WeeklyWorker

26.04.2018
Not so glorious: the Catholic church always provided dominant ideology

Across the board

The AWL is moving to the right at an ever-increasing pace, observes Mike Macnair

It is, to say the least, unusual to ‘review’ one edition of a fortnightly political newspaper. What follows is, in truth, a polemic. But it responds to most of Solidarity issue number 466 for April 11 2018 rather than, as polemics usually do, to single articles or grouped articles. It does so because this issue of the paper is a very sharp illustration of the fact that the political ideas of the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, which produces Solidarity, are in fairly rapid movement to the right.

This organisation has long been characterised by an oddball anti-anti-imperialism, with the result that it should perhaps be called the Alliance for Foreign Office Liberty, and its paper Western Solidarity. It seems that the AWL’s commitment to believing what they tell you in the mainstream media is now ‘leaking’ into other aspects of the group’s politics - maybe we should call it the Alliance for Workers’ Liberalism.

Israel-Palestine

The front page of the paper responds to the Israeli shooting of demonstrators at the Gaza siege wire, which began on March 30 - and perhaps to pressure affecting the AWL, which has been largely lined up with the media and Labour right on the supposed ‘Labour anti-Semitism’ issue. It headlines “For an independent Palestine”; but above this are four large straplines which qualify the point: ‘Protest at Israeli shootings’ (sound); ‘Two nations, two states’ (not violently objectionable); ‘Recognise Israel’s right to exist’ (which, in fact, undercuts the rest); and ‘Peace and workers’ unity across the borders’ (and motherhood and apple pie too, no doubt).

Inside, there are two pages in theory ‘on’ the Gaza shootings - one by Martin Thomas, but with the strapline, ‘What we say’; and the other an unattributed leader. Both combine some reportage from the mass media with restatement of the AWL’s particular line on Israel-Palestine. To balance the (limited) pro-Palestinian elements of these articles, Matt Cooper has a page on ‘Learning from the mural row’ and Will Sefton three columns of ‘Momentum on anti-Semitism’ (merely reprinting the recent statement, and one adopted in 2016, but never published).

Martin Thomas’s ‘Gaza: mobilising for an internationalist response’ begins by claiming that the use of snipers against a demonstration was “not a new sort of response from the Israeli army”, referring, however, only as far back as December 2017. While the Israeli Defence Forces have certainly used grossly excessive force against Gaza in the past, they have usually done so on the pretext of Hamas missile or other attacks across the siege perimeter.

“War dangers are looming” says Thomas:

To mobilise broadly for peace - and for a political settlement that can allow peace; namely the establishment of a genuinely independent Palestinian state, in contiguous territory, alongside Israel - is urgent. In the first place that has to be a mobilisation in support of the opposition inside Israel ...

“Contiguous” is a weasel word. The West Bank and Gaza are plainly not “contiguous”, and making them so would require Israel not merely to restore land occupied in 1967, but to give up some taken in 1948 - at a minimum making Israel not “contiguous”.1 The reality is that the demand for a “contiguous” Palestinian state is code for a Palestinian state in the West Bank only and accepting the continued existence of a good many of the illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank. It is, in fact, cover for support for the various ‘Oslo process’ proposals - which have all come to nothing, because Israel, including earlier governments and not just the current far-rightist one, insists that ‘defensible borders’ require it to retain military control of the Jordan valley and (by agreement with the Egyptian regime) the Gaza-Egypt boundary.

It is for this reason that “Recognise Israel’s right to exist” undermines all the rest. The May 14 1948 Declaration of the establishment of the state of Israel asserts plainly that

In the year 5657 (1897), at the summons of the spiritual father of the Jewish state, Theodore Herzl, the First Zionist Congress convened and proclaimed the right of the Jewish people to national rebirth in its own country.

