Defeating the Coalition of Chaos – Down with any minority Tory government / No deals with the reactionary Democratic Unionist Party. Where next for workers? Corbyn strengthened but the right of his party are still an obstacle


As worker commuters waited this morning at the station for their trains to work-joy, the Metro headline ‘Coalition of Chaos’ following last Thursday’s General Election seemed to be on everyone’s minds. If May didn’t actually win outright, why are the Tories still clinging to power? The first past the post system doesn’t reflect the actual votes of the electorate, the overwhelming media state bias against Corbyn and  the boundary changes designed to favour The Tories exposes the lie of corporate controlled ‘democracy’, and of course, the treacherous role of the Labour right controlled Parliamentary Labour Party – against all these odds Corbyn, without actually winning, has emerged vindicated and strengthened, sending his many party opponents into a calculating, sycophantic race now to try and capture positions in his possible government-in-waiting, with The Guardian naming ‘big hitters’ such as Ed Miliband and Lisa Nandy as possible appointments.

The Labour careerists, not least the Welsh ones, are in shock  that ‘pro-worker’ policies such as free education and scrapping the tuition fees is popular, something those of us on the socialist left have been campaigning for since Blair’s Labour actually introduced the fees in 1997, a blatantly anti-working class policy supported by endless Labour Party careerists in the NUS, the PLP and too many of the unions. Welsh Labour has consistently refused to use even its limited powers to try and stop job losses and cuts and do not support ‘devo max’ for Wales or fight for control over the Welsh budget and with Wales historically underfunded by the Barnett formula. Wales has never voted Tory yet we  keep getting stuck with their governments ruling us. Welsh Labour politicians remain part of the problem, not the solution.

Meanwhile May is delaying the Queen’s Speech as she tries to scramble a deal with the horrifying DUP (Democratic Unionist Party), a sectarian, sexist, homophobic, austerity-loving and utterly reactionary party with links to loyalist terrorist groups – a deal which could threaten the Northern Ireland Peace Process. A deal breaker for the DUP is abortion, which is still illegal in Northern Ireland – May is planning to legislate to reduce the time limits on abortion to win their support. A demo in London is already planned to protest this disturbing partnership and the threat it represents to women’s reproductive rights (Women’s March On Downing Street Against The DUP, Central London, June 24th). Never has extra- parliamentary activity been more essential and it’s been frankly over-due a long time now.

Corbyn plans to challenger her right to rule and put forward the case for an alternative government, hoping for another General Election to attempt to win a decisive mandate for Labour  (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/09/jeremy-corbyn-plans-alternative-queens-speech-challenging-may). The DUP are especially dangerous and threaten working class unity and an escalation of  ruling class Unionist reaction in Northern Ireland and also Scotland.

Following the result with Corbyn calling for the discredited May to resign, Caroline Lucas of The Greens is indicating that her party would be willing to partner with Labour and the other ‘anti-austerity’ parties (I put speech marks around this as all the proposed parties in this possible but highly unlikely alliance have actually implemented austerity whilst in power be it the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats and yes, The Greens themselves in Brighton). Despite my scepticism about any of these parties so-called anti-austerity record (please remember that Corbyn has previously ordered Labour Councils to pass cuts in order for  council budgets to be ‘legal’ https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/dec/18/corbyn-local-labour-councils-illegal-budget-setting-cuts- ), the entire labour movement needs to mobilise now to demand May resigns, oppose any Tory / DUP coalition and insist on an end to austerity now. But what we also need is a clear anti-capitalist vision and an end to parliamentary illusions in the first place.

This task cannot be left to Labour alone, nothing changes without mass independent action of the working class. The entire movement needs to mobilise with protests, marches, strikes, mass meetings and rank and file union organisation of both unionised and non unionised workplaces. Whilst many Labour activists have been celebrating this weekend, the reality is that people are still sleeping on the streets this morning and many of us are in workplaces facing closures, cuts and job losses with trade unions (when we have them) generally missing in action.

Even if Labour were able to form a minority government with the support of other parties (an outcome certainly preferable to the Tories and their sectarian friends being in charge), the real risks of compromise and betrayal of workers lies ahead – and it’s far from certain that’s on the cards. But even if it did happen, first of all, it still wouldn’t be enough seats. Secondly, Corbyn would have to make compromises with the right in the Scottish Nationalist Party, the discredited Liberal Democrats (remember that ConDem coalition), Plaid Cyrmu who have also implemented austerity in power AND the right-wing of his party, Machiavellian opportunists such as Stephen Kinnock (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-40239384).

Labour’s program, progressive especially in the context of decades of neoliberalism from the establishment parties, is not as radical as it seems. Aside from maintaining Trident, supporting Nato and promising to work with business and not supporting the free movement of labour, it is informed by Keynesian state capitalist economics and already opportunist right wingers are pouncing on the opportunity to serve in the shadow cabinet whilst the hardest of the right continue their plotting. Corbyn is speaking about how the unity of the party must be maintained and there is the real danger he will continue to compromise even further with his new found ‘moderate’ allies who like power-hungry vultures are sniffing and foaming at the mouth at the chance to rule again in the possible near-future.

Corbyn and McDonnell, represent a revival of second internationalism (the ‘international’ which supported WW1 and for many, many decades has capitulated to capitalist economics and maintaining imperialism). The outpouring of working-class support for Labour in last week’s election is undoubtedly encouraging but people’s hopes stand to be dashed if May clings on with the utterly reactionary Democratic Unionist Party, or if Corbyn and McDonnell’s pursue a new election without the mandatory re-selection of m.p.s. The Labour Party is two parties and the members need to assert democratic control – a task not previously ever achieved – or more likely, start to learn some lessons about the impossibility of this task. Parliament has never been a vehicle for socialism which is why the second internationalists degenerated into capitalist conformity in the first place, many, many decades ago. But still the current revival of it is welcome only in the sense that it indicates an increasing confidence of workers and especially young people to move into struggle again –however, the obstacles are huge.

For Corbyn, the ideal would be a fresh General Election with a clear and overwhelming mandate. However, as myself and others have consistently pointed out for the last two years, it is essential that Corbyn uses this opportunity to introduce mandatory re-selection of M.P.S if he wants any chance of decisively winning the internal civil war and ‘democratising’ the party. The two parties in one is untenable. But that doesn’t look likely with Corbyn’s misguided belief in the Labour Party ‘happy family’. Momentum are triumphant but Andrew Langsley and co seem more interested in stopping so-called Trotskyist ‘infiltrators’ (or in more neutral language, new party members) than pursuing the re-selection of M.P.s The Labour Party has never been democratic and this myth that it has ever been socialist needs to be challenged, not reinforced by self-described revolutionaries who uncritically champion Corbyn’s limited state capitalist programme and establishment approved Keynesian economics, not explaining that, however preferable it is to fully bloodied austerity, it still represents a continuation of capitalism which is still in the grips of a long-term ‘great depression’. To quote the marxist economist Michael Roberts latest post, UK Election Results: capital in disarray:

‘The UK economy is set to enter a period of stagnation at best. The OECD’s                               economists are already forecasting that the UK economy will slow down to just 1%             next year as Brexit bites.  And there is every likelihood of a new global recession                  in the next year or two……

…..This minority Conservative government is going to find it difficult to survive for              long.  There could well be a new general election before the year is out and that                 could well lead to a Labour government aiming to reverse the neo-liberal policies               of the last 30 years.  But if the UK capitalist economy is in dire straits, a Labour                    government will face an immediate challenge to the implementation of its                            policies. ‘

https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/

Not only is another recession very likely, any reformist government, will have to deal with hostile and unaccountable institutions such as the E.U. during Brexit negotiations, the World Bank and IMF  etc. Politicians hoping to make capitalism nicer would have to contend with the fact that the dictatorship of the international market will never passively accept any attempts to reduce to redistribute capitalist wealth to the masses. Capitalism exists to make profit, not pay workers fair wages (and all profit is created by the unpaid labour of the working class, the real creators of wealth).

