Fascist Tirade Against ‘Cultural Marxism’ posted on No2NATO Telegram channel

The Price of Leftists Making Alliances with Fascists

Putting the neo-Nazi David Clews on the platform of No2NATO No2War public events is something that some of its prominent figures may come to regret. Though possibly not George Galloway, who in doing this appears to be doubling down on the alliance he made with Nigel Farage during the 2016 Brexit referendum, and later his failed attempt to stand as a candidate for Farage’s Brexit Party in the 2019 General Election. In jointly initiating No2NATO with Chris Williamson in early 2023, Galloway seemed to be acting at odds with that and taking aim at the far-right Maidan regime, its Nazi militias like Azov, Aidar etc, and their imperialist backers.

David Clews is the publisher of Unity News Network. This really stands for ‘unity’ of far-right forces against Britain’s immigrant-descended populations, against refugees. ‘foreigners’ and Marxists. In recent years it has gained a bit of notoriety by trying to exploit social discontent at Covid lockdowns and various kinds of popular unease against the vaccination programme. By putting Clews on the platform Galloway is signalling that for him, the aim is not to win the labour movement away from support for imperialism and racist Russophobia, but to find a British nationalist rationale for opposing the war. Whether Chris Williamson and his former comrades in the former Resistance Movement (aka Resist) understand where Galloway is coming from is not clear but seems unlikely. Resist recently merged with Galloway’s Workers Party, after a failed attempt to merge with Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party.

The result of this was shown by what happened at the rally No2NATO called in London on Sunday, August 6th. Billed to speak was David Clews, who however did not show up, perhaps because he feared exposure to a wider audience as an outright fascist. In his place, alongside decent left-wing speakers like Chris Williamson and Richard Medhurst, spoke one Niall MacRae, who is a supporter of UNN and an official of a fake ‘trade union’, called ‘Workers of England’.

Enemies of Organised Workers

This was founded to represent ‘English’ workers, by elements of the far right including those involved in the English Democrats and former members of the BNP (which is hardly a surprise, as many English Democrats are also former members of the BNP). This far right clique dabbling in nationalist ‘trade unionism’ represent nothing in the working-class movement, and are in fact enemies of genuine trade unions, who they have no connection with.  On their website they have a section stating that they “campaign to stop racism” but instead of expressing any solidarity with non-white workers, promote the St George’s flag. They also campaign against ‘unregulated mass immigration’ whereas any real trade union would have members at risk from the state’s anti-migrant laws and would have to campaign for their defence. Taken together, this is a big ‘fuck you’ to non-white working-class people, which is precisely how it is intended.

MacRae published his speech on the UNN website (https://unitynewsnetwork.co.uk/abandoning-the-left-right-divide-to-stop-natos-war-in-ukraine/) along with a postscript that is a tirade against the Consistent Democrats who leafleted the No2NATO rally condemning the announced presence of Clews. No2NATO then circulated this in its Telegram group. In his speech MacRae claimed to be open to working with the left: “Left-right, left-right is how soldiers march. Just as they march in unison, the political Left and Right goes in the same direction.” This is cynical hogwash aimed to confuse the unwary – they do not go in the same direction at all.

MacRae bitterly attacks the Consistent Democrats for, in an article in our journal, “comparing Clews to the mass-murdering Nazis”. But he’s coy about quoting us doing so. For the basis for the (true) allegation that Clews is a Nazi sympathiser is quotations from Clews himself – about ‘decent’ ‘revolutionary nationalists’ who ‘took power’ in the 1930s and apparently as part of doing so, were circumspect in hiding parts of their politics at times, in order not to alienate their potential audience. He is evidently talking about Hitler’s party while lecturing Collett and Towler about the need to copy their tactics by his rendering: nothing else fits the description and timing. So MacRae is whinging about Clews’ Nazi sympathies being accurately quoted.

‘Cultural Marxism’ and Marxism

Then he quotes a section of our policy programme, about opposing Brexit and anti-immigrant measures; opposing British nationalism and being for a United Europe; being in favour of women’s liberation and that of oppressed sexual minorities through socialist revolution; opposing both sexual abuse of youth and ‘moral guardianship’ oppression of the same youth, as ‘cultural Marxism’, noting that this makes us ‘enemies’.

He is accurate about one thing: we are enemies of fascists like him. He is in favour of ‘unity’ of the left and right, as long as the ‘left’ grovels to racists, migrant haters and those sympathetic to abuse and/or regimentation of youth like himself.  But we are not ‘Cultural Marxists’. We are revolutionary Marxists. We know full well that from the mouth of Nazi sympathisers like Clews and MacRae, ‘Cultural Marxist’ simply means ‘Marxist’, ‘migrant-lover’ and likely also ‘Jew’. Though for some slightly more sophisticated types ‘Cultural Marxism’ often means the Frankfurt School of Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse, who rejected the revolutionary role of the working class in favour of incremental struggles for ‘progress’ against reaction in existing bourgeois institutions. This kind of politics was the forerunner of Eurocommunism, which dissolved the remaining communist impulses of many misled fighters into support for imperialist liberalism. We reject that.

