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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Euston Manifesto: Yesterday's News

Mick Hall • 7 July 2006

The media has made much of late of the 'Euston Manifesto', a document which has been put out by a small group of ex-socialists led by Norman Geres, who all, bar the odd one or two, supported the US led invasion and occupation of Iraq. The latest to line up in support of the Euston Manifesto is Christopher Hitchens, one of the more forthright and able Pens-men amongst the group of ex-leftists who rallied to the colours in support of George W. Bush's criminal military adventures in the Middle-East and Afghanistan. Mr Hitchens in a recent article published in the London Sunday Times told his readers he would probably sign the declaration in support of the Euston Manifesto; myself I doubt he will, as the blessed Christopher is far to much of a self important fellow to play second fiddle to a retired academic blogger. No, if he must bend the knee, these days he prefers it to be to Presidents and Prime Ministers, whose friends can scatter a bit of patronage around the place.

One of the reasons I am so wary of English middle class leftists is epitomized in the likes of Christopher Hitchens. Whilst a member of the SWP in the 1960-70s, if he was not writing reams of rubbish scolding and cajoling the working classes into supporting this or that unrealistic political strategy, he was hectoring us to demand of the TUC leadership that they immediately call a general strike over some comparatively trivial issue of the day. Plus he was forever lecturing or condemning leading socialists around the world such as Fidel Castro and Salvador Allende about where they had gone wrong and advising them to follow his and his then party's lead. When these comrades understandably failed to heed his advice, they would be slandered with infantile terminology Mr Hitchens had read as an adolescent in some agitprop student booklet such as Trotsky for Beginners.

It should never be forgotten that through the years of the long war in the north east of Ireland, when British troops where rampaging through the homes of the northern Irish working classes, Hitchen's inkwell seemed to have run dry. Far from instinctively siding with those being oppressed by the British State as is the duty of all who regard themselves as socialists, he bombarded them with inane advice in the mould of the Harry Enfield TV character who is forever advising others,"you don't want to do that, this is how it should be done."

Few were spared the lash of his pen. The poor simple soul pontificated to the working classes as if he had led some great revolution or controlled a political party worthy of the name, instead of the leaky vessel which was and is the SWP. Then, when the revolution he predicted failed to materialize, what did Mr Hitchens up and do after all his pontificating about what we workers should or should not do? He left our shores without a backward glance for the United States of America, to get his snout in the media trough as the Resident Lefty on magazines like Vanity Fair. Although to be fair, he retained his sharp wit which for a time was directed against the class which manages Capital. However, mixing in such company must have taken its toll on him as, like many middle class leftists from the UK who have moved to the USA to practice their trade, he seems to have been enticed by its material riches and now he has emerged as one of President Bush's cheerleaders.

By the way, is it not strange that these middle class mockney leftists never seem to have any problem getting visas to enter the USA. Even in the old days when all foreign Communists were barred from the USA, they seemed to have few problems entering Uncle Sam's territory, whilst working class militants found themselves on the banned entry list, especially if they have been active Communists, or Trade Unionists who have led thousands of workers in struggle, let alone Irish Republican socialists many of whom, despite the armed struggle ending almost ten years ago and having fully committed themselves to the Peace Process, still find themselves barred from the the land of the free. One cannot but think the reason the likes of Mr Hitchens find access to the US or citizenship so easy to attain is because their own class has had the measure of them from day one, knowing full well given time they will return to the fold of the exploiters.

Thus it comes as no surprise that these days Mr Hitchens and many of the signatories of the Euston Manifesto sing from the same songbook as the Thief in Chief who sits in the Oval Office.

In itself there is nothing wrong with changing ones mind about political events; I myself have moved down the years from membership of the Communist Party to a Centrist-Left Reformist political position.

Nor do I have a problem, beyond disappointment, with people moving from the political Left to the Right. But what is so pathetic about the likes of Mr Hitchens and the Euston crowd is they seem unable to admit they have changed their minds and moved to the Right, although all their political statements and the company they keep flags up this fact. No, they, in the process of changing their political position, have to pour filth upon their former comrades and lie about what motivates their own political behavior. The Euston bunch proclaim they are the only leftists left with honour, thus all the rest of us must presumably admit our sins and kneel before them, ask for their forgiveness and then serve them faithfully as the great leaders they believe themselves to be.

