Monday, March 15, 2021

Defending Imperialism

Sir Keir Starmer says “Labour’s foreign policy will always be rooted in our values”. He tells the Fabian Society’s New Year conference that “we’re proudly patriotic. And we’re proudly internationalist too. I believe that after a decade of global retreat Britain needs to be a far stronger and more confident voice on the international stage”. Brave words right out of the Blairite stable that includes the entire lexicon of imperialism’s “human rights” gang as well as the “ethical foreign policy” of former foreign minister, Robin Cook. But what does all this guff actually mean?
    Very little beyond following the twists and turns of the ruling circles in Britain and the United States that have launched a new “America’s Back” propaganda drive to justify a new NATO offensive to restore imperialist hegemony throughout the Third World.
    After the Second World War a much weakened Britain sheltered behind the American eagle in a “special relationship” that the ruling class believed would defend their global imperialist interests. At the same time they tried to play off a renascent Europe against the USA. This trans-Atlantic bridge between Franco-German and American imperialism was the basis of post-war British foreign policy until the Blair era.
    Now Starmer talks about Britain “once again being the bridge between the US and the rest of Europe”. But Tony Blair burnt that bridge when he broke with France and Germany to fully support the Americans in the first Gulf war.

Defending the NHS

The media frenzy around latest rift between the Queen and her wayward son, Prince Harry and the subsequent departure of Piers Morgan from his presenting role on ITV's popular Good Morning Britain show following controversial comments he made about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has conveniently enabled the bourgeois media to, once again, push the derisory NHS pay rise on to the back burner.
    Labour has, for sure, renewed its attack on the government’s one per cent pay offer, calling it “reprehensible” and claiming that a 2.1 per cent rise had previously been budgeted in the Government’s long term plan for the health service.
    Shadow Secretary of State, Lisa Nandy, rightly told the media:: "The government, to be clear, is not planning a pay rise ... that is a real-terms pay cut because it doesn’t keep up with inflation and for nurses to be offered a pay cut is just reprehensible in our view”.
    Labour constantly reminds us that the NHS was the jewel in the crown of the tranche of social-democratic reforms passed by the post-war Attlee government. But harping on about past glories is no substitute for serious campaigning. The Starmer leadership needs to do much more than this if it seriously hopes to regain the trust of millions of working-class voters that abandoned the Labour Party over Brexit at the last election.

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