more on road-rage Ken

red-rebel red-rebel at
Thu May 25 04:36:43 MDT 2000

----- Original Message -----
From: M A Jones <jones118 at>
Sent: Thursday, May 25, 2000 8:47 AM
Subject: more on road-rage Ken
> It may be true that Ken is in the pockets of City finance types (it

"Red" Ken isn't just "in their pockets". He is one of them. Ken has become
very wealthy through his "playing" the share markets.
He is, by any definition, a member of the ruling class. This doesn't mean he
is necessarilly universally popular amongst his class-mates, after all the
ruling-class has as many variations of thought and opinion represented
within it as any other class.

> But the important fact is how he is perceived and why on the basis of
> popular perceptions, he was elected with such a huge plurality despite the
> vigorous opposition of all the major parties: during his election campaign
> whenever he appeared on round table TV talks, for instance, what happened
> was that the Labour, Liberal and Tory candidates spent the whole time
> slagging Ken off and tryiong to bury him in one common stream of vitriol
> anti-red hysteria. This unpleasant spectacle was repeated time after time
> amid a rising choris of Tory-tablod red-baiting and vicious smears.

Of course it is important how he is percieved by ordinary people. Many
believe he is a committed socialist, a "man of the people" who will put the
welfare of "ordinary Londoners" before all else. He won't and, perhaps even
more fundamentally, from a Marxist point of view, he can't. He is bound by
the dictates of the class he now belongs to. He may well represent the
"extreme left" of bourgois opinion, but it is the "liberal-conservative"
wing of the bourgoisie (represented in Government by Blair and co) that is
currently on top.
 That representatives of rival Parties slagged Livingstone off so much
during the election is hardly an unexpected or novel event. During elections
politicicians, as well as representing the bourgoisie in general, also have
to represent their own factional and individual interests. Ken was
front-runner so of course to he was the man to beat. Seems straightforward
enough to me. And yes, I do not doubt that some sections of the ruling-class
genuinly believe that "red" Ken represents the forces of unreconstructed
bolshevism (as Mark also seems to), but then these same types thought the
same of Wilson and Kinnock. Like I said, the ruling-class is not
ideologically homogenous any more than the working-class is (and I think
many on the "Left" forget this).
 But do we have to pander to this "faux" leftism just because the "masses"
are with him? Or is our job as Marxists to expose the parliamentary
domocratic sham. Do we aim to lead or to follow? Why is voting "Red Ken"
fundamentally any different to voting Blair? Mark seems to believe (no doubt
sincerely) that Ken is a committed socialist, I do not believe this is the
case, but even if he were, as an individual cog (even an important one)
within the machine he can change nothing fundamentally. Or are we who are
unemployed, poor and without cars supposed to be content with any old crumbs
Ken may have the opportunity to brush from the table?
If "Red" Ken represents the "Far-Left" in the eyes of working-class people
and the "Left" has done nothing to counter that idea, then can we be
surprised that when he fails to deliver (as he inevitably must -one way or
another) the working-class starts to look to the radical far-right for
answers (as there is evidence some have already started to)?

> Actually, to argue the way 'Red-Rebel' does is objectively to do the same
> thing, ie, to take your cue from the Daily Telegraph, the Times and the
> Tories, and do everything you can to deepen public disillusion with the
> political process. Is there some kind of collusion between the 0.006% S+T
> tendency, and the far right, to destroy the public spaces of bourgeois
> democracy? If so, then they are welcome to each other, but one is forced
> wonder what's in it for the S+T tendency; at least wealthy people have an
> obvious reason (self-interest) to do what they do, but to bash Ken if you
> are poor, black, unemployed, don't own a car, or are a self-confessed
> socialist of some kind is, well, lunacy actually. Certifiable.

Incidentally Mark, 'Red Rebel' is the group who was approched to join your
last "Great Idea", the rather grandly titled 'Communist Party -
Refoundation'. A hardline "Stalinist" formation that was to be
uncompromisingly anti-parliamentary and recognised that armed-struggle was
the ONLY alternative to the capitalist system. Last I heard it only had two
members (you and your wife) after the other 3 dumped you. Did you get "Red
Ken" to join? What about Vladimir Zhironovsky? I hear he is an old drinking
buddy of yours. I always thought he was an ignorant CIA stooge fascist. Is
he another closet commie like Ken? Tell us more, I'd love to see your photos
of you both getting pissed together.


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