The capitulation of the left-wing Syriza government in Greece is a stark warning, as are the many historical examples of the inevitable, and frequently bloody, resistance of the ruling class to any attempt to fundamentally threaten their profits and power. It’s worth remembering the tragic events of Chile in 1973, where the more radical Allende was overthrown in a CIA supported fascist coup. Pinochet murdered not only the democratically elected Allende, he and his armed thugs of the state executed thousands of socialists, anarchists and trade unionists to crush the mass movement behind Allende. Certainly the ruling class are not adverse to threatening flights of capital, denial of loans, economic blockades and yes, even military coups. Our struggle has to be international and with no illusions in the capitalist state.

Whilst there are encouraging developments with this result in terms of giving the Tories a well-deserved bloody nose and crisis in the establishment, it’s important to be sober and take an honest and unflinching assessment of the huge obstacles our side is up against. We suffer from shockingly low levels of workers’ struggle, with union membership at an all-time low. No one on the left has anything better to offer us than Labour, a party which has consistently betrayed workers and the oppressed over the last century or so. There is no coherent anti-capitalist vision put forward, no strategy beyond A to B marches and co-operating with the police to keep protests neutered. On the police, the left needs to stop sowing illusions in their so-called neutrality – look at the role of the police and military in the Miners’ Strike of 84/85, Hillsborough in 1989 and so on. In Engels words, in the last analysis the state represents the armed bodies of men to protect private property and, as Angela Davis and so many black activists have pointed out, to maintain a profit system based on racism and oppression of all kinds. We need genuine socialist internationalism, updated for the 21st century, if we are ever to succeed in our tasks. Whether this happens remains to be seen. But the politics of tinkering with the system and appealing to the capitalists to be a bit nicer to workers is naïve at best, at worst deluded and dangerous. But still we must struggle…..

 

 

It’s been a long time coming. Self care is vital. We need this strength for the protests ahead of us. Down with the tories and the sectarian, sexist, homophobic austerity supporting reactionaries of the Democratic Unionist Party, the DUP. Defend women’s right to abortion. This hung parliament shows just how undemocratic first past the post is. May must resign. We need a mass movement of the labour movement to build the resistance now

It’s not naive, sexist OR stupid to say, ‘I believe her’.

Solidarity with the survivor of Ched Evans and his bullying, abusive and above all else, misogynistic supporters. He and his partner have used their wealth and power to deny all women justice (we have the right to be sexually active and not raped or sexually assaulted in any way. Our sexual histories are irrelevant). Women’s rights have just gone back 30 years. The courts only serve the rich and powerful; there is no justice in the legal system. I believe her.

The Dole Age

The Dole Age.jpgMaybe I’m just not of this world; my imagination struggles to accept things as they are, so that when I try to conceptualise how to resolve society’s ills, I can’t limit myself to what is ‘realistic’ or allowed by the status quo which our duplicit masters insist is permanent and unchallengeable.

The rulers, be they the corporate owners, the judiciary, the land owners, the royalty, the media barons and of course their representatives in parliament, have over decades developed, promoted and funded the most sophisticated artificial intelligence (search engines such as Google), military funded, corporate controlled spy ware (Facebook, Google again) and sophisticated techniques of mind control used widely in both the online and offline mass media in order to manipulate, pacify and isolate us until we disintegrate into submission and compliance.

You will go to work and if you don’t or can’t, then starve and die and be forever rejected by society and judged as useless. You will blame other poor people, you will stop caring about the most vulnerable (workers and students routinely ignore anyone who begs on the streets) and you have nobody but yourself to blame if life isn’t working out for you. You didn’t embrace Mindfulness group classes, you stopped taking those anti-depressants which don’t work and you keep up self destructive behaviours like drinking and drug taking sooo………. ‘What do you expect???’ Sigh the over-worked, under-paid and often barely functional themselves ‘professionals’ who have to squeeze in forty other people just like you in any given day – when you can get an appointment, that is.

At work, even if you are in a unionised workplace, more often than not, you may as well not be, because the ‘official’ trade unions are hand in glove with the employer AND the Labour Party which shares the bosses’ aversion to any form of workers’ militancy.  The bureaucrats bleat, ‘There’s no mood for strike action and the cuts can’t be stopped, so there’s no point even arguingI- a refrain from trade unions like Unison, an organisation which can’t even bring itself to encourage its members to attend anti-Tory party protests. Meanwhile, almost the entire so-called hard left champion Jeremy Corbyn – a mild, if well meaning parliamentarian unable to detach from the Labour right and the glimmer of power – as the saviour of the masses, rather than denounce the entire system and encourage working class people to organise ourselves and unite in collective protest action. Parliament isn’t a neutral institution ruling benevolently and independently of the class system in the interests of all, like a liberal philosopher’s wet dream; it is designed to maintain the ruling classes’ power, control and, above all else, their wealth, and keep us as obedient slaves.

Suck it up in the never ending story of The Dole Age? Nah, keep up the fist of resistance and keep on dreaming… One day.. One day.. We will wake up

 

 

