Covid19 Health Care and Socialism

BioNTech/Pfizer’s new mRNA vaccine promises a very encouraging development in the war on Covid. It uses the virus’s genetic code rather than any part of the virus itself. BioNTech had been working on the virus before joining with U.S. giant pharmaceutical firm, Pfizer, to go into production. First results from phase 3 vaccine trials suggest it is 90% effective. However, the WHO has urged caution against over-optimism. And problems remain because poorer countries would be last in the queue for a vaccine that must be stored at -80 degrees Celsius. Oxford University/Astra Zeneca vaccine is based on a different technology, which may be similarly successful.

There is no doubt that much is being learned medically about Covid19 during the present pandemic. However, it is important that political lessons are learned too. The countries around the world with the best outcomes so far, are those that put saving lives at the forefront. The experience of China should have been an early warning to the capitalist world. However, many countries were slow to react and did not prepare.

There were many accusations especially from the US who are anti China about secrecy and hiding the truth. China was the first country to face the virus, they had to work it out for themselves but immediately put measures in place once they realised what they were dealing with. They first shut down Wuhan and then the province. In due course, more of China was closed. Some countries were thought to be ‘over-reacting’ to the threat, but time has shown that they were right to do so. Efficient track and trace systems were put into effect, state run and not handed over to private companies, as in the UK.

In Cuba, a labour-intensive door to door track and trace programme was instigated by the state, mostly using 29000 medical students. In addition, Cuba sent medical staff to other countries to help them.

Other main areas that did well were Venezuela and the province of Kerala in India where the public sector was able to participate.

Vietnam does not have a free health care system yet, although it is planned. At present health insurance is still in place. However, they shut down their long border with China and treated the virus as if it were biological warfare long before the WHO named it as a pandemic. The government depoliticised the pandemic by treating it purely as a health emergency. Vietnam’s policy was to save lives first and worry about the economy later. Some people will have suffered more than others but with an aggressive track and trace system many lives have been saved. Vietnam also sent PPE to the US – an irony lost on many in the USA.

Learning Lesson from Socialist Countries

The main lessons to be learned from the socialist countries were that they not only acted upon the science but had built and used a strong public sector. They were also able to switch manufacturing to the making of PPE to meet their own needs.

Internationalism meant that they shared their information with the world and are participating in an international vaccine programme. Not vaccine nationalism USA style.

New Zealand was also accused as ‘over-reacting’ to the virus. They shut down their borders and contained the virus. They had an efficient track and trace system and helped save their hospitality industry.

In Britain, initially, the government had public support for Covid19 measures, including a national lockdown. Now however, support is evaporating.

Despite government insistence that it is following the science, crucial mistakes were made at the outset. Under the guise of protecting the NHS, seriously ill people were released from hospitals back into care homes (84% of which are privately owned, many making a profit out of illness), which produced thousands of deaths and accelerated the spread of the virus. Too many people have died unnecessarily through government inaction, carelessness and slavish adherence to private companies and organisations. Billions have been thrown at private companies, often with Tory party connections, despite repeated failures across the board.

Meanwhile, hospitals are in danger of being overwhelmed. University hospital trusts in Birmingham and Manchester have made decisions to stop many major operations and direct all efforts to Covid patients. Andy Burnham makes his voice heard in Greater Manchester; one moment he’s railing against “punishing” local restrictions, next, he backs a national “circuit-breaker” lockdown.

The much-promised world-beating testing and contact tracing system promised back in May has still not materialised – and never will while it is in the hands of companies like Serco. A command and control system does still not exist.

Pandemic Planning in Britain a Mess

Pandemic planning is split between the Joint Biosecurity Centre, the National Covid Response Centre and the Covid19 Taskforce, all operating from different sites. Four separate IT systems are used (Synergy, CTAS, SGSS and HP Zone), meaning data is lost and work is carried out by a mish-mash of Whitehall officials, consultants and under-resourced local authorities.

Around 300 000 people a day are being tested, while government says it’s on course to hit the target of a million by Christmas. The government’s scientific advisory group, SAGE, says it’s not enough. Results are taking much too long to process; as few as 63% of close contacts are being told to self-isolate.

NHS Test and Trace is having only a “marginal impact” on transmission. Testing was never given the priority it should have been with tracing outsourced to Serco. £12 billion was allocated, with no penalty causes for missed targets; where has our money gone? On tracing, local health teams with local knowledge would have done a much better job. The Johnson government has been secretive in its dealings with the private sector. A sweet manufacturer in Northern Ireland was given £108 million in contracts to produce PPE without any competitive tenders; it smacks of incompetence and corruption.

