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[Politics] Labour reinstates Jeremy Corbyn after suspension over antisemitism remarks

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AlastairWatts

Members
Nov 1, 2009
495
High Wycombe
The same tune was played a hundred years ago when the choice was the Tories and the Whigs - parliamentary representation is structured and designed to protect the interests of the ruling elites. Voting once every 4 or 5 years for tweedledum or tweedledee is not democracy.


Corbyn's election as LP leader came out of the blue - a monumental f*ck-up by the Blairites who were so bland that they wanted a punch-bag to make the leadership election interesting. It blew up spectacularly in their faces. close to 500,000 people joined the LP as a result of the campaign to election Corbyn as leader and in its aftermath and - contrary to what Mellor said in a later response to me - it was not an 'army of student activists'. My family members and my in-laws living in Britain - all in their 60s - joined the LP to support Corbyn and his policies. The last time they did anything remotely political was 30 years ago when they boycotted the poll tax.




Starmer isn't a social democrat - he is a down the line tory - and the UK isn't 'left of centre' - it has two Tory parties - yet between 60%-75% of the population openly support socialist policies (as demonstrated in opinion poll after opinion poll).


Of course it was a coup - the fact that Corbyn resigned is irrelevant (although he should have dug in and fought the Blairites) - the Blairites spent 4 years attacking Corbyn, manufacturing fake scandals, repeatedly attempting to remove him as leader and doing their utmost to undermine his support among the public.

and yet another election defeat - or go for Blairite policies (without the illegal wars) and Labour to win?
What is the difference between a Tory government implementing Tory policies or a Blairite government implementing Tory policies apart from the colour tie they wear?

Working class people do not need pale pink Tories being 'tougher on benefits than the Tories' - they need the socialist policies that they support implemented and to do that a new mass party of working class people needs to be built in the UK (and in Ireland and many other countries as well).

Srewth. That's all straight out of the Daily Worker. Have you been 'away' for the last twenty years?
 


Harry Wilson's tackle

Harry Wilson's Tackle
Oct 8, 2003
40,554
Faversham
Harry, it kind of intrigues me that people still characterize themselves as Labour or Conservative (or whatever) supporters in this day and age. One would imagine politics would be much more a la carte than the old days.You mentioned you still voted Labour last time around despite having little time for Corbyn. I would imagine there are many Tories who feel the same about Boris. I wonder if the rise of important single issues will break party loyalty down further. [MENTION=33329]Jolly Red Giant[/MENTION] sounds like he doesn’t much care for Starmer’s Labour Party. I just can’t imagine being a supporter of any party anymore which is reflected in my voting history. My youth was spent in the Young Socialists and yet at the last election I voted Tory because of Brexit. I wonder if being a party supporter is more a badge of identity than anything else ?

Very good questions. I joined the labour party when Mr Tony ditched clause 4, and left when he decided to use state money to subsidise religious schools. I rejoined when Starmer became leader. It has never been part of my identity to support labour. But I'd prefer to live in a society that protects the weak. I prefer that trajectory, although I can see the advantages of a right wing dictatorship. The trouble with the latter is it would be run by untrustworthy self-serving shits. During the era of Thatcher excess, I found this sort of thing appealing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVEf9NefHAo
 

Weststander

Members
Aug 25, 2011
53,790
Withdean area
Very good questions. I joined the labour party when Mr Tony ditched clause 4, and left when he decided to use state money to subsidise religious schools. I rejoined when Starmer became leader. It has never been part of my identity to support labour. But I'd prefer to live in a society that protects the weak. I prefer that trajectory, although I can see the advantages of a right wing dictatorship. The trouble with the latter is it would be run by untrustworthy self-serving shits. During the era of Thatcher excess, I found this sort of thing appealing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVEf9NefHAo

Genuine question, why do you prefer the economic road taken by the likes of John Smith, Blair and quite probably Starmer, over (keeping Corbyn out of this) that favoured by McCluskey, Lansman and a blast from the past Hatton?
 
