Crying Wolfson

I have nothing to add to what I wrote a month ago, other than to point out that the SNP has had opportunities aplenty to put right this situation. The party officials concerned have chosen, instead, to tarnish a man’s reputation for no good cause.

rhea_wolfsonWhen I first saw the Tweet in which Rhea Wolfson claims to have been the victim of anti-Semitic abuse, I didn’t immediately recognise the article about which she was complaining. I had read Grouse Beater’s blog earlier, but had not found anything particularly memorable about the way in which the author uses the example of the Nazis to illustrate the point that trade unions are a target for unscrupulous politicians. As the author observes in the very passage which has so scandalised Wolfson,

A labour union is the chief mechanism by which a democracy guides the distribution of wealth at a local level. It’s function is to organise collective bargaining. Elected governments are meant to do the same job at a national level, but for wider social benefits such as sustaining infrastructure and institutions.

Trade unions are a source of cooperation and community. They exist to achieve wage equality. Their function is to protect workers against economic vicissitude. According to fascist policy – which we see arising everywhere in the UK and abroad – unions must be smashed to render workers isolated, prepared to accept whatever is offered.

This is hardly the “attack” on trade unions that Wolfson claims. Rather, it is an acknowledgement of the economic and social value of trade unions and a recognition of their essential role as part of our democracy. It is also what many would consider to be a timely and entirely justified warning about the threat to trade unions – and therefore to democracy – posed by a widespread resurgence of far-right ideologies.

The article is not an attack on the trade union movement. It is, however, strongly critical of a particular trade union – the GMB. Misrepresenting the piece as an attack on trade unions in general is nothing more than a rather transparent device by which to divert attention from the specific trade union under scrutiny. Just as the attempt to characterise the criticism of Wolfson herself as being concerned with the fact that she happens to be Jewish is intended to distract from scrutiny of her role in orchestrating the ‘equal pay’ strike in Glasgow.

I was totally unaware that Wolfson is Jewish. It seems likely that Grouse Beater was also unacquainted with this detail. I’m fairly sure neither of us affords a person’s religion the overriding significance that Wolfson does. That she is Jewish isn’t even relevant, far less of central significance.

Wolfson also rails against “horrendous sexism in the Scottish ‘left’” and accuses “trolls” of trying to “deprive” the striking women of agency. What she fails to recognise – or hopes others won’t recognise – is that it is perfectly possible for the women to be acting of their own volition and for their own reasons while the likes of Wolfson and the GMB are driven by very different, and far less worthy, motives.

It detracts not one iota from the righteousness of the women’s cause to observe that others are seeking to exploit that cause for base political purposes. Much as Wolfson would like to deflect from the reality with her nonsense about anti-Semitic abuse, that is what Grouse Beater’s article is concerned with. The attempt to use shrill accusations of sectarianism to bludgeon into silence those who speak out against this kind of exploitation is also disturbingly reminiscent of the methods deployed by fascists.

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28 thoughts on “Crying Wolfson

  1. Much obliged, Peter. (And a great title to the piece!) Your analysis is entirely correct.

    Ms Wolfson’s religion is of no relevance to the issue I wrote of. It would not matter to me if she was a born again vegetarian. What matters is what she says and what she does, and in that she manifestly proves to be too often reckless, and plays to the gallery. For the record, I praise one of her actions in my essay on fascism and unions.

    What is most disappointing is less the brazen attempt by her and the heavy-handed GMB boss Tim Roache, to turn my article into one of bigotry, but the general mediocre level of intellect they display, and the fascist creed they employ of denigrating intellectual discourse.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. I don’t know anyone who has criticised the women themselves for their struggle to achieve equal pay, including Susan Aitken, leader of the GCC, who is clearly on-side. Doubly rich then that would-be demagogue Wolfson now hides behind “8000 women” when she is justifiably criticised by many for stirring-up trouble with GCC just because it’s now run by the SNP, after her GMB union betrayed those same women for years and years in cahoots with the former Labour administration.

