Dave Vincent admits to having problems grasping the CPGB’s position on some issues - relating mainly to the kind of party that should be established and the nature of socialism (Letters, January 21). He seems to agree that “all Marxists should unite in one party with a programme along the lines suggested by the CPGB” - in other words, a Marxist party. But he adds that the CPGB “frowns upon the setting up of any other party of the working class, which it always derides as being a ‘Labour Party mark two’”.
Well, if the left did unite in a single, democratic-centralist Marxist party, I can assure you we would more than welcome that! Our central organisational aim is the achievement of such a party and we will work in any political grouping where we believe that cause can be advanced. Over the years our comrades have participated in Arthur Scargill’s Socialist Labour Party, the Socialist Alliance, Respect and Left Unity, to name just a few - and, of course, well before Jeremy Corbyn became leader, the Labour Party itself.
Comrade Vincent says: “... the CPGB stubbornly persists in urging all Marxists/socialists to join the Labour Party and fight within it to win members to Marxism”. Not necessarily “all Marxists/socialists” and not just to “win members to Marxism”: the aim is to aid the transformation of Labour into a positive force - what we call a united front of the whole class, in which the central goal of a Marxist party might be advanced. Labour will remain a site for struggle towards that goal unless the right succeeds in doing what Tony Blair could not - transform the party in the opposite direction, into the equivalent of the US Democrats.
The point is, Labour is still a “bourgeois workers’ party”, to use Lenin’s phrase - a party based on the working class and its organisations, but whose leadership has always limited its aims to running, at best, a more worker-friendly form of capitalism. It was established and continues to be financed by the trade unions, so what does Dave suggest? That the unions pull the plug and set up an alternative? I think he would agree that the result would most certainly be a “Labour Party mark two”. Or should we give up on the unions as well as Labour? Surely we ought to fight within all trade unions to ensure they act in the interests of their members - not just in the workplace, but through political organisation, including within the Labour Party.
Dave claims that Labour is “really the party of the trade union general secretaries, who vote on Labour policies often with little recourse to their national executives (much less their members) or in defiance of them”. He seems to believe that it is precisely affiliation to Labour that prevents effective, coordinated union action. But he has got that completely wrong. The reason why the unions’ militancy is so very limited is to be found in their very nature: their existence as organisations operating on a permanent basis under capitalism produces a large layer of trade union bureaucrats, whose interests constantly pull them towards complicity with the current order.
He writes: “It would not be a ‘Labour Party mark two’ if a new workers’ party stood parliamentary candidates committed to an average worker’s wage and subject to instant recall.” Those are worthy aims, but they do not in themselves define the nature of such a party. If it has not adopted a Marxist programme, then what is the point? It might be worth participating in, but in doing so our aim would remain the creation of a Marxist party.
Comrade Vincent correctly recognises the problems caused by the ultimate failure of the Russian Revolution and the “authoritarian dictatorships” that arose in the so-called ‘socialist states’. That has produced huge disillusionment and the mass rejection of genuine socialism. But he says: “I have also never seen socialism defined.” Well, he could start by looking at the column which appears in every issue of the Weekly Worker: ‘What we fight for’. The final two points read:
“Socialism represents victory in the battle for democracy. It is the rule of the working class. Socialism is either democratic or, as with Stalin’s Soviet Union, it turns into its opposite.”
“Socialism is the first stage of the worldwide transition to communism - a system which knows neither wars, exploitation, money, classes, states nor nations. Communism is general freedom and the real beginning of human history.”
Dave Vincent calls on the CPGB to return to the sectarian wilderness in the pursuance of a new workers’ party. We have heard all this before. Hopefully, the Provisional Central Committee will have the good sense to continue to resist this kind of pressure, which is placed on it from time to time.
Although Dave Vincent makes some important points, calling for the CPGB to withdraw from Labour isn’t one of them. The CPGB’s pro-Labour orientation is 100% correct at this time. In the coming - or rather unfolding - crisis a united front with Labour is precisely what is needed. Later, when sections of the elite begin to abandon capitalism we can turn the united front with Labour into a broader popular front of the Dimitrov type, with all those who oppose fascism and are breaking from capitalism, as the energy crisis brings about the gradual collapse of the global economy.
My only criticism of the CPGB is that the comrades are, in my opinion, making a little sectarian mistake themselves. This takes the form of seeking to win Labour Party members over to ‘Marxism’, when in fact what the left should be seeking to do is win people over to the idea of a democratic socialist society. With most Labour Party members, this is pushing against an open door. Failure to do this may in part explain why out of the 350,000 new members that joined under Corbyn, less than 100 have joined radical groups.
