Political Notebook

The apologists for capitalism are not known for their high principles. Profits come first under their system. This month’s Notebook takes a look at what a few of the twisting hypocrites have been up to lately and comes to the not surprising conclusion that the sooner the working class stops supporting the lot of them the better it will be for us all.

Jack Cohen is dead — Long live Jack Cohen
Sir John Cohen—described in one obituary as ‘the golden barrowboy who became the supermarket king’—died last month at the age of 80. According to the press reports, Cohen’s was a ‘rags to riches’ story of a man who pushed his way up the capitalist ladder until, at the time of his death, his Tesco stores’ annual turnover is breaking the £1,000,000,000 barrier. The reason for this success was, according to The Jewish Chronicle, that

“Sir John was a redoubtable entrepreneur renowned for his aggressive salesmanship . . .”

In fact, Sir John, just like any capitalist businessman made his profits by exploiting the working class. His own level of education or intelligence was, fortunately for him. another matter. But there is one thing that might puzzle the readers of Cohen’s sycophantic obituaries. If you go into any Tesco store you will observe that, despite the death of the owner, things are carrying on just as usual. It’s almost as if the dull, witless workers are able to organise things without the capitalists to tell them how to do it.

People’s Democratic Prisons
It is a well known fact that China is a People’s Democracy. And just like the other People’s Democracies, if workers have the audacity to complain that rich leaders are living it up at the expense of the poor toilers, they’re locked away in a democratic people’s prison to punish them for their cheek. Increasingly in recent times, wall posters in Peking have criticised the undemocratic character of the Chinese State. The first reaction of the Communist Party was to lock up these bolshie proletarians for having the nerve to try and dictate to them, but more recently, according to The Guardian (14 March)

“China’s wall-poster protestors have won a major victory with the release from prison of a group of students who were the first to call for the establishment of ‘socialist democracy’ and a proper legal system. The leader of the group, Li Zhengtia, spent nearly four years doing forced labour in the mines or in prison or in the southern province of Guangdong. Posters on ‘Democracy Wall’ in Peking have claimed that as many as seven hundred people were punished for their connection with the group.”

Chinese workers are correct to doubt the value of their ‘People’s Democracy’. But under Chinese capitalism the liberty of the commodity comes before that of the people.

Exploitation without discrimination
When apartheid is overturned it will not be because of the whining of trendy liberals like Peter Hain, but because the capitalist class who have interests in South Africa will see the profitability of the equal exploitation of all colours. An item in Boxing News (9 February) shows that South African fight promoters have discovered that mixed fights pull in larger audiences and so make them more money. So, these principled gentlemen who sincerely believe in the good sense of racial separation drop their high principles before the temple of Profitability. The situation now is that

“Blacks can manage and train whites. Whites are permitted to manage and train blacks. Blacks can promote major tournaments and whites have gone out of their way to assist blacks with better training facilities and financial support. Several major South African companies have come to the aid of boxing and Alan Proctor, a director of Sanyo, is looked upon by many as a godfather. Sanyo have poured thousands upon thousand of Rand into boxing and have just completed a Sanyo Boxing Academy in Soweto.”

Other companies to invest in South African boxing since mixed fights started have been Old Buck Gin, Nashua. King Korn and Datsun. The spread of anti-racist liberalism? No bloody fear! All that’s happened is that the capitalists have seen the value of exploiting without discriminating against colour. Which must make liberals like Peter Hain terribly, terribly happy.

The Moronic Martyr
Robert Relf is a racist clown who has been on a hunger strike in gaol after being convicted under the Race Relations Act for posting up stickers saying that black people spread diseases and should live in the trees. Relf’s opinions can only be treated seriously in a psychiatric sense, but it is worthy of note that when he appeared at the Court of Appeal on 12 March to threaten the Court with his imminent martyrdom Lord Justice Lawton declared that

“if Relf wants to commit suicide that’s up to him. We are not going to be blackmailed . . . the sooner that is appreciated by him and others like him the better it will be for law and order in this country.”

Readers may like to consider the fact that this great believer in law and order was himself a member of, and candidate for, Mosley’s British Union of Fascists in the 1930s. The main difference between Relf and Lawton is that the former is a moronic lout who is willing to act as a stooge for the sinister ambitions of his National Front leaders, while the latter is a professional hypocrite who is willing to act as a stooge to a rather wider section of the ruling class.

S. C.

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