Open letter to Jeremy Corbyn

I’ve sent the following open letter to Jeremy Corbyn (leader@labour.org.uk) following watching his televised leadership debate with my m.p., Owen Smith, on the Victoria Show on the BBC. I’ll wait and see if I get a reply from his office…..
Governments can be toppled
Hi Jeremy,
I’m writing to you as a long standing, independent socialist living in Pontypridd, your leadership challenger, Owen Smith’s constituency, to express my total frustration with the role of the Labour Party in implementing austerity, cuts, war and divide and rule within the working class both in the South Wales valleys and throughout the U.K. and to explain to you how whilst I admire your integrity, honesty and determination to stand up to the undemocratic plotting of the Parliamentary Labour Party, I remain very concerned about your strategy of pursuing unity with the right in your party. I also want to explain some of my own political history, my very serious reservations about the limits and dangers of representational politics and why I believe parliament is designed to maintain capitalist rule and can not be reformed to represent workers’ interests.
I watched the debate between yourself and Owen Smith on the Victoria show with exasperation. Although I am not, never have been and almost certainly never will be a member of Labour, the fact that the right-wing challenger comes from my town encapsulates why the Labour Party never appealed to me in the first place. Indeed, I’ve never even voted Labour. For decades and decades, the Labour Party, alongside its many supporters in the trade union bureaucracy, has provided the main career path for opportunist social climbers keen to avoid actual work and desperate to get on the money laden path of corporate financed political office, whilst ensuring the so-called labour movement does the government and employers bidding by stopping trade unionists, students and community campaigners taking any effective action against the endless attacks on our rights, living standards and communities, services and workplaces.
As a trade unionist with 15 years of experience in Unison, PCS, UCU and Unison again, my experience has been that the Labour Party in the trade unions has been the main barrier to any effective trade union action, instead preaching ‘partnership’ with the bosses. This has happened in my own workplace, a further education college in Cardiff, for example, where the college has been effectively privatised and turned into a ‘corporation’, leading to massively worsening of workers’ rights and a sub standard, expensive service for mainly working class students – a policy overseen and implemented by the ruling Labour government in Wales. So excuse me if I don’t believe that either Owen Smith or indeed ANY of Welsh Labour’s elected m.p.s, A.M.S or councillors are ‘socialist’ – and in the latter case, whether they claim to support you or not
. Labour Grassroots in Wales is not a left-wing organisation and some of the main ‘left’ leaders in it have actually implemented austerity and cuts throughout Wales. Smith may be from Pontypridd and now claims to be socialist but it’s not where you’re from that matters, it where you are now and what you have been doing with your life and Smith is an egotist utterly indifferent to the incredible poverty, mass unemployment and all round suffering that is the unbearable norm for the overwhelming majority of Valleys residents. Smith was incredible in his absolute dishonesty in that and no doubt all the other debates so far. I was struck by the talent and articulate anger of new members like the woman in the debate who expressed her shock and horror at the deceptive manoeuvring and desperate mud slinging of the Labour bureaucracy in effectively witch hunting Corbyn supporters, denying them a say in the party’s structures, miscasting them absurdly as ‘Trots’ and ‘cult members’ and worst of all, charging £25 – which for most of us out here in the real world is a lot of money – for the right to vote in the leadership contest.
However I’m very concerned that activists like this – rightly angry now they are learning in practice what the Labour Party is really about – are going to have their hopes that Labour can be ‘won back’ under your leadership cruelly dashed, so long as you insist on perpetuating the myth that Labour ever was a real socialist party in the first place (it never was and the betrayal dates back until at least 1914 when the Second International abandoned international class struggle to support their ‘own’ ruling class during WW1), understate the inevitable capitalist state opposition to any attempts to introduce increase in corporate taxation, decommission Trident and reverse austerity and the domination of the markets and above all attempt to achieve reconciliation between corporate sponsored politicians and business ‘leaders’ and working class socialists – a reconciliation which is impossible to achieve. The right wing in the party understand this but unfortunately you are reluctant to draw this conclusion which risks compromise, betrayal and ultimately defeat YET AGAIN for our class.
I believe that you and your supporters have a responsibility to not just your new members but to the entire movement to prepare the working class for the inevitable capitalist opposition to your policies – which by themselves are inspired by the capitalist supporting economist Keynes and are not socialist – and explain that capitalism can not be made nicer. Capitalism is production for profit and workers produce that wealth but we are robbed of it by the expropriators, many of whom sit very comfortably indeed in that wholly undemocratic institution the House of Lords as well as the so called ‘Commons’ which of course is anything but for ‘commoners’.
Just like Syriza in Greece, I’m very worried that even if you do succeed in staying on as leader until 2020 (which still means nearly four more years of hell for the working class), any Labour government under your leadership would attempt to ‘negotiate’ behind closed doors with dictatorial institutions such as the E.U., the I.M.F. and World Bank etc. thereby leading to yet more sell outs. I’m disappointed that your socialist in name supporters maintain these illusions despite knowing better. So long as the class are told to stay passive and rely on parliamentary representation by ‘leaders’ who are characteristically motivated mainly by ego, narrow self-interest and status (I except that you’re an honourable exception, but your rarity in parliament only illustrates the general and real character of politicians), the harder the task is to give the masses the confidence that we can take mass action to fundamentally change society in our collective interests.
I come from the generation which lost the right to free education; Tony Blair was elected when I was 17 and one of the first acts of Labour in power was to scrap the student grant and introduce tuition fees – my year at university was the first year to pay fees. Needless to say, I was and still am furious about this and when I decided to get involved in the campaign to scrap fees at Swansea University, there was no way I was going anywhere near the party which betrayed my generation and concentrated on praising Thatcher and the right of rich people to get obscenely wealthier again – the enemies of socialism. Instead I joined the Socialist Party – mainly because they were NOT the Labour Party and instead were organising resistance to the government’s anti-working class policies. Although I left the Socialist Party in 2013, frustrated and angry at their own lack of internal democracy and inability to practise what they preach – above all, women’s rights – I’d rather eat my own hand than join the same party as Tony Blair, arch war criminal and red Tory. For all the problems of The Socialist Party, the Labour Party, as the long term ‘second eleven’ of the ruling class and so called ‘party of government’ has actual blood on its hands and is responsible for far greater acts of betrayal than any delusional cult masquerading as a revolutionary party can muster.
Whilst I respect that you have rebelled against your party many times in parliament, I’m still angry at Labour’s murderous legacy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Libya and Syria. Likewise I’m horrified by the Labour Party’s role in promoting the worst divide and rule policies – British nationalism, racism, Islamophobia and the demonisation and the deliberate starvation of unemployed workers and their families. As a virtual lone rebel, you could not stop any of these policies because the Labour Party was co-opted, neutralised and made part of the establishment nearly a century ago – yet I’m meant to join this delusional, myopic fantasy that the very party that is as equally responsible as the Tories for all the seemingly endless setbacks and defeats our class have suffered during this time – not least the defeat of the Miners’ Strike of 84/85 – is somehow going to become a real workers’ party even though the entire constitution and organisational structures of the party are precisely designed to ensure that never ever happens.
Therefore, if you are serious and sincere in your efforts, it is essential that you seek the re-selection of all the Labour m.p.s and effectively re-found the party on an entirely new basis. The fact that you and Momentum have ruled this out should serve as a major warning to all the socialists and soft leftie types currently inspired by you that yet more disappointment and betrayal is ahead. No one likes a nay-sayer but unfortunately the truth has nothing but contempt for people’s wishful thinking. Jeremy you’re a good man and all that and obviously I prefer you to the contemptible Smith, but your evident talent, courage and leadership are in danger of being smashed so long as you keep trying to revive a parliamentary party which in reality is a dead end for the working class. Break from the war mongers, the corporations which fund Labour and the parliamentary careerists and use your platform to launch a new and real working class socialist organisation dedicated to building genuine internationalism and struggle on a clear anti-capitalist program.
All the best,
SaraGovernments can be toppled

It’s time to act

cyanImage: Anti-fascists chasing the fash out of Cardiff, autumn 2014 (photo by Sa Kollantai)

