RCP/LM watch

Keeping an eye on the RCP/LM and its fronts

WORLDwrite

A ‘loyal listener’, as they say on the radio, has emailed the following to RCP/LM Watch towers:


“Hackney Gazette have published an expose of lm network’s WORLDwrite, link below:-

https://www.hackneygazette.co.uk/news/worldwrite-s-pro-brexit-anti-feminist-anti-environmental-videos-spark-concern-1-6029020

The Charity Commission have received a complaint that  WORLDwrite has a political agenda which is a breach of rules -WORLDwrite is a registered charity.
Your contacts can also lodge an anonymous complaint with the Charity Commissioner at:- https://forms.charitycommission.gov.uk/raising-concerns/

WORLDwrite has a long history as a RCP front, going back to the 1990s, and has amazingly had charitable status all that time, which must save it a fair whack in tax relief. The Hackney Gazette article really puts the boot in, exposing, in some detail, the ‘charity’ as being hand-in-glove with Spiked, and in particular a platform for the self-promoting Brendan O’Neill, aka Tommy Robinson for the middle classes.
For background reading, see the excellent and authoritative SourceWatch article on WORLDwrite, and on Ceri Dingle, veteran RCP cadre from the ’80s, who’s run the front since its inception.

May 20, 2019 Posted by | RCP/LM, RCP/LM fronts | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Claire Fox and the IRA

As a follow-up to the previous post, about the RCP’s Damascene conversion to Farageism, there’s an article by Otto English, in the online news site Byline Times, about Claire Fox’s unapologetic stance on the RCP’s “unconditional support” for the IRA and its actions back in the days of the Troubles, including the Warrington bombing. It looks like she still retains the RCP’s position over IRA atrocities, which claimed civilian lives, even two decades on. This is in keeping with the RCP’s simplistic Leninist doctrine, that revolutionaries should provide “unconditional support” for nations and movements under attack from imperialist powers. Back in the 80s the RCP had a real hard-on for the IRA, and there was a strong rumour at the time that some of its inner cadre travelled to Dublin and offered to join the IRA as fighters, but that the ‘Ra sent them back across the Irish Sea with their tails between their legs.

English writes:

” Despite almost universal condemnation of the [Warrington] murders at the time Fox’s RCP defended the IRA attack. In a statement insensitively put out the day after Tim’s funeral, the RCP argued that nationalists had a right “to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom”.”

This is now becoming a major embarrassment for the Brexit Party, such that the Brexit Party MEP candidate for Warrington has resigned in “disgust” at Fox’s continuing justification of IRA killings.

Nigel Farage’s disastrous RCP Candidates. Otto English, Byline Times, 2/5/19

May 2, 2019 Posted by | RCP/LM | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The RCP backs Farage

A pinned tweet by James Heartfield, long-time RCP cadre, Uncle Frank’s right hand man, and the ‘Marxist intellectual’ of the sect, announces that the organisation is throwing its full weight behind the Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage, natch. Heartfield’s tweet reads:

“Elections for UK Members of the European Parliament seem set now to take place on 23 May, despite the 2016 Referendum decision to leave. The only vote you can make is to reaffirm our decision to leave – which means vote

An intriguing retweet from the Brexit Party on his account reveals that Claire Fox is going to stand as a Brexit Party candidate in the Euro elections:

“. is standing for The Brexit Party as someone from the left. This isn’t about left or right, this is about democracy. ” (https://twitter.com/brexitparty_uk/status/1120623959488253960)”

(Spot the deliberate mistake – Fox hasn’t been on “the left” since the 70s.)

Like Farrago, the RCP is bought and paid for by US corporate interests, and is clearly doing what its paymasters, the Koch Brothers, tell it to do (see a previous post on this blog). An added bonus for Fox and the sect is that, if elected as MEP, she’d be in for a tasty salary (~€8k/month) which would help to swell the RCP/LM’s coffers – back in the days of the RCP as a party, members had to tithe 5% of gross salary to the party, and likely La Fox would cough up rather more.

April 24, 2019 Posted by | RCP/LM | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Brendan O’Neill: Tommy Robinson for the middle classes

In its long and inglorious, and until the (in)famous LM libel trial obscure, history, the RCP has eschewed big personalities, for all that cadre were dedicated to Uncle Frank Furedi as the ‘Lenin de nos jours‘. In recent years, however, the Spiked editor Brendan O’Neill, the Rotweiler of the RCP, has taken a publicly leading role for Spiked, appearing on broadcast media, including primetime exposure on BBC1 Question Time, and has been increasingly aggressive and outspoken on various hot button topics for the sect, particularly the Left and environmentalism, expressing deep and virulent hatred and scorn for both, and of course Right libertarianism. In these times of Brexit fever, he’s also been giving good copy to the media as a hard Brexiteer, ostensibly from the ‘left’ (though the RCP left the Left a long time ago). His articles are pushed prominently on Spiked, and are increasingly inflammatory and provocative, as is his agressive and combative personal manner.

