Tagged: Class

General Deception

Below is a text recently written by some Bristol anti-fascists in light of the upcoming general & local elections

The General Election show is here and the politicians are doing their best to “perform”, to convince us that their particular brand really is something new and improved. But as the wheels of democracy put their spin on, look closely and you’ll see that all the supposedly different colours merge into one. Because when it comes to it, they all stand for just one thing: Capitalism.

Elections only serve to strengthen the system by presenting a carefully constructed illusion of influence, choice and change. In reality, voting changes nothing. Politicians always disappoint us with election promises quickly broken, serving not the people that elected them, but themselves alongside the rich and powerful interests they truly represent. Whoever you vote for, the rule of private property and profit remains unchanged. Whoever is at the controls, the state carries on it’s job, as always, as the instrument of class domination. A change of government will not change the attacks on us all: “austerity”, low pay and poverty, evictions and homelessness, police brutality and repression, surveillance, prisons, borders and nationalism, wars and racism… the list goes on and on. It’s not the players at the head of the state that we need to change, but the game itself. Shuffling the cards is futile when the deck remains the same.

Voting is an expression not of power, but of powerlessness. The clue, perhaps, is on the ballot paper itself. In school, a cross means “wrong” or “not the right answer”. We should apply the same thinking to all of the prospective candidates, their parties and the system they stand for. A cross in the box every four years means giving up our power to government and rulers who wield and abuse it while we have to patiently wait for the next elections for that all elusive chance for change. You will hear many people complaining how politicians have failed the working class. In truth, they can’t really be said to have failed if they never intended to help us out in the first place. Surely we’ve seen enough of the mismatch between what the greedy, lying, corrupt politicians say and what they do over the years to realise that real change is down to us rejecting their “proper channels” and false hopes for a better world. It’s time to abandon the sinking ship of parliamentary politics and instead vote with our feet and organise for ourselves.

What has all this got to do with antifascism?

Well, everything! Election time is one big celebration of their democracy. It’s not important who you vote for, just that you go along with it all and vote. But it’s no accident that the march of democracy worldwide has coincided with huge increases in inequalities of resources and power. In the so called pillar of democracies right here in U.K. Inc., we are seeing the greatest transfer from “the public purse” to private profit ever seen under the reign of Tories. This daylight robbery is being carried out without much fuss. “Democracy” uses unions, the very organisations supposedly fighting for workers, to disempower and pacify us perhaps even more effectively than the more forceful methods usually associated with dictatorships. But “democratic” states exert control and attack the working class with equal ferocity and ruthlessness as dictatorial regimes. They are simply better at disguising their tendency to totalitarianism, dressing it up with things like “tightening our belts” and making “tough choices”. Meanwhile the resulting conditions are just right for an upsurge in right wing politics, nationalism, immigrant blaming, racism and a divided working class. This is what we face today with the emergence of far right street groups like the EDL and Britain First.

We understand that fascism is inseparable from capitalism and the state. Beating fascism must mean destroying that which creates it: capitalism. We cannot fight one without coming up against the other and we see this most clearly in the police riot shields and batons protecting fascist demonstrations. Fascism, like the police, is a weapon of the rich to wage class war. Our antifascism must be part of a revolutionary class struggle movement and we have no interest in protecting their democracy as a “lesser evil” against fascism. While the routine and futile placing of hopes in boxes is enough for some, our hopes remain with our class and fighting together for a world free from police and politicians as well as fascists and all they stand for.

previous article written after last year’s local elections here

Britain First is anti working class

taken from – londonantifascists.wordpress.com

Anyone that has worked a minimum wage job will know that it doesn’t matter how hard you work, how much profit you create for your company you will not see a penny of it. This, however, is not the view of the fascist grouplet Britain First who recently shared this image:

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Underneath in the comments section there are numerous angry ‘supporters’ who assumed that this party was the party of the ‘white working class’, the party that would liberate them from Jewish bankers, immigrants and whoever else the right wishes to scapegoat for the misery of working class people. And things certainly are miserable for us, I work in a well known British coffee chain three days a week while doing a full time degree and I barely make enough to pay the rent, meanwhile my stores profit has rocketed by 19% on last year in a time of recession. What we have seen since the financial crash is massive profits for the rich and a squeeze on wages and conditions for working class people like myself that has pushed us into living a hand to mouth existence. In response to this the right and the far-right has gone into overdrive blaming this crisis on everything from ‘health tourism’ to cheap Romanian labour driving wages down.

What we see in both the Britain First example and the stories in the rightwing media is a very simple fact, they are both against the interests of the working class. It doesn’t matter how Paul Golding talks, the flat cap he wears or his appeals to the white working class, he does not represent you. When the far right say cut immigration, we say raise the minimum wage. When the rightwing press say cut back on migrants taking benefits we say tax the rich. When they all say they will make Britain rule the waves again, we say let the working class rule.

Our antifascism is working class unity, it is first and foremost in defence of working class interests and it is for the realisation of working class power. In contrast, groups like Britain First are nothing but a razorblade in the hands of the bosses.

