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article imageOp-Ed: Luddites, loonies, and the SWP

By Alexander Baron     Aug 21, 2011 in Politics
According to the Socialist Workers Party, a defence campaign is being launched in Tottenham for those arrested in the riots. What next, a Christmas support group for turkeys?
The Socialist Workers Party’s website has a searchable archive; check out the names Mumia – the one and only – and Satpal Ram – and a host of references come up for these “political prisoners”. Convicted murderer Mumia is still in gaol; Ram was paroled in 2002, and shortly recalled to prison for unrelated offences, still a convicted murderer. Strangely, no one talks about him now.
It is one thing to get people at an Asian Dub Foundation concert cheering along “Free Satpal Ram” or a group of braindead white Hollywood liberals lobbying on behalf of a black man on death row, but to go to an area where shopkeepers have lost their livelihoods and people have lost their homes for the express purpose of lobbying on behalf of those who inflicted this misery on them shows a surprising faith in human nature.
Let’s put it another way, your next door neighbour is convicted of rape and given a life sentence. As far as you know he’s a family man, and you’ve never had a cross word with him. He has no previous convictions, so while of course you would never condone rape, you don’t mind signing a petition for leniency. But would you take that petition to the local women’s refuge and ask the residents to sign it?
According to the SWP, similar meetings are to be held in other riot torn areas, including Birmingham. Yesterday, Birmingham Police released new footage of the riots, including of two men armed with hand guns, one of whom was seen shooting at a police helicopter, another at riot officers.
An armed rioter takes aim at a police helicopter; a photo released by Birmingham Police  August 20  ...
An armed rioter takes aim at a police helicopter; a photo released by Birmingham Police, August 20, 2011.
Birmingham Police
These two incidents alone take the recent civil disorders to a whole new level; are unarmed police supposed to tackle potentially armed rioters? Of course not! This means that next time there is some possibly minor act of civil unrest, there could be armed police on the scene, and if one of them has to make a split second decision – as may have happened in the Mark Duggan incident – an innocent person could be shot and injured, or worse. Birmingham also has a large Moslem population, who along with many non-Moslems turned out in their tens of thousands for the funerals of Haroon Jahan and brothers Shahzad Ali and Abdul Musavir, who were run down in a stolen car at the height of the riots.
An official three-in-one photograph of the three men murdered in Birmingham during the August 2011 r...
An official three-in-one photograph of the three men murdered in Birmingham during the August 2011 riots.
Birmingham Police
How much support will be mustered from them for those convicted of looting their communities when some of them may be construed as being morally responsible for the deaths of three innocent young men?
There is worse to come though, because the SWP is actually glorifying the rioters. Here they are in their own words:
“...the mob has a proud and radical history”. It does?
Riots scare people with property. The greater their property, the more scared they become. So they seek protection from bodies of armed men to keep ‘the mob’ at bay.”
Fine, but who owns property? According to one source: “on paper over 14.6 million households in England (68 per cent of the total households) already own their home, [but] over half of these still have an outstanding mortgage. “
That means a lot of people own their own homes outright - ordinary people. Supermarkets also own property, so do department stores, and they own a great deal more than “us”, so the mob has the right to attack them and loot them, does it? Fine, but what happens after the looting? In Croydon, the mob, or some moron with a match, set ablaze one property that had been owned by the same family for five generations. Now that business is virtually ruined, and the people who worked for it are joining the dole queue...And so on. Fine people this mob, aren’t they? But there is even worse to come. In an earlier age “industrial rioters were far more likely to destroy machines they saw as putting them out of work, than attack their employers”.
This is a ludicrous endorsement of Luddism; if these people had had their way, there would have been no Industrial Revolution, much less computers and sophisticated websites so that the braindead followers of Karl Marx could spread their ludicrous nonsense across the known universe with the click of a mouse.
The greatest irony of this idiocy though is that the SWP is supporting a march against the English Defence League on September 3 because they are horrified at the authorities “allowing thugs to march through cities chanting racist slogans.” So there you have it, marching and chanting are out, but rioting, plundering property and perhaps even shooting at the police are the inevitable reactions of downtrodden and oppressed minorities. Forward the revolution, comrades.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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