He’s now launched the Brendan O’Neill Show as an audio podcast, and has a heap of videos on YouTube with followers in the tens of thousands. This follows the fame trajectory of the far Right figure Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson, who built his following on YouTube and social media. Yaxley-Lennon pushes his far Right rantings to a white English working class audience, whereas O’Neill is targetting the middle classes regardless of ethnicity, as the RCP has done since the ’80s when it actively recruited at universities. His messages are very much about issues that wind up sections of the middle classes, particularly middle-aged and affluent males, such as feminism, the Left, academia, environmentalism, and of course free speech. O’Neill also does Brexit, not from an English nationalist perspective, but from a seemingly ‘higher’ perspective of human progress and liberty.

O’Neill’s becoming a personality cult in his own right, and is clearly adopting tools and tricks of other ‘alt-right’ personalities and projects to push the sect’s messages. The RCP doesn’t do individual initiative, being strongly Leninist since its inception, so this must be a deliberate and deliberated strategic policy from what passes for the party Politburo these days. O’Neill’s prominence must be backed by Uncle Frank and the top cadre, as a move to engage the angry middle classes, much as Yaxley-Lennon has engaged white van man and footie hooligans. O’Neill is clearly being positioned by the sect as the Tommy Robinson of the middle classes.

Uncle Frank and the leadership should beware, though. History is littered with cases of personalities who became too big for their Party boots, who went on to develop their own momentum and following independent of the Party, and who forced their ideas on to the Party. The tails that wagged their dogs. As an originally Trotskyite sect, the RCP/LM will surely be able to think of at least one instance of an obscure ‘hick from the sticks’ who developed a personality cult once the Party leader had croaked…

References

Powerbase on Brendan O’Neill

 

January 7, 2019 Posted by | RCP/LM | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Washington gold

The doggedly persistent George Monbiot has finally, in collaboration with the investigative environmental group DeSmog UK [1], uncovered direct evidence of funding to Spiked from US neoliberal sources, to the tune of some $300k which is not to be sniffed at. The Guardian published a 2-page article from him in its ‘pink bit’ on December 7th, 2018, and young George has also reproduced the article on his own website [2]. It makes for interesting and enlightening reading. It’s long been suspected that the sect has taken ‘Washington gold’ based on their pro-corporate Right libertarianism, and Uncle Frank has touted his services as ‘consultant’ to US corporations in the past, but RCP Watch has until now tended to the view that the sect staffers do actually believe their own propaganda and are convinced by their own ultra-humanist ideology (sorry, ‘Enlightenment values’). The evidence that they’ve taken money from US corporate organisations, ultimately funded by the immensely rich and as immensely shadowy Koch brothers, shows that they have a clear financial incentive to follow far Right and anti-environmentalist lines that favour US multinational organisations. This dark funding explains, to take just one instance, the RCP/LMs very hard and intellectually surprising pro-Brexit line [3], as US corporations stand to make billions from a hard Brexit as the UK becomes a low-wage, low-regulation, freefire enterprise zone for multinationals.

Knowing that they’re paid to push far Right propaganda and, essentially, do what they’re told by paymasters, seriously devalues any intellectual credibility and moral integrity on the sect’s part. Now that the organisation is clearly a front for corporate interests, it should not be taken seriously by any media organisation, for all that it gives good sensationalist and controversialist copy. Its reps should be kicked off the Moral Maze, for starters, and when its spokespeople appear on radio and TV they should be clearly described as US corporate agents.

This is sweet revenge for George Monbiot, who’s been a target of character assassination by the RCP for many years – indeed, this blog was kicked off by a seriously nasty campaign of vilification on the Spiked site (see The 2-Minute Hate). With this funding revelation, he’s seriously put the boot in.

References

[1] Revealed: US Oil billionaire (sic) Charles Koch Funds UK Anti-Environment Spiked Network. DeSmog UK, 6/12/18. This is a highly detailed exposé of the links between Koch and the RCP/LM, with links galore and a graphic showing the connections between Koch’s orgs and RCP/LM personnel. More detailed than Monbiot could include in his Guardian article.

[2] [You want it darker? http://www.monbiot.com, 10/12/18. “The remarkable story of how the hard-right Koch brothers funded a Trotskyite splinter group.” Also published in The Guardian, 7/1/18, as “How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain“.

[3] Why surprising? Because the sect has always been in favour of unrestricted human material and intellectual progress, and of course pro-corporate, so its rejection of the European Union for a backwards English isolationism which is bound to severely impact academic collaboration and scientific research does make the eyebrows lift.

