Marxists need to join Labour immediately. But there’s no point doing that unless we know exactly why we’re doing it and what our long term strategy is.
I have been trying to explain my thinking for some time, from long before the general election. But I need to narrow down my focus to TUSC comrades sufficiently to accelerate this process. There is no time to waste because, despite what today’s MSM consensus now is, Jeremy Corbyn’s enemies could still topple him – even if that is only by unconstitutional means – in other words effectively splitting the party, losing in the process almost everything apart from the overwhelming majority of the PLP.
Depriving Corbyn of most members of parliament long before the left is ready to deal with such a split is something we have to take into consideration so that we can head it off as best we can.
For such a parliamentary split to take place, the PLP would resort to pretexts such as Corbyn’s refusal to grovel to the CIA, NSA, MI6, GCHQ etc over Venezuela, for example. Alternatively, Theresa May and Amber Rudd could exploit corrupt undercover cops of the Bob Lambert and Freddie Scappaticci variety. The latter would, naturally, perjure their way to framing innocent Muslims as their brothers and sisters once framed innocent Irish Catholics during ‘the Troubles’.
Theresa May and Amber Rudd could provoke riots in the hope of giving cops – and quite possibly the army too – ample excuses to impose an extremely violent authoritarianism. Streets flowing with blood?
Streets flowing with blood? Who the hell wants that? Not me. TUSC needs to join Labour immediately in order to stop society descending into that, courtesy of the state provoking counterproductive violence. If we do see such violence, make no mistake that a key cause of it will be agent provocateurs posing as part of the left, doing that specifically to frame us.
The reality is riots and terrorism are the price society pays for the lack of collective radical alternatives for the victims of exploitation and oppression. Alternatives do exist, obviously. Unfortunately, the British Establishment pays (vastly overpays) Tory editors and so-called ‘journalists’ at the BBC, SKY News, Channel4 News, ITV and C5 to keep the voters in the dark about these alternatives. And the Blairite PLP – amply assisted by so-called Labour Party ‘commentators’ – conspire with the profiteering parasites to keep voters in the dark.
The only way to get the left’s alternatives aired in the mass media is by deselecting unrepentant Tory entryists who refuse to tolerate the expressed wishes of their CLP’s. This censorship is insidious, and it works. But it is only able to work due to divisions of the left. Let’s cut out the cancer of sectarianism, comrades.
Marxists should join Labour openly. But there’s no point describing ourselves as ‘Leninists’ or ‘Trotskyists’ no matter how much we agree with a lot of their writings and what they did. ‘Leninism’ and ‘Trotskyism’ are terms associated with splits in, respectively, the Second and then the Third [Stalinised] Internationals. I propose that TUSC stops justifying splits from broad churches such as Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. There are several reasons I reject such splits.
Firstly, Jeremy Corbyn wants to unite the left, and he has more than earned his right to get us all into his one big tent. Secondly, first-past-the-post imposes on socialists compromises of a specific sort. Should we secure a different electoral system, then splits may become justified once more. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Second, it takes two to tango. Socialists denied membership of Labour are thereby liberated to let voters decide who the real splitters are. Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t want a split. But he has yet to free Labour’s membership from the ballot-rigging McCarthyites who went to the bourgeois courts to try to stop Corbyn even being on the ballot paper. Any individual member of TUSC denied his/her absolute right to participate in the broad church is free to do their own thing. And Labour voters [and, in secret, members too] may decide that any split vote is the fault of Tom Watson etc. The ball is in the Blairites’ court, not ours.
Thirdly, Marxists can’t use the alleged impossibility of a parliamentary road to socialism as a pretext for splitting the political organizations of the working class. We can’t do that because we are dealing with a situation our heroes never faced. Lenin and Trotsky were fighting for the hearts and souls of a constituency that broadly knew what socialism was. The details weren’t all pinned down, but everybody knew that it related to the expropriation of the expropriators: abolition of private property in the means of production, distribution and exchange.
Since corrupt war criminal Tony Blair robbed Labour of that Clause Four principle printed on the party cards of every single party member, the BBC, SKY News, Channel4 News, ITV, C5 has tippexed out the justification for it from the airwaves. Anyone digging up the past is demonised as a violent extremist for not bowing down before the purity of the surplus value vampires bleeding humanity dry in all four corners of the Earth.
Labour MPs no longer even feel a need to question the legitimacy of workers being endlessly exploited due to accidents of birth. This wretched state of affairs permeates the entire PLP, including most so-called Corbynite MPs. Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t yet tried to restore Labour’s 1918 commitment to the abolition of capitalist exploitation, but today’s members feel it in their bones. And TUSC needs to stand alongside these people, shaping debates at every level of the party on what to do about a tiny elite whose values corrupt democracy while legitimising the ripping up of health and safety measures responsible for the likes of Grenfell.
Marxist groups following an ‘entryist’ strategy won’t last five minutes. ‘Internal documents’ will be leaked by police spies. And ‘secret meetings’ will be taped and videoed with Jeremy Corbyn held responsible for conspiratorial work which he neither knew of nor approved. The days of excessive caucusing have long gone, comrades. GCHQ, MI5 and Special Branch has reduced the 57 varieties of Trotskyite alphabet soup to an unedible porridge. Time for the left to enthusiastically open up our meetings, and our minds. Let’s join Labour to learn as well as to teach. Let’s be generous in our praise of others, especially Jeremy Corbyn. Let’s shake hands, offer and accept olive branches when offered to us. Let’s have truces. Let’s unite against our common enemies: the capitalist exploiters and the most outrageous anti-democratic aspects of their state.
Can those of us who cast doubt in a parliamentary road to socialism coexist in a single party with those who are much more naive? In my opinion, we certainly can.
In the first place, until we are agreed what this socialism is that we are fighting for, it’s an academic question as to how we can get there. In the process of debating this question, we can tackle the question of self-defence, and we can debate how the capitalist state resorts to counterrevolutionary violence to stop the people imposing their rule by means of democracy. Remember Chile? Remember Margaret Thatcher’s chum General Pinochet? Remember what NATO is doing in Egypt today? Remember how MI5 told Tony Benn they’d assassinate him if he was elected Prime Minister? Why should we expect Tony Benn’s favourite MP – Jeremy Corbyn – to be given the kid glove treatment any more than Benn, or Salvador Allende got? Let Marxists debate these questions. And let’s do this concretely, not cut ourselves off from Labour members when they express no wish to be isolated from us.