D

Deleted member 2719

Guest
The irony of this post :clap2: :dunce:

A party that just keeps giving. Even when out of government In the worst situation anyone could govern in, they still manage to hit the headlines, media tarts.

I have said it before the labour brand is damaged for good. The division is huge.
'Mind the gap'.
 

Beach Hut

Brighton Bhuna Boy
Jul 5, 2003
70,607
Living In a Box
Very good questions. I joined the labour party when Mr Tony ditched clause 4, and left when he decided to use state money to subsidise religious schools. I rejoined when Starmer became leader. It has never been part of my identity to support labour. But I'd prefer to live in a society that protects the weak. I prefer that trajectory, although I can see the advantages of a right wing dictatorship. The trouble with the latter is it would be run by untrustworthy self-serving shits. During the era of Thatcher excess, I found this sort of thing appealing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVEf9NefHAo

Good old Billy Bragg, a great socialist living in a £6m farm house in Dorset, up the workers my arse
 

Billy the Fish

Technocrat
Oct 18, 2005
17,145
Haywards Heath
Working class people do not need pale pink Tories being 'tougher on benefits than the Tories' - they need the socialist policies that they support implemented and to do that a new mass party of working class people needs to be built in the UK (and in Ireland and many other countries as well).

In your (incredibly biased) opinion of course.

Thankfully that's not the opinion of the electorate.
 


Harry Wilson's tackle

Harry Wilson's Tackle
Oct 8, 2003
40,554
Faversham
Genuine question, why do you prefer the economic road taken by the likes of John Smith, Blair and quite probably Starmer, over (keeping Corbyn out of this) that favoured by McCluskey, Lansman and a blast from the past Hatton?

Well, first off, stealing from the rich and giving it to the poor is an idiotic and absurd agenda. The rich become poor and useless, and the poor just spend without thought. Who then creates the wealth? I could go on about the council house rich, in Portsade in the 70s, but that's for another time.

I'm not sure how I fit into lazy labelling (I'm sure Swanny will help me out, later), but I am all in favour of innovation, seizing the day, minimum paperwork, rewards for the brave and clever...

At the same time, I favour open access to greatness: active citizenship, which means allowing and helping people get on, and rewarding employees, with money and opportunity. Incentivising people to engage. And protecting those who don't have the skills or mindset to push on.

I grew up in a time where social class and power elites stank the place out. Of the folk you list, the hard left are one of the remaining power elites. When I grew up the conservative hegemony was another, and bigger power elite. They have evolved somewhat, but they still suck more than they blow. Landsman and his drinking buddies haven't evolved. They suck, but on dry straws from empty bowls.

I am against elites and closed shops, whether it be the Bullingdon boys and the Eton mafia, or union leaders demanding tools be dropped at the drop of a hat.

There are all sorts of clever things we could be doing to protect the entrepreneur, and the working man and woman (for want of a better concept). But it will be decades before we move on from the two part adversarial system, to facilitate this.

After all, we can't even get VAR to work, yet. FFS.

But we will.

I'm an optimist and have an expectation that the most successful organism to organise a successful (on the whole) society will push on. Party politics is what we have, now. Perhaps in the future we may do things differently. When we do it will be like nothing we can imagine right now. Just like the music being made today would blow the tiny mind of anyone who had listened to nothing more modern than the Beatles.

One thing I can guarantee: no lizards in tin foil hats will be involved :thumbsup:
 

Weststander

Members
Aug 25, 2011
53,790
Withdean area
Well, first off, stealing from the rich and giving it to the poor is an idiotic and absurd agenda. The rich become poor and useless, and the poor just spend without thought. Who then creates the wealth? I could go on about the council house rich, in Portsade in the 70s, but that's for another time.

I'm not sure how I fit into lazy labelling (I'm sure Swanny will help me out, later), but I am all in favour of innovation, seizing the day, minimum paperwork, rewards for the brave and clever...

At the same time, I favour open access to greatness: active citizenship, which means allowing and helping people get on, and rewarding employees, with money and opportunity. Incentivising people to engage. And protecting those who don't have the skills or mindset to push on.

