Opposing Trump can unite the left after Brexit

David Frum’s article in The Atlantic “How to Build an Autocracy” not surprisingly gained a great deal of attention because of the all too plausible way that it highlighted how the constitutional checks and balances of the US political system can fail, if those whose job is to exercise those checks and balances instead find that conformity to presidential power serves their personal ambitions better. But also because Frum is himself a Republican insider, a former speechwriter for President George w Bush, and has an insider’s insight into the processes.

In particular, Frum shows how strategy of delegitimisation of critical journalism is used to seek to silence dissent. For example Trump’s attempt to shut out CNN for having told the truth, by the staggering accusation that they were the purveyors of fake news.

One story, still supremely disturbing, exemplifies the falsifying method. During November and December, the slow-moving California vote count gradually pushed Hillary Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump in the national popular vote further and further: past 1 million, past 1.5 million, past 2 million, past 2.5 million. Trump’s share of the vote would ultimately clock in below Richard Nixon’s in 1960, Al Gore’s in 2000, John Kerry’s in 2004, Gerald Ford’s in 1976, and Mitt Romney’s in 2012—and barely ahead of Michael Dukakis’s in 1988.

This outcome evidently gnawed at the president-elect. On November 27, Trump tweeted that he had in fact “won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” He followed up that astonishing, and unsubstantiated, statement with an escalating series of tweets and retweets.

It’s hard to do justice to the breathtaking audacity of such a claim. If true, it would be so serious as to demand a criminal investigation at a minimum, presumably spanning many states. But of course the claim was not true. Trump had not a smidgen of evidence beyond his own bruised feelings and internet flotsam from flagrantly unreliable sources. Yet once the president-elect lent his prestige to the crazy claim, it became fact for many people. A survey by YouGov found that by December 1, 43 percent of Republicans accepted the claim that millions of people had voted illegally in 2016.
A clear untruth had suddenly become a contested possibility.

Chillingly, Trump has issued the following hardly veiled threat.

AT A RALLY Grand Rapids, Michigan, in December, Trump got to talking about Vladimir Putin. “And then they said, ‘You know he’s killed reporters,’ ” Trump told the audience. “And I don’t like that. I’m totally against that. By the way, I hate some of these people, but I’d never kill them. I hate them. No, I think, no—these people, honestly—I’ll be honest. I’ll be honest. I would never kill them. I would never do that. Ah, let’s see—nah, no, I wouldn’t. I would never kill them. But I do hate them.”

The significance of the massive outpouring of protest against Trump, both in the USA and internationally, is that that process of democratic engagement itself acts as a counterbalance, that incentivizes those with constitutional power to trim the ambitions of the presidency to exercise those powers. Had the American public been quiescent over the travel ban, had there been no wave of international reaction, then Judge James Robart in Seattle would have been less likely to declare the ban unconstitutional. And of course that action by the courts has itself given wings to the opposition to Trump.

That is why those who equate Trump and Brexit as parallel political phenomena are so wrong (though it is an argument more likely to occur on Social Media than in real life!)

The difficulty that many of us felt who supported the Remain campaign, but who had few illusions about the EU, was that we saw the actually existing Brexit campaign as being dominated by unsavoury rights wingers, and that the arguments for a progressive exit were coming from weaker and more marginal forces, who could not shape events. As such the referendum campaign did unleash a backlash of anti-immigrant sentiment; and the process of Brexit is in the hands of an untrustworthy Conservative government.

But for those of us who had not drunk the EU Koolaid, the EU is not itself inherently progressive, and leaving the EU, while this continues to represent a serious challenge in terms of jobs and employment rights, is still a political event susceptible to multiple outcomes. In the actually existing circumstances of 2016, the forces of the political right did get a boost by the Brexit vote, but that is not necessarily irreversible. Brexit is a political phenomenon which is not necessarily inherently right wing, even if it is most associated with right wing politicians like UKIP. The outcomes, while remaining pregnant with the possibility of disaster, can still be shaped by political and trade union action into something better.

In contrast, notwithstanding the anti-establishment populism which attracted many blue-collar Americans to invest hope in Trump, there is actually no possible progressive dimension to his successful election. Trump is inherently right wing.

Indeed, the foolhardiness of those who equate Trump and Brexit resides in the fact that their position can only weaken the unity of the left. In reality the opposite is the case, the mass movement that is growing against Trump, including the excellent leadership that has come from the Labour Party over this issue, has the potential of reversing the rise of racism that has grown since the referendum.

