Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1149/33066

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 September 2021

Editorial of the Socialist, issue 1149
Keir Starmer is seen as a safe pair of hands by the ruling class compared to Corbyn. photo Jeremy Corbyn photostream/CC

Keir Starmer is seen as a safe pair of hands by the ruling class compared to Corbyn. photo: photostream/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Starmer consolidates post-Corbyn Blairite transformation of Labour

Trade unions must fight for a new workers' party

The person who said New Labour was "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich" is now intensely happy about the results of this year's Labour Party conference.

Architect of Blairism, Lord Peter Mandelson, is "just thrilled" at this "tremendous win for Keir Starmer".

He said: "What these rule changes mean is that when they are asked to vote for Keir Starmer, they can know with almost complete certainty, that they are not going to wake up one day and find Jeremy Corbyn there instead".

Since Starmer took over as Labour leader in April 2020, he has been systematically removing the threat to the capitalist class posed by Corbynism, including from Labour's rules and structures.

The main conclusion from his conference measures must be that the workers' politics that is so urgently needed, alongside workplace, youth and community struggle, requires the building of a new mass independent party of the working class.

The threat that Corbynism had been able to pose to the defenders of capitalism is confirmed both by the euphoria among Mandelson and his ilk and by the measures taken by Starmer.

The mass support for Corbyn's anti-austerity programme, limited though the programme was, contained within it the danger that working-class and young people could be emboldened to fight for more, including measures that threatened the position of the capitalist class in society.

In 2015, the anger against the first five years of Tory rule needed an outlet. The right-wing trade union leaders had betrayed the mass strikes of 2011 and offered no lead.

Ed Miliband's Collins Review was an attempt to remove the last vestiges of the trade union voice from Labour.

But the law of unintended consequences swung into action. His 3 fee for participation in a leadership vote as a registered supporter - aimed at creating a US-style primary contest to bolster 'moderate' candidates - instead opened a channel for anti-austerity rage, and Corbyn was elected.

Among the measures Starmer sprang on the conference was the removal of the registered supporters category, with six months of membership now required to vote in a leadership election.

Corbyn needed the support of 15% of Labour MPs to get on the ballot paper. He just scraped on - including with the support of some right wingers who thought a defeat for Corbyn would see off the left for good.

However, when their system is in crisis the capitalist class cannot always control the outcome of their actions.

Corbyn reduced the threshold from 15% to 10%, but Starmer has now upped it to one in five. With just 33 of the 199 Labour MPs nominally members of the Socialist Campaign Group, the left has no chance of getting a candidate on the ballot paper.

The Socialist Party warned from the offset that the Labour Party could not continue indefinitely under conditions of civil war between the Blairites who dominated the Parliamentary Labour Party and the councils on the one hand, and a potential new anti-austerity party on the other around those who'd joined to fight austerity.

Among the measures needed to transform the party was deselection of the Blairites. Unfortunately, the Labour left did not organise for this, accepting the false idea that unity with the pro-capitalist wing under Jeremy Corbyn was possible.

Starmer's measures reduce even further the opportunity for constituency parties to remove right-wing MPs.

He has increased the threshold for trigger ballots to a majority of local party branches and affiliate branches combined, rather than just one or the other.

Starmer's changes will also mean that the number of motions debated at the annual party conference will be cut from 20 to 12, while a revamped national policy forum process will shape what goes in the manifesto.

These measures constitute some of the finishing touches of Starmer's project to return the Labour Party to Blairism: that is a party that acts in the interests of the capitalist class.

His 'essay', published prior to the conference, reflects this. It mentions 'business' 27 times but 'socialism', 'public ownership' or 'nationalisation' not at all.

Meanwhile, the Tories are carrying out 'socialist' measures - but for the rich. In response to the fuel crisis, Grant Shapps has suspended free-market laws to allow different companies to coordinate the distribution of petrol.

Capitalism isn't working - and the government has been forced to intervene in order to shore up the capitalist system, as it did with its interventions during the pandemic.

The working class, not the billionaires, is now being expected to pay for that Covid spending through 'fire and rehire', pay freezes and pay insults, and falling working-class life expectancy and living standards.