I grew up in a time where social class and power elites stank the place out. Of the folk you list, the hard left are one of the remaining power elites. When I grew up the conservative hegemony was another, and bigger power elite. They have evolved somewhat, but they still suck more than they blow. Landsman and his drinking buddies haven't evolved. They suck, but on dry straws from empty bowls.

I am against elites and closed shops, whether it be the Bullingdon boys and the Eton mafia, or union leaders demanding tools be dropped at the drop of a hat.

There are all sorts of clever things we could be doing to protect the entrepreneur, and the working man and woman (for want of a better concept). But it will be decades before we move on from the two part adversarial system, to facilitate this.

After all, we can't even get VAR to work, yet. FFS.

But we will.

I'm an optimist and have an expectation that the most successful organism to organise a successful (on the whole) society will push on. Party politics is what we have, now. Perhaps in the future we may do things differently. When we do it will be like nothing we can imagine right now. Just like the music being made today would blow the tiny mind of anyone who had listened to nothing more modern than the Beatles.

One thing I can guarantee: no lizards in tin foil hats will be involved :thumbsup:

Thank you for the reply, interesting stuff. Far more to that than simply taxation to cut the purported finite cake up, you’ve thought through how to motivate people who want it.
 

Is it PotG?

Well, is it?
Feb 20, 2017
19,441
Sussex by the Sea
Screenshot_20201119-211206.png
 


dejavuatbtn

Members
Aug 4, 2010
6,010
Henfield
Trump has opened the doors to a carefree attitude to public service. Johnson, Corbyn, Patel .... the list goes on. They appear to be becoming unaccountable and we have few options on replacing any of them.
 

Jolly Red Giant

Members
Jul 11, 2015
2,272
Harry, it kind of intrigues me that people still characterize themselves as Labour or Conservative (or whatever) supporters in this day and age. One would imagine politics would be much more a la carte than the old days.You mentioned you still voted Labour last time around despite having little time for Corbyn. I would imagine there are many Tories who feel the same about Boris. I wonder if the rise of important single issues will break party loyalty down further. [MENTION=33329]Jolly Red Giant[/MENTION] sounds like he doesn’t much care for Starmer’s Labour Party. I just can’t imagine being a supporter of any party anymore which is reflected in my voting history. My youth was spent in the Young Socialists and yet at the last election I voted Tory because of Brexit. I wonder if being a party supporter is more a badge of identity than anything else ?

It is a bit of a misnomer to talk in political terms about 'this day and age' being difference to 'the old days'.

In the UK apart from the post-war period up to Thatcherism in the 1980s the vast majority of people did not identify themselves with a particular party. Up to WW1 sections of the upper class and upper middle-class identified as Tory or Whig based on whether their wealth came from land/property or industry/finance. This differential has diminished dramatically since WW2 with the Tories now representing the entire spectrum of wealth (with the LibDems solely a pro-EU party). The reason for party identity in the post-war period was the result of the establishment of the welfare state (and in particular the NHS). If you supported the NHS, publicly owned utilities, social housing, benefits etc - you were a LP supporter - if you were in favour of privatisation and anti-benefits - you were a Tory. Thatcherism dismantled these distinctions - not because of her approach - but because of the failure of the LP (and trade union leadership) to launch a mass movement of opposition to Thatcherism with Kinnock expending most of his energy attacking the left in his own party as he tried to make it safe to become a second string Tory party. In particular the actions of the LP leadership under Kinnock in attacking the NUM during the miners strike and attacking the socialist council in Liverpool (and other left-leaning councils in different parts of the country) undermined working class loyalty to the LP - thousands of socialists were expelled and the membership of the LP nose-dived. There was a further opportunity for the LP leadership to take the fight to Thatcher with the poll tax - but it was left to socialist activists and a mass boycott movement of more than 10million strong to defeat the poll tax and bring down Thatcher. Kinnock and the LP leadership demonstrated their ineptitude by losing to Major in 1992. The same scenario played out across all the developed world and much of the developing world.

