The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Left, Right, Left, Right Wrong

Mick Hall • 27 June 2006

One of the signs that there has been a considerable rejuvenation of the political Left of late is highlighted by our political opponents once again taking us seriously enough to challenge us within the more liberal sections of the Media. Not simply, as has been their way since the demise of the Soviet Union, dismissing us outright as an historical aberration, who have been firmly dumped into the dustbin of history by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, instead they have reverted to challenging some of the Left's core beliefs, whilst of course continuing to claim we are as extinct as dinosaurs in the modern world. Not least because the class struggle has been long ago decided to the advantage of Multi National Capital, but due to the failure of the majority of the left to recognize this supposed fact and the changes the world has gone through post 9/11, we have placed ourselves in the camp of dictators, suicide bombers and the like.

I will return to these preposterous accusations in a later article, but here I wish to concentrate on the reasons why the intellectual hit squad of Capital have been hired to turn their pens on the Left at this particular time. There is little doubt the US/UK invasion and occupation of Iraq has given the Left internationally a major fillip. Not least because these events took place against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the nations and their peoples that make up the United Nations and in the judgement of most judicial experts, went against the Statutes of International Law. Revealing starkly the one world harmonization project of the pro-globalization movement works in the interest of the State with the most economic and military clout, and not in the interest of all Nations as its advocates claim.

That the invasion of Iraq was followed by that sad fractured land being occupied by the USA's armed forces in the most incompetent and brutal manner, which again flouted international law as laid down by the Geneva convention, has only added to the determination of the organized left to oppose what they regard as the obscenity of US foreign policy, and has created a willingness amongst millions of people throughout the world to give the Left a fair hearing as to its alternative strategy to neo-liberal economics and United States world Hegemony.

Thus due to the energetic and prominent role the Left has played in helping to organize the anti-war movement throughout Europe and the USA, after a hiatus in the political doldrums of a decade or more it has returned to the political center stage in many of the nations it was once prominent in. If you link the role played by the Left in the Anti-War Movement with the emergence of a number of Left of Centre Governments throughout South and Central America, the successful re-branding of Communist Parties as Left Reformist Parties in the European Union and other parts of Eastern Europe. Especially in Italy, where the once mighty, but US blackballed Italian Communist Party, at the head of the L'Unione Coalition of the Left was elected to Governmental Office in the general election of 2006.* Then add to this the rise of the political fortunes of smaller Left-Parties such as Sinn Fein in Ireland, the SSP in Scotland and the Greens, Respect and various other left parties across a number of EU States. It is hardly surprising the Right has decided to modify its parroting that socialism is a thing of the past and has reverted to attacking it at an intellectual level.

To do this successfully there would be little point in coming at the left from a hard right wing position, so as happened when the Cold War first erupted at the end of WW2, the Right has taken to recruiting as its bagmen and women to do the dirty deed former leftists who claim it is not they who have moved to the right but their former comrades, plus de-mothballing those who have a history of attacking the left intellectually. Hence we have seen of late two groups emerge, both of whom have been given acres of space in the mainstream media, The Henry Jackson Society and the Euston Manifesto Group.

The Henry Jackson Society

After decades of silence, these intellectual advocates of US Capital have suddenly re-emerged onto the Irish/UK political stage on a number of fronts. Historically these people had links in the UK with right-wing social democrats of the Anthony Crossland-mould and one nation Tories. Although to be fair to Mr Crossland and his supporters, they would be hard pressed to recognize their own brand of politics in those who have recently formed the Henry Jackson Society, not least because old Scoop's boys would regard a system of state-run Health Care, Public Housing and Comprehensive Education as being on a par with State Communism.

Although I am sure old Scoop would be well pleased with his protégé's current handiwork in the UK, for all their fine words about the need to extend democracy and equality, which few would oppose, like the old rogue himself, they have no qualms about doing this on behalf of US Capital, with bayonet in one hand and the mighty dollar in the other.

One need only analyze the man this organization is named after to understand where they actually stand politically, Henry Jackson was a anti communist cold war warrior who is often sited these days as a major influence by the likes of Neo-Cons such as Paul Wolfowitz and Condi Rice. In saying this it is worth repeating that it should never be over looked that anti communists of Scoop Jackson's persuasion saw very little difference between Communists and left Socialists, as both wished to reign in the avarice and chaotic nature of unregulated Capitalism and in so doing were the enemy of Capital, whose cause he served so diligently throughout his life.

This organization has had some success in giving political cover to those former leftist in the UK/US who, due to their support for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, have moved from the traditional leftist position of opposing one's government when it engages in military adventures abroad to that of supporting such crimes, albeit by dressing their politics up in a pretty pro-democracy frock. Nevermind this garment quickly became splattered with innocent Iraqi blood.

