26/03/2018 by socialistfight
By Gerry Downing 26-3-18
The death of Stephen Hawking on 14 March involved this author in four separate Facebook debates. Many comments were simply ignorant attacks on the me for having the gall to attack the conclusions of the great scientist, some sneering bigots who were open renegades from Trotskyism, former comrades who wanted to ingratiate themselves with the capitalist establishment via Labour reformism to enhance future career prospects by attacking revolutionary Trotskyism.
Nick Davies, very reformist Labour Councillor on the City and County Swansea
Nick Davies, an old comrade who became a reformist renegade
That list includes Nick Davies, formerly of the Workers Socialist League and the Revolutionary Internationalist League, the International Socialist Group and the Workers International League, the latter three with me as a close co-thinker and collaborator. He is a cuts-voting Labour councillor now, anxious to disavow his revolutionary past.
Money needs to be saved at Swansea Council as it faces a massive £7.2m budget overspend Richard Youle informed us in September 2017. Recruitment and overtime must be put on hold say finance chiefs. Adult social services is responsible for £4.3 million of the predicted overspend this year. Higher costs and increased demand are to blame but there is still time to balance the books. Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart was at pains to say the cuts have not been of its own making and were instead due to a reduction in central Government funding. There had only been 10 compulsory redundancies over the last three years, the Council claimed, Richard Youle tells us. 
So, another 25%-40% cuts to come. Nick Davies has not voted against a single cut to date and clearly is never going to do so, expulsion from the Labour group would be certain and maybe from the party. Political death, only justly reserved for the likes of Gerry Downing. Adult social services, i.e. sick and disabled old people, will be abandoned to die, most of the children of the poor have lost their free school meals but Nick has that infamous Nuremberg Defence; only carrying out instructions.
We note also that Nick lists Amnesty International as one of his nominated charities. Leftists are well aware of its disgraceful defence of the torture of Irish Republican Prisoners in Maghaberry and its compliance with the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians and warmongering for imperialism. The latter has been exposed again recently by Paul De Rooij, Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again.  In these circumstances reminders of former close political and comradely relations between Nick Davies and Gerry Downing would be very damaging indeed. Best to move now to close off any suggestions of lingering sympathy with ridiculous notions like revolutionary socialism, dialectical materialism the dictatorship of the proletariat! As in:
Aref Nammari: Where can I find the mathematical work of this “eminent scientist”?
Nick Davies: Sighs, rolls eyes.
Nick Davies: The question is: is Hawking a rightward moving centrist or a leftward moving centrist and what role did he play in the Healy-Slaughter struggle?
Roland Rance, Rob Marsden, and Liam Mac Uaid
Roland Rance was a member of the International Socialist Group with me, and a member of the same left faction, but voted for the expulsion of Gerry Downing, Ian Donovan and the Socialist Fight Group from Labour Against the Witchhunt on 6 January. His group, ISG/Socialist Resistance, still falsely claims to be a Trotskyist with Gilbert Achcar, their Imperialist apologist for the wars in Libya, Syria and Ukraine.
A further comment here on his Socialist Resistance comrades, Rob Marsden and Liam Mac Uaid. Rob did make some attempt to address the theoretical and philosophical problems, unlike Roland Rance and the other ninnies below. Socialist Resistance has a tricolour banner of Red for the workers, Purple for the women and Green for the environmentalists, all on an equal relationship as befits a true reformist and increasing pro-imperialist current which has repudiated class politics. Rob thought he would add another, the Surrealists, as a political current, not just as an artistic discipline. Jay Blackwood tells us he, “helped set up SurrIV with Philip Kane and Rob Marsden as a virtual meeting place for people interested in the twin traditions of Surrealism and Trotskyism, specifically the Trotskyism of the Fourth International”. However, it all ended in tears, the extra colour (or mosaic) was never added.
On May 2 Jay Blackwood posted his resignation letter, a principled document:
“While I have not been a member of Socialist Resistance (the British section of the Fourth International) for some time, I have continued to sympathise with the politics and perspectives of the organisation. However, the position that SR has taken on the current crisis in Ukraine is one that I can neither condone nor ignore. It seems to me that SR, and the FI more broadly, have joined other misguided groups in providing “left cover” for NATO and its neo-fascist proxies in Kiev.
