In our very first issue we wrote that we hoped “to be a non-sectarian space where we can explore ideas without being piled on when people disagree. We want discussion and debate, not dishing out insults and blame.” That is what Feedback is all about. This month we have a debate prompted by Dave Middleton’s article: World War 3 Edges Closer between Dave and subscriber, MARTIN WILLIAMS

MW: I don’t agree with Dave Middleton’s views on this subject. The world is changing into a more aggressive world and Putin made a statement only recently saying he would drop nukes on the UK. If Trump wins the next election, he has already said he would scrap NATO. This would leave Europe and UK to be collateral damage, as the US becomes more an isolationist country. Why should we all rely on the US? To say there is no evidence is incorrect; we only have to look at the wars started since the pandemic. When the pandemic came and the virus began spreading, even then the UK media and politicians were saying it will never come here as we are the best in the world, which is total rubbish. Like a virus wars are infectious. In the 1930s as a country we were under-resourced and not ready with the same kind of anti-establishment rhetoric. It’s not warmongering, it’s being wise and careful that we are in a position to defend ourselves against dictators who are prevalent now and in the future. Why do we take out insurance for our cars, houses etc? It’s just in case something happens to protect them and others who may be damaged by them.

DM: Dear Martin, Thanks for your comments. You are, of course, very welcome to disagree with me. I would just like to make one point. At no point, unless you can show me a reliable source, has Putin actually threatened to ’nuke’ the UK. He has certainly reminded the west that Russia has nuclear weapons. He has also said that, if NATO invades Russia, they would defend themselves and it seems implied that this would include nuclear weapons. Thankfully, NATO assures us, as I cited, that they do not intend any harm to Russia.

The argument being advanced is not that we need more nuclear weapons but rather that we need to arm a citizens’ militia. I am confused therefore, if we are worried about the nuclear threat, what possible disincentive could it be to Russia that we have a citizens’ army parading on the white cliffs of Dover. A people’s militia would only be useful in the event of a ground invasion, but Russia has shown no interest in expanding beyond Ukraine. 

I am no apologist for Russia or fan of Putin, but this rhetoric being ramped up by right-wing politicians seems to me, as I said in the article, far more about increasing the status of the armed forces and, quite possibly, preparing for a ground assault in Ukraine when, as now seems inevitable, Russia defeats them.

Be careful what you wish for.

Yours in solidarity

Dave Middleton

MW: Dear Dave, Thanks for your reply. I think the difficulty with making any statements or predictions about what is going to happen next and proving or providing evidence in a world which is fluid is almost impossible; it is a calculation only and an echo.

We all rely on news outlets, whether they are true or accountable is another question and where it comes from, though some are more researched than others. We all also rely on our intelligence services.

The report came from LBC. It  is well known that Putin is a master of espionage and is of the old guard from the Soviet Union who has been promoting his idea of turning the pages back. My reference here is in the book Putin’s People and his rise to elevating himself to power.

NATO does not go without some blame for how Putin has reacted and is reacting, as Reagan began with his fortress and arms on the borders, which has continued. It takes two sides to boogie and for making peace. I’m as suspicious of the establishment as probably you are! It is also difficult to provide evidence of the deep state as it appears to be a closed shop. 

As a country, we are unique in that we have not been invaded by a foreign power, unlike Europe in the modern world and don’t know what it is like to be under someone else’s control, and it’s probably easy for us to be complacent and take things for granted. I do not disagree with everything you said, only that we as a country we need to up our game and not rely on the US to be our parent.

Nobody wants to go to war, and I’m sure we both agree on that. 

Kind regards,

Martin


 Here is the rest of your feedback, starting with another comment on World War 3 Edges Closer

Scary, it has however been ‘on the cards’ since NATO’s obvious aggression instigated by the imperialist ambitions of the U.S.A. encouraged by the lacklustre UK establishment! I am almost glad to be old!!! COLIN OAKLEY

Aid To Gaza Suspended

You’re gonna be condemned as an antisemite for this, Dave; you’re accusing our politicians of complicity in genocide – I declare them guilty as charged so I must be antisemitic too! MIKE COULSON

Civil Servants tell politicians to stop supporting Genocide

Civil servants are the people of Britain, their opinions represent our opinions.
The government and the ‘opposition’ do not represent us! LYNNE EDWARDS

Brianna Ghey Killers Caught and Revealed – But Will They Face an Honest Justice?

I think it’s fair to raise the issue of what such institutions offer/threaten and that the impact on offenders’ families can be ignored. Nobody wins in such awful cases.
I note the article doesn’t mention that both of these young killers are autistic; the girl may not yet have a diagnosis. I have a great deal of experience of autistic young people, often with additional diagnoses and specialist services are needed not simply punishment. LINDA FERGUSON

Shylock: From Venice to Cable Street

Having just heard Ms Oberman interviewed on Radio 4, continuing the work to memory hole socialism- *the* motivating force for the arrival of mass suffrage democracy and public services- I am saved from apoplexy by reading your article. Thankyou! J. YATES

Fascinating. So rich in important information. Thank you. CLAIRE HILL

A thoughtful & necessary assessment of Oberman’s play at a time when the actor seeks to heat tensions by requesting police protection from an imaginary threat posed by the very class of people who stood in solidarity against fascism in Cable Street and who she casts today as anti-Jew not based on any evidence of Jew hate but entirely because of their opposition to the actions of the state of Israel. GHYLL KING

Outrage at new bill which will give the DWP the right to snoop on claimants’ bank accounts

The DWP snoopers charter is just another basic attack to cause more distress in disabled and elderly claimants for no good reason. They can write off billions in fraudulent BS COVID contracts because they’re them and their mates, but they’re never arrested or charged are they!!!