This right was recognised in the Balfour Declaration of November 2 1917, and reaffirmed in the mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.2

That is, the declaration claims that Israel is the state of all the Jewish people of the world, not the state of its inhabitants. The truth is that it is only this claim which can justify the view that anti-Zionism is ipso facto anti-Semitic: because it allegedly discriminates against Jews as such in relation to the right of nations to self-determination.

In this context, even the demand that Israel give up the West Bank, dismantling the settlements, and stop besieging Gaza, amounts to denying “Israel’s right to exist” as what it claims to be: that is, the state of all the Jewish people in the world.

The left should stand for the self-determination of the Hebrew inhabitants of Israel-Palestine. But to be for “the right of Israel to exist” as the state of all the Jewish people in the world is unavoidably also to be for the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Israel, the West Bank, etc, for Israeli expansionism, and hence for endless war.

Thomas goes on to assert that “the left” supported the creation of Israel and the defeat of the (British-led) Arab armies. This is, of course, true. As of 1948, support for Israel was Soviet policy;3 and also a blow against British imperialism, which most of the left saw as the ‘main enemy’ in the same way as US imperialism is regarded today. Soviet policy only shifted to backing the Arab nationalist regimes in conflicts with Israel in 1954.4 It took a while to carry the western communists with it. The bulk of the far left only shifted to opposition to Israel after the 1967 war - once it became clear that the Israelis intended to hold on to the occupied territories. Thomas is ‘spinning’ the history to give artificial support to his line.

The leader, ‘Protest against Israeli shootings’, largely consists of reportage of the events, though it displays some tendency to blame Hamas by playing up its aspiration to “the destruction of Israel and the creation of a theocratic Islamic state in the whole of historic Palestine”. “But Hamas”, it tells us, “even with the backing of its regional-imperialist ally, Iran, is calculably not in a position to launch the war of invasion and conquest against Israel ...” (emphasis added). I have added emphasis to plain neocon nonsense: Hamas is an opponent of the Iranian regime, originally supported by the Saudis and Gulf states (indeed, at first also given a light touch by the Israeli state on the basis that it would undermine the secular nationalist Fatah and its allies).

Anti-Semitism

Matt Cooper’s ‘Learning from the mural row’ correctly picks up that the images in the contested mural were traditionally anti-Semitic, and that the artist, Kalen Ockerman, is a fan of conspiracy theorist David Icke (aliens in disguise are controlling us). But his solution:

The left anti-Semitism that was once called the socialism of fools saw the Jewish capitalists as being particularly worthy of attention. It is now being updated with the word ‘Zionist’ in place of ‘Jewish”. Until the left seeks to understand Israel without the demonising bogeys of absolute anti-Zionism, such left anti-Semitism as Ockerman’s will erupt again and again.

This too is nonsense. The essence of the “socialism of fools” was the idea that finance capital, figured as Jewish, was usurious and parasitic, while industrial capital (and, indeed, noblesse oblige aristo landlordism, as opposed to small-scale ‘Rachmanite’ landlordism5)was socially meritorious. As an anti-Semitic form, it invited the working class to solidarise with ‘national’ capital and the Catholic church against the supposed Jew parasites.

The idea that finance capital is peculiarly parasitic is still with us, and it can very easily slide over into classical anti-Semitism - as it seems it did in Ockerman’s mural. But this idea has in itself nothing to do with Zionism and the state of Israel, which are political forms. They are not particularly closely connected with finance capital.

The only route there could be to such an argument would be via the financialised condition of US capital and (more extensively) of British capital. This financialisation might make the US’s geopolitical commitment to ‘blocking control’ of the Middle East against any dangerous unification and against potential great power rivals (and hence to the state of Israel as another ‘unsinkable aircraft carrier’) superficially appear as a product of ‘financial’ dominance. But in fact this policy was forced through by the Truman administration against the British, when the US was still industrially totally dominant in the post-World War II period.

Since left anti-Semitism grows out of the illusion of a virtuous capitalism without finance or an alliance of the workers with industrial employers against finance, and out of Catholic social teaching (which is still with us) and its Islamic equivalents, giving guarantees to Zionism will make not one iota of difference to its tendency to resurface.

