Gove’s Trojan Horse: or how a neocon has infiltrated our schools

Stuart King from London IS Network examines the media storm around supposed Islamic extremism in Birmingham schools.

When the so-called Trojan Horse document surfaced in March revealing a “jihadist plot” to take over schools in Birmingham, the media went into overdrive. Apparently Islamic extremists were taking over governing bodies, driving out head teachers and turning our schools into hotbeds of terrorism and worse.

Despite the fact that most people in the know believed this document to be a fake, no fewer than five different inquiries were launched. The education secretary Michael Gove led the charge by appointing an “anti-terrorism expert” to lead one, just in case anyone was in any doubt about the seriousness of the threat to our way of life.

Ofsted, pliant tool of the state that it is, was told to revisit the schools that 11 months previously it had rated as “outstanding” and find…

Read More

Marxism, Feminism and Privilege


The latest wave of feminism has set about generating new ideas and reinterpreting old ones. The response of much of the Marxist left to these developments has been ambivalent if not outright hostile, that is if feminism’s innovative capacities are registered at all. The concept of ‘Privilege’, increasingly common currency within activist circles, has suffered this same fate. This article will attempt to rescue it as a necessary supplement to Marxist understandings of oppression and answer some of the main lines of criticism directed against it.

Contemporary usage of the terms ‘Privilege’ and ‘Privilege Theory’ often leaves them undefined and vague. In the absence of any real fixity critics have been able to claim that weaker manifestations of the concept are representative of…

Read More

Solidarity and counterrevolution in Egypt: an introduction


The overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt was a massive setback for imperialism and made the language of revolution central in the midst of global capitalist crisis. It was a revolution that travelled- spreading right across a region which had been at the centre of great power politics since the middle of the last century. As the project for an American century was ground down in the bloody horror it had created in Iraq, the spreading revolutions appeared to signal a new era of political radicalism growing out of opposition to imperialism and neoliberalism.

In the region itself the coming together of diverse social and political forces against dictatorship broke the mould of older corrupt systems of dominance and promised something new. There had been signs of this in the movements against the war but this was not a protest movement-it was a revolution. All the older stereotypes about a region that history happened to rather than a region that made history were shaken: producing consternation in Washington and Tel Aviv, but also, as the…

Read More

Freud and the October Revolution

There are men of action, unshakable in their convictions, inaccessible to doubt, without feeling for the sufferings of others if they stand in the way of their intentions. We have to thank men of this kind for the fact that the tremendous experiment of producing a new order of this kind is now actually being carried out in Russia. At a time when the great nations announce that they expect salvation only from the maintenance of Christian piety, the revolution in Russia – in spite of all its disagreeable details – seems none the less like a message of a better future. Unluckily neither our scepticism nor the fanatical faith of the other side gives a hint as to how the experiment will turn out. The future will tell us… Freud Theory of a Weltanschauung (1932)

Though Marx and Freud first encountered each other in the 1920s the parties of the Third International were largely indifferent to Freudianism. If there was a position, psychoanalysis was generally regarded as bourgeois, incompatible with both Marxism and scientific materialism. This jaundiced portrait of Freud pre-dated Stalinism’s rise and Hitler’s triumph which prompted the flight of psychoanalysis to North America in the 1930s though Freud, a lifelong Anglophile, fled to London where he died only months after his arrival in September 1939.

As early as the 1920s some ‘left’ Freudians argued psychoanalysis was relevant to the class struggle. The most important practical effort…

Read More

Where have all the election posters gone? Campaigning for a working class alternative to austerity

by Martin Ralph, member of the International Socialist League and candidate for Old Swan Against the Cuts (Liverpool) in the local elections.

Over 600 socialist candidates across Britain are standing in the 22 May local elections. Anger over the brutal austerity policies that have increased year on year since 2010 has led to an urgent need need for working class representation.

Many different sections of the working class, especially the most vulnerable and poorest, are being hurt by these continuing and deepening cuts. Knowledge that younger generation will be worse off than their parents is a further cause of anger. That is why there is the growing mood for election campaigns of local groups with connections in the working class areas where they are standing. 

One such class struggle candidate is Martin Ralph representing Old Swan Against the Cuts (OSAC) in Liverpool. This group has been…

Read More