Pedro Castillo proposed a referendum in January this year in Peru to give Bolivia access to the sea through Peruvian territory. From Bolivia, the president of the Chamber of Deputies of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Freddy Mamani, welcomed the Pedro Castillo’s initiative, considering that such a gesture by the president reflects his “democratic spirit” and his desire to strengthen brotherhood between the two nations.
From then on, Peru’s Congress began to plot a parliamentary coup against Pedro Castillo, accusing him of “treason against the homeland” for his proposed referendum to give Bolivia access to the sea through Peruvian territory.
To avoid a parliamentary coup, Castillo raised the possibility of dissolving Congress, a power that on certain occasions the Peruvian Constitution reserves to the presidents of the country. In this sense, before facing a new motion of censure, Castillo sought the dissolution of parliament and a call for new parliamentary elections.
Congress, where the Fujimorist right has a majority, voted through a motion to unseat Castillo for “permanent moral disability.” Castillo was then detained by the National Police. Dina Boluarte, vice president until Castillo’s fall, was proclaimed president of Peru on Wednesday, December 7, by Congress.
In addition to the facts that make up the chronicle of the fall of Pedro Castillo, it is necessary to point out the profound reasons for the coup orchestrated by the Peruvian right-wing opposition, which accuses Castillo of treason to the homeland for solidarity with a secular demand of a sister nation of Peru. This fascist opposition is the true traitor to the peoples of Peru and of all Latin America and loyal to USA imperialism. Pedro Castillo’s attempt to give Bolivia an exit to the sea was very much in the sense of forming a Peru-Bolivia axis that, if formed, would change the equilibrium system in Andean America.
Thus, for example, in a possible Peru-Bolivia axis, Bolivia itself could negotiate the issue of lithium on better terms with multinationals. Castillo’s downfall also closes, for now, the possibility of direct access, across the Pacific to the heart of Latin America, of the Silk Road, promoted by China.
Therefore, the parliamentary coup against Castillo is part of an imperialist offensive in Latin America, as is also seen in the case against Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in Argentina.
As we said in June 2021 when Pedro Castillo’s election victory took place.
“The intention to reconile the demands of the exploiters and the exploited never ends well. Peru Libre and Castillo will be no exception. Nor does it seem that by capitulating to the coupists’ appetites will a coup be stopped. After the 2014 elections, when the same blackmail was made against Dilma, the re-elected PT president of Brazil did not call on the masses to fight against the hybrid war of imperialism and the bourgeois coupists. On the contrary, she incorporated into her programme the programme of the defeated neoliberal candidate. Result: she was discredited before her constituents, the working masses, became weakened politically and socially and this eased the way for the coup without the coupists needing to use force, and the coup was successful in 2016.
At the same time that workers in Peru must advance in their political independence through the construction of the party constituted by its vanguard. Having as its guide the path of permanent revolution, the only way to materialize the historical interests of the exploited and oppressed. That is why we do not call for support for any bourgeois government, we at TMB-FCT fight against right-wing candidacy, imperialism and electoral fraud, and call for a vote to Pedro Castillo as an instrument of this struggle in the electoral field, but we do not support bourgeois governments. Castillo was elected by the National Free Peru Party (PNPL), which defines himself as “Marxist-Leninist-Mariateguista”.
As Mariategui pointed out in a document called “Anti-Imperialist View” in which he polemicises against the “anti-imperialism” of the III International, he says that while they disparage indigenous identity and identify with the imperialist colonizers: “the national bourgeoisie see cooperation with imperialism as the best source of profit, feel sufficiently owners of political power so as not to seriously worry about national sovereignty.”
TMB – Peru: The victory of Pedro Castillo and the tasks of workers.
Therefore, it is the task of the workers vanguard in Peru to promote the independent grouping of the working class with the aim of building a party that defends the historical interests of the class and leads all the exploited in the city and country. This is the only guarantee of effective resolution of democratic and anti-imperialist demands.
This issue focuses on the struggle against imperialist war in the wider world, and on the struggles of the working class at home against the massive attack being perpetrated by the ruling class against us today.
The front-page lead article focuses on the murderous fuel price attack on the working class and calls for a general strike and vengeance against the profiteers. It is obvious that if this is not defeated it will lead to many deaths, probably many more than Cameron’s earlier austerity attacks and Johnson’s malicious use of the Covid pandemic for a cull. It also tears into the outrageous attempts to blame Russia for a massive gouging of profits out of the population by oil and gas profiteers. This is a catastrophic attack on the population and needs to be defeated and crushed by organised labour.
In the back page lead article, there is extensive coverage of the war in Ukraine, the recent pause and partial Russian defeats, and an analysis of the reasons for this. Notwithstanding the imperialist media, the Special Military Operation that began in February was a defensive act, done on a shoestring with a limited number of troops mobilised on a temporary basis. That proved insufficient and Russia has been compelled to do the job properly with a proper mobilisation and a determined commander put in place. Our article analyses the acts of US inspired terrorism, involving the British, and behind it imperialist desperation that their puppets are still heading for defeat in this war. We obviously motivate that the working class has a side in this war – with the people of the Donbass who are targets for imperialist/Nazi terrorism/genocide, and their Russian defenders.
There is material on the anti-imperialist united front on an international level in the current context from our Brazilian comrades in the Liga Comunista, and their article on the recent electoral victory of Lula Da Silva of the Workers Party over the fascistic populist Bolsonaro, and the collective actions of workers that put paid to the threat of his trying to stay in power after losing the election, Trump style.
Regarding the struggle against imperialism, there is a sharp attack on the imperialist media trying to use discontent in China at lockdown measures to protect against Covid, to incite ‘colour revolution’ Noting that the liberal media in particularly often correctly condemned those who defied public health measures in the West, and yet are inciting such things in China.
One Ukraine again, there is a piece on Germany’s adoption of the Nazi concept of ‘Holodomor’ as a smear of the USSR as supposedly guilty of a 1930s ‘genocide’ in Ukraine, to excuse German imperialism’s backing Ukrainian Nazis that were Hitler’s supporters. There is a solidarity statement with the people of the Donbass republics and oblasts regarding the recent referenda for unification with Russia, and a leaflet issued by International Ukraine Anti-Fascist Solidarity to a recent meeting of Stop the War in London. And there is a short piece noting the threat from US funded bioweapons labs in Ukraine.
Regarding politics in Britain, there is a review of Chris Williamson’s new book on his struggles in the Labour Party as the most principled figure among Labour parliamentary figures in the Corbyn period, in standing up to the witchhunt. And a more extensive article on the prospects of a unification of comrade Williamson’s Resist movement with the Socialist Labour Party of Arthur Scargill, as a potential step forward to creating a genuine workers party here. There in an article addressing the need to abolish the Monarchy in the context of the death of the monarch this summer.
In all this issue is, as is right, very much centred on the struggle against imperialism and war.
The projected merger between the Resistance Movement (Resist) and the Socialist Labour Party (SLP) is an intriguing but possibly fruitful endeavour. Resist was founded in 2020 in the aftermath of the defeat of the Corbyn movement and the rise to the Labour leadership of Keir Starmer. Its most prominent founder is Chris Williamson, the former Labour MP for Derby North, and for a while Shadow Minister for Local Government under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Chris W was the most outspoken and principled left-wing former MP by far to emerge from the Labour Party in the Corbyn period, the only one to sharply criticise the conciliation toward the Blairite right wing that doomed Corbyn to defeat by his extremely ruthless and utterly unscrupulous Blairite and Zionist opponents.
His refusal to bow the knee to the witchhunt led to his being suspended three times on trumped-up and mendacious charges in 2019 by the Labour Party. When he defeated the second of these suspensions, in the High Court where it was declared unlawful, he was then suspended for a third time in a blatant manoeuvre to evade the court judgement. He was blocked from standing for the Labour Party in the December 2019 General Election and stood as an independent, losing his seat (which of course was the whole purpose of the corrupt suspensions in the first place).