The overemphasis shown here on left anti-Semitism is like the Daily Mail’s massive publicity given to every (genuine) case of a false accusation of rape, in order to undermine any attempt to get more true accusations of rape believed. It is Tory and Blairite spin.

Syria

The back page headlines: ‘Douma atrocity is a sign of Assad’s victory’. The story that follows, by Simon Nelson, is taken pretty much directly from the narrative offered by the foreign office-briefed media. It is assumed that there must have been a gas attack, and that it must have been by the Assad regime. No attention is paid to the observation made by a number of commentators that, since Obama announced in 2012 that the use of chemical weapons was a “red line”, there have been a series of alleged gas attacks, each of which has occurred when the Islamist jihadis opposing the Assad regime (currently the former al Qa’eda affiliate, Jaish el-Islam) have been on the verge of a serious defeat, and none of which have actually been confirmed to be the work of the regime.6

Nelson tells us that “For seven years Syria has been the battleground of clashes of regional imperialist rivalries, with Russian and the US supporting their own chosen sides as and when they chose to.” This is again stunningly faux naive, representing the conflict as merely regional, when it has been geopolitical from the beginning. The events started with the Arab spring. But the bloggers and so on who launched this movement soon found that the real forces on the ground were Islamists, both because neoliberal reforms had previously made many people dependent on mosque-based charities and because the Islamists were immediately backed and armed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. These latter are plain US clients.

There is no doubt from the outset that the US has sought to find a ‘credible’ opposition to the Ba’athist regime, with a view to overthrowing it; though the US has been slightly embarrassed in this project by the fact that US interests in Iraq have prohibited straightforwardly backing Islamic State. On the other hand, Russia has been an ally of the Ba’athist regime since Soviet times, and has an unambiguous and important direct geopolitical interest in preserving its Tartus naval base in Syria, which would certainly be kicked out if US clients took control of the country.

The Syrian civil war thus has been from the beginning, as it still is, about geopolitical conflict between the US and its allies, and Russia and its allies. The “regional imperialist rivalries” are merely an AWL theoretical fantasy, in which middle-ranking powers are treated as “imperialists” to provide cover for the AWL’s pro-‘western’ line.

Finally, Nelson ends by stating: “The displacement of refugees both within Syria and outside its borders has caused a huge humanitarian crisis” (certainly true). He goes on to claim that “This will, in the immediate future, get worse, as Assad restores ‘order’.” The second point is obviously false; it is quite clear from extremely numerous past examples that even very brutal and repressive regimes, if they achieve ‘order’, make fewer refugees than open civil wars.

Nelson on the “humanitarian crisis” is merely parroting the Tories’ and neocons’ ‘legal’ arguments for bombing Syria. He correctly says that the Syrian Ba’athist regime is “brutal”, though he commits the usual spin of the mass media of ‘personalising’ the regime to the individual, Bashir al-Assad. It ought to be clear since Iraq and Libya, if it was not before, that such dictators rest on political support from soldiers, policemen, bureaucrats and so on. He also says, mealy-mouthedly, that Jaish el-Islam “are not friends of the left, women, the labour movement or minorities”. Perhaps we are being invited to forget that the AWL has in the past ‘refused to condemn’ US operations against jihadi terrorists, on the ground that these are more reactionary than the US.

The reality is that there is no common thread to the AWL’s positions on these issues over the last 20 years beyond prettifying US, British and Israeli operations and their local supporters and making their opponents - brutal enough - look beyond the pale of humanity.

Ireland and Brexit

All of what I have discussed so far is, of course, the AWL’s traditional anti-anti-imperialism. The ‘leaking’ of liberalism and tailing the liberal media into other aspects of the AWL’s politics is visible in the coverage of Brexit; of Hungary; and of Poland.

