UK: TRANSFORM LABOUR BY SWEEPING AWAY ITS IMPERIALISTS!

LABOUR’S FAILURE IN 2019 LENT SOME STRENGTH TO THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT OF BORIS JOHNSON AND UNLEASHED A PROFOUND CRISIS IN THE LABOUR PARTY. Encouraged, Johnson treated the Covid-19 epidemic in the most cavalier way; he allowed the daily under-reporting of those who died, and never apologised for the 30,000 ‘excess’ deaths in the care homes. Having permitted the death of thousands of front-line workers, the British capitalists now prepare to replace hundreds of thousands of workers by machines.

The new Labour leader (Sir) [1] Keir Starmer is a knighted Human Rights lawyer who says that Julian Assange is a criminal who must be extradited to the United States!

Starmer recently sacked his corbynist Education minister, Rebecca Long-Bailey, for having twitted an alleged antisemitic document. Now that Corbyn has stepped down, Starmer is the new right-wing Party leader who wants to tame the left. But he would be less concerned with the left if it were not so strong in the Party’s membership and the trade union base.

No demoralisation in the working class:

Corbyn’s electoral defeat did not lead to any demoralisation in the working class. For it is the workers and their trade unions (Health, Education, Industry and Entertainment in particular) who forced the lockdown against the Covid-19 virus. It was the trade unions who, in a very fierce fight with the government, saved the children from a premature return to school; and in the workplaces, the humane concern of the trade unions became a life-saving antidote to the murderous anarchy of the capitalists.

With Corbyn now gone, and right-winger Starmer replacing him, there is a crisis in the Labour Party – but not one of despair or abandonment. If anything, the left is growing stronger and more determined to improve its links – organisational and political – with the trade unions and the struggles in the workplaces. A strong left is growing in Momentum, a Left that the Party’s machine was never strong enough to close down. Under a more left wing leadership nowadays, Momentum adhere to the initial goals of the Corbyn Labour Manifesto (2017)  in defence of the immigrants, the Green New Deal and mandatory re-selection. Besides, all these ideas continue to mobilise the Labour left.

The Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia warns that the United States has started condoning (for itself) the limited use of nuclear weapons. In spite of this grave world situation, and in spite of the Labour electoral defeat, the British workers stay self-confident and regrouped at the base of the Labour Party. In the Party itself, many new left groups are forming like Forward Momentum, The Labour Friends of Progressive Latin America, Cosmos (with Corbyn), Don’t Leave Organise, and many others, divided only by their varying levels of confidence in Socialism.

To get a measure of the great authority of Jeremy Corbyn, it is useful to recall how he won 10 million votes in the 2017 general elections. It took the bourgeois press almost a year to recognise that, in those elections, Labour had only been short of 2,227 votes!  And it is even more important to recall that the 2017 Labour Manifesto had advocated nationalisations to produce for human need, the need to link with workers in the rest of Europe, support for the Paris Climate Change Agreement, opposition to war, opposition to NATO and opposition to Trident (the US-owned Trident nuclear submarine with its base in Faslane, Scotland).

Putrefaction and treason in the Labour apparatus:

21.7.2016

A report recently leaked (from Labour) to the press reveals that the top Labour administrators formed an enduring cabal to make Corbyn lose the two elections of 2017 and 2019. Some of those involved colluded with the bourgeois media to defame the Corbyn’s team, tamper with the Party’s finances and spy on left-wingers to get them expelled. Had Corbyn won in 2017, which nearly happened, he would have had at least two years to stop the privatisation of the NHS and perhaps reverse it. Those in the cabal bear a large part of responsibility in the 30,000 ‘excess’ [2] deaths in the UK’s care homes, for instance.

The fact that this ‘leaked report’ contains right-wing views shows that we are still only dealing with a falling-out between right-wing sectors at the top of the Party. This said, the leak bears witness to the political degeneration and decomposition amongst them. It shows that a chasm has opened up between them, where class-enemy infiltration could hide, and for years, behind the pretence that administration is not political.

From within the Party, those involved in the cabal have helped in bringing Corbyn down and the Tories up. These people still have an important backing in areas of the Party – like the constituencies – where many smaller Party officials and allies went on the LibDem ‘Remain’ marches against Corbyn. They are the same today who are not keen to see official Party functioning resuming (via zoom for instance). What the leak has just demonstrated however is that these people and acolytes in the Party’s disciplinary office, are not commendable, are not a monolith and should not be unbeatable.