The charges involved innuendos of ‘anti-Semitism’ by the Labour Party’s powerful Zionist wing, who defend the mass ethnic cleaning of the Palestinians from their homeland in 1948, and the Israeli state ever since, against the supposed ‘terrorism’ of its victims, and systematically smear anyone who stands up for Palestinians as in some way motivated by hatred of Jewish people. These lies do not stand up to a moment’s scrutiny by any objective person, but objectivity in the Labour Party is in very short supply.
The Tory/Blairite-infested Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the quango which in 2021 produced a fraudulent report on ‘anti-Semitism’ aiming to smear the Corbynite left, originally also aimed to smear Chris Williamson by denouncing him as some kind of perpetrator in their report. But unlike others in Labour, who were sluggish to react to this in fear of the malign influence of Starmer and the Zionists, Chris made it very clear to the EHRC that any such smears would result in an all-out political and legal war with himself. The witchhunting quango, which has itself been credibly accused of gaslighting and playing down institutional racism on behalf of Boris Johnson’s government, backed off and removed their draft nonsense about Chris from their report before it was published.
There is a long tradition of pro-imperialist and racist politics in Labour, including support for Zionism and various other forms of colonialism, originally rooted in the pro-imperialist labour bureaucracy, and even more among the overtly bourgeois, neo-liberal and corporate-funded elite layer of political mercenaries that were assembled and empowered by Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair. The later layer came to dominate Labour in the period between the defeat of the 1984-5 miners’ strike and the leftist, working class political revolt against austerity that put Jeremy Corbyn into the Labour leadership in 2015. This revolt was at bottom a ferocious clash between a regenerating mass base for this bourgeois workers party, and the reinforced neoliberal political bureaucracy of the Blairites, a clash that was always likely to be bloody. As it proved, and Corbyn proved utterly inadequate to fight back against the neoliberal counterattack.
Chris Williamson is virtually the only Labour parliamentarian who has come out of the Corbyn period with his integrity as a socialist intact. In fact, he has been obviously radicalised by the experience and has even taking to explaining why the Labour Party is not a vehicle for socialism by citing the famous remark of Lenin that the Labour Party, “though composed of workers”, is a “thoroughly bourgeois party” led by “reactionaries, and the worst kind of reactionaries at that”. This should not be taken to imply that Chris has embraced revolutionary Marxism tout court, but certainly indicates a strong trajectory away from Labourism in a more left-wing direction that is likely to become expressed in mass politics in the next period. As expressed in his condemnation of Zionism, which is getting stronger and clearer as time goes on, and his principled and courageous speaking out in defence of the population of the Donbass, under attack from Ukrainian Nazis since 2014, and defence of the Russian Special Military Operation in Ukraine to stop the genocidal NATO-inspired and -funded Maidan genocidal ethnic war against the Russian-speaking Donbass people.
Can Resist revive the SLP?
What is clear from Chris’s recent autobiographical work, Ten Years Hard Labour, is that he is one of the most principled and radical figures that have ever broken to the left from Labour and is determined to play a unifying role in trying to put together a new working-class party initiative. Which brings us onto the proposed unification of the Resistance Movement with the Socialist Labour Party, which was founded on the initiative of Arthur Scargill, then the President of the National Union of Mineworkers, on May Day 1996.
The SLP was founded as a belated response to the takeover of the Labour Party by the supporters of Neil Kinnock and then his protégé and continuator, Tony Blair. Kinnock was the traitorous neoliberal ex-‘left’ MP and loudmouth from the 1970s, who when elevated to leader in the mid-1980s, spent an enormous amount of effort stabbing the NUM in the back in their great 1984-5 strike, which was against Thatcher’s massive pit closure programme which destroyed the British coal mining industry, the employer of around 190,000 miners, who were a key strategic backbone of the labour movement in Britain. The SLP showed much promise in the immediate aftermath of its formation, attracting many serious left-wing and class struggle inclined militants, with a variety of leftist political views. Unfortunately, it rapidly became clear that Arthur Scargill and the layer around them did not have the political capacity to lead the membership they had attracted. For all their history of exemplary trade union militancy, and their socialist aspirations, their education in the left wing of the bureaucracy and their background in official communism led them to see many of those who joined the SLP as simply a threat.
So right from the beginning, the SLP was saddled with a bureaucratic constitutional clause that banned any kind of dual affiliation by members with any other trend on the very fragmented left, or even implicitly any kind of factional alignment within the SLP. The latter was very selectively enforced: those in clearly factional groupings close to the leadership got away with blatant breaches of the same principles. The outcome was a series of tragi-comic purges of much of the membership, which gutted the SLP of much of its potential to offer an alternative to the Blairised Labour Party, and meant that as the 2000’s wore on, the SLP’s challenge to Blairism was overshadowed by those of other forces, such as the Socialist Alliance and RESPECT, which actually inflicted some defeats on the Blairities.
The big problem of those other forces was that those large sects on the ‘far left’ who played a major role in building them saw then as temporary coalitions and arenas to build their own projects, not the progenitors of a new working-class party. So, they managed to mislead and disappoint a generation of left militants whom the SLP was simply unable to reach because of its bureaucratic sterility. George Galloway personified the ‘what might have been’ of the SLP in the 2000s, when he led a section of the Labour Party’s mass base among the oppressed Muslim immigrant population into confrontation with Blair over Iraq, and won some victories and near victories, it was the SWP who were able to benefit from it and ultimately mislead and shipwreck it, while the SLP were nowhere near being able to address this layer. The SLP thus remained marginal all through not only the resistance to Blair, but also the Corbyn period, which also might have been expressed differently if the SLP had done what it originally aspired to do.
The attempt to revive the SLP for a new generation as a unifying force for the ex-Corbynite layers who are looking for a focus of resistance to build a new party around is a positive and worthwhile endeavour, which we hope is able to succeed. The ethos that Chris Williamson has been fighting for since he left the Labour Party has been an attempt to play a unifying role among the existing fragments of the working class left outside the Labour Party. He has worked alongside TUSC, and with the Workers Party of George Galloway and Joti Brar, in election campaigns that have attempted to confront the Starmerites, trying to overcome the obvious flaws of those initiatives and play a unifying role. The attempt to unify with the SLP and revive this flawed but originally excellently driven initiative is in the same mould and has a good chance of success. Though Chris’s thrust in seeking wider democracy and inclusiveness of the left and the working-class grassroots (his Democracy Roadshow in Labour; his activity since) appears at odds with the practice of the SLP, his project really is in tune with what the SLP should have and could have been, and obviously such a figure from today’s Labour left seeking to join and revive it is something that the SLP leadership ought to regard as a big compliment.
The Miners’ Unions and Class Struggle in Britain
The Mineworkers Union, from which the SLP emerged, had been the strongest union in Britain through most of British capitalism’s history, in various stages of their evolution, and reactionary bourgeois governments throughout British history have sought to defeat the working class by defeating the miners. This happened in 1926, when a General Strike to defend the miners against savage pay cuts was betrayed by the leaders of the TUC after 10 days, just as it was becoming insurrectionary.
In the early 1970s, as the post- WWII economic boom came to an end and the era of neoliberal attacks on the working class was just beginning, the response of the British working class was to fight back through its then-very strong trade union movement. The miners’ union played a central role in this fightback, as symbolised by the victory of a determined mass picket of a huge coke depot in Saltley, Birmingham, where the then Yorkshire NUM President, Arthur Scargill, led his men in facing down the cops and closing the gates of the depot, when they were joined by enormous numbers of workers particularly from motor and engineering factories in Birmingham (most of which were also later destroyed by Thatcher). Saltley Gates became a symbol of working-class courage, militancy and solidarity. Thanks to such militant methods, the 1972 strike against inflation and erosion of miners pay ended in substantial victory.
