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Paul T Horgan: Owen Jones and his anti-austerity camp followers are today’s useful idiots


Nineteen eighty-seven was an eventful year. Her Majesty celebrated her fortieth wedding anniversary. Margaret Thatcher won her third and sadly final election victory. It was the year of the Great Storm. The guards at the Berlin Wall murdered only one potential escapee that year, one Lutz Schmidt, whose crime was aspiration for a better life to be achieved through hard work in the West. His attempt had already failed and he was trapped by the Wall when he was machine-gunned in the back. His killer received a medal and a bonus from a grateful state.

There was also a financial crash, which took place at an unfortunate time. The Conservative government was privatising its final tranche of its once-strategic holding in British Petroleum. The price at which the stock was to be sold was set before prices tumbled. Anyone who bought the new BP shares on the closing date of the offer would make an automatic loss. It was cheaper to buy in the market. And yet Channel 4 News recorded some people turning up to the London offices of the bank that was managing the sale, cheque in hand, to buy the stock. I remember ordering myself to scrutinise these misinformed souls. “Paul,”, I said to myself, “you are looking at some genuinely stupid people”.

Not all of the people who marched last Saturday in central London to protest at the government’s policies were as genuinely stupid as those I saw twenty-eight years ago who were paying a premium just to get freshly-privatised stock. Instead the marchers were merely the useful idiots of neo-communism.

Their propagandists said there were a quarter of a million protesters. Aerial photography places the figure at 25,000 or 0.1 per cent of the electorate. But, like its direct ancestor Soviet communism, neo-communism cannot survive without such people, however few in number they are. It needs the support of  those who lack the ability to think critically.  The march was organised by a group called the ‘People’s Assembly against Austerity’. The clue is in the name. ‘People’s Assembly’ can be translated as ‘Soviet’.

In essence this organisation is protesting at the policies of austerity that were effectively signed up to by all the major parties – including Labour – that contested seats in England. The vast majority of the electorate voted for austerity policies of one kind or another slightly over a month ago.

What the ‘People’s Assembly’ stands against is well-known. What is less well-publicised is what this organisation stands for. Despite it being clearly laid out on its website, no major news organisation has taken to the time to report this. One of the founders, Owen Jones, a left-wing talking head who is unfortunately rarely off our screens, is never challenged over his policies. Instead he is allowed by supine broadcasters to moan about what he does not like, the groups he claims to represent, to describe his utopian vision, and slander high-achievers who are rewarded for their efforts with hate-filled speech from someone who has apparently never held down a proper job that created wealth.

The website of the ‘People’s Assembly’ conforms to one of the two types of communist writing. The first type is the sesquipedalian and heavily-bracketed dense prose that is designed to advance the status of the author amongst his ideological peers by demonstrating superior adherence to Marxist ideology by discussing the supposed virtues of dialectic materialism, democratic centralism or some such while pointing out the incorrect stance of some other comrade. The second type presents economic arguments for people with a reading and reasoning age of 11, if that. This is what can be found on the ‘People’s Assembly’ website.

These latter-day Soviets advocate state capitalism, dissolving all the banks and replacing them with a single state-controlled entity. The State would have all people’s savings and all the bank accounts of every business and would inevitably become the only entity capable of buying goods and services as it withheld loans from those it wanted to drive to the wall. It could direct the economy by effectively nationalising all the businesses and destroying the private sector. In any case the ‘People’s Assembly’ want all privatised businesses to be renationalised. Money would lose its function as a storage of value and provider of price information. A maximum wage would be imposed and the inevitable capital flight suppressed.

Multinational corporations would be kicked out or placed under stifling control. Small businesses would have to be re-organised as workers’ co-operatives. Large businesses would be broken up or forced to operate unprofitably. Over-manning would be the norm as redundancies would be made illegal and employers would lose control over who they hire. Capital would be imprisoned in these shores to be directed according to ideology instead of efficiently creating wealth.

Trades unions would be given the free reign they abused during the Wilson/Callaghan years to crush individual rights and dictate government policy as well as supplanting the role of management in business. Private car ownership would be restricted as would private home ownership. Britain would be forced out of Nato and its armed forces reduced to a people’s militia designed for home defence or more likely suppression of ‘counter-revolutionary’ groups, imagined or otherwise.

While only part of this is made explicit on the website, all of what I have written here are the means by which the ends of the ‘People’s Assembly’ would be achieved. This is what people were demonstrating for when they were protesting against austerity on Saturday. This is just neo-communism.

If Owen Jones had his way, the English would become the new ‘boat people’. Emigration of the talented would have to be controlled. We would have our own versions of Lutz Schmidt.

Had some members of the Conservative party been found to have links to the English Defence League or some similar extreme organisation, it would remain headline news until the members were purged. In the Labour Party and in the trade union movement, consorting with neo-communists is seen as routine. A number of Labour MPs attended and addressed the march on Saturday. This is an obvious inequality that Labour are perfectly happy with.

Communism of all kinds is evil, provably so. It openly kills people who have aspiration, like poor Lutz Schmidt and thousands of others who failed to escape its clutches and build better lives away from the commissars, cronies and apparatchiks. Labour MPs who consort with neo-communists and agree with their principles should really be required to leave the party. Instead they are allowed to join leadership campaigns to ensure a ‘proper debate’. The Berlin Wall fell. The debate is actually over. Capitalism triumphed. Labour made Tony Blair leader because of this. They now despise him, despite the three election victories he delivered. Labour knows exactly how to win an election by appealing to the centre ground where the majority of the voters exist. They want to win on their narrow terms, not the electorate’s.

Of course, as I have written before, communists can no longer describe themselves as such for fear of ridicule and scorn since the dramatic collapse of the USSR and the exposure of its failings. So instead they re-invent themselves with these neo-communist front organisations. Other ones are the benignly-titled Green Party and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. They appoint themselves to act in the name of so-called ‘victims’ of our modern society, most of whom are never held personally responsible for their apparent state of disadvantage. They promise this constituency a utopian future of pagan earth-worship that is only being denied due to the supposed barriers of capitalism. What they always fail to do is to describe in detail the means to achieve this utopia and the dark consequences. They hope that no-one remembers the USSR, the gulags and the Berlin Wall. They make sure that no-one forgets the gas chambers and unthinkingly associate all their enemies with them.

Whenever Owen Jones, the mouthpiece for the ‘People’s Assembly’, is challenged on television over his politics, his tactic is to talk over and shout down the challenger. The broadcasters should be wise to this, but instead they inexplicably fawn over this left-wing rentaquote, when they should be calling him to account. Thus the only way to discover the closet neo-communism advocated by Jones is to read the website and to have some sense of how such policies have operated in the past.

Presumably few of the people demonstrating on Saturday read the site or if they did, their hatred and ignorance prevented proper comprehension of the contents. As such they were the useful idiots used to validate a provably obsolete political philosophy that is anti-life and anti-hope.

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Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan
Paul T Horgan works in the IT Sector. He lives in Berkshire.

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