The LP was born out of working class struggle at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was a mass movement based on the trade unions and encompassed all strands of left-wing opinion defending the interests of working class people. Clause Four was included in the LP constitution - a clause that supported the establishment of a socialist society (and a clause that was emasculated by Blair in 1995). The collapse of the Triple Alliance during the miners strike in 1921 and the trade unions delivering defeat from the jaws of victory during the General Strike of 1926, facilitated the embedding of liberal reformists at the head of the LP - a leadership that was to collapse under the split by Ramsey McDonald in 1931.

The hay day for social democracy was from 1945-1980 - not just in Britain, but globally. In the aftermath of WW2 the various imperialist interests led by the US, attempted to avoid a re-run of the revolutionary upheavals after WW1 - in this they were ably abetted by Stalin and the Comintern who were just as terrified of revolutionary movements. The imperialist powers pumped massive amounts of liquidity into the global economy primarily through the establishment of welfare states or elements of the welfare state in Europe. The social democratic parties played a role of managers of the welfare state and it was during this period that many working class people came to identify with the parties of Labour (LP in Britain, PS in France, SPD in Germany, PS in Italy, SAP in Sweden and so on. By the 1970s the post-war boom had collapsed into a series of economic crises and the right-wing parties globally shifted economic policies to monetarism and then neo-liberalism. Thatcher wanted a return to 'Victorian values' where the rich ruled all the the plebs knew their place. The onslaught on jobs, wages, working conditions and the welfare state has been unabated since as global society has become more unequal and massive amounts of wealth are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands to the point where 62 billionaires own half of all global wealth.

Social democracy is a construct of parliamentarianism - a mechanism (just one mechanism - others include the media, the police and judiciary and the armed forces) for maintaining the rule of the elites. Social democracy could only function when the ruling classes were willing to pump money (not their money - but the finance available to governments) into the economy to fund social programmes - once the global economy could no longer keep the money flowing social democracy outlived its function and was dispensed with. What now became vital was an release valve of allowing people to vote for a replacement part to the tory parties of the developed world, while ensuring that right-wing policies would continue to be implemented and that is now the primary function of the likes of the LP in Britain.

The vast majority of people do not identify as Tory or Labour anymore because the LP no longer represents the interests of working class people who make up more than 90% of the population in Britain. The rich identify as Tories because they know which side their bread is buttered on - the working class have been looking for a political alternative for the past 35 years and the LP is not providing it. Mass parties of the working class emerge from struggle - they emerge from mass movements on the streets and in work places - and trade unions play a crucial role in their development. Mass movements on the streets have been taking place - the struggle for abortion rights in Ireland, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Argentina and today in Poland - the mass movements protesting violence against women in Spain, Latin America, and countries in Eastern Europe - the mass movements for LGBTQ+ rights across the globe - the mass movements demanding action on climate change, BLM and anti-racism movements etc. Many of these movements have been successful - but crucially they have been disjointed and lack cohesion. This is because of the absence globally of mass political parties representing working class people. It is like a spiral staircase where the working class find themselves in the same situation striving for political representation as they were 120 years ago but in a more industrialised and technological society. For the former social democracies - they view these issues as separate and individual - as personal rights for individual people - what is known as identity politics. The likes of Starmer will support these 'social issues' as a way of distinguishing himself and the LP from the Tories - like most of the rest of the LP MPs, he is a political animal who wants to further his political career by gaining political power. The reality is that all of these issues are class issues - they impact on working class people to an immeasurably greater degree than they do on those with wealth. Rich people could always get abortions - to get out of situations of domestic violence - staying in the closet and using their money to live their individual lifestyle - building climate proof compounds in New Zealand while millions in Bangladesh are permanently flooded out of their homes by rising sea waters etc.

