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Andrew Fisher v the thought police

pg-1-labour-andrew-fisher-1OK OK, describing the Labour front bench as ‘the most abject collection of complete shite’ scarcely ranks among the more cogent critiques of social democracy known to the annals of political theory. Indeed, it’s not even possible to dress the words up as a bumbled attempt at blokey approbation.

But to start booting party members out simply because they made some rum comments on Twitter is completely untenable in an era where millions can and do take to social media as a platform to badmouth politicians.

Let’s cut to the chase; the current clamour for the expulsion of Corbyn adviser Andrew Fisher – on account of a series of Tweets, including one that apparently advocated voting anarchist rather than Labour – is not motivated by any high-minded and impartial desire to uphold the letter of the rulebook.

What we are seeing is a determined factionally-driven effort to undermine Labour’s new leader by picking off a key appointee in the opening weeks of his holding office.

Fisher’s now-infamous ‘vote Class War in Croydon’ Tweet is said to have been made with satirical intent. Who knows? Perhaps it was late one evening, perhaps a drink had been taken.

But it would need an astonishing literalist interpretation of chapter 2, clause 1, section 4, subsection A of Labour’s rules to describe his action as meaningful support for a candidate against an official Labour candidate. It won’t have changed a single vote.

If Andrew had actually campaigned for Class War – by going on the knocker, say, or displaying one of its tasteful posters, adorned with a picture of a graveyard above the caption ‘we have found new homes for the rich’ – then his critics might actually have had a case. As far as I know, he didn’t.

Unfortunately, Fisher – like young SNP MP Mhairi  Black, who famously tweeted of her desire to ‘put the nut in’ to Labour councillors – is of a generation that foolishly believes it can say anything it likes online, without any comeback. Both of them have now learned the hard way that things don’t work like that.

But even Fisher’s worst expletive-laden remarks have nothing on the sort of low profanities I have frequently heard leading Labour politicians of all stripes use about other leading Labour politicians, in closed meetings, or when talking to me off the record a journalist.

Labour is rammed to the gills with people easily capable of turning the air blue when doing down comrades – I use the word advisedly – for their own ends.

Hanging Fisher out to dry purely because he cussed publicly rather than privately would be a move of monstrous hypocrisy.

Or to put it another way, if you are going to launch virulent attacks on Corbyn for ‘hiring Stalinists’, at least do the rest of us the courtesy of not trying to play the Thought Police yourselves.


  1. gerry says:

    Here we go again….people like Andrew Fisher, and indeed Seumas Milne, have so much dreadful baggage in their recent histories that it makes it easy for anti Corbyn forces to rightly paint them as : terrorist apologist, sectarian, puerile at best, viciously anti Western at worst. Fisher and Milne are also, of course, pro Putin and pro Islamic extremist.

    Why couldn’t JC find or appoint leftists WITHOUT all this toxic back history? There are some around….but with a media strategy like this, it is one own goal after another own goal.

    1. Ric Euteneuer says:

      Because everyone has a back history, and the Mail (and Progress) will make stuff up in the unlikely event if they can’t find any dirt/picture of them wearing a white poppy/a disgruntled ex-partner/a maligned party hack with an axe to grind.

      1. John P Reid says:

        And momentum, corbyn ,militant lie too

      2. gerry says:

        Ric – I wasn’t going to keep prolonging this thread (it must have had more comments than any other Left Futures article!) but I have to respond to your comments by repeating: there are left wing people WITHOUT toxic back histories of articles praising Putin, or empathising with “oppressed” Islamic extremists, or support for the Iranian ayatollahs. Jon Lansman himself is one – although he does back Milne, I can’t remember Jon writing disgusting apologia for every anti Western jihadist, or Putin, or the Lee Rigby killers ( though he did back the hideous Lutfur Rahman but he should be forgiven for that!)!

  2. Mike Phipps says:

    Probably the media would pounce on anyone Jeremy appointed – it’s something you’ll have to get used to. In the case of Andrew Fisher, he went around campaigning in marginal seats for Labour at the last two general elections, as John McDonnell made clear on the Andrew Marr show today.

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      I’ve never watched the Andrew Marr show in my entire life; but once again triviality, irreverence and even misdirection obscure the really important issues to the benefit only of the Conservative party.

      “If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.2

      Thomas Sowell

  3. Jacky Holyoake says:

    It is NOTHING to do with any ‘factionally driven effort’ but EVERYTHING to do with bringing our Labour Party into disrepute. The fact that you defend his behaviour says that you do not care about how our party is perceived by the electorate either. I am proud to be a Labour member and do NOT want to be associated with such foul-mouthed behaviour. If there is any credibility among this new leadership team, Fisher has to be dismissed from any position of influence over the future direction of our party, for the sake of the rest of us.

    1. David Osland says:

      But Jacky, what about the numerous foul-mouthed outbursts of Blair and Brown, as documented by the likes of Andrew Rawnsley in his two volumes on the New Labour years? Is it acceptable for New Labourites to swear, but not for Corbyn supporters?

