Enemies Split – Drive Out Blairite Fifth Column:1
20/02/2019 by socialistfight
Bury New Labour to Bury May!
This was written on 19 February. On the 20th Enfield North Labour MP Joan Ryan resigned rapidly followed by three Tory MPs, Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen and joined the Independent Group, bringing their number to 11.
The split away of seven Blairites from the Labour Party is years overdue. Many more need to be induced to follow them. Recall that when the Parliamentary Labour Party, led by these people and other hardened neo-liberals who still remain in the Labour Party, engaged in their mutiny against Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party membership in mid-2016, the ‘Chicken Coup’ had 172 supporters among the PLP. Allowing for a certain ballast of opportunists with few principles who would side with whoever they thought was going to win (but who got it wrong that time!) that is a hell of a lot of committed Blairite enemies of the working class that we need to get rid of.
These people have waited until they think that the time is right, to undermine Corbyn for as long as possible by wrecking activities inside Labour, only splitting when they think that they can do the maximum possible damage to Corbyn. They aim to cause the maximum confusion particularly around the question of Brexit, as well as seeking to exploit the continuing drip-drip in the neo-liberal/Zionist media promoting the Big Lie that Corbyn, and the Labour Party membership, are anti-Semites. Yet on the first day of the split, one of their people, Angela Smith, let the mask slip and uttered a racist remark on national TV about BAME people who to her apparently have a ‘funny tinge’. Just showing graphically that these are the worst elements in the Labour Party: racists, migrant bashers, benefit cutters, anti-union corporate mercenaries. Cuckoos in the nest of the labour movement who need to be thrown out!
Corbyn has shown three different kinds of weakness, which have come together to be exploited by the Blairites, who consider they have him on the defensive – hence the split is an attempt at political aggression. The first is that over the anti-Semitism lie he has not fought back, denounced and declared war on the Zionist liars. Even when he was denounced as a ‘fucking racist anti-Semite’ by corrupt scum like Margaret Hodge he turned the other cheek and allowed her to get away with it. He grovelled over the fake ‘scandal’ of the Brick Lane mural; he has allowed numerous lifelong socialists and anti-racist fighters to be purged on the say so of organised anti-Arab racists like the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel without demurring.
Then there is Brexit. Corbyn is here a prisoner of the left-nationalist wing of the trade union bureaucracy, whose real mottos is ‘British jobs for British workers’. Most Labour members, those on the left of the party, see before them the reactionary anti-immigration campaign that is at the core of Brexit and are opposed to it for reasons of internationalism. They want to join up with other European workers in a struggle for socialism as they understand it.
The Blairite remainers are opposed to Brexit for different reasons because they want to link up their neo-liberalism with the likes of Macron and the neo-liberal leaders of the EU. Corbyn, even though he correctly campaigned for Remain before the referendum, has since then refused to fight against Brexit, and has conciliated the left-nationalists like McCluskey in the bureaucracy who express the despair of sections of the working class that has directed its anger over neo-liberalism at migrants. This has allowed the Blairites to exploit some of the unease among members that Labour is not swimming against the stream of anti-immigrant sentiment strongly enough, as symbolised recently by its planned abstention on the government’s Immigration Bill, which was changed as the very last minute to voting against, but too late as 78 Labour MP’s were absent when the government won by only 63 votes. His attempt to reconcile Lexiters with left-Remainers has more generally meant that Labour has been pretty ineffectual faced with May’s tactics of running down the clock, even though her position is extremely weak and unstable.
This is the fruit of Corbyn being a prisoner of the trade union bureaucracy, following the dictates of McCluskey and worse. Not only has this stopped the Corbyn-led Labour Party fighting against Brexit, but it was the likes of McCluskey who rammed through the IHRA definition of ‘anti-Semitism’ and imposed it on Labour without the membership having a say.
Thirdly, this has also extended to Corbyn allowing the bureaucracy to sabotage one of the key things his leadership stood for election on; the democratisation of the party itself. McCluskey was key in defeating Open Selection as last year’s conference; around 90% of the branch-based delegates were in favour of the automatic right to a contest for parliamentary candidate positions prior to an election, but the trade union bureaucracy used block votes to veto this to appease the neo-liberal right, just as McCluskey did over the IHRA. And Corbyn, again, allowed them to get away with it; he has consistently tried to conciliate the Blairite and Zionist neo-liberals who have sabotaged the party at every opportunity, as part of not challenging the policies dictated by the TU bureaucracy. Thus we need organised political rank-and-file opposition at the base of the trade unions, to deal with this problem.
And yet still Corbyn without a doubt is overwhelmingly supported by the membership, despite all the capitulations. This is simply because a whole mass membership came to political consciousness out of his leadership elections in 2015 and 2016. These were not seen by the advanced layers of the working class as simply another party election, like those under new Labour, between different strands of neo-liberal politics. It was seen as the working class, or its most politically advanced part, taking back its own party from the neo-Thatcherites, which is at bottom what Blairism was: Thatcher herself boasted that New Labour was her greatest achievement for the bosses.