The problem for the ruling elites and the political equivalents of Kier Starmer is that there is a bubbling discontent under the surface of society - it is like a pressure cooker building up steam - and at a certain time that pressure will blow, just like it did in the aftermath of WW1. The Blairites who control the trade unions in Britain will be unable to contain it - and the likes of Starmer will not know how to respond. The old saying of 'history repeating itself' has elements of truth - history doesn't actually repeat itself - but historical epochs do and we are now entering a new epoch of class struggle. It is impossible to outline a timeframe for these developments - but they are likely to happen sooner rather than later because of the scale of the various global crises - and the former social democracies will be swept aside in what will be an avalanche of opposition to neo-liberalism. It is possible to accelerate this process - for example in Britain, if Corbyn, McDonnell and the other 35 MPs who are members of the Socialist Campaign Group of LP MPs announced tomorrow that they were leaving the LP and establishing a new working class party - called on UNITE, the RMT, the PCS, the CWU and other trade unions to disaffiliate from the LP (those who are affiliated) and to join this new party - and that this new working class party would put socialist policies at its head - then they could potentially build a party very quickly that would be larger membership wise than the Tories and the Blairites combined. This party would not necessarily will an election in the immediate future - but that has never been the sole objective of socialist parties - their purpose is to be the political representation for working class people in communities, in work places and on the streets. This won't happen at this stage because Corbyn and McDonnell has shown that they are weak-kneed and lack a spine when it comes to confronting the Blairites - they spent 4 years trying to compromise with the Blairites while the Blairites repeatedly stabbed Corbyn in the back - and they are still following the same path today despite Corbyn's suspension. The end result is that the building of a new party of working class people will be a more protracted process than it should necessarily be.
 
May 1, 2016
10,330
Oxton, Birkenhead
It is a bit of a misnomer to talk in political terms about 'this day and age' being difference to 'the old days'.

In the UK apart from the post-war period up to Thatcherism in the 1980s the vast majority of people did not identify themselves with a particular party. Up to WW1 sections of the upper class and upper middle-class identified as Tory or Whig based on whether their wealth came from land/property or industry/finance. This differential has diminished dramatically since WW2 with the Tories now representing the entire spectrum of wealth (with the LibDems solely a pro-EU party). The reason for party identity in the post-war period was the result of the establishment of the welfare state (and in particular the NHS). If you supported the NHS, publicly owned utilities, social housing, benefits etc - you were a LP supporter - if you were in favour of privatisation and anti-benefits - you were a Tory. Thatcherism dismantled these distinctions - not because of her approach - but because of the failure of the LP (and trade union leadership) to launch a mass movement of opposition to Thatcherism with Kinnock expending most of his energy attacking the left in his own party as he tried to make it safe to become a second string Tory party. In particular the actions of the LP leadership under Kinnock in attacking the NUM during the miners strike and attacking the socialist council in Liverpool (and other left-leaning councils in different parts of the country) undermined working class loyalty to the LP - thousands of socialists were expelled and the membership of the LP nose-dived. There was a further opportunity for the LP leadership to take the fight to Thatcher with the poll tax - but it was left to socialist activists and a mass boycott movement of more than 10million strong to defeat the poll tax and bring down Thatcher. Kinnock and the LP leadership demonstrated their ineptitude by losing to Major in 1992. The same scenario played out across all the developed world and much of the developing world.

The LP was born out of working class struggle at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was a mass movement based on the trade unions and encompassed all strands of left-wing opinion defending the interests of working class people. Clause Four was included in the LP constitution - a clause that supported the establishment of a socialist society (and a clause that was emasculated by Blair in 1995). The collapse of the Triple Alliance during the miners strike in 1921 and the trade unions delivering defeat from the jaws of victory during the General Strike of 1926, facilitated the embedding of liberal reformists at the head of the LP - a leadership that was to collapse under the split by Ramsey McDonald in 1931.