Covid19 and infectious diseases kill people, as does capitalism. The mixture of the two is a catastrophic combination that will return again and again unless the link is broken. Now more than ever, we need must protect people not profit

Labour Party Turmoil

Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the Labour Party is a disgraceful and calculated political act, but no surprise.

Interference in British politics by the US, the EU, Israel, foreign owned corporations and finance companies is getting out of hand.

The Labour Party has always been such a broad church it has admitted and often put into power opponents of its central principles and purpose.

Everyone knows Corbyn doesn’t have a racist cell in his body. He has campaigned all his life against racism. He sought to eject racists from the party and did more to achieve this than his predecessors.

So what’s the point of it all? Starmer wants to signal to Israel, NATO and the US that the Party is back on side. It is an extreme right manoeuvre cynically and in a cruel way masquerading as anti-Semitism.

Unlike other episodes in the long history of official Labour purges on more socially minded members, this cocky tactic represents an attempted refutation of a whole anti capitalist wave that developed from 2015 to 2019, and dissipated in fatal confusions over implementing the EU referendum result and the subsequent election of a new leader.  
 
This move represents a return to middle of the road extremism and the illusion that by supporting Israel and the US in their racism towards the Palestinians, Labour will endear itself to the hearts of British voters.
 
The perennial dilemma for those who believe in a parliamentary road to socialism is whether to stay in the Labour Party and fight or whether to leave. This has been revived again and this is precisely the oxygen that the Labour Party thrives on to pretend it offers a home for genuine workers wanting change no matter how patient they have to be. 
 
Those who say they will die in the Labour Party no matter what it does or what it does to them might not get the option. You can hear the sound of membership cards being ripped up, and the sound of new miserable forces signing up and chortling. It is the Labour Party that’s suspended itself in a subservience to foreign states.
 
Broad churches perpetually require a paralysing warfare between their sects to justify being broad churches. This takes us nowhere.
 

Bolivia

Coup Actors Trounced in Elections by MAS

Eleven months after the coup by right wing shock groups with the support of the army and police, the Bolivian people elected the MAS-IPSP candidates Luis Arce Catacora and David Choquehuaca as President and Vice-president with an overwhelming 55.09% of the vote. The vote was 26.26% higher than the second Carlos Mesa of Comunidad Ciudadana a coalition of centre right parties who had collaborated in the coup. It was also 10.18% higher than the combined votes of all other candidates.

Camacho the ultra right wing candidate from Santa Cruz only won votes in provinces in Santa Cruz and Beni. Of the 9 departments of Bolivia MAS won in 6, Mesa won in two, Beni and Tarija and Camacho won in Santa Cruz. The support for MAS across the country is clearer at the level of the provinces. Out of 112 provinces in the country MAS won in 98. This is clear in the map below:

Bolivians also elected their representatives in the legislative branch, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. MAS won majorities in both chambers, winning 75 deputies out of 130 in the chamber of Deputies and 21 senators out of 36.

The overwhelming support for MAS is critical in pre-empting another coup. There were attempts by right wing groups to create problems through violence to create an excuse for army and police intervention to cancel the elections, which is why Evo Morales called on MAS supporters to maintain calm and discipline and not respond to provocations. The people had fought hard to win the elections. They were postponed 3 times with the excuse of the pandemic. In August demonstrations, strikes and road blockages forced the government to set a firm date for the elections for 18-10-2020, which was ratified by congress.

Right wing government-a lesson in corrupt dictatorship

The vote increased for MAS compared to the annulled 2019 elections when MAS won by 47.08% to 36.51% for Mesa. Eleven months of government by the right wing coup actors showed their corruption and incompetence. One example which made the news was their claim to have bought 500 intensive therapy beds to treat Covid patients which could not be found anywhere and the purchase of ventilators from Spain unsuitable for intensive therapy for which they claim to have paid prices 3 times higher than the listed ones. Their minister Murillo, who made his name persecuting MAS activists, also acted against government officials who asked questions about financial dealings. People also remember the massacres of demonstrators by the army at Sacaba and Sencata where 21 people were killed and hundreds wounded.