Mordechai Ryan’s article (covering one and a half pages) is headlined ‘Ireland is a strong reason for Labour to oppose Brexit’. The article is mostly standard AWL narrative of the Irish question; and correctly makes the point that the sharpness of national issues in Ireland was greatly reduced by British and Irish membership of the EU. Brexit, of course, puts this at risk - as we have been told over and over again by the liberal or ‘remainer’ part of the mass media.

How much it puts it at risk is rather debatable. As Kevin Bean has argued in recent issues of this paper, it seems that the substance of the Good Friday agreement and all the rest is Sinn Féin abandoning both its 32-county republican aspirations, for anything but the rather remote future; and abandoning its capacity to carry on armed struggle/‘terrorism’. It is far from clear how the IRA actually could rearm in the event that the Tory-Brexiteers and their Democratic Unionist Party allies simply repudiated the Good Friday agreement and restored both the hard border and a majoritarian Stormont; a significant part of the IRA’s arms supplies came indirectly from the ‘eastern bloc’ and, more recently, from Libya.

The Republic of Ireland, which talks rather loudly about the sanctity of the Good Friday agreement, has much to lose from a no-deal Brexit, because its economy remains closely tied to the UK’s, and might be forced out of the EU to retain alignment with the UK.7 This, rather than the re-emergence of the border issue, would really threaten the revival of Irish anti-British nationalism. But still the question posed would be capacity to act.

Moreover, as long as the 26-county state was doing well as an offshore operation in the EU, mass support for nationalism was undermined by EU membership. But the defeat of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ also undermines nationalism, though in a different way: the defeat of the pretensions of the 26-county state to independent economic development through offshoring casts just as much doubt on the independent economic potential of a hypothetical 32-county state.

But Ryan’s article does not address these issues. Rather, it analyses the conflicts in Ireland in the late 19th-20th centuries as a matter of pure identity politics:

In the dispute between unionists and nationalists (and between unionist-allied Tories and nationalist-allied Labour) was: what was the proper political unit within which the constitutional status of Ireland, and of Ireland’s relation to Britain, would be decided?

For Irish unionists and the Tory-Unionist party, it was the UK; for nationalists and liberals it was the island of Ireland.

Each camp in Ireland, unionist or nationalist, rejected the other’s identity. ‘British-Irish’ or ‘Irish-Irish’ (the term ‘Irish-Irelander’ was in use then) indicated which identity was more important to each camp, British or Irish. That is how such national-communal conflicts work.

Such a division can be regulated either by a democratic apportionment of rights, in accord as far as possible with the wishes of all those involved, or by conflict. In Ireland both camps looked to British allies to use the British state to coerce the other Ireland - the nationalists to the liberals, the unionists to the Tories.

This startlingly makes Tory leader Andrew Bonar Law appear as a mere tail wagged by the Ulster unionists. Bonar Law promoted protectionism and ‘empire preference’, together with opposition to home rule, which had split the Liberals; and on this basis organised a 1912 merger of the Tory Party and the British Liberal Unionist Party, mainly based in Scotland, the west Midlands and the West Country.

Wholly absent, too, is the geopolitical interest of early 20th century Germany in trouble for Britain in Ireland - reflected in German arms for the unionists in 1914 and the German attempt to supply arms to the republicans in 1916 (James Connolly’s Parvus-like ‘pro-German left’ line may be connected); and, conversely, Britain’s absolutely vital interest in control of Ireland for naval protection of its shipping (which Germany attempted to attack during the 1914-18 war).

Given the author’s explanation of partition and ‘the Troubles’ entirely in terms of internal Irish politics, it is unsurprising that the article argues that “British and Irish EU membership from 1973 restored large elements of a reunification of Britain and Ireland by putting both in the common political-economic framework of an emerging European federal state” - and that “The Good Friday agreement was only, as a constitutional nationalist put it, ‘Sunningdale for slow learners’”. The defeat of Sunningdale by the Ulster Workers Council strike of 1974 almost disappears from view. And so on.