The tasks of the movement are clear. To argue for the strongest possible protection of jobs and employment rights during the Brexit process. To oppose racism, a task given a boost by the opposition to Trump; and to build and strengthen the unity of the left and the trade unions.

60 comments on “Opposing Trump can unite the left after Brexit

  1. Karl Stewart on said:

    Excellent article Andy, and extremely timely as well.

    I’ve been trying to argue exactly (well, more or less) the same position and it is a vitally important point to establish – Trump and Brexit are wholly different occurences.

    To overcome the widespread view that they are the same, the left needs to politically take on and defeat the likes of idiot-boy Owen Jones, who is actively striving to split the left on precisely that question.

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  2. Jellytot on said:

    Did anybody actually notice that Trump withdrew the US from TIPP? A spanner in the works of neo-liberalism surely and TIPP is a mechainism designed to isolate China economically on the Pacific rim.

    Or are we all suddenly fans of TIPP now because Trump has abandoned it?

    Re: Owen Jones.

    Not particularly a fan but liked Chavs and maximum respect to the guy for not allowing himself to be used by the SWP’s front Stand Up to Racism…..a vehicle for them to recruit young women.

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  3. Karl Stewart on said:

    Jellytot,

    No-one’s a fan of TTIP. I’m opposing Trump because he’s a fascist.

    Owen Jones is an attention-seeking spolit brat, who’s throwing a tantrum because he doesn’t control the anti-Trump protests.

    He’s OK working with the BBC which covered up Saville’s multiple rapes, he’s OK working with the LibDems who covered up Cyril Smith’s rapes, and Jeremy Thorpe.
    He’s OK working with the Tories, who covered up the misfire of a trident missile.
    He’s OK working with Blairites who backed the invasion of Iraq.

    But he won’t work with the StWC.

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  4. Jellytot: Trump is not a fascist.

    He isn’t a fascist, I agree.

    But he represents something different from fascism that is also a deep threat to not only the left, and oppressive to women and non-whites, but also a threat to the operation of democracy and the rule of law.

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  5. Karl Stewart: Owen Jones is an attention-seeking spolit brat, who’s throwing a tantrum because he doesn’t control the anti-Trump protests.

    I think that there has always been a danger for Owen Jones (and Laurie Penny, and others like them) of having been given a platform for expressing their views, without them having any real achievements behind them, or accountability to, or even experience of working with, broader organisations and coalitions.

    Of course there is no obligation for Owen Jones or anyone else to work with the SWP, or its front organisation. I don’t agree that he is having a tantrum because he doesn’t control it, I think it is more mundane than that, Owen Jones just massively overestimates the importance of what Owen Jones thinks or says about anything. And sees every issue through the prism of what it means to himself

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  6. Jellytot on said:

    Andy Newman,

    What is Trump’s relationship to globalisation and neo-liberalism? Especially in the light of his seeming abandonment of TTIP?

    Trump continues to personally benefit from globalisation (his brand name clothing line was and maybe still is made in China….much to the amusement of the late night talk show hosts), therefore, is he just another opportunist huckster playing to the hopes and fears of working and middle class people who have genuinely lost out in globalisation but whom he will ultimately betray with essentially neo-liberal business as usual?

    Or does he represent something more substantive? A wing of American capitalism, more traditionalist as opposed to hi tech, that wants to pull back from globalisation?

    As for Trump being a fascist. Remember that Hitler took over Germany in an incredibly short time because he had a disciplined Party and street army that represented a dual power scenario autonomous of the German State that could enforce his will (allied to the fact that the German state and Capitalism willingly rolled over and acquiesced).

    Trump’s influence is not independent of the existing US power structures, he has no street army or disciplined third party. He is a prisoner of the existing elites at the same time being essentially one of them (albeit with eccentricities). They probably regard him as a price worth paying to keep the undoubtedtly restless “rabble” in line, people who have seen the post war social contract wither on the vine. A large part of that contract was the promise that if White Americans worked hard their kids would have a better life than them. Excepting a thin layer of the super rich, that’s over in the West.

    Anyway If he steps too far out of line they will surely do to him what they did to Nixon. The mechainisms are there.

    US power institutions are as solid as they ever were and can withstand a few bellicose Tweets.

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  7. Andy Newman on said:

    Jellytot: US power institutions are as solid as they ever were and can withstand a few bellicose Tweets.