While the war in Ukraine remained “cold”, the question was somewhat academic. Today however things have changed. Today, the trade union centre in Odessa is burning, with many dead – victims of a far right, pro-Kiev mob. Also, today, Western-backed troops have attacked Slavyansk with heavy weapons and helicopters – prelude to a wider attack on anti-Kiev strongholds in Eastern Ukraine.
Today, the killing has begun. SR argues that the fault lies with Russia. In this, it echoes Fox News and the governments in Washington and London. This is not a position I can endorse or excuse. As things stand however, I feel that I have no option but to sever my links with the SurrIV project (our emphasis).
Jay Blackwood, 2nd May 2014.” 
And the fascist-defending, Russophobic Fox News man who wrote the offending article was Liam Mac Uaid. The target of his ire was none other than No2EU, Stop the War and the SWP’s Eamonn McCann:
“On one side No2EU (CPB dominated) is saying: “The European Commission will officially hand over €1.1 billion this week to far right coup leaders in Kiev that removed the elected government with street violence. US secretary of state John Kerry also said on a visit to Kiev this week that Washington will add $1 billion into the pot to shore up fascist rule.” A less shrill echo of this view is offered by the Stop The War Coalition which prominently features an article by Eamonn McCann in which he sets out their stall. “In the game of Great Power politics, if we have to pick a side over Crimea, let it be Russia.” Counterfire have republished the same article along with one by Chris Nineham which argues that the strategic issue is that “Nato and EU expansion in the last two decades has dismantled Russia’s traditional buffer zone.” From this he also concludes that we have to back Russia.”
The very least you could say about these statements is they are a step in the right direction but the bould Irishman Liam will have none of this shitting on the Stars and Stripes, the Union Jack and insulting the fascists; he and his comrades have identified the Maidan coup as contradictory, a reactionary appearance hiding a revolutionary content:
“However, socialist participants in the events, such as Ilya Boudraïtksis of “Vpered” (“Forward”), Russian section of the Fourth International saw the mass movement as containing the germs of a revolutionary process:
“…each element of which breathes an authentic revolutionary consciousness, painted in some strange, unusual colour – a kaleidoscope of propaganda from every possible ultra-right-wing party and sect, with countless “Celtic” symbols and runes on the walls. The incredibly sickening dissonance between the revolutionary content of the process and its reactionary form represents circumstances demanding not squeamish ethical evaluations, but action aimed at changing such an ugly equation”.”
FFS, what a load of twaddle! Well done Liam and Vpered, Forward to the contradictory fascist-led socialist revolution! When I was a member of the ISG Liam resigned in protest at my membership, I’m proud to recall. Now he is a central leader of the SR. He is a shocking counterrevolutionary wolf in left clothing, Jay Blackwood was correct to resign for the same reason, how could you be a member of an organisation that not only tolerated Liam and his ilk but had them as their leaders and still call yourself a Trotskyist? 
Roland Rance, The eminent scientist Gerry Downing proves conclusively that the late Stephen Hawking was both scientifically wrong, and a pseudo secular creationist.
Roland Rance: Hawking did not argue that the universe has existed for ever, but that the question “What existed before the universe?” is meaningless. (if you have a limited theoretical capacity like Roland – GD)
Roland Rance: Showing his impressive scientific wisdom, Gerry replied to one critic “If the universe is not infinite what is behind the wall where it ends?” (see my previous comment – GD)
Lally Laud: Why even care what that irrelevant guy thinks, frankly.
Roland Rance: Who said that any of us cares?
Broder, Rock, Parks, Halaby and others
David Broder made the jump from the pro-Zionist AWL to Stalinism by defending the mass murdering Italian Stalinist thug Plamiro Togliatti. See David Broder: The renegade from Trotskyism has become a Stalinist. 