The AWL’s line on Ireland since it was revised in the 1980s was a branch of its anti-anti-imperialism. But anti-anti-imperialism is not in itself a ground for ‘remain’ politics on the Brexit issue. The relationship arises because anti-anti-imperialism involves taking the bien-pensant liberal media as a trustworthy guide to politics. This framework produces Ryan’s conclusion, which merely repeats the headline. In short, it has nothing to say in positive politics beyond tailing the liberals on Brexit.

There is in this aspect of the AWL’s current line a simple failure to consider why sections of the working class voted for Brexit (and, conversely, why the organised workers’ movement was at most tepidly opposed to it) except in terms of ‘backwardness’. The point here is not that Brexit is right. On the contrary, it is both an illusion and a form of right-populism. But right-populism has taken hold, or is taking hold, because of the failure of the left to offer a real alternative to the neoliberals and ordoliberals’ ‘human rights’ and ‘law-governed society’; and because the practical meaning of ‘human rights’ and ‘law-governed society’ is rights for international capital at the expense both of labour and of the petty bourgeoisie (and, outside the UK, of small farmers).

Hungary

Tailing the liberals reappears on Hungary. ‘Caesar marches on in Hungary’ is the headline; John Cunningham in a short article (a third of a page) tells us what the solution is:

A left-oriented coalition, based on a minimal programme of democratic reform and opposition to [the governing party] Fidesz, seems the only [way] forward ... Building this coalition must start now, before Caesar turns into Napoleon.

Leave aside the bizarre idea that the slave-taker, Julius Caesar, would somehow be more attractive to the left than Napoleon I or III. The proposed line is purely and simply a repetition of the policy of the people’s front from France and Spain in the 1930s: that the workers’ movement is to commit itself to alliance with the liberals, explicitly on a “minimal programme of democratic reform”. And we know too well how well the people’s front policy worked at staving off fascism in 1930s Europe. For Hungary, Cunningham’s article proposes exactly the policy which was adopted by the Hungarian left and liberals in 2014 - unsuccessfully.

The background is the same issue. Why has Fidesz, which was a straightforward neoliberal party when it was founded in 1988 and through the 1990s, turned to a sort of semi-Putinite national-populism? The answer is that the liberal ‘west’ simply failed to deliver on the economic sales talk which was produced in the late 1980s and early 1990s to justify ‘economic reform’. Hungary had as a Soviet client in the 1970-80s been drawn into borrowing from the western banks, had been one of the places western investment went to, and hence had been a poster-child for marketisation. Once the USSR fell, the hammer came down and Hungary, like Russia, was subjected to ‘shock therapy’ foreclosure. The promise that free markets would produce recovery never delivered; on the contrary, agriculture in particular suffered terribly, and unemployment remained - and remains - high.8

By 2005, neoliberalism was not politically marketable, and the rightist coalition lost power to one led by a social democrat (ex-‘official communist’). But the social democrats had no more room for manoeuvre within the iron cage of World Trade Organisation and EU law than the right had had - probably less. (If there is one thing we have learned from Greece, it is that the ordoliberals use economic power to take revenge on open dissent, even where the result is that in the short term the capitalists they support lose money.) The result of the inability of the social democrats to create any real change was the rise of the openly far-right Jobbik party. Fidesz proceeded to steal Jobbik’s political clothes, as a result obtaining a parliamentary majority in 2010. This allowed it to launch the constitutional restructuring, which has now largely entrenched it in power.

As long as the workers’ movement clings to an ‘internationalism’ which is merely support for the European and Atlantic institutions, and to such things as people’s fronts based on “minimal programme[s] of democratic reform and opposition to [governing parties]”, it will appear as offering only the equivalent of ‘Always keep a hold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse’. And the result will be that the populist-nationalist right can successfully target the left as merely a cover for the elites.