We live in hyper-real times where we are so distracted by our little ‘black mirrors’ that we spend more time absorbed by our screens than actually interacting with each other. It’s a common sight to see people carelessly cross the road whilst staring at their screens, whilst small children are addicted to gaming and sea-side crowds go for the augmented reality of Pokémon GO, rather than deriving pleasure simply from interacting with and directly experiencing the nature and company right in front of them. ‘Reality’ alone is no longer enough, and it is the same advances in corporate owned and controlled technology which allows us to at least partially detach ourselves from our immediate sensory experiences and each other that is the same alienating, socially disconnected technology consciously used by war generals, politicians, corporations and state forces at large to wage war, sell pointless products, discipline workers, spread fear and division and spy on us all. No wonder we want to escape and substitute electronic connection for the real thing in a world of heightened despair, horror and economic, social and existential mass suffering with a future that is increasingly bleak, so long as we remain isolated, divided, distracted and fearful – as our rulers like us. Mass shootings across the world appear a daily occurrence, whilst the last month has had a year’s worth of political events packed in it including the attempted coup in Turkey. There is a collective anxiety and mood of despair and passivity which only mass, united action could potentially cut across – if only the left can get its act together, with no signs of this anytime soon.

It’s a post- Brexit world where the U.K. now has one of the most right-wing governments in decades and the whole official narrative about immigration is far to the right, with certain so-called hard left parties fundamentally misreading the result as a ‘victory’ for the working class when it is in fact a defeat and unwilling to vocally defend non-British born workers and indeed anyone perceived to be not white and / or British enough by racists. This is not to say that everyone who voted to leave is racist, far from it, but  it is a recognition that for the overwhelming majority of people, there was no ‘Lexit’ – the socialist left  was barely heard, let alone in a position to lead the Out campaign on a principled internationalist and class conscious basis. The ‘hard’ left’s frequent minimisation of the increased confidence of the nationalistic right and the growth of vocalised racism is disturbing and unfortunately reflects the white bias of so-called ‘revolutionary’ parties such as the Socialist Party, for example, which somehow manages to ignore the obvious fact  that non-British born workers and their families are part of the working class too and potentially are some of the  most determined class fighters against austerity, racism and class exploitation. Instead the SP, perhaps inadvertently, reinforces state racism by arguing that people have ‘legitimate’ concerns about immigration, rather than defend immigrants and refugees and their right to remain here on the basis of rejecting the divide and rule tactics of the ruling class. This is a massive mistake for both moral and political reasons: we have a duty to defend and mobilise the most oppressed of our class and it is essential that we do so if any mass movement against the whole economic and political system is ever going to be built.

It’s vital that we attempt to fill the void which exists politically in Britain and in many countries around the world and take an organisational lead to stop the fascists filling it, without handing over that potential  working class opposition to a Labour Party which is trapped by the parliamentary paradigm and the right-wing, openly pro capitalist bureaucracy which inevitably ignores the democratic will of its own members and the wider working class and stops at nothing in order to deceive, disorient and undermine any attempt by the Corbynistas to introduce even mildly pro-worker policies.

Corbyn is a sacrificial lamb of the movement. It’s as if the class needs to  experience him fail to achieve socialism through parliament  before any lessons can be learned about the need for a genuine working class organisation to emerge and mean time everything is getting worse. Of course it is completely understandable why anyone in their mind prefers the principled but naive, anti-war leftie Corbyn to Machiavellian careerists such as Owen Smith – the m.p. for my own constituency, Pontypridd, where going without food, joblessness, insecure housing and no welfare state in practice is the oppressive reality, as it is in all working class areas – but, and this is the but which slams us all in the face – this is the long-term  and direct result of decades of misrule, incompetence, indifference and savage cuts at the hands of Labour, as well as Plaid Cymru. The Labour Party in Wales is a right-wing organisation. It is not acceptable to blame the Tory government for funding cuts – your party has implemented it. Despite the honest and sincere claims of new members of the Labour Party here that Labour Grassroots in Wales is a left-wing organisation, the leaders of WLG have implemented austerity at both national and local level and have and are actively holding back strike action  and genuinely democratically controlled anti-austerity campaigns because they want to keep their priviledged, well-paid full-time lifestyles, satisfy their own egos and maintain cosy relationships with employers in-tact and persist with worshipping politicians who claim to be left-wing but are only interested in their careers and hijacking protests to boost their media profiles and votes.

I’m not prepared to join a party which passes cuts budgets and privatisation and includes Blairites and other right-wing, pro-big business supporters. I’m proudly not just anti-cuts, but anti-capitalist full stop. As I have explained elsewhere on my blog, the Labour Party, not least through its domineering control of many of the major unions, still represents the biggest barrier to an effective, extra parliamentary working class fight back and I remain very skeptical about both Corbyn and Momentum. I do not think the Labour Party is the answer and I’m convinced that so long as Corbyn attempts to appease the right, rule out re-selection of m.p.s and attempt to maintain ‘unity’ with the parliamentary Labour Party (whilst at the same time it is very clear that the right will happily crush the party in order to destroy the left) is a doomed strategy as the interests of a self-interested ‘party of government’ (read a party willing to administer capitalism and maintain the status quo) is not reconcilable with the objective interests of the working class and poor.

Therefore whilst I am prepared to critically but fraternally work alongside Corbyn supporters in the wider labour movement against austerity and right wingers like the detestable, austerity supporting and corporate funded Owen Smith, and whilst I respect the genuineness of many new rank and file Labour members, particularly socialist leaning ones, I can’t join or endorse a party I think is part of the problem and not the solution.

It is also the case that it is not just the Labour Party and the Socialist Party (and their rivals in the Socialist Workers Party) which deserve criticism. The so called Marxist / anarchist left as a whole and the soft left around The People’s Assembly etc. are out of touch with the working class people they imagine they are leading / going to lead, with one or two honourable exceptions. The existing left uses an exclusive, obscure and alienating intellectual vocabulary which only reflects this total disconnection from the poorest and most oppressed sections of the class, including up here in the Valleys. Cardiff  offers a sanctuary to pseudo-intellectual types who prefer pretentious poetry readings, feeling important with over-paid, right wing union officials in wine bars  and flattering the egos of shallow ‘celebrity’ protesters (Charlotte Church, anyone?) and hanging out in self perpetuating social clubs to actually trying to relate to and connect with the poorest and most oppressed  workers and the unemployed, many of whom voted to leave the E.U. and rightly see the Labour Party as the establishment. Online especially, there is too much intellectual snobbery and point scoring from the comfort of the lonely sofa, with no genuine attempt to reach a common understanding and unity around a potentially joint programme of action. Egos dominate, cults replace cults and it all becomes a power struggle with deference always given to mainly self-appointed ‘leaders’  and celebrities (think John Rees et al at a national scale, but there are numerous competitors) and endless attempts at socialist groupings which disintegrate and squabble into tiny nothingness. There is a lack of maturity or sense of responsibility, with too many hard left activists (be they Trotskyists, anarcho communists, syndicalists, entryists etc.) too busy seeking comfort in their cliques denouncing everybody else, rather than making the effort to interact with working class people with all their prejudices, weird beliefs and confused ideas.