      1. John P Reid says:

        Swearing is one thing,personal abuse,while swearing is another

    2. Sue says:

      I like Andrew Fisher and I dont think he has brought anything into disrepute. At least he is no where in the same league as Tony Blair!

      1. John P Reid says:

        Lying about going to war,isn’t against the rule book, backing non labour candidates is,end of

    3. Ric Euteneuer says:

      And Gordon Brown’s and Alistair Campbell’s many foul mouth outbursts. For all your talk of a lack of factionalism, I get the feeling it’s the fact they are left rather than ‘discredit’ the party.

  4. John P Reid says:

    At the end of the day say late evening,having a drink, isn’t an acceptable excuse for backing a non labour candidate it’s not thoughtpolice topintout he broke the rules, Frank field is already talking of a mass amount of MPs backing themselves if they re stood as independents if militan… I mean momentum start ousting them, Ken Livingstone and Christine Shawcroft ,both faced warnings when they backed independent Lufthur Rahman over the labour choice,if there’s criticism of Frank field for his proposition,yet none for fisher my hen it’s hypocritical

    1. Ric Euteneuer says:

      Utterly pathetic to conflate Momentum and Militant. If you want a party within a party, one only needs to look at Progress and sundry other ‘invitation only’ Blairite groupings.

      1. John P Reid says:

        Rubbish, militant tried to deselect
        MPs put candidates up against labour ones,had militant labour only meetings,and could vote policies through,
        Progress is a group, that has a magazine policy views and meetings, momentum,like militant,has had SWP members join,already talking of deselections!

        1. Ric Euteneuer says:

          Progress has ‘readers groups’, has interfered in selections, parachuted members into seats, has shady finances including dodgy dictators.

  5. David Pavett says:

    I agree with the other comments. David Osland’s excuses for Andrew Fisher won’t wash. The comparison of comments made in private with those broadcast via social media is absurd. Like many other people I sometines express myself privately in colourful verbal shorthand which would be grossly inappropriate in public exchanges let alone on digital media.

    Excusing Fisher by saying that he is part of a younger generation which still foolishly believes that it can say anything it likes on social media without any comeback just won’t do. First, he is an adult and should be expected to behave like one. Second, he is an advisor to the leader of the UK’s biggest political party.

    The expulsion calls are no doubt motivated by by a desire to undermine the Oarty leader but it has to be said that Fisher, and I am sorry to say (as someone who voted for him) Corbyn, walked right into this.

    The least we should expect from this is an explanation and a self-criticism from Fisher and a statement from Corbyn recognising that some of Fisher’s past public comments did not conform to the decent standards of political debate for which he stands.

    1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

      You used to be a teacher didn’t you?

      Personally not only do I completely agree with him about the Labour front bench, but I even admire his honesty and the forthright way in which he has expressed his views.

      But once again, Labour seem far more concerned about excluding and debarring, “the wrong kind of people,” (on any pretext however feeble or childish,) than with enlisting and retaining new members.

      I completely agree with his comments, (almost completely,) and even more with his right, (even perhaps his responsibility to,) expresses them as he has done and I suggest that most of the people who are so enjoying taking umbrage at them need to grow up.

      The people of this country and our fading and faltering Labour party have real and immediate problems today; IDS’s cull of our disabled to indicate but one, but this young man’s comments and his honest aren’t among them.

      Perhaps you should listen to what he’s saying with a lot more attention and sympathy.

      1. David Pavett says:

        We have no right to abuse others in public discourse. It helps no one and it gets in the way of intelligent debate. An old, and good, labour movement slogan was “Agitate, Educate, Organise”. Education is not achieved through abuse which, on the contrary, blocks it.

        1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

          Personally I found his comment terse, pithy and refreshingly blunt and frankly people like you could learn a lot from this young man.

          But then I actually used to work for a living; for example, 10 hour shifts in a fridge in FMCG food production long with a group of swearing, diligent, able and hard working women and men who like myself regarded that kind of, (for want of a better and less pejorative term,) middle class posturing practiced by people such as yourself as both tedious and irreverent.

          That’s merely your opinion and I don’t happen to share it.

          1. David Pavett says:

            I said that abuse (“abject collection of complete shite”) is unacceptable in public discourse. You say that is “middle class posturing” and that you are a judge of this because you once worked 10 shifts in a fridge factory. Further comment is not required.

        2. Sue says:

          I think A Bevan came out with some pretty good insults re the Tories!

          1. John P Reid says:

            He also had a massive row with Foot over multilateralism

          2. David Pavett says:

            Would you recommend that Corbyn changes his policy of sticking to policy issues and avoiding personal attacks so that he could be like Bevan (“So far as I am concerned they [the Tories] are lower than vermin,”). Would you recommend that rather than dealing with the Tory arguments he followed Bevan in saying “I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying,”?

            Such simplistic attitudes do not enable the people who hold them to negotiate the complex pressures of politics without losing sight of their original motivations – as the political career of Nye Bevan amply illustrates.

  6. Jim Denham says:

    Andrew Murray’s article (21st Century Manifesto: link above) is well worth reading for all sorts of reasons, not least this:

    “Momentum will be open to those not members of the Labour Party as well as those many who have just joined it, and longer-standing members”: is that true?

