Hard left splinter party celebrate North Korea's triumph under Kim Jong-Il
Thursday, 22 December 2011
BY JENNIFER O'MAHONY
George Eaton over at the New Statesman reported on the response of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) to the death of Kim Jong-Il earlier this week.
"Comrade Kim Jong Il devoted his entire life to the freedom and happiness of the Korean people, to the building of a thriving and powerful socialist nation, and to the anti-imperialist, socialist and communist cause of mankind."
Eaton added: 'The group, which is not be confused with the Communist Party of Britain or the Communist Party of Great Britain, mourned the death of a "great friend and teacher of the international communist movement, of the international working class, and of the national-liberation movements'."
The Steamie has been in touch with the Glaswegian contingent of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist), asking them to expand on this tribute and explain why they consider the leader of North Korea so worthy of this level of praise. They responded thus.
"We believe the media’s response has been, quite predictably, hysterical and with massive undertones of chauvinism and racism; mocking a culture’s grieving process really exposes the limitations of apparent British liberalism.
"The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea offers its citizens free housing, free healthcare, the life expectancy is 75 and the WHO recently reported the healthcare, particularly the rate of doctors to citizen ratio, was some of the highest in the developing world, free kindergarten care so women can obtain meaningful equality (unlike in Western nations, where women are made to feel guilty if they pursue careers and then face multiple oppressions as they juggle family and work ‘duties’).
"Employment is a human right and guaranteed, education is free including higher education, it’s a tax-free nation, subsidised food and commodity items are open to all, and is a society free of drug abuse, prostitution, and organised and violent crime.
"Further, the citizens feel a tremendous sense of unity and trust with one another, children are socialised in a safe environment without sexualisation and the population doesn’t suffer from the constant bombardment of advertising and consumerism that really damages self esteem and confidence of young people in Britain.
The curious mixture of absolute, blind faith cloaked in the wording of "rational analysis," and then the demonisation of the US in similarly black-and-white terms reminds the reader of how often the hard left seems to resemble a religious cult.
The absence of any admission that the reason the crime rate is low and drug abuse not a huge problem is because you will be shot through the head for any criminal activity is just one of many glaring problems with this account.
Employment is guaranteed - great! Except it's through forced labour and effective slavery of 23 million citizens.
On the subject of North Korean famine and death camps, my correspondent was adamant there was little difference between forced labour and the US penal system.
"Another scene in the theatre of demonisation is the apparent ‘concentration camps’; whose number is dwarfed by the United States preoccupation with locking up its citizens, particularly its black and latino population.
"In Korea, the number of prisoners is FAR fewer than the US and the class composition of this are those who seek to remove the society’s shared wealth, and prostitute its resources and people to a neo-colonial state."
"The issue of famine is one that is widely cited in the media to vilify Korea. But if we move beyond the hysteria, and apply a rational analysis, the roots of this tragedy lie at the doorstep of the United States and our own government here.
"The division imposed upon Korea left the DPRK with very little fertile land. Until the 1980s, People’s Korea’s production and standard of living was comparable, and often superior, to the south but the collapse of the Soviet Union and the socialist countries in central and eastern Europe had a crippling effect on the economy."
The standout phrase here is "The class composition of this are those who seek to remove the society’s shared wealth, and prostitute its resources and people to a neo-colonial state." - the only ones who suffer do so because they deserve it, as enemies of the state.
The Foreign Office has this to say on the country, from its North Korea country profile:
"It seems likely that a very large number of individuals have suffered and continue to suffer from practices that represent extremely serious violations of their human rights. DPRK practices the death penalty, and there have been recent reports of public executions, but there is no authoritative information on the extent of its use. The penal code, which was revised in 2004, contains provisions for the death penalty for ill-defined crimes such as 'counter revolutionary activity'.
"Numerous reports exist concerning the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading forms of treatment or punishment. Information by defectors also indicates that a system of forced labour camps remains in operation. Conditions in these camps are extremely harsh and the mortality rate high."
My corresondent concludes his whitewash of a regime that systematically tortures, murders, and starves its citizens by returning to the man at the centre of it all, Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il:
"It is in this context, when we explore rationally and with evidence, that we see Kim Jong-Il led the DPR Korea through immensely difficult times but retained its independence and dignity, refused to return the country to a colonial state and subjugation, continued to expand the extensive welfare programs, and, despite periods of devastation – inflicted by natural disasters and compounded by imperial strangulation, a steady improvement in the living standards and infrastructure of the country.
It must be said that no other Socialist or Communist party has celebrated the life of the dear leader like this. In fact, the Morning Star was strikingly neutral.
Other hard left parties in Scotland, despite the differences they may have with mainstream political beliefs most of the time, condemned Kim Jong-Il as a murderous dictator.
Brian Quail of the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement told The Steamie:
"The death of this egomaniac tyrant gives the world a breathing space in which hopefully a better future for the long suffering people of North Korea can be worked out.
"Meanwhile, the UK, like North Korea, continue to develop nuclear bombs, in despite of international law which prohibits weapons of mass destruction. "Don't do as I do, do as I say!" is the hypocrites mantra."
The Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) appears to be on its own on this one.
Posted by Jennifer Omahony