Socialist Party documents

British Perspectives: a Socialist Party congress 2011 document


British Perspectives

A Socialist Party 2011 Congress document

This document was first drafted in mid-January 2011 by the Socialist Party executive committee; subsequently some amendments were incorporated during a discussion at the party's congress on 26-28 February 2011.


1) 2010 was a tumultuous year both in Britain and worldwide, a year marked by a deepening of the crisis of world capitalism and big social movements, characterised in Britain by the movement of the students.

Europe has also been convulsed by strikes and demonstrations. We are now in an era of mass demonstrations, of popular participation by the working class which is seeking to stop the capitalist juggernaut from destroying all their past gains.

2) Nor is the struggle restricted to the 'old countries' of Europe. We have witnessed a general strike in India and this year opened dramatically with the explosion on the streets of the youth in Tunisia, Algeria and the Middle East, prompted by big food price rises and soaring unemployment.

The Tunisian dictator Ben Ali, the Ceauşescu of the sands, has been forced to flee with his corrupt family; appropriately, only the equally corrupt and feudal Saudi Arabian regime would offer him refuge.

Nicholas Sarkozy refused him refuge in France, despite - or because of - the close historical ties to Tunisia, which was a colonial possession of France until independence in 1956.

At first the French Foreign Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie had offered France's security forces to help defend the Ben Ali regime but Sarkozy quickly changed direction and even gave "resolute support" to the "popular uprising", something we can be sure he would not do in his own backyard!

3) When the crisis broke in 2007-08, we predicted that an era of revolution and counter-revolution would unfold in its wake. Superficial capitalists considered this a Marxist 'exaggeration'.

Even some in our own ranks were dubious about such conclusions. Yet bourgeois commentators now speak about 'revolution' in Tunisia, some even about a 'domino effect' of this in the Middle East; in other words, a series of revolutions in the region that could, in time, result from the impulse provided by the masses in Tunisia.

The Mubarak regime in Egypt, the Algerian government, the Jordanian Hashemite dictatorship, the Assad regime in Syria, as well as the corrupt Gulf States, all tremble in fear that 'their' Arab masses will seek to emulate their Tunisian brothers and sisters.

4) 2010 is as nothing compared to what is likely to unfold in 2011. It is the enduring crisis of world capitalism that allows us to draw this bold conclusion.

We only touch briefly on the crisis of world capitalism in the following section because it is dealt with fully in the World Perspectives document which was discussed, voted on and accepted at the Committee for a Workers' International World Congress in December last year.