    1. David Pavett says:

      We need to add to “Momentum will be open to those not members of the Labour Party as well as those many who have just joined it, and longer-standing members” and also to members of any left-wing organisation whether or not they genuinely want to help the Labour Party.

      1. Robert says:

        Well you can always join the new political group , New labour together, which is going down the Cruddas Glasman route of Blue labour.

        Progress, Momentum, and now New labour together, the only name missing is the labour party

        factionalized labour.

        1. David Pavett says:

          How is that a reply to anything that I wrote?

          1. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

            It really was.

        2. John P Reid says:

          The word labour is in labour together

  7. David Ellis says:

    Why do I get the feeling that `enforcers’ political and physical like Milne and Fisher have been appointed to take on those to the left of Corbyn not the New Labour right. Could it be because all I hear on TV is McDonnell constantly reassuring right wing New Labour MPs that they are safe whilst Momentum gibbers on about a non-existent threat of entry by the moribund Socialist Wankers Party? Milne and Fisher are Stalinist thugs who with their beloved Stalinist Union now gone have switched allegiance to the kleptocrat Russian imperialists led by Putin. These neo-Stalinists are in a sort of modern day Stalin-Hitler pact with the European neo-Nazis given their joint admiration for the gangster Putin. It is quite possible that given that Western bombing would benefit Assad his forces and the Iranian militias that back him being the only ones that could move into any territory they vacate that Milne and Co could persuade Corbyn not just to allow Labour MPs a free vote on Cameron’s proposals for bombing ISIS in Syria but to actually vote in favour of it himself.

    1. Mike says:

      Please supply just a small piece of evidence that Andrew Fisher is a Stalinist, a thug or a neo-Stalinist.

    2. Robert says:

      Who the flipping hell are New labour lefties.

  8. Mervyn Hyde says:

    My short comment here is first I have never heard of Andrew Fisher before this article and doubt most the public have never heard of him either, second it seems to me that so many of the comments so far show a distinct lack of support for Jeremy.

    One or two even made comments in the past in support of Cooper or Burnham which smacks of sour grapes to me.

    I also note that Seamus Milne is also coming in criticism, as a regular commenter on CIF I applaud Seamus for being one of the few consistent contributors of left wing journalism, that hit it’s target where others like Polly Toynbee were good appealing to peoples sense of moral justice; then stood on her head New Labour fashion and turned on the those that she was supposed to be defending.

    When we look at the Tories why are those that deride the failures of oversight on the left so worried when the Tories get away with much worse with impunity.

    Or does that say more about the sensibilities of the comments so far than it does about the people they are attacking.

    1. gerry says:

      Mervyn – two wrongs dont make a right: some of us in the party actually want JC to lead a majority Labour government. Appointing dreadful sectarian anti Western pro Putin pro Islamic extremists like Fisher and Milne will not hasten that election victory, but make it even less likely….that’s what sickens me about these appointments. As I said, there are perfectly decent qualified lefties who could do these jobs, and who haven’t got toxic articles about the murder of Lee Rigby or support for the pathetic Class War in their Google search engines….and, to cap it all, their consistent sucking up to Putin and his wretched klepto-mafia regime is enough to disqualify them as any sort of moral socialist. Case closed- lets see if JC actually wants to take on the Tories and win, as opposed to scoring own goals like these appointments.

      1. Sue says:

        “dreadful sectarian anti Western pro Putin pro Islamic extremists like Fisher and Milne” ———- sorry but this is simply not true.

        1. gerry says:

          You can stick your head in the sand and your fingers in your ears and sign “la la la” but everything I and others have written here is factual: both Milne and Fisher are openly pro Putin, both blame the victims of Islamic terrorism for provoking the murderers ; Fisher did tweet against Emily Benn the Labour candidate for Croydon South; both backed the disgraced corrupt crook Lutfur Rahman; Fisher has used vile sexist abuse to Rachel Reeves and others in the party; and on and on….both are more similar to Blair than not – cosying up to fascists, dictators, the corrupt: think for yourself, I say to you….and don’t deny reality.

          1. Mervyn Hyde says:


            As a long supporter of Seamus Milne and as I said before I don’t know Andrew Fisher; I take umbrage at your claims that Seamus is a Stalinist or any other derogatory comment you make about him and assume that those of us that support him, are seen by you in the same light.

            I really don’t think you know anything about Seamus or are deliberately misrepresenting him. He is of course nothing like you say, I would add, I really wonder where you get your political opinions from and facts seem irrelevant to people like you.

            I also note that when people like yourself assert their views it comes as no surprise as to just how one sided you are, yes Putin is a nasty politician but isn’t Cameron who wants to start up another bombing campaign, driving even more Syrians out of their homes.

            I doubt you will read it but here is a link showing you who it was that was really agitating and supporting the fascists in the Ukraine before Putin even got involved.


            Note the date the visit refers to, 14/04/2014 I’m sure the Head of the CIA just popped in for a chat.

