TURN THE ANTI-TRUMP CRITIQUE INTO A MOVEMENT AGAINST CAPITALISM AND NATO! – On 3 June, the US president Donald Trump and members of his family were received with great fanfare in the UK for an official visit to last until 5 June. To receive him, the bourgeois class put most of the State apparatus on official footing, complete with the 21 rounds of royal gun-salute, reception with the queen and official banquet – and the last day at Portsmouth for the D Day Landing commemorations. During his stay, Donald Trump called “fake news” all reports of demonstrations against him.
Note to the Reader: This article was written when Theresa May was still in the UK government. The electoral campaign to replace her was taking place during the Trump’s visit, but this campaign was limited to an election in the Tory Party only, due to the fact that the Theresa May mandate was to last until 2022. At the time of this article too, the leader of the LibDems was still Nick Clegg. Editorial
The June 4 anti-Trump demonstration in London :
In that demonstration, the protestors rejected the welcome that the British government was offering to Trump. They repudiated Trump’s jaundiced attacks on the Muslim Labour Mayor of London (Sadiq Khan), and on the left-wing Labour leader (Jeremy Corbyn). They mocked Trump, this politically backward, arrogant and aggressive visitor. They denounced his racial and chauvinist prejudices that contribute to push millions of people further along the road of extermination, like the Palestinians and the world’s refugees.
The feelings of the demonstrators were profoundly anti-austerity, anti-neoliberal, anti-capitalist and anti-war. The number of participants was evaluated at around 300,000; less than last year, but the working class was better represented. The banners and caricatures rejected Trump’s obsession for ‘a wall’ against Mexico, his executive orders reeking of personal power, his involvement in the incarceration of caged children separated from their detained migrant parents and all his advisors opposed to Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Iran, China and Russia.
Jeremy Corbyn speaks from the podium on the 4 June anti-Trump demo
There were great charivaris against Trump, but the demonstration was not superficial. It was led by Jeremy Corbyn who spoke from the podium alongside trade union leaders and others. They condemned Trump for the encouragement he gives to the onward march of the extreme right-wing in the US, the world, and in the UK through this visit.
The TUC leader Frances O’Grady, who spoke after Corbyn, demanded the end of the austerity policies that hit the working class, and continue to cripple people behind the Brexit diversion.
The leader of the Greens condemned Trump’s role in the US withdrawal from the Climate Paris Accords. Most of the anti-war groups like StopTheWar, NoToNato and CND were involved in the organisation of the march, alongside the major trade unions like Unite, GMB, CWU and PCS.
The many banners were telling Trump : “Hands Off Women”, “Go Home”, “hands off Iran” and “No nuclear War”. The committees of solidarity with Latin America could be seen alongside those that fight austerity, and defend the democratic and trade union rights that the British anti-terror laws are burying. Some committees and organisations had come to defend the climate, the environment, life on Earth. Others demanded equality, decent jobs, decent housing and a dignified life for everyone. Working class organisations had come to denounce the austerity policies which continue in spite of official assurances to the contrary. Even the official figures report that the working class and poor petit bourgeoisie are sinking into poverty, whilst a lot more people find it hard to look after themselves. In 2017, the Department of Health and Social Care reported that 10% of the children between 4 and 5 are obese in the UK. Now, four and a half million British children live in poverty – 60% of them in households where at least one person is working.
‘Remaining’ in the European Union does not resolve the social problems :
For a growing layer of ordinary people, the ‘Brexit’ idea looks more and more like folly. Born exclusively in the Conservative Party, Brexit does not find much echo in the other political parties. In the demonstration, the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party (LibDem), Nick Clegg, insisted on “a second referendum” to be called, to obtain a Remain result this time, and put Brexit to bed once and for all.
For the LibDems however, the European Union is acceptable as it is – that is to say, capitalist. In the demonstration, their national and local leaders were literally wrapping themselves in the EU flag; and with their slogan ‘for a second referendum’, they were exerting a palpable pressure on the crowds of Labour members and supporters to do the same. This was quietly inferring that, should Labour line up behind the European Union and endorse a simple ‘Remain’, some LibDems could cast their vote for Labour, if only Jeremy Corbyn was replaced, or stopped talking about “cooperation with the working class and progressive parties” in the rest of Europe. The British press helps this kind of thing along by calling Corbyn “a Marxist”.
An important part of the Labour MPs support the ‘second referendum’ and the pure Remain position as well. They obviously hope too, that a Remain result to a second referendum will force Corbyn to stop talking of “reforming Europe”, or get him out of the Labour leadership altogether. J Corbyn does not defend the Conservatives’ Brexit, but he does not support the LibDem’s Remain either. He puts forward a position that tends to transcend both sides. He does this by advocating working class and Labour actions in solidarity with the working class and progressive organisations in all the European countries against neoliberalism and privatisations.
