Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why HOPI should be accepted for membership in StWC

I thought I would stick my tuppence h'alfpenny regarding this debate around HOPI (Hands Off People of Iran).

To put my own cards on the table, Andrew Murray of StWC is wrong to decline membership to HOPI.

I hope this ludicrous decision is overturned soon. There is sabre rattling regarding an attack on Iran and another country to be targeted by the imperialist west.

"The main focus of StWC is, however, on challenging the policies of the British government in respect of the war, which includes respecting the rights of all peoples to self-determination.."

I am an anti-imperialist. Regime change has to be from within by the self-determination of the Iranian people. But why can't HOPI join? I think the arguments used by Murray are red herrings esp. One argument being that HOPI being a front for the CPGB. And I can't see how HOPI really counterposes the politics of StWC either.

There are probably other fronts…and many groups do indeed have more fronts than the average sea side town! But a coalition (yes, the word, “coalition”) should accept them. Unless if it is a deliberate attempt to smash and disrupt your group up then yes, you would bar them.

But this doesn't seem to be the case with HOPI as there are people involved who are consistent principled anti-imperialists. You politically argue your points by NOT barring them, or the specious argument that “the CPGB are a collective pain in the arse” is nonsense… Reality check here, name me a group that isn’t?

This decision should be overturned as it will give StWC a very bad name along with the anti-war movement overall. It will start an unhealthy precedent and attacks democracy. If we are gonna get picky about political affliliations and picking and choosing then what’s Andrew Murray’s group again, many people think StWC is an “SWP front” and so on… glass houses, throwing stones come to mind as well.

If this is a "front" by the CPGB then they are utterly clever in hoodwinking comrades. The list of names include some I have known for years and have been around the political block for years and would know a "front organisation" if they saw one.

If also we use this bizarre logic of denying HOPI membership then why are Labour lefties allowed? I mean, we are members of a pro-war, pro-imperialist party. Murray's argument falls to pieces. It shouldn't be allowed any gravitas.

I think Charlie Pottins is correct in asserting: "If Hands off the People of Iran was really just set up as some devious CPGB stunt, they have been clever with it. The supporters' list includes some well-known figures whose standing in the anti-war, labour and> progressive movements few would doubt (e.g.John> Pilger, Ken Loach, Naomi Klein, MPs John McDonnell and Harry Cohen, and Green MEP Caroline Lucas...).

I think it boils down, partly, to people disliking the CPGB and that is pretty subjective and apolitical. There's are many groups on the Left that I find annoying and narksome but I don't think, hey, lets bar 'em. I work with them, argue and engage with them. HOPI has other groups/individuals involved including Organisation of Revolutionary Workers of Iran, and Workers Left Unity Iran, so let them have membership.

The treatment of HOPI will fuel the fires of the pro-war "left" while rubbing their hands in glee something which coulda/shoulda been avoided.

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