No Support for Starmer’s Labour
This 26 June Peoples Assembly demonstration is important because it is called, in a still simmering pandemic, against the government’s attempts to ram through its Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, under cover of the same pandemic. They calculated that the labour movement and working-class people generally would be so preoccupied with protecting themselves from Covid that they would not have the stomach to fight back against such an attack on basic protest rights. Or that the population are so bloated with nationalist fantasies about Brexit and defeating ‘foreigners’ that they would all snap to attention at the attacks on supposedly ‘woke’ anti-racists and climate protesters, and do as they are told.
They have miscalculated, just as they did about the pandemic. Johnson’s original plan was simply to allow enormous numbers to die, like Trump and Bolsonaro, to maintain profit in the name of ‘herd immunity’: letting the disease ravage the whole population in the hope that survivors would eventually become immune. The population refused to be led to the slaughter for profit, and the government had to take quarantine measures that Johnson had previously mocked as unnecessary in Britain, the ‘Clark Kent’ of capitalism. Still as a result of the government’s repeated sabotage of its own public health measures, and its huge corruption, at least 100,000 perished.
The government has been aided, both in slaughtering the British population by negligence, and in its attacks on democratic rights, by the Labour Party. When the pandemic began Jeremy Corbyn was able to sharply attack Johnson’s malign neglect. But when Starmer tool the reins all that changed, and Labour baldly said it would support the government, “whatever it decided to do”(!). So Starmer supported the sending of kids back into schools in June, before any vaccines existed, which gave the virus room to mutate into the Kent variant and laid the basis for the Second wave. Starmer also refused to oppose the legalisation of rape, torture and murder by the secret police (!) and would have refused to oppose Patel’s anti-protest law if the scandal of the murder of Sara Everard (by a cop!) and the brutalisation of those holding a vigil in her memory, on Patel’s orders, had not exploded the issue.
Starmer’s Labour party deserves no support in parliamentary elections, as the British working class has figured out for themselves, despite those fossils on the British pseudo-left who insist that Labour is still the embodiment of the British working class’s aspirations for social reform and class consciousness. It self-evidently is no longer anything of the sort, as shown by its pathetic poll ratings in the face of a brazenly corrupt and self-seeking gang in government, the loss of Hartlepool to the Tories, the lost deposit in Chesham and Amersham (from second place in 2019!) and the upcoming loss of Batley and Spen. Those sections of the working class who were enthused by Corbyn certainly have no illusions that Starmer represents anything ‘working class’ and quite rightly let him go hang! The most class conscious workers are fully aware that the Blairite/Zionist wing of Labour are Tories in all but name, and vote with their feet accordingly. They are right to do so: the road to the rebirth of working class politics lies through the destruction and humiliation of these bastards, whose aim is to stymie any possibility of an alternative to neoliberal capitalist reaction.
There will be social-political struggles and explosions under this government. Hence the attacks on democratic rights – Johnson and co. are battening down the hatches already. We need a party of the working class to give them political leadership, and the Labour Party is worse than useless right now. Those desperately trying to ‘stay in and fight’ should not be simply dismissed, but the urgent need is for a public political pole of defiance of Zionist New Labour. We support Chris Wiliamson’s initiative, the Resistance Movement, as the beginning of such an initiative, though we do not necessarily have to agree with everything it does (supporting George Galloway’s ‘Workers Party’ candidacy in Batley and Spen, given his own support for Farage and the Scottish Tories, is in our view a mistake). But we still see this is as the most likely vehicle for a new political party of the left in Britain to emerge.
We will support, critically when necessary, any initiative in the labour movement that points in the right direction politically. Thus, we supported Howard Beckett’s highly political candidacy for the leadership of Unite, which he has unfortunately now withdrawn under immense pressure from the left bureaucracy of which he is still part. This shows the limitations of bureaucratic politics even in its most left manifestations and underlines that the labour movement needs something more than this (though it is an open question whether the blended Turner-Beckett campaign is the complete negation of Beckett’s original). It needs a revolutionary leadership and programme, and a revolutionary party, which is the only way a political force can be created that will not back down in the face of our class enemies and their agents in the workers movement.