RCP/LM watch

Keeping an eye on the RCP/LM and its fronts

DeSmog on Spiked

The impressively diligent and comprehensive Green investigative journalism site DeSmog [1] has just published a primer and reference to Spiked which is worth bookmarking:

https://www.desmog.co.uk/spiked

It has a high signal/noise ratio, and is packed full of references and resources on the history and practice of Spiked, going back to the RCP years, with the emphasis on the sect’s virulent anti-environmentalism and its ‘scepticism’ over climate change. Many of the resources are new to RCP Watch, despite our stalking of the sect for many years.

Much more detail on the RCP/LM, and its close links with far Right and corporate anti-environmentalist organisations such as the infamous Institute for Economic Affairs and the Koch organisation, has been reported in this blog passim [2].

References

1. “DeSmog UK aims to investigate and analyse the undue influence of climate science denial and the fossil fuel industry on UK energy and climate policy.” ‘About us‘ on the DeSmog site.

2. “Revealed: US Oil Billionaire Charles Koch Funds UK Anti-Environment Spiked Network“. DeSmog, 7/12/18

 

 

February 25, 2020 Posted by | RCP/LM | , , , | Leave a comment

Ella Whelan on the Moral Maze

For those eager listeners of BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze, who’ve been pining for the RCP/LM line on hot button topics with Claire Fox having apparently quit the programme, we present the new RCP panel member: Ella Whelan, writer at Spiked Online and, apparently, its assistant editor with Brendan O’Neill (aka Tommy Robinson for the middle classes). She obviously has the brief of (anti-) feminism correspondent, going by the voluminous list of articles written by her for Spiked. She’s on the Moral Maze tonight, on the subject of the morality of genetics, and was on the previous show.

There’s clearly a place saved at the MM panel for a RCP/LM staffer. Previously, her mucker Andrew Doyle, ‘comedian’ and creator of the libertarian alter ego Jonathan Pie (see this blog passim), occupied the seat for a number of shows. As we’ve written before, anyone in the broadcast media world knows the RCP/LM of old, and knows who its rent-a-gobs are as they guarantee good, contrarian copy, so it’s beyond credibility that the MM producers and its lugubrious presenter, Michael Buerk, don’t know that they’re putting sect members on air. Which is fair enough, maybe, but after the recent revelations of the sect being funded by the insanely rich Koch Bros (now just Bro, as one recently croaked) there’s a moral duty (sic) on the Beeb to announce the affiliations of RCP panellists, and occasionally witnesses, when they introduce them.

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

The RCP writes the Tory manifesto

That’s a sensational post title, but strangely true. Munira Mirza, ex-scion of the RCP going back to the early days, is now co-writing the Tory manifesto for the December 2019 general election. This was unearthed by Otto English, correspondent for the liberal monthly investigative journalism title Byline Times, and spread by Tweet on his feed at @Otto_English:

The RCP/Spiked bunch shouldn’t be allowed near a hamster let alone government policy. But there you go – Mirza is writing the manifesto ” (tweet on 30/10/19)

He continued, in another tweet:

Mirza became an adviser to Johnson in his Mayoral days she remains very tight with that libertarian and ex RCP mob even appearing very recently in one of their videos.”

So it’s not just that she was in the old RCP, but that she’s in with Spiked and LM and currently writing for Spiked. No ‘youthful dalliance’ this.

English’s tweets led to the writing of a sharp post on the Zelo Street blog which seriously puts the boot into the RCP/LM/Spiked:

Ms Mirza has now moved with Bozo The Clown from City Hall to 10 Downing Street, where she is director of the Policy Unit. Some may find having one of the Spiked alumni in that role a frightening prospect, but now has come the news that will fall as manna from heaven for anyone opposed to the Tory Party: she is to co-author its election manifesto.

Interestingly, her colleague and co-writer of the manifesto, Rachel Wolf, is a fracking lobbyist, which rather holes Bozo’s greenwash project below the waterline.

That’s the RCP now advising at the highest levels of the Tory Party, and if Bozo Johnson wins the election they’ll be in or around 10 Downing Street working on policy. Back in the 80s the RCP held summer ‘conferences’ entitled “Preparing for Power”. Oh, how we laughed at their pretentions, a cultlet of 150 members talking of power, but it looks like their strategy is paying off after all these decades. As written about here previously, the RCP is running many Brexit Party parliamentary candidates, and given the organisation and serious money behind Farrago’s project there’s a better than evens chance that there’ll be RCP MPs in the next Parliament. Uncle Frank must be very proud indeed.

References

Wikipedia: Munira Mirza.

Spiked to write Tory manifesto. Zelo Street.

Fracking lobbyist to write Tory manifesto. The Guardian, 30/10/19

Powerbase: Munira Mirza.

November 1, 2019 Posted by | RCP/LM | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 | , , , , , | 4 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 | , , , , | 1 Comment