Phil Burton-Cartledge is a self-confessed champion of Eduard Bernstein’s revisionism. Comrade Burton-Cartledge is now singing the praises of someone who is about as right-wing as it is possible to get while pretending to have any association with the labour movement.
Here is what the once upon a time diehard ‘Leninist’ wrote about his new hero, followed by the rightwing bullshit of his hero:
- “If I was to single out one for special interest, it would be Howie’s Corner. One does not have to agree with the politics to recognise the interesting alternative perspective he gives on the balance of forces within PCS and, IMO, a correct critique of the general strike posturing of much of its leadership.” [Phil Burton-Cartledge]
- “How far McCluskey and Serwotka will get at the TUC council remains to be see, but as Left Futures puts it, there is a strong possibility of a self-inflicted defeat that could push back even further the strength of the unions at a time when we could well do without it.The trouble with Marxists is they forget that the last time there was a general strike, the unions lost. Nothing they say or do suggests any different outcome this time. These “comrades” spend far too much time reading books by dead Russians whose ideas ultimately failed anyway.Now is the time to start re-thinking the way trade unions and the Labour Party conduct their affairs. The old days are over, time for new ideas.” [Some witch hunting dunderheed called Howie]
Ken Loach’s appeal for Left Unity should be seized by all socialists. TUSC is important and Ken can’t seriously dream of excluding the SWP and SP from any new attempt to re-enfranchise the working class and all the oppressed, all those who want an electoral alternative to Ed Miliband. Socialists do need a membership organisation, and if Ken proves instrumental in persuading TUSC of this obvious fact, then I for one couldn’t be happier. However…
Socialists need to be clear on some of our bottom lines. Notwithstanding what some of those now posting on the Left Unity website are arguing, socialists are not in the business of trying to make capitalism work. The Eduard Bernsteins, the Neil Kinnocks, the Tony Blairs have had their day.
What socialists need today is a party committed to the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange. You can’t control what you don’t own. And private profiteers cannot be allowed to hold on to their veto when it comes to public investment in socially necessary infrastructure. We need production for social need, not private greed. We demand genuine democracy. And that is simply not possible so long as some of our children get a head start in the game of life. We need a level playing field for everyone. Capitalism, like every previous class society makes that impossible. What else do we need?
We need mass strikes, political strikes, regardless of the fact that they are illegal. Where the chains of capitalism are forged, there must the be broken. We are many, they are few. The working class withdraws its labour and even the least class conscious starts to feels their collective strength. Such displays of collective power also inspires those too old, or too young, to have a job, as well as the infirm, those who have been tossed on the scrapheap by an unforgiving system based on the greed of the ultra-rich. Strikes encourages the unorganised to get a piece of the action: to become organised themselves. Mass strikes exert a powerful attraction on the middle classes, shows them an alternative escape from economic crisis to that posed by the right-wing authoritarianism, stops them falling victim to the reactionary scapegoating of the richest 1%: homophobia, racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, etc.
The fact that previous mass strikes haven’t always succeeded requires explanation. No one claimed otherwise. The masses were betrayed back in 1926, just as they were in 1984-85. They were betrayed by the heroes of Phil Burton-Cartledge. We won’t get fooled again.