The vile murder of Jo Cox MP

imagesAccording to witnesses the ‘beast’ that slaughtered Jo Cox screamed ‘Britain first!” before carrying out his foul deed. Anyone who believes that this act of brutality is unconnected to Brexit and its ugly politics is either guilty of mendacity or wallowing in ignorance.

As Polly Toynbee writes in the Guardian: ‘The mood is ugly and an MP is dead’.

Oh how the words of Bertolt Brecht, warning of complacency when it came to the possibility of fascism ever re-emerging , resonate today. Brecht wrote” ‘The womb from which this monster emerged remains fertile.”

The pro-Brexit left need to know that they are dancing with the devil. I urge them to turn back before we enter an abyss from which there is no coming back.

Brexit is the legimisation of racism, right wing extremism, and the politics of hate against ‘the other’ in response to austerity. It is everything that previous generations of socialists, communists, and progressives have resisted with their liberty and lives if need be.

As I have just written elsewhere, we have borne witness to the ideological collapse of the pro-Brexit left.

Enough is enough.

Shame on those who have attempted to attribute a progressive character to this racist campaign and cause.

82 comments on “The vile murder of Jo Cox MP

  1. brianthedog on said:

    Shame on you John to conflate many people including those on the left legitimate concerns with the EU and the tragic death of a Labour MP.

    Tony Blair is voting to remain to stay in the EU so using your logic you therefore support illegal invasion and mass murder of Arab civilians.

    The suspect is not a beast but a man who appears to have long held mental health issues and years of interest in racist and fascist organisations. Its looks like an act of terror which has nothing to do with 99.9% of those voting to leave.

    Your shlock hack styled piece is pathetic as should be taken down as it denigrates the death of this woman.

  2. Vanya on said:

    I said goodbye before but I couldn’t resist one last look.

    #1 Brian you are absolutely spot on here.

    John Wight you are as shameless as you are politically illiterate.

    Most of the political world have been refraining from campaigning on this issue today out of respect for this woman and her family.

    Not you. Though. Another opportunity for you to pour out more of your ill-informed bile.

    Pathetic.

    And Andy, you’re just almost as bad.

    I will not forget or forgive people who have even implicitly linked people like myself to this disgusting crime.

  3. George W on said:

    I could say shame on you for supporting David ‘swarm of migrants’ Cameron and an organisation that medecins sans frontieres has announced it is refusing to accept funding from because of its horrendous deal with the Turkish dictatorship to keep refugees down. But I’m not because I have the ability to argue rationally and not like some petulant 6 year old throwing toys out of his pram!

    Your political point scoring twisting the terrible death of this woman for your own narrow aims is beyond repugnant.

    Let’s leave aside that the EU is supported by the banks, the CBI and the Tory government. Let’s leave aside its fortress Europe anti-refugee measures and its brutal deportation of people from black and Asian countries, not white European countries. Let’s leave aside the fact that the EU is an organisation dedicated to creating a single market by liberalising the national economies of Europe in a privatisation/austerity steamroller.

    The socialist position on the EU was Labour Party policy until the late 1980s. It was championed by the likes of Bob Crow and Tony Benn. Today Dennis Skinner, Ronnie Campbell, Jenny Jones, the RMT, ASLEF, BFAWU, NIPSA and thousands of members of other unions. Not to mention the Communist Party, SWP, SP, SLP, Counterfire, Workers Party of Ireand, éirígí

    Are you really saying that they are ‘attempting to attribute a progressive character on a racist campaign’? At the very best you are insulting their intelligence, at the worst you calling them racist. I would expect you to disassociate yourself from such stupid and racist people immediately. To never work with anyone of these again on a campaign and to immediately stop writing your fantastic articles in the morning star. It’s a bit silly isn’t it?

    I disagree with socialists voting to remain but I respect their opinion. I suggest you do the same to those who uphold the socialist position against the EU.

    Every ignorant, abusive contribution by remainers, who seem to lack the ability to actually talk about the EU as an institution and rather simply abuse those voting leave as racist, convinces me of the importance of voting leave from the undemocratic big business EU.

  4. brianthedog,

    This issue of the alleged mental distress of the perpetrator is a red herring that the political right have grabbed onto in order to decontextualise the act of murder from the political demagoguery and hysteria about immigration.

    Firstly, mental distress is NOT the most significant cause of violence in our society, and secondly most people with mental distress are neither violent nor dangerous. It is – at best – unfortunate to draw an assumed line between mental health and violence.

    What is more, the attachment by this individual to the cause of far right extremism is well established.

    If indeed he was a vulnerable individual more susceptible to the toxic political mood created by the mainstream political mood then that doesn’t lessen the culpability of the racists like Farage , Johnson and Gove who have whipped up the hysteria.

    Let us be clear, the political nature of Jo Cox’s murder is as well established as the political nature of the Orlando shootings.

  5. brianthedog on said:

    Vanya:
    I said goodbye before but I couldn’t resist one last look.

    #1 Brian you are absolutely spot on here.

    John Wight you are as shameless as you are politically illiterate.

    Most of the political world have been refraining from campaigning on this issue today out of respect for this woman and her family.

    Not you. Though. Another opportunity for you to pour out more of your ill-informed bile.

    Pathetic.

    And Andy, you’re just almost as bad.

    I will not forget or forgive people who have even implicitly linked people like myself to this disgusting crime.

    Yes Vanya most of the political world has been refraining from campaigning on this issue out of respect for the dead woman and her family.

    But not John Wight and Nick Griffin ex leader of the BNP.

    Nice company you keep John and what great bedfellows you make……… but even the vile Nick Griffin realised his error and later in the day withdrew from publishing more of his disgusting bile.

    The only decent thing to do is take this hate filled and disrespectful post down.

    If John Wight who is so politically illiterate and shameless won’t then Andy who I still have a lot of respect for should.

  6. Andy Newman,

    Exactly right. Mental illness may or may not be a factor in this murder, but the main one is clearly racist and fascist ideology, as it was with Anders Breivik and Dylann Roof.

  7. Vanya,

    Of course NO ONE has linked the left exiteers with the murder or J.o Cox.

    John Wight can speak for himself, but what I understand him as saying is that the balance of power and influence between the mainstream Brexit campaign and the marginal Lexit campaign is such that the mainstream Brexit is utterly dominant in its social and political effect.