            I also note from your tone the same condemnation afforded to Jeremy during his election campaign, is this really what is behind all of this artificial outrage which has little substance in fact; but heavy on smears.

    2. gerry says:

      Mervyn – the facts are as I state re Milne and Fisher: they are pro Putin, and pro Islamic extremism. Sad that people like you are blind to reality, and sad that people like them make socialism seem grubby and sick because of their unhinged anti Western-ism.

      1. Sue says:

        Just a little research shows they are not.

        1. prianikoff says:

          Why do research when you can just tell lies, like Gerry does?
          Note how the fake-Trotskyist Ellis has joined the witchhunt against the “Islamo-Putinite” menace.

          Is it the fluoride in the drinking water, or the abolition of national service?
          But Ed Miliband and Hilary Benn are both pale imitations of their fathers.
          Can you imagine Tony Benn launching a witch-hunt in the Labour Party?

          Actually Hilary is worse than Ed;
          He was a colourless council bureaucrat in the 80’s, who has progressed to being a gormless shadow foreign secretary now.
          He supported the Iraq War in 2003, the bombing of Libya in 2011 and is now
          getting into bed with the Tories because the Russians are involved in Syria.

          1. David Ellis says:

            You call me fake and yet it is you who goes around celebrating the homophobic kleptocratic gangster Putin, his genocidal puppet Assad and empathising with Jihadis all in the name of some bogus `anti-imperialism’.

          2. gerry says:

            Prianikoff – Milne and Fisher pen simpering love letters to Putin or any passing anti Western jihadist or (middle) Class War, just read their back catalogue…Ukrainians are blamed for provoking Russian imperialism, victims of Islamic terror blamed for provoking Jihad..except of course when jihadists attack Russians (as in Beslan and the Moscow theatre) or Russians attack jihadists (Chechnya, Syria) then Milne and Fisher are struck dumb: who on earth do they blame? Oh, the West of course….

            Thank heaven that some of us on the Left have never and will never appease Putin, jihadists, or any other reactionary fascists so loved by Milne, Fisher, Counterfire, Stop the War, and you.

          3. prianikoff says:

            You’re living in a fantasy world Gerry.
            Seamus Milne and Andrew Fisher don’t have the same views, or even come from the same political backgrounds.

            But unlike you, they are on the Left.
            You’re defending social-imperialist policies in the Labour Party, using the latest bogeymen (who aren’t even on the same side)

            ISIS are reactionary thugs; al-Nusra and Ahrah al Sham are close to al-Qaeda.
            But in case you hadn’t noticed, Putin, despite many problems with his politics has been attacking all of them.

            The real political question is what alliance can defeat these groups in Syria and Iraq and create a stable and popular government?

            Obama, Cameron and Hilary Benn (and you) claim to speak for the Syrian population.

            Yet you want to form an alliance with the Saudi Monarchy and the Turkish AK party, who continue to pump arms to the so-called “moderate rebels”.

            This is not just reactionary, but will stoke up the flames of a wider war that Britain should NOT get involved in.

            Your reference to “Ukrainians” is equally superficial and dishonest.

            Ukrainians didn’t vote for the far right.
            Yet it played a big part in the Maidan protests, it remains influential in the Ukrainian government while threatening a coup in Kiev.

            Andriy Parubiy, former head of “Maidan Security” and curent Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine has just paid a visit to Britain.

            His history as a founder member of the far right Ukrainian Social National Party is covered here:-

            Despite his continued links with fascist dominated militias like the Aidar Batallion, he spoke to the Royal United Services Insitute and met with George Robertson, the former Labour Defence Secretary and NATO Secretary.

            This is a disgrace, but don’t expect to hear a bleat of protest about it from the likes of Gerry!

          4. gerry says:

            Prianikoff – thank you for your reply. If you check my history on Left Futures you would know that I have always opposed military intervention overseas, Inc Syria….and re Ukraine, I condemned both Putin’s brutal aggression and Ukrainian fascism: see Left Futures article “Ukraine and the threat of War” last year. So your arguments and insults are sadly misguided…and I am a Labour leftie since 1979, actively supported Foot and Benn in the 1980s, and voted for Corbyn.

            Milne and Fisher have both repeatedly supported Putin over Ukraine and other crises; they publicly back the murderous theocracy that is Iran, easily as horrific a regime as Saudi Arabia or Qatar; Milne has blamed the victims of the Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket for provoking the jihadists who mercilessly mowed them down – and on and on, so forgive me if I lump them together as both Putinite and apologists for Islamism.

            Positively though, I see that Fisher has unreservedly apologised for one of his puerile tweets, which is good, but both he and Milne need to know that long standing party members, like me, are sickened by so called leftists forever justifying, supporting or sympathising with murderous mafiosi like Putin, and fascists in Islamic clothing.

          5. prianikoff says:

            The fundamental difference between Russia and Ukraine is that, whereas Putin is still resisting the takeover of Russia by Western capitalism and NATO, it’s already happened in Ukraine, which is becoming a comprador State of the West.