Lee Rock is another with whom I collaborated in the CPGB, but he was the foremost witchhunter against Socialist Fight in Labour Against the Witchhunt. As Ian Donovan wrote:
“Let us be very clear. Our comrade Gerry Downing was one of the earliest victims of the current phase of the anti-left witchhunt in the Labour Party, being slandered as an ‘ISIS supporter’ by David Cameron in the Commons and then Nazi-baited for our views on the Jewish Question by Guido Fawkes/Paul Staines, and Phil Collins of the JLM along with Andrew Neil on the Daily Politics, while being re-expelled without right of appeal by Iain MacNicol in March 2016. It is very clear that our views on the Jewish Question come from orthodox Marxism and Trotskyism, from Karl Marx’s ‘On the Jewish Question’ and Abram Leon’s ‘The Jewish Question: A Marxist Interpretation’, both of which works have also been calumnied as ‘anti-Semitic’ by enemies of, and renegades from, Marxism.
Our views on these matters have been on record for years, and we are not going to change them now for the benefit of people like Lee Rock who seem inclined to cross class lines to Cameron’s and May’s camp in fear and deference to Zionism. Labour Party Marxists rightly laid out the class issues involved in this witchhunt when they called:
“for the immediate lifting of all of the suspensions and expulsions from Labour Party membership in any way connected to the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear campaign and witch-hunt. That includes Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone, Tony Greenstein, Gerry Downing and numerous other supporters of the Palestinian cause.”
This was in a motion put by comrade Stan Keable to the Ravenscourt Branch in Hammersmith CLP a year ago, which was ruled out of order by the Labour Party bureaucracy from above with the support of the leader’s office, i.e. apparently of Jeremy Corbyn. It appears that Lee Rock shares the view of the Labour Party bureaucracy that this motion, which clearly took a class position in defence of all the victims of the Blairite/Zionist witchhunt including Gerry Downing, should be ruled out. This is a treacherous position.
Our views are and were well known to all the people involved in founding this campaign. Nor is there anything new in anything that has been said in the recent discussion. We have been exonerated of the ‘anti-Semitism’ smear by both Left Unity and the Labour Representation Committee, which are far more authoritative bodies of the labour movement that the sounding off of individuals such as Lee Rock.” 
Chris Ford, with whom I collaborated in the Grass Roots Left, now supports the fascist-infested Kiev regime in Ukraine installed by the CIA-funded Maidan coup in Kiev in the February 2014 coup. See, Chris Ford’s introduction to Ivan Maistrenko’s “Borot’bism.  He is a man of Scottish Irish extraction who has become a right wing Ukrainian nationalist. Of course, even whilst holding no truck with the abject pro-imperialism with these two we will not entertain slander against them because that is a socialist principle.  Of course, we expected no reciprocation from these two and got none.
Dave Parks, whilst expressing contempt, at least tried to defend Hawking, albeit it from an empiricist, anti-Marxist stance. His statement here “I just wonder whether any of these “Marxists” have ever studied calculus of variations, tensor analysis, Riemann geometry and general relativity. If they had they wouldn’t talk such utter bollocks” is simply a restatement of Hawking’s empiricist anti-philosophical and anti-theoretical line, so essentially English.
Marcus Halaby is Workers Power’s very own pro-imperialist left who puts regime change in Syria as the main task of the international proletariat, in collaboration with the CIA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, to name a few. If the attack by Trump and Netanyahu goes ahead with the liberation of East Ghouta for the Jihadists funded by the above we expect to see some spectacular back peddling. Or maybe not, there may be further ground to the left yet to be explored.
Others are Stalinists and/or die-hard reformists and so their opposition is expected. For others still the arguments simply went over their heads and they thought they had best go with the flow because it was “funny”. Respect to the few who defended me, if not fully my political and philosophical line but at least my right to fight for it; Padraic Finn, Stephen Hall, Mike Calvert, Phil Pope and John Keeley to name a few.
Extract: The purple passage
It’s worth quoting the purple passage of comments where all the wolves howled:
14 March, Roland Rance, The eminent scientist Gerry Downing proves conclusively that the late Stephen Hawking was both scientifically wrong, and a pseudo secular creationist.
Likes: 45 Ian Allinson, Jacqueline Walker and 43 others
Christopher Ford I have often pondered the big bang in Brent. Michael Calderbank Pete Firmin
Julia Bard Brilliant. Hawking “lets God in by the back door”. Sounds a trailer for an adult movie.
