and anti-Islamist movement and strongly condemn the death threats. Urge the German government to take immediate and necessary measures to arrest and prosecute the perpetrators, ensure the safety of critics of Islam and Islamism and end its collaboration with Islamists that place the lives of freethinkers and apostates at risk.

To sign the statement of solidarity, please send your full name, description, country to or write it in the comments section. The list of signatories will be added on a daily basis. Deadline for signatories is 31 October.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

The past, present and future of the hard left examined


The Past

One of my favourite blogs Tendance Coatsey recently ran a story about the fitftieth anniversary of the ultra-left newspaper Workers Vanguard published by the seemingly defunct Spartacist League. An article aimed at only the most dedicated of "Trot spotters" since the organisation has been absent from all the major politcal protests including the BLM especially sionce it sought (in the uSA where it originated) to build a revolutionary party around the balck community.

Of course it's no different to most of the far-left organisations and is white, middle class and higly educated though in a cultish format. I've never seen a black or any ethnic minority member in this country at least. Their founder died and we all suppose there is a massive internal faction faction over what's remaining of the group world-wide. The workers of the world await the outcome with baited breath...not.

Getting involved in politics back in the seventies I came across the far left funnily enough by meeting the Coatsey who sold Red Weekly (Paper of the International Marxist Group) at my FE's student union meetings and canteens. I found it fascinating and moving on came across the rest of the far-left as it was then organised. There was Workers Press a daily Trotskyist paper published by the infamous Workers Revolutionary Party.

The WRP was an organisation that both fascinated and appalled me. Full of thespians including Vanessa and Corin Redgrave, Frances De La Tour and Bill Bailey amongst others. It's internal and external behaviour was cultish and could be violent. It's leader we found out not only reguarly lashed at at his supporters but also was found to have abused the Young Socialists and eventually expelled in the eighties. A row that was watched with fascination by all and sundry.

Other groups that were prominent were the International Socialists (who later became the SWP), Militant who were buried in the Labour Party until purged by Neil Kinnock. Of course there was also the official Communist Party of Great Britain and it's paper the Morning Star. The hard Labour Left had Tribune. Of course there were a myriad of weird and wonderful sects out there like the very trendy Revolutionary Communist Party whose trajectory became shall we say more than controversial

The left were quite identifiable and differences  between them to outsiders seemed almost religiously sectarian to outsiders. However at least they were out there and upfront with an agenda that was unachievable in it's revolutionary aims  despite the likes of the WRP were always preparing for a military coup hence their frenzied activity around the daily paper.

The Present

Today's left is barely recognisable in form and content. Of the old left the SWP survives albeit smaller due to a sex scandal some years back (see The full appalling story of the "delta affair" in the SWP on my original blog). The IMG broke apart and barely a hundred people form  it's successor Socialist Reistance whilst a handful went on to form Socialist Action who provided advisers to Ken Livingstone and it's main figure John Ross an apologist for the Chinese Communist Party.

Militant fell apart into numerous factions who themselves split continually over the years. Only the small Socialist Party and Socialist Appeal remain visible these days. The CPGB is now simply called the Communist Party of Britain and the CPGB name hijacked by a group of probably less than 40 individuals who publish Weekly Worker.

The most successful of these formations was the Revolutionary Communist Party which disbanded itself as they no longer believed a revolution was possible and went on to found Spiked! a website influencing the media and educational institutions. The fact is the hard core managed to stay together under Professor Frank Furedi and their by-lines are often found in the mainstream media. One of their number id now Baroness Cox and sits in the House Of Lords!

There remain a number of small sects such as the Alliance for Workers Liberty but the whole nature of the far-left changed particularly though the Corbyn experience.

The Future

Currently you can find people who would have previously been involved in such groupings taking a different course. Inside the Labour Party is Momentum a group with still much influence following the fall of Jeremy Corbyn., outside there are web based influencers who take a very media influenced approach. these include The Canary (which many of us consider a hate site), Novara Media home of luxury communism and the totally unreliable Skwawkbox.

Others remain in groups both outside and inside the Labour Party. Some of these groups are seeking to "work together even though despite having different names and some different members are all run by Tina Werkman a former plant from the CPGB who went "native" in the Labour Party along with PCS activist Lee Rock. These groupings held a conference on which  "Andrew Kirkland" of the Labour Party Marxists (a front for the CPGB (WW) inside the Labour Party) commented:

The October 14 joint meeting of members and supporters of Labour Against the Witchhunt, the Labour Left Alliance and the Labour In Exile Network highlighted the confusion and desperation that exists in this corner of the left.

The meeting was called to endorse the plan for closer cooperation between the three groups, with the suggestion of a weekly meeting for their combined steering committees. There was some debate about a suggested goal of full fusion, though the technical and political obstacles raised in contributions meant that the emphasis in the short term will be on ‘pooling our resources’ and the ‘cross-fertilisation of ideas’.

Real differences emerged over the question of the future orientation to the Labour Party. All three organisations were established on the assumption that the class struggle was taking place within Labour. Yes, expellees were welcome, but the objective was to get them back in to resume the battle in support of the Labour left. But now the heightened purge under Starmer has changed all that - what about those who are unable stomach the hostile environment for lefties in the Labour Party, and who have jumped ship or are about to do so?

No doubt the faction fighting amongst the comrades will continue unabated on their forums of which they have established many to appear larger and more influential than they are. 