Corbyn speaks of building together a European society more equitable and more internationalist than it is at present (see the two links at the end of this article). He is supported in this by many economists, academics and personalities like Ken Loach, Noam Chomsky, John Pilger and others.
The LibDem Party is a bourgeois Party, although part of its petit bourgeois base oscillates electorally between LibDem and Labour. This sector can be won to the socialist ideas. To achieve this however, the Labour left needs to be more formed, more clearly seen repelling the pro-neoliberal Labour bureaucratic and bourgeois apparatus. Because the latter keeps many links with the neoliberal LibDems. Many rightist and centrist Labour leaders retake the LibDem’s slogans with a view to marginalising the Corbyn leadership, and eventually toppling it. In a supple but determined way, Corbyn resists and does not submit to them. He is successful in the way he refines every day the programme which he proposes to face down the multinationals, the privatisations, the inequality. He keeps reiterating the logical view, widely accepted, that since the Conservative parliament is deadlocked, it is new elections that are needed, and not another referendum.
The Corbyn leadership is against the Brexit as proposed by Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and now Donald Trump; but he is not satisfied with the European Union as it is either. He refers to his wish for new UK relations with the EU, with a greater role for the working class and progressive organisations on a European scale.
The Conservative Party and the right-wing LibDems represent a very important section of the British capitalist class. The latter has interests inseparable from those of the European bourgeoisie, of which they are a part. It agrees with the European Commission’s sanctions on Venezuela for instance, and this imperialist view is accepted by the Remain LibDems too. The right wing Labour leaders consort with the LibDems because they agree with this imperialist stance. They oppose Corbyn and fear him because is well known for his anti-imperialist views.
One of the right-wing Labour leaders involved here is Tom Watson – the deputy Labour leader, nothing less, second in the Labour leadership after Corbyn. Watson speaks publicly in support of NATO. He supports the US nuclear Trident-Polaris submarine based at Faslane (Scotland) and wants it modernised. A complete Remainer, Watson has long pressurised Corbyn to go along with the LibDems’ views. In front of Corbyn’s intractable opposition, Watson organised a ‘centrist’ group in the Labour Party (particularly amongst the MPs) which uses the capitalist media to present Corbyn as an incapable, a racist, a danger to national security.
Such is the war that rages in the Labour Party: a war against Corbyn, against the Labour left, against its growing anti-war and anti-imperialist views. It is above all a war against organising the Party for social transformation.
In the Labour Party, there is a great lack of the scientific and political means to counter all these points; but the trade union and Labour base are not confused. They see the need to stay centralised behind this Corbyn leadership that has a perspective and that does not give up.
Corbyn wins authority by rejecting both the ‘hard Brexit’ and the pure ‘Remain’ :
Jeremy Corbyn keeps to his positions although they are much distorted or silenced in the medias. In the demonstration, he announced his rejection of the UK-US bilateral Treaty that Donald Trump offered openly during his visit to the Conservative government and to Boris Johnson. He rejected also the kind of Brexit (and even more the ‘hard Brexit’) that means quitting the EU to throw its weight specifically behind US Trade Deals, with their commodities cheapened at the expense of human health and life.
Corbyn was greeted and applauded for rejecting the pro-US Brexiteers as much as the Remainers of the “second referendum”. In the press articles at the end of this document, Corbyn is reported to be saying that: “a Labour government would work to build a “socialist Europe” both inside and outside the EU institutions” (Dec 2018). In complete opposition to this, his opponents in the Labour Party cling to the capitalists’ coattails (of the LibDems, the medias, the State) with the firm intention of having him toppled.
Following the European elections in May, the former “Communications Director’ of Tony Blair – a Labour Party member of some note – announced proudly that he had voted LibDem. In those elections as well as in the UK’s local elections, it had not been rare to observe Labour leaders accompanying LibDems or adopting their slogans, instead of those of their leader.
When in March this year Tom Watson organised his Future Britain Group inside the Labour Party (to compete with and trash the Corbyn leadership), he was joined by no less than 150 Labour Lords and MPs. These latter did not prosper much, however. Some of their numbers join the LibDems, or give up, or get lost in new ‘independent’ groups.
The working class and the Labour popular base stays solid behind Corbyn. Three times it stopped the Labour right-wing from overthrowing Corbyn. Time having passed, the hope to have Corbyn toppled has become jaded, whilst Corbyn gains a little more authority every day. He derives this authority from his perseverance and his disposition to answer the pressing call of social-socialist transformation.
Apart from deceit and brute force, capitalism has little left to save itself with :
In the anti-Trump demonstration, the large Labour and Trade Union contingents showed that they had not come to listen to the LibDem Nick Clegg. They had come to greet Corbyn, applaud him, help him to draw closer to his militant base. They had come to encourage him to continue to resist the conservatism of the bourgeois-bureaucratic machinery of the Labour Party.
