Author Topic: Red Andy, the Labour hopeful who says Stalin improved living standards and the Berlin Wall was 'a great success'  (Read 806 times)

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Offline Cincinnatus

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Mama mia, and I thought de Blasio in NYC was a complete piece of work.

EC, you want to field this one? I think he may be your next MP.

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‘Red’ Ed Miliband is keen to play down suggestions that Labour has ‘lurched to the Left’ under his leadership.

But the message doesn’t seem to have reached leafy Chippenham, where the party has just selected an apologist for Stalin as its candidate for the next General Election.

At first glance, Andy Newman would appear to be a good fit with the affluent Wiltshire seat, held by Liberal Democrat Duncan Hames.

Educated at a private school and Oxford University, Mr Newman’s CV bears the hallmarks of a modern Labour politician.

However, a delve into some of his recent writings suggests the union official is determined to keep the Red Flag flying over the West Country.

He has called the Berlin Wall ‘a great success’ and praised the ‘significant improvement in working class living standards’ during Stalin’s Great Terror.

He described the attacks on Pearl Harbour as the ‘opening salvo in a war between two rival imperialisms’ – equating America with wartime Japan under Emperor Hirohito – and branded the Dalai Lama a ‘figurehead for slavery’.

In the run-up to his selection last month, the telecoms engineer set out some of his uncompromising beliefs in articles in ultra-left-wing publications.

Paying tribute to Stalin’s character, whose brutal dictatorship led to the deaths of millions of citizens, he wrote earlier this year: ‘We should recognise how Stalin was the creature of his times; and not alone in culpability.

‘What is more, the character of Stalin, who almost through a feat of sheer will industrialised and militarised the USSR to defend itself against the Nazi threat, was also the character that ruthlessly regarded people as expendable. It did give Stalin the attributes needed to be a great war leader’.

And in 2009, Mr Newman, who is the local branch secretary of the GMB union, used a piece in Socialist Unity to put a positive gloss on the tyrant’s rule.

Describing him in apparently respectful terms as ‘the Stalin’, he wrote: ‘Free market capitalism had seen worldwide depression in the 1930s and had led to fascism and war.

'Meanwhile the USSR’s economy had achieved staggering success in the same period, including a significant improvement in working class living standards, despite the Stalin’s terror’.

In the same article, he wrote warmly of the Berlin Wall: ‘If we set to one side the issue of personal liberty, the [Berlin] wall was a great success.’

In other writings he has described modern Britain as a ‘marriage’ between England, Wales and Scotland which is ‘based on shared guilt’, with the ‘bloodstains of the British Empire soaked equally into the souls of the English, Welsh and Scots’.

He has also opposed Tibetan resistance to the socialist Chinese ‘hegemonic state sector’, dismissing the Dalai Lama as a ‘feudal figurehead’ of the ‘slavery and barbarism’ in Tibet’s past.

Last night, Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps said Mr Newman’s ‘grossly offensive beliefs will shock ordinary people up and down the country’ and called for his deselection.

He added: ‘Suggestions that the Berlin Wall was a good thing and Stalin was a great leader have no place in politics today – the Labour Party must act immediately and sack this throwback.’

A Labour spokesman said: ‘This is a desperate smear attempt by the Tories. Labour are concentrating on addressing the cost-of-living crisis.’


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2456413/Andy-Newman-Labour-hopeful-says-Stalin-improved-living-standards-Berlin-Wall-great-success-Ed-says-party-HASNT-lurched-Left.html

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‘If we set to one side the issue of personal liberty, the [Berlin] wall was a great success.’
Yeah, if we just set personal liberty aside, then what the heck. I love it.  :silly:
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

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Done a quick and dirty bit of research:

He is a perfect fit for the old guard who run the Labour Party - Stalinists to a man - but in Chippenham? That is a very liberal constituency. Upper middle class, well off, most residents university educated home owners and socially aware. He's unlikely to gain the seat, as the current MP, Mr. Hames, is very popular locally.

If he makes a decent showing, which is possible, he'll be parachuted into a safe seat in the Midlands (most likely in a mining district) or the North of England, where his practical profession (engineer) will pay dividends above the usual party line/traditional vote.

