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More despair in North and Midlands since Thatcherism

Recent surveys conducted by the University of Manchester have indicated that life expectancy is lower in the North and Midlands than the South of England. The figures have, apparently, dramatically worsened since the early 1990’s.

Early deaths have been caused by suicides, increased use of drugs, excess drinking, poor quality food and other social and environmental issues.

What the mainstream Capitalist media will not talk about is the effect of Capitalism and in particular the Thatcherite attacks upon the working class, especially at the time of the 1984-5 miners’ strike. The use of huge state power, armed forces and the shutdown of normal society during this time led to industrial devastation in the North and Midlands from which the areas have never recovered. The failure to give the working class any hope for the future led to run down areas where despair and despondency filled the void. Coal mining, steel production, automobile construction and many other industries based in the North and Midlands were decimated under Thatcherism and the Thatcherite reigns of Blair, Brown , Tory-Libdem coalitions and subsequent ideologically driven regimes. The Thatcherite agenda followed the mantra of the rules of the European Union which demanded that Britain de-industrialise and become a services based ‘theme park’ economy.

What the mainstream media will also not talk about are the remedies available. The most pressing is the abolition of Capitalism in the UK along with immediate leaving of the EU. Further measures would be the reindustrialisation and provision of real jobs and hope, alongside vast welfare spending for the devastated areas of the North and Midlands. Since the study has not, apparently, included Wales and Scotland then these are also areas that have seen the devastating attacks of Thatcherism and require similar measures. Areas in the South, such as Kent and the West Country were not immune to the attacks and should also come into consideration.

For the Moneyed Not the Many: Labour's Real Manifesto

Usually people want justice and a fairer society. At present some of those people are feeling inspired. We have an opportunity to change Britain they say, if we could only unite behind ‘New’ Labour. Unite, in fact, behind its 2017 general election manifesto.

Who wouldn’t in today’s harsh world feel a little excited at the prospect of a government that will roll back austerity, improve the quality of public services, place ‘human rights’ at the centre of its foreign policy and defend hard won social benefits and political rights?

No. Those on the radical left who are drifting towards Labour are repeating old mistakes; the result, empowering the pro capitalist ‘consensus’, is predictable and sets back the wider struggle for a just world. In our view, those following the Labour lead need to face the true nature of the ‘hope’ they have embraced.

Offering no formula for the redistribution of economic wealth or political power, Labour’s 2017 manifesto is a slick but transparent re-statement of the post 1945 ideology of the political class.

None of the mainstream parties wants to enforce the dominance of either the private or the state sector over the other which means none favours fundamental change. They differ in how social or liberal or free they might like it to be, but none is interested in replacing capitalism's successful 'social' model (social democracy) with anything else.

According to its manifesto Labour ‘understands that the creation of wealth is a collective endeavour between workers, entrepreneurs, investors and government’. Socialists understand that under capitalism governance is subordinated to the interests of the corporations and individuals who control resources. The effect of political change, while it can be worthwhile for a few, is largely cosmetic with no impact on the nature of the prevailing order. Labour’s promise to the workers is not the fruits of their labour but ‘partnership’, the benefits of what it calls ‘civil society’. The ‘power of finance’ will be ‘turned’ by honest and open governance to the ‘public good’. Under Labour ‘planning’, the citizen will ‘shape the kinds of high streets, homes and amenities’ he wants. This isn’t the principle of universality, according to our needs: this is ‘fair’ competition under the protection of Labour’s ‘responsible economic management’.

It is in the arena of international affairs where dissent from the natural order is most dangerous. And it is here where Labour’s record is most damning. In ‘support’ of ‘global and regional security’ Labour’s partners will be NATO, the UN and EU ‘allies’. Its promise of a foreign policy ‘guided by the values of peace, universal rights and international law’ recalls Blair’s 1997 ‘ethical’ foreign policy.

While invariably it shouts its commitment to overseas aid and ‘development’, Labour is nowhere near conceding even a little of the principle of equality with western powers for other sovereign states. As is the case with all its foreign policy manifestos, Labour’s ‘values’ driven approach is code for the coercion of poor countries by powerful super states and global ‘coalitions’. Committed to spending 2% of GDP on ‘defence’ and to maintaining our nuclear ‘deterrent’, Labour will beef up the armed forces for deployment in ‘a range of roles’.

Yes, we concede, it’s hard not to feel a little flutter at the prospect of a government that ‘embraces … the good that government can do’ promises ‘fairer corporate governance’ and ‘vigorous action against tax avoidance’ as well as ‘a new deal for ordinary working people’. Who wouldn’t support a foreign policy based on ’an international order in which rules govern state conduct … in a principled way’?

Welcome to 'Forward Together', the manifesto of the Conservative Party!

National Executive Committee, 24th July 2017

HERE to read this post as pdf

Lessons from History: the Globalist ‘Left’ and the Embrace of Capital

With the drift of much of the left into the Labour Party, we have seen an increased volume recently of familiar comment about ‘progressive alliances’. Lest we become seduced if not overwhelmed by this well meaning chicanery, we need to remind ourselves firstly of what distinguishes advocates of social democracy from socialists.

