Sunday, July 07, 2024

Enter Keir Starmer

Workers get little or nothing out of bourgeois elections. Whoever wins the ruling class will still be there living off the backs of working people in Britain and throughout the world.
The Labour Party has been dominated by its right-wing throughout its history – a right-wing that never seriously challenged imperialism when the British empire spanned the globe and to this day always seeks to serve what they believe to be the dominant wing of the ruling class.
But come election-time we do get the chance to keep the most reactionary of the mainstream parties out of office and to elect the only party that is historically and organisationally linked to the trade union movement – Labour. We also get the chance to raise popular demands that go far beyond the bourgeois agenda or the class-collaborationist policies of Sir Keir Starmer and his cronies.
This week Palestine solidarity candidates took four seats off of Labour and came close to winning a couple more. Jeremy Corbyn, the former Labour leader hounded out because he supports the legitimate demands of the Palestinian Arabs, has held his seat as an independent. These independents can now realistically strive to build a Palestinian support lobby in Parliament with the support from some of the Greens, the Liberal-Democrats and the left social-democrats on Starmer’s back-benches. But they won’t be able to change Labour itself.
Only the organised working class through its affiliated unions that provide the massive amounts of cash that keep Labour going can do that job. And that will only happen if there’s mass rank-and-file pressure on the leadership for change.
Capitalism can never solve the problems of working people nor is it intended to. It’s a system designed to ensure that the big bourgeoisie and those that serve them live the lives of Roman emperors through exploitation. All the wealth of the capitalist world is produced by workers in factories and peasants in the fields. All they get in return is a tiny fraction of the wealth they produce.
All that “democracy” means to the bourgeoisie is manipulating the largest number of votes by the smallest number of people. Marking a cross in a ballot box every four of five years is a meaningless ritual unless it’s matched by a rising level of militancy and struggle. The Palestine solidarity campaign has reached out to millions over the past nine months through mass actions on the streets in London and up and down the country. The unions must do the same to demand higher wages, better pensions, decent and affordable housing and a free health service that can so easily be funded by taxing the rich, restoring the public sector and scrapping the Trident nuclear arms system.
The next step is real democracy – people’s democracy; democracy for the masses that will pave the way for socialism and the end of poverty, classes and exploitation. The struggle began in the 19th century and continues to this day.
We know that social democracy, of whatever trend, can never lead to socialism. But the struggles of the future can only come from a labour movement confident to lead the fight for revolutionary change. We shall not be diverted from that struggle.

Britain joins the war in Ukraine

by K Hill

While the US has brought about regime change in Ukraine with the Maidan coup in 2014, installing a thinly disguised neo-Nazi government of Banderites and corrupt politicians to loot its resources, sell its land and saddle it with massive debts thanks to dodgy IMF loans, the UK has been heavily involved in the training of their military – now the second largest European army (after Turkey) in NATO.
The UK involvement has involved everything from bringing Ukrainian commanders for "special training" in the UK, Nazi tattoos on show much to the embarrassment of the British media, to the existence of special advisors, in reality SAS and SBS units, to supervise "on the ground" the attacks on Snake Island and Kerch Bridge.
This is the real reason our British press has been so obsessed with these two "targets" over the past two years, despite their lack of strategic importance, because they are great PR and distract the British public from the grim reality of millions of dead and wounded Ukrainians over the past years.
This is a war Ukraine can't win, never could win, but a war that the UK along with the US said would be worth it because if the Ukrainians "weakened Russia" they would be rewarded with European Union and NATO membership – despite the fact that they didn't qualify, and never would. Now the EU and NATO are so weak, they may well become members simply because both are on their last legs, completely ruined by this unwinnable war along with the rest of Europe and the UK.
When offered more than reasonable terms of peace by Russia, the US sent Boris Johnson to persuade Zelensky to continue the war, while the US funded billions of dollars of "loans" Ukraine can never repay to stay in the war, knowing they would be defeated, but determined they should keep on fighting until Biden is re-elected.
The tragedy is that Ukraine could never win "the war" and the Americans knew that. Russia has more and better weapons than NATO, can produce more and better weapons than NATO can in the future, even if Europe and the UK move to a "war economy". Russia now has a bigger, better trained armed forces than NATO, although it didn't before the Americans provoked this war in 2014. In fact Russia was reducing its armed forces in order to focus more on rebuilding its economy after US sanctions and building up international relationships with other victims of American imperialism.
Sanctions have now bankrupted the West, and BRICS will make US hegemony irrelevant, but the UK's real humiliation has come with Sunak's admission that the UK won't "directly fight Russia", because it exposes the fact that we already have been secretly fighting Russia for a decade, in an unwinnable war that has exposed our complete inability to do anything but start what we cannot finish.

Monday, July 01, 2024

Last lap of the election…

It looks like curtains for Sunak on 4th July. Despite the fact that there is little enthusiasm for Keith Starmer on the street nothing the Conservatives say can shift Labour’s 20 point lead in the opinion polls. Amongst the Tory grandees the blame game has already begun with Remainers looking to the Liberal-Democrats while the die-hard racists and what’s left of their Brexit faction turn to Nigel Farage’s Reform platform. In Islington over a thousand volunteers are helping Jeremy Corbyn in his fight against the Labour machine to keep his seat in parliament and Nigel Farage managed to break the bourgeois consensus on Ukraine last week. 
To the eternal shame of the fake left Labour MPs who pose as peace campaigners while supporting NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine Farage’s repeated calls for a peace settlement
 take Russia’s legitimate demands into consideration. To the horror of Sunak and Starmer, who closed ranks to denounce Farage as an apologist for Vladimir Putin, Farage’s comments were favourably received on the street even in die-hard Tory and Labour areas. This is not surprising. Though tatty yellow and blue Ukrainian flags still fly over some Government buildings no-one on the street really cares about Zelensky these days. 

Assange: the end of a nightmare

 Seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London followed by five years cooped up in a dungeon in Belmarsh. Julian Assange paid a very high price for defending journalistic freedom. Now he walks free following a plea-bargain deal with the American courts that led to his release this week. We all wish him well as he starts to rebuild his life in Australia.
The WikiLeaks founder will now fight for a pardon that Donald Trump says he will seriously consider if he returns to the White House while Assange supporters vow to continue to campaign to change the law in the United States to prevent further prosecutions against journalists.
We’ve learned many lessons from the Assange campaign whose ultimate victory was undoubtedly due to Assange’s refusal to grovel to imperialist demands and his campaign’s determination to fight for his freedom across the globe. That campaign swayed the Australian Labor government into pressing for his release. It clearly also influenced the Biden administration that is well aware that it needs to woo the liberal constituency in the United States with a show of clemency if it hopes to beat off the challenge from the Trump camp at the presidential elections in November.
The lesson learnt is to have no faith in British “justice” or the courts and constitutions of the other members of the “free world” in Europe. They will all do the bidding of their masters in Washington when the chips are down. The American whistle-blower Edward Snowden made a wiser choice when he fled to Russia in 2013...