This article was sent by a friend who remains anonymous. I’m happy to publish it here. For comment purposes, please feel free to attribute it to me if it’s important to you to have someone to hold responsible for the opinions therein.
NEVER BE ASHAMED.
Isn’t it funny that the words spoken by the Tory press or far right groups to be derogatory towards the Labour Party, or for the people who care, are things like Liberal left , Socialist, hard unions, champagne socialists, snowflakes or Woke, activists or liberal elites? I see them as virtues.
Elite’ used to indicate being accomplished. I see them all as virtues, but for so many they’re now seen as insults.
However if the far right March through a town, it’s the liberal leftists and woke’s of this country that turn up to drive them out.
When a minority group are having their rights taken away, it’s the liberal leftists of this world who stand up for them.
When workers are being mistreated by companies, it’s individual liberal elites and unions who stand and defend them.
When institutions are being attacked and stripped of manpower ( Prisons, Police, NHS, Schools Industries ) its liberal left and unions within that stand up for the fabric of our society.
When the right wing attack the poor or less fortunate with lies, and misinformation it’s the left wing liberal minded people who stand up and call it out.
When greed and hate , and racism is someone’s politics it’s labour who stand up against them.
I am happy to be called a woke, socialist and centre of politics, but that’s me. We may not be perfect for sure, but I believe it’s is far better than those who hate with their gammon red faces, We fight injustice rather than peddle hate and anger at everyone and everything!
They don’t believe in contributing anything towards the greater good in society. But yet, they are happy take paid holidays, workers rights , maternity leave, justice and human rights, NHS and pay rises etc. The very thing that the snowflake Unions and Lefty Labour Party fought for and gave them.
Never be ashamed to fight or care about people or community, you are better than those who are filled with hate.
It’s Socialist Sunday. If you don’t know what that means, join Twitter, follow @stuartsorensen and search the hashtag #SocialistSunday. It’s a growing community of socialists who come together to promote compassionate and reasonable politics, equality and to oppose conservative and right wing governments in UK and across the world.
Like many of us, I’m still reeling at the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn from the British Labour party. Like many of us I seriously considered leaving the party. Many already have. And that doesn’t make us enemies.
Our response now is crucial. Some will leave Labour & some will stay. Some will change their minds either way later. But we all remain true to Socialism. We mustn’t lose that unity regardless of party.
Whatever you may think of Jeremy or of the decision to suspend him one thing is true…
Jeremy Corbyn united a movement, a groundswell of people across the generations (we’re not all students by a long way). Jeremy Corbyn revitalised Socialism here in UK and for that we must be grateful. Jeremy Corbyn showed us that it’s OK to maintain dignity and decency in the face of a hostile press and a deceitful opposition. And he showed us something else…
Jeremy Corbyn taught us never to give up.
Inside or outside the Labour party, I don’t care right now. Me, I’m staying, at least for the present. But whether you stay or you go, so long as you’re a socialist you remain my brother or my sister.
Leave the party if that’s what your conscience dictates. We must not let this divide us, the people.
I’m pretty active on Twitter. Just check out @stuartsorensen and if you’re a fellow Tweeter do, please follow and say hello.
There’s a very strong and growing socialist presence on the platform, not least because of the weekly #SocialistSunday hashtag which has been instrumental in helping us to find and support each other during these dark days of neoliberalism and far-right division. Check it out – it’s a great resource.
But every silver lining has a cloud and this one is no exception. I noticed a popular tweet today. A tweet with lots of reach across the platform, all the more impressively so because the author is a relative newcomer with very few followers.
The tweet calls for solidarity and mutual assistance between socialists. Nothing wrong with that, you might say except that it risks falling into a subtle trap that can only further divide working people along increasingly entrenched lines of right and left. Let me illustrate my point with an anecdote.
A few years ago I was working as a community psychiatric nurse in South Yorkshire. One of my community patients was a young man with extreme far right, Islamophobic and racist views (and a history of very significant violence to boot). Trust me, you really wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of this bloke.
As it happened this young man had multiple social and psychiatric problems and was experiencing some considerable difficulties in accessing the community services he needed. Consequently I invested an awful lot of time, doggedly liaising with other professionals and talking through his mental health difficulties with him to try and get him some sort of a route back into a fulfilling way of life again.
One day I visited him at home to learn that he’d googled my name and found my blog. It happens sometimes. What he found there appalled him. I’m a lefty, after all. I’m what he thought of as ‘the enemy’. He’d had no idea about my politics. In fact, I’d been so non-committal on the subject that he’d actually assumed I agreed with him. Even rabid lefties like me understand the need to leave our politics at the door where work is concerned.
This young man had one, simple question…
He’d made no secret of his politics. He even had mail order toilet roll with verses from the Qu’Ran printed on every sheet and some very obvious pamphlets lying around at home.
Why had I worked so hard to help him – a neoNazi and unapologetic racist? He’d never have lifted a finger to help me if the shoe was on the other foot.
I resisted the temptation to reply that his small-mindedness was one reason why the shoe wasn’t actually on the other foot in the first place. Instead, in addition to discussing my professional duty of care, I briefly outlined the difference between the left wing working class and the right wing working class…
The left wing works for the benefit of all who need it.
The right wing works only for the benefit of those with whom they agree.
To my surprise he acknowledged that this was correct, without protestation or denial. He freely admitted that the left was far more inclusive and compassionate than the right and that this easily explained the difference in our attitudes. Below is a clip from a documentary about the 1936 Battle of Cable Street which illustrates this point far more effectively than I just did.
