Would you buy a load of worn-out policies from Kinnock, Hattersley and their gang of reformist politicians? Socialists would sooner buy a secondhand motor from Arthur Daley. The Labour Party has never stood for socialism. But now it has come out in its true colours. Its pathetic Policy Review documents leave nobody in any doubt: Labour is out to run the Profit System.
There is nothing new about Labour trying to do the dirty work of managing capitalism. We have had eight Labour governments. They had as much to do with bringing about socialism as the Sun has with bringing you the news. Labour governments have brought in incomes policies to keep our wages down; they have smashed strikes, using police and troops: they have passed racist immigration laws; they have built new bombs—they were the ones who brought into being the British atom bomb; they have supported wars; they have made cuts in essential services, like the NHS; and all of the last seven Labour governments have left power with unemployment higher than when they came in. Above all. Labour has seen to it that profits can be made by the capitalists who own and control Britain. Under the last Labour government the richest 1 per cent increased their share of wealth ownership from 24 to 25 per cent. Labour has a long record of keeping capitalism in “safe” hands. Just like Mitterrand’s phoney ‘socialists” in France and the Australian Labour government which is Torier than Thatcher. Kinnock’s crew are a bunch of errand boys for the bosses.
Making Capitalism Work
What is new about the Policy Review is that Labour has confessed to the crime. In times past they stuffed their manifestos with pious rhetoric about “democratic socialism” Now they are telling it like it is: Give us your votes and we ll run capitalism better than the Thatcher mob. As Kinnock told the 1988 Labour Conference. ‘. . . the fact is that the kind of economy that we are faced with is going to be a market economy. It will be the one that we have to deal with when we are elected. We have got to make it work better than the Tories make it work . . . ” Making capitalism work well means making sure that profits are high; that means milking the workers for as much as they can get out of us.
The millionaire-parasites need have no fear of a Labour government. The Policy Review makes clear that it will serve them well. Profits will be protected: international investors will be free to make money out of a stable economy: the bombs required by the NATO generals will all be kept in readiness for war: the workers will be disciplined, with most of the Tory anti-union laws kept in force. In short, Labour will act as efficient substitutes for the Tories while they take a rest after their long years of holding the harness.
Workers and capitalists do not have the same interests. They are legalised robbers—we are the robbed. It does not take a genius to see that the Tories are on the side of the capitalists. The Labour Party talks as if it is on the side of the workers. But read the new Policy Review and you will discover that:
We shall make it clear throughout the economy that our emphasis is on investment rather than consumption, and that money spent too generously on consumption today could prejudice jobs and services tomorrow.
Now. ask yourself the question: Who invests in the economy? The capitalists do. And who needs to consume? We. the workers. And Labour’s “emphasis” will be on assisting which class?
At this year’s Labour Conference the delegates will adopt the Policy Review. It will be presented as Labour’s secret key to power. Some of the delegates will be asking themselves what it is that Labour is asking for power to do. Many will compromise and convince themselves that anyone running the profit system will be better than the present lot. But is that really so? At least with the Tories we can see the enemies clearly. But under a Labour government of capitalism workers will be asked to put up with all kinds of suffering so that Neil and “our government” can do the job properly. “Back us or sack us” is what Callaghan (now Lord Callaghan—payment for services rendered) told the unions. The workers in the unions went out in 1979 and sacked him. Why elect Kinnock and have to sack him five years after the election? He has told you in advance what he is out to do. Why not deny him your backing before he gets to the top of the greasy pole?
Countless numbers of Labour members and voters are feeling desperate. Even if they have not read the Policy Review they know that it is blatantly a manifesto for the profit system. They do not want to support this tasteless stew of half-cooked Harold Wilson peppered with some stale David Owen. Vast numbers of Labour supporters—decent, caring, concerned people—can smell the stinking scent of compromise in the air. The wider Kinnock smiles the more they know that their radical hopes are being betrayed. What can they do?
Should they elect a new leader? Kinnock is not the cause of Labour’s anti-socialist outlook any more than it was the captain’s fault that the Titanic sank when it hit the iceberg. The Titanic was not constructed to overcome the hazards it met— and Labour is certainly not constructed to overcome the profit system. Maybe John Smith could do a better job—maybe Gould could, but what matters is the product, not the front-man for the ad. And the fact is that the product is useless. Labour left-wingers say that Kinnock has betrayed them. Just as every previous Labour leader has done. So they need to find a new leader, like Tony Benn. Apart from the fact that Benn was overwhelmingly defeated when he stood against Kinnock last year, what is the point of adopting a lot of second-hand policies for nationalisation (which is State Capitalism) when these have been tried before and failed? State capitalism has been a disaster in Eastern Europe and China and the nationalised industries in Britain have not benefited the workers in them one little bit, as the miners have discovered. So. why change Labour’s support for private capitalism for the state-capitalist line?