Not another Labour Party!

THERE CAN be no doubt that the contents of Militant have improved recently. Most marked has been the inclusion of analytical articles, particularly those dealing with the globalisation of modern capitalism.

For example Lynn Walsh (March 17) writes of “the world-wide integration of financial markets largely outside the control of national economies”. By way of illustration she states, “The global turnover on foreign exchanges in April 1992 averaged $880 billion per working day.”

What is also marked is the failure to draw the necessary internationalist working class conclusions throughout the rest of the paper. Socialism in one country, as Militant Labour will (at least formally) agree, has always been impossible. How is it then that ML - even in 1995 - calls for the nationalisation of “the top 200 monopolies”? It is not only capitalist financial transactions that cut across national frontiers. Each monopoly’s production is almost without exception located in several countries, which means that nationalisation of existing plants will not result in the ability to manufacture finished commodities by any single state.

While the failure to tackle this glaring contradiction within Militant’s pages is clearly a serious omission, ML’s orientation in Scotland is even more opportunistic. Precisely in order to give the organisation a tartan cover, it is known north of the border as Scottish Militant Labour. Its local election address for the Hilltown in Dundee complains that “Scottish Labour councils invested millions in English private water companies”.

Such concessions to nationalism are entirely harmful to the interests of the working class. Only through organisational unity can we defeat our common enemy, the British capitalist state, and it is the duty of Scottish revolutionaries to stress this simple fact on every possible occasion.

The Dundee manifesto makes one other very serious ‘mistake’: “Only SML would refuse to carry out council cuts,” it says. “Only SML fights for socialism. All the other parties promote the anarchy of free market capitalism.” This conveniently ‘overlooks’ the fact that communists are contesting the Hilltown ward.

The difference is that the Communist Party of Great Britain is standing on a revolutionary, as opposed to a reformist, platform. While Militant: what we stand for dreams of speedily implementing socialism “through an Enabling Bill in parliament”, communists say that the state power of the bourgeoisie must be smashed through armed revolution.

While ML says that what is needed is a genuinely socialist, reformed Labour Party, we say that only a communist party can carry through a socialist revolution. Despite Militant’s claims to the contrary, the Labour Party has always been a bourgeois workers’ party, created by Liberals and trade union bureaucrats to campaign for capitalist reform.

It adopted the much vaunted clause four in 1918 as a sop to workers who were identifying in increasing numbers with the Russian Revolution, which the Labour Party always opposed. It never had the slightest intention - let alone the ability - to implement clause four’s contents. Militant’s editorial (March 17) correctly states that Labour’s dropping of the clause means that it “no longer holds out even the hope, in the future, of radical anti-capitalist policies” and opens the door to its mutation into a copy of the US Democratic Party.

So when will ML make the break and give up all hope of edging its way back into Labour? When will it stop worrying about ‘splitting the vote’ in marginal wards and constituencies for fear of letting in the BNP, Tories, SNP or Liberals?

What the working class desperately needs is the building of a genuine anti-capitalist alternative to all the bourgeois parties. Standing for election ourselves is an excellent way to promote that idea.

But a genuine alternative must tell workers the truth: we can only liberate ourselves through revolution, carried through on a world scale, not through reforming parliament or the local council.

Alan Fox