This brings me back to the important points Dave Vincent makes, when he criticises totalitarian-type dictatorships, police states, purges and mass murder, which previous communist rule sometimes led to. In certain extreme situations purges may be necessary, but I get the point Vincent is making. Part of the reason for what he describes is due to Marxism raising dictatorship into a principle. For comrades like Lenin, for instance, dictatorship was the very essence of Marxism. He argued that no-one could be considered a Marxist unless they upheld this principle.
However, it is clear that Marx, and Marxists in general, confuse the term ‘dictatorship’ with the need for ‘state coercion’ when necessary. Lenin even explained dictatorship as rule unregulated by any law. So it is clear where the abuse of political power came from in most previous communist regimes. Since there can be no dictatorship without a dictator, Marx unwittingly opened the door to the abuse of political power. This is one of the flaws contained in the doctrine at the political level. So why didn’t Trotsky criticise Marx and Lenin, when he was denouncing Stalin? This goes for the radical left in general, including the Socialist Party of Great Britain, which has spent decades telling us how awful Leninism is. Displaying some good sense, all the previous communist regimes broke with Marx’s terminology, and quietly dropped the term ‘dictatorship’ in the definition of the state. Even Pol Pot in Kampuchea did, although the latter’s extreme ultra-leftism ensured that there was no difference in practice.
Furthermore, the Marxist dictatorship principle, in the way understood by Marx and Lenin, like all dictatorships, is a step backwards from bourgeois liberal democracy. This has given liberal conservatives the ammunition to claim that socialism and fascism are the same. The left should only ever resort to dictatorship as a temporary measure in the sense of the Roman republic.
Another point about the Marxist dictatorship principle is that it paves the way for bureaucratic socialism, which then turns into the totalitarianism referred to by Dave Vincent, and inevitably leads to undermining civil society. One of the remarkable facts of the Gorbachev campaign to democratise the Soviet Union was that his group was so restricted by the Leninist heritage that they even failed to consciously arrive at the idea of a democratic socialist society, preferring instead terms like perestroika and glasnost. Had they openly campaigned for a democratic socialist society and mobilised support on this basis in their challenge to bureaucratic socialism, most probably the Communist Party would still be in power - or at least in a stronger position in the duma than at present.
Basically, the left has a choice, which is: bureaucratic or democratic socialism. Related to this choice is the most important lesson that the left needs to learn and it is that, without democracy the socialist revolution leads automatically to bureaucratic socialism, and a new ruling caste separated from the masses. One of the biggest misunderstandings of Trotsky was the teaching that the Soviet bureaucracy resulted from Stalinism, backwardness and socialism in one country. The truth is that bureaucracy is mostly a product of modern society, and is an international tendency within socialism and the trade union movement. In other words, bureaucratic socialism is possible and inevitable even in advanced capitalist countries in the absence of socialist democracy.
Without democracy all socialist revolutions have a tendency towards bureaucratic rule, a tendency which may be reinforced when large sections of the former supporters of capitalism begin to abandon ship and move over to the left. In Britain, at least, the left doesn’t need a new workers party: what we need to do is promote the idea of democratic socialism.
Campaign for Democratic Socialism
Seal the borders
The Covid-19 new variant is causing havoc among the population, damage to the economy and distress to the rest of the world. It is believed this new mutation, which developed in the British Isles, maybe up to 30% more dangerous, when it comes to survival rates, and up to 70% more transmissible. A truly deadly development.
The British government is so concerned that it is considering even more stringent restrictions to curb the transmission of the virus. But they are not alone in being wary of this newly mutated virus, as the Netherlands have now banned all flights and ferries from Great Britain and Northern Ireland, while other European and world countries may be about to do the same.
As an island nation, the United Kingdom had a greater opportunity than most to seal the borders and protect its people. Ireland had that same chance and both have failed their people miserably. When we compare death rates and infection rates with other island nations, such as Australia and New Zealand, we can see just how poor Britain and Ireland’s response has been. Shame on both governments - putting private profit before public safety.
There are currently three known Covid 19 variant strains, that are of concern to the whole world: the British, the South African and the Brazilian mutated variants. All three nations are governed by those in power, who follow free-market capitalism, which places money on the altar of commerce and puts the needs of the economy before the needs of the people.