We are proud to stand in the tradition of Jewish communist revolutionaries like Marx, Rosa Luxemburg and notably Leon Trotsky, who in 1918 founded the Red Army that crushed the proto-fascist counterrevolutionary Russian white armies and shot down many such fascists. We think the working- class movement should create its own military formations and deal with the far right today in similar fashion. It is truly bizarre to see such a fascist rant against Marxism delivered on a supposedly antiwar platform, and it is something that is likely at any time to blow up into a major public scandal for the leaders of No2NATO. That Galloway should put such fascists on a public platform is a horror and a tragedy.

The Tragedy of George Galloway

Galloway used to be a left-wing critic and opponent of the Labour Party’s collaboration with imperialism. After his expulsion from the Labour Party for the principled, anti-imperialist act of calling for Arab armed resistance to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he founded the RESPECT coalition (later RESPECT party). Though it had many flaws, this was a clearly anti-racist and anti-imperialist party. It twice defeated the Blairites in parliamentary elections: Galloway won Bethnal Green and Bow during the 2005 General Election against the pro-war Blairite MP Oona King, inspiring many from the East End Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities along with anti-imperialist militants in what was quite a celebrated mass mobilisation. RESPECT went through major crises when the SWP later split away, but Galloway managed to defeat New Labour again in 2012 under the RESPECT banner in Bradford West, because of his reputation as a champion of Muslim people against imperialism and racism.  Galloway was then by far the most outspoken opponent of imperialism and Zionism in public life. He could (and did) legitimately boast about being the most pro-immigrant politician in the British parliament.

This changed after he was brutally beaten in the street by a Zionist thug in August 2014, and suffered a dislocated jaw, among other injuries. He was betrayed by the entire parliamentary Labour left, and most of the far left as well, not to mention the entire ‘democratic’ body politic. The only parliamentarian who publicly and forthrightly denounced this act was the Green MP Carolyn Lucas. One or two Labour MP’s such as Jeremy Corbyn sent private messages of sympathy but none of them were prepared to court similar Zionist abuse by publicly taking on the thugs. Many Zionists publicly expressed joy at Galloway’s beating, and the entire establishment basically concurred by its silence, including the ‘left’.

Unfortunately, the destructive work of this act of thuggery and betrayal was more far reaching than was first apparent.  But in hindsight, the change clearly dated from 2014. Galloway ran a quite principled campaign against Scottish separation for the September 2014 referendum, under the slogan “Just Say Naw” to separation. A supportable campaign, as Galloway’s main criticism of the Labour Party’s ‘Better Together’ referendum campaign was that it was a cross-class block, explicitly working with the Scottish Tories. Galloway was scathing about this, and called for a vote against independence to preserve working-class unity across the border, not any kind of block with the unionist ruling class parties. This campaign was underway months earlier than his beating on 31st August and was not changed by the time of the referendum on 18th September, during which time Galloway was evidently preoccupied with recovering from the beating, and the legal case against his assailant.

However, the change is clear when you look at what subsequently happened, when the dust settled. Galloway today would not criticise the Labour Party for allying with Tories in Scotland. On the contrary, he openly advocates votes for New Labour, Tories or any other unionist party against the Scottish National Party. The change, and the contrast is so clear with what he was doing immediately prior to the violent assault on him that the cause is simply obvious.

Galloway lost most of his commitment to socialist and left-wing politics as a result of that beating and betrayal, and capitulated to right-wing populism and worse. Hence his association with Nigel Farage over the 2016 Brexit referendum, as well as his apparent friendship with Steve Bannon, Lawrence Fox, and similar types. Although he retains elements of his prior hostility to imperialism, and his pro-Soviet/Russian views, he came to regard left and right as essentially meaningless. So, he became quite willing to ally with Tories and those even further right in support of his own arbitrary objectives. This is a fundamental change and means Galloway has tragically become a treacherous force, a danger to the workers movement because of his alliances with fascists.

This might be a tragedy, but reversing it seems to be beyond the powers of any individual or small grouping in the labour movement. No matter the circumstances that made this happen, the only conclusion that the labour movement can draw is that Galloway now has one foot in the camp of the far right and cannot be trusted. He should be treated with extreme caution, and his Workers Party likewise, as an outfit that habitually allies with neo-Nazis. People like Clews and MacRae are not some amorphous layer confused between left and right. They are hardened far right cadre.

So What Now?

The formerly “most pro-immigrant politician in Britain”, who twice defeated New Labour because of the trust in him as an anti-imperialist and anti-racist by tens of thousands of workers of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin, now spits in their face in the worst possible way by providing a platform for fascists like Clews who prints blood-libellous filth about the supposed proclivities of Asian Muslims for sexual abuse. This is similar politics as the worst far right scum in the government, the likes of Braverman who regularly regurgitate similar lying filth.

This is certainly a tragedy, but the workers movement has to deal with facts and political realities, not sentimentality and ‘what might have been’. We cannot allow Galloway to allow Neo-Nazis to wreck the anti-imperialist movement in Britain.  We have to call for all anti-imperialist militants to break from No2NATO and create a fascist-free replacement before it is too late.

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