This whole affair was part of a huge, wider wave of working-class militancy that at its peak led to the TUC being forced to call a general strike to free five dock workers who the Tory government and Judges tried to jail for defying them. The government belatedly discovered an obscure official, the ‘Official Solicitor’ who had the power to release them. And he did!
Another miners strike, in early 1974, against the erosion of miners (and railworkers) pay forced the anti-union Heath Tory government out of office. Two general elections took place in 1974, resulting in first a minority Labour government in February, and then one with a small parliamentary majority in October 1974. This unprecedented period of working class victory was followed by the interregnum of the Wilson-Callaghan Labour governments of 1974-79, where the working class upsurge was first headed off with a series of reforms, including the repeal of Heath’s Industrial Relations Act, and then regimented into the straightjacket of the ‘social contract’ – wages held down by ‘agreement’ with the trade union bureaucracy while another bout of inflation, triggered off by the Vietnam and Middle East wars – coursed through the system. Neoliberalism made its first tentative beginning in this period with chancellor Denis Healey’s wave of cuts to public services to procure a loan from the IMF. These attacks gradually built up an enormous sense of rage in the working class, as well as leading to the growth of the far-right racist National Front party. Finally, this exploded in a leaderless strike wave, the Winter of Discontent, in 1978-9, which sank the weak Callaghan Labour government and laid the basis for the election of an even more vicious Tory government under Margaret Thatcher, who really did impose neoliberalism in Britain.
The Tories prepared their revenge for 1974 very carefully: they picked off less powerful sections of the working class in piecemeal fashion throughout Thatcher’s first term, and only after she was re-elected in a wave of imperial chauvinism over the 1982 Malvinas war, did they dare take on the miners. With a massive pit closures programme, imposed at the end of winter in early March after they had stockpiled huge amounts of often imported coal. A militarised police force was used for strikebreaking on a massive scale. And Kinnock, the new leader of Labour after the 1983 election defeat, fought long and hard to isolate the miners and ensure that resistance to Thatcher would not become generalised. When other sections of workers, such as dockers in two strikes in the Summer of 1984, came out effectively in support of the miners, Kinnock worked overtime to ensure they were sent back to work, and to thwart the possibility of a general strike. And he never held back from criticising the so-called ‘violence’ of the striking miners, in conflicts with the police and scab miners, who were a significant, treacherous minority of the workforce, and whose scab neoliberal ‘trade union’, the “Union of Democratic Mineworkers”, played a major role in ultimately defeating the strike.
Political repercussions of the 1984-5 Miners’ Great Strike
The biggest political problem facing the miners and their supporters was the Labour Party and their ‘broad church’ concept, which tied the left to the strikebreaking right wing and rendered them politically impotent to combat Kinnock, the strikebreakers in the TUC, and the UDM, who all backed up the government and the state. To lead a generalised fightback against the neoliberal assault, given the fact that a major chunk of the labour bureaucracy and its growing yuppie-corporate layer supported that programme, it was necessary to have a political alternative that separated from the neoliberals. But the left wing of the Labour Party, the Benns, Skinners, Heffers and Corbyns, were and are bound to the concept of the ‘broad church’ and regarded the idea of splitting Labour with horror. That is still a huge problem today.
The Socialist Labour Party was founded only when Tony Blair abolished the Labour Party’s formal commitment to something resembling socialism, its old Clause 4. Its verbal commitment to a society based on “common ownership” was replaced by a largely anodyne set of platitudes whose real essence was in its praise for “the enterprise of the market and the rigour of competition”. However, the formal abolition, though significant, was less so than the connivance of the Labour Party leadership under Kinnock in strategic defeats of the working class, which made such a change of ideology and class outlook possible in the first place. The change was the work of a neoliberal trojan horse within Labour, a new development beyond the traditional politics of the right-wing labour bureaucracy.
The old Labour right wing had been simply an organic product of the trade union bureaucracy’s relationship with large scale industrial employers — the ‘captains of industry’ of British imperialism — in the period when a mass industrial working class was granted concessions of higher living standards from the crumbs of Imperialist plunder more than ever in the days of the British Empire. They therefore had to maintain some relationship with their working-class base, and to be seen to champion them to some extent. The newer, neoliberal right wing does not have such an attachment – they are propelled more by corporate donations in a period when the industrial working class has been massively slimmed down in imperialist countries like Britain by the outsourcing of industrial jobs to lower wage economies in the Global South, and especially East Asia.
Their collaboration is not so much with industrial magnates but rather with financiers and those running service industries, and the volume of donations from financial sharks and services has massively enhanced the power of the Blairites, who really care nothing for industrial workers, as epitomised by Peter Mandelson’s remark that the working class can be safely ignored as it has ‘nowhere to go’ except Labour.
This proved to be untrue, as many such abandoned workers, angry at loss of status as industrial workers who had subliminally understood that they had benefited in part from Britain’s imperial role in the world, went with the imperial nostalgia project of Brexit, UKIP and Boris Johnson, whose real content was “Make Britain Great Again”. An analogue of the slogan of Donald Trump, which much more clearly expressed the mentality of those workers – in Britain, the US, and parts of Western Europe – who bitterly resent their loss of status at the hands of financial capital and the outsourcing of their jobs, and directed that rage in an anti-immigrant, anti-foreigner direction. But ultimately, this consciousness is a desperate and doomed cry of despair. Support for the right-wing populists, who are just as neoliberal and out to enrich the billionaire class as their liberal opponents, is just another way for workers to cut their own throats. Brexit has proven to be a disaster for the workers attracted to it, who have predictably only been shat upon.
We Need a Genuine Working Class Party
Ultimately these are signs that the Labour Party has outlived its function as a party of imperial class compromise, as the working class is losing its imperial privilege, and screaming with pain at the loss. This process is irreversible – Humpty Dumpty cannot be put together again.
So, we are entering a new period of catastrophic change and turmoil in which the need for a new mass party of the working class, capable of programmatic development beyond reformism, to take on the challenges of a working class that has been robbed of its flawed, social-patriotic form of class organisation and consciousness by the decline of imperialism itself, is a burning necessity. The job of Marxists is to point the way forward to the crystallisation of such a party, and Chris Williamson’s initiative with the SLP seems to have the potential to be a major, progressive step in the right direction. This is something that all serious socialists and Marxists must engage with.
‘Most political memoirs are written by people who are beguiled by Westminster, but I was never so enamoured.’ .
by Mark Andresen
This line from the preface of this political memoir highlights the author’s perspective as a skeptical working-class MP, already usefully embedded by its opening in 2010.
Over the last three months, a much needed two-pronged fightback against the Labour Right’s fake, racist ‘anti-semitism’ smear campaign has been launched; most recently, in September, ‘The Labour Files ‘ – Al-Jazeera’s very welcome 4-part documentary mini-series expose of the Right’s nefarious campaign against its innocent Jewish and non-Jewish members – premiered. A few weeks prior to this had already seen publication of Chris Williamson’s memoir of the growing, intentionally fractious, insurgency conducted by Labour’s Right between 2010 to 2020. (And still ongoing). That both testimonies were roundly ignored by the complicit mainstream media should have come as no surprise. That the smear campaign was roundly destroyed – thanks, especially, to Al-Jazeera’s access to primary evidence – was as inevitable. What matters is that each are now matters of public record, difficult to casually dismiss.
Unwittingly, former Labour MP for Derby North, Chris Williamson has – over the last few years – been perceived as the figurehead victim of the ‘anti-semitism’ smear campaign from Labour’s Right; second only to Corbyn himself. Then again, such a default role has proven vital in the initial pushback against both the Right in the party and neo-liberals in the media generally. Bizarrely, there remain some among the disenfranchised and suspended who still voice doubts about Williamson on social media, as if he somehow deserved even a modicum of the Right’s fake ire; then, this says rather more about their own true allegiances than his. Requests for evidence to justify that ire are rarely, if ever, forthcoming.