Far-right election results

We see clearly the “special relationship” between fascism and democracy.
The two are co-dependent and complement each other well. As much as politicians
decry the “hate filled extremism” of fascism and however much they try to distance
themselves from right wing fundamentalism, they will always use it for their own
ends, either indirectly or directly. This is most obvious in situations of
political, social or economic crisis and conflict such as what we see in Greece and
the Ukraine. There we have seen open collusion between fascists and the authorities,
and murderous attacks on demonstrations, political opponents and immigrants, as the
fascists once again step up to their long established role as paramilitary enforcers
of the state.
Time and time again history has shown that their democracy is a carefully
manufactured illusion and a diversion. Capitalism and it’s governmental protectors
will always unleash the forces of reaction when under serious pressure. Governments
and capitalists everywhere, when it comes to it, will always choose fascism against
progressive or revolutionary social movements. Both use fear and violence to gain or
maintain power and control. The only difference is in the words employed: “security”
from the government alongside the “violence” of the fascists. Both rely on divisive
strategies to get what they want: “immigration policies” of the state alongside the
“racism” of the far right. Attacks on the working class is another shared and core
basic principle and preoccupation of fascism and government alike. With so much in
common the only real differences are ones of scale and success. Clearly the everyday
violence, racism and relentless attacks of governments everywhere are streets ahead
and so much more effective and far reaching than your average fascist party or
group.
Politicians and fascists alike do the bidding of the rich and stand in
the way of real change and the struggle for a better world. Both are the enemies of
freedom and it is time we started treating them as such.

Leader of the BNP, Nick Griffin, protected by police and bodyguards as anti-fascists greet him at the European election count in Manchester. Griffin lost his seat in the North West, after dodging placards and apparently taking a punch upon arrival.

The elections of last week saw a surge in popularity for foreigner-bashing, Tory jackbootboys, UKIP, who gained 161 councillors in England and topped European election polls with 27% of the vote (with a voter turn out of 34%). The rest of Britain’s far-right, however, saw its vote collapse at the elections. The BNP, which has recently been seen as the most serious far-right political threat, saw losses in support across the country retaining only one council seat and coming out with no MEPs, two less than in 2009.

Below are the election results for councils in England & NI. More analysis on Anti-Fascist Network blog.

BNP

East Midlands

Amber Valley
Codnor & Waingroves – Alan Edwards 39 2.7%
Ripley – Ken Cooper 80 3.2%

Derby
Chaddesden – Paul Hilliard 136 4%
Derwent – Carol Tucker 81 3.4%

London

Barking and Dagenham
Eastbrook – Anthony McKay 222 3%
Eastbrook – Paul Sturdy 166 2.2%
Goresbrook – Bob Taylor 469 7.1%
Mayesbrook – Giuseppe De Santis 280 5%

Bexley
Barneshurst – Paul Hulme 89 1%
Belvedere – Brian Haslam 328 4%
Blackfen & Lamorbey – Chris Wait 287 3%
Blendon & Penhill – Erin Bradley 390 4%
Brampton – Maureen Slaughter 268 3%
Christchurch – Ben Scott 241 3%
Colyers – Peter Finch 383 5%
Cray Meadows – John Brooks 262 3%
Crayford – Stephen James 539 6%
Danson Park – Ronald Slaughter 295 4%
East Wickham – Michael Jones 381 4%
East Wickham – Nicola Finch 346 4%
East Wickham – Jaymie McCoy 216 2%
Erith – Robert Howard 323 4%
Falconwood & Welling – Jimmy Dobson 398 4%
Lesnes Abbey – Carl Bussey 284 3%
North End – Mark Horne 407 6%
Northumberland Heath – Paul Carver 444 5%
Sidcup – Lucy Ann Money 181 2%
St Mary’s – Mark Bryant 271 3%
St Michael’s – Laurence Picton 407 5%

Bromley
Cray Valley East – Deborah Kane 284 7.2%
Cray Valley West – Roger Tonks 139 3.3%
Mottingham & Chislehurst North – Philip Dalton 181 6.8%

Croydon
Fieldway – David Clarke 210 4.8%
Fieldway – John Clarke 212 4.8%
Heathfield – Michael Collard 285 2.5%
New Addington – Cliff Le May 168 3.1%
New Addington – Donna Treanor 80 1.4%

Ealing
Northolt Mandeville – David Smith 234 2.4%
Northolt West End – David Furness 362 3.4%

Enfield
Enfield Highway – Gary O’Connor 289 3%
Enfield Lock – Jason Keogh 296 3%
Palmers Green – Angelos Gavriel 158 4%
Ponders End – William Walton 223 2%
Southbury – Marie Nicholas 223 2%
Turkey Street – Steve Squire 278 3%

Greenwich
Coldharbour & New Eltham – Cliff Adams 401 3.8%
Eltham North – Roberta Woods 307 2.3%
Eltham South – Thelma Peete 248 2.5%
Eltham West – Paul Ramsey 314 4.8%
Middle Park & Sutcliffe – Nick Scanlon 313 3%

