[pdf http://22.214.171.124/cpgb-ml/wp-content/media20070707_byelection.pdf 700 800]Exploitation, suppression and war
In the forthcoming by-elections in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield the electorate is faced with effectively no choice. In the end it boils down to which representative of the bourgeoisie gets to manage affairs on behalf of the ruling class; which of them oversees the exploitation of the working class at home and the plunder and super-exploitation of oppressed peoples around the world. A vote for the bourgeois parties is a vote for exploitation, internal suppression and endless war.
Under a Labour government, and the Conservatives or the LibDems would do no different, attacks on working people are being stepped up – the gap between rich and poor is getting wider. In order to create profits for big business there is injection of public money into our remaining public services accompanied by a deterioration in service provision to prepare the ground for privatisation. Public housing is being abolished and private rents are rocketing (notwithstanding Brown’s promises); the NHS is being slowly privatised and, like our schools, now operates under a two-tier, selection by post-code system.
To try and divert attention from the fact that these ills result from the system of capitalism and the need for big finance capital to bleed the working class particularly in times of crisis all the bourgeois parties peddle racism. We are urged by the left-wing of social democracy, including the Trotskyites and revisionists, to ‘vote Labour to keep out the BNP’. In fact this is nothing other than an exhortation to vote for the Labour Party’s brand of racism, which it unashamedly wields in order to divide and rule on behalf of monopoly capitalism. It hypes up racist hysteria, and currently blatantly encourages Islamophobia, as a cover for building concentration camps and passing ‘anti-terror’ laws that give the police powers to arrest anyone, detain them indefinitely without charge or evidence of any crime, soon protest of any kind may be made a criminal act. Labour is actually putting into practice fascistic policies of which the BNP may indeed be envious. In order to defend the profits of the multinationals, Labour in government (supported by the ‘oppositions’) has waged unprovoked and illegal wars against Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. Lies about ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ have been exposed by the reality of indiscriminate cluster bombing, use of depleted uranium, brutal occupation at gunpoint, torture, collective punishment, internment, criminalisation of POWs and bloody massacres of civilians – over a million Iraqis have been killed since 2003. And all this is done in the interests of imperialism’s greed for oil, other resources and hegemony.
The Conservatives have made their war-mongering position very clear, although finding it difficult to outdo the actual warmongering of Labour. The LibDems have tried to create the myth that they are ‘anti-war’. Having happily supported all the previous wars of aggression, they paid lip service to opposing the second war against Iraq. But once it had started they immediately stated fulsome support for British troops. They now claim that they are campaigning to end the war in Iraq and want to bring British troops home within months and work to bring peace in the Middle East. In fact they want to see the Iraqi resistance swiftly crushed so that troops may be withdrawn and leave a puppet regime to go on doing imperialism’s dirty work.
There is no doubt that the genocidal war against Iraq has angered many people. Some may try to register an anti-war vote by voting for Respect which has a stated anti-war platform. People who choose to do so must also be fully aware that Respect represents the left-wing of social democracy. It supports ‘left-wing’ Labour MPs including John McDonnell’s ‘bid’ for the Labour leadership. Respect is in the business of trying to contain the anti-war movement and prevent it from making any real challenge to social democracy. It encourages people to look back on so-called ‘Old’ Labour with rose-tinted glasses, desperately trying to hide the fact that the Labour Party has never been a party fighting for the working class but has a long history of committing atrocities, war-mongering and anti-working class suppression going right back to the first Labour Government of the 1920s. It is also significant that Respect has never supported the slogan: ‘Victory to the Iraqi resistance’ when proposed at Stop the War Conferences. The truth of the matter is that the determining factor in Iraq is the success of the Iraqi resistance, against which the US and Britain now face total defeat. This has made the question of disengagement a real issue for Britain’s ruling class. Gordon Brown, who has impressed monopoly capitalism with his skill at handling the British economy to the advantage of British imperialism and at the expense of the working class, may well be the one to do this. We can be certain, however, that under Labour leadership any disengagement will be forced by military defeat, and will try to leave puppets in a position to best serve imperialism.
Labour defectors in Southall
In Ealing Southall there has been the apparently dramatic defection of five Labour councillors to the Conservatives, which some claim is a betrayal. In reality it is not that dramatic, just a manifestation of the opportunistic careerism of Labour councillors who have always been happy to stomach all the crimes of the Labour Party for their own petty benefit. They now claim that the Labour Party is racist and will not have a turban-wearing candidate, but the ongoing racism of the Labour Party is well documented. These defectors are clearly quite happy to throw in their lot with the equally racist Conservative Party where they say they feel at home! And make no mistake, we hold no brief for the equally opportunist councillors who have remained within the Labour Party to continue their betrayal of the working class.
Work to build a party that will represent the interests of the working class
The CPGB-ML does not have the resources to stand and campaign in these by-elections. The present dire situation, however, shows that the British working class desperately needs its own party to represent its interests both in and out of parliament.
The task that faces us is the overthrow of capitalism and the building of socialism. That is a hard and arduous task and requires clear-sighted leadership. We therefore appeal to all those who desire to work for a bright future for humanity to give support in building our party and give us every assistance in our work.