I was in the audience for the BBC TV programme The Big Questions (produced by the private company Mentorn Scotland), that has debates from a moral/religious viewpoint, often but not always on political issues, last Sunday in Salford for a pre-recorded special on the subject of “Is war ever just?”
It will be shown tomorrow (Sunday 26 January at 10am) – probably on BBC1 (possibly switched to BBC2). Nicky Campbell didn’t select me from the audience to make a point (or ask a question to the panel on the front row who dominated the show) but I’m writing this blog post to make some points I could have raised (and I will tweet links to this blog entry when the programme is aired).
My newly founded party, Left Unity (which I admitted to being a member of when asked by a woman who rang me before inviting me onto the show, perhaps influencing me not being picked to speak), has a position of opposition to glorification of war (throughout 2014 which is the 100th anniversary, i.e. centenary, of the start of what was then called “The Great War” and “The war to end all wars”, and is now known as “The First World War” or “World War I”).
Doesn’t Gove look a nasty piece of work?
The extremely annoying and incompetent Tory toff and ConDem Education Secretary Michael Gove has argued against teachers in school showing “Oh! What a Lovely War”, “The Monocled Mutineer” and “Blackadder Goes Forth” because they put across left-wing viewpoints, in an article in the Daily Mail. That “newspaper” (very right-wing rag) incidentally supported the fascist Blackshirts in Britain and the Nazis in Germany before the World War II – see my blog post Ed & Ralph Miliband v Daily Mail (who said “Hurrah for Blackshirts”) – David Cameron’s father Ian was a tax dodger!
There is a crying need for the divide-and-rule strategies of capitalist ruling classes across the world, aided and abetted by extreme right-wing forces – such as the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), British National Party (BNP) and English Defence League (EDL), as well as religious extremists who also have right-wing agendas (who objectively play into the hands of the very capitalist states they often claim to oppose if they carry out terrorist acts) – to be effectively opposed by left-wing arguments.
Some of the right-wing arguments are easy to oppose. Blaming immigrants for the current economic malaise is obviously nonsense, since the world economic crisis started with “sub-prime” mortgages in the USA. Instead of our ruling classes bailing out the banks, they should all have been nationalised, only compensating pension schemes, and turned into building societies – focusing on lending to individuals (mainly for mortgages) and small businesses, funded by deposits by individuals and small businesses. All big businesses should also have been nationalised, only compensating pension schemes, in a socialist transformation of society. [Arguing what should have been done is incidental, since capitalist governments obviously wouldn’t do it; such a socialist transformation of society (revolution) can only take place by a mass movement from below.]
The argument for “no borders” (i.e. no limits on immigration) is harder to make, especially considering the propaganda from the likes of the Daily Mail, Daily Express and Sun, reflecting the arguments not just made by UKIP and the BNP but mainstream capitalist parties. They whip up hatred towards asylum seekers (utterly heartless to try to inflict further suffering on those fleeing persecution elsewhere in the world) and other refugees (don’t those dying of hunger warrant our help if they can get here?), as well as people in poorer countries in the European Union (with UKIP targeting Romanians and Bulgarians as part of their argument to get the UK to leave the EU).
Let me put forward (what I think is) a convincing argument for “no borders”:
It wouldn’t be implemented until after a socialist revolution, so demanding that our racist ruling classes, kept in power mainly by their use of divide-and-rule implement it, is pointless. However, after such a revolution, we should welcome anybody who wants to come and experience life in a wonderful, vibrant, joyful socialist country, and many of them would go back to their own countries and spread the ideas of socialist revolution there.
I include below the contents of a newsletter I wrote in March, mobilising for mass strikes, demonstrations and civil disobedience to bring down the ConDem government in Britain. The newsletter also contains items on the bedroom tax, new poll tax (the poorest having to pay up to 30% council tax), tax avoidance by the rich and international revolution to stop fascism.
Revolutionary Platform News
Number 4b, 30th March 2013
Newsletter of the Revolutionary Platforms of Labour, TUSC, Respect, the Scottish Socialist Party and Solidarity
Editor’s welcome: My name is Steve Wallis. This is an amended version of newsletter 4 (specific to the UK) of the Revolutionary Platform Network, which now has a forum (page) on Facebook at the address above. Visit the website (on which you can also find this newsletter in a variety of formats) or the Facebook page for information about the Network. This newsletter was written by me but feedback on it and future articles are welcome there or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organise mass strikes, demonstrations and civil disobedience to bring down the Con-Dems!
Millions in the UK can’t afford to wait until 2015!