It is no surprise the Henry Jackson Society has emerged at this time, for the US administration and its acolytes in the UK are desperate to keep within their foul smelling tent those people, who, at first supported the war on Iraq, having believed Bush and Blairs cynical lies about WMDs etc., but who now, having seen the tragic mess the forces of occupation have made of the Iraq of today find themselves wracked with self doubts and guilt. Thus along comes the HJS and group-lets like that which put out the Euston Manifesto, to clear the consciences of these misguided individuals with stories about a wondrous democracy which will emerge in Iraq and spread eventually throughout the Middle-East, advising they should ignore the collateral damage US forces leave in their wake. Plus, those who supported the illegal war have no need to beat themselves up, as it is their former comrades on the left who have moved their political position, not they.

In reality what the Jackson Society are doing is much the same thing as old Scoop did during the Vietnam war and it will meet with an equally disastrous outcome. I do not have the space to do Jackson's career justice but it is enough to say his democratic credentials were epitomized by his support for internment camps to house Japanese-Americans at the start of WW2. When he was elected to the US Senate he quickly acquired the nickname amongst his fellow Senators of 'Boeing', due to his consistent support for additional military spending and special treatment for the Military-Industrial Complex. Not least because his re-election campaigns were often funded by a large donation from this body or the Petrol-Chemical industries (so much for the environment). Many of the Multi Nationals Conglomerates who Scoop supported via his position as a Senator and who in return porkbarreled his home state to keep the folks back home sweet are either the very same companies, or a reincarnation of them due to mergers etc., as those Multi Nationals who are today raking in billions of US tax dollars by administering what passes for the reconstruction and occupation of Iraq today.

It is impossible not to conclude that the individual this Henry Jackson Society was named after was a war monger in the first degree, an enemy of freedom and democracy in the Third World and beyond, and due to his vainglorious and personally advantageous support for the US Military-Industrial Complex, he played his part in being a harbinger of death and destruction to millions of the worlds most economically poor and thus oppressed people. To name an organization that is supposedly about extending democracy and freedom after such a man, is on a par with the English Monarchy giving all the people of the UK a Mug to celebrate Elisabeth 2nd Coronation. i.e., it is a piss take of the first order.


* The parties that make up the L'Unione coalition,

  • Democrats of the Left (Democratici di Sinistra)
  • Daisy-Democracy is Freedom (Margherita-Democrazia è Libertà)
  • Communist Refoundation Party (Partito della Rifondazione Comunista)
  • Federation of the Greens (Federazione dei Verdi)
  • Party of Italian Communists (Partito dei Comunisti Italiani)
  • Italian Democratic Socialists (Socialisti Democratici Italiani)
  • Italian Radicals (Radicali Italiani)
  • Italy of Values (Italia dei Valori)
  • Popular-UDEUR (Popolari-UDEUR)
  • The Socialists (I Socialisti)
  • Pensioners' Party (Partito dei Pensionati)

** If anyone still doubts what I write about the HJS, I suggest they go to their website and take a look at the names of the organizations main signatories.

An article on the Euston Manifesto Group will follow.






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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



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Index: Current Articles

2 July 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Anthony McIntyre

Salvaging History from Defeat
Forum Magazine Editorial

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
Dolours Price

Monsignor Denis Faul: Tribute
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Protest Continues in Maghaberry
Republican Prisoners Action Group (RPAG) statement

Where the Wind Blows
Dr John Coulter

What's Shaking
John Kennedy

Left, Right, Left, Right Wrong
Mick Hall

Irish Democracy, A Framework for Unity
Francis Mackey

The Peace Progress and the State
Davy Carlin

'The Church Brought to its Knees': Two books on Catholic Ireland's retreat
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Somme Battle Conspiracy
Dr John Coulter

March March March
John Kennedy

What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander!
Patrick Hurley

Sovereignty Movement Condemns Racist Attacks
Andy Martin, 32 CSM

Greens Propose Plastic Bag Tax to Help Fund Environment Watchdog
Green Party Press Release

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Introduction
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Garda Harassment & Eventual Sitch-up
Marcella Sands

Dolours Price

Judas 118 or DUP Strategy of Subversion?
Anthony McIntyre

22 June 2006

The Framing of Michael McKevitt
Marcella Sands

Foreward to 'The Framing of Michael McKevitt'
Fr Des Wilson

Demagogues and Demigod
Tommy Gorman

Getting It Tight
John Kennedy

The Restoration of Restorative Justice
Marcel M. Baumann

DUP Analysis
Dr John Coulter

Father Faul
Fr. Sean McManus

Aiden Hulme Repatriation Picket
Paul Doyle

Prison Protest Begins
Republican Prisoners Action Group (RPAG), Republican Sinn Fein, Newry

New Hero, and a Legacy
Dr John Coulter

Charlie's Angel
John Kennedy

The Letters page has been updated.

Profile: Mehdi Mozaffari
Anthony McIntyre

The Blanket, the Cartoons and the End of Left and Right
Gabriel Glickman

The Blanket and the Cartoon Controversy: Anthony McIntyre Interviewed
Martyn Frampton

A Welcome End
Mick Hall

Anthony McIntyre

Freedom of Speech index



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