    But don’t underestimate the hollowing out of the party political system, and the paralysis of ruling elites who simply don’t know what to do, or are unwilling to abandon short term personal interests for long term common good.

    The last couple of years have taught me only this. I understand nothing and can predict nothing!

    Jellytot: What is Trump’s relationship to globalisation and neo-liberalism? Especially in the light of his seeming abandonment of TTIP?

    I think it is far too early to make any coherent sense of Trump’s policy positions, other than he stands for his own personal vanity and enrichment.

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  8. Brianthedog on said:

    Karl Stewart,

    Trump is many things but he is not fascist.

    By stating this you are playing into the same liberal hysteria that is and was being used here in the UK that Brexit was all about bigotry and racism.

    It also plays into what you are previously arguing against and what the liberals deliberately want to portray as Trump and Brexit are one and the same thing.

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  9. Jellytot on said:

    Andy Newman: The last couple of years have taught me only this. I understand nothing and can predict nothing!

    I wouldn’t too hard on yourself.

    Hardly anyone predicted Brexit or Trump (Farage and Boris Johnson couldn’t quite believe it that Night and Trump too was stunned when the electoral college map was showing a sea of GOP red in the swing states)….so you’re not alone.

    None of us realised how far the political alienation and rot had set it. I am slowly beginning to understand.

    Woe betide the Labour party if they, like the Dems, think that a coalition of the urban middle classes and ethnic minorities will deliver them victory.

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  10. On the debate over whether Trump is a fascist, this is a good article about that https://livesrunning.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/after-fascism-what/

    I agree Brexit doesn’t represent the same kind of movement as Trumpism – I only need to think of the people in my office who were ecstatic about Brexit, yet horrified when Trump was elected. These people aren’t racist however like most people, they held some racist ideas, and some of these were encouraged by the Leave campaign and informed their position on the EU. However, they could be convinced that a vote for Brexit wasn’t a racist vote…this was hardly the case for Trump. You would have to have been living in a cave not to think that Trump was a racist. During the election campaign, it was shown that every time Trump was called a racist by an opponent, his approval went up not down.

    That being said, it should be acknowledged that Trump is part of a wider international phenomenon of a rise of the populist and far right, which is challenging the neoliberal globilisation consensus with racism, nationalism and protectionism; as well as mobilising against liberal social gains (women’s rights, lgbt rights, etc.). Brexit in and of itself wasn’t simply a part of that, but the British manifestation of this process fed off it, grew out of it, and is arguably stronger than ever as a result of it.

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  11. Jellytot on said:

    Tim N,

    Key swing state white working class areas in the rust belt that voted for Obama in 08 voted for Trump in 16.

    I assume these people were not hard bitten racists in 08 ?!

    It’s only when Trump pivoted to the slogan “Drain the Swamp” (in realtion to Washington corruptuon) in the final weeks of his campaign that his numbers rose.

    It wasn’t a racist vote primarily. It is about deep alienation. Surely a concept that Marxists should understand. Marx wrote about it.

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  12. Jellytot,

    What I meant was that you couldn’t have voted for Trump and not known he was a racist. You may not have thought it was important, not cared, or thought that his “policies” or anti-corruption rhetoric were more important, but you couldn’t not know.

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  13. Jellytot on said:

    Tim N,

    People looked around them saw the closed factories, meth epidemic, hopelessness, ivory tower elites in Washington and didn’t particularly care if Trump is nasty to Mexicans.

    These people aren’t Latte sipping liberals. They hunt deer and wear hunting camo to Walmart. I’ve been to these places. Rural Ohio isn’t Islington.

    As I’ve said….Bernie Sanders could have reached them. Hillary couldn’t.

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  14. Jellytot:
    Tim N,

    People looked around them saw the closed factories, meth epidemic, hopelessness, ivory tower elites in Washington and didn’t particularly care if Trump is nasty to Mexicans.

    Thesepeople aren’t Latte sipping liberals. They hunt deer and wear hunting camo to Walmart. I’ve been to these places. Rural Ohio isn’t Islington.

    As I’ve said….Bernie Sanders could have reached them. Hillary couldn’t.

    I don’t disagree with any of that, my point simply was that Trump was explicitly racist while Brexit wasn’t.

    However, while many Trump voters were voting for the reasons you say, there was an open and mass racist element to the Trump movement, as well as a hard core far right in the leadership.

