Through his leadership mis-acquired through usurpation, Keir Starmer imposes on the Labour Party the role of supporter of the Banderist army in Ukraine and opponent of Putin’s Russian leadership. Regarding the bombing of Gaza, Starmer speaks freely as an imperialist and in the name of labour, which is a double usurpation. Starmer supports Israel’s deadly bombing of Gaza and rejects the call for a ceasefire. He not only accepted all the lies about Hamas but directly supported the idea of cutting off water, communications and electricity to all the Palestinians under the bombs in Gaza. And as soon as Biden declared himself in favour of the complete bombing of Gaza City, Starmer immediately aligned with this position.
For 5 years now, the Labour Party has not been allowed to discuss the Palestinian issue and the false allegations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. After banning four left-wing organizations from the party, the Starmer leadership continued to expel members for supporting these banned organizations, sometimes even retrospectively.
Now the Starmer caste sends directives to the local party bodies warning them that any support for Hamas is potentially an act of terrorism. Any resolution from the base that supports Palestine will be considered anti-Semitic, its authors will be sought out, subject to disciplinary sanctions. Grassroots comrades are invited to report malefactors to the Party HQ, as well as to the head office of the CST, a presumed charitable association “which protects Jews from anti-Semitism”.
This is completely contrary to the opinion of the mass of Labour voters, the party’s trade unionists and the mass of the people in general. When the London Liverpool Street and Waterloo railway stations were recently occupied by pro-Palestinian demonstrators, passengers came and joined their ranks.
If we add the 300,000 (some say 800,000) demonstrators in London on 25 November, to those in Dublin and Belfast, as well as those in major cities in England, Scotland and Wales, the mobilization well exceeded a million. In all these places, the overwhelming majority of protesters are the British working class and their allies in the petty bourgeoisie.
Demonstration at Instro Precision Ltd, Sandwich Kent, 26 October 2023
On October 28, more than 150 trade unionists and activists blocked the entrance to Instro Precision Ltd. This company, which is located in Sandwich in Kent, is part of several similar ones in the United Kingdom – Manchester, Oldham, Edinburgh, Reading, Shenstone and others. At one time or the other, these have all been the target of demonstrations, occupations and direct actions to denounce their production of weapons that the Israeli State use, and get tested, in its genocidal destruction of the many-times refugees in Gaza and Palestine.
In Sandwich (in Kent), Instro Precision Ltd. participates in the construction of drone, of engines and of parts for the F35s that are blitzing the 7 or 8 refugee camps in the Gaza Strip. In the protest against Instro Precision, not only were several pro-Palestinian groups involved, but many trade unionists as well, who had come from other parts of the country to be present that day. They called on the workers of the company to come out. And they openly declared their demonstration be responding to the call for solidarity recently launched by the Palestinian Trade Unions themselves.
If the British Trade Union leaders are not the organizers of such actions, they do not oppose them either. These direct actions have a great effect upon them, and a great echo in the general population outraged and in revolt against the genocidal destruction of Palestine, particularly Gaza. In Reading and Edinburgh, Israeli related businesses targeted by such actions had to close their doors for a few hours in October while some employees left their jobs. Perhaps due to its tarnished image, IO Offices in Manchester officially severed its branch relations with Elbit Systems. This Elbit company was forced to close permanently its HQ in central London in August 2021, following repeated actions against its building, over 2 years, with regular smearing of ‘blood’ on its facade and several successful interior occupations.
REPERCUSSIONS IN THE LABOUR PARTY
Furious and outraged by Israel’s criminal actions in Gaza, Young Labour’s BAME (Ethnic Minority) leader, Lulaba Khalid, resigned from the party. In Oxford, nine city councillors left the party for refusing the official line of “Israel’s right to defend itself”. They protested that denouncing “collective punishment of Palestinians” cannot possibly be the subject of disciplinary condemnation. With these 9 resignations in Oxford, the Labour Party has lost the majority on Oxford City Council that it had held since 2010.
