The Socialist

The Socialist 6 February 2019

Tory Brexit farce, Corbyn and unions: Call mass action now

The Socialist issue 1028

Corbyn must prepare for a general election: Remove the pro-capitalist saboteurs - fight for the socialist alternative


College lecturers strike for a pay rise

University and College Union elections

PCS: Campaign for Chris Baugh for AGS

Traffic wardens' strike is just the ticket

Unison: Democracy and the right to speak out are under threat

Historic strike of nurses in Ireland

Backing for the Birmingham homecarers


Tory Brexit farce, Corbyn and unions: Call mass action now

Cash-starved health service ripped off by big pharma - fund our NHS now!

Struggling unis account for bulk of unconditional offers - end education marketisation!

Billionaires avoid paying and even talking about tax! Take the wealth off the 1%

Them & Us


40 years since the Iranian revolution: Learning the lessons for today's new working-class struggles


Haringey 'Corbyn council' must fight borough regeneration

Victory! Campaign reverses Wallasey fire cuts

Sheffield tree campaigners' legal win

Southampton by-election

Worcestershire: save the libraries, reverse all the cuts

'Stansted 15' deportation protesters could face jail

North West Socialist Party conference


United States: LA teachers' strike defeats privatisers

France gilets jaunes' backed by mass strike action

Sweden: dock strikes test new government

United States: strike ends federal shutdown


Film: Vice - Dick Cheney - a cold and calculating opportunist

Theatre: Ballad of Johnny Longstaff

The Socialist inbox

 
 
 
 
 

PO Box 24697, London, E11 1YD

020 8988 8777

editors@socialistparty.org.uk

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1028/28640

Seach this siteSearch the site

Printable versionPrintable version

Facebook

Twitter

Home   |   The Socialist 6 February 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Editorial of the Socialist issue 1028

Corbyn must prepare for a general election:

Remove the pro-capitalist saboteurs - fight for the socialist alternative

photo by Paul Mattsson

photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Talk of a split by Blairite Remainer MPs has increased, with the Observer newspaper reporting on 3 February that "rebel Labour MPs are set to quit the party and form centre group".

The Blairites clearly see Brexit as an opportunity to land a blow against Jeremy Corbyn, whether they strike from inside or outside Labour.

At this stage, only six MPs have been identified and it's far from certain that they would take this step now - either to become independents or form a new formation, possibly with Remainer Tories and Lib Dems.

It would still be a step into electoral uncertainty and hopefully oblivion if they stood outside Labour. But they could act as 'stalking horses' - taking a limited step now while leaving the main group of Blairites within Labour should a Corbyn-led Labour government be elected in the next period.

This plotting yet again shows that these agents of the capitalist establishment must be decisively defeated within Labour.

It was Socialist Party members in Unite that moved the resolution that ensured mandatory reselection is the un- ion's policy.

In such a volatile period, with the next Brexit parliamentary vote on 14 February and with possibly months, if not weeks, before a general election, socialist candidates should be put up against the Blairites in reselection contests.

This is necessary to ensure that the ground is pre- pared to, in the first instance, win a general election, but also to withstand the big business pressure that will be exerted afterwards.

If necessary, these left candidates should come from fighting elements across the labour and trade union movement, including socialist organisations like ours.

These Blairites are apparently citing Corbyn's refusal to support a second EU referendum as their main reason for the scheming.

We have criticised Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, along with the majority of trade union leaders, for not leading a left socialist Leave campaign in 2016 that would have changed the dynamic of the EU referendum. Instead, a vacuum was opened to be filled by the Tory right and Ukip. As a result, there is now a polarisation regarding membership of the EU within the working class,

which the far right is attempting to exploit. Notwithstanding this, Corbyn has, up until now, been prepared to stand against calls for a 'people's vote' to reverse Brexit - rightly arguing that a real people's vote would be a general election.

The Trade Union Congress recently claimed that "the strongest possible protection for workers' rights would come from sticking by Single Market and Customs Union rules".

But in saying this they act like a wing of the CBI bosses' organisation which, as the true representative of big business, wants the UK to stay in the neoliberal EU or, at least, the 'softest' Brexit possible.

Surrey Unison on the march against austerity last April.

Surrey Unison on the march against austerity last April.   (Click to enlarge)

Both Corbyn and Unite the Union general secretary Len McCluskey have been the main objects of attack by the Blairites for their stands.

They have also been criticised by many so-called Corbynistas who have mistakenly supported Remain - effectively ending up in an unofficial front with the Blairites - putting a second referendum before a general election.

Corbyn and McCluskey need to use their meetings with May to put forward, and promote widely outside parliament, the key demands for what would constitute a Brexit in the interests of workers and their families.