    And if Grousebeater is correct and the GMB bussed-in a whole whang of women from England for the demo, expenses-paid, shame on it and shame on Wolfson. With “friends” like these, the GCC women don’t need enemies.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I didn’t know they bused up many from England.
      However, I did wonder how they got that number, as I was sure, the City of Glasgow didn’t employ that actual figure of female staff, in the roles in question.
      That we had (pretending not to be) MP Hugh Gaffney, on the demo, as just an ordinary dude, and getting interviewed on Sky as such , proves the point, this was a Labour anti SNP set up from the start.
      Richard Leonard’s role in this cannot be overlooked either. While his role in GMB has been highlighted, we mustn’t let him away with it.
      There was a guy on the wireless, on Radio Scotland, who kept rabbiting on about the previous “administration”, doing his best not to mention the fact it was Labour!
      Labour has done everything to betray this country, and deserves to be wiped out at the ballot box.
      We need a completely new political party in Scotland to replace them.


  3. I guess that this is all the ammunition they have left. False allegations against your opponents, no doubt the media will run with it. It shows one thing Grouse Beater is a person of interest and so are you Peter.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Just more nonsense trying to make SNP – and their supporters – look BAAAAD! Anything to discourage ‘fence sitters’ not to vote for those vile cybernats & their party! Tories can get away with murder. However, SNP can’t even quote Hitler without crying foul! Between Wolfson & the unions, they’re doing their best to make sure ‘the equal pay’ wifies don’t vote SNP & Indy and to divide the camp between ‘equal pay’ supporters & those dissing the unions! The red/blue tories are trying to get potential indy voters at each other’s throats… And in other quarters, the tory/labour Party are stirring other indy supporter pots (Wings vs RA) to break up the indy vote, I see…

    They’re ramping up the ‘nasty’ rhetoric. Don’t fall for their tricks, folks.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Another great read Grouse! Yoons have come after you now and that means only one thing, they want to silence you. Don’t ever let them.

    Great to see you in the flesh too, albeit in the relentlessly hideous Herald


    Liked by 3 people

  6. I read an article on twitter at the weekend, by all accounts many of the young stars in Momentum are of the Jewish faith, the article interviewed quite a few of these starlets and they made sure to mention their heritage, I think it was how they defend JC, I dont mean Jesus Christ but Jeremy Corbyn, But the gist of it is HRea Wolfson is one of the Corbynistas that is mentioned


  7. I’m saddened that you saw fit to defend this blog post, Peter – the wording and tone of the Hitler/Mein Kampf section was a damaging misjudgment, in my view. I advised Gareth Wardell to take it down as soon as I read it (see my comment). This does not help the independence movement one iota and is already proving very damaging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What definition of anti-Semitism are you using? What part of the article meets that definition?

      Seems to me that most of the damage has been caused by the SNP’s knee-jerk pandering to the British establishment propaganda machine.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. The SNP suspending Grouse Beater merely proves I was right to resign my membership. Til my dying day I shall campaign and fight for independence , however , I don’t need the SNP membership to do that. Peter Murrell should have resigned/been sacked a long time ago , he wants to control everything every member does to the nth degree and , sorry to say it but the truth is, were he not Married to Nicola he would have been gone long ago.
    This case isn’t complicated , there’s NO antisemitism, GB should be reinstated with an apology immediately. But he Won’t be , this will drag on for months because the party are pandering to the MSM.
    I sincerely hope mass resignations by members ensue as a result of the party throwing grouse beater to the wolves…why the hell would anyone wish to be part of that club? Stay YES , stay INDY , you don’t need to be an SNP member folks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Have been an SNP member for several years but will seriously consider quitting over the Grouse Beater fiasco unless the SNP retract and support someone who had the courage to call out a bunch of charlatans. Anti semitic my foot! Come on SNP grow a pair or lose a swathe of your members.