Poland

Michael Chester’s half-page on Poland is headlined ‘Support the Polish socialists!’ - a sound conclusion, but based on problematic analysis. The starting point of the article is the March 23 protests against the new anti-abortion bill, which mobilised some tens of thousands (less than those of 2016, which attracted over 150,000). The article claims that the protests were “organised primarily through the insurgent leftwing Razem movement”, though English-language online sources claim, at most, that the successful October 2016 protest was initiated by a Razem member.9

Chester recognises the popularity of the Polish Law and Justice Party government; but does not really attempt to explain why this is the case. Back in 2016, two Razem members interviewed by Krytyka Polityczna (Political Critique) made exactly the point that the right-populists have, in fact, introduced some limited measures of social redistribution, and that:

There are two rightwing options in Poland: the conservative right and the liberal right - both are focused on privatisation, even if they claim to have a social dimension. This binary system is unproductive - we see ourselves as a third possibility. We always hear we should join the opposition movement, but we just can’t do that. The left in Poland has constantly been told that there are bigger problems right now than our demands. The narrative went: sure, social justice is important, but right now we have to deal with the transformation. Sure, social justice is important, but right now it’s Nato, it’s the EU, it’s the crisis. And now it’s the constitution. So KOD [Committee for the Defence of Democracy] are right to protest the breaking of the constitution, but we’re not going get sucked into this bipolar logic, because that is what caused the current crisis.10

Chester’s article, rather than address these dynamics (which would contradict the line of Cunningham’s article on Hungary and the AWL’s own line on Brexit) indulges in a wholly inappropriate nostalgia for the glory days of Solidarność as a union federation organising “10 million or 90% of all Polish workers” in 1980-81.

This is to forget that Solidarność was always extremely close to the Catholic church, and mutated very rapidly from a trade union into a broad anti-Russian and anti-communist political movement. Its October 1981 programme already demanded inter alia measures “discouraging abortion”, as well as “the creation of family protection units”, and that “religious personnel should again be allowed to run crèches and nurseries”. The programme stated: “It is necessary to sweep away the bureaucratic barriers which make it impossible for the market to operate” and “We believe that our national identity must be fully respected”.

Once again, the issue is one of believing what you read in the mainstream British liberal press; the political mutation of the character of Solidarność was fully reported in the US media, but kept fairly quiet on this side of the Atlantic, where a free-marketeering and Catholic ‘trade union’ would have been less politically attractive. None of these points should be taken as prettifying the Stalinist regime which fell in 1989: it is merely a matter of recognising that the embryo of Law and Justice was already present in Solidarność.

Razem is a formation whose political character appears somewhat contradictory. On the one hand, western left commentators and Anglophone representatives have flagged it up as an organisation of the same general character as Podemos or Syriza: one which rejects the ‘traditional left’, is committed to ‘new modes of organising’, to intersectionality, and so on.11 If this is what it really is, it will prove to be another dead end like Syriza. (We do not yet know that Podemos is a dead end, as we do with Syriza, but the similarities of the project make it seem most likely.)

On the other hand, the 2016 interview in Krytyka Polityczna suggested a much more radical approach, which separates itself from the liberals. Razem has a party programme, available in Polish and German. Comrade Maciej Zurowski, who has helpfully looked at the Polish-language site for me, makes the point that the programme begins by saying that “Razem wants a state [rather than merely a government] that sides with the workers”. This is to locate Razem rather differently to Podemos or Syriza, and in a political place which has far more potential as a starting point for fighting the right-populists.

The question, however, is whether Chester finds Razem attractive for this class-centred alternative to tailing the liberals for the sake of broad unity; or for the references in English-language discussions to Podemos and Syriza as models for Razem? The nature of his article would suggest that it is the latter.

