Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Bankruptcy of the Blair-rights

By going to war in Syria without parliamentary approval, Theresa May provided the Blair-rights with a perfect way of getting themselves off the hook, if they chose to take it. Even if they really did feel morally bound to support liberal intervention in Syria, in the debate yesterday, they had the opportunity to display party unity, and party loyalty, by focussing their attack on the undemocratic, authoritarian nature of the government's total disregard of parliament. Instead, it was obvious that, rather than seeing May's action as a means of getting them off the hook, they saw it as a stab in the back, because it denied them, once again, of the opportunity to focus their ire on Jeremy Corbyn, rather than the government. But, the bankrupt Blair-rights hatred of Corbyn and of the party he leads, meant they could not help themselves. Instead of focussing their attack on the Tories authoritarian, and undemocratic actions – as even the Liberals and SNP were able to do – the Blair-rights still used the opportunity to attack Corbyn and the Labour Party. Some of them even went beyond attacking Corbyn over the principle of engaging in yet another illegal war, and eagerly jumped into bed with their ideological soulmates of the Tory Party, to also justify the government's undemocratic action of ignoring parliament. 

How these people ever found themselves stumbling into the Labour Party in the first place is, at first sight, hard to fathom. However, as my old friend Mick Williams, long ago, described such people, who shared a position with him as Labour Councillors on Stoke City Council, they are people who treat politics in the same way they treat catching a bus. It really doesn't matter to them whether they catch a red bus or a blue bus. The only thing determining their decision is which bus takes them, personally, to where they want to be going, faster and more cheaply. It is, in fact, why such people so easily move from a red bus of Labour to a pink bus of the SDP, or a yellow bus of the Liberals, and indeed why they move from a blue bus of the Tories to the red bus of Labour, and vice versa, if it suits their personal career prospects. It's why such people are again talking up the prospect of joining with their Tory and Liberal soulmates about creating yet another centre party, with the backing of multi-millionaires, and the Tory media. 

Well, to mix metaphors, and what is a metaphor if it can't be mixed, it's time we told these parasites that their free ride on the gravy train is over. If they want to waste their time, and millionaires money, on a doomed experiment in creating a new centre party, the sooner they go the better. It will do little better than the existing centre party – the Liberals – whose fortunes have been in steady decline since 2010, and in even more rapid decline since Corbyn became Labour Leader, and began to offer British workers a clear alternative. But, it's clear that the Blair-rights like Chris Leslie and Mike Gapes et al, who could not help themselves, yesterday, in venting their spleen at Corbyn, rather than the Tories, are an openly organised party within a party, operating inside the PLP. Its time party members told them to go, and go now. We should not do what the old right did, when their authoritarian, bureaucratic politics led them to expel party members, via the party machine, rather than confront them in ideological debate; we should simply exercise the principle of basic democracy to deselect these wreckers. Past experience shows that that will be enough, because such careerists, once they no longer are provided with their free lunch, will quickly move to fresh pastures, in search of other suckers to keep them in the manner to which they have become accustomed. 

The actual debate in parliament was abysmal, as was to be expected for a debate that was as useful as any other example of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. Whilst the Blair-rights simply used the opportunity to attack Corbyn rather than the Tories, the Tories themselves simply stood up one after another to repeat the same few words, only occasionally arranged in a different order, to slap the government on the back. All such comments whether from the Blair-rights, or from the Tories – and the two were mostly indistinguishable – were marked by total vacuity, and a sickening lack of any critical thought about what they were supposed to be analysing or responding to. All of their comments were so rigidly adherent to the idea that there could be no alternative possibility but that the vile Assad regime was responsible for a chemical attack in Douma, and that the only possible response to it, was to bomb Syria, that they could have been speeches given by North Korean Deputies, in some other context. 

The way that the Tory MP's swerved around the idea that their hostility, and claim to be acting to provide humanitarian relief was hollow, given their failure to act in the same way against the humanitarian disaster created by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, or by Israel in Gaza, indeed that they have provided the weapons and military advisors for Saudi Arabia, was sickening. They claimed that the situations were different because Saudi Arabia and Israel were slaughtering and maiming men, women and children with the massive use of conventional weapons, not chemical weapons! In actual fact Saudi Arabia and Israel have also used white phosphorus munitions too, but the point is that the Tories distinction between chemical weapons and the massive use of conventional weapons shows that the argument in relation to chemical weapons is merely a pretext. 

In fact, the Tories allies in the various Jihadist groups such as Al Nusra have also been shown to use chemical weapons including chlorine gas. So much for the idea that it can only be used by someone who has helicopters or aircraft. And, we were asked to accept without question that any chemical attack in Douma had, in fact, been made from the air.  But, the fact that these jihadist groups have used chemical weapons has not stopped the US and UK continuing to support them, as their agents against Assad. Indeed, in the past, both the US and UK not only supported Saddam Hussein, and his use of chemical weapons against Iran, in the Iran-Iraq War, but they provided him with the chemical weapons for him to use, and advised him of how best to use them! 

It was, after all the Tory icon, Winston Churchill, who in relation to the rebel Afghans said, 

And the depleted uranium munitions that Britain and the other NATO powers use, continue to reside in the soil and water courses for decades after they have been used, causing grotesque mutations and deformations of babies, just as did the hundreds of tons of Agent Orange dropped by the US on Vietnam. 