There are no prophets of socialism. Those of us who are activists do not have all their answers and we have, if anything, more to learn than anybody else about how to build real mass, anti-capitalist struggle if that is ever to become more than a nice fantasy in our heads. The mood in working class areas like mine is one of anger and a feeling that people can’t take much more –  if it can be channeled in the right direction on the basis of community organizing  independent working class protest action and internationalism by real socialists, anarchists, communists etc., rather than just providing left cover for a party as responsible as the Tories for working class suffering, then I genuinely believe that the far-right can be cut across and real grassroots, community and workplace based organisation can begin to expose not only the Blairites and the Labour Party machine and how and why parliament is a dead-end, we can more importantly start to get off our knees and find dignity in solidarity and struggle. The question is, when is this going to happen? I’m ready if you are.

Sara, 27/07/16

Going against the grain

13/07/16 update: Corbyn wins NEC vote to be on ballot paper, fake left Owen Smith also announces he’s standing – new introduction written to reflect new developments

So the good news is that Corbyn won the NEC vote and will be able to stand; a comfort for his supporters but all the barriers in his way remain: the right are now changing the rules so that only those who can afford £25 can now vote – a measure designed deliberately to exclude the majority of Corbyn’s working class supporters from voting, whilst both Eagle and now Owen Smith (too gutless to admit it to his constitutency Labour Party meeting last Friday) has announced that he’s standing as the laughably ‘soft left’ candidate (read pro austerity and war) candidate,with the right led Welsh Labour Party quickly abandoning their pseudo support of Corbyn.The right are also mobilising their own supporters to join Labour to vote him out. Corbyn may well survive the vote in September, and yes the NEC are up for re-election soon, but he will still have the problem of the Parliamentary Labour Party and no way for Constituency Labour Party members to reselect their m.p.s. Worse, many CLP members of the Labour Party are not socialist by any means (despite the many genuine left wingers who have joined to support Corbyn) and are anti-Corbyn, hence the confidence of Eagle and Smith to both stand, fully backed as there are by a Labour Party machinery that is determined to use all potential means possible to stop Corbyn, just like the Democratic Party has managed to do against Bernie Sanders.

That’s why I remain convinced that whilst Corbyn is admirable in his determination to keep on fighting, his overall mission to ‘reclaim’ Labour, including somehow keeping the right Machievellian elitist politicians and convincing them to introduce nicer, peaceful pro worker measures whilst keeping the capitalist system is not going to succeed and would in any case require a split. It’s calculated dishonesty on Eagle and Smith’s part to claim they are for ‘unity’- they want to crush the left and are responsible for the impoverishment of the working class and the poisenous growth of racism.

Sara, 13/07/16

So Eagle, the right wing, so called ‘unity’ candidate has announced that she’s standing and it looks likely that the Labour Party NEC will rule Corbyn ineligible to stand – a disgraceful yet despairingly predictable development from the Labour Party capitalist loving right wing. Corbyn’s legal team are arguing that he is eligilble to stand as the incumbant and so far Corbyn is standing firm, refusing to stand down.

But the split is getting closer, now that even Len McClusky, Unite General Secretary and firm Corbyn supporter has even finally appeared to recgonise this, after the negiotations with Tom Watson, Deputy Labour Party leader and coup leader have so far failed to led to Corbyn resigning. That’s good news that Corbyn hasn’t capitulated yet, but his contiuned concessions to the right wing, not least his repeated pleas for ‘unity’ as a party are alarming – unity with the Labour right can not be achieved without compromising the objective interests of the working class.

Corbyn is not calling for the reselection of m.p.s to enable rank and file party members to remove these undemocratic, careerist, frequently war mongering, rich and elitists coup supporting m.p.s who offer nothing but lies and empty promises to Labour Party members, and worse, to the working class as a whole. I’m thinking of Blairite snakes such as Owen Smith, my own m.p. (lucky me!), the m.p. for Pontypridd and an m.p. named in the press last week as another possible so called ‘unity’ candidate. According to a local source of mine, Smith was promising his local consitutiency members just this Friday night that he is a ‘left winger’ but still thinks Corbyn should stand down. Politicians like Smith who vote for war and austerity are dishonest, manipulative and are the enemies of the workers movement.

It increasingly looks like there will now be some kind of high court battle ensuing between Labour right and the Corbynistas. Meanwhile Teresa May – the rabidly reactionary new Tory P.M. who’s just taken control of the country following the ahem left-wing victory of Brexit – is confident about bringing on a general election, according to some of the Tabloids today, knowing that the Labour Party is ripping itself apart. The sooner Corbyn and the left split away from the impossible to win battle of ‘reclaiming’ the second bosses party and help form a genuine working class organisation free of war criminals, investment bankers and corporations the better. If only, that is. Corbyn and his many supposedly hard left supporters who cling to the Labour Party no matter what are unwilling to let go of the redundant promises of the project of social democracy – that is the fantasy that parliament can be used to introduce gradual and permanent reforms, with the capitalist class peacefully accepting this until socialism is achieved ………. in a couple of decades from now, maybe? Except that’s been the promise for over a century and it’s been crushed every single time from the outbreak of WW1 to the inability of Syriza in Greece to ‘negiotiate’ with the E.U., IMF and World Bank etc.

The Corbynista’s programme is impossible to achieve; social democracy is responsible for the ruling class maintaining control over the so called workers party in the first place. Even now Corbyn and McDonell are still maintaining that they want to achieve ‘unity’ with the right. There is no plan to deselect the right-wing m.p.s. Momentum is not a socialist organisation – it aims to better manage the capitalist system through Keynesian policies of job investment of growth – to be acheived with the permission of the markets and multinational firms undergoing never ending ‘profit’ crisis and now the impact of Brexit – excuse me if I’m sceptical. Keynes was firmly in favour of capitalism and had nothing but contempt for working class people.

The responsibility of Labour as a ruling class party and the wider mistakes of the labour movement
The Labour Party that Corbyn and his supporters (admittedly growing in size) want to ‘reclaim’ is the second eleven of the ruling class and however well-intentioned many left winger members and supporters of the Labour party are, unfortunately you are trying to persuade an important section of the ruling class to voluntarily give up their immense priviledges and rule in favour of a fictitious workers’ democracy within the party, which they never have and never will do. Nor will the Parliamentary Labour Party or the wider Labour Party bureaucracy accept you as a representative in this party unless you give up on your principles (like refusing to pass austerity budgets as an elected councillor, for example). There’s a reason why hard left ex-Trotskyist types are not welcome. The Labour right wing have learnt from their mistakes with Militant’s infilitration years ago. There’s a reason why PLP coup leader Tom Watson praised Michael Crick’s recent new edition of his 1986 investigative book into Militant as an ‘essential guide for Labour Party activists’ today. The Labour Party are determined to crush the left and will do everything and anything to do so. They have a country to lord it over. The danger is that for socialists to survive such a hostile, alien environment they must hide their politics – and by doing so, end up selling out. All the indications so far is that is exactly what is happening.

