The Guardian chose not to publish this letter….
Gary Younge (Theresa May’s survival is just a Tory confidence trick) is his usual perceptive self in dissecting the motives Theresa May’s colleagues in the parliamentary Tory Party have for sustaining her government in office.
Where he goes astray is in the sentence: “They support her in precisely the same fashion Lenin advised communists to support the Labour party — “as a rope supports a hanged man”.”
Lenin said something quite different. In the context of a labour movement still divided by the support given by the right wing leadership of the Labour Party for imperialist war – Lenin advised British communists to seek the widest unity in defeating the Tory/Liberal coalition.
In urging Britain’s revolutionary socialists to fuse their various organisations into a united Communist party Lenin suggested that: “The Communist Party should propose the following “compromise” election agreement to the Hendersons and Snowdens: let us jointly fight against the alliance between Lloyd George and the Conservatives”.
It was not the federal Labour Party – to which many communists then belonged either by their membership of affiliated unions or of the various affiliated socialist parties and groups — that British communists were thus urged to “support like a rope supports a hanged man” but rather the right-wing Labour leader Arthur Henderson.
It is a measure of political progress that today we have a Labour leadership whose internal critics come from a right wing irremediably compromised by support for imperial war and neo-liberal economics.
…. but the Independent did publish this one.
Paul Mason sets out an alluring picture of a radically reformed European Union committed to neo-Keynesian polices. (Britain could lead a radical, socialist revolution in the EU.)
He correctly identifies, as marking the institutionalisation of the neo-liberal order, the succession of EU treaties that negated national sovereignty over economic policy.
But if he has genuine revolutionary aspirations he fails completely to set out how his utopian vision might be brought about in an EU which entrenches the power of capital in institutions and processes far beyond the reach of popular opinion.
Paul Mason appeals to a European centre that has consistently demonstrated its attachment to neo-liberal policies but Labour has revived where its centrist EU sister parties have withered because Corbyn undertook to respect the result of the referendum. Labour’s manifesto gave hope to the ravaged regions where neo-liberalism has destroyed a productive economy.
With more than a dozen of Labour’s key manifesto commitments impermissible in EU law a full Brexit is the only basis on which Labour’s renewal as a party of popular sovereignty is assured.
The project to put an aroused population of working people in power rather than the corporate class of bankers, big business and bureaucrats in whose interests the EU was established has its only real prospects of success within the framework of the sovereign nation state.
With a democratic mandate — to challenge the power of capital that private ownership confers and radically redistribute the wealth created by labour — a socialist government unconstrained by EU treaties would have real power.