    Tragically, the impact of this is utterly disastrous in pushing the mainstream political culture towards xenophobia and intolerance.

    As such, an objective analysis of the likely impact of a Leave vote is that the political and social consequences will be very unfavourable. A rise of racism, economic instability that will weaken organised Labour, a boost in morale and confidence for the UKIP and Tory right.

    In my view the Leave left have tragically misjudged the situation, and are oblivious to the dangers from the Brexit right. But I think the very ineffectualness of Lexit means that they are not substantially affecting the situation one way or another.

    Paradoxically though, even the forces of the Lexit left are invisible compared to the juggernaut of mainstream Brexit racism; if the left United against the racist right, together – in my judgement – we might still prevail.

    It is foolishness to believe that the EU refereendum debate is about the economically liberal institutions of the EU, it is about race and immigration. To that degree the left exiteers are more lost it thanks lexit

  8. brianthedog on said:

    Andy Newman:
    brianthedog,

    This issue of the alleged mental distress of the perpetrator is a red herring that the political right have grabbed onto in order to decontextualise the act of murder from the political demagoguery and hysteria about immigration.

    Firstly, mental distress is NOT the most significant cause of violence in our society, and secondly most people with mental distress are neither violent nor dangerous. It is – at best – unfortunate to draw an assumed line between mental health and violence.

    What is more, the attachment by this individual to the cause of far right extremism is well established.

    If indeed he was a vulnerable individual more susceptible to the toxic political mood created by the mainstream political mood then that doesn’t lessen the culpability of the racists like Farage , Johnson and Gove who have whipped up the hysteria.

    Let us be clear, the political nature of Jo Cox’s murder is as well established as the political nature of the Orlando shootings.

    Are you deliberately trying to spin what I said?

    I stated that the suspect is a man and not a beast and its a fact that he had long history of mental health issues. The mainstream media is in my opinion not trying to use this as an excuse and neither am I. I also stated that he had long standing interest in racist and fascist organisations and what he did appears to be an act of terror.

    You be better to address the serious concerns from long time contributors to your blog about your co-authors pathetic, disgusting and disrespectful post.

  9. brianthedog: Its looks like an act of terror which has nothing to do with 99.9% of those voting to leave.

    Obviously, this murderer is not representative of the average Brexit supporter. That should really go without saying.

    However, it is very directly related to the racism regarding immigrants, migrant workers, and refugees that is spread by the media and politicians and which, whether you like it or not, is present in much of the Brexit propaganda.

    The death of Jo Cox should not be exploited as an argument to remain in the EU, but it should certainly be a warning against indulging in racist scapegoating and scaremongering, whatever the political goal.

  10. JN:
    Andy Newman,

    Exactly right. Mental illness may or may not be a factor in this murder, but the main one is clearly racist and fascist ideology, as it was with Anders Breivik and Dylann Roof.

    ….and another example would be the nail bomber David Copeland.

    The Brexit campaign has effectively been defanged and is essentially a busted flush. I cannot see how it can realistically go back to the sort of anti-immigration venom of the last month. The wind is out of its sails.

    The Lexit campaign will continue to be ineffectual and almost invisible.

  11. JT,

    Unfortunately, I think that’s probably wishful thinking. They will try to depoliticise the murder, and will continue on as before.

    Such racism also isn’t confined to the Brexit side of this particular argument. Many of the Remain politicians will, in any other context, happily blame all Britain’s problems (many of which are the direct result of decades of their own policies) on immigration.

  12. brianthedog: And no view on this disgusting and disrespectful post and no wish and/or ability to take it down.

    I am sorry to say it but gutless.

    Brianthedog?

    Never has a name been more appropriate.

  13. John Haylett on said:

    Saturday’s Morning Star editorial

    TODAY’S editorial ought to be a triumphant recognition that Rosena Allin-Khan has more than doubled Labour’s majority in Tooting following the by-election to replace London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

    That a junior doctor should be adopted by Labour and then backed by the electorate, after Tory efforts to discredit these vital NHS workers, is an important development.

    It confirms the trend of Labour doing well in most election contests, following Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership victory, in the face of allegations by the Tory media and many Labour MPs that a Corbyn-led Labour Party would be electorally toxic.

    But, as significant as Allin-Khan’s win is, it pales in contrast to the vile murder of Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox in her constituency.

    The cold-blooded killing of this woman is, above all, a personal tragedy for her family, especially her husband and two young children.

    Among the massive outpouring of words of sympathy, solidarity and grief, Brendan Cox’s moving tribute to his wife stands out.

    Expressing his conviction that she would have wanted their children “bathed in love” after this sickening deed, he added that he, family and friends would “work every moment of our lives to love and nurture our kids and to fight against the hate that killed Jo.”

    That note of resistance against those who would divide humanity on criteria of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation or generalised “otherness” is crucial.

    The man questioned by police has been linked with neonazi and white supremacist groups over several years and appears to have bought materials giving information on how to improvise munitions.

    As with Omar Mateen in Orlando, acquaintances of Tommy Mair suggest that he suffers with mental health problems.

    But because Mateen launched his murderous spree in a gay club and Mair is said to have shouted “Britain First” as he attacked Cox, their deeds should be classified as terrorist crimes motivated, respectively, by homophobia and racism.

    When the murderers of Pte Lee Rigby shouted “Allahu Akbar,” politicians and media did not hesitate to label their crime as terrorism, motivated by jihadi extremism.

    Whatever Mair’s mental condition, his conduct was prepared and conditioned by a decades-long propaganda offensive in which media and politicians have primed and fed off each other.

    A campaign that began half a century ago targeting black Commonwealth citizens has been fuelled by ministers in every government since, bringing in new restrictive legislation or warning of hordes of foreigners determined to come and undermine “the British way of life.”

    Scares about black Commonwealth citizens have been enhanced by tales about Polish plumbers, Bulgarian and Romanian Gypsies, “bogus” refugees and, most sickening of all the depiction of Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans fleeing wars started by our governments and allied powers as posing a “terrorist” threat to our state.

    David Cameron, who accompanied Jeremy Corbyn to Birstall yesterday to lay flowers in memory to Jo Cox, has referred to desperate refugees seeking asylum in Britain as “a swarm of people.”

    New Labour pledged “controls on immigration” at the last general election, even inscribing the slogan on a specially commissioned coffee mug.

