Israel’s assault on Gaza, the problems with the response from western leaders and weakness of the leaders of the left within the Parliamentary Labour Party feature largely in your comments. The mass demonstrations of support for Palestine amongst ordinary people – millions strong around the world and hundreds of thousands in the UK – with an estimated 300,000 in London alone last Saturday, suggest to us at Critical Mass that this could mark a sea change in politics. Instead of the old politics where our aims are limited to influencing our leaders, could this mark the beginning of a new politics that challenges their right to lead at all?
Hamas have been condemned as terrorists because they are terrorists. Their brutal actions in Israel killed over a thousand people, most of them not just ‘many’ of them civilians including children the elderly and young people at a music festival. Their actions were in no way heroic but actually sadistic and cowardly. Yet you have not condemned this massacre which is what it amounted to. Now of course we are seeing the bigger terrorist threat take effect as Israel swings into action yet again to inflict as much carnage as it can on Gaza, to date well over 1,000 civilians, 1,500 I think, have been killed and thousands more wounded. That also must be condemned of course. Hamas though are no friends of the Palestinians in my opinion; they knew exactly what the outcome would be and yet went and carried it out. Hamas is an ultra-right, extremist Islamist organisation with little respect for their people and should not be supported. Israel should not be supported, only the right of the Palestinians to freedom from oppression and their right to statehood through democratic means, free and fair elections which have been denied them not only by Israel but also by Hamas and on the West Bank, the collaborationist Fatah, otherwise the whole area will remain in a hopeless and deadly embrace of constant violence. The Gazans are now facing ethnic cleansing and worse. No to Netanyahu’s slow genocide of Palestinians (which is speeding up) and no to the nihilism of Hamas. FIONA HARRINGTON
The underlying problem is that Palestinians aren’t regarded as human so they don’t possess human rights and there’s no humanitarian crisis! Israeli politicians have blatantly stated this and I’ve so far only heard 4 politicians contradict it – 1 English, 1 Australian, 2 Irish. MIKE COULSON
“Even in the run-up to Iraq, Tony Blair did not ban local parties from discussing the issue and nor did he ban them from outright opposition.”
The present Labour Party appears to be ruled from the top and not by the members. Unfortunately “The Top” appears to be made up of people who are not unlike those who stood by and said nothing or were too frightened to, about the atrocities committed in the name of the German people during the Nazis’ period in power. Where is the bravery, fire, spirit, justice and humanity? This does not bode well for the future of the UK as they constantly roll back on reversing some of the most draconian powers that this Tory government has given itself. DAVID STIRRUP
Excellent piece. Thanks. CYRIL WHEAT
There has probably not been a time since the outbreak of WW2 when the world has needed to apply itself to the ideals of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality as now. Privilege and populism have perverted politics in many countries and reduced any desire for real democracy to a pantomime of fabricated personalities performing to appease their backers and further their agendas and promote nothing but themselves.
We desperately need leadership that is truly committed to both democratic and socialist principles. Democracy is always going to be a compromise, born of negotiation, yet seen to be based on honest, legal and morally decent representation of the needs and expressed will of a timely and accurately informed electorate.
This imposes significant duties upon leaders, but no less on each and every citizen. Democracy can only thrive as a living, vital, current and perpetual campaign. Rights and responsibilities only carry as much authority as invested in them every day by the citizens of that democracy, that is then taken up and pursued by their elected leaders!
Only when every citizen places as much importance in their rights as they do in their responsibilities will democracy be truly practised anywhere. PETER KEANE
Hi – I understand the frustration felt about the responses from the Socialist Campaign Group, but until those MPs are elected at the next election, Starmer and his henchmen will have no compunction about getting rid of them on the flimsiest excuse. If a Labour Government is to have any left wing opposition, those Socialist Campaign Group members have to secure their seat first. STEVE PRIESTLY
I agree with most of your comments about the EDM. However, the people signing the EDM have seen first hand the effects that the weaponisation of antisemitism has had on Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters at the last General Election. Making the EDM more forceful in its criticism of Israel would give the Sun, Mail, Express etc. to (falsely) claim that the party may have dealt with Corbyn, but there is still an underlying problem within the party.
Whilst we know there is a lower occurrence of racism within Labour than the Tories or the general public, that was the case at the last election. The constant attacks from the MSM and from Margaret Hodge et al, whilst almost certainly secondary to Boris & Brexit as the reason the Tory Party gained so many seats, it was definitely a factor.
I know this is a selfish viewpoint, but I believe the most important thing in UK politics at the moment is to vote the Tories out of office, ideally by such a margin that they aren’t even the official opposition during the next parliament.
Though the wording of the EDM can be almost dismissed as political linguistic gymnastics, the signatories have at the very least put on record an objection to what is happening, hopefully without handing the Tory machine a stick to beat them with. Regards SIMON ELLIS
Finally, this is our first edition of the Sunday Socialist since 1st October. We are a small group of unpaid volunteers, and when one of our members became ill we decided to keep things manageable by publishing the Sunday Socialist on a monthly basis until the end of the year. We will review the situation in January. Meanwhile, thank you to ARRON HORNE for these kind words and some pro bono proof reading.
Thanks all those involved in producing October 1st Sunday Socialist. I enjoyed the read.
Just to point out on page 6 para 2 reference is made a couple of times to interest rates, (‘Calculating interest rates is relatively straightforward…’) should this have been ‘inflation rate’?
Thanks again – keep up the good work and kind regards.
Life long socialist. Now retired, I have been an office junior, a bookseller, a docker and a teacher. I write a lot and read a lot more. Committed member of the Society of Authors, English PEN and the National Education Union. Never voting Labour again.