24 Muslim councillors have now left the party in West London boroughs, as well as in parts of Manchester and Edinburgh where the councillors concerned are of all religious confessions and none. In the Glasgow West Kelvin constituency, nine others resigned due to “stifling of debate”. Now, the stalled procedures for their replacement promises to raise even more controversy.
250 Labour city councillors signed a national letter calling on Starmer to support “ceasefire” for Gaza, in line with the UN resolution. After Amnesty International begged Starmer to do so, the latter began talking about “humanitarian pauses” while still rejecting the idea of a ceasefire. Sensing anger and outrage surrounding him, he reversed the decision to sack rebel MP Apsana Begum for protesting outside the Israeli embassy, and he reversed the suspension of Andy McDonald (Middlesbrough MP) for his reference to the slogan “from the river to the sea” misconstrued as anti-Semitic.
Starmer expelled or repelled some 200,000 Corbynistas from the party in the hope of landing a small and submissive party. This is obviously not the case however, and with the elections due next year, he feels the need to soften his speech. When he speaks of “humanitarian pauses” and affirms that he never wanted Gaza without water and electricity, he is running behind the electorate, the working class and the historic process. Polls show that only 59% of Muslims could vote Labour in 2024, compared to 70% during the Corbyn era. And this estimation looks like a generous one.
The policy of the Russian leaders in Ukraine, in Syria, in Iran and towards Venezuela, may not be revolutionary in Marxist terms, but it is revolutionary in relation to what capitalism can now accept in terms of Russian politics. The same goes for the Palestinian rebellion, which is revolutionary compared to what Israel, the Pentagon and NATO can now stand up to, in the Middle East. As our comrade J. Posadas said, it is the global process that is transforming Britain and upsetting the Labour cart.
Disgusted by the despicable cowardice of Starmer’s leadership, many comrades are talking about creating another mass working class party in Britain. It may be that between now and the full outbreak of the third and current world war, there is still time to do so. For the moment, the major British unions, far from separating from the Labour Party, remain concentrated. They force the Starmer leadership, which opposed them, to accept many victories of their strikes, like those recently won by the railway workers (RMT and TSSA).
It was the working class that created the Labour Party and not the other way around. Unlike all the other working classes in the world. For the moment, it would seem preferable to propose the formation of anti-war and anti-fascist currents within the Labour Party – at the base and among the Youth. Those currents would need to concern themselves with defending the Donbass Republics in Ukraine and the Palestinians of Gaza, against the (pro-Nazi) Banderists of the Ukrainian army and the Nazi policy of the Israeli army.
Today, the idea of a new class and mass party in Britain is bound with a world struggle to defeat Nazism. The latter is dramatically expressed internationally at all levels of the capitalist class, but it is present nationally as well, around the Sunak government and the far-right alignment of the Starmer leadership.
It is the trade union bureaucracy that stops the deeper penetration of the revolutionary influence of the heroic Palestinians in the Trade Unions, and in the Labour Party at political level. The problem of bureaucracy in the trade unions is not going to be resolved by creating another Party. There is every reason to seek to create in the trade unions – and Labour where possible – currents and tendencies favourable to the defeat of Nato. For it is Nato that stands behind Israel, behind the Ukrainian government, and behind the British government too. The problem is not just the timid trade union bureaucracy and the degenerating bourgeois structure of Labour, but their alignment with the fascist policies of the capitalist governments and of Nato.
Posadists Today – 2.11.2023
Photo: one of the major mobilizations in London during the month of October in defence of Palestine
 During the May 2021 Unity Intifada, a collective of Palestinian trade unions called for international solidarity from international unions, urging them to divest their pensions from companies implicated in the occupation and release statements of solidarity. https://merip.org/2023/10/palestinian-trade-unions-call-for-an-end-to-arming-israel/#:~:text=During%20the%20May%202021%20Unity,and%20release%20statements%20of%20solidarity.