Pass the Sick Bag
It comes as no surprise for socialists to read a GUARDIAN article "Leak reveals Labour plan to focus on flag and patriotism to win back voters" (A chakrabortty and j Elgot, 3 February 2021), that the Labour Party, under Keir Starmer, commissioned a report on how to get back the voters they lost at the last election.
According to a leaked internal strategy presentation to win the next election Labour must make "use of the [union] flag, veterans [and] dressing smartly" as part of a radical rebranding to help it win back the trust of disillusioned voters. 'Disillusioned voters' will only vote for political parties steeped in nationalism, who celebrate the British Empire as a force for good, and think Britain is the best country in the world.
The article said:
"The presentation, which has been seen and heard by the GUARDIAN, is aimed at what the party calls "foundation seats", a new term for the "red wall" constituencies that handed Boris Johnson a landslide in 2019, and other seats it fears could also turn blue. It will be seen as a marker of how concerned Labour is about its electoral position".
Presenting the strategy last month - including research on the party's brand by agency REPUBLIC dating from September - the party's head of research said voters were confused about "what we stand for, and what our purpose is, but also who we represent."
Socialists are under no illusion what the Labour Party stands for and who it represents. The Labour Party stands for capitalism, the profit system, the private ownership of the means of production and distribution, the market, and class exploitation. It also stands for supporting capitalisms wars. Socialist it is not.
Among the top recommendations in the report is: "The use of the flag, veterans, dressing smartly at the war memorial etc give voters a sense of authentic values alignment. "Values alignment"? You couldn't make it up. Pass the sick bag!
Not all members of the Labour Party are happy about this PR drivel. Clive Lewis, one of Labour's MPs, said: "The Tory party has absorbed Ukip and now Labour appears to be absorbing the language and symbols of the Tory party."
Mr Lewis should not be surprised. The Labour Party has no principle. It is not a socialist party. It does not exist to persuade workers to become socialists. And when in power attacks trade unions and the interest of the working class. So why not bag the entire Tory policy menu and then try get elected? Why not wear Union Jacks badges on their lapels like the Democrats do with the stars and stripes in the US to show how patriotic they are? When Starmer gave a recent televised address to the country regarding the Covid pandemic he sat in front of a Union Jack. Why not a rendition of Rule Britannia to begin and end Labour's Conference with the audience shown waving union Jacks. The truth of the matter is that the Tories just play the nationalist card better than Labour and the non-socialist electorate know it.
Socialists have no interest in British capitalism and the capitalists who exploit our class. Workers should have nothing to do with the opportunism of the Labour Party. And workers should remember where nationalism leads to - the war grave cemeteries dotted all over the world.
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.