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  15. Karl Stewart on said:

    Brianthedog,

    Hmmm…but it’s you that’s made the link between Trump and Brexit not me.

    Lots of people on the left voted for Brexit, and opposition to the EU/EEC has been a longstanding left-wing position.
    (Also, Brexit did actually win a majority of the vote.0

    In the USA, no-one on the left voted for Trump. No-one on the left called for a vote for Trump. The Trump vote was made up of right-wing conservatives, white supremacists and rednecks.
    (And three million more people voted for Mrs Clinton than voted for Trump.)

    My argument is that the two are completely different political developments and that it is the liberal democrats and the Owen Jones’s and Polly Toynbee’s who are seeking to link the justified opposition to Trump to the EU referendum in order to try to perpetuate the ‘Leave/remain’ divisions to try to split the left.

    Trump is what fascism looks like.

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  16. Jellytot on said:

    Karl Stewart,

    This complete paucity of understanding and political anaylsis is why the Left are losing and have been losing for a long time.

    And why the Right are winning and hoovering up votes.

    You write hard pressed rural and semi rural communities off as rednecks. These people were exactly the bloc who Bernie was reaching out to and who the Right are only too happy to have.

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  17. Karl Stewart on said:

    Jellytot: You write hard pressed rural and semi rural communities off as rednecks.

    As white supremacist, cowardly, racist, pig-ignorant, rednecks to be more accurate.

    The vast majority of Bernie Sanders supporters voted, albeit reluctantly, for Clinton. And were part of the 65 million Clinton voters.

    A large and significant minority of Bernie Sanders supporters stayed home.

    The turnout among pig-ignorant rednecks increased, and they were part of the minority of USA voters, the 62 million, who voted for Trump.

    This minority shouldn’t be “reached out to” they need to be defeated.

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  18. Karl Stewart: Trump is what fascism looks like.

    Kind of but not really. There are obvious parallels with fascism (a racist mass movement, with a personality cult around a crazy person with silly hair), but there are some key differences as well.

    Fascism was primarily a movement to destroy social democracy. Given there isn’t a social democratic movement in the US, this doesn’t quite apply. Trumpism’s main focus seems to be liberalism and the minimal social gains that liberals have made. There also isn’t a violent street movement. While there has been violence at Trump rallies, it’s in no way comparable to the kind of violence that the Blackshirts and the Brownshirts employed, which was central to them seizing power.

    Another thing is that fascism is a distinct ideology, certainly after World War Two. Although some open and not-so-open fascists are supporters of Trump, the leadership of the movement and the vast majority of supporters are not.

    One of the difficulties is that the politics of racism are distinct in America due to the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. For example, while I would agree that the KKK are “as bad” as fascists, I wouldn’t call them fascists, as politically they are very different. It’s this form of racism which has been dominant (among racists) in large parts of the US, rather than the kind that feeds into fascism.

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  19. Jellytot on said:

    Karl Stewart,

    If it was only you that thought like this it wouldn’t matter.

    I fear this complete lack of comprehension is widespread on the Left.

    I am a fly fisherman. As such I was taught, for success, not to pay much attention to what is happening on the surface of the water but to judge and examine the undercurrents and what is happening below the surface.

    What is happening below the surface politically and socially in Western societies ain’t pretty.

    Is it savable from a Left POV ? Maybe with some sober thinking and a effective strategy (which, with respect Karl, isn’t going to come from you) But we are running out of time.

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  20. Jellytot on said:

    Karl Stewart: This minority shouldn’t be “reached out to” they need to be defeated.

    Defeated by whom?

    Hillary and Bill Clinton?

    Who Chris Hitchens once described as a couple who would do just about anything for a dollar bill.

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  21. Karl Stewart on said:

    Jellytot,

    A group of illegal immigrants who stole land from and massacred the native inhabitants, captured and enslaved Africans to work on this stolen land, fought wars to preserve slavery, fought wars to steal more land and massacre more natives, and now they want to ‘build a wall’ to prevent anyone else entering their stolen land.

    I have no sympathy with them, no.

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  22. Andy Newman on said:

    Karl Stewart: The turnout among pig-ignorant rednecks increased, and they were part of the minority of USA voters, the 62 million, who voted for Trump.

    This is a highly unfortunate characterisation.