Back to the beginning. The positive issue posed by Razem is exactly the need for working class political independence, on the basis of aiming, indeed, for “a state that sides with the workers”. That aim enables independence from both the nationalist-populist ‘party of order’ (Law and Justice, Fidesz-Jobbik, Brexiteers) and the ordoliberal and neoliberal ‘party of liberty’ in the EU and among the Blairites and so on. The AWL, starting by tailing the mainstream media and hence the ‘party of liberty’ on Middle East issues, is evolving into tailing them across the board. Alliance for Workers’ Liberalism indeed.

Notes

An Israeli line on the issue is at http://jcpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/TheSafePassage1.pdf. For a pro-Palestinian line see: https://972mag.com/what-would-a-safe-passage-between-west-bank-gaza-look-like/40258/ (April 5 2018).

1. www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/foreignpolicy/peace/guide/pages/declaration%20of%20establishment%20of%20state%20of%20israel.aspx.

2. G Gorodetsky (www.marxists.org/subject/jewish/soviets-israel.pdf).

3. Convenient reference at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Union_and_the_Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_conflict. Incidentally, this is nine months after Stalin’s death, so cannot be explained by the anti-Semitic campaign round the ‘doctors’ plot’ of 1951-53, which was terminated by Stalin’s death.

4. There was probably a degree of anti-Semitism in the special focus on the stateless Jew from the ‘Pale’ Peter Rachman in the 1960s campaign against ‘Rachmanism’: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Rachman; https://julesbirch.com/2012/10/24/revealing-the-real-rachman.

5. There is a useful narrative ‘spun’ the other way by Muhammad Sahimi on antiwar.com: https://original.antiwar.com/sahimi/2018/04/14/who-is-the-real-culprit-behind-the-chemical-attacks-in-syria-a-brief-history. The point is not that Sahimi’s analysis (that these are all false flag attacks) is correct: it is that Simon Nelson assumes the truth of the story offered to justify the April 14 bombing. Compare also Robert Fisk’s ‘The search for truth in the rubble of Douma’ (The Independent April 17).

6. ‘Brexit will force Ireland to reconsider its own EU membership’ City am March 22 2017 (www.cityam.com/261426/brexit-force-ireland-reconsider-its-own-eu-membership); ‘Ireland will be worse off after Brexit in all scenarios’ The Market Mogul February 22 (https://themarketmogul.com/ireland-post-brexit).

7. See, for example, K Ungváry, ‘Hungary and the European Union 1989-2014 - a success story?’ Europe for Citizens 2014 (https://eu.boell.org/en/2014/10/28/hungary-and-european-union-1989-2014-success-story); and the earlier R Tőkés, ‘Political transition and social transformation in Hungary’, Revista CIDOB d’Afers Internacionals, (34/35), (1996), pp79-101 (www.raco.cat/index.php/revistacidob/article/viewFile/28011/27845).

8. Eg, T Beatty, ‘Strike to win: can Polish feminists turn protest into power?’ Dissent July 2017 (www.dissentmagazine.org/article/poland-feminists-strike-manifa-razem-protest-power); E Majewska, ‘When Polish women revolted’ Jacobin March 2018 (www.jacobinmag.com/2018/03/poland-black-protests-womens-strike-abortion-pis).

9. ‘Razem: the left in Poland is starting from scratch’ (interview) May 16 2016 (http://politicalcritique.org/cee/poland/2016/razem-the-left-in-poland-is-starting-from-scratch-interview).

10. Eg, E Majewska, ‘Together - another politics is possible: the Razem Party in Poland and hope for the new’, October 2015 (www.criticatac.ro/lefteast/together-another-politics-is-possible-the-razem-party-in-poland-and-hope-for-the-new); D Swain, ‘The Polish right can be defeated’ Jacobin December 2015 (www.jacobinmag.com/2015/12/law-and-justice-pis-poland-civic-platform-razem-jaroslaw-kaczynski). “A party loosely inspired by Podemos and Syriza”: ‘Razem: new left in Poland: Marcelina Zawisza and Maciej Konieczny interviewed by Lorenzo Marsili’ The Bullet August 19 2016 (https://socialistproject.ca/2016/08/b1294).