We must demand a political offensive from below in Labour, to drive out as many of the hardened neo-liberal elements as we can. Tom Watson must be regarded as the leader of the enemy faction in the party. He must be challenged as Deputy as soon as possible by someone from the left. His disgusting demand that Corbyn reshuffle away left-wing people from shadow ministerial positions to appease the likes of Ummuna and Berger must be seen off with contempt. This monstrous, hypocritical racist, who smeared the membership of Liverpool Wavertree as anti-Semitic for holding Berger to account for her transparent split plans, almost certainly knew what she and the other six were planning. He throws around anti-Semitism smears with gay abandon and stands on Israeli platforms singing ‘Am Israeli Chai’, celebrating the massive pogroms , massacres and incremental genocide of the Palestinians.
It is likely that, despite the opportunism and the desire to do damage from the splitters, that the membership will stand firm behind Corbyn. This is crucial. It is not out of the question that there could be some kind of attempted coup, perhaps spearheaded by Watson trying to exploit these departures. However, we must hope he does attempt such a thing, as it is likely to prove delusional. Every splitter, every reactionary sleaze like Dugher and Woodcock who leaves the party weakens the neo-liberals and is likely to strengthen the backlash from members in favour of the hard left. Reactionaries like Watson, Jon Lansman and pusillanimous cretins like Owen Jones, who spoke up in ‘solidarity’ with Berger have discredited themselves in front of the Labour membership. The Blairites within and without see this as a means to further destabilise Corbyn but the left should see it as an opportunity to get rid of the Blairites once and for all.
Certainly, there are interesting splits in Labour between the Blairite right-wing and the Corbyn “left” – but this is the fake-“left” of the very bourgeois, pro-capitalist British Labour party.
Every time that Socialist Fight pretends that the Labour party is the “vanguard of the working class”, when in fact Lenin would describe Labour as the “labour lieutenants of capital” or “social-democratic betrayers” or some such, SF shows just how far it is from Leninism.
Hasn’t the Yellow Vest petty-bourgeois-workers movement in France highlighted how far away from the concerns of ordinary people that the parliamentary system is, and how pro-capitalist all the French social-democratic parties are?
How can you have a discussion about the splits in Labour without referring to the global capitalist economic crisis that shows that the game is nearly up for 100 years of parliamentary reformist political deception of the masses?
Most of all, Marxism-Leninism is all about REVOLUTION. This is a million miles from all typical Trotskyist (or dead-headed Stalinist revisionist) talk about “making the left-wing of Labour fight” or spreading illusions in social-democracy.
When you talk about the “working class taking back its own Labour party” you are surely spreading terrible illusions in social-democracy and being totally anti-theory. Whatever you claim “advanced workers” THINK they are doing by supporting Corbynism, it simply isn’t TRUE.
The party of the revolutionary working class has to be a BOLSHEVIK party – nothing else. No other party is a party of the working class; not even a half-way house, centrist party is a “party of the working class”.
In Venezuela and the whole of Latin America, for example, the sub-continent’s workers movements are banjaxed by their inability to go beyond “popular frontism”, meaning they are constantly facing defeat and disaster at the hands of reaction because, rather than making socialist revolutions, they support “left-nationalist” governments, for example Maduro.
Lenin’s tactics were to fight the main enemy – imperialism or fascist reaction (Kornilov in the Bolsheviks’ case in 1917) – while giving NO SUPPORT to the reformist fake “left” (in Lenin’s case, the Kerensky petty-bourgeois “revolutionary” government).
Such dialectical materialist tactics have been, in general, beyond the workers movement since Lenin died. But they remain the only correct tactics to win the battle for revolution, rather than “critically supporting” the left-reformist-nationalist movement or government until its own weaknesses see it undermined, subverted or destroyed by fascist reaction (eg Allende’s fake “elected Marxist” government in Chile in 1970-73 – smashed down by Pinochet/CIA fascism precisely because it was NOT a workers state, but a capitalist state).
Leninism (see the EPSR) has warned for all the Venezuelan Bolivarian “revolution”‘s existence, for example, that it was a reformist regime and that by NOT mass arming all the best revolutionary workers and by NOT expropriating the local bourgeoisie and by NOT studying Lenin’s tactics, and by NOT having a Marxist theoretical perspective of global capitalist crisis it was DISARMING the workers in the necessary fight to defeat CIA-US imperialist-Latin American fascist reaction. Certainly, all workers should want the CIA coup attempt defeated now; but also no workers should have any confidence that the perspective of the Maduro regime is correct; the Bolivarian process should be seen for what it is – attempting to run “left” reformism in Venezuela while retaining capitalism.
And the time to warn workers about this is always RIGHT NOW. What warnings about the real nature of Corbynism and the capitalist slump-war crisis is SF giving when it presents this discussion of Labour as if this Corbyn social-democracy can be “forced to fight for workers’ interests” or that Labour can “return to being a workers party”??
You say it is “crucial” for Labour members to “stay firm behind Corbyn”. Can you imagine Lenin turning to the Bolsheviks in 1917 when Kornilov’s fascist mutiny is kicking at the door, saying it is “crucial” for advanced workers to “stay firm behind Kerensky”??
Nothing inside the Labour party is “crucial” to the socialist revolution in the UK. Just the opposite. The more that parliament and the Labour party are disgraced in the eyes of workers and the more that illusions in social-democracy are destroyed by the monopoly-capitalist “over-production” slump-war crisis, the better for revolution.
I am not missing the useful detail in your article above and the exposures of the pro-Zionist racism of the Blairites etc. All such political-journalistic work can be grist to the mill. But the perspective has to be socialist REVOLUTION, not support for “left-wing” popular frontism, let alone support for the British imperialist Labour party.