    The political proposition of the Democrats is to seek to assemble an election winning coalition on an unprincipled basis of horse trading between sectional interests. Hoping to build enough electoral college votes to carry them over the line. In the meantime the Democrats have indulged in corrupt cronyism, nepotism and graft that reaches its hideous crescendo with the Clintons. The symbiosis between the democrats and the equality and diversity agenda is around that horse trading, where they have embraced “identity” politics to farm votes.

    The working class – except through the willingness of some unions to join the horse trading – are completely excluded from the Democrats world view.

    The Republican Party has become for some years without clear purpose, which has made it an electoral machine susceptible to colonisation by first the Tea party and now Trump. But because the metropolitan Democrats are so haughty and scathing of working class Americans, the GOP have learned to exploit that as part of culture wars.

    This does not mean that Republican voters are right wing monsters, they often share many views with socially traditionalist Labour voters over here.

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  23. Jellytot on said:

    Karl Stewart: By the majority

    At lot of whom don’t vote.

    Electoral politics is about mobililsing your base and bolting on the add ons.

    Labour’s base is under threat. Support for Article 50 is about shoring up the Leave voters with an eye to Stoke.

    Lose Stoke. Game over.

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  24. Karl Stewart on said:

    Jellytot,

    The Article 50 vote was about formally endorsing the EU referendum result. I can’t understand why it didn’t happen on June 24th as Jeremy Corbyn rightly said at the time.

    There is no democratic, political or even logical reason for voting against it.

    Anyway, what does that have to do with the question of whether or not we should pander to the minority of racists in the USA?

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  25. Karl Stewart on said:

    Andy Newman,

    If the American left decide that that particular minority group is worth having, then it’s up to them to work out how to engage with them.

    I can’t see how engaging with southern rednecks can possibly be useful or worthwhile to us here in the UK though.

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  26. George W on said:

    Karl Stewart,

    Karl’s elitist dismissal of millions of people based on where they are from and their culture is a very effective satire of the sort of haughty metropolitan liberals in the states that alienated the ‘red necks’ in key swing states.

    Well done Karl for keeping in character it’s very believable!

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  27. Karl Stewart on said:

    George W:
    Karl Stewart,
    Karl’s elitist dismissal of millions of people based on where they are from and their culture is a very effective satire of the sort of haughty metropolitan liberals in the states that alienated the ‘red necks’ in key swing states.
    Well done Karl for keeping in character it’s very believable!

    Trump voters are a minority George mate. There was no electoral ‘swing’ to Trump. He lost the vote by an enormous margin.

    I just don’t get this ‘we in the UK need to engage with Trump voters in the US’ argument.

    Why? And how? And for what possible purpose?

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  28. Karl Stewart: No way would Jonny Cash have voted Trump…

    Cash would have regarded all Trump voters as God’s children led away from the path of righteousness, but deserving of forgiveness and redemption.

    It is a idiosyncrasy of the Southern baptist church that there is considered to be especial virtue in redeemed sinners.

    You could learn from them

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  29. Karl Stewart on said:

    Jellytot,

    Hmmm…a cartoon depicting a poundshop and another cartoon one depicting a £100 shop selling cardigans…hmmm…and that somehow means Trump’s a good guy??

    Not sure I see the connection mate?

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  30. Jellytot on said:

    Karl Stewart,

    His autobiography is worth reading. The hard man image was largely a myth created to publicise his prison tours and associated albums. His dirt poor upbringing was not unusual for country stars of his generation. In total he spent a couple of nights in the drunk tank after being picked up drunk driving.

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  31. Jellytot on said:

    The comments of Clive Lewis MP regarding Stoke and UKIP are interesting. Taken from an article in today’s Guardian:

    The shadow business secretary, Clive Lewis, told Labour activists in his Norwich South constituency over the weekend that the threat of Ukip in Stoke had been one of the reasons he had chosen not to defy a three-line whip on voting to trigger article 50 last week.

    Lewis said he “was told – if you break with the whip in any stage in this process, you are helping to elect Paul Nuttall in Stoke … There are swaths of this country, like in Stoke, where we are hanging on by the fingernails to keep Ukip at bay.

    “I do not want the politics of Trump in Westminster. And once they have one voice, they will have a base, and it will be a domino effect.”

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  32. John Grimshaw on said:

    Andy Newman: Cash would have regarded all Trump voters as God’s children led away from the path of righteousness, but deserving of forgiveness and redemption.

    It is a idiosyncrasy of the Southern baptist church that there is considered to be especial virtue in redeemed sinners.