            Ukraine’s finance Minister Natalie Yaresko is a US citizen, granted citizenship days before her appointment.
            The new governor of Odessa Mikheil Saakashvili, is a pro-NATO Georgian, who was involved in the “Rose Revolution” against Eduard Shevardnadze in 2003.

            When Western-backed colour revolutions are allowed to win, the people who try to resist them get smashed.
            Ukraine has banned the Communist Party and other parties of the left, while putting elements of the far-right in positions of power.

            Your portrayal of Russia as dominated by “Mafiosi” and “corrupt kleptocrats” is wrong. That’s where it was headed under Yeltsin.
            Putin arrested that development and brought the Russian oligarchs under the control of the State.
            This is why he is demonised by the West.

            He may not have introduced Workers Democracy, but he has stabilised the economy and increased living standards. So he is popular in Russia.
            Ukraine on the other hand, is run by the oligarchs, while the population has been subjected to IMF-imposed austerity measures.

            Nor is Putin’s foreign policy “imperialist”.
            Russia didn’t take over Crimea on the “flimsiest of pretexts”, as you argue, but after the right-wing forces controlling the Maidan ratted on an agreement with Russian and EU Ministers.
            The Russian troops were already there, under a treaty with Ukraine.
            Given the nature of the new Ukrainian government, the majority of the population in Crimea voted for its return to Russia.
            Nor did Russia invade the Donbass.
            (In fact some of Putin’s critics argue he should have done, then gone all the way to Kiev).

            Russian intervention in Syria only took place after the Syrian army had lost over 80,000 troops to the Western and Saudi backed rebels, who latched onto the protests against Assad in 2012.

            What you are completely oblivious to to is the viciousness and expansionism of Western Imperialism and its role in creating these situations.
            Under these circumstances, calling for sanctions against Russia is simply putting a cherry on the imperialist strychnine-cake.

          6. David Ellis says:

            Prianikoff – That is an almost chemically pure example of the kind of neo-Stalinist rationalising bullshit we have come to expect of the degenerate Western Left that has swapped being the foreign desk of the defunct Stalinist Soviet bureaucracy in each country with a bogus form of anti-imperialism used to justify opposition to revolution.

          7. John P Reid says:

            Can I imagineTony Benn launching a witch hunt in labour party, he introduced the union block vote,that saw 5 union chiefs having thrower to decide labour policies and, then heingoredmilitant with hislinksto it,who deselected MPs Benn disagreed with

          8. gerry says:

            Wow Prianikoff – now that’s what I call a love letter! Milne and Fisher must be so proud of you…Putin’s Russia an anti imperialist workers democracy: i take it your bags are packed and flight to paradise booked? Bon voyage!

          9. John P Reid says:

            Quite Gerry, let’s have a pretend socialist leading Russia,and ignore all the prejudice he has

          10. prianikoff says:

            Ellis and Gerry are politically illiterate.
            Putin isn’t a neo-Stalinist, since he isn’t even a Communist.

            According to you, Gorbachev must be a “neo-Stalinist” too, as last year he said Putin prevented the disintegration of Russia and supported the return of Crimea.
            A neo-Stalinist who does Pizza-Hut adverts?

            In fact, Putin opposed the coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and became an ally of the Yeltsin. After he became President in 1999, Putin gave Yeltsin and his family life-time immunity from prosecution.
            He was always on the liberal restorationist wing of the bureaucracy and doesn’t support socialism, or the restoration of the USSR:-
            “Anyone who doesn’t regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart.
            Anyone who wants it restored has no brains.”

            The Russian Communist Party (which does retains some Stalinist positions) opposes Putin’s United Russia:-
            “We are convinced that the crisis that struck Russia has not been caused by international sanctions or the fall of the world oil prices. This economic crisis is the result of the long-term liberal policy aimed at satisfying the appetites of the financial-speculative and resource-exporting oligarchy at the expense of the broad popular masses”

            However, Putin’s measures against sections of the oligarchy, such as the jailing of Khodorkovsky and the nationalisation of “Yukos” have led to serious hostility in the West.
            Last year, a Hague Tribunal ruled that Russia had to pay $50 billion in compenstation to Yukos shareholders for the state takeover of the company.

            Were a Labour government to take electricity, rail and water back into public ownership, we can expect exactly the same hostility, no doubt accompanied by accusations of “neo-Stalinism” from whoever the latest trolls are.

          11. David Ellis says:

            I didn’t say Putin was a neo-Stalinist as you well know (but then misrepresenting is one of your tricks). I said you are a neo-Stalinist. Putin is a kleptocratic, homophobic, murderous Russian imperialist gangster.

      2. prianikoff says:

        I’m on record as being against neo-Stalinism, but would certainly support a united front against fascism, not just with neo-Stalinists, but even with Vladimir Putin (who has a lot more forces at his disposal)

        Whereas the fake Trotskyist Ellis actually *supported* the victory of the Ukrainian army’s “Anti-Terrorist Operation” against the Donetsk and Lughansk People’s republics.

        He accused the rebels of being led by “Russian fascist ethnic cleansing militias”, ignoring the more than 700,000 refugees from Eastern Ukraine who have sought asylum in Russia.