The incompetence of the British government and others can be seen most blatantly in its opposing narratives on travel. While lockdown restrictions on travel are now enforceable by the police, for non-essential journeys, culminating in near-empty roads, by contrast, the skies are still full of travellers, arriving from nearly every destination in the world, into London, the regions and beyond.
While the government is finally demanding negative Covid-19 tests on all arriving passengers, it has still not developed a workable track and trace system, nor effective monitoring for all those charged with self-quarantine for up to 10 days on arrival. While the government delays the full implementation of an effective lockdown and continues to allow a deadly mutated Covid strain to ravage through society, the public perception can only be one of abysmal failure, when it comes to its handling of the pandemic.
While the skies remain open and the Channel Tunnel and ports operational for non-essential travel, this pandemic will not come under control in the United Kingdom and the lockdown could become semi-permanent, along with some of the restrictions.
While bacteria yearly grow more resistant to antibiotics, God help us, if a variant Covid 19 strain develops which is immune to the vaccine.
I want to express my thanks and appreciation for Tom Conwell’s article regarding the Equality and Human Rights Commission report on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party (‘Simplistic and one-sided’, January 14). I don’t know Tom Conwell, I have not heard of him before, so I hope this doesn’t come back to bite me.
The article is extremely calm, measured, rational and balanced and therefore a completely devastating take-down of the EHRC report and, by strong implication, of the EHRC itself. For the EHRC not to have operated with an actual definition of anti-Semitism is extraordinary and the fact that none of its staff had themselves received “practical training on how to handle anti-Semitism complaints” is breathtaking. The fact that in 2019 over half of all the allegations of anti-Semitism came from one individual is also extraordinary and revealing. I think we know who this might be. Does this one individual - or their paid staff - trawling through the social media accounts of thousands of party members attempting to identify ‘transgressions’ not indicate a degree of obsessiveness, even harassment?
If you need to actively search for ‘transgressions’ in the first place - as opposed to them being reported by others - it hardly seems others have found them to be particularly offensive or anti-Semitic. And, of course, the total number of complaints clearly is much greater than the actual number of complainants. To have looked at 70 cases of alleged anti-Semitism and to have just found two cases of unlawful behaviour is extraordinary and in fact completely demolishes the claim that anti-Semitism is in any way a major issue within Labour. Even in the two cases, from what comrade Conwell describes, for me the cases are at best ‘unproven’.
With the Rossendale councillor, it seems her communication was clumsy and unsubtle. She did not go out of her way to demonstrate her line of attack was not related to the Jewishness of the targets, as opposed to their being extremely rich, powerful and large capitalists. Regarding the more well known case, I and many people were irritated by the individual touring TV and radio stations and continually going on about ‘Hitler, Nazis and Zionism’, but being precise and analytical, I have seen no evidence of anti-Semitism in any of their comments or statements: ie, hostility to Jews as Jews, whether by religion, culture or ethnicity.
I loved comrade Conwell’s final remarks and I think they really hit the nails on the head (that is not an allusion to a certain event in Roman-occupied Palestine): “Meanwhile we in the Labour Party end up with a general secretary who appears scared out of his wits that this shoddy report will be held up to the daylight and everyone will see the holes. I wonder why.”
Terror and Islam
I was somewhat surprised - or rather amazed - to see the responses to Maren Clarke’s letter (January 7) in last week’s Weekly Worker (Letters, January 21). Reading her letter as a whole I cannot see how anybody could misinterpret her letter as a call for ‘Islamisation’. Yes, she writes, as Ted Hankin quotes, “Islamic fundamentalism or western values? On balance I will take Islamic fundamentalism!” Maren can, I’m sure, defend herself, but this to me reads as a somewhat ironic critique of western “values” rather than some call for religious conversion.
Similarly her reference to “white folk”, which Hankin seems to take as some sort of anti-white racism (as, I’m sure, any Trump supporter would see it). There is a lot of anti-Muslim hatred in the world, or at least in that part of the world with a lot of “white folks” (though one mustn’t forget Modi’s India, Xi’s China and Myanmar, for instance, too).
But why the “white folks”? Well, there’s all those refugees and asylum-seekers pouring into Europe - coincident perhaps with all the bombings of their native countries, carried out by the carriers of ‘western values’. I don’t think that Islamic State would have existed, beyond perhaps a few dozen members, if it was not for the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US (with the enthusiastic assistance of Tony Blair, among others).