    Neither Cox nor Corbyn subscribed to demonisation of fellow human beings looking for help to recover from events beyond their own control.

    Politicians who have waxed elegantly about her many qualities ought to draw one basic lesson from her life.

    They should treat refugees as they themselves would hope to be treated and abandon the bad habit of telling scare stories about people fleeing war and poverty.

    We have seen where that road leads.

  14. Hospital Worker on said:

    This blog has reached new depths. I await the articles by John Wright on how all followers of the prophet Mohammed share responsibility for the World Trade Centre atrocity. Of course, as a long time admirer of Stalin and the oppressive East German Police State, John Wright is complicit in the murder (in the case of his pal Stalin) of tens of millions of Russian workers.

  15. John,

    Whichever charm school you went to John, I think you are entitled to a refund!

    🙂

    In order to avoid further exacerbating divisions, which are already widening with the febrile atmosphere created by this referendum, we should all try to recognize that when this us over we all need to work together in what may be a very challenging context

  16. John Grimshaw on said:

    I think Andy’s last point is a good one. Having just read through the last three posts and their associated comments it has served to confirm for me what I have thought for a long time. There is no argument that the British left can’t inflate beyond its real seriousness into a huge disunifying spat. Comrades prefer to retreat into their respective micro corners and hurl invective and pram toys at each other. I think maybe some us need to calm down a little and have a cup of tea (or something stronger – but not too much obviously). The Left should not be letting itself get sucked into as Andy says this “exacerbating” environment and a “febrile” and ultimately sterile debate. If we do we have allowed our selves to be used by either side of this referendums boss class. And by doing so we are certainly not helping the working class and the disenfranchised.

  17. John Grimshaw on said:

    As regards some of the substantive issues. As far as I can see it’s now virtually incontrovertible that Jo Cox was murdered by a neo-Nazi supporter. Britain First have denied any involvement,which may be true, but there is now photographic evidence of the accused on one of their small rallies in 2015 holding a BF banner and trying to intimidate some Asian group. So they can’t deny knowledge of the accused. I think no one can deny that the angry, incontinent atmosphere of this referedum has created a space for racists and the far right to tout their wares and in this horrific case to feel now is the time to murder decent people. As I speak the newspapers are reporting that a far right group called the Nottigham Casual Infidels have put posts on the internet calling for the murder of another female labour mp, since taken down (9.30 this am). I expect more of this. One can only hope that the bourgeoisie on both sides will stick to their “promise” to calm it down, otherwise they may get bitten by the monster they have created. I won’t hold my breath.

    That being said this a serious encompassing debate with many angles to it. I don’t believe that the Lexit minority are responsible for the actions of the far right or Faridge (Manchester spelling) or Johnson. It’s just plain daft to suggest it. I just think it was clear from the beginning that the lefties supporting leave were in sufficiently known to gain any sort of traction. I don’t beleive all working class people support leave, as has been suggested by some on the left, nor do I believe that those who do are all reactionaries. What is it about the left that they feel the need to make assertions with a minimum of proof. That is intemperate as well comrades.

    These and other arguments are why I still think the best position would be to abstain in what is essentially a bosses argument where both sides are using all sorts of arguments to further divide the working class. Well that’s me and the Weekly Worker. Oh well. 🙂

    By the way John if Brexit leads to new referendum on Scottish independence I will still take the same line as before. Socialists shouldn’t support anything that divides the working class. The Scottish are not oppressed by virtue of being Scottish.

  18. Leave is England’s Yes.

    Until quite recently I was for leaving the EU, for the usual Old Labour and tankie reasons, plus more recent libertarian ones about EU micro-meddling. But I’ve relectantly come to the conclusion that John Wright, Andy Newman and my old mucker John Ross are right: in the present situation leaving would make matters a lot worse.

  19. Andy Newman: In order to avoid further exacerbating divisions, which are already widening with the febrile atmosphere created by this referendum, we should all try to recognize that when this us over we all need to work together in what may be a very challenging context

    Hear hear. Only the British left could contrive to tear itself apart over what is essentially an argument within British Conservatism.

  20. If those closest to me all turn out and vote on Thursday we will probably cancel out each others votes.

    This doesn’t mean that any of us are politically illiterate (and, as anyone who knows him, neither is John Wight). We need to make a distinction between intemperate and illiterate and with John it is instructive to recall Lenin’s conclusion that although Stalin had outstanding qualities he was too rude.

    So what is the root of his, and Andy Newman’s political position on this issue and, in my view, their error.

    I think it arises from a misreading of the relationship between base and superstructure which, set within a highly charged national debate in which, as is usual and inevitable, the left is a minor player, it is only too easy to lose sight of the essential class forces at play.

    The ruling ideas in our society are the ideas of our ruling class and to suggest that reactionary capitalist ideas find an expression only in that section of the working class who favour Britain’s exit from the EU is to reduce politics simply to the sphere of the superstructure, limit agency to economic interests and, in practice, risk abandoning the battle to strengthen political class consciousness.

    There is already a split in the Conservative Party, one that reflects the divergent class interests of two very different constellations of reactionary social forces. The ruling class is split and, as we live in a society in which bourgeois ideas are dominant – inevitably, the working class is divided on this issue.

    That the Lexit forces are limited and under-resourced should surprise no one in the working class movement. This poses a real problem for the labour movement as a whole if the chasm between the stance taken by the larger part of the movement’s leadership and the views of millions of working class voters is not bridged.

    If nothing else, Corbyn’s hitherto studied calmness in the referendum debate, and the small but valuable legitimacy that the Brexit campaign has created for itself will be invaluable in bridging the gap between the Labour leadership and a big part of the working class.

    We need to address this political problem from Friday morning and some of the arguments deployed in this discussion run close to writing off the working class as the key agency for political change. If this current is allowed to become dominant we can kiss goodbye to a Labour government.

    That the subordinate of the two competing bourgeois tendencies, the Brexit campaign comprising the more domestic sections of British capital – mostly in manufacturing and in some conflict with the dominant sections of finance capital; petit bourgeois commercial elements and a particularly venal tranche of City speculators and hedge fund operators – have dressed their campaign in a racist rhetoric around immigration does not make them any the less in favour of the ‘free’ movement of labour when it suits them than their big business rivals in the Cameron/Osbourne tendency.

