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SPGB Socialist Opposition To War - Suppose they called a demonstration but no one came

Boris Johnson is a political iceberg. He presents himself to the public as a buffoon but below the surface there is a ruthless and calculating mind.

In October this year, in a debate on Syria and the bombing by Assad and Putin of Aleppo, he asked rhetorically, why Stop the War was not demonstrating outside the Russian Embassy. He knew the answer. Stop the War are anti-Western capitalism and will never demonstrate outside an embassy not associated with the evil United States.

Stop the War grade countries from good to bad. The US and the UK are bad, Russia is not so bad and the Kurds are good. They are anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian. Rather than stop wars they take sides in war and conflict. They have no interest in war being stopped. Their mind-set is set within Leninís Theory of Imperialism.

Stop the War is a political organisation with a political agenda largely run by Trotskyists from Counterfire, a splinter group from the Socialist workers Party. The two leading members of Stop the War are the Dave and Deidre Spart duo; John Rees and Lindsey German. John Rees is also a leading member of another front organisation, The Peoplesí Assembly against Austerity.

A flavour of Reesís politics can be seen in the following remark:

According to Rees, "Socialists(sic) should unconditionally stand with the oppressed against the oppressor, even if the people who run the oppressed country are undemocratic and persecute minorities, like Saddam Hussein." (lan Johnson ďThe Euston MomentĒ, the, 21 April 2008).

John Freedman, journalist at the GUARDIAN, also took up Johnís demand for Stop the Coalition to demonstrate outside the Russia Embassy. (If they really wanted to stop the war in Syria they would target Russia 14th October 2016). In the event, the only person who turned up outside the Russia Embassy was a pacifist Buddhist.

Stop the Warís leadership is a despicable crowd. However, why werenít Johnson and Freedman demonstrating outside the Russian Embassy? Where were all the anti- Assad and Putin forces in London? Obviously they have better things to do on a Saturday morning.

However, what Boris and Freedman do not do is question Western policy in Syria and the Middle East. They seem unable to offer a criticism of the West and its military policy in the region over the last one hundred and fifty years. Would Johnson have opposed Edenís adventurism into the Suez some 60 years ago? It is hardly unlikely. He would be leading the cheering at Portsmouth docks as the troop ships left for yet another war.

Socialists do not take sides in the conflict between opposing capitalist states. Our argument against war is to highlight the capitalist cause and the existence of competing nation states. Wars occur because of the need to secure raw resources like oil, protect trade routes and to establish spheres of strategic importance. If you do not want war, conflict, death and destruction then you first have to organise to consciously and politically abolish capitalism.

Johnson and Freedman have no interest in the abolition of capitalism. Johnson wants to accelerate the war with plans to create no-bombing zones while there will never be criticism off capitalism from the I-pad of Mr Freedman. And similarly Stop the War has no interest in establishing socialism war. However, the leadership of Stop the War only want a mass of people to mobilise, to lead and to tell what to do. They, like Boris Johnson, have a political agenda below the surface. Their politics is the same as Johnsonís; to mobilise the politically naive. In this respect, they deserve each other.

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