        Not to mention the actual fascist militias operating within the Ukrainian army, including the Aidar Batallion and Azov Brigade.

        Ignoring the former head of EuroMaidan Security Andriy Paruiby, who was a co-founder of the “Social National Party of Ukraine”.
        This accepted only ethnic Ukrainians as members and regarded the nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera as a national hero.

        In his book ‘A view from the right’ (Lviv, 1999), Paruiby railed against:

        “Young men with loose long dirty hair and worn out jeans propagating dissoluteness and pacifism .. the result of the expansion into Ukraine of American liberal ideology”
        and “The Russian-speaking criminal world, devoid of spirituality, without national roots – the legacy of communist rule in Ukraine.”

        Parubiy was appointed the secretary of Ukraine’s National Security Council, until he resigned because he opposed the ceasefire in the East.

        Yet last week, he spoke to the Royal United Services Institute and met former Labour Foreign Minister George Robertson.

        1. David Ellis says:

          Problem is Prianikoff you are actually in a United Front with fascism. The neo-Stalinist left and the neo-Nazi Western European far right are in an alliance of support for the klepto Russian imperialist gangster Putin. The far right see him as a bulwark against Western democracy, liberalism and homosexuality whilst the neo-Stalinist left (that’s you that is) champion him as a bulwark against `imperialism’. Not quite the Stalin-Hitler pact just a very shit version of it.

          This pact has seen you supporting the mass murdering insane butcher Assad and the pro-Russian fascist militias in East Ukraine and supporting Putin’s bombings in both Syria and Ukraine. Neo-Stalinism is even more counter-revolutionary than its intellectual forerunner. It is symbolic of just how degenerate the Western Left actually is.

          1. prianikoff says:

            Ellis is good at stringing together meaningless epithets, but they’re devoid of any political content whatsoever.

            A more accurate definition of ‘neo-Stalinist’ would be Communists which reject the 20th Party Congress of the CPSU in 1956.
            Amongst the more important ones in this category are the CPRF in Russia (the biggest opposition party) , the KKE in Greece and EMEP in Turkey – none of which are allied with the “Western European neo-Nazi far-right”.

            EMEP (originally a pro-Albanian group) endorsed the HDP in the Turkish elections.
            It lost 16 members in the Ankara bombing and has actually stood as part of TUSC in the UK!
            The problem with the KKE is that it NEVER works in United Fronts in Greece (which EMEP has rightly criticised it for)
            While the CPRF’s Stalinism – such as use of the term “Cosmopolitanism” and the idea of “creeping fascism” don’t prevent it from regularly standing against Putin’s “United Russia”.

            Your amalgams fall apart when exposed to a few facts .
            So did your analysis of Ukraine.
            You got it so wrong that you ended up as a cheer-leader for the Ukranian fascists.
            Your analysis of Syria will be proven wrong in due course.

          2. David Ellis says:

            I can assure you I have never been a cheer leader for Ukranian fascists in fact I think Ukranian fascists are a major hinderance to the struggle for Ukrainian democracy and unity and therefore for national self defence against the Russian imperialists and their puppet fascist militias in the East. You, on the other hand, have supported Putin’s fascist boot boys in Ukraine from day one. That’s what I call neo-Stalinism. Opposing a revolution on the grounds of a bogus form of anti-imperialism.

  9. Julian Wells says:

    From forthcoming work from Nassim Nicholas Taleb (NNT):

    “Those who use foul language on social networks (such as twitter) are sending an expensive signal
    that they are free – and, ironically, competent.”

    NNT is the “black swans” guy (always worth reading, even when muddled, as with his use of the black swan metaphor)

  10. Sue says:

    I voted for Jeremy Corbyn for leader and he got almost 60% of the votes in the first round. That happened because there is so much dissatisfaction within Labours ranks and within the ranks of Labours usual voters. I trust Jeremy to pick a good team. In the case of both Milne and Fisher I think he has done ok. The press and the right in Labour will always find fault with who he picks ——- even if it means believing things they read in the right wing press. We will just ignore it and plough on.

    1. Robert says:

      We will only know in the next few years how Corbyn has done with his selections. But already we are seeing the right offering to stand against Corbyn next May, the totally left winger Danczuk is thinking of offering us a better choice.
      Laugh I hurt my sides.

      1. John P Reid says:

        He said he’d be a stalking horse till someone who is more popular than Cirbyn became leader,how about Ed miliband?

        1. Robert says:


          1. John P Reid says:

            Are you tired, not surprising,all that bitterness , must ware you out

    2. David Ellis says:

      Appointing the neo-Stalinist supporters of Putin and his puppet Assad is a major error.

      1. Ric Euteneuer says:

        Whereas Blair crawling up the arse of sundry Middle Eastern dictators is just fine and dandy.

    3. Mervyn Hyde says:

      Sue, I believe there are those inside Labour that will stir up anti Corbyn feeling in any way they can, trying to undermine from within.