More anarchistic groups had joined the demonstration. They were those who carried a Trump twitting on a chamber pot, for a laugh. And to suggest to the crowd that: “we are all pals here” and “no need to organise the left any more than it is now”. But their charivaris lowered the political level. They weighed in the crowd against a more politically articulate representation of Trump as a symbol of war. For let us not forget that the current Labour Manifesto still gives full support to NATO, and to the US-owned Trident-Polaris nuclear submarine.
In the demonstration, several major speakers denounced the public support that D Trump was giving to the Brexit camp even during this visit. Indeed, Trump had already met Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, and was fully justifying Johnson’s idea of a ‘complete crash out of the EU’. Oblivious to the adverse economic and social consequences that are already being foreseen. The headline “Brexit without a deal” was soon in the headlines of the compliant media, where Donald Trump declared that “he [Boris Johnson] could make a very good prime minister”.
Among the British capitalist leaders who never doubted that Russia interfered in the US elections, not one had a word to say against Trump’s flagrant interference in this British electoral campaign to replace Theresa May as prime minister. The capitalist class admits freely that it grants to itself the rights that it denies to the world, like atomic weapons for instance. In this, it shows how little it cares for justice or truth, and how glibly it prepares for the use of force, to save itself.
In the demonstration, those who attended did not come just to denounce Trump, but his arrogance, his contempt, his recklessness. With their countless placards, the demonstrators condemned the whole system, its neoliberalism, its recklessness, its austerity policies, its wars, its nuclear threat.
Afraid and alarmed by its decline, British capitalism finds that it has only financial power, i.e. military power to fall back on. This however, locks it even more firmly within the financial and military power of the United States, NATO and their wars. To save itself, capitalism has nothing left beyond stratagems and military force.
What was not mentioned in this demonstration, at political level, is that the UK is a member of NATO; and that it is presently acquiring a fleet of Lockheed-Martin F-35 bombers specifically conceived for first-strike nuclear attack. The LibDems who addressed the demonstration through their leader Nick Clegg, ‘forgot’ to mention that the huge British military budget comes out of the British social budget – a reality that actually kills people through the cuts. The Labour right-wing, which was also present in the demonstration around Tom Watson, kept this concealed too. It is that same Labour right wing that weighed in the 2017 Labour Manifesto to make it pronounce in favour of NATO and of Trident-Polaris. It was not Corbyn who got this done!
Through the obsequious welcome that it gave to Trump, British imperialism demonstrated the depth of its dependency on US imperialism. All the pomp around Trump exposed the sorry state of world capitalism whose leaders are held in contempt by the workers and masses far and wide, in the UK and internationally.
With this visitor who involved even the queen, British capitalism nailed its flag yet more firmly to the mast of North-American and world imperialism. Wherever the latter goes, whoever leads it. This British official welcome endorsed the US anti-Iran and anti-Russian campaigns, presently led by the Pentagon and NATO, for a world war that they have already started.
One needs to analyse all these things in the Labour Party. The Labour left currents need to organise more cohesively on the basis of programmes to build a social-socialist Europe and fight against the world war of capitalism. More ideas and commitments are wanted to back up and guide the Corbyn’s initiatives. The Lansman leadership of Momentum intervened to stop this evolution, but the conditions exist now to retake that road.
The way to build a socialist Europe needs more figuring. The multinationals are not just in the EU and in the US. They are in Britain too. It is right to seek cooperation between the workers of the UK and of the EU. To achieve this however, there is no need to wait for a Labour government. It is true that the immediate task is to win votes for the Labour Party, since new elections are likely. But if the Labour comrades start linking the strikes and the political struggles of the British workers with those of the European workers, they will encourage the British workers and their intellectual and petit bourgeois allies. The latter will want to vote Labour, even those who voted Brexit in the past, for their own reasons.
June 5 was the last day of Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. Overflowing with arrogance and pride, it was as commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States of America that he took off for Portsmouth in his private Air Force One jet. In Portsmouth, he was to attend the 75th commemoration of the 1944 ‘Western Allies’ Normandy Landing’. Since the Russian president had not been invited, Donald Trump may have felt amongst close friends around queen Elisabeth, the high echelons of the British army, Theresa May (who was still PM) as well as others like Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, 15 other heads of State and all the European leaders of NATO.
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THE AIM OF THE 1944 NORMANDY LANDING WAS TO STOP SOVIET EXPANSION IN EUROPE :
The small group of veterans who participated in the Portsmouth ceremony were congratulated by the queen and heads of States, for the part which the veterans took “in the defence of our heritage of liberty” as well as “the survival of our civilisation, our way of life and the benefits of peace”. A subsequent press communiqué signed by the European leaders (the UK ones included) pledged to continue “to defend these liberties every time they are threatened”.