Havering
Gooshays – Ray Underwood 247 2.3%
Heaton – Kevin Layzell 556 6.1%
Hillingdon
Yiewsley – Vincent Evans 304 3.7%
South Ruislip – Gavin Cardy 223 2.5%

Kingston-upon-Thames
St James – David Child 100 1%

North West

Bolton
Tonge with The Haulgh – Dorothee Sayers 109 3.3%

Burnley
Gannow – John Rowe 149 4.8%
Rosegrove with Lowerhouse – Chris Vanns 297 21.9%

Manchester
Miles Platting & Newton Heath – Gareth Black 397 14.2%
Moston – Stephen Carden 153 4.2%

Pendle
Marsden – Brian Parker 339 29.8%
Vivary Bridge – John Rowe 154 11.4%

Salford
Cadishead – Brenda Leather 397 16.1%
Irwell Riverside – Gary Tumulty 73 3.4%
Langworthy – Kay Pollitt 86 3.4%
Pendlebury – Eddy O’Sullivan 122 4.4%
Winton – Wayne Tomlinson 323 12.3%

St Helens
Billinge & Seneley Green – Alan Brindle 64 1.2%
Thatto Heath – Paul Telford 51 2%
Town Centre – Peter Clayton 87 3.5%

Stockport
Bredbury & Woodley – Andy Webster 89 2%
Bredbury Green & Romiley – Tony Green 60 1%
Brinnington & Central – Brenda Waterhouse 93 3%
Heatons South – Sheila Spink 165 4%
Manor – Duncan Warner 67 2%
Reddish North – Paul Bennett 419 13%
Reddish South – Ged Williams 271 8%

Tameside
Ashton St Peter’s – Bill Kitchen 303 10.3%
Droylsden West – Ian Connor 106 3.4%

Wigan
Abram – Dennis Shambley 134 4.8%

South West

Exeter
Priory – Chris Stone 38 1.4%

West Midlands

Birmingham
Erdington – Frances Waldron 703 1.2%
Kingstanding – Frances Burke 92 2.1%
Shard End – Kevin McHugh 134 2.9%

Coventry
Bablake – Mark Badrick 74 1.7%
Binley & Willenhall – David Clarke 108 3%
Cheylesmore – Stephen Comer 327 7.7%
Henley – Rose Morris 109 3%
Holbrook – Christine Wilkins 292 8.1%
Longford – Frankie Bates 78 2%
Lower Stoke – Keith Oxford 70 1.76%
Radford – Arnold Clements 372 11.1%
Sherbourne – Mark Graham 73 2%
Upper Stoke – John Hurren 94 2.4%
Westwood – Darren Thomas 348 8.8%
Whoberley – Dawn Wagstaff 54 1.3%
Woodlands – Hunter Helmsley 69 1.6%

Dudley
Coseley East – Ken Griffiths 123 3.9%
Nuneaton & Bedworth
Arbury – Phillip Kimberley 48 2.9%
Barpool – Alwyn Deacon 71 4.4%
Bede – Yvonne Deacon 206 12.5%

Walsall
Birchills-Leamore – Bob Ball 140 4.8%
Wolverhampton
Bushbury North – Simon Patten 116 3.7%

Worcester
Battenhall – Jennifer Whitwam 16 0.8%
Bedwardine – Timothy Whitwam 37 1.5%
Cathedral – Andrew North 24 0.8%
Gorse Hill – Ashley Bradley 31 2.7%
Nunnery – Carl Mason 286 13%
Rainbow Hill – Alan Draper 36 2.8%
St John – Linda Bell 30 1%
Warndon – Julie Whitwam 32 2.9%

Northern Ireland

Mid & East Antrim
Coast Road – Robert Bell 101 1.8%
Coast Road – Steven Moore 73 1.3%

National Front (Ian Edward’s faction)

Basildon
Laindon Park – Anthony Harms 21 1%
Lee Chapel North – Thomas Beaney 80 2%

Hillingdon
Harefield – Ian Edward 198 4.8%

Southend
Victoria – Bernadette Jaggers 18 1.3%

Thurrock
Grays Thurrock – Thomas Davis 51 2.2%
Tilbury Riverside & Thurrock Park – Mick Griffin 59 4.5%

National Front (Kevin Bryan’s faction)

Croydon
Croham – Tony Martin

Lewisham
Downham – Tess Culnane

Sutton
Worcester Park – Richard Edmonds 185 1.8%

British Democratic Party

Bradford
Royds – Dr Jim Lewthwaite 152 4.5%
Tong – Liam Kernaghan 115 4.2%

Leeds
Middleton Park – Kevin Meeson 358 6.9%

Newcastle
Benwell & Scotswood – Ken Booth 136 4.8%
Elswick – Kenny Baldwin 414 18.5%
Fenham – Russ Rickerby 121 4.3%

Redbridge
Hainault – Julian Leppert 284 3%

Bexley Independents

Bexley
Blackfen & Lamorbey – Michael Barnbrook 884 10%

Other Independents

Bradford
Queensbury – Paul Cromie 1377 35.8%