Depleted Uranium as used in the munitions used by NATO
stays in the soil and water courses for decades, resulting in
grotesque genetic defects, and abnormalities in babies for
decades after its use.
Any real humanitarian would be equally appalled at these actions and sentiments expressed by the liberal interventionists of democratic imperialism, as they are at the actions of vile dictators such as Assad or Putin. But, the Tories and their soulmates amongst the Blair-rights cannot express such hostility, and basis humanitarian concern, because for them, their fake sentimentalism and moralism is nothing more than a pretext for them to engage in yet another illegal war, to promote the global strategic interests of British imperialism, as it clings to the apron strings of Trump, and US imperialism. 

They, of course, have no concept that the real answer to dictators such as Assad or Putin comes not from their bombs and bullets, which act only to consolidate such people in their position, by giving them an external threat against which to rally their people, but is to forge a link between the workers of Britain, France, the United States and elsewhere with the workers in Russia, Syria, Iran and so on, for a common struggle to overthrow all of our leaders, and the oppression of capitalism that those leaders impose on us. When the Stalinists and Social-Democrats sought to support democratic imperialism against Hitler prior to World War II, Trotsky wrote, 

"Fascism is a form of despair in the petit-bourgeois masses, who carry away with them over the precipice a part of the proletariat as well. Despair as is known, takes hold when all roads of salvation are cut off. The triple bankruptcy of democracy, Social Democracy and the Comintern was the prerequisite for fascism. All three have tied their fate to the fate of imperialism. All three bring nothing to the masses but despair and by this assure the triumph of fascism.... 

"The democracies of the Versailles Entente helped the victory of Hitler by their vile oppression of defeated Germany. Now the lackeys of democratic imperialism of the Second and Third Internationals are helping with all their might the further strengthening of Hitler’s regime. Really, what would a military bloc of imperialist democracies against Hitler mean? A new edition of the Versailles chains, even more heavy, bloody and intolerable. Naturally, not a single German worker wants this. To throw off Hitler by revolution is one thing; to strangle Germany by an imperialist war is quite another. The howling of the “pacifist” jackals of democratic imperialism is therefore the best accompaniment to Hitler’s speeches. “You see,” he says to the German people, “even socialists and Communists of all enemy countries support their army and their diplomacy; if you will not rally around me, your leader, you are threatened with doom!” Stalin, the lackey of democratic imperialism, and all the lackeys of Stalin – Jouhaux, Toledano, and Company – are the best aides in deceiving, lulling, and intimidating the German workers... 

"The Czechoslovakian crisis revealed with remarkable clarity that fascism does not exist as an independent factor. It is only one of the tools of imperialism. “Democracy” is another of its tools. Imperialism rises above them both. It sets them in motion according to need, at times counterposing them to one another, at times amicably combining them. To fight against fascism in an alliance with imperialism, is the same as to fight in an alliance with the devil against his claws or horns... 

"The struggle against fascism demands above all the expulsion of the agents of “democratic” imperialism from the ranks of the working class. Only the revolutionary proletariat of France, Great Britain, America, and the USSR, declaring a life and death struggle against their own imperialism and its agency, the Moscow bureaucracy, is capable of arousing revolutionary hopes in the hearts of the German and Italian workers, and at the same time of rallying around itself hundreds of millions of slaves and semi slaves of imperialism in the entire world. In order to guarantee peace among peoples we must overthrow imperialism under all its masks. Only the proletarian revolution can accomplish this." 

(Phrases and Reality, Writings 1938-9) 

And as the heads of the Commonwealth meet in London, the sentimental outpourings of the Tories, and their Blair-right sycophants is even more sickening. It is the same British imperialism that kept millions of the people in those commonwealth countries in chains for centuries, and inflicted gruesome torture and suffering on them. Only a few decades ago it did the same thing in its brutal suppression of the Mau-Mau in Kenya. Ironically, even minutes before the “debate” on the war inflicted on Syria, parliament was discussing the plight inflicted on people of the Windrush generation, who have been put into British concentration camps, awaiting deportation to the Caribbean, simply for not having the right papers to prove they have a right to be here. We have the way the people of the Chagos Islands have been treated by British imperialism in its desire to assuage the needs of US imperialism, but which the media will have little time for in the next few weeks, and which the Tories will no doubt be anxious to avoid having discussed. 

No doubt, as the Tories seek to establish the British Empire 2.0, as they disastrously take Britain out of the EU, they will also be keen to have those former colonial slaves forget about the torture and indignity inflicted upon them by Britain, and its Tory rulers, including Britain's military action to prevent even peaceful protest to bring about that end. It was after all, once again that Tory icon Winston Churchill, who not only advocated the use of poison gas, but who also proposed rounding up the supporters of Gandhi and machine gunning them, and whose proposals for Gandhi himself was that he, 

"ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back.". 

It was Churchill who, as well as Hitler, proclaimed 

"the Aryan stock is bound to triumph". 

It was Churchill, who when 14,000 black Africans died in British concentration camps in South Africa during the Boer War, wrote only 

“of his "irritation that Kaffirs should be allowed to fire on white men" . 

It was Churchill who said, 

“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion”, 

and when 3 million Bengalis were starving to death, and British officials begged Churchill to send food supplies to the area, Churchill refused. He complained that it was their own fault for "breeding like rabbits", and also said the plague was "merrily" culling the population. That same attitude had been taken by the British Tory government which refused to allow food supplies donated by British workers to be distributed freely during the Irish famine, because they said to do so would undermine the free market! 

So forgive me for failing to join with the utterly disgraceful Blair-rights in allowing the Tories to get away with shedding the crocodile tears, and their sickening talk about torture, chemical weapons, and their humanitarianism. 

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