Kier Starmer’s Flag, Brexit and Covid-19

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22/06/2021 by socialistfight

Some propose voting fraud lost Corbyn the 2019 election. This is conspiracy stuff  reminiscent of Donald Trump. Sure, there were some voting fraud here and there but proposing such widespread fraud is to suppose a conspiracy of tens of thousands of officials with no whistle blowers amongst them.

We must face the cruel truth; many older and demoralised workers accepted the lying propaganda of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson and others further to the right; immigrants were to blame for their oppression. Right wing Labour councils imposed austerity with no fightback, just an inescapable fact of life, they lied.

So, the workers, believing them and seeing no other way to fight, turned rightward and against people even more oppressed than themselves. They identified scapegoats for their own oppression. We must face the political truth if we are to fight it and not deny it or worse still do not accept it and pretend to be as right wing as Farage. Starmer will never out-Farage Farage.

And this is what Kier Starmer is doing with his latest Union Jack nonsense. It has sparked a huge debate with guardian journalists proposing that there is a patriotism that we can embrace without attacking foreigners.

Back on May 7 the Morning Star had an article, Patriotism is good for you by Doug Nicholl general secretary of the General Federation of Trade Unions and the first chair of Trade Unionists Against the European Union in 2015. On leaving the EU they posted, “Politically this will be the best Christmas Day for 46 years. Independence has been delivered. We are out of the political, economic and trade controls of the European Union.”

The subhead of the article is “this week’s VE Day celebration and the international significance of socialist patriotism. Kier Starmer has a lot to learn here, as our front page cartoons from Steve Bell show.

And there are some real peaches in the article. Having hailed Brexit as the spirit of 1945 returning, he laments, “in one of the strangest tragedies and ironies of recent history, it was the Tory party, so versatile and united when big issues really loom, that better sensed the mood of the people. And on to the VE Day celebrations, “socialist should welcome and celebrate it too, Britain is only its workers. To say nationalism has no place in the new world order is to say workers do not have a place”.

So much for the international solidarity of the world working class. Ah no, “in the name of internationalism, some say we can’t do much until workers simultaneously rise up to throw of their chains. I say don’t expect other to do it if you can’t do it yourself” he assures us in that standard Stalinist socialism-in-a-single-country argument which is a nationalist dismissal of international socialism itself. Remember the spirit of 1945 was build of the British Empire crushing revolutions in Greece, Egypt, Malaya, Kenya and in collaboration with its other imperialist allies, in Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere.

But ‘socialist patriotism’ is not the same as chauvinist, right-wing patriotism, the argument goes.  Well, it is in imperialist countries. We make a sharp distinction, with Lenin., Trotsky and the Bolsheviks, between the patriotism of oppressed nations, which is anti-imperialist, and the patriotism of oppressor nations which is always reactionary and right wing.

Which is why the Tories always benefit from it. That is not the “strangest tragedies and ironies of recent history”, but the absolute iron logic of the global class struggle itself.

So now a leaked internal strategy presentation for Starmer says. Labour must make “use of the flag, veterans dressing smartly” to rebrand and win back the trust of disillusioned voters in the “foundation seats”, the “red wall” constituencies that voted Boris Johnson an 80 seat majority in 2019. The Guardian reported an unnamed staffer, who is now almost certainly out of a job if identified, sagely observing, “I was just sat there replaying in my mind the storming of the Capitol and thinking: are you really so blind to what happens when you start pandering to the language and concerns of the right?”

The witchhunt against the left in Labour is escalating. Anna Rothery was removed from the Labour panel to become the next Mayor of Liverpool because she is a Black, female Socialist, who was going to win the nomination. Their spinning and diversionary tactics are to be expected. Nick Cohen wrote in The Guardian:

“For the life of me, however, I do not understand why Labour and those parts of the broadcast media outside the control of the political right play along with the deception and pretend that the world as it is does not exist. It’s as if Britain were a Victorian family keeping up appearances. As if not just a government with every reason to conceal, but the opposition and media are bound by a promise to never wash Britain’s dirty laundry in public – even as its stink becomes overwhelming.”

UK exporters have enormous problems and the Irish protocol is threatening to kick of conflict again.

Starmer refuses to tackle the Tory disaster that is Covid-19. Richard Burgon argues that private control of the vaccines means hundreds of thousands of lives could be lost unnecessarily. “In fact, of the 175 million vaccines administered at the time of writing, only about eight million of them have gone to South America’s 430 million population and just two million to Africa’s 1.3 billion population” hew says. Vaccine distribution forecasts predict that this won’t be a short-term problem. It may take until 2024 for the world’s poorest countries to vaccinate enough people to achieve immunity.

The People’s Vaccine Alliance has warned that the supply of safe and effective vaccines for all is being “artificially rationed” because of the exclusive rights and monopolies held by pharmaceutical corporations. That is, private control of the vaccine is limiting access to it.

More than $100bn of public money globally has gone towards coronavirus vaccine development. Governments effectively pay twice for the research and then to buy doses exclusively produced by companies who hold patents over the final product.

Winnie Byanyima, a UN under-secretary-general, said: “The current system enables pharmaceutical corporations to use government funding for research but maintain monopoly on medicines keeping their technology secret to boost profits.”

Nationalisation without compensations under workers’ control!

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