The government passed a law giving the army and police immunity for their actions against demonstrators. This law was repealed later by congress where MAS had a majority. Many of the young, had not experienced right wing rule, as the pre-coup MAS government had lasted 14 years.

Reaction against inclusion

But the most offensive actions by the coup actors was their obvious racism and rejection of the inclusion of the people of Native American extraction (85% of the population) by attacking their flag, the Wiphala and bringing a large Bible into the government ‘to eradicate devils signs’. Those images are unforgettable to all Bolivians.

The election results put Bolivia back on course to keep building the

Plurinational State of Bolivia. We must join their celebrations.

 

Wiphala flag on the left next to Bolivian flag, Blue MAS flags at MAS celebration of the election victory.

 

Feed The Bairns Ye Tory Rats

Working class demands can come from unlikely quarters.
 
Professional Footballers Association member Marcus Rashford has galvanised all decent people, shops, cafes and pubs in a new effort to ensure young people are fed and the government is shamed. 
 
Eat nowt to help out seems to be the Tory mantra.
 
The wrongly named ‘benefits’ system and poverty pay still leave hundreds of thousands of kids hungry. They need food provision in the holidays.
 
£12 billion has been given to Ministers' mates in private companies to run dysfunctional track and trace systems. Yet no mercy for our kids.
Marcus Rashford
 
MPs are alright too jack with their recent pay rise and subsidised food allowances.

Decisive Victory for Bolivian Democracy

The world should celebrate the decisive landslide vote for Luis Arce in Bolivia’s general election on 18 October 2020.

His party, Movimiento al Socialismo (Mas), has not only taken the presidency but also secured majorities in both houses of congress.

This is a huge step forward for Bolivia following the military coup in November 2019 that overthrew President Evo Morales and installed the right-wing regime of Jeanine Áñez, bent on neoliberal policies, privatisation and austerity. One of the coups first acts was to deport 700 Cuban doctors who were providing public healthcare. In addition, security forces massacred dozens of unarmed Mas supporters.

Yet the power of the right was limited. The working-class Mas base used the threat of mass disruption, combined with parliamentary pressure to ensure new elections would take place, and Mas would be allowed to compete in them.

Mas victory also lies in the popularity of its policies. It was those policies and their contrast with the current regime’s that won the election for Arce. Supporters remember that when Morales was in power, during his first year in office he nationalised the natural gas industry, dramatically increasing state revenues. The resulting public investments reduced poverty for millions of Bolivians.

Luis Arce (MaS)

 

Another factor in the MaS victory is its approach to dealing with Covid 19. In contrast, the Áñez regime had a disdain for Covid victims, resulting in Bolivia having the world’s third-highest per-capita death rate from the pandemic. And as patients died, regime officials stole from the healthcare system.

President Arce will inherit this dire situation. Bolivia remains a poor country, and major resources and socialist coordination will be needed to contain the virus.

The election was a big win for Bolivian democracy, and while the next few years will not be easy, he has many friends he can count on around the world.

Scottish Independence: EU Domination

The Currency Question

The options before Scotland in a future referendum planned for before May 2021 are to stay in the Union, thus keeping the pound, or become independent and, according to the SNP, set up a new currency. For the SNP, Greens etc. their long-term aim is to take Scotland back into the EU. In this case Scotland will probably have to adopt the Euro, become subject to the European Central Bank, and be bound by the Stability Pact. The so-called independence from Britain will become dependence on and domination by the EU.

Separation from the rest of Britain, will mean not only giving up the pound, damaging an integrated economy, and carving up industries, but for workers it will lead to a splitting up of working class unity, organisation and ability to struggle which have been jointly forged as our class developed from the 17th century on.

In 2014 the independence referendum voted against the Scottish separatists and plans for secession from Britain. The SNP had wished to use the pound and be part of a customs union with the rest of the UK, but the Westminster coalition government refused to negotiate on any points with respect to currency and they refused to become involved in a customs union. Westminster was insisting on total sovereignty over its currency.

The SNP arguments in favour of a customs union, were that not to have one would harm business, not only in Scotland but across the rest of the UK. Failing agreement on a customs union, the SNP suggested that they could unilaterally adopt the pound as their currency. However, critics in the independence movement pointed out that a currency union would leave Scotland without an independent currency and would be leave Scotland subject to rules set by the Bank of England and, ultimately, domination of the Scottish economy by the rest of the UK. To adopt the pound without agreement would mean decisions affecting the Scottish economy could be made by a ‘foreign’ power, without the need to take account of Scottish interests.