The hay day for social democracy was from 1945-1980 - not just in Britain, but globally. In the aftermath of WW2 the various imperialist interests led by the US, attempted to avoid a re-run of the revolutionary upheavals after WW1 - in this they were ably abetted by Stalin and the Comintern who were just as terrified of revolutionary movements. The imperialist powers pumped massive amounts of liquidity into the global economy primarily through the establishment of welfare states or elements of the welfare state in Europe. The social democratic parties played a role of managers of the welfare state and it was during this period that many working class people came to identify with the parties of Labour (LP in Britain, PS in France, SPD in Germany, PS in Italy, SAP in Sweden and so on. By the 1970s the post-war boom had collapsed into a series of economic crises and the right-wing parties globally shifted economic policies to monetarism and then neo-liberalism. Thatcher wanted a return to 'Victorian values' where the rich ruled all the the plebs knew their place. The onslaught on jobs, wages, working conditions and the welfare state has been unabated since as global society has become more unequal and massive amounts of wealth are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands to the point where 62 billionaires own half of all global wealth.

Social democracy is a construct of parliamentarianism - a mechanism (just one mechanism - others include the media, the police and judiciary and the armed forces) for maintaining the rule of the elites. Social democracy could only function when the ruling classes were willing to pump money (not their money - but the finance available to governments) into the economy to fund social programmes - once the global economy could no longer keep the money flowing social democracy outlived its function and was dispensed with. What now became vital was an release valve of allowing people to vote for a replacement part to the tory parties of the developed world, while ensuring that right-wing policies would continue to be implemented and that is now the primary function of the likes of the LP in Britain.

The vast majority of people do not identify as Tory or Labour anymore because the LP no longer represents the interests of working class people who make up more than 90% of the population in Britain. The rich identify as Tories because they know which side their bread is buttered on - the working class have been looking for a political alternative for the past 35 years and the LP is not providing it. Mass parties of the working class emerge from struggle - they emerge from mass movements on the streets and in work places - and trade unions play a crucial role in their development. Mass movements on the streets have been taking place - the struggle for abortion rights in Ireland, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Argentina and today in Poland - the mass movements protesting violence against women in Spain, Latin America, and countries in Eastern Europe - the mass movements for LGBTQ+ rights across the globe - the mass movements demanding action on climate change, BLM and anti-racism movements etc. Many of these movements have been successful - but crucially they have been disjointed and lack cohesion. This is because of the absence globally of mass political parties representing working class people. It is like a spiral staircase where the working class find themselves in the same situation striving for political representation as they were 120 years ago but in a more industrialised and technological society. For the former social democracies - they view these issues as separate and individual - as personal rights for individual people - what is known as identity politics. The likes of Starmer will support these 'social issues' as a way of distinguishing himself and the LP from the Tories - like most of the rest of the LP MPs, he is a political animal who wants to further his political career by gaining political power. The reality is that all of these issues are class issues - they impact on working class people to an immeasurably greater degree than they do on those with wealth. Rich people could always get abortions - to get out of situations of domestic violence - staying in the closet and using their money to live their individual lifestyle - building climate proof compounds in New Zealand while millions in Bangladesh are permanently flooded out of their homes by rising sea waters etc.

The problem for the ruling elites and the political equivalents of Kier Starmer is that there is a bubbling discontent under the surface of society - it is like a pressure cooker building up steam - and at a certain time that pressure will blow, just like it did in the aftermath of WW1. The Blairites who control the trade unions in Britain will be unable to contain it - and the likes of Starmer will not know how to respond. The old saying of 'history repeating itself' has elements of truth - history doesn't actually repeat itself - but historical epochs do and we are now entering a new epoch of class struggle. It is impossible to outline a timeframe for these developments - but they are likely to happen sooner rather than later because of the scale of the various global crises - and the former social democracies will be swept aside in what will be an avalanche of opposition to neo-liberalism. It is possible to accelerate this process - for example in Britain, if Corbyn, McDonnell and the other 35 MPs who are members of the Socialist Campaign Group of LP MPs announced tomorrow that they were leaving the LP and establishing a new working class party - called on UNITE, the RMT, the PCS, the CWU and other trade unions to disaffiliate from the LP (those who are affiliated) and to join this new party - and that this new working class party would put socialist policies at its head - then they could potentially build a party very quickly that would be larger membership wise than the Tories and the Blairites combined. This party would not necessarily will an election in the immediate future - but that has never been the sole objective of socialist parties - their purpose is to be the political representation for working class people in communities, in work places and on the streets. This won't happen at this stage because Corbyn and McDonnell has shown that they are weak-kneed and lack a spine when it comes to confronting the Blairites - they spent 4 years trying to compromise with the Blairites while the Blairites repeatedly stabbed Corbyn in the back - and they are still following the same path today despite Corbyn's suspension. The end result is that the building of a new party of working class people will be a more protracted process than it should necessarily be.

