Britain: Capitalist Crisis Deepens but Left-Reformism fails to Provide a Solution
By Dave Tate, RCIT Britain, 21.01.2017, https://rcitbritain.wordpress.com/
For many workers, immigrants, Muslims and vulnerable women 2017 will be another harsh year with continuing attacks on wages, job losses, civil liberties, Islamophobia and further reductions in social provision. Early signs of these attacks have already been seen in the 140 redundancies at AEI cables in Birtley, just outside of Gateshead in the North East of England, job losses were also announced at Axon Energy Products Group in Gateshead which is part of the oil component industry. Not only in the North East but there have also been reports from Kirklees where the Labour run council is threatening to take legal action against social workers who are involved in a dispute with the council over workloads, pay and management bullying.
As if these cases are not bad enough there is also a threat from Labour run Sunderland City council to cut funding to Wearside Women in Need of some £586,000 from June 2017. If these cuts take place, then it would make Sunderland the first major city not to provide any refuges to women fleeing domestic violence. At risk are four refuges accommodating 173 women and 107 children as well as projects which give support to homeless people, those women forced into arranged marriages and people with mental health problems. The success of these schemes can be clearly seen in the drastic reduction of deaths related through domestic violence.
When Corbyn was elected Labour leader there was a huge up swell of support from young people, those who had been suffering years of austerity attacks that at least there was a political alternative that would somehow make workers lives better. Part of this alternative was the establishment of Momentum which was supposed to act as a bridge between those who wished to be active in supporting the Corbyn project but did not wish to be part of the Labour Party. Unfortunately, as the unremitting attacks against Corbyn continued, the mood from the leadership began to sour and that instead of being a plus Momentum was a handicap.
To tackle this perceived problem the leadership around Lansman, aided and abetted by journalists such as Owen Jones, decided to launch an electronic coup d’etat and abolished at the click of a mouse all the democratic structures. Now all members of Momentum must be Labour Party members if not then they will be expelled. While there has been some opposition to these Stalinist purges as to date, these have been ineffective and it looks like Lansman will succeed in making Momentum a Corbyn election tool.
Of course, simply blaming Corbyn and Macdonald for allowing this to happen do not get at the core reasons why they allow this to happen. The simple fact is that Corbyn is at heart a left reformist who sees fundamental change coming through parliament and that he will inevitably retreat if he sees the polls falling. Trotsky in the 1930’s argued that revolutionaries cannot rely on left reformists to bring about fundamental change in times of economic crisis that the left reformists will inevitable become confused and paralysed. What is needed is patient arguing with all those who support Corbyn that a revolutionary struggle is needed which places working class self-activity informed by a Marxist perspective at the centre of all liberation struggles.
These cases are just the tip of an iceberg of human suffering brought on by the ongoing capitalist crisis and the related brutal strategy of austerity. In response to these attacks the Labour Party leadership under Corbyn instructs its councillors to remain within capitalist legality and not to set any illegal budgets. While Corbyn seems to be more concerned with keeping his right wing happy the trade union leaders are no better with job losses being greeted by sighs of regret but no organised resistance.
The RCIT Britain repeats that the crucial task in the coming period remains the construction of a revolutionary party as part of a new Workers International. Support us in contributing to this task!
For a summary of our program we refer readers to the platform of the British Supporters of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT): https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/rcit-britain-platform/
We also want to draw the attention of our readers to an Open Letter of our international organization – the “Urgent Call for Unity and a Joint Struggle on a Revolutionary Platform”: https://www.thecommunists.net/rcit/urgent-call-revolutionary-unity-1/