But first, let’s go back to 2007 and the Brown Labour government’s handling of the economic crash. Prior to the Tory election of 2010, Labour ‘achieved’ for the working class 1) a massive decline in working class people’s living standards 2) privatisation of key public sector services 3) the further demonisation of those on benefits, Muslims, non British born migrants and council estate residents generally and a conscious ramping up of British nationalism – with British flags decorated on our streets and T.V. screens (thanks BBC for your continual indoctrination) 4) growing unemployment, under employment and rise of agency working and insecure contracts 5) a massive housing crisis 6) bailing out to the banks whilst transferring the ‘costs’ onto our backs 7) disastrous, murderous foreign policy – Libya, Yemen, Syria, Palestine – creating the desperate conditions which forces people from these and many other countries to flee their homes and countries and attempt to seek sanctuary elsewhere, including Britain of course. Only for Labour Party m.p.s to blame them for the economic, social and political problems they themselves have created through their policies, votes and actions in parliament and bombs. Seemingly endless bombs in a growing list of countries around the world (Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, need I go on?).

As a ‘trusted responsible party of government’, funded by numerous multinationals, media barons and war mongers (arms companies, the Israeli lobby) it has always been in Labour’s interests to divide and rule – Labour are as responsible for this as the Tories.

Why is it that the right are taking advantage of the capitalist political crisis and the left is divided, impotent and workers’ confidence is at an all time low?

The main responsibility for the growth in far-right, nationalist and xenophobic ideas lies with the failures of the labour movement itself. The trade unions have proved themselves impotent, tied as they are to the Labour Party and run and controlled by over-paid bureaucrats who enjoy all the privileges and trappings of power and self-appointed ‘left’ leaders motivated primarily by their own egos and maintaining their own positions of power rather than a genuine desire to democratise the unions and lead a real uprising from below. They want to drink fancy red wine at dinner parties with the politicians and the bureaucrats whilst congratulating each other on how clever and cultured they are and have no connection with the working class, say a handful of union reps but even most of these are full time officials. This is my own experience of Cardiff People’s Assembly, for example.

Since the Tories got in in 2010, the downward trajectory of organised class struggle has been the main trend here in the U.K. The betrayal of the TUC and the Labour Party loving Unison leadership in selling out the pensions dispute of 2012 – which at its peak saw the largest strikes in Britain in decades – has led to an escalation of endless attacks on workers in and out of work. The large anti-austerity protests prior to Brexit went nowhere towards building a real mass working class movement against the Tories, instead seeing ever declining numbers on protests consisting in the last few months of mainly self funded activists who don’t apparently have to go to work or worry about money(lucky them, eh?). The mainly self appointed cliques which run the People’s Assembly and anti-racist organisations such as Unite Against Fascism, co-operate with the police and other state forces to possibly even consciously neutralise any real threat to the system and ensure that working class protesters go back home and carry on wasting their time begging careerist politicians (whether they are Labour, Green, SNP, Plaid Cymru etc) to solve our problems and acting as left liberal cover for a whole host of thoroughly reactionary capitalist institutions including, but not limited to, the E.U, the U.K. parliament, the Scottish parliament and the Welsh government.

The right dominated unions cower behind the anti-trade union laws and preach partnership with the employers. Even relatively militant unions like PCS – still not affiliated to Labour and correctly so – have failed to defend workers claiming benefits and have allowed their members to impose murderous sanctions against the poorest in society.Yes, there are still strikes, not least of which is the magnificent strike action of school teachers in England last week, but let’s try and have an actually realistic assessment of the strength of our forces and stop deluding ourselves that tiny hard left organisations mean anything at all to the overwhelming majority of the population. Certainly the potential for generalised strikes and protests is latent in the situation – but we have to get over a century of defeats including the horrors of the degeneration of the Russian revolution into dictatorship and murderous privledged bureacracy, the defeat of the General Strike of 1926 and of course the Miners Strike of 84/85 amongst many other defeats for the class, both here and internationally and we do not as present have any significant or influential and above all, genuine mass socialist organisation to turn any of this around. The situation is extremely alarming and millions of working class people have never heard of real trade unionism, socialism or any kind of real internationalism.

Why Corbyn and McDonell’s policies do not represent a break from administering capitalism
The historic mistakes of social democracy are many but to sum up some of the main faults: it is all about winning elections in the capitalist paradigm; going for a nationalist rather than class appeal (British jobs for British workers, for example’) to try and get a majority in parliament; then, so the fantasy goes, legislate for reforms which will eventually lead to socialism – if not now, maybe in a couple of decades, always put off indefinitely. Do we have to wait another century?!? Social demcoratic governments, including Labour in Britain, did win important reforms following WW2 – state capitalist measures to kick start the economy after the econimc annihilation of WW2. You may have noticed that these have all long disappeared and who exactly wants WW3, all to provide the capitalists with a chance to ‘grow’ again? But don’t worry, Corbyn will legislate for socialism now. Except we have to wait until 2020, when it’s unlikely he’ll have survived by then anyway, and meantime we get a Teresa May led government – the female equivalent of Donald Trump and the right can carry on whipping up racial war. No wonder the main mood in Britain right now is fear and a desperate desire to escape this rapid descent into semi-dictarial increasingyl fascistix sounding hell. Never have we needed a real mass movement of united working class opposition to all austerity, cuts and racism, building real international solidarity with the workers and the oppressed over the world.

Corbyn’s programme – it is doomed to fail
Corbyn and McDonnell want to introduce gradual reforms, but the problem is that the ruling class will not give up their powers, prestige and above all, wealth, without a fight. They would rather organise a coup to overthrow such a government that really did try to introduce any meaningful measures to seize control of the economy or intoduced significant social reforms . The reason why they haven’t / aren’t likely to do that anytime soon is that despite the protestations of the establishment, these two soft left parliamentarians are not in reality a threaten to either the state, including the Monarchy and the House of Lords or the multi-nationals and bankers. Instead all (parliamentary) guns are out for Corbyn now, aided and abetted by the polticians’ friends running the mass media. Nevertheless, it’s worth recollecting the 1970s left wing film ‘A Very British Coup’ about a left wing Labour PM who tries to introduce reforms for working class people but is overthrown by the British military top brass. Pinochet’s overthrow of Allende and his socialist government in Chile in 1973 is real. The BRITISH and Chilean ruling classes are familiar friends with an equal fear, contempt and murderous loathing of the masses.

What both the right PLP and Corbyn and co at the top of the party seem to agree upon is that Labour must wait until 2020 for an election – which is catastrophic for the working class. McDonnell has said that Labour must reduce the deficit – perpetuating the lie that working class must pay for the economic crisis and that we’re all in it together. Worse, a Corbyn led government in 2020 (looking increasingly unlikely ) would be unable to solve the undoubtedly worse economic problems, subject to the IMF and World Bank and so on. Corbyn thinks he can negiotate with vultures like Merkel and co but look at Syriza’s record in Greece and the actions of Labour controlled councils up and down the country since Corbyn’s election last summer in being totally unwilling to defy bourgeious law by refusing to set cuts budgets. This is even if Corbyn gets that far. Meanwhile we all face Teresa May, more attacks on workers rights and LGBT rights, racism, recession, job losses and a massive escalation of suffering and crushing poverty. All of this will continue to fuel the far-right.