So what of the extra-parliamentary newcomers to the scene? According to the hard-left website All That is Solid:

It was inevitable some of the left were going to decamp from the Labour Party with Keir Starmer's election as leader. But to do what? That was always the interesting question, and now it has a clear answer. Since Corbynism's defeat and the tightening of thumb screws on the left who've remained, several new left parties have come into existence. The best known and attracting the lion's share of media interest is the Northern Independence Party, but it is far from alone. The Breakthrough Party, self-identifying as a youth-led democratic socialist party, stood its first candidate in the Chesham and Amersham by-election. Joining it one would find the Harmony Party, the BLM-linked Take the Initiative Party, and Chris Williamson's Resistance Movement, which happened to hold a festival in Nottingham this Saturday.

We now know Williamson's hate-fest attracted fewer than a hundred followers. It seems that despite the claims of these groups The Breakthrough Party says it has "hundreds" of members whilst the Northern Indepence Party (whose leader lives in Brighton last time I looked says they have thousands. Who knows? The problem for these groups as we saw with the Left Unity group founded by the odious Ken Loach is that social media likes and followers does not translate into firm organisations.

The hard left will always be there in the background causing division and hate not just as open organisations or websites but through front campaigns such as the misnamed Stand Up to Racism group formed by the Socialist Workers Party. These organisations failed in the seventies, again in the eighties and then under Corbyn. For now they have mostly retreated. But the danger remains. The internet allows small groups of people to push ideas that undermine reason from antisemitic memes and conspiracy theories to bullying women for standing up for their rights. 

Forearmed is forewarned. Watch this space.

Monday, 25 October 2021

Those who care must stand up against the new authoritarians


Photo: By Bundesarchiv

It's been a while since I put "pen to paper" as they say even if this is an electronic form of writing. In order for a blog to build and retain a readership I am well aware that regular posts are the way forward and that although I no longer post every single day there has been an unforgivable gap in this humble attempt to comment on the world around us.

In part this has been due to my having a rethink about my political direction and therefore the aim of the blog in the current political climate and is also due to the fact I have been relaxing and indulging my hobby. My health also impacts on my output as I tire easily and sleep more during the day than perhaps I should. 

That's not to say I have not indulged in some activity especially on Facebook and a to a more limited extent on Twitter. For the umpteenth time some woke little prat has reported me to the Labour Party in order to get me either disciplined or expelled for having "transphobic" views by which they mean I stand for women's rights and don't believe women have dicks or men have cervixes. I'm sorry but these are biological truths.

How we adjust to trans-women is a question that needs serious and unfettered debate but the loud mouthed mostly male trans activists in co-operation with Stonewall are determined to impose their views on the rest of us and refuse to acknowledge concerns. Stonewall has abandoned its original remit and abandoned homosexual men and lesbians in order to pursue gender politics which tries to over-write sex and sexuality. 

Of course women's rights are likewise undermined as the definition of women and their bodies becomes transformed into a sex-less gender world where females can supposedly have lady-dicks. Lesbians are told they are "transphobic" if they refuse to sleep with individuals who retain their maleness. This madness  is referred to as the cotton ceiling.

At the same time I remain appalled at the antisemitism that shows it's ugly face on Twitter mostly pretending to be anti-Zionism. When I see a tweet that says "Only Israel abuses human rights" I despair. That Israel is not perfect like every other country in the world the ignorance and prejudice behind that comment ignores the widespread abuse of human rights from China and North Korea to across the Muslim world.

This also became a bone of contention as another twitter user tried to claim minorities were safer in Muslim countries. The persecution of Copts in Egypt, the abuse of christian and Baha'i in Iran, the vile and murderous attacks on Christians in Pakistan let alone the position of women under Islamic apartheid is all ignored. These people live in a world where only Israel is a villain and underneath so many are hard-line antisemites.

Former Labour MP Chris Williamson was tweeting the genocidal "From the River to the Sea" slogan with vicious Rachel Swindon nodding in agreement with other equally bigoted and blinkered individuals claiming to be "socialists" of some sort or another, One thought it amusing I described her views as "National Socialist" not just because they think it's just an insult but cannot see the Strasserite nature of their politics.

Many of us referred to Corbyns followers as the new Blackshirts and it's a formulation that remains applicable to so much of the far left and their allies in today's politics.  The battle against these creatures is far from over as they regroup and use social media to purse their nefarious aims.

It is the responsibility of those who care and are able to stand up and call for reason. Health willing I will now rejoin that fight wherever I can. My mobility may be limited but so long as I have a keyboard I have a voice that will not be silenced. Please join me in the fight against the threats to our freedom whether they come from the far-left, the far-right or religious extremism.

Shalom Aleichem

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Jewish Labour Movement letter to Momentum


Ground-breaking EHRC Rule Changes Pass

Sunday was a hugely important day for the Labour Party. Our Party finally voted to reform its disciplinary processes by passing the EHRC rule changes to create a new system that will be more transparent, fair and independent. This is the culmination of years of work from JLM and we're proud that the Party has made this step. And it's not just for the benefit of Labour's Jewish members, but all members from minority communities who face harassment and discrimination.

These rule changes were legally mandated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and passed with 74% of delegates voting in favour. JLM said the following:

Passing this rule change is a moral, legal and political imperative for Labour.

An independent disciplinary system was mandated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission following its report that the Party broke equalities law and discriminated against its Jewish members. It’s essential if Labour is to rebuild its relationship with the Jewish community and its wider reputation as a tolerant, anti-racist party.

From day one Keir Starmer has shown the real leadership Jeremy Corbyn never did, in taking concrete steps to tackle anti-Jewish racism, including supporting JLM in delivering training.

But passing this rule change alone is not enough to detoxify party culture. The reaction both inside and outside Conference today shows there is still a huge amount of work to do for Labour to become a truly safe and welcome space for Jewish people.

JLM Letter to Momentum