Having been around during the time of rate-capping and the advent of the Poll Tax, Luke Akehurst’s warning/reminder, “Exposing the Far Left”, should be taken seriously.

As he puts it:

“There are people who really want to mess up the campaign against the Tory-led government’s cuts. They aren’t all in the Tory and Lib Dem parties. Some of them are pretending to be on our side. …

The canary in the coal mine that always tells you the far left are up to something is the student movement. Why? Because it’s full of idealistic young people who are enthusiastic about politics and naive about the motives of people selling them political newspapers. That makes it the ideal recruiting ground for the 57 varieties of ultra-left faction. …

This reached its logical conclusion with the obscene spectacle in Manchester on Saturday of Socialist Workers’ Party and other far-left students throwing eggs at Labour’s Tony Lloyd MP when he tried to speak in support of students, and chasing moderate NUS President Aaron Porter down the street having interrupted his speech with chants of ‘you’re a Tory too…’ and according to the Union of Jewish Students, the anti-Semitic variant ‘Tory Jew Scum…’. Pause for a moment and digest this. What kind of leftwinger shouts antisemitic abuse at anyone? What kind of leftwinger throws eggs and shouts abuse at the people on the same side as them in the campaign against the tuition fee hike and the EMA cuts because they are not revolutionary enough? …

The student movement is just the start though. Local government is the next key target, as it was in the 1980s, as councils are about to set their budgets. Activists were dishing out leaflets outside Hackney town hall (where I’m a councillor) on Wednesday night, three quarters of the text of which attacked in aggressive and personally vitriolic terms not David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Osborne or Eric Pickles but Labour mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe.

In the ‘through the looking glass’ world of the ultra-left, Labour councils are not the victims of Eric Pickles’ massive cuts; we are the villains ‘implementing’ them. We are to be harangued, insulted and abused until we agree to replicate the 1985 ratecapping rebellion by setting illegal unbalanced budgets. That won’t stop any cuts – they’ll just be made by officials instead, but with no Labour input into deciding which services to protect. But the people campaigning for it think it would ‘send a signal’ to government. Actually the signal it would send is that we were completely irresponsible. Eric Pickles is laughing all the way to the polling station about this because his strategy of localising the blame for cuts on councils is being implemented by the far left. It’s a classic Trotskyite transitional demand – call for councils to do something they can’t – spend money the government hasn’t given them – then when this doesn’t happen tell people revolution is the only solution. A tactical objective for the far left is to get left Labour councillors to break the whip and get themselves expelled from their Labour groups – thereby fracturing the unity of the Labour party and creating political martyrs.

On Saturday in Hackney as Labour members used street stalls to promote the 26 March TUC national demo against the cuts and explain their impact on one of the UK’s most deprived areas, the SWP counter-leafleted the people our members were talking to, attacking the Labour council and saying there was no difference between Labour’s deficit-reduction plans and the Tories’ (surely halving the deficit not eliminating it is a difference of 50 per cent, quite aside from the difference in emphasis between the parties on the balance of cuts versus tax increases?). Another unachievable transitional demand – call for Labour to support having no cuts at all.

In weeks to come the SWP have announced they will be turning up en masse at individual Labour councillors’ advice surgeries, effectively stopping residents with real problems seeing their councillors, and creating a very intimidating atmosphere.”

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