Yes, it wants change, but in a nutshell the non socialist left sees the roots of social injustice in political inequality. Socialists see it in the ownership of economic power.

It is for this reason that political orthodoxy, ranging from UKIP on the conservative right to some (though by no means all) of the Trotskyite left, focuses on personal identity, civil rights and ‘freedom’ at the expense of the core struggle of the dispossessed for economic power.

Since it shares its prognosis - we can be free so long as civil society can be subordinated – the embrace of capitalism is built into the DNA of social democracy. Often social democracy, by which we mean the left of the political consensus, shares the hostility of the right to any grassroots resistance which is not ‘in tune’ politically with a ‘progressive’ view of the world.

At the heart of the social democratic left’s embrace of ‘globalism’, implicit in its support of or indifference to the EU, lies an inability or unwillingness to recognise capital not ‘society’ as the source of repression.

DiEM25 or the ‘Manifesto on Democracy’ launched by Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Finance Minister and latterly embroiled in the country’s Syriza nightmare, seeks a ‘democratised’ European Union accountable to the people (see Takis Fotopoulos). It assumes that a sovereign Parliament sharing power with devolved national assemblies and 'open' to scrutiny will transform a power bloc designed to remove political impediments to the flow of capital, into an instrument of 'international' justice. Its ‘Advisory Panel’ includes academic Noam Chomsky, filmmaker Ken Loach, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and Green Party Co Leader Caroline Lucas.

Within the lifetimes of most of us, we have witnessed a series of brutal wars waged by globalists on poor sovereign states as well as the open use of insurrection and terrorism against governments. The nations violated, destabilised or destroyed have differing forms of government, some were developing economies, some not, and some were or are socially progressive compared to neighbours. Some, most recently Ukraine, had western style elected leaders. What these countries shared, the only element they shared, was running economies not sufficiently ‘open’ to foreign capital; they retained (or retain) some degree of state control or national autonomy.

From the Blairites on the right to ‘Trotskyists’ on the left, social democrats view the right of self determination of these nations (but not ours) as incumbent in some degree upon the character of their political system. Learning nothing from Iraq or Libya, or indeed from an ignoble left history of failing to distinguish ‘people’s uprisings’ from foreign sponsored coups, left coalitions including ‘Stop the War’ determined that Syria's resistance could not be considered legitimate unless firstly it's people are 'supported' in overthrowing their ‘reactionary’ leaders.

While socialists resist the subordination of workers to the slavery of the borderless ‘market’, for social democrats globalism is good so long as those in government favour or implement open or ‘progressive’ policies.

It has never been more important for capitalism to bury the idea of socialism than it is today. For this reason, it is vitally important for us that the fallacy at the heart of globalism, that civil ‘democracy’ can liberate the poorest nations from imperialism or the poorest people from poverty, does not become the new political ‘norm’ for the left.

Kim Bryan, 13th June 2017

HERE to read as pdf including responses from members

HERE for Takis Fotopoulos on DiEM25

General Election 2017: Flying the Flag for Socialism

In defiance of the direst predictions of doom coming from the ‘new’ Corbynite left, all our candidates in yesterday’s General Election received very good votes in their respective constituencies. In Birmingham Perry Barr, Shangara Singh Bhatoe secured third place, ahead of the Liberal Democrats and Greens. The SLP extends its thanks to our candidates and agents and to all those members and supporters who helped in the campaigns, donated funds or sent their best wishes. We extend our grateful regards to all those who cast votes of conviction and principle for our party.

Given the anti democratic ‘first past the post’ system, voters in a small number of seats who switched parties over ‘Brexit’ appear to have decided the outcome.

What is forgotten of course is that Socialist Labour is the only party contesting this election that opposes the EU idea including Britain’s membership of the single market. No other party has declared its opposition to the so called ‘four freedoms’ enshrined in the Maastricht treaty. In reality the freedom concerned is that of multi national corporations to buy the cheapest, least protected labour and disregard the needs of local communities.

The shift away from government and towards the rule of big ‘borderless’ capital has greatly reduced the ability of social democrats to reform capitalism from within. In light of this, the open abandonment of socialism by the left is all the more startling.

It is hugely important that we offered an alternative at this election. In our political life generally Socialist Labour will continue to expose and challenge the new pro 'business' consensus and the subordination of grassroots democracy to unelected, bureaucratic elites.

9th June 2017

SHOCK! Theresa May Calls Off the General Election

We refer of course to the General Election of 2020 which the Prime Minister has decided we no longer need. Instead, in a shameless example of exactly the kind of abuse the Fixed Term Parliaments Act was designed to deter, the political class, including all the 'mainstream' parties, is united in its enthusiasm for a quickie poll in which they hope once again the issues relevant to the lives of ordinary people will fail to be heard. The focus will be the phoney arguments over Brexit coming from the different factions of the establishment.