After the SNP defeat in the referendum, Salmond and Sturgeon said the vote was a once in a generation event and accepted the result.  

Both

However, within a year they were preparing the ground to reject the mandate of the Scottish people. After June 2016, when Britain voted to leave the EU, the SNP used this as an excuse to call for another referendum on Scottish independence. Within three months they began preparing the ground with the establishment of the Sustainable Growth Commission, led by MSP Andrew Wilson.

The Commission reported in 2018 and with regards to currency established six tests that needed to be satisfied to achieve a sustainable fiscal position. The tests concerned debt level and budget deficit; the Scottish central bank’s credibility; a currency that would meet the needs of the people and business; sufficient reserves; fitment to trade patterns; and a decoupling from UK business cycles.

Andrew Wilson in presenting the report argued that it might take up to 10 years to achieve fiscal sustainability. The opponents in the SNP will not prepared to wait that long, they suggested an immediate change to a new currency or at least one within a short time frame.

At the 2019 SNP Spring conference Sturgeon ignored the six tests and called for a second referendum; the Scottish government decided to press for this and issued a timetable for adopting a new currency. This planned the establishment of a Scottish reserves bank, with the timetable of January 2024 for the adoption of new currency.

At the end of the day, it is essential that the Scottish people see this for what it is; nothing more than the breakup of Britain so that Scotland can tie itself closer to the EU.

The Price of Aid

The UK’s colonial past and moral compass should prick people’s consciences and ensure that we take our global responsibilities more seriously. If we take the examples of China and Cuba, they have put capitalist nations to shame in the way they have supported nations in national emergencies with no strings attached. Recently, Russia provided urgent medical supplies to Italy at the height of their Covid infections and Cuba supplied medical staff. The EU was conspicuous by its absence. When the Blair Government established the Department for International Development (DFID) in 1997 it was a response to mounting pressure from the public, International development charities and in the International community. There was a growing demand for Britain to be more precise and generous in its distribution of funding support and goodwill in a world where 85% of the wealth is owned by 10% of the population. David Cameron set the coalition government’s Development Aid budget at 0.7% of the UK’s GDP in a huge fanfare, but many argue that this is a woefully inadequate gesture from one of the world’s wealthiest nations. More recently, in spite of recent claims to be the victim of racism when growing up, Priti Patel, when she was the International Development Secretary, led a failed attempt to link international Trade and Development with Aid, skewing the moral imperative further towards a capitalist agenda and behaviours. Transnational Corporations rarely demonstrate conscience and frequently ride roughshod over their declared corporate social responsibilities through tokenistic lip service and gestures, putting profit ahead of all else. This means they shirk their environmental, welfare and tax responsibilities in a race to the bottom for the working class, especially in countries where lives seem disposable and anonymous shareholder greed is the priority. Sweatshops are abhorrent whether they are in a developing country or in the backstreets of Leicester.
So as we go through the Covid-19 pandemic it came as no surprise when the Prime Minister announced this week that he had decided to merge the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with DFID, burying the news deep in the Covid crisis. Glib adherence to minimalist safety standards and the welfare of staff who are precariously employed undermines all that is good in the movement and creates a wider gulf between the haves and have nots. The impact of Coronavirus will hit us hard as we are very reliant on the Service and Finance sectors and have a narrow manufacturing base to fall back on. When this country leaves the EU on 31st January 2021, we should be looking for a better future and the ability to trade with a clear conscience. Recent calls for us to make it and buy it in Britain are starting to gain traction. Regardless of the largesse of a nation able to distribute its economic surpluses and goodwill around the world, it needs to grow from a new found confidence and strengthened economy where we build sectors such as green technology, engineering and pharmaceuticals, alongside an expanded capability to grow our own foodstuff. For the working class all our lives matter. Equality underpins life and the Westminster elite need to realise that their precarious existence is only as robust as delivering on their promises. Let us re-double our efforts to ensure that Transnational Corporations are limited in their scope and influence by laws we pass in our country; that they pay a realistic level of taxes in keeping with the vast profits they make. Our class has an obligation to do everything possible to leave a sustainable future for the next generation.