Now some ordinary sod getting a few extra quid because THEY made a mistake. 99.5% of the time it’s their mistakes that the claimant gets automatically blamed for. Let me give one example. I get Universal credit. I was overpaid in January. I spotted it before it went into my account. I called, and I sent 27 messages over 18 days. They finally replied on day 19 immediately launching a fraud inquiry. No apology or “it was our fault.” Nope. Why did you not notify us sooner” WTF!!!

I had changed nothing. It was a pure mistake on their part. They transposed the numbers and, rather than admit that, they demanded immediate repayment. I had slipped into the amount, “Sue me. I am poor and we like to eat NOT takeaways or booze or to pay for Sky. I have none of them. Just normal food.” Anyhow because of their mistake, it cost us an extra £51.25 in interest that I had to give them. They are liars and incompetent scum that delight in causing misery. The whole department needs to be sacked and start again with compulsory training in understanding and not being unthinking drones with no soul.

BTW this is now over 22 years of disability their 9th mistake and I am sick of them and their lies. Sort out your incumbents and liars then and only then can you ask what’s in my account. Oh, and if this is not already happening, I suggest anyone on Universal Credit check your monthly report. The first line will be your current bank balance! So how do they know that, hum? JAMES KEMP

How tech workers are rallying to the Palestinian cause

Fabulous article, as a dinosaur I never imagined I would read such an interesting article on a subject that usually sends me to sleep. Well done! ANN NEWTON-MARCIAL

We received feedback on our article about who to support prior to the Rochdale by-election. This is a selection:

I totally disagree with you on supporting Azhar Ali and Graham Jones. They are right wingers who, as far as I know, have never spoken out about the anti semitism smears in the Labour Party. But wider than that, as they’re right wingers, I assume they support Starmer and his neo Liberal agenda. As socialists I believe we should support Galloway on this occasion. LINDSEY BAKER

I have to disagree in this case Mike, the witch-hunt will continue whoever wins in Rochdale. If Ali wins he might have the whip restored but it will be on condition that he refrains from criticism of Israel in future. I’m no fan of Galloway but a win for him will not only mean another pro-Palestine in Parliament, it will deprive Labour of a seat and increase the chances of a hung parliament. MIKE COULSON

Your reasons for supporting Ali rather than Galloway do not make sense. Galloway has always been a huge supporter of Palestine. He has massively opposed Israel’s genocide in Gaza, refusing to kowtow to mainstream media or anyone else. You haven’t mentioned that – do you really not know it? He is more left-wing than any prominent member of the Labour Party, let alone Blairite Ali. He is also ahead in the polls. 

Of course what Ali said about 7th October was not antisemitic. I happen to think his remarks were not unreasonable either, given what we know of the Israeli regime. Perhaps South Africa’s brilliant legal team and the ICJ will eventually discover the truth about that, as they are investigating motivation as part of the genocide case against Israel. 

I follow a number of left organisations, by email and social media, and as a member of several. But George Galloway’s MOATS broadcast was my only means of knowing when South Africa’s genocide case against Israel would be held, and I managed to watch the full three hours of argument live on Al Jazeera. 

The mainstream media did not show it, and did not even mention the case until the following day when they showed Israel’s pathetic, lying “response”. When the ICJ’s judgement came, the MSM kept that well out of earshot too. But why did so many left organisations miss the chance to tell their supporters about the case? In particular, when the case would be held, and where to view it? If Galloway was not standing, and if Ali was on the left, and if Ali could credibly be relied on never again to submit to the despicable Labour Party machine, then in that imaginary world it might be worth considering supporting Ali. As it is, if Ali cares about Palestine, he is clearly the one who should, and will, step down and support Galloway. 

If you really don’t know about Galloway’s support for Palestine, not only recently, but throughout his career – then you haven’t been listening. His will be a powerful voice in Parliament, for reason, common sense, justice, internationalism, and peace. And especially Palestine. Mary Taylor 

We end with praise for our YouTube channel, Critical Mass Media, also available at Creating Socialism

Thank you. Critical Mass is the only organisation that speaks to me. After voting consistently all my life, I now find myself unable to vote for anyone; no one speaks to me. I have been discussing in one way or another the brutality committed against the Palestinians by a terrorist state, set up by the British government. The world has barely caught up. I have and have had trans friends, all who fear for their lives; lives made a little better here in Brighton. And DWP snooping is an intrusion that’s been happening for a long time and only lately being discussed. I am disabled, 65, and had to suffer at the hands of DWP, even when dangerously ill. I appreciate your work and continue to support you in my small way. JEANNE JAMES


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