    Those who delude themselves that a Remain victory will permit a progressive political realignment that will benefit the left and aid the continental fight against austerity need to look at the reality. A big business-directed Remain campaign funded by the banks, the City, the privatisers and asset strippers is designed to leave inviolate the free movement of capital, the racist boundaries of Fortress Europe, the projection of US imperial power into our continent, the ever-tightening legal straitjacket on our trade union and employment rights and the IMF/ECB austerity regime.

    It will frustrate any effort by a progressive government to implement an alternative economic strategy and will make tackling the problems of alienation that arise from precarious work, poverty pay, privatised services and welfare cuts doubly difficult to tackle.

  21. Nick Wright,

    This blog is one of the few places where comparing someone to Stalin is likely to have the response “well he’s not all bad then”

    I welcome your bringing the debate back to the substantive issues, and as a discussion among comrades.

    (You are still wrong though. 🙂 )

  22. George Hallam on said:

    Ken MacLeod: I’ve relectantly come to the conclusion that John Wright, Andy Newman and my old mucker John Ross are right: in the present situation leaving would make matters a lot worse.

    It seems that instead of deciding the issue on the merits of the case you prefer to look at which advocates get most media publicity and choose these you dislike least.

    Consider a possible world in which In Britain joined the euro, say at the end of 2003 or early 2004.

    This is not entirely improbable. Brown had said in June 2003 that the best exchange rate for the UK to join the euro would be around 73 pence per euro. This was close to its value at the time. 72.1 and it was still 70.2 at the end of the year (i.e. within 4% of the target).

    Now suppose that there was a referendum in this possible world about leaving the euro and the leading advocates for the respective were the same as they are in our own world.

    Would you vote to keep the euro just because of jingoism and nationalism on the part of ‘Leave’ campaign?

  23. George Hallam on said:

    Nick Wright: It [remaining in the EU] will frustrate any effort by a progressive government to implement an alternative economic strategy and will make tackling the problems of alienation that arise from precarious work, poverty pay, privatised services and welfare cuts doubly difficult to tackle.

    So leftists won’t have any responsibility for changing things, leaving them free to take difficult moral positions.

  24. Nick Wright,

    One of the contradictions that seems apparent in the substantial working class Brexit vote is a tendency to reject the leaders of both bourgeois Brexit formations and form a judgement based on experience. That some of this is shot through with ill-informed and prejudical views about migration is inevitable but there is nothing which compels critical views on untramelled migration to be synonymous with racist ideas.
    We should prepare ourselves for the possibility, even, dare I suggest, the desirability of a Corbyn-led Labour government elected on the votes of millions of these people.
    People whom we will then want to draw into a closer engagememnt with government.

  25. Nick Wright: Those who delude themselves

    Honestly, anyone on the left who is particularly enthusiastic about either option in this referendum is deluding themselves. That said, Brexit (under the current circumstances) would be worse.

  26. Nick Wright,

    In the real world, hundreds of thousands of workers in the UK have no vote in this referendum as they are not UK nationals, but many have lived and worked here for years, many are active trade unionists, contribute greatly to the social and cultural life of the host community.

    As it happens the Remain unions and the Labour Party have stood apart from the mainstream Remain campaign.

    Let us be clear we have not had neo liberal policies in the UK due to EU interference but because successive UK govts have not only advocated neoliberalism at home. But have been its biggest cheerleaders in the EU.

    It is a tactical consideration when to fight and over which issues, and the main industrial organizations of the British working class have thrown their weight – in the present context – towards a flawed status quo rather than the immense risk of. Farage, Gove, Patel and Johnson led Brexit.

  27. Andy Newman: Let us be clear we have not had neo liberal policies in the UK due to EU interference but because successive UK govts have not only advocated neoliberalism at home. But have been its biggest cheerleaders in the EU.

    Absolutely true. The point, however, is that policies which could subvert the neo-liberal order are blocked by the terms of the EU treaties. So a Labour government that wants to take industries, land, utilities in public ownership and prevent the marketisation and privatisiation of ther NHS need to deal with this.
    Just to lay the basis for such a discussion. Renogiating the treaties requires unanimous agreement among the different states. Which is why, when the Irish refused the accept the treaty which went against their constitution they were forced to vote again until the voted the way the neo-liberal order wanted.
    The left wing Remainers need to explain how a progressive government will be able to carry out its policies.
    If they simply think, as some have suggested, that exit with the current configeration of class forces is unpalatable they need to explain how falling in behind Cameron and Osbourne will help prepare the ground for an exit under different conditions.

  28. Andy Newman: As it happens the Remain unions and the Labour Party have stood apart from the mainstream Remain campaign.

    I don’t think the ‘Remain’ unions and left wing Remainers have gained much more traction in this debate than have their Lexit colleagues, comrades and fellow union members on the other channel of the discourse.
    And neither have had much effect on the actual thinking of millions of workers, among them very susbtantial numbers of union members, if not a majority, who seem to voting the leave the EU.

    I think we need to move on from what is a very unproductive debate to consider how the Labour movement is going to reconnect with the very people which it needs to become the government.

  29. Andy newman on said:

    Nick Wright,

    Size matters. The trade unions supporting a remain vote, including non TUC affiliated, amount to well over 6 million souls. The Labour Party some half million, plus some millions of voters who they have an engagement with.

    The forces of Lexit are unions with 100k members between them, political groups with combined membership of at most 10 k, and electoral impact that is regularly overshadowed by Elvis Bus Pass Party.

    The labour movement arguing for remain is talking directly to its members, especially activists ; and the Labour Party has somewhat patchily but nevertheless substantively organised a doorstep and leafleting campaign. This is not without social impact and my experience is that at the activist level at least the remain argument has prevailed.
    Yes of course the decision of both the trade unions and the Labour Party to stand outside the official Remain campaign has meant less media coverage. But the emphasis that the main enemy is the Tory govt at home is exactly the correct one to orient the labour movement for the post referendum battles ahead.
    The popular mood can be fickle, but the impact of the trade unions and Labour Party on the activist base has been substantial

  30. Andy newman on said:

    Nick Wright,

    In the era of globalisation any socialist government is constrained in its freedom of action, paradoxically this may be even more true of those with highly skilled labour, high density of capital investment and access to high technology.

    It will take skill, organisation and determination to navigate those difficult waters.

