Editorial – the alternative pro-profit government in waiting

The Labour Party leaders regard themselves as a government in waiting in the expectation that, after the next general election, they will be the ones driven around in ministerial cars on ministerial salaries.

If they do win that election it won’t be on the basis of their election promises. People know these are worthless, whichever party makes them. It will be because they agree without illusions with ageing pop-star (and Tory millionaire) Sir Rod Stewart that it is time to ‘give the Labour Party a go at it’ (tinyurl.com/dwpjwckh).

This is a view shared by business people too, fed up with the corruption and incompetence of recent Tory prime ministers and convinced that Labour is sincerely pro-capitalist. The Independent (14 February, tinyurl.com/5n7h7a3a) carried an article by ex-CBI chief Paul Drescher in which he praised Labour for having ‘set about convincing business that they are encouraging entrepreneurs and enterprise (and, whisper it quietly: profit)’ (which the paper interpreted as him saying that Labour was ‘the party of profit’), adding ‘I know a lot of influential people in business who feel the same as I do.’

All previous Labour governments have ended up encouraging profit-making but, until Blair, only after failing to impose some other priority on capitalism. In any event, since the Labour Party intends to leave the commanding heights of the economy in private hands this will continue to be driven by private capitalist enterprises seeking to maximise their profits. In this circumstance any government has to be pro-business and give priority to profit-making and maintaining the conditions for this or risk provoking an economic downturn.

This wasn’t always what the Labour Party thought. At one time they believed that a Labour government would be able to control the way the economy worked by having an important nationalised (state capitalist) sector. Nationalisation proved to be a failure both from this point of view and for the workers in them. Under Tony Blair, even a paper commitment to this was abandoned; which left the Labour Party as firmly committed to the existing capitalist status quo as the Tory party, as in fact the alternative management team for UK plc. Business now considers it time for the Outs to become the Ins for a while. Alternating governments has the advantage for them of preventing entrenched cronyism at their expense.

Who is in and who is out doesn’t make any difference to the wage-working class. There is no lesser evil. They are both as useless as each other. Come the general election, we shan’t be saying Vote Labour but ‘A plague on both your houses’. Capitalism can’t be humanised or made to serve the interest of the majority. It can’t be mended. It has to be ended.

Socialism, the common ownership and democratic control of productive resources, with production and distribution directly to meet people’s needs and not for sale or profit, remains the only way out and the only goal worth voting for.

Next article: Pathfinders – Shut up and take the pill ⮞

2 Replies to “Editorial – the alternative pro-profit government in waiting”

  1. “It can’t be mended. It has to be ended.”

    Great catch phrase!

    Reformists always bang on about fixing our broken system, but of course it cannot be fixed because it isn’t broken; the problems caused by capitalism are just that system functioning as intended.

  2. The Rod Stewart quote proves why democracy is the best way of running the capitalist state. The economic crises created by the market system are blamed by the proletariat on whichever party happens to be in government at the time, not the market system.

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