Throughout his memoir, Williamson correctly highlights ‘optics’ as the scourge of political principle; how hard policy choices were avoided simply because of how they could be framed by the media, ensuring those cowed and in a position of influence prioritised a gatekeeping career over public service. (Surely, the reason the MPs’ were voted in, in the first place). Meat and drink to hungry neo-liberals. Recall the ghastly sight of Angela Eagle MP, in 2015, wearing too much make-up and pining for the whereabouts of Robert Peston before the cameras like some breathless fan of the latest boy-band; a small, but key, reflection of the Right’s new priorities. Even outside ‘the Westminster bubble,’ professed Socialists who apparently owed nothing to either the NEC, nor the Israeli Government, fell in with the narrative of the Right’s fake anti-semitism smear campaign like good boys and girls. Did they assume – without question – that the Jewish Labour Movement represented all Jews? And who defined this to be the case? Questions which, to this day, remain unanswered.
Williamson recalls when his suspicions were first raised.
‘I can recollect being on a conference call (with Chuka Umunna) in 2013 to discuss tactics with the other MPs’. I urged Umunna to give an unambiguous commitment to renationalising Royal Mail when Labour gets into office. His retort was illuminating; “We can’t do that; the city wouldn’t wear it.”.
‘At the fireside chat with Ed Balls, where I brought up where I brought up the question of public ownership of the railways again, his rejoinder was to ask what the limits of my nationalisation ambitions were. “Would you nationalise BT?” he asked sarcastically. “Yes,” was my reply . . . Balls wasn’t interested. He had no appetite to anything vaguely Socialist, even though the 2008 financial crisis had demonstrated the case for bringing the commanding heights of the economy into democratic public ownership.’.
Williamson reflects upon his own naivete at the time; at the concerted bad faith campaign such early glimpses foretold. The swiftly growing number of those turncoating with whom he’d formerly had good relations, however, exposed the awful truth. Following this, the failed appeasement of the Milliband campaign, to appeal to middle-class voters, ahead of the 2015 General Election, emboldened the Left into voting in Jeremy Corbyn as leader. This, in turn, emboldened the insurmountable egos of the Right’s established careerists, knowing they had most of the media and Israeli Government on side. Enter the concerted anti-semitism smear campaign as the intended coup de grace.
The appendix over the last forty pages features the Q & As’ Williamson was subject to from Labour’s NEC, upon his suspension on the 27th February 2019. Reading not unlike a McCarthyite commission or scene from Kafka’s ‘The Trial,’ it proves a drain upon one’s anger, considering the wealth of fake accusation described up to this point.
This memoir is no egocentric tract of self-justification, but merely a much needed work of correction; illuminating inconvenient truths purposely hidden, misinterpreted or misframed by those of bad faith. Just recently, in mid-October, after the book’s release, news broke that the BBC itself was being targeted by The Jewish Chronicle, Jewish Leadership Council, Community Security Trust, Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, and a group of MPs’ and celebrities for alleged ‘anti-semitism.’ Poetic justice for their silence? There’s certainly a clear and present irony. It would be good if Director-General Tim Davie and the corporation’s Board of Governors might self-reflect on the point of their obedient neoliberal code of omission up to this point; but I doubt it will happen.
In the final analysis, does any of this matter to those of us who have either left, or never been in, the Labour Party? I would argue that it does; as an object lesson in the real danger and consequent effectiveness of corporate-sponsored insurgency. If this can be successfully achieved in a neoliberal party no longer giving even lip-service to ‘leftism,’ then what will they try with more activist Socialists and Revolutionary Communists, in obedient media-silent plain sight? To take nothing away whatsoever from this affair, for ourselves, would be a huge mistake.
This was originally published as the platform of the Trotskyist Faction within Socialist Fight, our predecessor organisation. It has now been edited to remove personal and factional references, but is otherwise politically identical to the original. It certainly encapsulates what we stand for.
Obviously this is a central document to ourselves and is reproduced, both in its current version, and the original, on its own page on our site here.
Our platform is Trotskyist and stands on orthodoxy as elaborated in the article The Marxist Theory of the State on the concrete nature of post war Stalinism, the need for defence of the degenerated and deformed workers states against imperialism combined with political revolution to bring the proletariat to command of the workers state politically, while opposing counterrevolution. We saw and see today the proletariat as the only force that can defeat the counterrevolution whether emanating from the bureaucracy or elsewhere, with particular regard to the two remaining deformed workers states in Cuba and North Korea.
We are defenders of semi-colonial countries, including Russia and China, against imperialism. We support the unification of Ireland and a single multi-ethnic state of Palestine, in the context of permanent revolution and in the case of the Middle East, a regional revolution centred on the Arab workers and leading to liberation of the Palestinians from Zionism.
Regarding Zionism and its international manifestation we endorse the 2014 Draft Theses on the Jews and Modern Imperialism, and note that this was the basis for our tendency’s activity in Britain on this question over the last five years. We think this was fundamentally correct and principled, and is the only materialist explanation for the very visible and powerful role of Zionism in Western imperialist politics.
We still stand for the historic politics of our tendency in Britain on special oppression with regard to oppression based on perceived ‘race’, sex or sexual orientation. We stand for workers defence guards and a workers’ militia to crush fascist threats to workers and the oppressed, and we advocate that the workers movement take independent armed action to suppress fascist political activity, which is never about persuasion but mobilising for murder, as a matter of physical self-defence.
We reject male chauvinist, homophobic and transphobic ideology and stand for the liberation of women and also oppressed sexual minorities through socialist revolution. We reject both all kinds of sexual abuse of youth, and moral guardianship of youth by bourgeois and reactionary moralists. We reject all state interference in the personal lives of consenting adults.
We stand as did Trotsky for the renewal of trade unions through rank-and-file activity and the advancement of new militant leaders against the bureaucracy, and the sensitive, tactically intelligent use of the transitional programme and the transitional method to build a revolutionary opposition in the trade unions.
Likewise we endorse the Trotskyist approach to bourgeois workers parties and class independence embodied in the approach of the Trotskyist movement, as maintained in our previous practice and the material we published and republished rejecting the anti-Marxist, sectarian distortions of the Spartacist tradition.
We condemn Brexit as fundamentally anti-immigrant and we stand for the abolition of all anti-immigrant laws and controls. We endorse Trotsky’s 1923 essay calling for a United States of Europe and seek to apply this transitional approach to the current situation.
We also endorse the corrective on the question of the right of public criticism put forward by our tendency previously, to the errors of the 3rd and 4th internationals regarding such criticism, which ultimately led to phenomena like Healyism, ie. to sects and cults which disgrace the name of Trotskyism, to its fragmentation and degeneration.
On this and on all other outstanding questions which cannot be addressed in full here, we stand on the politics of Marxism, Leninism and Trotskyism, which we consider to be the same movement. We therefore defend the programme of our tendency in Britain.
The war in Ukraine is reaching a crucial point. Western sanctions against Russia, aimed at defeating their defensive Special Military Operation (SMO) to protect and liberate the Russian and Russian-speaking people of South and East Ukraine, are clearly failing. They are inflicting far more hardship on the people of Western Europe than on Russia, including a prolonged stagflation recession in Britain triggered by high energy prices which these sanctions are contributing to, as well as a similar, wider recession in the EU which appears also to be imminent. Germany, the economic powerhouse of the EU, is being crucified by gas shortages and energy prices because of its own sanctions in defence of Nazi Ukraine. This was put on a more permanent basis by the evident US/British act of terrorism against the two Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic in September, which can also be considered an act of war against Germany as well as Russia. The moronic British ex- PM Liz Truss is personally implicated in this as Russian intelligence made public the results of their hacking of her phone. She texted “its done” to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken only a couple of minutes after the Nord Stream bombing took place, before the press got hold of it, which speaks volumes about who was involved in the plot to blow it up and who actually did it.
