Where Should a Worker's Vote Go?
When auditioning for West End musicals, over-confident wannabe child superstars from drama school can display an excessive enthusiasm in their gushing false smiles and gestures. Their bubbly demeanour, rehearsed platitudes and excruciating sweetness rather than convincing the directors of their suitability, reveal they have no idea of the seriousness of the part they are auditioning for, nor the virtue of sincerity.
In Jo Swinson’s audition, the embarrassing hyper certainty of the sound bites could be culled from any nursery school smiley board project hoping for a nice future for everyone in big, bold, happy primary colours.
Who said, “there’s nothing more frightening than an angry Liberal”? These days they are tootsie-stamping, very angry. They’re so very, very angry, they’ve gone blue in the face and presented an angry mumsie leader to just to give the naughty people a good telling off.
But this is all an act. The Liberals thirst for revenge on the democratic majority decision is not just expressed in their autocratic drive to unilaterally revoke Article 50, but their plan to run a 1% national budget surplus. This would of course mean a new, more intense dose of austerity cuts. That is the real revenge they seek - a fiercer immiseration of people deliberately forcing them into deeper grinding poverty.
Brighter future my arse.
Equally nasty are the separatists Plaid Cymru and the Scottish Nationalists.
Preposterously full of themselves, they hate their closest neighbours, biggest trading partners and sources of government funding more than the bureaucrats who they want to rule over them from Brussels. And Brussels is desperate for their cash but doesn’t quite understand that without being part of the union, they will not be able to afford the EU membership fee.
They prate independence from Westminster in favour of subservience to the unelected EU Commissioners. They want to be free to be slaves. It’s humiliating.
What do they want, the euro in Cardiff and Edinburgh, a hard border along Offa’s dyke and a new version of Hadrian’s wall? Two new hard borders? What next, Scottish and Welsh regiments in the EU army fighting against Britain’s independence from the superstate?
What they want is to continue the EU’s divisive policies of breaking up nations and creating economic free zones dominated by German manufacturing.
They also want to break up the forms of solidarity that British workers, predominantly organised in united national unions, have used to advance their interests.
Neither separatist group even blushes to ply their business in Westminster and take their expenses and our national funding to support separatist referendums. Nor, having bored us to death with windbaggery in Parliament about the virtues of Jean Claude Junker’s tax havens, have they fooled us with their dangerous autocratic recourse to an EU inspired Supreme Court to get judges to judge on purely political matters.
As for the Greens, or is it the Green? With their ambitions to get a sinecure in the EU for their former leader thwarted, they are neither red, nor green, and their best members hate the EU for its phoney green bluster. They are in fact a paler shade of green than most of the population and they are split. Their organising powers are nothing compared with many green campaigning organisations or the aristocratic anarchists in Extinction rebellion.
The Brexit Party is a one trick pony with no credible social and economic policies, or ability to govern.
They are a single-issue campaign body, unreliable and unstable beyond the issue of Brexit. It believes strongly in national independence but has a vision of an independent Britain led by crackpots, not the democratically organised people. They want pie and chips every day and not our most popular national dish - curry.
This leaves us with the only two serious Party contenders in the election, the Tories and Labour.
If you could vote for a Party which included Labour’s social and economic policies and the Tories position on leaving the EU you would have one clear favourite.
As it is, you have a Labour Party offer on Brexit that is contorted by the tension between the legacy of its Europhile members and the persistent presence of working class voters who are patriots. Its Brexit position is implausible. It’s the consequence of being a broad church. Internal division is not something that bothers the Tories when the chips are down; they purge minorities and forge unity.
The fudge Labour have come up with sounds sweet but is not credible. Appeasing the Remainers with another referendum option in the unlikely event that the EU will negotiate a better deal with a Labour Government will only further divide the nation that Jeremy Corbyn genuinely wants to reunite.
But in reality it’s not-so-fudgy commitment to be in a customs union with the EU and a close alignment to the single market would restrict rather than unleash potential to rebuild. Make no mistake, Labour’s nationalisation and spending plans and prioritisation of British manufacturing will not get an easy sign off by the EU. They’d prefer to prohibit or fine such activity.
In the context of our rubbled economy, our destitute population and threadbare welfare and social infrastructure and our atomised, individualised culture, Labour’s social democratic commitments to rebuilding are essential, but only achievable if an engaged population is empowered and free of all external interference from foreign powers whether the EU or US.
The immense powers of survival and unity in times of crisis that make the Tory Party the most powerful in Britain, despite having only a tiny membership, have again come to the fore. Historically they led us deep into the EU, though not the single currency.
Tory leaders led the leave and remain campaigns in 2016.