Paul Flewers Steve Bell’s take on the Big Bang (cartoon posted)
Lee Rock So many fields of expertise, but so little … time?
Elise Hendrick On the other hand, he d to keep ‘The Jews’ out of it for once
Roland Rance And the first person to criticise him was Ian Donovan!
Peter Cohen Well he was referencing a book by at least one Jew. Don’t know about Alan Woods but it sounds Anglo-Saxon enough to be chosen by someone wanting to disguise their background.
Elise Hendrick For Dowling, it has something to do with everything
Dave Parks I just wonder whether any of these “marxists” have ever studied calculus of variations, tensor analysis, Riemann geometry and general relativity. If they had they wouldn’t talk such utter bollocks.
Elise Hendrick These are the ravages of the difficulties in translating the word ‘Wissenschaft’
Peter Cohen Karl Popper had something to say about how “scientific” socialism isn’t and this gang seem to prove him right.
Peter Cohen He references a book co-authored by a Ted Grant. was that the bloke who used to be Isaac Blank, before he joined the s of Michael Hecht, Yigael Gluckstein and Jan Hoch in hiding their roots?
Dave Parks Ted Grant and Alan Woods – a dogmatic repetition of what Engels wrote before most of the mathematics and understanding I mention above came into being. Over 100 years out of date.
Dave Parks The irony is – Engels was celebrating and in tune with the most advanced scientific thinking of his day. These “marxists” are the opposite – at war with reality!
Peter Cohen I tend to have a low regard for politicos who attempt to conceal their background. Zionist propagandists tend to accuse people me and Roland of being self-hating Jews because we criticise Israel and Zionism. It’s rather more appropriate to describe Grant, Maxwell and Howard’s family of being self-hating for seeking to conceal what they are especially as there should be nothing to be ashamed of in Jewishness.
Phil Pope the universe has existed forever because time is part of the universe
Roland Rance Hawking did not argue that the universe has existed for ever, but that the question “What existed before the universe?” is meaningless. (if you have a limited theoretical capacity like Roland – GD)
Dave Parks Precisely.
Dave Parks Time cannot be considered separate from space. That is fundamental to relativity. Thinking in Euclidean terms of a separate 3-D space from a 1-D time – is a model of reality that nobody in physics has accepted since 1905.
Liam Mac Uaid Alan Woods is another advocate of the steady state universe. It’s a Marxist niche but much less exciting than socialist travellers from distant galaxies.
Phil Pope don’t think Fred Hoyle was a Marxist!
Roland Rance Showing his impressive scientific wisdom, Gerry replied to one critic “If the universe is not infinite what is behind the wall where it ends?”
Dave Parks As far as I’m concerned that is geometric flat earthism.
Julia Bard God. Obvs. Waiting to come in by the back door.
Christopher Ford One look at Socialist Fight and went straight out the front one
Luci Davin Ooohhh — sectarian but funny.
Lally Laud Why even care what that irrelevant guy thinks, frankly.
Roland Rance Who said that any of us cares?
Lally Laud Why give this utter irrelevance any oxygen
Roderick Cobley Because it’s funny.
Bolshie Elane It’s a man thing Lally!
Julia Bard No. This thread is very funny and clever. People this need to be taken apart.
Marcus Halaby Because Gerry expresses in both comically and chemically distilled from various malign traits and habits that exist on the left in general. (is that our Workers Power man dissing the entire left? GD)
Julia Bard Malign, divisive and destructive.
Stuart Inman The fact that he can’t get Hawking’s name right isn’t very reassuring…
Rob Marsden That, of course, is the Mandela Effect. When I was young he was most definitely Steven Hawkins.
Stuart Inman Nelson Mandela was Stephen Hawkins????
Rob Marsden You heard it here first.
Workers Power’s Marcus Halaby, author of their pro-imperialist stance on Syria.