Terrorism has become a modus operandi of the Western military operation in Ukraine particularly over the last few months, as they have got more desperate, knowing full well that Ukraine is going to lose this conflict despite all the NATO weaponry shipped in. This has not been particularly effective in doing damage to the Russian military but has caused a steady stream of civilian deaths and horrendous injuries particularly in the liberated and semi-liberated areas. Donetsk city has been a particular target for NATO civilian murder and maiming. The desperation has been evident in such actions as the 8October bombing of the Kerch Bridge (road and rail) to Crimea with a truck bomb apparently driven by a duped driver who was unaware he was carrying a bomb. The Russian response to this was a massive counterattack right across Ukraine, which did not kill civilians but attacked the power infrastructure – substations and distribution points were destroyed by Russian missiles right across Ukraine, affecting both the ability of Ukraine to continue waging war and causing considerable problems to the civilian population with a lack of power and warmth for the coming winter.
Both the Kerch Bridge bombing and a 29 October drone attack on the Russian Navy in the City of Sevastopol, again in Crimea, used the concessions made by Russia earlier in the conflict to allow grain exports from Ukrainian Black Sea ports and relieve an international grain and hunger crisis, as means to mount terrorist attacks. Russia responded to the second attack by suspending the agreement earlier made with Ukraine, only for it to be un-suspended in days when NATO member Turkey insisted that Ukraine give additional guarantees that the agreement not be so abused again. The escalation of terrorism by Ukraine has been met by repeated waves of Russian attacks on Ukraine’s electricity system, so much so that Ukraine’s whole energy system is close to collapse as we go to press at the end of November.
After one particularly effective wave of such strikes, on November 15th, a missile was fired from Zelensky-ruled Western Ukraine over the border into Poland, which hit a farm and killed two people. Zelensky immediately accused Russia of being responsible, trying to manoeuvre NATO into intervening directly in the war, which would signify the actual outbreak of World War 3. Zelensky is desperate to provoke such a war if he can. He was repudiated by Biden, by the Polish President Duda, and then by an anonymous NATO official who told the Financial Times (16 Nov) that the Ukraine regime is “destroying our confidence” and “openly lying”. This was so brazen, and its possible consequences so serious, that the imperialists were forced to repudiate their protégé on this occasion. This has certainly opened many eyes in the West as to the real nature of the conflict.
But usually they lie, as other examples clearly show, such as the very dangerous and persistent shelling by Ukraine of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which has been under Russian control since March, being routinely and absurdly blamed by Western media and politicians on Russia. And another very dangerous example of this that appears (so far) to have been foiled by Russian intelligence and diplomacy was the threat to set off a Dirty Bomb (an ordinary explosive bomb laced with nuclear waste material) as a false flag to try to accuse Russia. Such an action would contaminate surrounding countries and cause similar or worse effects to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.
Similar false flags about chemical weapons have been mooted and ascribed to Russia in the media as part of the information war; these have also been exposed at the UN, among other international forums. Such false flags were used on more than one occasion to justify US bombing attacks in Syria. And there is the notorious presence of dozens of US funded biological laboratories in Ukraine, whose sinister nature was let out of the bag by US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in April, who said that the US was working with Ukraine to stop their work falling into the hands of “Russian forces”, indicating clearly that these biolabs have a military purpose. They flinched from Zelenksy’s open attempt to initiate WW3 over his missile attack on Poland, but they have been flirting with such things for years.
Chinks of Light in Western Media
As the fortunes of the Nazi Maidan regime are going down, some of their habitual war crimes have recently been getting some coverage in the Western media. Such as the recent film of captured Russian soldiers being summarily executed, shot in the head at point-blank range by their Nazi captors. This was authenticated by the New York Times, while it continued to promote all other kinds of ridiculous allegations against ordinary Russian soldiers as a matter of course. But the declining fortune of the Ukrainian Nazi puppet regime has its own political impact, as its crimes cannot be indefinitely covered up and those who try worry that they might one day be held accountable. They need some wriggle room. Not only that, but there have been some cryptic indications in some media that there is pressure from the US on Zelensky to agree to negotiate with the Russians at some level, and even speculation in some quarters that he might be replaced, though nothing very tangible to substantiate such speculation. But perhaps these are straws in the wind.
Murders committed in Kherson after the recent Russian retreat from there were covered in the Daily Mail (16 November) as various civilians were shown lined up against a fence, blindfolded, with ‘bloody’ faces. No doubt in preparation for being murdered. The Daily Mail has a long history of supporting and applauding fascism, but such boasting of attacks on civilians has generally been kept out of the Western media in favour of phoney nonsense about Russian soldiers raping babies and attempts to attribute similar murders of ‘collaborators’ to the Russians, with the pretence that the victims of such Nazi executions are Ukrainian civilians killed by Russian troops. At Bucha, at the end of March, the giveaway was that the corpses of the killed were wearing white arm bands that were given them by Russian troops precisely to identify them as civilians to avoid them being misidentified as enemies by the Russians. This naïve tactic led to them becoming targets for Avov Nazis when the Russians left, and they were simply butchered.
Imperialist Russophobia: Nazi-like Racism and Counterrevolutionary Demonology
The mendacious Western media just parrots the propaganda of Ukrainian Nazis and attributes all such killings to the supposed barbarity of Russians in racial terms. The Ukrainian Nazis are less sanguine about this, as they call the Russian-speaking people and Russian soldiers in Ukraine ‘orcs’, which really has a similar connotation to ‘n****rs’ or ‘y*ds’. But the racist nature of this imperialist proxy war is also starkly visible in the West, not only in terms of boycotts of Russian state institutions, but also the bans against Russian sporting stars, cultural figures, and even long dead Russian authors such as Pushkin and Dostoyevsky, composers such as Tchaikovsky, and celebrated Cosmonauts such as Gagarin. The Western racist Russophobes in NATO claim to be objecting to Putin’s supposedly terrible regime, but that is evidently nonsense as such long dead figures never knew of Putin.
This kind of disgusting bigotry has reared its head throughout the imperialist world and reflects a racialised hatred of Russians that is actually similar to the racialised hatred of Jews that drove Hitler, among others. Recall that the Nazis hated Jews fundamentally because they considered them a kind of bacillus bring ‘communism’ to supposedly civilised imperial Germany. The contemporary hatred of Russians is driven by a similar antipathy: they are seen as the nation who above all embodied ‘Communism’ and whose workers’ state endured for three quarters of a century, far longer than any other. And now, even after the counterrevolution, they have rejected and retreated from the neoliberalism the Western powers prescribed for them and are among the most active opponents of Western imperialist world domination.
For all Putin’s social conservatism, the assertiveness he personifies is seen as crypto-communist by many imperialist ideologues, and despite all the mendacity in the Western media about Putin’s supposed weakness, he has a huge approval rating among Russians. That is how Russians are seen as a people by the Western imperialists, and the antipathy towards them is like that about Jews in the ideology of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a mixture of ethnic animosity and counterrevolutionary demonology.
The response of the Western powers to the recent referendum votes in the four Donbass provinces to join Russia is indicative of the same hatred. The Western media mocks them as supposedly fraudulent, as it did over Crimea earlier. But where such issues arise at home, as over Scotland and Catalonia, it seeks actively to prohibit such exercise of the right to self-determination. What it is really saying with these hysterical slurs is not that the mass sentiments of those that voted in these referenda are inaccurately represented in the results, but these populations are Untermensch who have no right to vote to separate in the first place. So that ‘justifies’ the Western supply of HIMARS to them to destroy their apartment blocks and petal mines to kill and maim their children and elderly as punishment for the whole population. This is an index of how the Hitlerite mentality has undergone a renaissance among the Western imperialist bourgeoisie.
Sanctions Backfire: Imperialist Decline
The West’s punitive measures have failed to hurt Russia very much economically – the Rouble has been the best performing currency in 2022, despite sanctions. This has its swings and roundabouts, as with all currency swings, but it is hardly a sign of weakness – since Russia’s main business worldwide is energy sales. These have been maintained despite imperialist sanctions as there are plenty of other customers outside the imperialist world. Russia’s clout in energy markets was demonstrated recently when the Biden administration demanded that the OPEC+ countries agree to a substantial increase in oil production to send prices downwards and ease the US ability to cope with the results of its own sanctions regime. They refused, with the West’s traditional allies like Saudi Arabia deferring to Russian, not US, sensibilities. Which caused a near-apoplectic response from Biden.