January 7, 2019 Posted by | RCP/LM | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jonathan Pie

The RCP/LM has never been known for its humour, and is usually as laugh-a-minute as a road crash. Its earnest vanguardism goes back to the early RCP days, and as anyone who had contact with Trotskyist sects then (and now) learnt, ideological purity and revolutionary zeal were the most prized attributes of cadre. Humour was seen as a bourgeois frivolity.

However, perhaps the organisation is dipping its toes into, of all things, stand-up comedy. A rising stand-up star, very popular on social media, who gives shows nationwide, is Jonathan Pie, alter ego of comedian Tom Walker. His schtick is playing a news reporter giving a live on-the-ground report from, say, outside the Houses of Parliament, on a current topic (eg bombing Syria) who starts off the report as a straight shot to camera, then when he goes ‘off air’ he lets rip with scabrous, highly sweary rants to his fictional controller in the studio. How funny and/or satirical he is, you can judge for yourselves from the videos on his YouTube channel.

RCP Watch is not outing Pie as a RCP/LM front, as some of his stuff is definitely ‘off-message’ for the sect and he has clear Left sympathies, but his aggressive libertarianism, particularly on the topic of free speech, fits in well with the sect’s far Right libertarianism. As does his putting the boot into Left liberals (an easy target, right enough, and always good for yucks). What links him to the sect is that the co-writer of Pie, Andrew Doyle, is a sect stalwart and prolific contributor to Spiked Online, as well as a stand-up comedian. An article for the libertarian communist (aka anarchist) organisation libcom.org [1] makes this connection clear.

The Jonathan Pie act will undoubtedly make it on to mainstream media in the not too distant future, giving exposure to Doyle, whose connection to Spiked will undoubtedly remain occult. Watch out for appearances on, say, Mock the Week.

PS: For those observers of the RCP/LM with a conspiratorial bent, who reckon that it’s being funded by the Russkies, note that Tom Walker worked with RT (aka Russia Today) for some months, according to his Wikipedia entry. Mind you, so do personalities as varied as Alec Salmond and Gorgeous George Galloway, neither of whom could be considered lackeys.

[1] “The unsurprising reason why Jonathan Pie rants sound straight out of Spiked.” libcom.org, 6/2/18

May 8, 2018 Posted by | RCP/LM | , , , , | Leave a comment

RCP/LM as a “far Right” group

The US Marxist magazine Jacobin posted an interesting, if wordy, article on the “normalization” of anti-Muslim hatred in the UK, which is worth reading in itself as it has some useful insights from a Left viewpoint [1]. Of interest to this blog, though, is that it cites and extensively quotes Brendan O’Neill, editor of Spiked, the RCP/LM’s tabloid website, as representative of a “far right” organisation, and repeatedly outs him as “far right”, with some justification based on his output in Spiked and other Right-wing outlets. Unsurprisingly, Spiked calls Islamophobia a “myth” – unsurprisingly, because the RCP/LM is by nature contrarian, and is particularly contrarily hostile to the UK Left for which Islamophobia is a given [2].

The sect has form in this kind of denial of the bleeding obvious in order to serve its ideological and publicity ends. During the Balkan wars of the early 90s, the sect repeatedly and stridently denied atrocity reports (except when committed against Serbs, natch) despite abundant evidence, and gave print space to atrocity deniers which eventually led to a libel action against LM magazine which brought it down [3]. In Rwanda, the RCP/LM denied that any kind of genocide was taking place. The sect continues to deny the reality of anthropogenic climate change. And so on.

Thus, denial of Islamophobia is par for the sect’s course, but the extent to which O’Neill, the RCP/LM’s attack dog, rubbishes it leads the Jacobin article’s authors to describe him as “far right”. For all that the RCP, back in the 80s day, did physically fight nazis in the street, its current incarnation claims that “open racism”, as it fought back in those days, has “vanished”. It not only denies Islamophobia, it denies the existence of racism, or at least as it idiosyncratically defines it [4].

O’Neill himself, and his magazine, have to be judged on its actions and words, and anyone reading Spiked articles can be under no illusion that this is a Right libertarian magazine that often strays into far Right territory. It’s about time that it was called out on this publicly, and not just by an obscure US Marxist magazine. O’Neill is regularly invited on to TV, radio and Press [5] because he gives good contrarian copy and is grand for the wind-up. If he were seen for what he is, the Rottweiler of a far Right organisation, his legitimacy as a pundit would be shot, as would the sect’s.

[1] Aaron Winter and Aurelien Mondon, “Normalized Hate“, Jacobin magazine, 17/8/17

[2] It’s also a clear and present danger to Moslem communities suffering racist attacks and State oppression, but the RCP/LM only has eyes for the Left and liberals as their Enemy No. 1, their Goldstein.