Humans vs Markets

Workers' Party of Britain Statement

 

An unbalanced economy such as ours, a slave to myths of the market, was always going to be at a massive disadvantage when trying to cope with the reality of Covid 19. The government can be blamed for not doing enough and fast enough. It has been chaotic and slow with the manufacture and delivery of ventilators, the procurement of PPE for medical and care staff, and the provision of vital testing. However, when our nation is under such a devastating attack any division in our class is unacceptable. A government bailout of £400 billion overturns decades of neo-liberal economic orthodoxy. Government had no choice. We now have a new era of “whatever it takes” and government is forced to act “in the greater public interest.” The overblown finance sector always operating in its own self-interest is seen for what it is, irrelevant to the needs of human life; it has to change. As a nation there is no alternative to investing in our people; previous administrations over the last 30 years thought there was. The real economy is created by our labour, not the finance houses. Governments in Britain and Europe promoted the lie that ‘austerity’ is a necessity to reduce national debt, when the reality is that national debt has little to do with economic success. With ultra-low interest rates government can borrow cheaply. National debt must be left to rise.
So far government has acted correctly, more or less, in supporting jobs, even though many are furloughed. When this existential threat has been contained it provides us with the opportunity to reset our economy on socially responsible principles which serve our people. Never has there been a greater need for industry, particularly hi-tech, to manufacture for our needs at this critical time. Capital expenditure should go to manufacturing, scientific research and development, food production and public services; anything else is peripheral. Too much of the finance sector has a parasitic relationship with workers, be they private banks, mortgage companies or money-lending outfits. The private sector devours itself, ably assisted by private equity firms and other organisations making billions at the expense of workers. Private and corporate debt has ballooned far more than public debt. Capitalism thrives on private debt with disastrous consequences. Banks received many billions of public funds in the 2008/9 crash. This time banks must capitalise our recovery. In the future our economy has to be resilient through proper investment, not reliant on domestic and foreign privateers. There is no room for division in the fight to destroy this virus, just as there is no room for division in creating an economy that works for us.

The Fight Against Covid-19

Workers' Party of Britain Statement

 

We are living in difficult times, in which we are being encouraged to socially distance ourselves. Now more than ever, it is essential that our union organisation remains intact. Indeed, in this environment our collective organisations are not only needed but should be made to thrive. Following the financial crisis of 2008 many countries used a third of their GDP to bail out banks and prop up finance capital; the very institutions that created the crisis. The outcome was the socialisation of debt and so-called austerity for the many, while gain and financial support was privatised to the benefit of the billionaires. In the current crisis we see a Tory prime minister introducing what might be argued are collectivist support measures, such as co-opting private health companies into the NHS, supposedly on a non-profit making basis, and providing additional payments for working people unable to work because of self-isolation and social distancing. It seems that this time round collectivist, altruistic thought and action are a force to be reckoned with. Government planners are sitting down with the TUC to listen to views on how best the crisis can be survived. Supermarkets are acting to prevent the emergence of black-markets and have introduced rationing, allowing only a few of any one item. Of course, they are also acting to protect their own position in the long term. A few weeks ago, we saw hysterical comments in the press against China, for measures now advocated here. The arguments and misinformation were everywhere that the Chinese are authoritarian, and they hide the truth, so they must have shot Covid-19 sufferers in order to bring down the infection levels. But the world and Britain too, have had to learn from the still highly socialised Chinese society and its nation's health service. We owe them a debt. In Britain, the government was far too slow to react; it decided not to follow WHO guidelines, on testing, self-isolation or lock-down. It also delayed co-opting private hospitals into the NHS, and has yet to move industry on to a crisis footing, where any productive capacity that can be, is co-opted to the production of necessary food, PPEs, ventilators, etc.
The medical research establishment and pharmaceutical industry, where possible, must be tasked with developing and producing test kits, vaccines and anti-virals. In such a crisis intellectual property and patents cannot be privately owned and used to make profits. Britain must source and share medicines from around the world, and not just US and EU. China, Russia and Cuba among other countries are developing the medical technology needed to detect, prevent and treat Covid-19 and internationalism has been shown by the Chinese in sending supplies and medicines to other countries, such as Italy and Spain. In other acts of solidarity, we have seen the arrival of medical, nursing and technical personnel from China, Cuba and other countries. Trump, the leader of US imperialism, initially denied the threat faced by the Covid disease. But later, when pressed to take national steps to declare a state of emergency, he undermined the science behind its investigation and treatment. Now, he is seen standing beside an embarrassed senior medical official, spouting on about some snake oil remedy and suggesting that America will be back to normal in a couple of weeks. Economically speaking, we would expect food prices to go up; this is because the overall social cost of production is higher for food, since the social wage has necessarily gone up. Millions of workers are not working and yet, strangely under capitalism, they are to be paid, albeit less than previously. We must ensure that food producers, distributors and retailers do not profit from this crisis. The same should be said for producers of health care equipment. We are not about to sell the myth that profit comes from adding a premium to the cost of production. In medicine, as in engineering or chemical production, science is crucial. In medicine, it is science and the ingenuity of workers that will improve our world, not adherence to myth, anecdote or wishful thinking. And the same is true of social and political science.

