Analysis News

Video: Harry Leslie Smith’s son John on his dad’s legacy, his new book – and what Harry would think of Starmer

On Tuesday night, Socialist Telly spoke to Harry Leslie Smith’s son John – the ‘world’s oldest rebel’ who had lived through the horrors of a UK before the NHS or the welfare state and spent his old age campaigning for real change to save this country’s greatest achievements – about his dad’s legacy, what he would have made of Keir Starmer and John’s new book about his dad’s life, which still needs a publisher. It was unmissable stuff – watch below and don’t forget to share:

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    1. What about crowd funding the private publication of John’s book. I foer one would be happy to contribute/

    2. What would “Harry think of Starmer …?Probably like I do and millions of others who have been particularly let down by the leader of the Labour party and I didn’t want to swear as its probably unprintable

  1. News from Japan:’ Trade Unionists fighting for their lives, their Union an their members.
    “For nearly three years, Matsuo Seiko, 49, has kept a toothbrush and a change of clothes stuffed into a bag stored in her hall. The emergency stash can be grabbed in haste if the police arrive and whisk her to a detention center, where she can be interrogated for up to three weeks – without a lawyer in the room.

    “As an executive in a union that has mysteriously incurred the wrath of Japanese police, Matsuo is bracing herself for arrest. Eighty-one of her colleagues in the All Japan Construction and Transport Solidarity Union, Kansai Regional Ready-Mix Branch (kan’nama), have been detained since 2018, many on what labor scholars call legally dubious charges.

    “Over 70 union members have been convicted of crimes that include “forcible obstruction of business” (威力業務妨害) for handing out fliers, and “attempted extortion” (強要未遂) for checking workplaces to ensure they are complying with labor laws – both routine union practices in Japan and around the world.
    Yukawa Yuji, the head of kan’nama, was arrested on a series of charges and held for 644 days while a parade of detectives interrogated him. Yukawa was blocked throughout his detention from seeing his wife and two children and had limited access to a lawyer. He is now on remand on charges of forcible obstruction of business and attempted extortion.
    “Formed in 1965, kan’nama has a formidable reputation for defending its members’ interests. Unlike most Japanese labor unions, which are company-based (and therefore structurally invested in the interests of their employers), it represents workers across multiple firms in the industry and negotiates pay and conditions aggressively.

    “Over the years, it has clashed, sometimes violently, with employers. The union’s official history records that two of its officials have been killed by gangsters hired by construction companies (yakuza involvement plagues the small companies that haul cement in the Kansai region). It notes previous official campaigns against the truck drivers, in around 1980 and 2005 – though the latest is the worst.

    “An award-winning 2008 documentary film “フツーの仕事がしたい (A Normal Life, Please)” depicts attempts by a truck driver, Kaikura Nobukazu, to join the union, after being ground down by a deeply exploitive working system (The movie says Kaikura drove his cement truck for 552 hours in a single month). At one point he is threatened and assaulted by yakuza thugs who demand he quit the union.

    “As Japanese trade unionism has grown more pliant, kan’nama has stuck to its militant guns: one of its regular activities is driving its trucks outside the homes of construction bosses and protesting loudly. Its rallies are reliably lively and noisy, with taiko drummers, peace slogans and bursts of “The Internationale.” ..”

    1. This situation where trade unionists and indeed anyone fighting for their lives, their livelihoods, their principles or their values can be carted off to coventry, inarcerated or shut down is exactly what the blue and red tories’ Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – now that it is approved by the HoL – will enable, thanks bevin

      Tough on Crime, tough on the Causes of Crime – Sir Keir is actually out-doing Sir Anthony Charles Lynton Blair. Don’t vote Labour tomorrow.

  2. The following is from yesterday:

    ‘Starmer warned expelling Nato-sceptic MPs could spark Labour civil war’

    It comes after The Times earlier reported that Sir Keir’s allies are urging him to purge “hard-left” MPs from the party before the next general election in a bid to further distance himself from his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn.

    In their sights are understood to be 11 Labour MPs – including left-wingers Diane Abbott and John McDonnell – who signed a Stop The War Coalition statement critical of Nato at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    The statement said Nato “should call a halt to its eastward expansion”.

    After being threatened with the removal of the whip, all the names were withdrawn, with a party spokesperson saying the move showed Labour was “under new management” with Sir Keir.

    Yes, under new management by psychopathic fascist scum!

    1. In the above article it says that the eleven Labour MPs signed the Stop The War Coalition statement critical of Nato at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Hopefully it was a genuine mistake by the author of the article and not a deliberate falsehood, as they had all signed the statement within a day or two of it being published on Feb 16th.