Their government negotiated two withdrawal agreements, the best that could be done on the circumstances of a Parliament seeking to organise perpetual coups against the people’s vote and the government.
The government was indeed faced with a very un-British coup. A Remainer dominated Parliament set out to replace the established components of our democracy. Parliament opposed the people in a bizarre reversal of role.
The long-fought-for right to vote at 18 years of age, the largest direct democratic mandate from a referendum in our history, the conventions of Executive authority, the commitments given by the main parties in their 2017 manifestos and the political impartiality of judges, were all attacked by a minuscule number of self-righteous, anti-democratic, arrogant and entirely unrepresentative MPs.
Even the traditions of neutrality of the Speaker of the House of Commons were perverted.
All this was sensational news for the superficial and anti-democratic pundits and media darlings so affronted by the fact that the people had not listened to the drivel they had poured on them for years urging them to support the EU.
The elite’s fawning devotion to their cultural cosmopolitanism thought the wonders of being able to buy their villas in Tuscany equated to the freedom to be able to drain ailing economies of their skilled labour or import migrant labour to do their washing up while paying rent to lodge in their old shed at the end of the garden.
Whole sections of the left, from the liberals to the permanent oppositionists, all long-departed from socialist politics and connection with organised workers, retreated from the fray confused to see the Tories standing up for the democratic majority and in effect for national self-determination which should be the central internationalist demand of any socialist.
In the biggest farce of all, most of the unions, pulled along by the increasingly irrelevant TUC donkey, showed an ignorance of the origin and nature of workers’ rights, backed the CBI, and longed for the day when the European Court of Justice would run the country and the plebs in former industrial areas long-ago abandoned by the TUC, would keep quiet.
So we’ve forced an election as a people by holding firm on our majority demand to leave the EU and our equally deep commitment to respecting democratic mandates. Most of those who voted Remain respect the result.
Labour promises 28 times as much expenditure in its manifesto than the Tories and proposes a comprehensive set of well-thought-out and costed policy initiatives. Indeed, it does so uniquely, since all the other manifestos are extremely weak by comparison.
But Labour does not propose any restriction on capital to pour out of the country and remains unclear on migration. It would face a dramatic investment strike by capital not because of its strength, but because of its indecisiveness.
It’s a Brexit election and Labour cannot deny this or wish it away.
The Tories in effect want to maintain the status quo and gluttonous feeding frenzy of billionaire crooks and tax avoiding, union-busting corporations. Yet they want us out of the EU, and with even a small Parliamentary majority, which they look likely to get, will deliver this. There will be no 1945-like Labour landslide victory.
So get ready to do to the Tories post Brexit what our predecessors did to them after the Second World War - dump them.
Rise like lions after the slumber which the total inadequacy of all the Parliamentary parties in this election has led to.
Only vote for the candidate standing in your constituency committed to leaving the EU immediately on the terms negotiated so far.
For a united, independent Britain, Wales, Scotland and England, together for a real radical, socialist change which Brexit, not the election will ignite.
For Britain, For Democracy, For Independence
The general election is about three connected things. The unity of Britain – England, Scotland and Wales, the need to leave the European Union immediately, and the need to elect democratic MPs who will represent the democratic mandate of the people given at the referendum.
Aided and abetted by the large corporations and the EU, the Scottish National Party will seek to wreck and divide the nation as much as possible with the laughable idea that Scotland can be independent of the rest of Britain, but entirely dependent on the control of Brussels. There should be a strong backlash against them by voters in Scotland.
The Liberal Democrats, ferocious neoliberals, and puppets of the very worst elements of the EU bureaucracy, blatantly argue for remaining in the EU so that the EU’s austerity programme can continue to let rip.
Workers in Wales are too sensible to look to Plaid for any solution to anything.
Worse still many individual MPs who have so arrogantly and unashamedly used their position in Parliament to misrepresent their constituents and the referendum result, must now be rejected. Whatever party they are from, their days of manoeuvring in Parliament against the people are over. No matter what their superficial party label, and especially where they have ignored huge leave voting constituencies, these anti democrats must go.
All new parliamentary hopefuls must be carefully scrutinised for their democratic and anti EU credentials. Where no such credentials exist, they must be rejected. A good number of new Labour candidates fall sadly into this category.
We can only vote in this election for candidates committed to the unity of Britain, implementing the referendum result and liberating Parliament from the shackles of any foreign power whether it be the United States of America or the EU Empire.
It follows from this position that we want to elect MPs who will assist the process of rebuilding and transforming Britain, renationalising our assets and utilities, reinvesting in our public services, industry, science and technology and skills and reshaping our culture and taxation systems to end the elitist dominance of the few.