I think that you are too keen to write off people with whom you disagree and that comes from your lack of self doubt. You see betrayal and weakness everywhere which will ultimately prevent you from working with others to achieve the outcomes you wish for. History tells us that this kind of dogma does not ever build a consensus so you will never get the opportunity to implement your ideas in a society bigger than a commune. This is the reason Starmer and not Corbyn is now Labour leader.
 

AK74

Members
Jan 19, 2010
716
It is a bit of a misnomer to talk in political terms about 'this day and age' being difference to 'the old days'.

In the UK apart from the post-war period up to Thatcherism in the 1980s the vast majority of people did not identify themselves with a particular party. Up to WW1 sections of the upper class and upper middle-class identified as Tory or Whig based on whether their wealth came from land/property or industry/finance. This differential has diminished dramatically since WW2 with the Tories now representing the entire spectrum of wealth (with the LibDems solely a pro-EU party). The reason for party identity in the post-war period was the result of the establishment of the welfare state (and in particular the NHS). If you supported the NHS, publicly owned utilities, social housing, benefits etc - you were a LP supporter - if you were in favour of privatisation and anti-benefits - you were a Tory. Thatcherism dismantled these distinctions - not because of her approach - but because of the failure of the LP (and trade union leadership) to launch a mass movement of opposition to Thatcherism with Kinnock expending most of his energy attacking the left in his own party as he tried to make it safe to become a second string Tory party. In particular the actions of the LP leadership under Kinnock in attacking the NUM during the miners strike and attacking the socialist council in Liverpool (and other left-leaning councils in different parts of the country) undermined working class loyalty to the LP - thousands of socialists were expelled and the membership of the LP nose-dived. There was a further opportunity for the LP leadership to take the fight to Thatcher with the poll tax - but it was left to socialist activists and a mass boycott movement of more than 10million strong to defeat the poll tax and bring down Thatcher. Kinnock and the LP leadership demonstrated their ineptitude by losing to Major in 1992. The same scenario played out across all the developed world and much of the developing world.

The LP was born out of working class struggle at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was a mass movement based on the trade unions and encompassed all strands of left-wing opinion defending the interests of working class people. Clause Four was included in the LP constitution - a clause that supported the establishment of a socialist society (and a clause that was emasculated by Blair in 1995). The collapse of the Triple Alliance during the miners strike in 1921 and the trade unions delivering defeat from the jaws of victory during the General Strike of 1926, facilitated the embedding of liberal reformists at the head of the LP - a leadership that was to collapse under the split by Ramsey McDonald in 1931.

The hay day for social democracy was from 1945-1980 - not just in Britain, but globally. In the aftermath of WW2 the various imperialist interests led by the US, attempted to avoid a re-run of the revolutionary upheavals after WW1 - in this they were ably abetted by Stalin and the Comintern who were just as terrified of revolutionary movements. The imperialist powers pumped massive amounts of liquidity into the global economy primarily through the establishment of welfare states or elements of the welfare state in Europe. The social democratic parties played a role of managers of the welfare state and it was during this period that many working class people came to identify with the parties of Labour (LP in Britain, PS in France, SPD in Germany, PS in Italy, SAP in Sweden and so on. By the 1970s the post-war boom had collapsed into a series of economic crises and the right-wing parties globally shifted economic policies to monetarism and then neo-liberalism. Thatcher wanted a return to 'Victorian values' where the rich ruled all the the plebs knew their place. The onslaught on jobs, wages, working conditions and the welfare state has been unabated since as global society has become more unequal and massive amounts of wealth are concentrated in fewer and fewer hands to the point where 62 billionaires own half of all global wealth.