Over the last few years, new right-wing groupings [3] have appeared in the Party, some of them to tell the electorate not to vote Corbyn, or even Labour! But what they opposed was not so much Corbyn as his trade union backing and his socialist-leaning programme. They weighed from above in the higher Party’s organs (Conference included) and arranged to have “support for Trident and Nato” re-inserted in the 2019 Labour Manifesto. They pressurised the Party’s Executive until it accepted to hand over the management of its disciplinary office to two right-wing outside bodies: JLM and BoD [4]. In the view of those outside bodies, Jewish people and Israel being one and the same thing, any Labour member who criticises Israel is being antisemitic and must be expelled.

When he sacked his progressive Shadow Education Minister (Long-Bailey), Starmer deepened the gap (already too wide) between the Labour Party and the Trade Unions. In so doing, he meant to intimidate the left and present himself to the Tories as the safe pair of hands “that stands up to the teachers”. Of course this repels the working class which feels less able to bring into the Party its yearning for human justice and social equality. As a result, the forces of social transformation settle on the Party’s margins, where Starmer cannot attack them any further. This is a self-defeating move for Starmer however, because the role he has taken upon himself to play – and assigned to him by the capitalist class – is to control the working class from inside the Labour Party.

UK-anti-Trump-demo-2019-TowerHamlets-300x184                                           Teachers demonstration against Trump in July 2018

No to Trident, No to Nato!

The reinsertion of “support to Trident and Nato” in the 2019 Manifesto makes it manifest that British and world imperialism are exerting pressure on the Labour Party. This pressure comes from the warmongering hatred that the USA and Britain stir up against Rusia and China, and from Israel who, in the service of world imperialism, intervenes openly in the Labour Party to have the left thrown out of there.

These world forces can do this because the pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist structure in the Party invites them in, and lets them use against the left the Tory and capitalist means of repression (press, secret services, extreme right, etc).

There is also the fact that the Labour left is not sufficiently clear about these matters and needs to discuss them. And then, there is the fact that this left is still too isolated from the British working class, as well as that in the rest of Europe and in the rest of the world.

The confrontation right-left in the Party is increasingly linked to the struggle ‘for’ or ‘against’ the transformation of the country, that is to say, ‘for’ or ‘against’ the transformation of the Party.

The speech of Lavrov and the way Corbyn was ‘bulldozed’ give every reason to think that the  capitalist class prepares to use all its might to preserve its social regime of predation, competition, injustice and war.

The false accusations of antisemitism impose silence on the Labour comrades for the moment. Now that war is looming, the working class and the Labour base refuse to side with the world’s colonisers and imperialists as in 1914. The leaked report shows that the right-wing Labour structures intent on imposing compliance and silence on the Party are fissured. They have only the decomposition of capitalism to rest on, and they will not survive when the working class and the left – nationally and internationally – intervene to sweep them away.

The Posadists Today wish to see these questions discussed in the Party and in the left. One must return to the anti-Trident and anti-Nato programme of the 2017 Manifesto, and use it to unify all the present strands in the Labour left.

Go back to “No to Trident, No to Nato!”

Posadists Today, 15.7.2020

Postscript:
Extract from a parliamentary report, 3 August 1914:

Ramsey MacDonald (Labour): “We fought the Crimean war because of our honour. We rushed to South Africa because of our honour. The right hon. Gentleman (of the Liberal Party) is appealing to us today because of our honour”.

“Honour” is always the excuse, agreed Keir Hardie (Labour). “We shall look back in wonder … at the flimsy reasoning.”

Three days later, Labour decided to vote for war credits and MacDonald resigned as leader.

 

[1] Keir Starmer: barrister in England and Wales, elected MP for Holborn and St Pancras. Councillor to the queen and member of the Privy Council, he was ‘elevated’ by the queen in 2013 to the rank of the Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath for services rendered to the law.

https://fr.empirecostume.com/royaume-uni-ordre-du-bain-a2546.htm

[2] The number of deaths over and above those that took place, on average, during the same period, over the last 5 years.

[3] In June 2016, the British Labour MPs passed a no-confidence motion in Jeremy Corbyn: 172 MPs against him and 40 for.

[4] Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) and the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD). Note that JLM is only an affiliated body of the Labour Party (many years dormant), and BoD is an outside body entirely.

The featured image is from the Trade Union Unison. It was taken on 1 June 2020, date when Boris Johnson had expected all the schools to have reopened. The teachers Unions across the UK, (there are some 13 different ones) stood up against this measure in complete unity. Because the government had foreseen nothing to prepare the schools against Covid-19, the preparations to make, and .. the costs. Nicola Sturgeon of Scotland spoke vehemently against it, and said that she had not even been consulted. The government had to give way.