    You could learn from them

    I thought Cash only found Christianity later on in life, no?

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  33. John Grimshaw on said:

    Jellytot:
    George W,

    Yes, reminds me of

    “It’s grim up North London” in Private Eye.

    Not all of North London is full of middle-class people I think you’d find say Wood Green or Tottenham etc. as a bit different. Islington has always had that reputation but there still some very large social housing estates.

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  34. John Grimshaw,

    He had an appealingly humanist and idiosyncratic take on religious doctrine, and perhaps got more into it when he was in recovery for his various addictions and issues but was pretty much religious throughout his life, from early childhood.

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  35. John Grimshaw on said:

    John Grimshaw,

    Famously of course Conan Doyle has Watson wonder why Holmes was packing before they went out on an investigation. To which he replied that whenever they had to go East of Tower Bridge, he always carried a gun.

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  36. John Grimshaw on said:

    On the substantive issue. On radio 4 this am they carried excerpts of a interview between thei intrepid journo and the subject of the interview, Marine Le Penn. The main programme is on at 9pm tonight. On the subject of racism our Marine said that she was. On the subject of becoming the next president she admitted to being inspired by Trump’s victory and the Brexit result because both reults showed the growing possibilities out there. If elected she be working to see if a Frexit were possible. Now I know thios speculation but if France were to leave, the British Brexiteers might find there’s suddenly no-one to negotiate with.

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  37. John Grimshaw: Now I know thios speculation but if France were to leave, the British Brexiteers might find there’s suddenly no-one to negotiate with.

    FN’s policy is to leave the Euro. France leaves the Euro, end of Euro. I don’t know whether the EU would survive that, even if France didn’t actually officially leave the bloc as well as the currency. That would also trigger an economic crisis in Germany.

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  38. Jellytot on said:

    John Grimshaw: Not all of North London is full of middle-class people I think you’d find say Wood Green or Tottenham etc. as a bit different. Islington has always had that reputation but there still some very large social housing estates.

    Islington had a reputation as being National Front territory in the seventies (same was true of Hoxton). The NF did big paper sales and street meetings on Upper Street and outside Angel tube. I recall seeing them as a kid.

    Later there were big battles between fascists and anti-fascists in Chapel Market in the early 80’s. These fed into Cliff’s decision to wind up the original ANL.

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  39. Jellytot on said:

    John Grimshaw,

    Although my predictions vis a vis Brexit and Trump have been way off lately, The betting is that Le Pen will win the first round of the Presidential election but go onto get defeated in the second round (when the left and centre right will gang up on her).

    The French Presidential election system is designed to exclude “extreme” candidates.

    But I’ll probably be wrong on that too and Le Pen will romp to Victory.

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  40. Jellytot on said:

    John Grimshaw: . Now I know thios speculation but if France were to leave, the British Brexiteers might find there’s suddenly no-one to negotiate with.

    If the National Front win the Presidency that will be the least of our problems John.

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  41. Jellytot: The French Presidential election system is designed to exclude “extreme” candidates.

    So’s the US system. There are a number of parallels between the French two-tier system and the American system of primaries followed by general elections. Lots of differences too of course, but the outcome seems to be to start with an open field, then end up with two “moderates” in the final round, or one moderate and one crazy, so that the majority fall behind the moderate on either side.

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  42. John Grimshaw on said:

    Jellytot: Islington had a reputation as being National Front territory in the seventies (same was true of Hoxton). The NF did big paper sales and street meetings on Upper Street and outside Angel tube. I recall seeing them as a kid.

    Later there were big battles between fascists and anti-fascists in Chapel Market in the early 80’s. These fed into Cliff’s decision to wind up the original ANL.

    I am sure you are right about Islington Jellytot. I have never fought fascists on Upper Street I suppose by the time I arrived round here in the early 1990s the are had already begun to change. South Hackney and Hoxton got the highest NF vote in 1979 but then also began to change. At first the whites began to move out to replaced by a much more multi-ethnic community and now of course it’s increasingly gentrified because of the |Shoreditch effect. I had the great pleasure to have a go at the BNP there in 1993 when they thought they could attempt to reclaim an old stomping ground but they got zero support from the locals.

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  43. Jellytot on said:

    John Grimshaw,

    There was a criminal Islington family on one of the estates (may have been the Packington) who were in the NF and controlled the local branch. They were multi generational in which older members were Blackshirts in the 30’s. I think they may still be around.

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