No one during the ceremony thought of mentioning the 20 million dead in the invasions, the military coups, the bombardments and the multiple wars perpetrated by US and world imperialism in the world since 1945. This would not have been sufficiently illustrative of the “benefits of peace”.
The British press commentaries did not deny that the USSR played a central role in the nazis’ defeat. They actually mentioned the 800,000 Soviet dead in Stalingrad and the 26 million dead in the USSR in the Second World War – although it was closer to 27 million. They did not deny either that the ‘Allies’ ignored for two years the Soviets’ calls for a Second Front. However, the papers’ headlines were unanimous in claiming that the ‘Normandy Landing’ had meant to open that second front and help the Red Army crush the nazis.
This is false however and grossly dishonest. The ‘Allies’ did not intervene in June 1944 to help the Red Army in crushing the nazis. They suddenly rushed in to stop the Red Army from continuing to sweep westwards over Europe. The Soviet army had just liberated Berlin in April, and 13 new Workers States – additional to the Workers State of the USSR – were forming throughout Eastern Europe. It was to stop this process that the ‘Allies’ moved in. Capitalism hides all this because it does not want the immense social superiority of the Workers State, and of the USSR, to be admitted. The hatred of capitalism towards the Soviet Union is not due to the latters’ limitations. It is due to the sense of terror that capitalism feels when it is forced to admit to the social, cultural and historic superiority of the Workers State.
On top of this, capitalism seeks to hide how most of the governments and monarchies of our present day Western ‘free countries’ collaborated with the nazis to one degree or the other; today, it is their anti-communism that stops them from accepting these facts. This is why capitalism cannot understand the history of yesterday or that of today, and even less what is happening to it under Donald Trump.
What the capitalists call “our heritage of liberty” boils down to the right which they reserve to themselves, to make war against Workers States and socialism for the preservation of their predatory regime. When the ‘Allies’ of our present days say that they want “to defend these liberties every time these are threatened”, they express their relief to have escaped Socialism in 1944 and promise to themselves to add more wars to those they visited on Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, etc.
Trump and NATO – inheritors of the anti-nazi struggle ?
With the 5 June Landing ceremony in Portsmouth, the British media and official declarations – in the UK and the world – pretended to be marking the anniversary of when “liberty won over nazism”. D Trump, T May, E Macron and the leaders of NATO spoke as “the inheritors” of the anti-nazi struggle in 1944. The depth of this imposture can be measured through E Macron’s view that Petain (who collaborated with the Nazis) was “a great soldier”; or through Donald Trump, for whom there had been “very good people on both sides” in the Charlottesville attack in the US in August 2017 – “very good people” on the neo-nazi side therefore.
With this commemoration in June 2019, we face the terrible deceits of our present-day leaders of the atomic war. For them, peace means the absence of the struggle for socialism. For them, “the defence of liberty” consists in stopping socialism, and preferably crushing it.
In what they call “liberty”, the ‘Allies’ of our present days see nothing more than their right to be armed to the teeth to go and loot the world with all the means of war their own interests dictate. All their war commemorations are mystifications where they present their anti-communist forays in the pious and hypocritical guise of “the defence of liberty”. Their intention being to hoodwink, confuse and intimidate the working class into believing that the capitalist wars defend universal values.
The US and NATO accuse Russia and China of threatening the national security of ‘Western’ countries. This means to justify the world war that world capitalism has already started against the great mass of humanity; the latter being guilty of not accepting any return to slavery and colonisation.
D Trump came to London to assist a right-wing political slide and push the UK more firmly into the arms of warmongers. He came to pretend that a war on Iran will be a war against terrorists. His aim has been to lend credit and legitimacy to dangerous political sectors like those around Nigel Farage, himself undeniably linked with neo-nazi groups. Trump’s visit has been part of the capitalist plan, more operational every passing day, to discredit the Corbyn leadership and stop the formation of consistent anti-capitalist and anti-war currents in the Trade Unions and the left that supports Corbyn.
This Portsmouth ceremony took place with the full participation of all the NATO chiefs. One must struggle in the Labour Party for it, the Party, to incorporate the work of the anti-war organisations. The Party must reject any re-deployment of US-NATO intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Europe. The B61 nuclear bombs stored in five European countries must be rejected. The nuclear militarisation of Space – started by North-American, European and world imperialism – needs to be opposed.
Capitalist functioning has come to rest on war and the production of arms. The need is to confront this, and pose: Britain out of NATO! For working class unity across Europe, the USA and the world to oppose NATO and any nuclear war! One must transform the anti-Trump critique into a movement against capitalism and NATO. Let us transform the war of capitalism into a war against it, to build the new society.
The Posadists Today – 30.6.19
Informative links :