Social democracy is a construct of parliamentarianism - a mechanism (just one mechanism - others include the media, the police and judiciary and the armed forces) for maintaining the rule of the elites. Social democracy could only function when the ruling classes were willing to pump money (not their money - but the finance available to governments) into the economy to fund social programmes - once the global economy could no longer keep the money flowing social democracy outlived its function and was dispensed with. What now became vital was an release valve of allowing people to vote for a replacement part to the tory parties of the developed world, while ensuring that right-wing policies would continue to be implemented and that is now the primary function of the likes of the LP in Britain.

The vast majority of people do not identify as Tory or Labour anymore because the LP no longer represents the interests of working class people who make up more than 90% of the population in Britain. The rich identify as Tories because they know which side their bread is buttered on - the working class have been looking for a political alternative for the past 35 years and the LP is not providing it. Mass parties of the working class emerge from struggle - they emerge from mass movements on the streets and in work places - and trade unions play a crucial role in their development. Mass movements on the streets have been taking place - the struggle for abortion rights in Ireland, Mexico, USA, Brazil, Argentina and today in Poland - the mass movements protesting violence against women in Spain, Latin America, and countries in Eastern Europe - the mass movements for LGBTQ+ rights across the globe - the mass movements demanding action on climate change, BLM and anti-racism movements etc. Many of these movements have been successful - but crucially they have been disjointed and lack cohesion. This is because of the absence globally of mass political parties representing working class people. It is like a spiral staircase where the working class find themselves in the same situation striving for political representation as they were 120 years ago but in a more industrialised and technological society. For the former social democracies - they view these issues as separate and individual - as personal rights for individual people - what is known as identity politics. The likes of Starmer will support these 'social issues' as a way of distinguishing himself and the LP from the Tories - like most of the rest of the LP MPs, he is a political animal who wants to further his political career by gaining political power. The reality is that all of these issues are class issues - they impact on working class people to an immeasurably greater degree than they do on those with wealth. Rich people could always get abortions - to get out of situations of domestic violence - staying in the closet and using their money to live their individual lifestyle - building climate proof compounds in New Zealand while millions in Bangladesh are permanently flooded out of their homes by rising sea waters etc.

The problem for the ruling elites and the political equivalents of Kier Starmer is that there is a bubbling discontent under the surface of society - it is like a pressure cooker building up steam - and at a certain time that pressure will blow, just like it did in the aftermath of WW1. The Blairites who control the trade unions in Britain will be unable to contain it - and the likes of Starmer will not know how to respond. The old saying of 'history repeating itself' has elements of truth - history doesn't actually repeat itself - but historical epochs do and we are now entering a new epoch of class struggle. It is impossible to outline a timeframe for these developments - but they are likely to happen sooner rather than later because of the scale of the various global crises - and the former social democracies will be swept aside in what will be an avalanche of opposition to neo-liberalism. It is possible to accelerate this process - for example in Britain, if Corbyn, McDonnell and the other 35 MPs who are members of the Socialist Campaign Group of LP MPs announced tomorrow that they were leaving the LP and establishing a new working class party - called on UNITE, the RMT, the PCS, the CWU and other trade unions to disaffiliate from the LP (those who are affiliated) and to join this new party - and that this new working class party would put socialist policies at its head - then they could potentially build a party very quickly that would be larger membership wise than the Tories and the Blairites combined. This party would not necessarily will an election in the immediate future - but that has never been the sole objective of socialist parties - their purpose is to be the political representation for working class people in communities, in work places and on the streets. This won't happen at this stage because Corbyn and McDonnell has shown that they are weak-kneed and lack a spine when it comes to confronting the Blairites - they spent 4 years trying to compromise with the Blairites while the Blairites repeatedly stabbed Corbyn in the back - and they are still following the same path today despite Corbyn's suspension. The end result is that the building of a new party of working class people will be a more protracted process than it should necessarily be.

1,645 words. A contender for the longest reply in a single post in the history of NSC.

Bravo.
 

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