    However, your argument that we need to leave the EU now, in an unfavourable context, rather than pick the time and place of a fight, puts me in mind of the fortuitously rejected idea of launching an insurrection against Kerensky’s govt from Finland under the authority of the Bolsheviks, rather than waiting for a defensive opportunity to resist a measure by the government to send the Petrograd garrison to the front and for it to be done under the authority of the Military Revolutionary Committee.

  31. Andy newman:
    Nick Wright,

    In the era of globalisation any socialist government is constrained in its freedom of action, paradoxically this may be even more true of those with highly skilled labour, high density of capital investment and access to high technology.

    It will take skill, organisation and determination to navigate those difficult waters.

    However, your argument that we need to leave the EU now, in an unfavourable context, rather than pick the time and place of a fight, puts me in mind of the fortuitously rejected idea of launching an insurrection against Kerensky’s govt from Finland under the authority of the Bolsheviks, rather than waiting for a defensive opportunity to resist a measure by the government to send the Petrograd garrison to the front and for it to be done under the authority of the Military Revolutionary Committee.

    Really Andy, I appreciate the suppleness of thought and your incomprable resevoir of historical analogy but the draw a parallel between a speculative military adventure by an armed, militant, overwhelmingly proletarian clandestine Bolshevik party operating from a neighbouring state in the midst of a world war with the duties placed on a fledgling social democratic government to negotiate a new trading arrangement with the EU does require a leap of imagination too great for me.

  32. Andy newman: The trade unions supporting a remain vote, including non TUC affiliated, amount to well over 6 million souls. The Labour Party some half million, plus some millions of voters who they have an engagement with.

    The problem here is not the relative influence of the union leaderships taking opposing positions over the referendum but the much larger problem of the disconnect between what the Labour movement leadership (TUC, major unions, PLP, Corbyn and McDonnell – who, incidentally, seems much closer to the tradition Trotskite enthusiasm for the EU than Corbyn – is saying and what millions of workers are thinking.
    Impressive though the lineup of union leaders is I have very real doubts that they speak for their members in the aggregate. If they do it would be a new departure for some of them. On the other hand I think it probable that the leaders of RMT, Aslef and the Bakers do.

  33. Andy newman on said:

    Nick Wright,

    Indeed, i was making a tongue in cheek reference in slight self mockery following the tendency of some on the left to translate all events into Russian parallels.

    However the broader point is that political contexts matters, and changes the envelope of possibility.

  34. Andy newman on said:

    Nick Wright,

    Indeed, i was making a tongue in cheek reference in slight self mockery following the tendency of some on the left to translate all events into Russian parallels.

    However the broader point is that political contexts matters, and changes the envelope of possibility. No?

  35. Andy newman on said:

    Nick Wright,

    Yeah millions of workers are thinking “vote leave to get rid of immigrants”.

    It is a stretch to see thr overlapping view of “vote leave to enable a future left government to renationalise railways” as being on the same page.

    Given that some 3 million people in the UK, most of them workers, are EU migrants, many of them trade union members with no voice in this referendum, I am much happier making a clear stand against the xenophobia

  36. Andy newman:
    Nick Wright,

    Yeah millions of workers are thinking “vote leave to get rid of immigrants”.

    It is a stretch to see thr overlapping view of “vote leave to enable a future left government to renationalise railways” as being on the same page.

    Given that some 3 million people in the UK, most of them workers, are EU migrants, many of them trade union members with no voice in this referendum, I am much happier making a clear stand against the xenophobia

    Taking a clear stand against xenophobia is the essential bedrock of any pricipled stand for popular sovereignty. That is why it was so important to inflect the campaign to leave the EU with a strong stand for the rights of migrant workers including the right to vote, to revieve benefits in return for their contributions (of labour and taxes), to belong to a trade union, to have a family life.
    Throwing up our hands in horror when working people living in a decaying and parasitic capitalist society with a centuries long experience of colonial wars, slavery and imperialism (including a social democratic tradition of imperial wars and colonial subjugation) express contradictory positions is not much use in winning a majority for a progressive government programme.
    It is entirely possible for millions of workers to hold reactionary, even racist ideas and still be in favour of public ownership, against war, defend the NHS, hate the Tories, despise the Liberals, want comprehensive education and think of most Labour’s MPs as a bunch of middle class cuckoos. And to the extent that we are not in contract with such people we are not in working class politics.

    Just to give a flavour of these contradictions. Not so long ago, when living in Streatham I got into a dicussion with a bunch of Polish migrant workers in Lidl and then the pub. Most expressed some kind of nostalgia – handed down by their parents – for the security of life and jobs in socialist Poland. They combined this with powerful anti-semitism, reactionary Catholic views on abortion, strong support for public ownership of utilities and ship building (where some of them had worked in Poland), contrdaictory views about black people and Asians and a hatred of war. Some of the younger ones said that if they had a vote in Britain they would vote communist but not in Poland.
    TRhat is the trouble with the working class. They just wont fit into our neat categories.

  37. Nick Wright: Throwing up our hands in horror when working people living in a decaying and parasitic capitalist society with a centuries long experience of colonial wars, slavery and imperialism (including a social democratic tradition of imperial wars and colonial subjugation) express contradictory positions is not much use in winning a majority for a progressive government programme.

    However, consciousness is not static, and the current xenophobic Brexit campaign is exaggerating the negative.

    There is an apparent contradiction in your position in saying on the one hand that Lexit is arguing for Leave on an entirely different basis from the main Brexit camp, and then saying that there is a benefit for the left in standing with those workers who are vting to leave on the grounds of opposition to immigration. Which is it?

    Incidentally, while there my be no prospect of making the EU a progressive institution in the round, it is easier to reform the specifically problematic aspects of free movement of labour, the Poster Workers Directive and Viking and Laval judgements, from inside rather than outside. Indeed the Socialists and Democrats group is at this very time in battle over attempts to reform the Posted Workers Directive.

  38. Andy Newman,

    It is a contradiction. Which is why it is so important to campaign to leave. Only by challenging the exploitative and divisive effect of membership on the grounds of its facility to und4rcut wages and conditions and by arguing for an end to social dumping and for equal rights for migrant workers can we reasonably expect to win over workers gripped by right wing ideas.

    Offering them the prospect of a compromise worked out between the Commission and the Socialists and Democrats group does not make the grade.

    The voting process present people with a binary choice. In terms of the result it doesn’t matter why people are voting the way they do. It is the effect that is important.

