When it was formed in February, No2NATONo2War offered a great deal of promise for those aiming to mobilise the labour movement against the proxy-war campaign against Russia. We in the Consistent Democrats have been involved in publicly opposing the imperialists’ campaign since the beginning of the Special Military Operation in February 2022. Not only that, but for several years, since the Maidan coup in 2014 we, and our political predecessors/co-thinkers in Socialist Fight, have been active in seeking to mobilise solidarity with the Donbass people against the fascist scum, the political descendants of Nazi collaborators such as the OUN of Stepan Bandera, who took power in Ukraine in a coup backed by NATO and the United States. We were active both in Solidarity with the Anti-Fascist Resistance in Ukraine, which in its early days had quite substantial labour movement and left support, and then when that declined as the going got tougher, we were and still are active in International Ukraine Anti-Fascist Solidarity (IUAFS). For the past several years both prior to and since the beginning of the SMO, IUAFS has held regular protests in defence of the people of the Donbass against fascist terror. IUAFS is a united front of ‘official’ Communist and Trotskyist organisations and individuals against fascism and imperialism.
When No2NATONo2War was formed, we were enthusiastic about it as it not only included former Labour MPs George Galloway and Chris Williamson as its initiators, it also had a conference line up of left-wing activist speakers of various different shades, and over 1000 attendees. We welcomed it as a step forward to building a movement in solidarity with the struggle against fascism and imperialism – a much more substantial united front against fascism and the proxy war. We had a positive attitude to it as it is necessary to seize every opportunity to try to build a real anti-imperialist movement. Galloway’s weaknesses for right-wing populism in recent years are not exactly a secret, his standing on platforms with Nigel Farage during the Brexit campaign, but nevertheless in standing up for Ukraine against NATO and its Nazi tools he was at least on the right side of a major conflict with far-right tools of imperialism, the biggest since WWII. Though earlier he had been an outspoken anti imperialist and opponent of racism and Islamophobia.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. The attempt by David Clews, a white nationalist and crypto-Nazi and initiator of Unity News Network, to build a chauvinist movement against the Ukraine war mobilising the fringe of Covid ‘anti-vaxxers’ and anti-lockdown ‘activists’ supposedly against the war based on a refusal to engage with ‘foreigners’, has led Galloway, unfortunately dragging Chris Williamson behind him, desperate for support from somewhere, to jump on the Clews bandwagon. There had been rumblings of this plan for well over a month. On April 22 Clews’ “Not our war” campaign organised held a rally in Trafalgar Square and Galloway’s Workers Party sent a speaker along. There were grounds for suspicion that Clews was a fascist then, and we refused to have anything to do with it. Leading members of IUAFS were reassured by Paul Cannon, the leader of the Workers Party, that while they would talk to such people, such reactionary speakers would not appear on No2NATO platforms. This pledge was no more quickly made than it was broken; on 25 May, at short notice Galloway himself organised an international meeting with a mixture of left-wing and right-wing speakers from the United States – none of which were fascists … and David Clews. After which IUAFS issued a public statement criticising the decision to put Clews on a No2NATO platform (https://iuafs.blogspot.com/2023/05/no-no2nato-platform-for-fascist-david.html)
In the case of Clews, his fascist politics are crystal clear. His Unity News Network gives support to those organising threatening and intimidatory protests against refugees, in particular Patriotic Alternative (PA) led by former BNP cadre Mark Collett. See (https://unitynewsnetwork.co.uk/sturgeons-msm-describes-those-protesting-against-erskine-asylum-seekers-as-far-right-extremists/). It defended James Allchurch, who organised a podcast-based media station titled Radio Aryan that interviewed members of the banned Nazi group National Action, played a song that lauded Adolf Hitler and talked about hanging black and Jewish people. Racist smears about Muslims’ supposed proclivity for child abuse abound in UNN material, lying propaganda targeting communities who were central to the mobilisation against the Iraq War Galloway earlier played such a prominent and radical role in.
But conclusive proof of his Nazi politics is to be found in a podcast where Clews, for Unity News Network, conducts a 78-minute interview with Mark Collett and Laura Towler, the leader and deputy leader of PA. He engaged in a long polemic with them for being too open and strident about their politics and counsels a policy of caution, of hiding Nazi politics, of not trying to feed “Joe Normie” (the average man) with too much white nationalist/Nazi material at a time. It is clear that he is doing so from a Nazi standpoint. These extracts make that clear:
Even political revolutionaries in the 30s, forties, 50s, even, they kind of toned down the rhetoric even they went to a stage where they could reach a further audience. Is that so?
And that that will win you a lot of loyalty amongst your followers and a lot of loyalty amongst your supporters. But my argument is that I want to see real change take place in this country. I want to see this hell that currently exists, end. And that is going to be a long ladder that is going to be stepped up. And you know. It’s not gonna happen overnight. And if we get to say that we’re we’re not. I get all this, I get all this I can all this and as I said. Decent parties in the 1930s did differentiate themselves from other sides of the movement that they thought were too extreme. So you know this, this, this historical precedent for this happening. You know…
. But what I’m telling you is that if you go to Joe Normie, who gets bombarded daily with that propaganda, and try to wake them up by basically throwing a bucket of hot water, cold water, sorry over them. It’s going to be too rude an awakening for them. All I’m saying is I do have experience of getting elected and actually winning council elections. And I know how I did that and I know how it’s done and I am telling and seeing that even if you look into history, nationalist movements that did get into power, they did kind of tone down their rhetoric, go a slightly, slightly, different route.
(the whole of this transcript, except for some trivia at the beginning and self-promotion at the end, is available here https://www.consistent-democrats.org/clews-collett-towler-transcript/. The sound file is online here should anyone want to check it: https://www.bitchute.com/video/uHmChuA7faUE/)
His historical references he uses are clear, for anyone who is not wilfully blind, about ‘decent’ ‘revolutionary organisations’ that ‘took power’ in the 1930s. He is evidently referring to fascist organisations, centrally Hitler’s NSDAP, that ‘took power’ in that period. His defence of Radio Aryan, his defence of threats and intimidation against refugees, make that crystal clear. He does not represent some trend – such things are quite common today – that exhibits confusion between left and right. He is clearly an ideological Nazi.
Having Clews, a Nazi, on No2NATO platforms is a major error and a betrayal of the anti-fascist struggle in the Donbass, and indeed everywhere. Clews and PA want rid of the non-white immigrant population here. An outrage and an insult to non-white people and anti-racists everywhere. Why should they have to justify their right to exist and to live here, which is clearly the case wherever fascists are given a platform and demand people ‘debate’ with them? No one on the left should be giving a platform to the likes of Clews.
Obviously, we still support the demand No to NATO and are likewise completely opposed to the NATO proxy war in Ukraine. But we are so opposed because we are internationalists and anti-fascists above all: we cannot endorse an organisation that puts outright Nazis on public platforms. Therefore, we withdraw any endorsement of No2NATO, No2War and while we will obviously work with left-wing individuals who mistakenly continue to support it, we cannot be associated with it ourselves. We still need a labour movement-based anti-fascist mass opposition to NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine, but by including fascists on its public platform No2NATO has shown it is not capable of building such a movement.