UNITE THE ANTI-STARMER FORCES AROUND A PROGRAMME – Since Russia demonstrated to the world that it had the courage and the determination to face down the military preparations of world capitalism, the working class and masses of the world have been encouraged. 

2023-24 has been a period of strikes in most large capitalist countries, and in Britain in particular. In Africa, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso have progressed in the expulsion of French imperialism. The government of Iraq has demanded that the US troops of occupation should leave[1]. And anti-colonial solidarity has taken a new form when the Houthis of Yemen told the world capitalists that the best way to protect their commercial ships is to stop arming and financing Israel’s colonial genocide against Gaza.  

This the anti-colonial struggle continuing worldwide. It is not strictly revolutionary in communist terms, but it is revolutionary as far as British imperialism is concerned, and it has deep revolutionary implications as far as the Labour Party is concerned. 

Evicted from the world materially and politically, imperialism – ultimate phase of capitalism – responds with hatred, as a regime. Feeling its hegemony challenged, it compresses in upon itself in the form of multinationals. It gives itself a global form of state power that vassalizes the smaller capitalist countries. It concentrates world finances and tries to hold the ex-colonial world in the grip of the dollar, its sanctions and The Debt.  It has turned itself into a global military force concentrated mostly in the US and Nato.  

On 8th of Feb, the US Senate voted a $95.34B aid package for the pro-Nazi government of Ukraine, as well as for Israel – the genocider of the Palestinians in Gaza – and for the shoring up of Taiwan against China. The few leaders of this capitalist global power consider themselves masters in the other countries, as with their plan to send a Kenyan police force to Haiti.  Although they are increasingly fewer, these people hold the whole world at the mercy of their atomic weapons.  

In Gaza, the US imposes itself on Israel with its pontoon project from the sea. It has already imposed itself on Germany by cutting its gas supplies from Russia. The US imposes itself even on the UK through the right it has acquired to store its B61-12 atomic bombs in the silos at Lakensheath. In breach of the NPT.  The other capitalists accept this because it serves their capitalist interests too. To defend themselves from their populations and working class, they welcome this imposition and even contribute to it actively. As when Boris Johnson travelled to Ukraine to advise Zelensky against a peace-deal with Russia.  This forms part of the war of the capitalist regime to try and keep its grip over the world. 

This crisis of capitalism is not of the ordinary sort that comes with inflation, deflation and failures in competition. It is the existence of the capitalist regime itself that is at stake. Behind its desperation not to lose its world hegemony, it cannot hide its fear that it cannot live without sucking the life out of others. Indeed, capital and capital accumulation can only exist on the basis of the plunder of distant lands, their resources, their means of life, the health of people, the earth and planet, and life itself. The continuing process of colonial liberation points to a time, perhaps no so distant, when the economy of Britain, for instance – no longer in receipt of any empire booty – will have to change its very structure and start producing purely for human need.

The Labour Party is a pillar of capitalism in the working class. The global crisis of capitalism and its fear to lose control over the world, expresses itself in Labour’s silencing of anything to do with Gaza and Israel’s crimes. The root of this crisis in the Labour Party lies in the continuing advance, in the world, of the struggle for colonial liberation. Which is the significance of the Palestinians’ struggle. The mobilisation of the British working class and masses in support of the Palestinians illustrates this perfectly.  It is not by chance that a new slogan has appeared in the British demonstrations: ‘de-de-decolonise!’  

The Labour Party has expelled and repelled hundreds of thousands of working class socialist and anti-colonialist members. This has weakened the workers in the trade unions to the extent that it has strengthened the trade union bureaucracies which connive with imperialist Starmer. This has weakened the administrative, academic and intellectual sectors where anti-colonialists Labour members lost positions, or their jobs, through false accusations of antisemitism because they indicted Israel and defended the Palestinians. 

This weakening, on the other hand, has given strength to the creation of many movements and currents outside the Labour Party. They are now looking for the means to redress this situation. They look for the right to organise politically in conditions of increasing political, legal and state repression. The weekly mass demonstrations have become necessary as a means to gain, or regain, the right to express one’s thirst for the truth and human dignity. 

The hundreds of thousands who take to the streets every Saturday express their joy in feeling strong together, and their agony at not being able to stop more directly the carnage and the extermination of Palestine and the Palestinians. In each local area and constituency, there are now groups of ex-Labour members and others in the population, who demand the right to name the criminals against Gaza without being demonised, kept under the threat of arrest, without political representation and at the mercy of fascist groups.

Many of those new anti-colonial, antiimperialist organisations look forward impatiently to the creation of “a new mass Party of the working class”. They speak of the need to replace the Labour Party which they often consider as dead, and to be buried. This may not be entirely correct however, in the sense that the trade unions have not massively disaffiliated from Labour. There is no reason to conflate Labour as a space where trade unions are still organised, and the leadership of Labour itself, which is not permanent. Particularly considering that a Corbyn emerged from there. There is also the fact that, if a Starmer government is ‘elected’ by default in the forthcoming elections, it will not even be able to govern a capitalist system where nothing is working properly any more.

These various groups and organisations of the left search of an alternative to the Starmer leadership. The attacks they have suffered in the Labour Party, up and down the country, tend to bring them closer together nationally; it is going to be logical for them to harmonise their electoral tactics in each area and draw conclusions nationally. The most important advantage of such a process of unification is that it could become a national political platform from where to draw conclusions of the Corbyn experience; and to adopt now a consistent anti-colonial programme, in anticipation of the country reorganising its economic structures to no longer depend on imperial rapine. And to start developing instead the ability of the working population to produce for human need – no longer for exports to the benefit of the already rich and who do not even invest in what people need.

The election of Galloway as an “independent” for Rochdale (near Manchester) is very important. His campaign focused primarily on Gaza. It is a blow to the national and international ruling class. He argues that the United States endangers European countries and Great Britain in particular. He is building a movement open to all those who are against war. But, he calls on the unions to leave the Labor Party without a class policy, without a debate. We must help the anti-bureaucratic fight and clean up the leadership of the unions so that the working class can express itself.

The advantage of trying to unite these different groups and organisations is that it creates conditions where the political limitations of the Corbyn leadership can be avoided in future – be it from the inside or the outside of the Labour Party. There is no reason to leave to a more distant future the elaboration of the ideas which are most likely to unify all genuine socialist tendencies.  Such ideas include the need to adopt a common anti-Nato position nationally, elevate and unify the anti-war organisations, pose the nationalisation of the utility companies and the big 4 accounting firms (for instance)[2], along with the abolition of hereditary monarchy. This is not a communist programme, but it contains aspects needed for a Workers State in Britain.

The Labour traditions in Britain are social-democratic, but the social-democratic perspective of a humane capitalism has died. This means that one must present the forming left groups and tendencies with a strong perspective, lest they should remain trapped in the idealist expectation of peace and progressive reforms in capitalism. 

Posadists Today, 9.3.2024

Feature photo, the big march for Palestine in London on 28 October 2023, with 800,000 participants and probably more.

[1] On 10 Jan 2024, the Pentagon said it had no plans to withdraw U.S. troops “which are in Iraq at the invitation of its government” – https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/iraq-seeks-quick-exit-us-forces-no-deadline-set-pm-says-2024-01-10/

[2] The Four biggest audit companies being Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PriceWaterhouseCooper and KPMG Ltd.

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