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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain


An ill wind…

THEY SAY it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good and that’s certainly true of last week’s local elections. Labour kicked the Tories out of three of their London strongholds but fared badly in the rest of the country. Dissident Tories turned, as was to be expected, to the Liberal Democrats and the Greens to vent their anger at rising prices and soaring inflation, whilst the solid vote for the Scottish nationalists and Sinn Féin’s stunning victory in northern Ireland only adds to Johnson’s grief.

Posing as America’s number one ally and strutting around eastern Europe like some latter-day Churchill helped Johnson avoid the flak over Partygate, but this third-rate jingoism was never going to be enough to rally the troops on polling day. Although the drive to dump Johnson will focus on Johnson’s antics that show how thoroughly unfit he is to hold high office, the real motives of the grandees who want Johnson out revolve around foreign policy and how the dominant section of the ruling class sees the future of British imperialism in the immediate future.

They would like to march side-by-side with Biden and still call the shots in Europe. They like the sound of the ‘Anglosphere’ that has taken the place of the ‘British way’ in the fantasies of those who believe that British imperialism is punching well below its weight in the imperialist league. But none of this is going to happen under Johnson.

Johnson is not Biden’s partner, and he never will be. He neither has the sense nor the will to resolve the northern Ireland border crisis. Appeasing the northern Irish bigots created the problem in the first place and now it can only be resolved by accepting the terms of the European Union, the Dublin government and the USA.

In the Johnson camp some argue that there’s no obvious successor to the Tory leader at the moment. That’s true enough as far as the Brexiteers are concerned. Rishi Sunak is out of the running for the time-being and Liz Truss is clearly a non-starter if her performance as foreign secretary is anything to go by. But there’s plenty in the Remainer camp who are ready to take his place – Jeremy Hunt being one of them.

The knives are certainly out for Boris and it’s not looking good for Starmer either. Even the Blairites concede that he’s simply not up to the job of leading the Labour party. He’s a hopeless campaigner who’s got nothing to say, and although that hasn’t disqualified other Labour leaders in the past it certainly rules out Starmer in the run-up to the next general election.

In theory the unions should set Labour’s agenda. They certainly fund virtually all Labour’s activities. Union policy is set at national conference but in practice the senior full-time officers and the factions that put them there call the shots. This will only change when the rank-and-file members restore mass democracy to the union movement and ensure that the party that was founded to represent their views actually does so.

At the end of the day, whomever the Tories pick to lead them is a matter of indifference to us. Workers have no say in Tory internal elections that ultimately reflect the divisions within the ruling class itself. Workers, on the other hand, do and must have a say in what goes on in Labour’s.