      Anyway, here’s a link to the statement (and the signatories) for anyone who hasn’t seen it:

      In December 2019, a week before the GE, the Jewish Labour Movement – in true Nazi-type evil, malevolent propaganda fashion – said that Jeremy Corbyn had made the Labour Party a welcoming refuge for antisemites,and antisemitism, and who but fascists smear people, who are all more than welcome in Starmerfuhrer’s Stasi Party.



    2. Thank you, Allan.

      On that basis, Denis Healey would have been expelled from the Labour Party.

      And what would Starmer make of his description, in his memoirs, of President Johnson?

      “Lyndon Johnson was a monster”.

      Social media, letters to newspapers, conversations with our friends and family–these are all important ways by which we can get our views across and win support for our ideas.

      1. Tony, I realise of course that what you said at the end of your post was in response to what I said yesterday in another thread, but regarding a campaign, for example (which is what bevin and yourself were saying) for Britain to withdraw from NATO, would still need people to organise the whole thing. The best example *I* can think of off the top of my head was the campaign against GM crops and foods in the mid late 90s, which was spear-headed by Greenpeace and FOE and the Soil Association, and which Prince Charles was also totally opposed to and spoke out against (and the Green Party in Germany etc, etc), and they succeeded. But campaigning to withdraw from NATO would be an entirely different matter to ‘Frankenstein foods’, as they were labelled by opponents, as it’s so easy for the Establishment and their propaganda machine to manipulate people and play on their fears, just as they DO. AND, attack and vilify those spear-heading the campaign.

        If you’ve read The Press and Political Dissent, you’ll know how the PTB set up the Greenham Common Women so as to demonise them as violent, and did so just at the point when public opinion was really starting to agree with them. And then there was the totally fraudulent letter (signed by Nobel laureates) about Greenpeace a few years ago, blaming them for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children as a consequence of being opposed to GM crops, which included Golden Rice, which was in the process of development at the time. There are absolutely no bounds to how evil these fascists can be, and what they can do:


        PS And what is happening in Ukraine – all the death and destruction and devastation – is a good example of that, because it could all have been so easily prevented!

      2. And the black op A/S smear campaign against Jeremy and the left is another example of course.

    1. Tony He wouldn’t have the guts to do anything against the pope. The pope would soon see him off but going by the way he has treated Socialists, free thinkers and Jews he might expel all elderly Catholics and brand them “antisemites”

    2. Tony thanks for that although he was not taking sides he was just stating the “bleedin obvious” .but its welcome being as hes the leader of 1.3billion people across the world and a little bit of common sense is always welcome.especially when sabre rattling seems to be the main conversation from the western leaders.I just can’t believe so much money and lives are being thrown away on the back of Nato expansion.into the East..

    3. They might have the same tastes so would imagine that the sides would reach an agreement.

  3. Mmmm, not sure, Smartboy. Wrong type of Catholics? Anyone who encourages contra-American values like the supposedly ‘Holy Father’ is certainly no lover of freedom, the flag or democracy. He’s no better than Julian Assange. Sir Keir probably sees Pope Francis as a total reprobate. He even claims Putin reacted to “NATO barking at Russia’s door”. Seems obvious to me – even before Sir Keir writes it in the S*n – that Pope Francis IS an antisemite for not supporting President Z. and his merry band of Azovian fascists.

    And we’ll have one of this self-delusion about Pope Francis being a peace-loving Christian, either (he’d say). Was Julian Assange? No of course not!!! They’re both antisemites and anti-Americans of the vworst order and should be nakba’d as soon as possible. Israeli occupation is too good for either of them!

  4. The local elections are supposed to be about local issues,but in the mid nintys it was a springboard for a labour lanslide in the 97elections especially in Tory lib dems areas like Surrey were I was.We made massive inroads into places that wouldn’t normaly give us the time of day let alone answer without swearing about the labour party.I maybe wrong but looking through the local press in Britain and especially the comments section I get the message that the labour party are boring and little more than a tributes act singing from the same hymn sheet as all the rest.
    Labour do very badly if the public are not interested… and its clear that this party the labour party havnt captured the imagination of the public when everthing has been handed to them on a plate by the worst Tory government since 1997…….Sleaze,corruption,draconian laws and a economy entering a. .period of hyper inflation…What more could Johnson do for the labour party?Start a World war?

    1. Quote : What more could Johnson do for the labour party?Start a World war?

      If he did then Starmer-led Labour party would no doubt be fully supportive.

      Most of the PLP apply a ‘does it annoy the left?’ test to everything before adopting the opposite stance, and WW3 would be a big YES.

  5. The Beeb is reporting that “Russian firms are banned from using British management consulting, accountancy and PR services”. If it’s possible to get rid of the parasites by going to war, expect multiple new wars to spring up around the world.

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