Perhaps ‘Christian folks’ would be preferable? There’s lots of them with ‘western values’. Donald Trump surely perfected the ‘Close your eyes with your hand on the bible’ look and Joe Biden is a good Catholic. Trump even saw Muslims pouring in from Mexico, hiding amongst those other refugees from ‘western values’ (better to try and hide from them in the belly of the beast than face the death squads at home). Biden’s had plenty of practice at killing Muslims, of course, as Barack Obama’s sidekick.
Julie Holland accuses Maren of “promoting Islam”, which seems, to me, to be a little eccentric at the least. “Go live in Saudi Arabia,” she writes. I’m sure that her judgment of the place is entirely justified, but is this perhaps more to do with ‘western values’ than with excessive Islamisation? Britain and France took the lead in divvying up the Middle East, after getting rid of the Ottomans following World War I. Their main aim was to keep compliant tribal leaders in their monarchies; Muslims in Saudi Arabia have had precious little say in the matter since.
But have the governments of the US and the UK had better friends? Anywhere? Who else has poured billions of dollars into their corporations for weapons - mostly used nowadays to kill their fellow Muslins in Yemen? This may change if the oil price stays low, but certainly Saudi Arabia has been the long-time recipient of ‘western values’, delivered by anyone with some up-to-the-minute arms to sell.
The terrorism in the world today comes mostly from the leading lights of imperialism. It is combated by some with counterproductive spasms of terrorism - counterproductive because whatever short term satisfaction they may get is certain to make their situation worse rather than better. No, we need a class response to imperialism and its diversions of religion and colour; that is what communists fight for anyway.
As readers may have gathered, I disagree with both Ted Hankin and Julie Holland, but I will close with a piece that I copied from a Facebook entry of a friend of mine about five years ago:
“A German Muslim scholar’s answer in a live TV show seen by millions of people. He was asked about terrorism and Islam, and he said:
“1. Who started the first world war? Was it Muslims?
2. Who started the second world war? Was it Muslims?
3. Who killed about 20 million of Aborigines in Australia? Was it Muslims?
4. Who sent the nuclear bombs to Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Was it Muslims?
5. Who killed more than 100 million Indians in North America? Was it Muslims?
6. Who killed more than 50 million Indians in South America? Was it Muslims?
7. Who took about 180 millions of African people as slaves, of whom 88% died and were thrown in the Atlantic Ocean? Was it Muslims?
“No, they weren’t Muslims! First, you have to define terrorism properly. If a non-Muslim does something bad, it is a crime, But if a Muslim commits the same act, he is a terrorist.
“First remove this double standard, then come to the point!”
Need to fight
I feel that Julie Holland protests too much. I wasn’t promoting Islam as the solution in my letter of January 7 - I was just counterpoising it with ‘western values’. You know: those values that are literally choking the planet and causing mass extinction. Those values that enslaved half the world and promoted international terrorism. Instead of nursing in the Saudi oil state, you should try nursing in central Africa and you will get an idea of the impact of western bourgeois liberalism. But, just for clarity, I am an atheist and support communism!
And also did you read Ted Hankin’s original knuckle-dragging letter, in which he spewed out far-right generalisations about Muslims and put nothing into any context whatsoever (December 17)? My reply to his letter was simply using the same methodology as Hankin, but throwing it back in his white face: “For people like Clarke there is an easy solution: go live in Saudi Arabia.”
But the point is to fight, isn’t it? And which country should you go and live in? Cuba, Bolivia? Or am I to imply that you are well suited to Great Britain and all it stands for and therefore have no need to move anywhere?
“It would be excessively dogmatic to deny Ireland some kind of revolution in this period [1920-40s],” says Marc Mulholland (‘A conservative revolution’, January 14). But he has a go at it anyway and then goes on to give us his ultra-conservative view and the very damaging effect revolutions have had on human history - not least in Ireland, where nothing of that kind really happened at all. His views on this are on a par with the likes of Eoghan Harris, columnist in Ireland’s Sunday Independent, in his forthright opposition to the revolutionary tradition of Ireland and its women revolutionaries in particular.
Harris, the greatest of all Irish political chameleons, was a ‘Marxist’ theoretician in Sinn Féin-the Workers Party (1977) and its predecessor, official Sinn Féin (1970). Today it goes by the name of the Workers Party - a self-declared Marxist-Leninist party in Ireland north and south. Then Harris vehemently rejected Marxism, which he never understood or practised in the first place as a secret member of the Workers Party. He has variously been an advisor to John Bruton before he became taoiseach, as well as to the Ulster Unionist Party and Bertie Ahern. Likewise, he has repudiated Irish republicanism to pitch to his loyalist base in the north, and to the west-Brit Blueshirt wing of Fine Gael in the south.
He has no doubt that Irish society is primarily to blame for the appalling misogyny revealed in the ‘mother and baby scandal’: rural Ireland and the strong farmers worried about inheritance are responsible, and only then are we to criticise church and state - victims themselves, because they merely reflected the social attitudes of these monsters.
Likewise, Harris continually pours scorn on the Easter Rising and Sinn Féin as a threat and insult to northern unionists. A letter in The Sunday Independent on January 17 from one Paddy McEvoy goes one better. One truth he wishes to outline is “the (mistaken) judgment of the 1916 Easter insurrectionists in forcing Ireland out of the Union/Empire … had this sundering not happened as it did, could the Catholic church have got away with the reign of overlordship it exerted?”
The exact opposite is the truth. The Ireland that produced this appalling misogyny was not caused by the revolutionary era between 1916 and 1922, in which great heroic men and women were in the forefront. The mass excommunications of the IRA from the Catholic church by the likes of Cork’s bishop, Danny Coholan, had a negligible effect on the struggle - not all priests obeyed the bishops on this anyway. However, the counterrevolution of the civil war (June 1922-May 1923) put him and the likes of the clerical fascists, Cardinal MacRory and Archbishop McQuaid of Dublin, in the saddle.
The terrible Kerry atrocities and the summary executions of the 77 prisoners of war, like Erskine Childers in November 1922 and Rory O’Connor, Liam Mellows, Richard Barrett and Joe McKelvey in December, were surely on British urgings. Mellows was surely the greatest of all the internationalist revolutionary republican socialists, potentially even greater than James Connolly, had he lived, for his understanding of the unity of the cause of labour with the cause of Ireland.
Mulholland manages to avoid all mention of the militant Irish working class like the 1913 Dublin lockout and dismisses James Connolly as “prominent within labour nationalism”, whatever that is. He makes no mention of the soviets that appeared in several places in Ireland in those revolutionary years; between 1921 and 1922 they arose in Monaghan, Limerick, Waterford, Cork, Tipperary, Dublin and Killarney, amongst other places. Wikipedia reports that the Daily Herald carried articles on Waterford’s ‘Red Guards’, stating that a red flag floated over the town hall, and a sort of ‘Red Guard’ was established under three transport leaders, giving the impression that the city was undisputedly ruled by a soviet during the time of the strike. The Irish working class sought to emulate the great Russian Revolution, which Mulholland dismisses so contemptuously. Nothing as revolutionary as this happened in Britain.
Likewise, Éamon de Valera is “instrumental rather than heroic in his attitude to armed struggle; focused on Irish sovereign statehood rather than social transformation; favouring ascetic self-improvement and cultural pride for the farmer more than the avant-garde explorations of the bohemian intellectual”. So, the heroic ‘Dev’ of 1916-23 is directly equated with the later counterrevolutionary (in 1936 he outlawed the IRA and imposed that appalling constitution in 1937) to his death in 1975. Many equate the early revolutionary, Joe Stalin, before 1924 with the later mass-murdering monster of 1934 to his death in 1953. This is all based on minute examinations of early manifestations of both men’s character flaws rather than seeing their degeneration as a reflection of counterrevolutionary defeats of the original revolutions, which all revisionist historians wish to prove were never progressive in the first place.
That defeat forged Ireland’s reactionary social attitudes to women - reflected from the altar by priests naming and shaming women, while always leaving the fathers of the children off scot free.
The Ireland of the gombeen man, the pork-barrel politicians and the tyranny of the church with its sex-abusing priests (a small minority, of course, but defended on high and so long above the law) stems not from 1916, but from its defeat in the civil war. These revolutionary men and women understood what was coming and that was why they fought against it so heroically.
Draw the line
I understand that the Weekly Worker has a policy of publishing divergent points of view, particularly on its letters page, on the grounds that “only through rigorous, no-holds-barred debate can ideas be tested and if necessary amended, qualified or corrected”, as stated on the website. In principle I think such a policy is welcome, but some recently published letters have caused me to wonder where the editors would draw the line.