We need a parliament that will enhance first and foremost the lives of all those who live in work in Britain and which will ensure that the wealth we create here will be invested here.
This means an end to the freedom of movement of capital. It means a properly managed immigration system based on careful labour market planning and upskilling in every sector. It means the creation of a Ministry of Labour, an end to anti-union legislation, and the introduction of a new comprehensive set of workers’ and trade union rights.
But the harsh reality is that we are not going to be able to rebuild and transform our country and tip the balance of forces back in favour of the many rather than the few without leaving the European Union.
Only the Labour Party has a manifesto capable of taking Britain in a better economic and social direction. Yet the prospects of supporting this great vision have been very seriously damaged by the position that Labour has taken on the EU. Its position of seeking a mandate to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement and then putting the results to another referendum will simply not convince anyone. This is mainly because a Labour Government renegotiation would seek to keep Britain in the Customs Union and in closer alignment with the single market – tantamount to staying in the EU.
This is a remain position in all but another name. Pretending that the issue of the day is not Brexit, leave or remain, simply will not wash when it so obviously is. No matter how hard people try to get this election focussed on an alternative vision for Britain, it is clear that this cannot be done until we are out of the EU and the democratic question is settled.
Oliver Cromwell’s words from April 20th 1653 seem relevant now:
“..it is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place which you have dishonoured by your contempt of all virtue and defil’d by your practice of every vice. Ye are a factious crew and enemies of all good government. Ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, who would, like Esau, sell your country for a mess of pottage and like Judas, betray your country for a few pieces of silver.
Is there a single virtue no remaining among you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Which of you have not bartered your conscience for bribes? Is there a man that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth? Ye sordid prostitutes have ye not defil’d this place and turned it into a den of thieves by your immoral practices? Ye are grown odious to the whole nation. You were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress’d so in the name of God, ulock the doors and go.”
Universal Health Coverage - South Africa Pledges Social Solidarity
The South African government is fast-tracking its plan to introduce universal health care for all citizens by 2026. National Health Insurance (NHI) is a health financing system that will pool funds to provide quality personal health services, based on their health needs and free at the point of delivery.
At the tabling of the National Health Insurance Bill in July this year, the South African President and president of the African National Congress (ANC), Cyril Ramaphosa, said, “It is the principle of solidarity which informs our approach to NHI, ensuring that the substantial resources that are directed towards health care benefit all South Africans equally.”
In 1996 the ANC-led government inherited a racially divided health system, with the white minority largely covered by private health insurance paid for by employers, and the non-white, largely unemployed, majority receiving poor quality public health services in a racially segregated system.
Over the past 20 years this unfair health system has become more divisive, except now it is not a racially segregated system, but a socio-economic divide, with the employed “haves” and the unemployed “have-nots”.
Back to Class Struggle
The Tories are the most successful political Party in British history. Lampooning them and their leaders is a sign of weakness.
They have a completely different vision for the future of Britain than us.
They led the Vote Leave and the Remain campaigns in the Referendum.
They remain in power today because of the strictures of the Fixed Term Parliament Act which they passed in collation with the Liberal Democrats in 2011.
Their strength historically stems from their pragmatism in defending private property and the union of Britain against all odds. This has been complemented by their ability to go with the leading political flow of the people and their utter ruthlessness with their working class, Parliamentary and internal detractors.
They switched from supporting landowners and the leading figures in the ruling class to support the rising manufacturers.
They switched from the smaller manufacturers to the ones capable of creating Empire and conquer overseas territories.
Finally they switched from the defeated imperialists to the new globalisers, the financiers who they set free in the 1980s.
Hedging their bets, they retained a special relationship with the EU and while staying out of the European Single Currency did everything they could to ensure that the unelected Commissioners took over our Parliament and our national independence was lost.
They did this partly because of the power of the universal suffrage finally won after years of sacrifice and struggle in 1969.
They plundered public services, sold off national assets, privatised anything they could, sold swathes of the economy to the US and EU corporations and followed EU diktats.
But the collapsing, low growth EU and the domination of German manufacturers was too much for some of them.
They believed a sovereign Parliament with the freedom to make new independent arrangements with other countries throughout the world held better prospects for capital and general prosperity than the EU.
They are nationalists, but not socialists, they are free trade globalists, not internationalists.
Their intention to free themselves of EU domination coincides with the working class demand to do the same, but for different reasons. No one should blush about temporary convergences of class interests on matters of major significance.
The Supreme Court and its EU Origins
September's decision of the Supreme Court (SCUK) to declare void the proroguing of parliament, was an unwelcome and undemocratic intrusion into British political life by 11 unelected judges sworn to uphold EU rules.