The building of a new mass working-class political voice is needed as part of the fight for a society where measures are taken in the interests of humanity and the environment.

The Socialist Party is working with the RMT rail union and others in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition to take steps in that direction, preparing to stand candidates in next May's elections against Starmer's New 'New Labour' councillors who've axed so many jobs and services.

Labour conference shows that this is an urgent task for the trade union movement. This must be under the democratic control of the membership.

The last-minute support of the Unison delegation was significant for Starmer's victory - but Unison members had no say.

Part and parcel of building a new mass workers' party is the struggle for democratic, fighting trade unions.


STOP PRESS

Bakers' union votes to disaffiliate from Labour

The BFAWU's recall conference has voted virtually unanimously to disaffiliate from the Labour Party.

The union says: "The decision taken by our delegates doesn't mean we are leaving the political scene, it means we will become more political and we will ensure our members' political voice is heard, as we did when we started the campaign for 10 per hour in 2014.

"Today we want to see 15 per hour for all workers, the abolition of zero-hours contracts and ending discrimination of young people by dispensing with youth rates.

"The BFAWU will not be bullied by bosses or politicians. When you pick on one of us you take on all of us. That's what solidarity means".

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 28 September 2021:


What we think

Starmer consolidates post-Corbyn Blairite transformation of Labour


International

German election: A change of capitalist government, but disaster for Die Linke


People's budgets

Save our services


News

End profit-fuelled crisis

NHS workers reject 3% pay insult

Driver shortages - a view from the inside

News in brief


Black history month

Black history month and its relevance today


Climate change

CWI livestream rally report


Workplace news

NEU deputy general secretary election

Corby and Burton Latimer Weetabix engineers strike

Fightback to save Birmingham GKN jobs!

Flexibility to suit workers not the bosses

College workers walk out in pay dispute


Campaigns

London tenants v greedy contractors

Bromsgrove protest for NHS fair pay

Sabina Nessa vigil: End violence against women


Youth and Students

Join the fight for our future

Sunak's student special

More market chaos: York students given digs in Hull

Lots of sign-ups for Socialist Students at freshers

Youth climate protests are back


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 September 2021   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Blairite:

triangleUnite votes to cut affiliation fee to Labour

triangleNon-fiction: Left Out - the inside story of Labour under Corbyn

triangleBlairite general secretary elected - Starmer's takeover of Labour Party consolidated

triangleReverse Unison's undemocratic nomination of Blairite Starmer

triangleTony Blair launches manifesto to sabotage a Corbyn government

Labour:

triangleFighting the cuts at the ballot box in Liverpool

triangleUnite union policy conference

triangleHousing crisis: Tories and Labour are not on our side

triangleThe 'winter of discontent' - When workers could take no more

Union:

triangleNapo AGM 2021: Union placed on war footing

triangleReinstate Gary Evans! Llanelli postal workers strike

triangleUnite and fight for 30,000 permanent DWP jobs

Capitalist:

triangleSave the planet from capitalist climate catastrophe

triangleAustria: Chancellor Kurz resigns amid allegations of corruption

Labour Party:

triangleBakers' union disaffiliates from Labour

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

25/10/21

Analysis and editorials

How to save the planet

20/10/21

Austerity

People's Budgets - a socialist answer to cruel cuts

20/10/21

Climate change

COP26: Trade unions must fight for a socialist transition to renewables

20/10/21

Socialist

Fight for a socialist recovery

20/10/21

NHS

Tories to blame for GP crisis

20/10/21

Planning

Container delay carnage makes the case for socialist planning

20/10/21

Homelessness

Fight to defend homelessness services

20/10/21

Nationalisation

Socialist nationalisation not bailouts for the bosses

20/10/21

Climate change

Save the planet from capitalist climate catastrophe

13/10/21

Government

Cynical Johnson government no friend of workers

13/10/21

Pay

Workers need a pay rise

13/10/21

Pay

Fight for the pay rise we deserve

13/10/21

Covid

News in brief

13/10/21

Government

Social care funding needed now

13/10/21

Climate change

Build a mass working-class climate movement with socialist policies

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2021

September 2021

August 2021

July 2021

June 2021

May 2021

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999