For the socialist / hard left to champion Corbyn – sticking with him AND the right in Labour – means that the opportunity to build an independent working class, anti-capitalist, internationalist organisation keeps getting lost and so we’ll be stuck in this ever spiralling downward. Something has to change alright, will the next generation of revolutionaries stand up? Sara, July 12th 2016

Why this isn’t just about Corbyn: Build a mass demo on Sat 16th July in London as the start: no to racism, no to austerity and cuts, no to capitalism, yes to real working class solidarity and unity across europe and beyond.For a socialist mass movement to take on the bosses and their cretins in all capitalist parliaments (Westminister, E.U, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, capitalist governments everywhere). STOP UKIP and the far right

Right now Corbyn fever is spreading wildly -understandably so in light of the total political and economic crisis we are in right now and the Blairite, war mongering, capitalist loving vultures otherwise known as m.p.s launching their long planned and highly opportunistic coup against Corbyn and his supporters, as myself and others have predicted. Protests are being organised in many cities following the large demo outside parlianment in defence of Corbyn last week. Thinking and progressive workers are rightly outraged by this coup and latest betrayal by the Labour right and 60,00 thousand joined the party in the last week in an attempt to stop it.

But the Labour Party, by implenting austerity, cuts, homelessness, benefit cuts, whipping up racism, lining up with the political establishment to support remain, sowing illusions  in the E.U., privatisation, job cuts, bombing Afghanistan, Iraq and much of the Middle East, supporting Israel and oppressing Palestinians, the list really does go on, is RESPONSIBLE for the mess we are in and many hundreds of thousands more of the working class are utterly alienated from the Labour Party still and are totally disengaged from parliamentary politics ( and I will not forgive the Labour Party for Iraq, for tuition fees, for all of their austerity, cuts and lies and do not agree with its politics. that’s why I’ve never joined and will not now either).

Many (although not all of course) working class people in South Wales, for example, have already turned to the far-right and are unaware of and / or alienated by the soft reformist liberalism of ‘socialists’ in and sniffing around the Labour Party pretending that the E.U. is a benign institution which can be reformed. It is not. The E.U. is a racist, capitalist institution. The limited workers rights it does offer comes from the achievements of the workers movement, NOT from the ‘kindness’ of right wing, dictatorial E.U. leaders. But the liberal soft left also sow illusions that the U.K. parliament can be reformed to represent workers and that capitalism can be made nicer. It can’t. Capitalism is about production for profit. That is its purpose. Class exploitation is inherent in this economic system because profit is the unpaid labour of the working class etc. Although I’m aware that I’m slipping into marxist-speak, I do honestly think many working class people deep down do have an instinctive and learnt understanding from their own experiences that our interests are seperate to  the rulers, so potentially socialist internationalist working class mass consciousness can  optimistic, despite the very real dangers our class are in.

The Socialist Party think the People’s Assembly demo against austerity and cuts in London on Sat 16th should make the main demand to be defend Corbyn. Whilst I think it is right to defend Corbyn in the sense of lesser evilism (obviously a naive soft left reformist is slightly more appealing than Gove or May), I don’t think this demo should be turned into support Labour demo and that the focus should stay on anti-racism and anti-austerity and all about working class people rebuilding our own organisations of struggle and not waiting for our so called ‘leaders’ to do it for us. Sure, I want the Labour right led to be defeated and know that advances the working class’ interests in the short term and in the face of no mass w/c socialist alternative to the Labour Party, but i’m far from sure that is going to happen as Corbyn and McDonnell are weak compromising centrists who want to keep ‘the party’ together at all costs and Momentum have made a lot of mistakes, including inviting these right wingers into the shadow cabinet in the first place and then dropping the demand for reselction of all m.p.s – vital if they are to win long term.

So far Corbyn hasn’t capitulated which is great and here’s a potential opportunity to bring the Blairites and capitalist war mongerers in the Labour Party to justice – they are responsible for this entire Brexit mess along with their best mates in the Tories – but I fear that trying to use parliament to achieve this is a dead end and it is better to warn people now and advocate for real working class revolution instead and be truthful about what is likely to happen rather than whip up this Corbyn as savior desperation up any further. There are no saviours, just a complex many activists suffer from (including myself in past times, silly me) The labour movement urgently needs to rebuild itself to defend the working class and poor against more austerity, job losses, worsening economic recession and cuts and the growth of the far right and racism post Brexit.

Corbyn and his supporters in the Labour Party need to break from the parliamentary Labour Party and help build a new working class socialist organisation – Tony Blair and all his right-wing M.P. allies must be deselected and held to account by the rank and file of the Labour party AND the wider labour movement.

Corbyn is right not to resign and must not capitulate by agreeing to not be on the ballot and supporting a ‘unity’ (read right wing pro war and pro austerity) candidate like Angela Eagle or Pontypridd m.p. Owen Smith (and my m.p.!!!! a right wing, capitalist boss type who doesn’t care about his consitituents, just like Eagle and of the other fake ‘unity’ candidates the right are currently scrambling for). Sure, I want Corbyn to survive as leader and be a prominent left-wing opposition poltician to any of those Tory bastards in a October General Election – I do understand why many workers want this – BUT IT IS NOT ENOUGH FOR US TO WIN AS A CLASS and my concern remains that Corbyn is a compromiser with the capitalist right in his party and the contradiction between the interests of the working class and the capitalist class can’t be reconciled in the name of a ‘united’ Labour Party.If Corbyn clings on and uses the Chilcot Verdict to demand that mass murderer Blair is prosecuted as a war criminal then great but Corbyn is not going to be able to bring Blair to justice through parliament – the system is set up to protect Blair and all politicians from any kind of accountability. Is Corbyn going to ask  the Blairite war mongerers in elected positions in the Labour Party to leave,  post surviving a leadership contest again (as is expected) – and finally initiate a process of reselecting the mp.s? The general election is very likely THIS October. I strongly suspect that the Labour Party in this election will have the same m.p.s , even if Corbyn survives, as a result of Monmentum’s mistakes so far and if that is the case I can’t vote for them, let alone join such a party

So many working class people, rightly furious at the establishment as a whole and totally unrepresented by parliament ( Corbyn is part of the parliamentary paradigm, however nice man he is) are currently getting misdirected by the right mis-channelling this anger into nationalism and xenophobia thereby dividing our class and allowing the rulers to maintain overall political and economic control. One of the good things to have come out of Brexit is at least the labour movement and thinking working class people who are internationalist in outlook realising that we need to get out on the streets to fight for our class and stop the far right gaining any more advantage than they are already gained by the leave result. But the present leaders of the anti-racist movement do not have a serious strategy and have massive illusions again in the role of the police and the state.These are the same leaders who love the Labour Party, the trade union bureacracy, sexual assault apologists in all the main parties as well as the hard-left ones (SWP and SP) and have no more strategy than organise a big march, send everyone home again and work within the ‘law’, including the anti-trade union law which Labour of course have never removed.The Labour Party don’t want us all to come out on strike.So again, this is why I’m so sceptical and concerned.