The Supreme Court https://www.supremecourt.uk/about/history.html
The Supreme Court was formed 10 years ago in 2009, as a result of the Blair government's Constitutional Reform Act (2005). This package of reforms was supposedly essential to a modern Britain, because of the need to separate the judiciary from the legislature, and because of devolution and the Human Rights Act (1997). At the time, opposition to the measure was somewhat diverted by saying there would be no real change in the role of the new court, which replaced the Law Lords.
Supreme Court https://www.supremecourt.uk/docs/ar_2009_10.pdf (See section one, 'Establishment of the court Background', and section two, 'Mission and Strategic Objectives')
However, the judiciary soon showed itself willing to challenge the government and Parliament if need be; this was the purpose of the SCUK. It is important to question the basis of these challenges.
Changes and Challenges https://www.theguardian.com/law/2011/oct/26/uk-supreme-court-changing-law
The Supreme Court is now the highest court of appeal in the UK, but because of the principle of supremacy of EU law, it plays a subservient role. According to article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) all national courts must interpret the treaties in line with Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) case law and should validate EU regulations, directives etc.
Because most British legislation has its source in Brussels, the decisions of the Supreme Court are necessarily pro European Union. The SCUK oversees the lower courts, ensuring they abide by EU case law and legislation. In fact, this means that much public policy is made, not by elected political representatives, but by unelected judges; this process of EU judicial activism encourages court decisions that oppose public opinion. It should come as no surprise that the court takes no heed of the popular mandate of 2016, the decision to leave the EU.
The supposed separation of powers of the legislature, executive and judiciary far from being constitutional protection against tyranny has become a tool to implement the will of the undemocratic and unrepresentative EU commission and increasingly of the CJEU.
If Thatcher was a monetarist iconoclast, Blair was a builder of institutions that met the transnational needs of financial capitalism. New Labour's constitutional changes brought into being EU based institutions, Trojan horses in the constitutional life of Britain which coincided with major aspects of EU policy in the economic, regional and judicial arenas. This was so with the independence of the Bank of England in 1997; the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assemblies in 1999; and with plans for the formation of a Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court Ruling - A Coup Against Democracy
A written constitution is needed to defend our rights. Never has there been more need for one than now.
The unwritten British constitution has sustained a strange balance of power. Parliament is understood as the House of Commons, the unelected House of Lords and the Monarchy. Parliament calls the Executive government of the day to account. It does this mainly through the House of Commons, but also the House of Lords; the Monarchy by and large stays out of this as a result of the 1688 settlement.
Putting unelected judges above the Executive and PM, however dreadful and weirdly elected they were, is an act of fascism. The EU will try to make any deal impossible. These EU dominated Law Lords of the Supreme Court (set up by Blair as a deliberate political act) are there as tools of re-pression against the people.
Article 9 of the 1689 Bill of Rights reads: “The freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.” Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament was an attempt to prevent it from overturning the biggest democratic mandate of the people it has ever received.
Parliament’s crime is greater than Johnson’s; he was right to try and remove Parliament’s attempts to organise coups against the government and the people.
The courts have not previously intervened in the relationship between the Executive and Parliament. The courts do not hold Parliament to account, the people do.
The Supreme Court has now decided that the rule of law can determine Parliamentary decision making and rule on the political decision-making of a government. This replaces the principle of elected representation and represents a coup against democracy. It will widely be seen as the opposite, especially by the Left and the liberals.
The law is happy to permit mass unemployment, starvation, poverty, homelessness, capitalist exploitation and making war. The law is no god-like abstract over and above society with higher moral authority.
The British deep state will use any mechanism to stabilise the rule of the multi-national corporations who, above all, require membership of the EU. An example of the stability required is the huge profit that the hedge fund companies are making out of the collapse of Thomas Cook.
These hedge funds will get at least £250m out of the collapse, the same amount as the government refused to give to bail the company out. Stability means the extremism of making super profits.
The EU, the petty bourgeois nationalists like Sinn Féin, Plaid Cymru, SNP, the neoliberal Liberal Democrats, the TUC and the social democrats within the Labour Party are intensifying their pressure for Remain. A small minority of socialists and a large majority of the working class want us to leave the EU.
The most organised and well-funded proponents of Leave are The Brexit Party and the Tory Party. A pre-Brexit general election would be won by the Tories and Brexit Party. Labour would lose.
Labour may only have a chance of winning a post-Brexit general election when it can put forward more progressive policies to rebuild Britain; policies similar to those this Party was arguing for in the 1990’s.
Leaving the EU remains the central political priority. There is no alternative.