    The consequence of freighting the vote itself with a moral value is to allow people to line up with Cameron and Osbourne because they find the style and rhetoric of Farage and Gove less appetising even though there is little difference in their approach to migration and the labour market. This is not a competition to find the best charm school.

    However, we have to evaluate the effect of the two kinds of vote. Voting Remain strengthens the main bourgeois grouping, reinforces the projection of US power in Europe and leaves intact the main instruments for enforcing the neo liberal order. Voting Leave disrupts this and provides an opening. Not much more.

    What does have a moral value is the way we campaign. Which is why I have some sympathy for the way Corbyn has operated.

    But the main Labour approach has been to leave unchallenged the main assumptions of the Remain campaign – not surprising given the dominance of the PLP. This is storing up big problems for the general election campaign in that a section of voters whose class interests would normally put them in Labour’s camp have become detached and secondly, if we get a Labour government its main policies would not be able to be implemented while we are bound by the EU treaties.

  39. Andy Newman: i think they were letting you down gently

    I doubt it, one of them threatend to thump me and this was before they knew I was a communist.
    Interestingly, the anti semitic views came strongest from two lads from the Solidarnosc ship building strongholds while those from Katowice were much more left wing.

  40. Nick Wright: Voting Remain strengthens the main bourgeois grouping, reinforces the projection of US power in Europe and leaves intact the main instruments for enforcing the neo liberal order. Voting Leave disrupts this and provides an opening. Not much more.

    The reinforcement of US power in Europe will come about in the event of Brexit, as the British establishment seeks to place more emphasis on the Atlantic Alliance and its role within NATO to compensate and retain its seat at the imperialist table.

  41. John: The reinforcement of US power in Europe will come about in the event of Brexit, as the British establishment seeks to place more emphasis on the Atlantic Alliance and its role within NATO to compensate and retain its seat at the imperialist table.

    This is an astute observation in the sense that, in event of Britain leaving the EU, an important guarantee that US interests (and those it shares with the British bourgeoisie) will thus be less assured and, consequently, there will be energetic efforts to compensate for this reduction in influence by boosting the military/political alliance.

    It illustrates precisely why the US has been so insistent on a Remain vote and thus, precisely, why a Leave vote is so important for all who see themselves as consistently anti-imperialist.

  42. Nick Wright: The voting process present people with a binary choice. In terms of the result it doesn’t matter why people are voting the way they do. It is the effect that is important.

    But as you concede yourself, the way people campaign makes a difference, and you would have needed to be living on the moon not to have noticed the increasingly febrile atmosphere about race and immigration.

    Nick Wright: But the main Labour approach has been to leave unchallenged the main assumptions of the Remain campaign

    Which is rather less of a problem than the fact that the Leave campaign has been broadly conducted on the basis of hostility to migrant labour.

    Nick Wright: The voting process present people with a binary choice. In terms of the result it doesn’t matter why people are voting the way they do. It is the effect that is important.

    It depends what people think they will achieve by voting to leave. I think you are certainly cavalier about the impact on jobs and economic stability; but many voters expect to see a change to immigration policies and will be bitter and feeling betrayed when that does not happen, as it will not. That is a recipe not for left advance, but for race to become the central issue in British politics.

  43. John on said:

    Nick Wright,

    My latest piece for RT – https://www.rt.com/op-edge/347472-steinmeier-nato-germany-russia/ – in response to the first evidence of a split between Germany and Washington over NATO sabre rattling in Eastern Europe.

    The reality is that Britain is the imperialist cuckoo in the EU nest not the other way round and that therefore Britain within the EU would be constrained somewhat in its slavish support for US foreign policy, whereas out it would not.

  44. John: The reality is that Britain is the imperialist cuckoo in the EU nest not the other way round and that therefore Britain within the EU would be constrained somewhat in its slavish support for US foreign policy, whereas out it would not.

    Your first point, about the interimperialist contradictions between Germany and the US is well observed.

    On the second point.
    Imperialist Britain is the imperialist United States’s cuckoo in the imperialist EU. Britain remaining in the EU serves to help resolve these contradictions in the US’s favour which is why the US is so keen and why the NATO wing of the Labour Party and the dominant section of the ruling class (represented by PWC, de Loitte, etc, etc and fronted by Cameron and Osbourne) is so keen on Remain.

    Britain out of the EU clips the US wings somewhat. It probably won’t do much to reduce the “slavish support for US foreign policy” but it will reduce its effectiveness and thus Britain’s utility to US attempts at hegemony. I could live quite easily with a reduction in the interest US capital has in our country.

  45. Andy Newman: But as you concede yourself, the way people campaign makes a difference, and you would have needed to be living on the moon not to have noticed the increasingly febrile atmosphere about race and immigration.

    Which is why a progressive Lexit campaign is so important. Otherwise the right completely owns an issue on which millions of working people feel their life chances turn

  46. Andy Newman: Which is rather less of a problem than the fact that the Leave campaign has been broadly conducted on the basis of hostility to migrant labour.

    Another vital reason for a progressive Lexit campaign

  47. Andy Newman: It depends what people think they will achieve by voting to leave. I think you are certainly cavalier about the impact on jobs and economic stability; but many voters expect to see a change to immigration policies and will be bitter and feeling betrayed when that does not happen, as it will not. That is a recipe not for left advance, but for race to become the central issue in British politics.

    I suggest that many people regard the actually occurring effect on employment, (deindustrialisation, poverty pay, zero hours, etc, etc) as more significant than speculation about the possible effect of an exit from the EU.

    The potency of the migration issue arises precisely because of the way in which it is fused in people’s minds with the impact of the capitalist crisis on their lives.

    British capitalism, in this late stage, is deeply unstable. We have to make up our minds whther we are more interested in stabilising it or ending it. An endlessly recurring series of compromises with our ruling class (going back to the abandnement of public ownership as a goal, PFI, pay restraint, the now more-or-less defunct ‘Social Chapter’, the current convergence over the EU referendum) serves to weaken working class bargaining strength and class consciousness.

    If we are serious about socialism we need to think through the strategic consequences of each compromise.

    I am not sure that the threat of race is likely to become a central issue in British politics. Migration certainly is.

  48. John on said:

    Nick Wright: am not sure that the threat of race is likely to become a central issue in British politics. Migration certainly is.

    Both are two sides of the same coin. Indeed, by extension, whenever the issue of migration or free movement comes up, the pressure on existing minority communities increases.

