By Julio Santana – ISL United Kingdom
After the Middle Ages style funerals for Queen Elizabeth, the worsening of living conditions and strikes return to the political foreground. The Conservative Party and the Labor Party compete in the framework of a common turn to the right within the limits of the regime and the capitalist system. Breaking with bipartisanship and the crown is an indispensable step, as is the regrouping of the revolutionaries and the construction of a left front.
A week with dizzying news
The Conservative Party conference was interrupted by Greenpeace militants with signs that read: “We did not vote for this!”. Then the certainty that the economic course adopted by Liz Truss and Foreign Minister Kwasi Kwarteng was unshakable crumbled. It happened last Monday, when they gave up on lowering taxes for an amount of 45,000 million pounds that would especially benefit the richest 1% of the population. To give an example: those who earned £150,000 a year would receive a cut of £1,800. For those earning less, the cut would be 7 pounds. Imagine how much this plan meant to those who make millions, especially the big energy, financial, and real estate companies.
It was no coincidence that the day after announcing the measures, Foreign Minister Kwarteng met to celebrate with the big businessmen. “The chancellor is said to have told attendees at the reception of the budget cuts the style of austerity that was coming. Guests drank wine, champagne and cocktails and congratulated him on the measures announced in the House of Commons, according to the Sunday Times. (The Guardian 02/10/2022)
The snapshot was so brazen and insulting that even some conservative MPs had anticipated that they would vote against it. Many specialists maintain that “the U-turn in the tax rate came too late to stop the economic impact that sank the value of the pound. Mortgage rates have already risen as a result of Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s overconfidence” (Sky News 10/04/2022). One month after the inauguration of reactionary Prime Minister Liz Truss, the first serious crisis that sank the pound has already broken out, she sowed doubts about the electoral support for the Tories and gave hope to the Labor Party.
We must not be fooled
Conservatives who have been ruling for the rich for 12 years will find another way to line their pockets at the expense of working people. In fact, they have already made progress by annulling the law that prohibited fracking. In addition, they will redouble the exploitation of oil in the North Sea. They will create more special zones for the installation of companies, eliminating taxes and labor rights, in the style of the Chinese special zones or the Mexican maquilas. They will try to move forward with privatizations and the elimination of the right to strike.
They are not alone in this plan
For its part, the Labor Party held its congress in Liverpool. If any militant expected different measures from the usual ones, they were mistaken. The Labor Party, founded by unions in 1900, is today in the hands of Sir Keir Starmer, who replaced Jeremy Corbyn in the leadership. He is a lawyer specialized in human rights, who was an advisor to the Queen and accepted the medieval “distinction” of “Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath”. As a defender of the regime, he has already declared that he does not intend to advance in the measures that his rank and file demand: nationalize the energy companies, support the strikes, promote a social housing plan to put an end to the business of the large real estate companies, strengthen the NHS (National Service of Health) eliminating all attempts at privatization, bringing the minimum wage to 15 pounds per hour so that large and small employers do not take advantage of those under 25 years of age and over.
Sir Keir reneges on his promises
This Knight told BBC Radio 4 that at the moment, due to Covid and massive debt, the Labor Party needed to be “transparent” about what they would and could not do in government. When asked if that meant that the 10 leadership promises were no longer part of his manifesto, he answered in the affirmative, again citing the change in the country’s financial and debt situation. Columnist Craig Purshouse, writing for Compact magazine, criticized Sir Keir’s slogan, which replaced Corbyn’s “For the many, not the few” with “Safety, Prosperity, Respect,” which the columnist called “completely empty.”
A monarchical congress
The Labor Party congress held in Liverpool will be remembered as a monarchist congress since, for the first time in its history, “God Save the King” was sung there, with a gigantic photograph of the late Queen presiding over the event. Showing off his servility, Sir Keir said: “As we enter a new era, let us pledge to honor the memory of the late Queen. Let us lift our necks and face the storm, keep alive the spirit of public service that she embodied, and let her lead us into a better future.”
A “Good Knight”… for the rich and corrupt Crown
We do not know if the storm and the public service include the “small” problems that the beloved queen solved with 15 million dollars to prevent her son, suspected of pedophilia, from being held accountable in US courts. Or if he was referring to the vast number of laws that the Crown (not coincidentally, the family calls itself “The Company”) has reviewed before they are voted on in the Scottish Parliament or in Westminster. “Research by The Guardian has identified 67 instances where the Queen has examined Scottish bills over the last two decades. They include legislation dealing with planning laws, property taxes, tenant protections and a 2018 bill preventing forest inspectors from entering Crown lands, including Balmoral, without the Queen’s permission.” The Guardian (07/28/2022).
Under the procedure, the monarch and her eldest son receive copies of the bills in advance, so they can examine whether the legislation affects their public powers or private property, such as their Duchy of Cornwall property or private Sandringham property. The Guardian (06/28/2022). With Elizabeth II or Charles III, the British Crown will continue to be corrupt, rich, colonialist and an enemy of the struggles of the working class.
The regime and the trap of bipartisanism
What we are clear about is that the bipartisanism on which the regime is based has already been working for this gentrified Labor Party to replace the Conservatives in the next elections. Let’s wait to hear the “Knight of Bath” say cynically that the inheritance received from the conservatives is very heavy, that the people will have to have patience for the economy to grow (by the way, the same thing that the conservatives say today) and there will be a drip down of money, but that it is necessary to produce more with the lowest wage costs possible.
Disagreements in Labor
Shortly after Sir Keir Starmer banned it (a memory of the Stalinists’ order-command) 674 Labor Party councilors spoke out with a document that, among other things, raised: the “obscene” situation in which millions of people in Great Britain were fighting to make ends meet and workers were told a “tsunami of lies” to keep them in place, while there were more billionaires than ever, and profits and dividend payments from Britain’s biggest companies soared. Councilors said the unions’ actions were a “welcome and important rejection of this sad nonsense.” “We urge all ordinary workers to take control of their destinies and join a union today.” The Guardian (08/28/2022). The campaign “Enough is Enough! also called for a national day of action on October 1.
From criticism to rupture, a necessary step
From these differentiated positions of the 674 councillors, who coincide with a critical grassroots sector of the Labor leadership. We know that there are still those who have expectations that the Labor Party will not betray the struggles and raise progressive positions. We will be honest: we cannot wait for a change of government to reverse the conservative disasters. The labor leadership has already eliminated part of the program to combat poverty, hiding behind Covid and the economic situation. Later, the excuses of “the inheritance received” will come and they will try to make the working people pay for the crisis. It is necessary to move forward, and not only at the trade union level, strengthening the workers’ organizations, but also in the political arena.
For a left front
The parliamentary monarchical regime is weakened, the traditional parties generate more and more mistrust and the capitalist system worsens living conditions. That is why the working class is leading strikes that push towards a general strike and has begun to synchronize with the actions of struggle and rebellions that break out in different regions of the world. A great opportunity has opened up for the recovery of the fighting capacity and organization of the working class, for the rupture with the British bipartisan parties, the regrouping of the revolutionaries and the call to form a left front. Ordinary workers must take control of our destinies starting today, building a new alternative with a program of transitory demands that provide answers to the current situation, so that the crisis is paid by the capitalists and pose a deep roots solution for a workers’ government and the socialist revolution.