      You are absolutely right I personally don’t know Andrew Fisher and therefore can’t comment but Seamus Milne is solid and I could not think of anyone better, I trust Jeremy, I have met him on two occasions and spoken briefly with him, even to the point where he was on his way to catch the train home and he stopped to give me time. Conversely I remember Blair coming to Gloucester, we met him off the train and he flew by at break neck speed shaking hands as he went; without even looking at the person who’s hand it was.

    4. John P Reid says:

      But are the new members activist who do fundraising canvassing, delivering leaflets or just want to pay their fee

      1. Mervyn Hyde says:

        John: I spent around 35 years of my life pounding the streets canvassing raising money printing leaflets, even during the Neo-Liberal Blairite years, we won back three Tory seats and turned them into Labour strongholds, only when we left it to people like you they reverted back to Tories and there they remain.

        Yes the left does know how to campaign and win back seats, just look at how Jeremy has already turned the Labour Party round.

        1. John P Reid says:

          People like mer, who are these people exactly, or maybe it was Gordon Brown,spending too much much money,was the reason those seats went back to the Tories,
          It’s. Not the left who don’t know how to campaign.but the new members who aren’t Intrested in doing it

          1. Robert says:

            God away John look you must know where the progress blog is they are right up your right wing street.

          2. Ric Euteneuer says:

            Yeah .’cos doing it the Progress way has been SO successful in the last 5 years.

      2. Sue says:

        I’m assuming they’ll be about the same as the old members always have been? In my ward there were (pre-Corbyn) 45 members. I only ever met 5 of them at meetings etc! The rest have always been just like “sleeping” members if I can call them that!

  11. Mervyn Hyde says:

    Gerry is this the article that offended you so badly:

    The threat of war in Ukraine is growing. As the unelected government in Kiev declares itself unable to control the rebellion in the country’s east, John Kerry brands Russia a rogue state. The US and the European Union step up sanctions against the Kremlin, accusing it of destabilising Ukraine. The White House is reported to be set on a new cold war policy with the aim of turning Russia into a “pariah state”.

    That might be more explicable if what is going on in eastern Ukraine now were not the mirror image of what took place in Kiev a couple of months ago. Then, it was armed protesters in Maidan Square seizing government buildings and demanding a change of government and constitution. US and European leaders championed the “masked militants” and denounced the elected government for its crackdown, just as they now back the unelected government’s use of force against rebels occupying police stations and town halls in cities such as Slavyansk and Donetsk.

    “America is with you,” Senator John McCain told demonstrators then, standing shoulder to shoulder with the leader of the far-right Svoboda party as the US ambassador haggled with the state department over who would make up the new Ukrainian government.

    When the Ukrainian president was replaced by a US-selected administration, in an entirely unconstitutional takeover, politicians such as William Hague brazenly misled parliament about the legality of what had taken place: the imposition of a pro-western government on Russia’s most neuralgic and politically divided neighbour.

    Putin bit back, taking a leaf out of the US street-protest playbook – even though, as in Kiev, the protests that spread from Crimea to eastern Ukraine evidently have mass support. But what had been a glorious cry for freedom in Kiev became infiltration and insatiable aggression in Sevastopol and Luhansk.

    After Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, the bulk of the western media abandoned any hint of even-handed coverage. So Putin is now routinely compared to Hitler, while the role of the fascistic right on the streets and in the new Ukrainian regime has been airbrushed out of most reporting as Putinist propaganda.

    So you don’t hear much about the Ukrainian government’s veneration of wartime Nazi collaborators and pogromists, or the arson attacks on the homes and offices of elected communist leaders, or the integration of the extreme Right Sector into the national guard, while the anti-semitism and white supremacism of the government’s ultra-nationalists is assiduously played down, and false identifications of Russian special forces are relayed as fact.


    The reality is that, after two decades of eastward Nato expansion, this crisis

    Link to the whole article here: Seamus Milne:

    Personally I will leave others to judge for themselves who’s side they are on, but clearly you and I have differing opinions.

  12. gerry says:

    Mervyn – thank you, I had read that article as i do read the articles of people I disagree with, and in fact at the time I commented on Milne’s Guardian piece. Your position is that the US/the West and the Ukrainian fascists like Swoboda are to blame for provoking Putin – his interventions and imperialism in Georgia, Ukraine and now Syria are justified on the same grounds. My position is that I start from socialism, and will support democratic socialist or secular progressive forces in any conflict…and Putin’s Russia is essentially Stalinism + orthodox social conservatism + ethnic nationalism: ie not a shred of socialism or anything progressive in its make up. So I loathe people like Milne who seek to justify Putin’s many crimes – and I do so from a socialist perspective. And so many on the Left are like Milne – they hate the US and West so much ( justified in many cases eg the IMF, World Bank, Neoconservatism, imperialism, allying with fascist regimes in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey etc) that this blinds them to forces equally as horrific as those, ie Putin’s Russia, Iran, Islamic extremists both domestic and foreign…I know I can’t convince you that socialists should not choose a side when faced with Putin/Islamic fascism vs the US/IMF, but that socialists should try to be morally consistent – which means totally condemning and opposing all imperialism, whether Putinite or US, and opposing all fascism, whether it’s Swoboda or Russian or Islamic. Milne never comes close to doing that, so he is an apologist for Putin, Stalin and Jihad.