In my mind's eye I can still see socialists such as Mr Hitchens' bragging that the revolution was just around the corner and they were just the people to lead it, a la Lenin and Trotsky. In the mean-time, all that was needed, according to these leaders of the proletariat in waiting, was for workers to show them the respect they clearly thought they deserved by joining the SWP and go forth and sell a few more copies of the Socialist Worker. Well, workers rejected the politics of the likes Christopher Hitchens in the 1970s, so we are hardly going to support them in their latest reincarnation as George W. Bush's and Tony Blair's pet poodle with a pen and ink to hand.

Can you believe the bare-faced cheek of these Euston Manifesto people? The most monumental event of Tony Blair's Prime Ministership, i. e., the invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq, and Professor Geres with Mr Hitchens in tow demand of the Left that we put it all to one side, move on, AND THIS WHILST IRAQ STILL BURNS! Sects like those who produced the Euston Manifesto are sadly far from rare on the fringes of the Left, nor is the fact that many of these micro groups propagate hatred for their former comrades. So I suppose one should not be surprised that the Euston bunch pour filth on the majority of leftists who continue to oppose US/UK foreign policy in the Middle-East. Nor is it any great revelation that the likes of Mr Hitchens makes pathetic attempts to demonize them with lies and taunts the anti war movement, which is, according to the glorious Christopher, a movement which exists almost entirely of supporters of mass murderers, dictators and satraps.

However, in reality what really enrages the Euston sect and their fellow travelers is, unlike themselves, the overwhelming majority of the UK and Irish Left have stayed loyal to their core beliefs, and continue to refuse to sing from the Thief in Chief's songbook. What the Euston Manifesto and the prominent coverage given to it by the mass media tells us is both the Left and Right have recognized Norman Geres and his mates are in the political window dressing business. Thus, I suppose we can hardly blame them for making hay whilst the sun shines, as the tea leaves look pretty bleak as to their future. Fish and chip paper and yesterday's news, me fears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Index: Current Articles



9 July 2006

Other Articles From This Issue:

Father Faul Saved Many Lives
Richard O'Rawe

Richard O'Rawe, PSF, and Events in 1981
Gerard Foster

Looking Back on 1981
Anthony McIntyre

Haughey and the National Question
Maria McCann

Brits Not to Blame for Haughey
David Adams

Greenfest
John Kennedy

Euston Manifesto: Yesterday's News
Mick Hall

Considering A Multi-Faceted Approach to the Middle East
Mehdi Mozaffari

Book Better Than Its Title
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Crowning Mr Unionist
Dr John Coulter

Extra Time Will Not Be Decisive
David Adams

'Pretty Much a Busted Flush'
Anthony McIntyre

Orangefest
John Kennedy

Just Books Web-launch
Jason Brannigan

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Omagh, David Rupert, MI5 & FBI Collusion
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Preliminary Hearings
Marcella Sands

Jury Duty Free State
Dolours Price

Even the Obnoxious
Anthony McIntyre


2 July 2006

Spectre
Anthony McIntyre

Salvaging History from Defeat
Forum Magazine Editorial

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
Dolours Price

Monsignor Denis Faul: Tribute
Ruairí Ó Brádaigh

Protest Continues in Maghaberry
Republican Prisoners Action Group (RPAG) statement

Where the Wind Blows
Dr John Coulter

What's Shaking
John Kennedy

Left, Right, Left, Right Wrong
Mick Hall

Irish Democracy, A Framework for Unity
Francis Mackey

The Peace Progress and the State
Davy Carlin

'The Church Brought to its Knees': Two books on Catholic Ireland's retreat
Seaghán Ó Murchú

Somme Battle Conspiracy
Dr John Coulter

March March March
John Kennedy

What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander!
Patrick Hurley

Sovereignty Movement Condemns Racist Attacks
Andy Martin, 32 CSM

Greens Propose Plastic Bag Tax to Help Fund Environment Watchdog
Green Party Press Release

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Introduction
Marcella Sands

The Framing of Michael McKevitt: Garda Harassment & Eventual Sitch-up
Marcella Sands

Alternative
Dolours Price

Judas 118 or DUP Strategy of Subversion?
Anthony McIntyre

 

 

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