So far as the left is concerned the needs of the whole community matter. At least – so far as the left wing that I’ve always believed in is concerned. I’m a socialist precisely because I think the whole community is important. Even those very few people I’ve ‘disowned’ have been rejected only because they sought to ostracise others due to colour, nationality or religion. That seems to me to be a form of natural justice from which they just might learn something important.
So whilst I applaud the idea of developing a means to help those in need I worry that by limiting it to a form of socialist ‘mutual aid’ we may be starting down a route that ends with us losing one of the most important aspects of what it means to be a socialist. I put this article out here not to criticise or in any way to attempt to undermine the efforts of my fellow lefty. I think the intention is brilliant and I’ll certainly be participating in what aid I can give but I’d like to ask that, whilst we can and should make it clear that it’s a socialist initiative we really oughtn’t to limit our assistance only to those with whom we agree…
I recently commented on a West Cumbrian internet site about my local MP. The site’s anonymous administrators responded to my factual points predictably enough with superficial memes, insults and attempts to discredit me with ad-hominem attacks rather than putting forward any reasonable points of their own. One of their taunts involved the term ‘Lefty loser’ which betrayed a lot about their very limited understanding of the working-class struggle for rights and equal consideration.
The genius behind the keyboard clearly thinks that the Left lost because of the 2019 General election result. They think the struggle lasts for the duration of a general election campaign and now it’s over. Such a superficial understanding of politics isn’t all that uncommon but it’s far from accurate.
In truth, as this series hopes to demonstrate, the fight has been going on for centuries. It was raging long before any of us were born and will presumably continue long after we’re dead. All any of us can do is join the fray in our own time – we won’t see defeat or victory – only periods of setback and progress.
The current government has an overall majority. That means they can do a great deal of damage to ordinary working people and our rights but they haven’t won. In fact, as history shows, despite the episodic highs and lows of our movement, working people have been gaining ground fairly consistently for generations and that overall trend will continue. We’ve lost a bit of ground right now but we’ll get it all back and more. So don’t despair – the task continues, the struggle continues and our work is the same as it ever was – to keep on advocating for justice and human rights, to keep on arguing against conservative greed and the racist and religious bigotry that so often accompanies it. The task for now is to do all we can to limit the damage that Boris and his mates will inflict by watching our neighbours’ backs, by making sure nobody goes hungry or destitute because of sanctions or cruel decisions from the DWP and by educating those around us about the real reason for their declining standards of living.
We need to take the long view. We need to be resilient and not despair. We must never give up the fight but press on, just as our ancestors did whose tireless struggle won for us the NHS and the Welfare state, decent housing and the right to be involved in our own government at every level from casting a vote to participation in cabinet and the Lords.
It was the brave activists of previous centuries that won for us employment rights, universal healthcare and an end to life-blighting childhood injuries from long hours in England’s ‘dark, Satanic mills’ and crippling stresses on developing bones in the mines to small boys suffocating to death in the blackness of chimneys. It was socialist reformers who fought for universal education and the right to more than a single day off a month. It was socialist activists who won for us access to the legal system and equality under the law. Their road to victory wasn’t easy and neither is ours but each generation of socialists makes its own progress overall. The current setback won’t change that so long as we come together, stick together and refuse to give up the fight.
There are no ‘lefty losers’ – only activists, campaigners and educators who continue the fight, hour after hour, day after day, year after year until each little battle is won and the cause moves that bit closer to a genuine, meaningful overall victory.
Like the Levellers, the Chartists, the Suffragettes and even the massacred victims of Peterloo our struggle continues. They didn’t lose and neither will we. There is no such thing as a ‘lefty loser’, only lefties who are in it for the long haul. We are resilient, we are strong, we are part of a centuries old tradition and we will prevail!
The Nazarene (0-33) seems to have been an extreme lefty by today’s measures. He preached against greed (many of his followers conveniently ignore that bit) and recommended compassion instead. He even got a bit ‘fighty’ with the capitalist pigs in the Temple grounds.
Like other socialists, he was especially unhappy with the usurers (like modern day bankers) whom he described as ‘thieves’. These were the money changers, the guys who took normal money in exchange for unsullied ‘Temple coin’ that could be used to purchase sacrificial lambs at Passover. The money-changers charged exorbitant rates – a bit like Wonga (which is linked to the Tory party, by the way) and so profited from the obligatory observance of the faithful. Jesus seems to have had a point there.
Jesus apparently hated inequality. He was the guy who said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He lived among the poor, helped the sick and the disabled and eschewed the tables of the wealthy whose oppressive ways simply maintained the suffering of their fellows.
Like many others before and since from Confucius, the Buddha and Lao Tzu to a host of Gurus and philosophers he recommended living by the Golden rule – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
That’s why he fed those who were hungry and advocated help for the sick and those without shelter, the direct opposite of this present government’s actions. The tories have spent the last 10 years increasing homelessness, forcing people to use foodbanks to survive and denying sick and disabled people the resources they need. They’re even starving the NHS of funding in preparation for selling it off to private enterprise as a way of increasing personal profit through the suffering of others.
It’s amazing how many Tories profess to be Christians and yet ignore almost everything their Messiah said.
As Archbishop Desmond Tutu once remarked…
“I am confused as to which Bible people are reading when they suggest that religion and politics don’t mix!”
To those non-religious Tories and others and others who either support oppressive Tory ideology or stand idly by and look the other way, the good Archbishop had this to say…
“When the Elephant stands on the mouse’s tail, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality”