Saturday, 19 July 2014
The character of the labour party and its contradictions
Whilst I was a member of the socialist party I was taught to hate the labour party and that I still do till this day. I was a member of the labour party for at time yet fell out of love with them very quickly indeed in my naive days of not knowing much on politics they seemed the best place to defeat the Tories and indeed they still may be if you solely rely on electoral politics and simply beating the other side. But I have now left the labour party and spent some time in the socialist party formally the militant tendency who were hammered by the Labour party leadership again and again until the main editorial board of the militant paper were expelled. I joined the socialist party hoping for a good analysis of the party I’d just left and on the whole I agreed with a lot of it at first holding a dismissive attitude towards the Labour party . But was the socialist party’s analysis of the labour party correct?? The one they still stand by today which leads them to set up such sectarian projects like the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition due to the fact they have written off the labour party and now consider it a fully capitalist party. But to my mind the Labour party has never been a fully socialist party even the late Tony Benn could recognise this. For militant the predecessor of the socialist party the labour party was always described as a capitalist workers party and indeed I do still think this is the case despite everything. It is very evident to me looking back at Militants history and how it became militant labour and now the socialist party it seems to me from someone now on the outside that Militant and its leadership almost overnight decided the labour party was no longer a mass body of the working class as soon as its main figures were expelled. Almost like a bad ex lover it set upon hating its ex party and throwing all sorts of accusations its way despite following in its old tradition itself. Indeed every time the labour party do not come out and support strikes you will see no end of socialist party and TUSC representatives mostly with the twitter follower ship of Dave Enlist condemning the labour party for not backing strikes. Yet history will show us that the labour party or should I say the leadership of the party are not known for backing strikes and indeed in the biggest strike in British history the famous general strike of 1926 which the likes of the Socialist party heap such inspiration on did not back this strike eithr. Indeed you can look all through history did the labour party which still at the time contained the likes of the Militant back the miners strikes in the 1980’s ?? No they did not and there was not the scorn poured on labour at the time like today. The fact is despite labours awfulness and don’t get me wrong I am not fan of the labour party what so ever and would not think of rejoining at all the analysis of this party is crucial for understanding where we are and where we need to go as a class. The labour party has always had a capitalist leadership and a working class base all be it today it has been hollowed out and its democratic structures eroded. Don’t get me wrong I get all that and is no longer place for mass workers struggle but thinking back to a time when the labour party was ever worth struggle is a fantasy dreamt up by various trotskyists who like to cover being in the labour party by looking to recruit. The union link is key for many if that link ever goes that will be the end but until it is closed off for good which I highly doubt as it keeps up the idea that labour can still be for workers even if it wont ever be now still is a distraction for workers looking to reclaim labour. I don’t believe the labour party to be able to be reclaimed as simply due to the fact it was never ours to reclaim. It’s always been a huge contradiction and to win we must look past the labour party itself for change in my opinion. Lets not beat around the bush Trotsky always said for his followers to join mass organisations of the working class to spread their ideas and gain influence and this was all the militant wherein the labour party for. Any pretence to say they supported the labour party are nonsense they clearly only were a part of it for their own ends as was most Trotskyites who ever join such mass organisations they are in it for themselves over the working class itself and their own eventual goals. They may sell you bullshit but the truth is always out there to find. The labour party will be a feature in the coming period as like it or not it is still about and needs to be dealt with as a organisation whether you see it as a vehicle for change or not it cant be wished away.