The choice is an interesting one by the selection committee though. As the Conservatives have been forced more towards the center by the Lib Dems, there has been less and less clear blue water between the two main parties. Labour has been forced to move further left as a result. There have been hints, but this is the clearest signal yet.
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Online EC

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In a remarkable example of synchronicity, this just popped up on my news feed:

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(Reuters) - What is left for Europe's mainstream center-left?

Socialist and social democratic parties that shaped the protective European social model and ruled much of the continent a decade ago have been among the chief political casualties of the financial and economic crisis since 2008.

More than just a cyclical trough, this may be a longer-term decline because the left has lost its political narrative.

Many young and blue-collar voters, angry over mass unemployment and spending cuts, have deserted to protest parties of the anti-capitalist hard left or the Eurosceptical, anti-immigrant far right, as the political landscape fragments, polling evidence shows.

Others trust middle-of-the-road conservatives such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel more than the left to run the economy in tough times. And some have simply stopped voting out of disillusionment.

Most worryingly for a movement born in the 19th century of organized labor's struggle for better working conditions and living standards, the belief in collective social progress has lost much of its credibility in mature advanced economies.

Income inequality has increased across the industrialized West since the crisis began, according to OECD figures, widening social gaps that the left set out to close.

"Social democracy nowadays basically amounts to the defense of the status quo and preventing the worst," says Olaf Cramme, director of Policy Network, a think-tank for progressive center-left politics.

Germany's opposition Social Democrats (SPD) have just recorded their second worst election result since World War Two.

They now face an ugly trilemma between entering a "grand coalition" under Merkel on unequal terms, staying out and seeing her possibly team up with the Greens, the SPD's natural partner, or being punished by voters at a rerun election.

Socialists or social democrats still head 13 of the 28 EU governments and are in coalition in five others, but they are often driven to pursue unpopular policies that hit the interests of their own electorate.

"It is an extremely difficult balance," Social Democratic Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt told Reuters in an interview. "We had some reforms that have been seen as quite harsh, but they have also been necessary.

"I think we have found the right formula, not to be popular because we have not actually reached that yet, but to do the right thing for the country," she said.

Austria's Socialists lost votes last month, though they remain the largest party. Italy's center-left Democratic Party, which now heads a shaky left-right coalition, bled votes to the anti-establishment 5-Star protest movement in a February election and is driven by factional squabbling.

In Greece, Ireland and Spain, center-left parties are paying a high electoral price for having supported public pay and pension cuts required by international creditors.

FEWER MEMBERS, LESS MONEY

In Britain, the opposition Labour party is still distrusted because it presided over a deregulated financial market bonanza that ended in the crash of 2008, wrecking the reputation for economic competence once built by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

In France, one of the few countries with an absolute center-left parliamentary majority, Socialist President Francois Hollande is deeply unpopular as his government dithers between old-style tax-and-spend policies and half-hearted welfare and labor market reforms, satisfying no one.

With the membership and funding of mainstream parties dwindling in many countries, the center-left has rarely kept pace with new vectors of political action via social media and grassroots initiatives.


From Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/14/us-europe-left-analysis-idUSBRE99D02V20131014

It illustrates perfectly the need of the left to move ever more leftwards.

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famousdayandyear

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In a remarkable example of synchronicity, this just popped up on my news feed:

It illustrates perfectly the need of the left to move ever more leftwards.


Good Morning, EC. 

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Good Morning, EC.

Morning famous!  :seeya:

Not much of general interest so far today.
Anyone who tells you you can't buy happiness has never been in a book store or an animal shelter.

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famousdayandyear

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Morning famous!  :seeya:

Not much of general interest so far today.

Not that there is no interest, just too bleary on EST to function.  Just wanted you to know someone here appreciates the time difference.  Will respond more cogently later--I hope. 

Online EC

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Not that there is no interest, just too bleary on EST to function.  Just wanted you to know someone here appreciates the time difference.  Will respond more cogently later--I hope.

What on Earth are you still up for? It's got to be 03:30 for you and you been posting most of the day.

Try get some sleep?  :beer:
Anyone who tells you you can't buy happiness has never been in a book store or an animal shelter.

You are the result of 3 billion years of evolutionary success. Act like it.

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