Woke vs anti-Woke: What Priyamvada Gopal and Douglas Murray have in Common

A colourful Twitter beef that caught the eye this summer in the wake of the George Floyd murder at the hands of racist police officers, pitted the esteemed University of Cambridge Professor, Priyamvada Gopal against the right-wing Etonian author Douglas Murray. Gopal has positioned herself as the British liberal establishment’s leading connoisseur for all currents that oppose imperialism and require decolonisation. She published her tomb, Insurgent Empire to rave reviews. While Murray’s bestselling books on immigration and the culture wars has earned him millions of followers. His book, The Strange Death of Europe is one of the leading go-to books for right-wingers on contemporary immigration.

The pithy indictments they fired at each other on Twitter were standard schoolyard barbs. Murray sanctimoniously sneered at Gopal spending time on Twitter as compensation for her lack of academic repertoire, while Gopal predictably retorted that Murray finds it difficult a woman of colour lectures at Cambridge. Their adversarial tweets were not only aimed at each other but also clearly played to their on-line base. Gopal’s to the “woke” generation, Murray’s to the Trumpian/Brexit anti-woke masses. The ‘woke’ term emanated in the United States to help give expression to those who were historically marginalised and enslaved.

However, both authors have one essential thing in common. Continue reading

When Jeremy Corbyn endorsed Zionism and the British Empire

One naturally assumes by virtue of the vitriol aimed at the former leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn there was indeed, inter alia, a heroic anti-imperialist leader ready to take over the helms of the British state and begin to pull the nation away from centuries of imperialist foreign policy and the attendant gung ho military belligerence. The simple logic behind this assumption is that if the right-wing media despise you with the venom shown to Mr. Corbyn during his leadership between 2015 and 2020, then there must be something worthy of this vitriol or at the very least he must be beholden to convictions genuinely hostile to the old British imperialist order.    

Among the pejoratives and derogations thrown at him over the course of his five-year tenure was that he was somehow an anti-semite or a facilitator of anti-semitism. The accusation continues to be insinuated and made against Corbyn and the way he ran the Labour Party even after a new leadership has now taken over the helm and direction of the party. In this essay, I show that far from being any kind of anti-Zionist, Corbyn was very loyal to the Labour Party’s historic position on Zionism.

Before becoming leader of the Labour Party, Mr. Corbyn could always be seen opposing British and American military campaigns and showing solidarity with oppressed groups. Among the latter are the Palestinians who were mostly ethnically cleansed from their lands by British trained Zionist militias in 1947-48 to create the new state of Israel. Zionist supporters have adopted a strategy to deflect attention away from the ethnic cleansing foundations of the Zionist state and its continued campaigns of occupation and argue most criticism of the Zionist colonial entity is anti-semitic.

Continue reading

Douglas Murray’s Libya Whitewash

Douglas Murray’s The Strange Death of Europe identifies three waves of migration to western Europe in the post-war period. Initially, migration to Britain and France came from their former colonies, to assist in the reconstruction in the 1950s and 1960s. Other western European countries also invited people from elsewhere to assist with reconstruction. Secondly, a wave of east European citizens arrived in the late 1990s and 2000s due to the expansive reach of the European Union. Murray’s book was written in the wake of the third and most recent migration wave in the past decade which was exacerbated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement on the last day of August 2015 welcoming refugees from the war in Syria.

In contrast to Merkel’s decision to allow Syrian refugees into Germany, Murray notes that countries who were fuelling the war in Syria were not as hospitable as European nations. As he writes,

“Throughout the Syrian portion of the refugee crises alone, next to nobody blamed the countries actually involved in that civil war – including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Russia – for the human cost of the conflict. There was no wide European call for Iran to take in the refugees from the conflict, anymore than there was any pressure to insist Qatar take its fair share proportion of refugees.”[i]

Let’s take Murray at his word and put aside that there were reports of British support for the so-called Syrian rebels as early as 2012. If one reads between the lines of this excerpt and unpacks what he refers to as the “Syrian portion”, then we come face to face to the other portion of the migration crises. Namely, the one spurred by the NATO led campaign to remove Colonel Ghadhaffi from power in Libya.  The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ which began with the relatively peaceful overthrow the governments of Tunisia and Egypt in early 2011 was followed by an uprising in Benghazi, in eastern Libya which quickly turned into an insurgency. Western media concocted scenarios on how Ghadhaffi was on the verge of carrying out massacre after massacre if the West didn’t intervene. Continue reading

Professor Gerald Horne Endorses “Debunking the Myth of America’s Poodle”

The prolific Professor Gerald Horne who holds the “Moores Professorship of History and African American Studies” at the University of Houston and is the author of  ‘White Supremacy Confronted:  U.S. Imperialism and Anticommunism vs. the Liberation of Southern Africa, from Rhodes to Mandela‘ has this to about “Debunking the Myth of America’s Poodle”:

“This illuminating, scalding and scorching takedown of British Imperialism is simultaneously a cautionary reminder that post-Brexit London should be pressured relentlessly in order to avoid a replication of its multiple sins and transgressions of the recent past.”

The book can be purchased by clicking here.