SF Statement: Vote Labour!1
01/06/2017 by Ian
The Socialist Fight group calls for a Labour vote in England, Scotland and Wales. At the same time, as part of our opposition to British imperialism, we oppose the British Labour Party organising in the north of Ireland.
As the opinion polls show an ever tightening race following Corbyn’s clear victory over May on Monday 29th despite Jeremy Paxman’s clear bias in favour of May; where were the NHS questions etc. Corbyn is an imperialist politician but he is not a Tory and does stand at the head of a working class movement which is now rejecting austerity with one of the most left wing manifestos they have ever produced.
With no illusions, he is no revolutionary and never was but first it was his Labour Party members who secured him two leadership election victories against the massed ranks of the entire capitalist establishment, including the majority of the Labour party MPs.And now this leftist surge has communicated itself to the class itself, again against the unrelenting campaigning of the massed ranks of the capitalist establishment.
We must not focus on Corbyn alone but on the palpable shift to the left of the body politic in Britain. Thatcher shifted that significantly to the right and caused a crisis in every far left group and revolutionary current as their numbers shrivelled in political confusion and marginalisation.
The defeat of the miners strike in 1985 following on the defeat of the Irish hunger strikers in 1981, and Sinn Féin’s electoral successes did not alter that but made it worse in many ways, set the course for the massive shifting of wealth from the poor to the rich we have seen since.
The whole social values of neo-liberalism are now challenged and that means that the sea for revolutionaries to swim in is filling up after Thatcher drained that tank and lost us a whole generation of revolutionary socialists.
Vote Labour for the coming tide that will lift all leftist currents, including the genuine revolutionary socialists who want to defeat British and US imperialism and Zionism and drive them out of Ireland and everywhere else. But we know the monsters can only be defeated in their homelands, it is only there that it is possible to chop off their heads. And the only forces that can do that are the British, US, French, German and Japanese working-class.
Of course Corbyn is no revolutionary as we have observed and will never lead the coming revolution but a victory for him or at least a bigger share of the vote than Brown or Milliband got will signal the rising tide of revolution. And of course criticise all his capitulations to capitalism and imperialism. But do not foolishly equate Corbyn with May so that all we are left with is the foolishly naive slogan. “one solution, revolution. ”
If Corbyn’s speech on the Manchester bombing locating the origin in the wars in the Middle East assisted to win him the election it will be because there is a modicum of truth in it and that hit a chord in the working class.
Although an imperialist politician nonetheless he is a Labour leader with a mass working class following who are now becoming enthused. It would be impossible for a Tory leader to make such a speech. ‘One solution, revolution’ absolves you of your obligation to politically engage with the mass of the working class as they grope their way forward.
A Tory landslide would be a disaster for that. A Labour victory would advance the class consciousness of the class towards revolution. Even if Corbyn gets a bigger percentage than Brown or Milliband, as we have said, it will be a victory. Shifting the body politic to the left significantly supplies the water for the revolutionary fish to swim in. Thatcher knew that and drained the fish tank and we lost a whole generation of revolutionary socialists because of her success.
And it has been noteworthy that some of the televised audience participation during this election has seen the highest level of discussion for decades between members of the public.
Why do we say Corbyn is an imperialist politician?
A genuine anti imperialist politician would always be for the “defeat of his own and every other power in all wars” (Trotsky quote). A “scurvey pacifist” (another from Trotsky) is simply against all wars unlike a revolutionist who acknowledges war is endemic to capitalism in crisis and cannot be avoided but must be used to break the pro imperialist ideology of workers in metropolitan lands who think their living standards depend of winning foreign wars “in the national interest” which is bollux speak for benefiting from the booty of empire.
For this reason Trotsky was for the defeat of Italy in its invasion of Abyssinia in 1936 of Japan in 1937 and, hypothetically, Britain if it invaded Brazil in 1938 although in all three cases the opponents were barbaric reactionary regimes, a good deal worse than Gaddafi or Assad.We have heard enough of the humanitarian imperialism, civilising the natives cover for plunder and rapine. Gaddafi was not about to slaughter the population of Benghazi, he recognised the CIA funded and NATO backed rebels were tools of western imperialism who wanted to overthrow the country with the highest living standards in Africa who just did not do what they told him. The fact that some who overthrew him were jihadists didn’t bother them until their ambassador got it.
And the immediate onslaught against black Africans, mass lynching immediately characterised the Benghazi rebels as vile reactionaries.
The appearance of the flag of King Idris everywhere right from the beginning (some preparation nessary for that) showed their highest ambition was to be puppets of the West as Idris was before Gaddafi overthrew him in 1969.
Now the Manchester bombing and subsequent arrests is exposing that corrupt relationship.
We have seen high levels of debate from television audiences. It certainly is not all about immigration and support for Brexit.
We are pleased to see Corbyn’s Manchester speech has put many leftists on the back foot. Although it was no more than a pacifist speech nonetheless it exposed the USFI, the South American groups like the LIT, the Alliance for Workers Liberty, Workers Power/ the Fifth International, the Austrian RCIT and all the Grantites groups like the CWI and IMT, the British and US SWPs and international co-thinkers as pro imperialist stooges now because they are all to the right of Corbyn’s pacifist speech which has proved very popular with voters because it contains a modicum of truth against all the pro imperialist left.
Wall Street based global imperialism and its allied transnational corporations and subordinate imperialisms in Europe and Japan etc are the central enemy of all humanity and their defeats strengthens the oppressed everywhere. The liberation of Aleppo was the father of Jeremy Corbyn’s linking “failed policy” in Libya to the Manchester, pacifist though it was.
I’ve hesitated to comment from afar, but it seems to me the correct position was one I haven’t heard taken: conditional nonsupport. (Same regarding SYRIZA.) Both Corbyn and SYRIZA failed to draw a class line, substituting leftist rhetoric for a clear programmatic break. But this could be remedied if they *had* drawn a class line, by refusing in advance to participate in a coalition with any capitalist party. This, it seems to me, should have formed the basis for a leftist intervention in the election: Corbyn must commit to “no coalition government.” (Without this, Corbyn is programmatically indistinguishable from Bernie Sanders.)