Western attempts to isolate Russia diplomatically have failed: the alternative bloc of non-imperialist nations, BRICS, has grown considerably stronger. Even without any new accessions, it represents 43% of humanity, and such countries as Argentina, Algeria, Iran, Turkey (also a NATO member), Egypt and Saudi Arabia have applied to join it, with Indonesia also a strong possibility. Part of its aim is to create a new ‘basket’ currency comprised of several important currencies from the non-imperialist world, to counter the decades-long domination of the world economy by the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This looks set to eclipse the G20, the bloc the imperialists try to use to control the stronger non-imperialist powers.
This is itself a strong symptom of the decline of the United States as the world imperialist hegemon, and arguably a symptom of the decline of imperialist capitalism itself. NATO’s decades-long anti-Russian campaign which has culminated with this war has backfired enormously and threatens imperialist stability itself. Which is why this situation is generating such a hysterical response from the imperialist bourgeoisie and underlines the severe danger that imperialist capitalism represents to human existence, as it provides a motive for a potential fight-back against such decline by the methods of world war.
A Winter of Anti-Imperialist Victory?
The war has proved more protracted for the Russian forces than might have been hoped. When the SMO began on February 24th, eight days after the Maidan regime began a major bombardment of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, far from being a long-planned ‘invasion’, as per the Russophobic propaganda bombardment the jingo media in the West has long been emitting, it was done as a stopgap. 200,000 troops were sent in, but apparently on short-term, six-month contracts. Heavy reliance was placed on the volunteer militiamen from the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Ukraine has suffered enormous casualties and losses in its various conflicts with the Russian Army in the last 9 months but has also been given by NATO massive numbers of the kind of weapons that are designed to kill and maim civilians. It is likely that the contradictory outcome of the US mid-term elections will have little impact on this. This includes such weapons as petal mines – supposedly outlawed small, disguised bombs that look innocuous and kill and maim the unwary – particularly children and the elderly. Along with the kind of rocketry – HIMARS etc — that such a murderous regime has no problem firing at civilian buildings. They had been doing it for 8 years previously, since the Maidan Nazi coup of 2014, and killed many thousands of civilians.
The stalling of the SMO over the last three months or so and the retreats of Russian forces first in the area around Kharkov in the North-East, and more recently to just outside the city of Kherson in the South, were caused by the makeshift and unprepared nature of the original SMO. In Kherson Russian forces decided to evacuate as many civilians as possible from the Right Bank of the Dneiper, where the bulk of the city is situated, retreating to the Left Bank, a more defensible position. This was dictated by a dangerous situation where undermanned Russian troops faced the possibility of an important dam being destroyed by the Nazis, and thousands of troops and many more civilians being trapped in a flooded city with their escape route cut off, because of the Dneiper, with its vulnerable bridges, being in the way.
However, both the Russian forces and the Donbass populations have been fighting back against the imperialist inspired Maidan counter-offensive. There is considerable evidence that, given the massive casualties sustained by the Ukrainian troops in the earlier part of the SMO, that the forces involved now are being commanded covertly by Western, including British, intelligence officers, and that many of those fighting, aside from the ideological Nazi elite forces like Azov, Aidar etc, are foreign fighters and mercenaries.
So, in September Putin announced a new mobilisation of 300,000 troops, mainly reservists who would be called up for as long as it takes. A new commander was also appointed over the SMO: General Sergei Surovikin, with a strong reputation from the victories he was able to win in Syria against the imperialist ‘regime change’ attempts and proxy war there. He is nicknamed “General Armageddon” by his own troops for his military unorthodoxy and determination in that conflict particularly. It is also worth noting that he was one of those in the old Soviet military who supported the August 1991 coup that was the last attempt by elements in the state apparatus to preserve the workers’ state. As opposed to Putin who resigned from the KGB at the time in protest at the August Coup. An interesting political distinction. He took the decision to withdraw to the Left Bank at Kherson in the interest of preserving both military and civilian lives in a dangerous situation which he lacked enough troops to deal with.
While Russia was withdrawing from Kherson, military activity has resumed in the Donetsk republic where slow advances were being made until the effective pause in Russian military activity after the earlier retreat from the Kharkov area, which prompted the September levy. Out of the 300,000 additional troops mobilised in late September, around 80,000 are now trained and operational, and are mainly being deployed in the heavily fortified Western Donetsk area. Bakhmut is once again being fought over. It seems likely that as the remaining 220,000 or so troops become fully operational, likely in December, there will be considerable Russian offensives, which will once again change the course of the war and see a Russian victory, the re-liberation of Kharkov and Kherson, the liberation of Odessa and the Russian-speaking part of former Ukraine up to the border with Transnistria, and the possibility of a democratic outcome of the war through the partition of Ukraine. It is not easy to predict outcomes of such a war, but that seems like a just and democratic outcome that could be negotiated, incorporating the denazification and demilitarisation of Ukraine and a rolling back of NATO’s aggression against Russia, which overtly began in Ukraine in 2014.
Officially declaring the so-called Holodomor as ‘genocide’, as the Bundestag proposes, means Germany, which invaded the USSR in 1941 to carry out the worst holocaust in history, re-embracing Nazi ideology. Stalin’s famine convulsed the entire USSR and had no ethnic element to it. A famine is a terrible misfortune but this was no genocide. The same disaster engulfed much of Russia and even parts of Soviet Central Asia. The forcible collectivisation was an irrational implementation of a desirable goal. It was ‘merely’ an gargantuan economic adventure and idiocy.
The Kulak insurrection that Stalin supressed was an agrarian petty bourgeois insurrection. Obviously it needed to be defeated to defend the workers state. It is correct to give critical support to defeating it without endorsing the brutal means that were used. The problem is that the collectivisation was carried out forcibly and entirely from above. What should have been done is to mobilise the mass of poorer rural workers and peasant against their exploiters, the Kulaks, to carry out expropriations from below. But the Stalin regime feared the independent mobilisation of the masses, with good reason.
Collectivisation should have begun earlier as there was a period of at least four years (1925-29) when the opposite policy was pursued, of urging the kulaks to “enrich themselves” and allowing them to get strong enough to wage a grain rebellion. The Left Opposition advocated gradual collectivisation through material and moral incentives but were denounced as ‘super-industrialisers’ and suppressed by the Centre-Right bloc. That Centre-Right bloc was only broken by the Kulak rebellion, which was suppressed by means of civil war, which could not fail to lead to a famine.
What the ‘Holodomor’ slur reveals is that anyone can be slandered by unscrupulous opponents. Even Stalin can be so smeared and the ‘Holodomor’ slur against the USSR is an example of such a smear. It equates the USSR with Nazi Germany and thereby Stalin with Hitler. And that is now the position of German imperialism, which invaded the USSR.
The post war myth of the ‘Holodomor’ is designed to evoke the Nazi holocaust to camouflage and excuse the role of Ukranian Nazis in slaughtering Ukrainian Jews. And to justify the Nazis murdering Russians by the tens of millions in WW2. Which the US-funded Nazis would like to repeat today. Including Zionists like Zelensky who repeatedly pay tribute to the SS.
There’s no getting away from it. The runaway rise in fuel costs will drive working class people to their deaths. Within the framework of the current neoliberal regime in Britain and pretty much all the imperialist countries, as well as many of the oppressed dependent and semi-colonial countries under the imperialist thumb, it determines everything else. The characteristic lie of the ruling classes is that in some way Russia and Vladimir Putin are responsible for fuel prices going through the roof. But this is an absurd lie: for a start Britain gets less than 8% of its total oil and gas from Russia, and less than 3% of its natural gas. Furthermore, the rise in energy prices is not caused by any price rise from the Russians – if it did it would be marginal here as any numerate person can calculate. In any case, in Britain in 2020 43% of Britain’s electricity was generated from renewable sources (wind, solar and biomass), and since then it this has fluctuated, but is gradually continuing to grow. These ought rationally to be completely separate in price from fossil fuel sources such as oil and gas wherever it comes from.
