Red and Black Telly roundup.




Corona comment number five, from the South of England: Snake oil and tinfoil, by Mal Content.

Clockwise from left: Buttar supports Trump, Buttar supports the military, Icke talks crap about BLM, Kate Shemirani on ‘sons of liberty’, Sherri Tenpenny and Alex Jones, Senator Jensen on ‘Go Right’ a ‘gays for trump’ channel.

The corona virus has thrown the ruling class into disarray. Their sales pitch, that their institutional and economic hegemony is capable of managing the infrastructure to the benefit of all, fell at the first hurdle, as the economy was effectively pitted against itself.

Meanwhile yet another fault line has opened in the anarchist movement, and what for the sake of argument we can call the libertarian left (social democrats and Bolsheviks need not apply). Part of it has embraced Benthamism, sacrificing individual judgement to someone else’s (invariably the ruling class’) statistical aggregate of the greater good. Some find finger-pointing and curtain-twitching a worthwhile use of their time. In promoting his Panopticon prison design, Bentham commented: “As the watchmen cannot be seen, they need not be on duty at all times, effectively leaving the watching to the watched.” In fact that principle has informed all more-or-less totalitarian states ever since. As a utilitarian, materialist, libertarian socialist I reject Bentham’s definition of utility and there are many well-known thought experiments that reduce it to the absurd.

At the other end of the scale ‘professional contrarians’ come across like petulant teenagers answering back to their dads. People who’ve spent years masked up for nefarious purposes will demonstrate without them now they are officially sanctioned – of all the things they could protest about! How hard we tried to get the ‘peaceful protesters’ to hide their faces as cover for the ones prepared to kick off. We dreamed of a world where face coverings were worn as a matter of course and we could blend into the mass.

I’ve already given my opinion that masks are a placebo. Can you smell smoke through your mask, even outside from six feet away? Ever smoked a chillum through a rag? The largest smoke particles are like boulders compared with corona viruses, the smallest are comparable and both are within the colloidal range, in other words they are capable of being indefinitely suspended in air by Brownian motion. So do it or don’t do it as you please, and if a fellow worker hands me a book and asks me to write down a name and address it’s no hardship. It won’t be mine of course and I suspect they know that. I don’t ever recall debating with a copper my right to use marijuana, I’d just say I didn’t have any and hoped I’d hidden it well enough.

We’ve had a lot of fun ridiculing the floundering politicians’ arbitrary “guidance” and the middle-class dupes who rationalise it. We caution against taking anything on trust in an untrustworthy world, but some anti-authoritarians have chosen to rub shoulders with even less trustworthy and more authoritarian tendencies. We have taken issue with our long-standing comrades at The Acorn/Winter Oak over their promotion of a rally by stand up x, a motley collection of flat-earthers who postulate as always a liberal elite – led by George Soros no doubt, denying them their right to live in the fourteenth century. On the net you’re only ever three clicks from David Icke, except the stand up x facebook page, then it’s one click, and they’ve booked him for the 29th August. It’s all there, guy Fawkes masks, butchers’ aprons, fox news, NWO, secret paedophile rings. The anti-malaria drug being pushed by Bolsonaro is manufactured by the Brazilian military for obvious reasons, it wouldn’t surprise me if Derek Guff had his finger in that particular pie also.

What is their protest intended to achieve; business as usual or just business? Protest always smacks of supplication and this was never more likely to fall on deaf ears, if you want to “stand up to the system” withdraw your labour, occupy the means of production or expropriate property.

On the platform:

  • Dolores Cahill, Irish freedom party – big on law and order, except hate crime which is just free speech.
  • Dr Zac Cox, a ‘homeopathic dentist’.
  • Dr Adil, who claims SARS CoV2 isn’t a virus at all.
  • Dr Eric Nepute, purveyor of vitamin products who does think it’s a virus, and has been warned off by the Federal Trade Commission for selling quack cures for it, uses words like “bazillion” on his website – clever bloke.
  • Dr Scott Jensen, Republican senator for Minnesota, who features on breitbart and ‘Go Right’, a Bush Fellow and god-botherer.
  • Dr Mikael Norway – sorry, no idea who they are.
  • Dr Sherry Tenpenny, another quack, author of ‘Saying no to Vaccines.’
  • Kate Shemirani, who sells mistletoe injections for cancer and expensive “beauty products”, appears on the ‘sons of liberty’: “Re-shaping America by redirecting future generations to our Judeo Christian heritage through education and media.”
  • Dr Andrew Kaufmann, whose website has a massive disclaimer that it doesn’t offer any medical advice, though he will give you a consultation for a fee.
  • Dr Kevin Corbett, an artist with a PhD in social sciences.
  • Rashid Buttar, a struck-off doctor, conspiracy theorist, anti-vaccine proponent, and youtuber. He has twice been reprimanded by the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners for unprofessional conduct and cited by the FDA for illegal marketing of unapproved and adulterated drugs. He variously claims 5g and chemtrails cause Covid, or that it is a biological weapon of the Chinese state.
  • Piers Corbyn, climate change denier and general-purpose nutcase.