Coronavirus

Workers' Party of Britain Statement

 

Eating bats and pangolins is not for everyone, but everyone in the world can catch the zoonic viruses, like the coronaviruses which can jump from beasts to humans.
Dining on such wild animals is illegal in China and a few individuals who broke this social law could well be responsible for current pandemic of COVID-19.
Putting personal taste before social responsibility can have truly devastating consequences.
Coronavirus
 
As the world responds to the virus we see that only collective social action, science based government decisions and publicly funded research and development in conjunction with public health services can marshal a defence and cure. Private drug companies and finance markets cannot do a thing to help.
The Covid virus presents not only medical and social problems, but also highlights political, economic faultlines in capitalist society. The decades of "efficiency and best value" cuts has sapped the resilliance and flexibility of our NHS; prison services are unsafe due to overcrowding and the age and condtion of buildings; poverty particularly of children and elderly weakens an already vulnerable sector of the population; a benefits system that already regularly leaves claimants without money for food or rent; numerous workers on, zero-hour contracts or otherwise self-employed are not eligible for sickpay or other benefits.
 
Indeed the parasitical virus of capital markets has made containment and management of the disease much more difficult. Privatisation has fragmented once coherent health services and cuts have hollowed our social care provision. But the reality is that this virus can outstrip the best resourced health systems in the world. Urgent emphasis is therefore being given to finding better, quicker testing kits and a vaccine. But even with the world's best laboratories working around the clock, it will take a while to develop an effective vaccine.
Neoliberalism said there was no real need for active government, democratic accountability, or nation states. Removing the restraints on capital flows, it engineered an elaborate global system of deregulation, manic, very environmentally unfriendly trade and spawned banks that dwarved many nations in their money - wealth and power. This whole global pomp and excess is utterly useless in the face of a human problem like this.
 
Interconnected markets crumble at our expense while internationally co-ordinated scientists share the real value of human knowledge seeking to cure a human scourge. The solidarity, science, public funding and social discipline needed to deal with a virus like this represents the very opposite of the dominant values of the neoliberal period.
 
Neoliberalism socially distanced individuals and believed there was no such thing as society. Ironically, perhaps, by isolating ourselves when needed to control the virus spread and taking collective measures to cancel social interactions, we are rediscovering the basic ethics of socialism.
The high value of social care, health and scientific workers is being appreciated anew. The mind numbing imbecility of the stock market traders pocketing fortunes as they strip billions from our investments and savings is laid bare for all to see.
Private wealth holdings are literally billions of times bigger than the amounts being dedicated to fight the virus and fund our health services. The insatiable greed of the profit motive contrasts as perhaps never before on a global level with the human-focused public initiatives to protect each other at a time of danger.
Superstitions which have underpinned the voodoo economics of austerity and the deliberate construction of inequality or the blood thirsty jihads and wars of terror on learning and peaceful nations, all look as nasty as viruses when compared with the sophisticated science of immunologists, pandemic modellers and public health specialists, and the real bravery of front line health workers from cleaner to consultant.
Capitalists will exploit the crisis, watch prices on toilet rolls, hand sanitisers and essential supplies. When the vaccine is discovered, watch who will want to monopolise it.
But they won't get away with it will they this time? Humanity is crying out for a human cure for all. The dedication of human resources to benefit our health and well being is tangibly primary, just as the responsibility of our physical interactions has made us not selfishly self aware, but socially conscious again.
For many decades war, man-made starvation, the loads-of-money bravado of Wall Street and the City of London have dominated culture. Now there's something more human on the airwaves.
No one remotely requires a devastating new virus to change things for the better, but the reality is that it is generating a new consciousness which is rejecting the madness of the last forty years. International co-operation is replacing globalisation; science is valued above wishful thinking; government action is overriding the market; national self reliance is being asserted above subservience to the EU, IMF, WTO and the like. What is evident to eveyone is that the public sphere is obviously better than the private and community care is better than individualism.