[3] See a 201o post on this blog.

[4] See O’Neill’s article in The Spectator, 6/8/16, “Britain’s real hate crime scandal“, in which he claims that ‘hate crime’ is a “self-sustaining myth”. The article could as easily have been written by Katie Hopkins.

[5] Including, amazingly, the Big Issue, which regularly publishes polemics by O’Neill, despite – or perhaps because – of its editor, the ex-Trotskyist John Bird, knowing the RCP/LM of old.

August 20, 2017 Posted by | RCP/LM | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bruno Waterfield

On BBC Radio 4’s flagship politics programme Any Questions on 28th May, 2016, was Bruno Waterfield, which the programme’s website disingenuously described as “Bruno Waterfield the Brussels correspondent for The Times” (the Telegraph, actually), rather ignoring his history in the RCP/LM as a founder member. He goes back a long way to the early days of the RCP, and has clearly maintained his loyalty to the sect and his cadre as he’s still a regular and highly prolific contributor to Spiked, these days as its foremost Brexit advocate (search Spiked for his name and you’ll get many tens of articles, nearly all putting the boot into Eurocrats). So if you listened to the programme and were slightly taken aback by the guy who was pro-withdrawal but not a swivel-eyed Ukipper, he’s the RCP/LM’s primary mouthpiece for their ‘Brexit with a difference’ anti-EU policy. The difference being that they hate all Leave and Remain campaigns, and as ever plough their own contrarian furrow spurning all alliances.

It’s a cert that the BBC, and its QT staff, know all of the RCP/LM lot, as the sect is assiduous and indefatigable when it comes to getting air time for its (well, Uncle Frank’s) views, so it’s not conceivable that the Beeb didn’t know about his past, yet there was no mention of yer man’s history, or even his present work with Spiked and the Institute of Ideas. At least Claire “Her Master’s Voice” Fox proudly acknowledges her role in the organisation, in contrast to eminences grises like Waterfield, Mick Hume and Kenan Malik who take care to hide their RCP lights behind respectable bushels.

For a brief bibliography of his oeuvre since the mid-90s, see his Powerbase page.

June 8, 2016 Posted by | RCP/LM | , , , , | 1 Comment

Scientific Alliance

RCP Watch’s attention has been drawn to the Scientific Alliance by an article in, of all publications, Wild Land News, quarterly journal of the Scottish Wild Land Group, a voluntary environmentalist body dedicated to safeguarding wild landscapes in Scotland, which has a somewhat NIMBYish attitude to wind power. The Spring/Summer 2015 issue [1] contains an article entitled “The Myth of Renewables”, by Anthony Trewavas of the Scientific Alliance, which is essentially a pseudo-scientific tirade against all and any renewable technologies, and includes quite astonishing and ludicrous assertions such as:

Current expenditure on UK wind farms is more than £20 billion. If that money had instead been used to construct 30 gas fired power stations to replace those using coal, emissions reduction would have been about 37%.

and:

One kg of fusion fuel produces energy equivalent to 10 million kg of fossil fuel.

which may be true in theory, but as there are no working [2] fusion power plants in existence  is quite simply untrue in practice. The author also extols, nay eulogises, nuclear fission, and puts the boot into even ‘invisible’ renewable technologies, such as geothermal power (which runs Iceland, btw).

Such virulent anti-renewables views got our antennae twitching. Trewavas is a prof writing on behalf of the Scientific Alliance, which the estimable and authoritative SourceWatch has a long page on, describing its views succinctly:

 It is anti-environmental, anti-organic and pro-GM and pro-nuclear power. [3]

It’s clearly a corporate front of “industry-friendly experts”, and as such is just one of many fronts shilling for the fossil fuel and nuclear industries. Nothing new there. Of interest to this blog, though, is its direct links to the RCP/LM, which has long been ‘sceptical’ (to put it mildly) of anthropogenic climate change, on the grounds that any efforts to mitigate climate change will be “anti-human” and “anti-progress”. Both Tracy Brown, of Sense About Science (a long-standing RCP/LM front), and the notorious Bill Durodié, are actively involved in the SA, the latter being on its advisory forum.

The irony of the article, of course, is that the RCP/LM not only couldn’t give a monkey’s about “wild land”, it wouldn’t even recognise the term and would positively advocate turning such land to human use. A virulent anti-environmentalist writing for an environmental magazine has to be if not unique, then remarkably unusual.

References

[1] http://www.swlg.org.uk/uploads/6/3/3/8/6338077/wln87-22.05.2015.pdf

[2] Working in the sense of generating more power than goes into the things. Over 30 years of research and zillions of dollars have yet to produce even a prototype fusion plant.

[3] Sourcewatch: Scientific Alliance

July 24, 2015 Posted by | RCP/LM fronts | , , , , | Leave a comment