    Attempting to separate the two is as futile an endeavor as attempting to nail raindrops to the wall.

  49. Nick Wright,

    There is not much of a market for a socialism that relies on crashing our existing society and economy onto the rocks. Stabilizing the economy certainly makes sense if you can’t replace it with something better.

    You are playing a dangerous game

  50. John on said:

    Andy Newman: There is not much of a market for a socialism that relies on crashing our existing society and economy onto the rocks. Stabilizing the economy certainly makes sense if you can’t replace it with something better.

    You are playing a dangerous game

    Spot on.

  51. John,

    I think that, compared to the ways in which the contradictions inherent in capitalism are destabilising society, any contribution which the tactics deployed by the left in this referendum might make are strictly marginal.
    The dangerous logic of the position advanced here is that we, the labour movement, should place the stability of the capitalist system over the struggle for working class demands.
    Practically, this means holding back on wage struggles because this compromises the profitability of “our” capitalists in competition with others.
    It means accepting austerity because “our” banks need a bailout.
    It means accepting the neo liberal regime that the EU treaties compel because breaking with the EU will endanger the stability of the international order.
    It mean, independent of subjective feelings, class compromise.
    There is no other socialism except that which arises from the essentially destabilising class contradictions of capitalism.

  52. George Hallam on said:

    Nick Wright: British capitalism, in this late stage, is deeply unstable. We have to make up our minds whther we are more interested in stabilising it or ending it.

    Andy Newman: There is not much of a market for a socialism that relies on crashing our existing society and economy onto the rocks.

    British capitalism and the British economy are not the same thing.

    Andy Newman: Stabilizing the economy certainly makes sense if you can’t replace it with something better.

    Nobody is talking about replacing the economy. What would we eat?

    As things stand the British economy is not just dysfunctional it is unsustainable (or have you forgotten about the balance of payments?).

    In order to stabilise the British economy we need to restructure it. Most obviously we need to break the power of the City. This is not the same as abolishing capitalism.

  53. jack on said:

    Andy Newman: There is not much of a market for a socialism that relies on crashing our existing society and economy onto the rocks.

    The problem is, off the top of my head I can’t think of one solitary example of a socialist minded-government that has made a serious attempt to redistribute wealth and power, that has not come up against powerful opposition that has deliberately destabilized the economy, from Russia in 1917, to Allende in Chile or Venezuela. Even the mild reforms of Labour in the 70s were scuppered by the IMF, the threat of investment strikes and so on. Capitalism continually crashes people on the rocks.

  54. John on said:

    George Hallam: In order to stabilise the British economy we need to restructure it. Most obviously we need to break the power of the City. This is not the same as abolishing capitalism.

    I agree with this. We certainly do need to break the power of the City. Coming out of the EU however will not achieve this. Indeed in the short term at least it will place emphasis on the power of the city as the engine of an economy experiencing an almightly shock.

  55. John on said:

    jack: The problem is, off the top of my head I can’t think of one solitary example of a socialist minded-government that has made a serious attempt to redistribute wealth and power, that has not come up against powerful opposition that has deliberately destabilized the economy

    You are right, but it depends on our expectations. The post 45 Labour government comes to mind as a successful example of a socialist-minded government that not only implemented far reaching radical reforms but indeed succeeded in entrenching those reforms as the nation’s economic and social foundations for four decades.

    History though cannot be measured as a product of our time and every example you cite affirms the truth contained in the words of Zygmunt Bauman: “Like the phoenix, socialism is reborn from every pile of ashes left day in, day out, by burnt-out human dreams and charred hopes.”

  56. John, there are two things about your position outlined here which lead to further questions.
    Firstly, if breaking the power of the City is, by common agreement, an essential task, how to account for the priority the City assigns to Britain staying in the EU?
    Secondly, what is the concept of socialism at work here? I can accept, just about, the description of the post-war Labour government as ‘socialist -minded’ if that term simply encompasses the range of welfare-state measures that capitalism found necessary to maintain stability, political and economic.
    But that government, aside from its bi-partisan policy of colonial exploitaion,domestic and external anti-communism and nuclear confrontation, was not socialist if, by that term, we mean the ending of class rule by the bourgeoisie and its replacement by class rule by the working class.
    I suppose, that behind all this is the the sense that present day actually existing capitalism is not able to concede reforms in way it did after the war and the that the whole panoply of neo-liberal institutions, state and supra state, and the privatisation regime, are designed to maintain the profit system in its ongoing crisis.

  57. George Hallam,

    Had I not explicitly said “society and the economy”, you would have a point, as it is you are playing word games.

    However, economic restructuring can involve crashing large parts of the existing economic activity onto the rocks, as Thatcher did, or as the process of Weidervereinigung did in Germany. I was interested to read in Justin Lin’s excellent book on the Chinese economy how the Chinese govt studied the failure of Thatcherite restructuring as an object lesson of how NOT to deal with large staTe owned enterprises no longer internationally competitive.

    The actually existing UK economy may well be unsustainable, but the unsustainable parts still need a soft landing,

  58. John on said:

    Nick Wright: Firstly, if breaking the power of the City is, by common agreement, an essential task, how to account for the priority the City assigns to Britain staying in the EU?

    The shock to the economy would impact them as much as it would us. This is not the key question, however, since such a process would not ensue in an ideological vacuum. The far right has emerged more organised and stronger than the far left in its reponse to austerity. You cannot simply abstract this fact from the discussion or issue.

    Thus my vote on the 23rd will not be for the EU it will be against Brexit. It will be a defensive vote against a resurgent far right.

    Nick Wright: But that government, aside from its bi-partisan policy of colonial exploitaion,domestic and external anti-communism and nuclear confrontation, was not socialist if, by that term, we mean the ending of class rule by the bourgeoisie and its replacement by class rule by the working class.

    I think the millions of working class voters, soldiers, sailors, and servicemen and women who voted in that government and benefited from its mass housbuilding programme, state pensions, NHS, etc, would disagree.

    I have long disabused myself of the maximalist objective of soviet power and abolition of exchange value as the only socialism worthy of the name. Indeed, I have come to appreciate my afternoon skinny lattes at Cafe Nero in the company of a good book. I’ll take that over war communism any day. 🙂

  59. George Hallam on said:

    Andy Newman,

    Your playing with abstractions.