But in fact, it is nothing Russia has done, but rather the sanctions against Russia that have escalated energy prices upwards, prices that were already on a sharp upward trend before the conflict in Ukraine started. What is actually happening is massive profiteering by Western oil and gas monopolies are driving up prices. This is seen by looking at the profits of the leading companies involved. A series of major oil and gas companies either have, or are credibly forecast to have, massively increased their profits in 2022 over the same period in 2021. This includes Shell, rising from $12.8 Billion in the period Jan-September 2021 to $30.1 Billion in the same period in 2022 (actual, not estimate); BP rising from $8.2 Billion to $20.7 Billion over the same period (estimate); ExxonMobil from $14.3 Billion to $42.7 Billion (estimate); Chevron from $10.7 Billion to $27.3 Billion (estimate), TotalEnergies from $11.3 to $28.7 Billion (actual, not estimate); Eni from $2.6 Billion to $10.3 Billion (estimate) and ConocoPhillips from $5 Billiion to $13.8 Billion (estimate). (source, Guardian, 27 October 2022, https://tinyurl.com/2ttv9dj5). These are staggering increases in profit, and completely debunk the bizarre propaganda that Russia somehow to blame for the fuel price catastrophe for defending its co-nationals in the Donbass from Nazi terror. What is actually happening is concerted operation to fleece the population of the Western countries, and the wider world, using the Ukraine conflict and the mendacious information war being waged as a cover for doing so.
The sanctions against Russia are driven by predatory political objectives – the expansion of NATO, which has been underway since 1997, even when the West’s favourite lackey, Boris Yelstin, was in power. Even under Yeltsin, the arch privatiser and agent of the West, who starved his own people for the Western privateers and banks, Russia was cast as the ultimate enemy of the West. This is because of what is called the Brezhinsky plan, after former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brezhinsky, to split Russia into at least three effective US colonies, promoted by such imperialist predators as Dick Cheney, architect of the WMD lie and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In 2014 the United States, acting through the so-called National Endowment for Democracy, the outsourced ‘soft power’ wing of the CIA, organised a coup that overthrew the elected Ukrainian President Yanukovitch and placed a puppet regime dominated by Nazis in power.
This regime abolished the equal status of the Russian language, the main language of almost half the population, and began persecuting and killing Russian speakers and waging war against the South and East of Ukraine and its mainly Russian-speaking population. The two Minsk agreements that were supposed to guarantee rights and autonomy for the Russophone population were repeatedly broken leading to civil war. Thousands of civilians from the Donbass region were killed as the Ukrainian Nazi regime waged war against them over the past 8 years. Despite the phoney refugee crisis in the West involving usually quite wealthy Ukranians pretending to flee from Western Ukraine, which is not occupied, more refugees – over 3 million – have fled to Russia, from the Nazi bombardment
Finally, Russia undertook a limited Special Military Operation in February to protect the Russian-speaking population. The sanctions are aimed at punishing Russia for protecting its people from Ukrainian Nazis. Zelensky is just a puppet and a front man for these types. We are in an economic mess because the West is funding bloodthirsty Nazis not to defend the Ukrainian-speaking people who mainly live in Galicia – the West of Ukraine – there are ZERO Russian troops deployed there. They are supplying arms to the Ukrainian Nazis to massacre and ethnically cleanse the population of the Donbass and Crimea. British intelligence has been involved in terrorism against the people of the Donbass provinces and Crimea who overwhelmingly voted to leave Nazi Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. The West regards such self-determination of peoples as a threat to imperialist interests, as shown also by the banning of an independence referendum in Scotland, and the persecution and imprisonment of elected Catalan leaders by Spain for calling such a referendum
Billions are being spent on weapons to murder Russo-Ukrainians for their vote, swelling the profits of military profiteers also, which should be spent on supporting the living standards of working-class people at home facing an economic cliff-edge, hunger, cold and homelessness. Or at least that is what would be done if we lived in a society not ruled by a predatory imperialist ruling class. Instead, they are using this war, as they used the Covid 19 pandemic, as a means to engineer a massive shift of money and wealth from the poor to the super-rich, leaving a huge pile of corpses in their wake.
Austerity Means Mass Murder
Cameron’s austerity killed 330,000 mainly disabled and elderly according to a recent study. Johnson in the Covid pandemic killed at least 150,000. The discharge of infected elderly into care homes was mass murder in plain sight. Poorer countries with larger populations protected people and had a quarter of our 200,000 deaths. Now another massacre, likely even bigger, is being engineered by Sunak and Hunt. That’s half a million murdered in a decade, with many more coming.
And we also see the deliberate endangerment of the lives of migrant workers and asylum seekers. The illegal orders to the Navy to ‘push back’ desperate people in small boats, who have NO legal way to seek asylum in the UK. The failed attempts to deport refugees to Rwanda, which has been carefully chosen for its brutal abuses even of the imperialist concept of ‘human rights’ (as opposed to the universal rights of the working class and oppressed) and for its subliminal association with genocide. And there is the Manston scandal, where refugees were deliberately put into desperately overcrowded conditions in the hope that disease would kill them off. As a result, we have an outbreak of diphtheria, a barbaric throwback to the days of typhus in Nazi concentration camps. The populist neoliberals would like to divide workers by portraying these people as undeserving of any rights, on a nationalist/racist basis. But how they treat refugees is an index of how they would like to treat us all. The ‘hostile environment’, which began under New Labour’s Alan Johnson, and all these murderous actions directed against the poor majority of workers show the need to unite with immigrant workers to do away with the neoliberal vermin completely.
We should fight for full restitution and vengeance for all this as a means to mobilise the mass of working-class people to conquer their own emancipation from this predatory class rule. Madame Guillotine is an excellent leveller and a life for a life is the correct solution to these killings. The entire capitalist/neoliberal elite – Tory, Blairite and ‘Populist’ – needs to be disposed of in the vintage French manner and their property – stolen from working-class people – collectivised.
The rise in food prices is being driven by the voracious profiteering of neoliberal parasites. The creeping rise in housing costs and interest rates was also underway in parallel to that, but In Britain the moronic Voodoo economics of Truss gave a new boost to inflation and provided the ruling austerity mongers with the wafer-thin ‘justification’ for a new round of austerity. We, the working class, are supposed to pay for the lunacies of the Tory membership in imposing the monstrous imbecile Truss with new cuts to the NHS, with tax increases in coming years, and declining real pay in the face of relentless fuel-fuelled inflation. That was the message of Hunt and Sunak’s mini-Budget on 17th November. While they hope their fiscal measures will blunt the rise in interest rates and protect homeowners – the wealthier portion of whom make up much of the Tories’ electoral base – the pay off for this will be the expiry next April of Truss’ totally inadequate average £2500 limit on annual fuel bills – which is itself over double the cap at the end of 2021 – and its likely to rise as high as £4000 pa in April 2020. After that there will be means-tested aid to the poorest, those on benefits etc, who will still be crucified by the doubling before the limit was created, and the rest will have to pay the profiteers in full.
Develop the strike wave towards a General Strike. No support to Starmer!
None of this should be tolerated. It is good that there is a fightback developing in the working class, and one-day strikes have been bubbling away for a few months now. Rail workers, Royal Mail workers, dockers have set some sort of pace for others to follow. Now we see nurses having voted to strike: their pay has effectively been cut by at least 20% in real terms by the refusal of pay rises to keep up with inflation since the beginning of the original Tory austerity programme in 2010. The NHS has been hammered by the same austerity, and by the rampant corruption, malign neglect and profiteering of Boris Johnson and his cronies since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone knows the difficulty now in getting to see a GP. Everyone doubly fears being taken ill today, not only because of the illness itself, but the fact that the Ambulance Service and A&E and Hospital Admissions have been wrecked and plundered by the profiteers, so that Ambulances are forced to queue for hours outside A&E’s before discharging their patients into understaffed hospital facilities, instead of being available to often desperately ill patients within a reasonable time.