You wouldn’t want to be seen with these wankers, unless you’re stood on the Minnesota senator’s neck.

The anarchist response to pandemic is the same as to any other situation. Do as much research as you feel necessary, apply your judgement and experience, consult whoever you trust then make up your mind and do as you see fit. Whether to visit your grandmother on her deathbed is a personal decision to be taken on its merits. You may find yourself balancing actual harm with hypothetical harm and wish to weight those two factors differently. I won’t be lectured on “protecting the NHS” by those who have spent forty years trying to abolish it, or the ones who sat back on their arses while we were picketing things and getting arrested. Petitions don’t count.

The NHS for all its benefits is a capitalist employer and an arm of the corporate state. The people who run it do so not for the benefit of its workers or patients but for their investors and for “UK-PLC” which requires that at least some of us are fit to augment their capital. Science is not to be used as propaganda; it is simply an enquiry into the nature of things informed by empiricism and logic. Faulty logic and badly designed experiments will give you duff gen. Disagreement is to be welcomed and should help us see the wood for the trees, there are no sides to this, if you like to stand in lines shouting at each other, crack on, it does nothing for me.

Morality must be balanced with utility, like strategy and tactics neither is any use on its own. We can all do that without getting into bed with the lunatic fringe of the American religious right. Any movement devoid of class analysis is worthless to us. We recall the awful mess Occupy got into with ‘freemen on the land’ and all that bollocks about the Magna Carta. There are people out there who believe fluoridation makes you gay, vaccination is a conspiracy to stupefy us, and 5g is about mind control. They would sell you bogus medicines for cancer or tell you to pray it away. Unlike the kind of street fascist who really does benefit from a Totector in the face, our best weapon against these cranks is ridicule, but we’ll make an exception for Senator Jensen.

Workers are every day having to decide between unsafe environments and starvation or homelessness. These are not decisions toff politicians ever have to make, nor will they help you do so. The latest tory decree on “shielding” has just given the bosses an excuse to shed workers with chronic health conditions that were protected characteristics under EA10. I’m reminded of the story of the potato farmer who lived by Chernobyl. When the evacuees started to return they found the old man had never left. The potatoes that came up the first year after the fire looked a bit odd, he admitted, but you could eat them. A man had come from the government, “don’t you know those potatoes can kill you?” “Not as fast as no potatoes!” was the response.

Why are we still having these silly arguments? Partly because we are not deeply enough rooted in the class, we are peripheral to it. Before the politicians even took an interest in corona the anarchist movement stopped what it was doing to organise community support and mutual aid, but it lacked the clout to shut down the economy; that requires mass direct action. We have become reactive, so many of our Class are hostages to the market that we have shifted our focus from dismantling the hateful death machine to mitigating its effects on the most vulnerable. A look at our history will reveal that it is often the most vulnerable who stop the wheels. To put it crudely, if you’ve got a rock and one good arm you can throw it, better do that than lament the shortage of rocks. Don’t allow your perceived privileges to immobilise you!

If you can’t think for yourself who’s going to do it for you? Not the bungling fraudsters in Westminster, who obtained their jobs under false pretences. Not their politically-appointed experts, who like David Knutt will get fired for publishing science that contradicts their policy. Not internet con-artists who make a living flogging crap. Not flag-waving, god-bothering numbskulls. Not tinfoil-hatted keyboard worriers. The Working Class must decide what is good for it and that requires us to collectivise each issue, the bigger it is, the more collective our response must be.

We’re just going to have to sort this one out ourselves.