I didn’t expect, for example, to encounter praise of fascists (Letters, January 7), accusations of “anti-white racism” (January 21), or the promotion of a flagrantly racist Islamophobic conspiracy theory (December 17). Would the Weekly Worker, in the name of open debate, publish advocacy of genocide? Would it publish pieces which were openly homophobic or misogynistic on that basis? I think it would be a grossly stupid mistake to do so.
The same goes for the letters I refer to above, all of which express views flatly incompatible with emancipatory politics in general and the interests of the international working class in particular. A commitment to freedom of expression does not oblige a socialist publication to promote reactionary politics.
Bitter winter protests are becoming something of a habit among Indians under the rule of Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government. Farmers are protesting against three proposed new laws, which will remove a guaranteed minimum price for certain crops.
The 2020 farmer protests, which initially began in June, have passed into 2021 with no clear end in sight. On November 26 2020, an estimated 250 million workers were said to have participated in a general strike organised by 10 trade unions in support of the farmer protests. The ‘Delhi Chalo’ (‘Let’s go to Delhi’) movement began a few days afterward on November 30, with large groups of demonstrators amassing at two of the main roads into Delhi.
The protestors are made up of 500 separate organisations and backed by seven political groups, including the Indian National Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Shiromoni Akali Dal. Where previous protests have withered, these seem to not only be enduring longer, but have now reached a 10th rounds of talks. The most recent round was marked by a (now rejected) offer from central government to place an 18-month stay on the three farm laws. Fears of a loss of livelihood fuel the movement, as farmers claim they will not be able to compete with Tata and Adani, the corporations which they say stand to gain most from the laws. In recent weeks many of the ruling Baharata Janata Party leaders in the state of Punjab have either defected to the opposing Akali Dal party or have withdrawn their backing for the BJP until the farmers protests are met.
The previous winter, protestors marched to voice their opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, which has been widely criticised for discriminating against refugees on religious grounds - Muslims in particular. This was also accompanied by a general strike on January 8 2020 that was said to have numbered over 250 million workers. The strikers were opposing the privatisation of national assets, such as airlines, railways and petroleum refineries.
While political commentators discuss whether prime minister Modi has met his match in the shape of the farmers, supporters of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protestors are providing entertainment in the form of protest songs and kabaddi matches. The Lohri festival, which welcomes the new harvest season, was held on January 13, but, instead of the traditional celebrations, with traditional songs and dances alongside a bonfire, effigies of the laws were placed on the bonfires in villages all over the Punjab.
The relative success of this campaign is due in part to the level of organisation amongst the agitators, who have had a long-term strategy from the off. Similar to the Occupy movement of 2011, the farmers have set up camps with canteens and toilets to facilitate a swell in numbers. The intention of the farmers’ leaders has been to maintain a peaceful protest until their demands are met. However, violence broke out during the January 26 Republic Day celebrations. Since then, the government has deployed 15 paramilitary companies to support the security forces, increasing the potential for violent clashes.
Following the scene in the capital on January 26, farmers’ leaders openly denounced the violence, but, irrespective of this, legal action has been taken against them - a development that is sure to stifle the protests’ aims. Furthermore the fake news media plagues the entire subcontinent and can be utilised as propaganda.
All is not lost, however, Modi’s government has clearly lost international support. Joe Biden is said to have appointed up to 20 Indian Americans to his administration, but has ensured that none are linked to the BJP or other far-right parties. Furthermore, the US media has begun reporting more frequently on the protests, placing added pressure on the Indian government.
In my opinion, there is every chance that the Indian left will succeed in repealing the three anti-farmer laws. However, it will be a victory on only one battlefront, while the war being waged by billionaire corporations like Tata and Adani continues. Nonetheless, the farmers’ campaign so far has been admirable and worthy of international solidarity and support.
Over to George
As Socialists we know we have to encourage fellow workers to join our movement and hopefully into one party. The Weekly Worker on a regular basis has letters on this subject. As a member of Unison I try to encourage my workmates to join that particular union. I explain to them the benefits of being a member, etc. The most usual response I get is: ‘What’s the point? The unions are out of touch.’
I, of course, try to tell them otherwise, but in my heart I know it’s true. The leaders of all unions are on mega bucks and a welcome pack contains a union card and a leaflet for cheaper car insurance (which isn’t that cheap)! Unison also has a holiday camp in Devon with a discount of up to 50% for low-paid members. Wow, now you’re talking - until you realise that a week in August can cost you around £1,000 with the discount.
So do we continue with the trade unions and the Labour Party or is it time to join a new working class party? Maybe we should give George Galloway a chance.
Kent Socialist Alliance