Marcus Halaby So Gerry has declined the opportunity to prove that Stephen Hawking was also a pro-imperialist regime change shill financed by billionaires of a Zionist persuasion as well then? (reference of Halaby’s pro-imperialist stance of Libya, Syria etc. He determines the Workers Power line – GD)
Sergio Yahni Funny. Reminds me of the Sockal affair
Ian Allinson He doesn’t even understand Hawking’s argument. Hawking explicitly argued that there is no time before or after the universe – he says it is as meaningless as looking for a point south of the south pole. He does not say there was a period before the big bang. He says there was no time. (Ian is a good trade unionist but to cite this nonsense about “south of the south pole” really is too much – the auroras for a start. GD).
Stephen Hall I’m no physicist nor do I claim to know much about the current scientific consensus with regards to the origins of the universe and so-called Big Bang theory. However, as a simple guy I’ve always had problems with the conception of time and presumably space and everything else beginning at some fixed point prior to which time didn’t exist. Seems a crazy notion to me as what existed prior to it then? The fact that I can contemplate a time prior to the so-called Big Bang or that anyone can refer to such a thing would itself logically infer at the very least time existed prior to that? But Stephen Hawkings says it didn’t and as he was such a pre-eminent physicist I obviously must be wrong and he right.
Personally, and I appreciate I know less about physics than Stephen Hawking’s little toe; I can better get my head around the idea of infinite time and multiple Big Bangs having occurred and that what constrains a greater scientific support for such a view is our current ability to observe beyond what we are currently able with our ‘primitive’ tools. I draw your attention to the following article by the Astronomer Royal, who I guess knows more about physics and cosmology than I, which argues that within a matter of a few years we will be able to observe the universe at much greater distances, and that this might see the Big Bang theory consigned to the waste bin. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/…/multiple-big-bang-theory…/
Multiple Big Bang theory could bring ‘Copernican revolution’ says…
Rob Marsden The way I see it there could be multiple or infinite Big Bangs each giving rise to a universe. Besides being unable to detect or interact with them, what we cannot say is whether one is ‘before’ ‘after’ or simultaneous with another (a thinking cpomment, GD).
Padraic Finn Gerry is as entitled to his view as much as most (some sneering) actors on here who defer to ‘science’ as if they were certain of its truth and assuming that science is completely distant from the social structures in which it operates.
John Keeley I find the language used by theoretical scientists Hawking strange. How can we talk about time having a beginning or end? How can the universe (all space) itself expand (or contract), i.e. into what?And the foundation for the Big Bang theory is that stars & galaxies are assumed to be largely moving away from one another because of the red shift in their measured light & background radiation?
Then we have all the probabilities of Quantum Mechanics because of discrete quanta of energy & this eventually leads to the notion that things only exist in a particular state once a conscious being observes them. As demonstrated in his book A Brief History of Time, Hawking had a poor understanding of philosophy. Maybe some dialectics might help these theoretical physicists?
Pleased to report that there are still some who refuse to capitulate to mass propaganda from the masters of life.
 Richard Youle, Senior News Reporter, Wales Online, 4 SEP 2017, Money needs to be saved at Swansea Council as it faces a massive £7.2m budget overspend, https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/money-needs-saved-swansea-council-13572171
 Paul De Rooij, March 23, 2018 Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again
 Jay Blackwood, Resignation, https://surriv.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/resignation/
 Liam Mac Uaid, Socialist Resistance, March 24, 2014, Ukraine – the Russians are the aggressors, http://socialistresistance.org/ukraine-the-russians-are-the-aggressors/6085
 Gerry Downing, David Broder: The renegade from Trotskyism has become a Stalinist https://socialistfight.com/2017/10/27/david-broder-the-renegade-from-trotskyism-has-become-a-stalinist/
 Ian Donovan, Socialist Fight, 19-1-17, Anti-Marxist fulminations in ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’: A reply, https://socialistfight.com/2017/11/19/anti-marxist-fulminations-in-labour-against-the-witchhunt-a-reply/
 Chris Ford’s introduction to Ivan Maistrenko’s “Borot’bism”, https://socialistfight.com/2014/06/17/chris-fords-introduction-to-ivan-maistrenkos-borotbism/
 Socialist Fight Statement on Chris Ford and “drunken violent behaviour”, https://socialistfight.com/2014/12/26/socialist-fight-statement-on-chris-ford-and-drunken-violent-behaviour/