  10. They get quite vicious when it’s pointed out that they are shit at their jobs, don’t they? Or is it even worse than that? I wonder how many trade union high heid yins are just puppets of the state – either because of ideology or financial incentive.


  11. Appears to me Grousebeater has failed to observe Godwin’s Law.

    I fear Grousebeater has shot himself in the foot.


  12. Yes, maybe time for SNP to properly review blogs before exacting punishment. However, damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    Had SNP not offered a response we’d have had smsm, and possibly British msm, all over us, albeit we’re well used to this, expect it, and it passes until the next episode. What we have now is a situation where, if SNP review and retract, they’ll be portrayed in a different type of sh*t-storm, with, for example, Humza’s opinion belittled, smsm citing ‘serious division’ in the party – all the usual stuff.

    Meanwhile, we’re looking at yet another long, drawn-out crowdfund/legal case (of which I will readily contribute) and a further disgruntled and increasingly twitchy movement* further distracted from run-up to shambolic Brexit. Furthermore, disgraceful GMB treatment of Glasgow’s women is conveniently forgotten about, hidden behind a distorted analysis of a pro-indy blog.
    *Twitchy SNP, too

    Possible solution would be that SNP review and retract with a clearly libellous Daily Record issuing immediate apology to GB. Although, I’m not certain either of those events will take place.

    I’ll retain and renew my SNP membership as the bulk of their efforts are what keeps us focused on the prize.


  13. The SNP has made a mistake in suspending his membership, but it is worth pointing out that does not mean he has been thrown out, but that the party will be considering the content of the blog and thereafter make a decision.
    BTW I will not be quitting my membership, which I have held since1969!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The ENTIRE act of Wolfson misrepresenting our Grouse Beater words is straight out of Goebbels’ manual.

    “Accuse the others of which you are guilty.”

    It’s to be expected from 2nd or 3rd generation people of the Jewish persuasion to become nasty in retaliation for what their forefathers suffered.

    I’m of Italian origin and heritage.

    My grandfather by father’s line, a renowned professor at the Brera Art Academy, was taken by the fascists and deported to the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau for refusing to become a member of the fascist party.
    He came back a broken man, the shadow of the amazing artist he was.

    My grandfather by mother’s line was incarcerated for two years for being a member of the subterranean Socialist party and a member of the Unions.
    His wife, my mother and my aunt and uncle survived out of neighbour’s charity and then evacuated to the vicinity of Lake Como to avoid the bombs.

    British and American bombers laid waste on my grandfathers and grandmothers, mother, father, uncles, aunties, all innocent bystanders, while the NaziFascists oppressed them and decimated people around them.

    Don’t say I didn’t suffer because I wasn’t born: I could see the consequences of those horrors in my grandparents’ and parents’ eyes every day.

    But do I hold a grudge against *today’s* Germans, Brits, Americans for what their forefathers did?


    I don’t.

    I can’t.

    But I am entitled to call out neofascism wherever I see it. I know what rotten smell it has.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Something which has disturbed me for a long time with current SNP leadership. Is their ability to cast asunder anyone in the party or in government accused by the media, or alleged victims of wrongdoing.

    This sends out a message that it doesn’t matter how long, or how loyal you have been to the party and the movement. As soon as someone accuses you , you are then on your own ,out in the cold. Salmond, Michelle Thomson , Grouse Beater….the list goes on.

    So me as an ordinary member of 30 years counts for nothing if something bad happens in my life. What kind of family does this to it’s nearest and dearest?

    I find it convenient that Salmond has been taken off the scene, at the exact moment when we need him. The SNP are playing right into the medias hands. The media can get rid of anyone who is a threat to them simply by printing an unfounded story.


    1. Many maintain branches have been infiltrated,which is to be expected.Some believe the only explanation for many SNP decisions is that they themselves have been infiltrated and indy quest is a sham.


      1. Let me fix that for you.

        “Some NUTTERS believe the only explanation for many SNP decisions is that they themselves have been infiltrated and indy quest is a sham.”


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