Lifting the Mask of Capitalist Disaster: The Coronavirus Response

Black Rose Anarchist Federation / Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra


By Tariq Khan

From official disregard and denial to mismanaged response, each day the COVID-19 crisis brings into ever sharpening clarity the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of the current ruling class. Claims of American exceptionalism and greatness are revealed to be a crumbling mask for the systemic rot that pervades.

One does not have to be a radical to be appalled by the utter depravity of the conservative establishment’s response to the crisis. We watched Republican lawmakers who have tax-funded paid sick leave for themselves vote against a proposal for working-class people to get paid sick leave. Right-wing lawmakers stalled Coronavirus legislation in an attempt to sneak abortion restrictions into the bill. But it is not only conservative leaders that have been exposed as bankrupt, but also establishment liberal centrists. After listening to months of establishment Democrats during primary debates shoot down mild social democratic proposals for universal healthcare and student debt cancellation with the neoliberal mantra “how are you gonna pay for that?,” we saw the Federal Reserve pull $1.5 trillion — enough to wipe out almost all US student loan debt — out of a hat to inject into the stock market just to calm already-wealthy investors. The Coronavirus bill Nancy Pelosi championed as guaranteeing paid sick leave left out 80% of workers, in order to appease business owners. That was only the beginning, as the Trump administration has moved to bail out the wealthy owners of the cruise ship, hotel, airline, oil, and natural gas industries, while not even considering bailing out the many low-income families who are afraid of school closings because schools provide many children with the only meals they get.

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Red and Black Telly: WHY THE WORKING CLASS DON’T CARE ABOUT TRUMP…..

Message from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Southampton Branch.

Dear All
Greetings from Southampton PSC.
Christmas is a time when people think about Palestine, sometimes without realizing it. The story of the birth of Jesus, central to the Christian faith and to the celebration of Christmas traditions, even in a secular context, took place in Palestine. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, now a city besieged by occupation and surrounded by Israels security Wall.As a group we intend to encourage people to make the link and to show concern for the injustice taking place in Palestine today.

Alternative Carols 5.30pm at the Bargate Southampton 18th December. We are joining with the Red Stars Choir to sing some alternative Carols declaring our concern for Palestine. We will also be giving out information. Please join us if you can. Come in good voice, song sheets will be provided.

Three campaign Actions you can take in support of Palestine:

Attached to this email you will find  a letter concerning the possible intention of President Trump to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a gross violation of International law and a flagrant betrayal of the Palestinian people. Please call on the UK Government to condemn it in the strongest possible terms. Please use the attached to send to your MP. Either fill in your address, the name of your MP and your name and then print it out and send it as a letter or copy it in to your email format and send it to your MP as an email. Whichever way you do this Please Please stand up for Palestine this Christmas and send this protest.

Secondly Along with PSC, Amnesty International is running a “Ban Settlement Goods” Campaign. There are 137 recognised settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank, plus a further 100 unrecognised settlement outposts. There are 547000 settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. All of these have the protection of the IDF and are often armed themselves.They have roots in the US or Eastern Europe, not in Palestine, and yet they live on stolen Palestinian land. Much of the agricultural produce sold in the UK as”from Israel” actually comes from illegal settlements. Despite the Governments official position that Settlements are illegal under international law and the UK Government does not support them, officially, nevertheless it has not taken action to ban settlement goods from being imported into this country and indeed goods “from Israel” enjoy special status under the EU and benefit from positive trade agreements with the EU. So please follow this link and join Amnesty International’s campaign to change this.. https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/ban-trade-israels-illegal-settlements

Finally Waitrose are going all out to sell Israeli Dates this year. These are very likely to be the produce of illegal settlements. They are branded as Duchy of Cornwall. A brand heralded by the Prince of Wales and meant to live up to organic and ethical standards. So please complain to Waitose, to trading standards and to the Duchy label. Most of important of all do not buy them and tell Waitrose why. Also please spread the word and tell your friends as well. https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/waitrose-duchy-organic-medjool-dates/

Well I guess that is nearly all for now. Stalls have stopped for a short winter break but will resume again towards the end of January, when I will be in touch. Please join us on the 18th if you can. Please also continue to like our facebook page.

May I end by wishing you all, on behalf of Southampton PSC, a joyful and peaceful Christmas where you find some genuine goodwill to the world.
Regards
Cathryn M Spiller (Secretary Southampton PSC)