As Rishi Sunak’s rule hangs in the balance, the central question in British politics is who will gain from the chaos.
We have to connect the biggest movement on the streets for more than 20 years—over Palestine—with all the other issues facing working class people.
Growing and deepening the Palestine protests is the starting point.
With the government on the rocks, another leap forward in the size and militancy of the movement could be a key element in breaking official support for Binyamin Netanyahu’s genocidal assaults.
The march in London on Saturday is a crucial act of solidarity with the Palestinians, a blow against the wider imperialist wars and a crucial focus for everyone who hates the Tories.
The left and the trade unions are so used to losing that it sounds almost far-fetched to make an obvious point—we can force the Tories out now.
The rabble in Downing Street could not survive millions on the streets for Palestine and a renewal along the lines of the 2022-23 workers’ strikes—but at a higher level.
And both of those are possible, despite the Labour Party’s and most trade union leaders’ criminal refusal to seize the moment—or to actively sabotage the resistance.
Why isn’t every trade union leader campaigning night and day to put people on the street against the bloodbath in Gaza?
And why aren’t they also calling for united action to save the NHS, to improve pay, benefits and pensions, and for action over the environment?
Instead, as the Tories implode, far right forces such as Nigel Farage and the Reform UK party seek consciously to grow.
They think they can make a breakthrough with an agenda centred on racist scapegoating even more openly vile than the filth that comes from the government.
To that they add denunciation of environmental action and an attack on “woke” policies, in particular an offensive against LGBT+ people.
We need a broad counter-mobilisation against such forces. We have stopped the far right and the fascists from growing in Britain before, and we can do it again.
But we can’t deal with the political crisis through the politics of Labour in general and Keir Starmer in particular.
Labour is in crisis, as well as the Tories. And we should be trying to build a socialist alternative, not seeking to bail out Starmer. That too is possible.
There’s a lot of talk of electoral challenges to Labour from Palestine activists and sections of the left.
Socialist Worker welcomes that discussion, and will back credible left wing candidates at future elections.
Jeremy Corbyn needs to stop hesitating and declare he will be one of those taking on Labour. How much better it would have been for him to have done so already during the great Palestine marches.
But elections cannot be the central focus. This Saturday will be the ninth national march in London for Palestine. If you consider the protests elsewhere in Britain and all the local actions, two million or more people have taken part.
They haven’t just demonstrated. They have intensively organised, filled transport, launched occupations and workplace actions.
They have refused to be intimidated by Islamophobia and increasing state pressure and recruited new layers to the cause.
Many of these people have come out repeatedly, many are steeped in knowledge of Palestine, imperialism and Labour’s crimes.
They can be the core of a new politics, a movement driven from the streets and action in the workplaces, not dependent on whatever happens in parliament.
One of the best elements of the Palestine movement is that Labourism does not constrain it. Indeed, it is in large part driven by the justified rage against Starmer as well as the horrors of Zionism.
It’s not true that the only alternatives are a disintegrating political “centre” or the rise of fascism.
We need revolutionary politics. One result of the chaos now can indeed be the rise of the far right. We can see the potential for that in the United States, Italy, France, Germany and elsewhere.
The panic at that possibility can lead to despair and then rushing back to Starmer. Author and campaigner George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian last week, denounced all of Labour’s recent retreats.
He then went on, “If Keir Starmer delivers frustration and disillusionment, the system we call democracy will yet again break its promise.
“I suspect this might be Labour’s last chance. In subsequent elections it will shrivel to a dot.”
He forecast the rise of the far right and said Starmer had the responsibility to win the election and to “make that victory meaningful by mending this country and restoring our faith in politics”.
But we have to say openly that Starmer is not going to make any election win “meaningful”—except for the corporations and the rich.
He will act in the interests of the bosses and imperialism in an effort to stabilise the profit system. And the left has to say this clearly and then organise to meet the challenges. On to the streets this Saturday—and build the revolutionary socialist alternative to death-dealing capitalism.Original post