    No offence, but your previous posts have demonstrated that you have no understanding of the workings of the British economy.

  60. George Hallam on said:

    I see that Sterling is up 1.45 per cent at $1.4676 to the pound.

    This bad news for manufacturing.

    Britain’s balance of payments position will become even more unsustainable.

    But don’t worry, between the crisis and the catastrophe there will be plenty of time for a skinny latte.

  61. George Hallam: I see that Sterling is up 1.45 per cent at $1.4676 to the pound.

    This bad news for manufacturing.

    Britain’s balance of payments position will become even more unsustainable.

    But don’t worry, between the crisis and the catastrophe there will be plenty of time for a skinny latte.

    What manufacturing?

    And the last place you’ll find me in a crisis is in the same orbit as the far right. These colours don’t run.

  62. George Hallam on said:

    John: What manufacturing?

    The last time I looked UK manufacturing:

    employs 2.6 million people
    contributes 10% of GVA
    accounts for 44% of total exports
    represents 69% of business research and development (R&D)
    provides 15% of business investment

  63. George Hallam on said:

    John: A large proportion of which are dependent on the single market.

    UK trade in goods and services with the EU involves some bilateral surpluses (Ireland and Netherlands) and some deficits, as seen in Figure 1.8. The most substantial bilateral deficit within the EU is with Germany, which increased by 13% to £27.3 billion in 2014. The UK trade balance with respect to Germany has been in deficit for the past decade with the largest deficit recorded in 2014.

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_420406.pdf

  64. John on said:

    George Hallam: Figures from the ONS showed that Europe is gradually becoming a less important destination for UK companies. In 2000, 60% of exports went to other EU countries, but the percentage fell to 58% in 2005, 54% in 2010 and 47% in 2015.

    You do know that the UK’s position as one of the world’s most attractive destinations for FDI is based on its access to the single market. And that our manufacturing industry is dependent on this investment. And that jobs are dependent on this investment.

    Furthermore, a deficit in the balance of payments is I contend a product of six years of austerity, which has starved the UK economy of the level of investment required to take it out of recession.

    http://www.ey.com/UK/en/Issues/Business-environment/2015-UK-attractiveness-survey

  65. George Hallam on said:

    John,

    The last thing we need is FDI. First it pushes up sterling. Then the repatriation of profits increases the gap between GNP and GDP.

  66. John on said:

    George Hallam: The last thing we need is FDI. First it pushes up sterling. Then the repatriation of profits increases the gap between GNP and GDP.

    This depends on you’re position in the economy. Currency appreciation lowers the price of imports, which benefits that sector of the economy reliant on imports – i.e. retail, wholesale, manufacturing,

    The economy is akin to a see-saw. Imbalance is constant. The objective is ensuring that said imbalance is not overly extreme and does not last beyond a certain point.

  67. George Hallam on said:

    John: a deficit in the balance of payments is I contend a product of six years of austerity, which has starved the UK economy of the level of investment required to take it out of recession.

    Of course austerity hasn’t helped but we have a chronic problem. Check the figures

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments

    These shows that the UK has run a current account deficit in nearly every year since 1986.

  68. George Hallam on said:

    John: This depends on you’re position in the economy.

    You make it sound so subjective; half full – half empty; swings – rounder-bouts. C’est une question de goût, perhaps.

    To repeat we have a chronic problem with our balance of payments.

    John: The economy is akin to a see-saw. Imbalance is constant.

    The trouble is that there hasn’t been much see-sawing; our ‘end’ has been stuck in the red for 27 of the last 30 years.

    John: The objective is ensuring that said imbalance is not overly extreme and does not last beyond a certain point.

    If an ‘imbalance’ of 7 percent of GDP isn’t extreme enough then what is?

  69. George Hallam on said:

    John: What manufacturing?

    Manufacturing jobs are 8 percent of total employment in the UK.

    For comparison, financial services accounted for 8.6 percent of all jobs in Lewisham.
    For London the percentage is about 7.8 percent.
    Nationally, it’s less than 4 percent.

    “In September 2014 there were 1.1 million workforce jobs in the financial and insurance
    activities industry in the UK, 3.4% of all workforce jobs. The proportion of workforce jobs in
    the sector has not varied substantially over the period since 1997, peaking at 4.0% in March
    2002. ”
    http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/sn06193.pdf

    So UK manufacturing employs at least twice as many people as financial services.

  70. John on said:

    George Hallam: So UK manufacturing employs at least twice as many people as financial services.

    And you claim that Andy has no understanding of how the British economy works?

  71. George Hallam on said:

    John: George Hallam: So UK manufacturing employs at least twice as many people as financial services.

    And you claim that Andy has no understanding of how the British economy works?

    If you have any evidence to the contrary I’d be glad to see it.

    Much as I appreciate the the way you keep feeding me lines, I think I might be as well to ease off.

    People might suspect that you are really a Britex-er.

  72. George Hallam: Manufacturing jobs are 8 percent of total employment in the UK.

    It is an elastic concept, even within my current job, I would have said that used to work in the manufacturing sector, but since the shop floor work was shipped off to Penang, Berlin and Krakow, doing exactly the same job, I would say that the UK arm of my employer is in services not manufacturing.

    It is worth saying that locally to me, the big manufacturing concerns, for examples BMW, Honda and Avon Rubber would be at risk if the UK left the EU. It is also true that some food processing locally is currently already suffering from the uncertainty.

  73. John: I have long disabused myself of the maximalist objective of soviet power and abolition of exchange value as the only socialism worthy of the name. Indeed, I have come to appreciate my afternoon skinny lattes at Cafe Nero in the company of a good book. I’ll take that over war communism any day.

    I disqualify myself from commenting on this as I have spent the day wine tasting in the Barolo district and am about to eat a Piemontese rabbit cooked in Arneis with the rest of the bottle ccoling in the fridge..

  74. George Hallam on said:

    Andy Newman: Manufacturing jobs are 8 percent of total employment in the UK.

    It is an elastic concept, even within my current job, I would have said that used to work in the manufacturing sector, but since the shop floor work was shipped off to Penang, Berlin and Krakow, doing exactly the same job, I would say that the UK arm of my employer is in services not manufacturing.

    Classifying employees by sector is a problem. It was ever thus.

    Back in the sixties and seventies part of the reduction in ‘manufacturing employment’ was due to firms outsourcing catering, sales and other services.