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Year 2010 No. 11, March 15, 2010 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

The Westminster Cartel Declares that the Election Campaign Has Begun!

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The Westminster Cartel Declares that the Election Campaign Has Begun!

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The Westminster Cartel Declares that the Election Campaign Has Begun!

The Labour Party has now been in office for some 13 years. The Labour government has presided over and exacerbated the worst economic crisis for over seventy years, embroiled Britain in a series of illegal wars and engaged in a range of criminal activities including war crimes, torture and corruption. It is now almost totally discredited and is finding it difficult to drum up support based on its past record in office. It has declared its election slogan as "a future fair for all".

Why, one may ask, has the past not been fair for all, and what will be done to change what the future has in store? What is also on the mind of the electorate is if the future is fair for the financial oligarchy, how can it then be fair for the working class and people? In other words, New Labour is in crisis about creating public opinion in its favour, and its somewhat tortured syntax also reflects this crisis. Facts revealed in a recent government-commissioned report have shown that Britain is now actually more unequal than at any time since the Second World War, that a third of all children live in poverty and over 10% live in "extreme poverty". In this context how has New Labour stood for "the many not the few" in its many recent years in office? It did not matter how much it reiterated this in the past, just as it does not now cut any ice that it wishes the future would be fair for all. Objective reality overwhelms these claims.

Gordon Brown is still claiming, "Markets are essential." But he now claims that "markets need morals" and that allegedly they "can serve the public". The hidden hand of the market is no longer enough. However, the conclusion that he draws from these a-historical views which fly in the face of the people’s direct experience is another piece of warped logic, that the people’s money should continue to be used to pay the large financial institutions. Far from accepting responsibility to work for the public good, another hidden hand is conjured up, that paying the rich will somehow "serve the public".

The Conservative Party has made efforts to distance itself from the most recent Conservative governments and is attempting to present itself as a "centre" party that can continue to pay the rich but also govern more efficiently and even with a greater social conscience than the Labour Party. It is the Conservatives who now speak of "social action" and the "big society", as well as a return to cutting bureaucracy, limiting the power of the state and delivering "individual freedom".

The Conservatives are trying to present themselves as the party of change, while Labour avows that things will change. What kind of change are these parties speaking of? Meanwhile, the Lib Dems are being portrayed as the "king makers" in a hung parliament. No champion for the ruling elite can be found. The kind of change that these parties stand for is exemplified, among other things, by the chorus of condemnation of the BA cabin crews, who are taking a stand for the livelihoods, and against the effects of the anti-social offensive on the whole of society. Are these the voters the Tories are looking for who have never voted Conservative before? Are these part of the "all" for whom the future will be fair?

The change these parties are looking for is to stamp out this resistance of the workers, to invoke even more the concept of the "nation" these workers and many others are supposed to be injuring, in order to step up the anti-social offensive in the interests of the monopolies, putting the state even more at the disposal of the dictates of the financial oligarchy. The CEOs of these monopolies are shuffled around like football managers, except these CEOs have no loyalty to anything but the making of maximum capitalist profit and in fights to the death with other monopolies. The change the parties stand for is a slashing in social programmes and public spending in the name of fanatically cutting the budget deficit, of halving the national debt.

The general consensus between all the major parties on the need to continue paying the rich and maintain the capital-centred system, as well as the fact that are held in contempt by the electorate, has created the prospect of an election in which it will be increasingly difficult for the ruling class to resolve its contradictions. Nor will it be easy for the rich to find a champion who has any credibility. It is in these circumstances that much fuss is now being made about the possibility of a hung parliament, with some commentators even alleging that this is itself a recipe for "strong government".

The current election campaign period is exposing once again the entirely fraudulent and anti-people character of representative democracy, a political system in which the majority of people are excluded from the decision-making process and only permitted to act as voting cattle every few years, in order to provide what is referred to as a mandate for one of the members of the cartel of the major parties. What is becoming exposed is the fact that the major parties, while claiming that they are concerned with change, are committed to maintaining the status quo. Indeed the rivalry between them has often been characterised by the fact they all claim that they will be the most zealous in implementing sweeping cuts in essential social programmes, in order to decrease the national debt and continue to pay the big banks and financial institutions.

The times cry out for an alternative, for an economy and society that is people centred not capital centred and where the working people who are the creators of all wealth are also the decision makers about what happens to this wealth but also about all the other key issues too. This is also the path that will end the economic crises, rebuild the national economy and remove Britain from its toadying alliance with the US and criminal interventions and interference in other countries

But not only are these considerations not the aim of the big parties, they are bent on continuing both the system and the policies which have produced the current dire situation. Their aim remains that the financial institutions must have first claim on the wealth of the country, even though this will continue to exacerbate the situation, not those who have produced it.

But there can be no illusions about the nature of this election, nor its likely outcome. What is clear is that neither serves the interests of the majority of people, nor the requirements of the times. What is required is an alternative to the cartel system of big parties and the fraudulent electoral system, as well as an alternative to the entire capital-centred society. The election provides the opportunity for the working class and people to take up this necessary work by putting forward their own demands for democratic renewal of the political process, by selecting their own candidates and worker politicians, and by organising for an anti-war government that genuinely represents the interests of the people.

It is on this basis that RCPB(ML) is calling on the advanced elements and class conscious workers to participate in the election with the aim, number one, of blocking the plans of those in power to elect and consolidate a pro-war government, and, number two, to advance the workers’ movement, the movement of worker politicians, to constitute themselves as a Workers’ Opposition to the self-serving parties in power who prostrate themselves before the barons of monopoly capital, and would get the whole electorate to do the same. Already in the 2005 general election, record numbers of independent candidates, candidates of small parties, anti-war candidates and others who were determined to take a stand against the Westminster cartel, participated. In this coming election, all the signs are that this trend will continue and gain immeasurably in strength. Alliances are being formed whose essence is to challenge the stranglehold of the Westminster cartel on government. Those that hold these alliances in disdain in speaking of a "derisory" number of votes these challenges to the status quo receive may well be in for a rude awakening.

In effect, the ruling elite is throwing down a challenge to the electorate to accept that it is only the Westminster cartel who must occupy the space for change, which no one can deny the times are crying out for. The people are getting prepared to accept this challenge and unite in the process of working for an anti-war government and for democratic renewal. All power to those forces who are taking up this challenge! Let us see what the outcome of this class struggle in the arena of the general election will be!

No to the Westminster cartel!
All out for democratic renewal!
Fight for the election of an anti-war government!

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