But the revival of trade union struggle is still at a relatively early stage. A crucial obstacle to the movement is forty years of anti-trade union laws, which impose a very restrictive legal framework on strikes. And they have a bureaucracy that is long used to manoeuvring around these laws, and often squashing struggles that objectively need to go beyond the repressive legal framework to have a chance of winning. Such struggles are routinely betrayed by the bureaucracy, and have been for decades, particularly since the 1984-5 Miners strike. We need a series of strategic demands and aims centring on further deepening of collaboration and coordination of union actions between different unions, aimed at what is objectively necessary – a General Strike to defeat these attacks and defend the WHOLE working class.
At the same time, we should be wary of such bodies as the TUC, which have the authority to call a General Strike, and given a huge increase in pressure from below, could at some point be forced to comply. History says that the TUC is likely to betray such a strike, as it did in 1926, calling off the strike after 10 days. The only antidote is to build a political class movement at the grass roots that can take the strike out of the hands of such misleaders. Such a movement could strike a severe blow against repressive anti-union laws and force their abolition. We must demand workers control of all prices; a sliding scale of incomes and benefits, and of course the establishment of a workers’ government to put the workers collectively in command of the whole economy so we can expropriate capital and plan the economy in working-class interests.
A crucial obstacle to this is any continued loyalty of the trade unions to the Labour Party. Today the Labour leadership is openly hostile to unions and strikers, and the leadership in one case even sacked an MP from a shadow ministerial position and orchestrated their de-selection as and MP, for refusing to obey an edict not to show support for picket lines. This is entirely consistent with the whole war Starmer has waged against the left since he was elected as Labour leader on a slew of brazen lies in 2020, promising to be a ‘unity’ candidate maintaining many of the mildly left-social-democratic politics of Jeremy Corbyn.
He immediately declared war on everything remotely working class or socialist within Labour. Any support for workers in struggle is proscribed. Any support for Palestinian rights draws the Goebbellsian lie about ‘anti-Semitism’ and the chop from Labour, propelled by the powerful faction of fascistic Zionists of which Starmer is part. Jewish-Zionist racists are indulged in Labour; non-whites, Muslims or other representatives of the genuinely oppressed, even anti-Zionist Jews, are sent to the back of the bus. And any opposition to NATO’s war in Ukraine on behalf of its Hitlerite puppets likewise attracts being purged. Starmer, who says that he supports Zionism “without qualification” at the same time defends the Hitlerite scum like Azov, and Ukraine’s US-quisling Zionist President Zelensky who posts approving pictures of his troops wearing SS Insignia on his Instagram account.
The Tories have reached the end of their line as a currently viable ruling party. It is clear that the ruling class want them out, not least so that they can resolve their huge problems with erratic right-wing populism that were summed up in the bizarre and dysfunctional regime of Johnson and Brexit, and the even more bizarre short-lived Truss regime. The ruling class is actively pushing for Starmer to take their place, as a surrogate, substitute Tory who will maintain austerity and their repressive anti-union laws, their hostile environment for migrants, their racist persecution of minorities, their privatisations and above all their absolute fealty to neoliberalism and the defence of the interests of the super-rich ruling class core against the working class and the oppressed on all questions of any significance.
There should be no indulgence, no support, for Starmer’s New Labour by trade unions. There should be no voting or campaigning for New Labour by socialists, trade unionists and anti-racicsts. Starmer follows in the footsteps of Blair, who kept 95% of Thatcher’s anti-union laws, engaged in its own privatisations including in housing and the health service, and was the chief promoter of the predatory war in Iraq. Trade unionists should involve themselves in the struggle to create a genuine working-class party open to programmatic development towards revolutionary solutions.
Such things are needed across the imperialist countries, and indeed among all those victimised by the current crisis around the world. Neoliberal capitalism needs to be destroyed by the international working class!
One of the most troubling aspects, but least reported in the West, in the Special Military Operation has been the discovery of US/Ukraine biolabs with documents and paraphernalia of scientific investigation despite the instructions from Kiev to destroy all such evidence on the 25th February 2022.
The UN continues to refuse all requests to investigate the written and physical evidence of the Pentagon’s bioweapons programmes in Ukraine which were being carried out in clear violation of Articles 1 and 4 of the Biological Weapons Conventions, despite the eventual admission by the Pentagon that such biolabs and programmes did exist, albeit described by the US as “defensive”.
The UN refusal, under pressure from many Western nations, is at odds with their willingness to announce war crimes by Russia without any such evidence or even legal precedence. The current revelations of US programmes of “gain of function” on viruses in the current in the U.S. House Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labour and Pensions shows that this call for investigation by Russia should be subjected to proper scrutiny and full investigation.
The anti-lockdown protests in China are another piece of hybrid warfare aimed at fomenting a colour revolution and overthrowing the Chinese government. The involvement of overseas journalists in fomenting these events is clear, and what is particularly notable is the virulent support of the liberal media in Britain in supporting them. A BBC operative has been thrown out of China for an evident role in, not merely reporting on these events, but inciting them. The support of the Guardian for these protests recalls their recent applause for the truck-bombing of the Kerch Bridge in Crimea. Formally these shitlibs oppose lockdown-breaking and covid denialism, as well as terrorist attacks on civilian targets. Except when it suits them part of an imperialist campaign or potential right-wing coup.
They are a reminder that the Covid movement in the West is a two-edged sword and that the imperialists will use anything at all to try to gain an advantage. What is outrageous is that many of those liberals in the Western media and ruling classes who accurately scored the likes of Trump, Johnson and Bolsonaro for criminal neglect of the welfare of the population in the worst period of the pandemic, not least by sabotaging quarantine measures and allowing the virus to run riot, are opportunistically trying to make use of social discontent in China at lockdown measures as a political weapon. They denounced anti-lockdown protests in the West but are opportunistically making use of them here.
They are just as cynical as Trump was in playing with the lives of the US population, with this playing with the lives of the Chinese people. No one likes lockdowns, as they interfere with normal life and cause major problems for everyone subjected to them. But in circumstances of a dangerous illness running amok, as happened in the last three years with Covid, they are by far the lesser evil. This is shown by a comparison of the death rates of those countries where it was allowed free rein, with China. China, remember, is where the Covid pandemic was first discovered and may well be the place where it started. China has something of a problem as the virus being allowed to run riot externally has led to over 6 million deaths, of whom China’s share has been minuscule, but has also eventually led to the emergence of milder variants. As a reflection of this change there has been some relaxation in China, more reliance on vaccination. But this is incomplete, and something that has to be handled with great care, and those who are trying to exploit this dilemma certainly do not have the welfare of the Chinese population at heart.
The United States had the worst aggregate death rate from Covid-19 in the whole world. Its total deaths from Covid to date is 1,104,879, according to the Worldometer (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries), and it has had over 100,000,000 recorded cases. China, which has over four times the population of the US, has had only 5,233 deaths, and 315,248 cases overall. That is a remarkable record considering that China is relatively far less wealthy than the US, and indicative of a ruling layer that at least can be said to have some real social responsibility in dealing with this problem. If China had been criminally negligent in the manner of the US in dealing with the pandemic, it is obvious that the result would have been over 4 million deaths!
The imperialist attempt at exploiting this issue is deadly in its implications and should be regarded with contempt. The BBC is complaining that their operative who was apprehended by the Chinese government was not treated well. But given the sinister import of playing with people’s lives by this cynical exploitation of the Covid issue in China, he should think himself lucky he was not put in front of a firing squad.