    1. Mervyn Hyde says:


      Is this article wrong as well:

      Look at this video are they wrong:

      Note how this article confirms what Seamus said in his article:

      I am sorry Gerry but you just appear to me to be a western power apologist, not a socialist.

      Your tactics are also plainly obvious, you smear with impunity but can’t produce any facts to back up your arguments, like the Tories you attack the very people that are effective in opposing them for the very same reasons.

      Could you firstly identify how many countries the Russians have invaded since the last war, the USA have at least 152 to their name so far.

      This is not apologising for any bully boy tactics Putin may deploy, it is merely recognising the gravity of the actual facts against your smears.

      I also look forward to hearing your response to Prianikoff, he has summed up precisely where the threat to our freedom lies, TTIP mean anything to you, I don’t see Putin peddling that kind of nonsense.

      You can only obfuscate for so long before the weight of evidence destroys the ground you stand on, isn’t it time you stopped pretending to be something you are patently not.

      1. gerry says:

        Oh Mervyn – your paranoia is showing! A funny sort of “Western apologist” I am when I have consistently opposed western imperialist interventions everywhere, the IMF, World Bank, Neoconservatism, NATO, the EU…whereas all you do is prove my point: you hate the US so much you are totally blind to the many crimes of other horrific regimes like Putin’s Russia, their ally Iran, North Korea, etc etc.

        Lastly i say again to people like you: be consistent, and look at everything from a socialist perspective. And don’t be a Putin, Milne or Fisher apologist either…it makes you come across as grubby, silly and unhistorical, as well as seriously delusional.Perhaps the SWP or Counterfire is really the best party for you.

        1. Mervyn Hyde says:

          My disdain for US politics does not emanate from paranoia but the corporate takeover fostered by their Neo-Liberal domination of world economics.

          Would you like to describe Neo-Liberalism, it’s origins, and why TTIP is the culmination of their world takeover.

          Or doesn’t that sort of thing interest you?

          1. gerry says:

            Sorry Mervyn – conspiracy theories are not my bag, I prefer to deal with fact and reality! I’ ll leave the “world domination” stuff to you, but all that does explain your total hatred of the US/West and why you don’t speak out about Putin’s crimes, Russian imperialism, Islamic extremism etc. Lets move on – I think we both know where we stand.

          2. Mervyn Hyde says:

            That’s fine Gerry, Your attitude tells me all I want to know, you never engage in facts but constantly obfuscate, that an old Tory trait.

            I would back up everything I say with the evidence, but with you I would be wasting my time, although just to prove your ignorance I will leave you with this, It’s Margaret Thatcher’s secret 1982 Cabinet papers, read it at your leisure, it is irrefutably fact:


  13. David Pavett says:

    Andrew Fisher has recognised that his tweeting activity was unhelpful by apologising for one comment and by closing down his social media accounts. He has also promised that there will be no repetition of such commenting. He made some mistakes and has accepted that this was so. That should be an end of the matter.

    Where that leaves those who defended Fisher on the basis that he had done nothing wrong or, even more ridiculously, on the basis that his wrong-doings were not on the scale of those of Blair, is another matter. An inabilty to recognise and admit to mistakes once made is a very unattractive trait in politics.

    1. Mervyn Hyde says:


      Whilst I take on board that when you have acted irrationally by venting your anger rather than coolly expressing the facts, then it is better to apologise afterwards than let the festering wound it leaves get worse.

      But you made no mention of Seamus who as a journalist has stood out against the sycophantic majority that are happy to peddle propaganda rather than the facts. He like Jonathan Pilger get behind the real stories and actually expose the establishment for what it is, that means he becomes a target for those unscrupulous people who want to bury the truth.

      I do hope you understand the political nuancing that poses itself as rational and above reproach, only to be covertly undermining the very pillars it purports to support.

      1. David Pavett says:

        If you want to criticise something I wrote then please do so. That would be better than vague talk of “political nuancing” that “poses” as rational but in reality undermines “he very pillars it purports to support”! You might as well just shout “class traitor” or some such. Why not trying answering the points you disagree with?

  14. Julian Wells says:

    Returning to the question of vulgar abuse, there’s this from Tristram Hunt:

    “Former shadow minister tells Cambridge University students party is ‘in the shit’ and they are ‘the top 1%’ who must take charge”

  15. David Ellis says:

    My problem with Fisher or Milne would not be any insults they hurled at the bunch of war criminals and bankers molls known as New Labour, they deserve branding, but the politics of Fisher and Milne which are no better than those they want to replace.

    1. Mervyn Hyde says:

      You sound just like the Telegraph.

      1. David Ellis says:

        So the Telegraph think New Labour were war criminals and bankers molls. You are a dishonest individual.

        1. Mervyn Hyde says:

          Read the Telegraph and see the comparison.

          1. David Ellis says:

            Be quiet moron.

          2. Mervyn Hyde says:

            Thank you for proving my point.

          3. David Ellis says:

            I didn’t prove your point I called you a moron. Oh I see I suppose that does prove my point.

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