This approach could, at the same time, expose the real character of the EU and how May and the Tories are only interested in a Brexit that serves the interests of big business.

Such demands should include the repeal of the anti- union laws. When Labour changed its position on the closed shop, which was outlawed by the Tories in 1990, the then Labour shadow employment secretary, Tony Blair, claimed it was necessray to "bring our law into line with Europe... in the run up to the single European market".

Repealing the 1990 Act and the other anti-union laws; banning zero-hour contracts; lifting the restrictions on secondary action or sympathy strikes; trade union control of agencies; enforcing collective agreements negotiated in sectors to all workers in those industries - all this would completely blow away the Single Market rules and could unite workers.

Corbyn should add to this the demand not to comply any more with EU rules on state aid and against public ownership, which would come into collision with Corbyn's 2017 Labour manifesto that raised renationalisation of the railways.

It is apt that one of the charges levelled by the Blairites against Corbyn is his refusal to go along with calls for Maduro to be forced out of office in Venezuela.

Another indication of the anti-worker and pro-imperialist character of the EU is that the leading powers within it are supporting what is an attempted US-led, right-wing coup.

Corbyn should go much further in strongly and combatively calling May to account and exposing her. A government led by him with a low-key approach and half measures on domestic and foreign policy would only antagonise Corbyn's class enemies both inside Labour and outside, while not satisfying workers' demands.

The Blairite plots are a further indication of a redrawing of the political lines which can barely be contained by the main political parties.

It is therefore necessary to face up to this reality by reconstituting Labour as a federal party that includes all anti-austerity forces across the labour and trade union movement - including the Socialist Party - and that can give a lead to the mass of workers in fighting to force out the Tories and bring in a government on socialist policies.


In this issue


What we think

Corbyn must prepare for a general election: Remove the pro-capitalist saboteurs - fight for the socialist alternative


Workplace news

College lecturers strike for a pay rise

University and College Union elections

PCS: Campaign for Chris Baugh for AGS

Traffic wardens' strike is just the ticket

Unison: Democracy and the right to speak out are under threat

Historic strike of nurses in Ireland

Backing for the Birmingham homecarers


News

Tory Brexit farce, Corbyn and unions: Call mass action now

Cash-starved health service ripped off by big pharma - fund our NHS now!

Struggling unis account for bulk of unconditional offers - end education marketisation!

Billionaires avoid paying and even talking about tax! Take the wealth off the 1%

Them & Us


Iranian revolution

40 years since the Iranian revolution: Learning the lessons for today's new working-class struggles


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Haringey 'Corbyn council' must fight borough regeneration

Victory! Campaign reverses Wallasey fire cuts

Sheffield tree campaigners' legal win

Southampton by-election

Worcestershire: save the libraries, reverse all the cuts

'Stansted 15' deportation protesters could face jail

North West Socialist Party conference


International socialist news and analysis

United States: LA teachers' strike defeats privatisers

France gilets jaunes' backed by mass strike action

Sweden: dock strikes test new government

United States: strike ends federal shutdown


Opinion

Film: Vice - Dick Cheney - a cold and calculating opportunist

Theatre: Ballad of Johnny Longstaff

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 February 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

General election:

triangleTory Brexit farce, Corbyn and unions: Call mass action now

triangleCouncils can fight cuts!

triangleAusterity out, Tories out

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: General Election Now - How the Tories can be defeated

triangleCorbyn: stand firm for a general election

Socialist Alternative:

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Venezuela - for a real socialist alternative to corruption and imperialism

triangleFor a socialist alternative to the Tory deal and bosses' EU

triangleBlack Friday day of action against Amazon

triangleHow can Trump be defeated?

Election:

triangleSouthampton: Labour plans 15m cuts - vote Socialist in Coxford by-election

triangleSocialist Party no-cuts stand finds support

triangleThem & Us

Capitalist:

triangle40 years since the Iranian revolution: Learning the lessons for today's new working-class struggles

triangleHillsborough trial: cop changes story

The Socialist:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: The record of the Socialist Party

Socialist:

triangleYouth strike for the climate: "There's no planet B"

Labour:

triangle300 turn out for Corbyn in Nottingham marginal

Union:

triangleWorkplace and union news in brief

EU:

triangleTen years since Lindsey strike: when militant action stopped the 'race to the bottom'

Blairites:

triangleVictory to Birmingham bin workers

Brexit:

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: What are we facing after Brexit?

MPs:

triangleGovernment limps on... Corbyn and unions must call urgent, mass action

Socialist Party:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: Trotsky's 'transitional programme'

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleCorbyn must launch struggle to kick out Blairites and fight for socialist policies

Blairite:

triangleBlairite Birmingham steps up union-busting and two workforces plan strikes