One party, however, will be putting before the public an alternative to the expansionist, 'free' market agenda supported in one form or another by all the major parties. Saying No to the EU, No to NATO and No to the armed alliance with the US, the SLP will never accept a Britain tied to political-military powers or blocs.

Socialist Labour stands for a national economy built on the industry of our people in a democratic sovereign state that lives and trades in peace, equality and friendship with all other nations. The governing principles of our Britain are the economic, political and health needs of our people, not the profit calculations of big business interests.

RED LINE! Imperialists Must NOT Take Syria

CLICK HERE to read response to the escalation of war in Syria

Scargill Attacks SNP Plans for Second Independence Referendum.

In an interview published on 15th March 2017, the Socialist Labour Party leader told the 'Morning Star' that 'Parliament must reject any proposal from the SNP for a second referendum until the UK has fully left membership of the EU. Then, and only then' he said, 'should any suggestion of separation be even considered. I am speaking as a socialist'.

'The Scottish people voted 55.3 per cent to remain in the United Kingdom. The Scottish people also voted in the largest ever known referendum whether the UK should remain in the EU or leave the EU. Having participated in that ballot they are bound to accept the decision to leave'.

Mr Scargill added: 'I have fought all my life, along with people like Tony Benn, for the UK to withdraw from the iniquitous EU'.

VIDEO Repression, surveillance, fake news and the lessons of history. Hear Arthur Scargill on Saltley Gate and Orgreave ... Birmingham Council House, 9th February 2017.

NEWS REPORTS HERE Arthur Scargill Joins Tesco Picketers in Ireland ... 'Irish Times'

Draining the British Establishment swamp.

President Trump has vowed to drain the Washington political establishment ‘swamp’. The removal of warmongering rabid capitalists from their hold over the US political process would be welcome at any time. We in Britain have a corresponding need to drain our own putrid Establishment ‘swamp’.

During the revolutionary years of the British civil wars in the 1640’s, the Levellers fought for the principle that ‘Salus populi suprema lex’, in other words, the supreme authority lies with the people. Evidently, today’s Westminster politicians and civil servants haven’t learned the lesson. Their, often, public school arrogance meant that there was no plan if the British people voted to leave the EU. Many of these politicians and civil servants have been delaying matters since the ‘Brexit’ vote. They are trying to thwart the will of the people and because of their gross incompetence need to be shown the door.

The Establishment has at its apex the unelected monarchy and the House of Lords. These expensive anachronisms (as with palaces and expenses) were removed at a stroke in 1649 at the end of the second Civil War. It would be draining the swamp if they were again removed overnight. Britain could then make progressive moves towards democracy with an elected head of state and give consideration to whether there is need for a second chamber in an advisory form.

The mainstream media also needs to be drained because of its malevolent effect upon our democracy. They have acted over the decades in the interests of the Establishment including the tiny, vastly wealthy, capitalist elite who have not paid their taxes and who have been ripping us off. They have backed the disastrous warmongering adventures of Tories and Blairite Labour and ‘mini -me’ Tory or as they call themselves, Lib Dems. The lies that have burst forth from these groups in justification for their actions, as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have been sickening. Courts and tribunals should be set up to bring them to account as well as the arms manufacturers in whose interests they have been acting.

Tories, Blairites and ‘mini-me’ Tories have also been causing huge pain to the British working class, as with the privatisation of public utilities, education facilities and the introduction of schemes like PFI. The Health service is currently groaning under the impact of paying huge interest bills to the PFI financiers as well as having to pay well over the odds to the pharmaceutical companies for their drugs. All these companies should be brought into public ownership so that the private profit motive and exploitation of staff and patients are totally eliminated. President Trump is reported to be acting to bring the worst excesses of the pharmaceutical companies under control in the USA. We must do our own ‘cleaning up’. Any compensation payable would be from the privateers into the public purse.

Another aspect of draining the capitalist swamp of the elite would be in regard to the horrible so called ‘public schools’. Their facilities should all be brought into the public sphere, again, with compensation payable to the working class for the exploitation of generations from the so called ‘elite’ that has been given privileged education.

As a political Party opposed to the warmongering aims of NATO, we would also welcome the winding down of this organisation. The political decision of the Gorbachev regime to dissolve the USSR meant an agreement with the Western regimes that NATO would not expand eastwards. This agreement has been reneged upon and huge aggressive deployments were placed up against Russia’s borders by the irresponsible Obama regime and its allies. NATO’s remit has gone much further than the ‘North Atlantic’.

We in Britain need to drain the swamp of a putrid, ageing, decaying political Establishment!

Click HERE for TRUMP AND THE LEFT: Further Debate and Comment ... 'Infantile Disorder? Why the Left Must Let Go of Trump!' by Kim Bryan and response by Bill Ball. Party member or supporter? Send us your views!


More current news stories from the SLP HERE.