The General Election in December 2019 is being spoken of as the most important election for a generation. Yet it is an election called by the Tory Government to resolve the bitter and acrimonious dispute about the trading arrangements of the capitalist class after the UK leaves the European Union. That is, a dispute within the capitalist class. A class, who own the means to life to the exclusion of everybody else, but live a life of luxury, privilege and self-entitlement off the unearned income of rent, interest and profit.
All the political parties trade promises for votes. They pander to prejudice, racism and nationalism and promise to solve problems they think the electorate face. Giving money to the NHS, housing and education loom large in their endless promises.
What are the real issues facing the majority of society, those who scrape a living off wages and salaries or meagre state pensions and 'welfare'? The real issues of the election can be posed as a list of questions.
* Why are there food banks?
* Why is there a 'bedroom tax' penalising the disabled, the sick and the vulnerable?
* Why are workers poor and have to struggle each and every day to make things meet?
* Why are there wars, ethnic conflict and terrorism?
* Why is there a housing shortage?
* Why are workers forced into the gig economy and to lead unpredictable and vulnerable lives?
* Why is there poor education health and social facilities except for the rich and privileged?
* Why are workers exploited, producing more social wealth than they receive in wages and salaries?
* Why is there a "Climate Emergency" which has dragged on for decades?
Socialists argue the reason is because these issues are class issues. They are class issues because the workers only receive so much as to produce and reproduce themselves as a servile class. Capitalism causes the problems workers face.
Under capitalism, production takes place for profit not to directly meet people's needs.
And there is nothing the politicians, - Tories, Greens, Liberal Democrats or Labour - can do to alter this fact. Capitalism can never be made to run in the interest of all society. The Labour Party, for example, has always claimed to be striving for a "fairer society" but its governments have always left office with more workers unemployed than when they first came into power. The Labour Party is a party of failed reforms, trading on the belief that you can have capitalism without the effects of capitalism.
Governments are run in the interests of capitalism. Reforms enacted one day are repealed the next when capitalism goes into one of its periodic economic crises and trade depressions, unemployment rises and austerity measures are imposed. Historically all governments, not just the "evil" Tories, act in the interest of the capitalist class. Governments exist to run capitalism in the interest of the employers, not the workers. And Labour governments are no different.
And you only have to listen to politicians like Jacob Rees-Mogg to discover the thinking of the privileged and elitist world of the rich and their contempt for the working class. Rees-Mogg suggested on LBC that those who died in the Grenfell Tower lacked "common sense". He went on to say that he did not think the fact the workers were forced into substandard and dangerous housing in one of the richest boroughs in London was a class issue.
What the inhabitants of Grenfell Tower in fact lacked was access to well-built and civilised housing. And that is precisely to do with their class position. The class Jacob Rees-Mogg represents would never live in council-run tower blocks with dodgy cladding panels. Rees Mogg himself lives in a smart £5 million London house as well as his weekend home in Somerset. Compare Grenfell Tower with the £1.8 million plus luxury flats with concierge at the Barbican in London or with the £160 million flat owned by the developer Nick Candy at One Hyde Park. Workers get second best because they are imprisoned within the wages system - they are wage slaves. The working class majority are a servile and exploited class who only get second best - and at worst, become homeless, sleeping rough, even in wealthy Kensington. The housing problem is a problem of poverty - one which never afflicts the rich.
The capitalist class are not in a position of power and authority because of their superior talents. They are there because the working class vote for their politicians at elections. Workers vote against their own class interests mistakenly believing that politicians can sort out their lives and solve their problems.
And what are the workers' interests? Quite simply it is to establish socialism - the establishment of the common ownership and democratic control of the means of production by all of society.
So long as the majority of the working class avoid the class issue, using their votes to opt only for the parties of capitalism, so long will we continue live lives blighted by poverty, insecurity, as well as wage-slaves in a system of ruthless class exploitation.
All the problems cited in this election address are problems caused by this system of production for profit. We urge all workers to organise democratically and politically to put an end to class exploitation.
And for global socialism to be established requires workers to first become socialists. It requires workers democratically and politically organising to gain control of the machinery of government, including the armed forces, and to replace capitalism with socialism. If there are no socialists standing in your constituency we urge workers to write "World Socialism" across their ballot paper.
Object and Declaration of Principles
The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.
Declaration of Principles
THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN HOLDS:
1. That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (ie land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.
2. That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.
3.That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.
4. That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex.
5. That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.
6. That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.
7. That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.
8. The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.