January 31st - Independence Day

Workers' Party of Britain Statement

 

There is nothing more politically precious than self-determination. National independence is the key to democratic and economic progress.

The banks and large corporations have created a new world order of international free trade agreements, highly mobile capital flows and supranational bodies like the IMF, WTO, and EU. To free themselves to plunder, they had to break down national democratic parliaments and over rule the sovereign laws and protections of individual countries. The EU, aided by both the Tories and then New Labour, conducted a slow motion coup d’etat against Britain. First, our material sources of independence in agriculture, engineering and energy supply were pulled apart. Then, our public services and utilities were hollowed out and put under foreign ownership. As part of the attack, the global reach of the City of London and its speculators was given free reign as our own people started to starve and rely on food banks. Those manufacturers and service providers that remained were forced to compete for public contracts under the procurement rules in an unfair, rigged single EU market. Petty divisions within Britain were stoked by the EU under the illusion that if Scotland and Wales broke away they would be rewarded with a form of ‘independence’ that made them entirely subservient to the EU.

Labour Movement Abandoned Sovereignty

The Trade Union Movement and the Labour Party abandoned Britain’s sovereignty and in a complete rejection of our democratic history, they believed that the unelected in Brussels and the European Court of Justice would save us. As a result, the vast majority of the working class abandoned them. Today there are six million workers in the trade unions but twenty six million unorganised. Worse still, in 1980 trade unions had collective bargaining rights for more than 80% of workers. Today, it is less than 20%. The majority of people do not want to be part of a movement that has nothing to offer them and that has no confidence that our collective struggle and not the EU is the key to all progressive change. In the absence of trade union or Labour Party commitment to Britain, workers supported latecomers to the field of anti-EU work like UKIP and the Brexit Party and, ultimately, had to force their arch opponents, the Tory Party, to get the country out.

After Brexit the Tories are Redundant

The Tories have one mandate, to get us out of the EU. After that is done they are redundant. They will be propped up by the Fixed Term Parliament Act and a Labour Party yet again trying to get its own house in order for five years to be ready for next time. Labour will turn against the rise of extra Parliamentary activity needed to assert our interests as it has always done. We cannot wait however, the fruits of national independence must benefit workers now. A new deal for workers is needed. We are the nation. We must prosper. The better we do, the more we inspire others to do so, that is real internationalism. No one can rule over us. We want neither NATO, nor a special relationship with the United States, nor vast swathes of our economy in foreign owned hands. Our fishing grounds, our agriculture, rebuilt manufacturing and high tech industrial sectors and rebooted, genuinely public, services, nationally owned utilities and transport systems must thrive in a new way. We must settle the democratic deficit in the country and create a new constitutional settlement for the people. Unelected, overseas control of our parliament and laws is over, now elected, accountable domestic control over our whole economy must begin. Download article as PDF  

Britain and the World

Socialism is a recent, infant development in the whole, long history of the human species, yet its seeds and embryos have grown within each previous social formation worldwide.

thumbnail of Britain and the WorldIts essence in collective labour, sharing, solidarity, mutual support and human empathy has been evident in every human society. What has been unnatural and inhuman has been the theft of the collective production of people and the private ownership of land. This has occurred in relatively recent, class divided history since the first City states in Mesopotamia 5,000 years ago. It was this division into various forms of haves and have nots over the centuries that gave rise to new ideas of socialism which aspire to and predict a future without class division, the oppression of women, or ethnic groups. Yet the full realisation of these socialist, human qualities comes about only when the material conditions for securing equality and a better life for all have been sufficiently developed. Socialism requires plenty, not penury. It requires a high level of education and awareness to sustain active democracy and an educated, conscious working class. In 2018 humanity’s general capacity to control the natural, social and physical environments is advanced enough to eradicate starvation, poverty, unemployment, many more diseases and to repair the very climate damage its own activities of industrialisation have caused and prevent more damage in the future. Each country has the wherewithal to provide free housing, education, healthcare, leisure and work for everyone, and to control prices on essentials in food, energy, housing and transport, medicines and so on. What prevents the fulfilment of this aspiration is the private ownership of the productive forces. These should be at society’s collective disposal through democratic government. thumbnail of Britain and the World Published by The Workers' Party of Britain Download the pamphlet as PDF