We need to stop relying on leaders and saviour figures like Corbyn or leaders of the People’s Assembly or the Socialist Party or whatever to sort it out for us and rebuild our movement from the bottom up. Our trade unions need to rebuilt / won back from the Labour Party and the trade union bureaucracy, we need community organisations which organise to look after each other and build on real working class solidarity and we need to wake up to the fact that all the parliamentary parties, both left and right, have a long history of betraying us and that parliament itself is an elitist, ruling class institution which can not be used to introduce socialism. Look at the lessons of Syriza, a new left wing, social democratic party which has capitulated to Merkel and all the european capitalist institutions including the E.U. I suspect that just as Syriza were unable to negiotate with the E.U., so will any future possible British government, including the  be able to negiotate favourable exit terms. Merkel and co want to punish the U.K. now as a warning to the rest of Europe not to do the same.

There’s a lot more I want to say but think for now I’ll finish. So, yes I don’t mean to pour urine over many of my socialist friends’ current and very sincere love of championing Corbyn but I think we need to seriously re-assess this infatuation with social democracy in light of actual historical experience and try our best to better prepare the working class (with our limited numbers and resources) about what is actually happening and what we really need  – a mass movement for socialist, working class internationalism that has no illusions in ruling class institutions and parties and doesn’t provide inadvertent left cover for capitalist economics 9keynesian as well as austerity), liberalism and British nationalism. Sara

Post-Brexit thoughts – moving forward

I’ve been reticent about posting my reaction to the result in the last tumultuous days simply out of self-preservation – like so many other people, my anxiety, anger and stress have been sky high, so I withdrew from online in an attempt to manage my symptoms better and avoid the vicious bullying and name-calling until I could at least get my head together. But the times are calling…

Like many other people I can’t delude myself and celebrate the leave vote as a victory for the left and working class just yet. Yes millions of workers (and middle class people) voted to leave as an anti-establishment protest against the unbearable economic and social conditions – BUT and this is the massive, gargantuan BUT – that understandable rage has been driven and distorted by the most base racism, nationalism and in no way represents a coherent left-wing, united working class rejection of the E.U. and austerity and the capitalist economic system as a whole. Racists everywhere have been boosted by this result and now think they can say whatever hate filled xenophobic abuse they like to anyone who isn’t a so-called British national. Whilst it is true that the majority of the working class voted leave ( the AB group backed Remain by 57% to 43%, while the poorer C2DE category was almost two-thirds in favour of quitting, voting Out by 64% to 36% according to the Daily Mirror quoting ‘Lord’ Ashcroft of all people), the working class are not some homogenous mass social and economic group. Young people were much more likely to vote remain as were communities where the majority of the population are not British born, including in Cardiff, which is a city with a large working class. Nor does it take into account the majority for leave in Scotland or the sectarian nature of the vote in Northern Ireland – two major topics that indicate the escalation of national conflict at risk here and needs proper analysis which I won’t do here).

My own experience is  significant numbers of public sector workers  – of all nationalities and skin colours – voted to remain not because they are ‘soft middle class liberals’ but because of a genuine and deep seated disgust at racism and xenophobia and REAL CONCERNS over job losses and the loss of E.U. funding to the poorest areas of Wales (which is around 90% of it). That’s why we can’t help feeling that our class have just voted for their own bullets – particularly whilst the left are totally ineffective ignored (particularly hard left ‘Lexiters’ such as the Socialist Party and the Socialist Workers Party) and the far right are triumphant.

Working class and middle class leave voters – particularly the majority who did so for nationalist, anti-immigration reasons – are about to receive a rude shock. Nationalist right wing politicians are misdirecting your rage against the most vulnerable members of your own class and are escalating morally bankrupt divide and rule poison which destroys any potential united working class movement against the system. Farage, Johnston and Gove are ruthless Etonian ruling class politicians who – newsflash – support privatisation, austerity, the bankers and the mass immiseration of the working class. They are going to let us rot and destroy each other whilst the ruling class stay in charge. I don’t think it’s okay to sneer at working class leave voters as stupid and ignorant – the E.U. is a rotten, war mongering, anti-worker, elitist institution – but so is the British parliamentary system including the house of lords, so is the monarchy and this  fantasy that Britain can return to its imperialist ‘hey day’ reveals a total ignorance of the real history of working class united struggle against racism, colonialism, imperialism and class exploitation. So whilst I don’t like to insult anyone, it has to be said that racism, bigotry and misplaced faith in Farage to save the NHS or whatever does unfortunately reveal your ignorance and that ignorance is threatening some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met – people who have fled the most appalling, traumatising conflicts in the world and / or are just trying to get a better life for themselves and their families – and I will NOT stand by and let that happen because I’m worried about challenging you. Sorry but now is the time that we must speak out – the far-right must be opposed and the left absolutely definitely now has to get its act together if there’s any hope for our class.

Not all of the leave voters did so far racist reasons, nor was it only white working class people who voted for it but the end result is that Farage and UKIP and the far-right across Europe are celebrating this as their victory, as some of us had tried to warn, and for lexiters to deny this is grossly irresponsible and represents abandoning non-British working class people – WHO ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ECONOMIC CRISIS AND ARE INSTEAD PART OF THE MOST OPPRESSED AND EXPLOITED OF THE CLASS – to an escalation of racist abuse, terror, turmoil and agonising uncertainty now over whether they can stay here. I can’t not do this; my conscience won’t allow it. I’m proud to be for real internationalism and solidarity and think our most important tasks ahead include organising to defend refugees, EU. and international ‘migrants’ (or people in my way of seeing things) and independent working class action, including strike action to protest austerity, cuts, racism and against the bosses – be they nationalist or E.U. bosses. The vote result has happened now and there’s’ no going back, I see no point in a re-run and what we urgently need is a labour movement that can get workers to reject nationalism and racism and instead advocate real European wide workers’ solidarity against the bosses and the politicians, no matter their flags.

The biggest responsibility for the fact that the far-right nationalists and their corporate allies in the mass media were able to distort and twist what could have been a class conscious, internationalist leave campaign lies with the long term strategic failures of the labour movement as a whole, going back decades. The long term betrayals of social democracy by sowing illusions in reforming capitalism, class compromise in the name of ‘partnership with the employers’ and supporting the national bourgeois against independent working class unity across borders, as well as the more recent  specific betrayals of the trade unions and the Labour Party in the U.K. (and everwhere else of course) in failing to build a mass movement against the cuts and austerity has led to this desperate situation where working class people, rightly raging at the system, have mistakenly turned to the elitist, capitalist led far-right and this has been a long term process culminating in the absolute rabid and deeply frightening anti-immigrant mood popularly whipped up by short sighted and dangerous politicians from both the Tories AND Labour. We need to recognise this urgently if we are to turn the anger of the masses around from this dangerous racist and nationalist course to an actual international, socialist outlook. Our key responsibility now is to work out how we are to intervene and rebuild the left once more as a real mass movement of the working class around Europe and beyond.