This letter was sent to the New Worker on 8 May
Opposition to the NATO proxy-war in Ukraine is not confined to internationalists who act in solidarity with the victims of imperialism. Most of the far right are showing solidarity with the NATO-funded Nazis who infest and dominate the Ukrainian regime, with the likes of Azov, Aidar, Kraken, Svoboda and Right Sector who have dominated the Maidan regime since 2014. But there is a minority of fascists who oppose the Ukraine war.
Such as ‘Patriotic Alternative’ led by Mark Collett. Their opposition is based on isolating British people from any involvement in the affairs of ‘foreigners’, not any notion of solidarity with those under attack (from fascists!). PA is in favour of an Israeli-style ‘nation state’ law in Britain based on white nationalism. It has a programme of ‘assisted repatriation’ of non-white minorities in Britain.
David Clews, who organised the 22 April Protest in Trafalgar Square on the slogan “Not a Penny More to the Zelensky Regime” shares their view of the NATO proxy war. He writes:
“Our position is absolutely UNEQUOVICAL these conflicts are NOTHING to do with us and we should be sending no money or weapons or getting involved in any way shape of form.
Now we can all have opinions and I am perfectly comfortable with those who are opposed to what is happening but my position is that we must put the needs of this country first!” (https://unitynewsnetwork.co.uk/saturday-22nd-april-trafalgar-square-london-no-more-money-for-zelensky/)
What is disturbing is what is behind this. Clews is a ‘soft’ fellow-traveller of far-right groups like PA who only differs with them on ‘tactical’ grounds. This is revealed in a long interview that he did for his Unity News Network (UNN), one of the organisers of the 22 April Protest, with Mark Collett and Laura Towler of PA (https://www.bitchute.com/video/uHmChuA7faUE/).
He fears their openly white nationalist views will “put off” the average man (or “Joe Normo”, as he puts it). During this discussion, he engages in a prolonged, sophisticated exchange with Collett and Towler, where both sides talk at length about the 1930s historical tactics of ‘revolutionary organisations’ (they clearly mean fascist/Nazi, white nationalist organisations), in diluting their views to reach a greater audience. Clews attempts to reassure Collett, who is scathing about Clews’ scheme, that he shares all his basic views, but considers that they will alienate ordinary people and have to be hidden, so a future saviour can ‘liberate’ white people from multiculturalism etc. It is clear that Clews is just as much a white nationalist as Collett but seeks a PR strategy to win over greater layers.
Clews is seeking to draw leftist anti-war activists into blocs with him. We should firmly reject such overtures. Any bloc with such forces is a serious mistake, and the kiss of death. We want to win over fighters against imperialist oppression to solidarity with the people of the Donbass, who are facing an imperialist campaign that funds Nazis to expel them (ethnic cleansing), as part of a wider project of balkanising and fragmenting Russia. We want to win fighters against imperialism from the many in the immigrant-derived parts of the working class to such an internationalist perspective.
Any bloc with the like of Clews would be completely at odds with that internationalist aim and would allow pseudo-left supporters of the proxy war to tar us with such an association, and seal us off from these internationalist, anti-imperialist layers. These fascists want to drive such people out of the country in the name of white nationalism. Despite any temporary, formal similarly of demands at a given time, they are not allies, but enemies.