Economically radical with an independent foreign policy.
After scraping onto the ballot paper to play the role of the constantly outvoted minority, Jeremy Corbyn surprised everyone when he gathered 59.5 percent of the total vote to beat his main rivals and become leader of the Labour party in 2015. The following year, after intrigue and internecine warfare, he defeated his challenger Owen Smith with 61.8 percent of the vote and secured his position and the right to take Labour into a general election in 2017.
Thousands of well-intentioned working-class people flocked to the Labour party, wanting to believe that Corbyn would be different from Blair, Brown and Miliband; that he would hold true to his professed principles and that, somehow, we would have socialism in Britain. The experience of the last few years alone is enough to demonstrate that one cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.
Nevertheless, this is not the place to chart the complete breakdown of this effort. It is enough to note that the Corbyn project is dead and buried, and that with it, British workers should bury any illusions that electing a left-wing leader can change the fundamental character of the Labour party, which remains a party committed to capitalism and fully integrated into the workings of the British state – a faithful servant of British imperialism.
Under Corbyn, rather than a flourishing of left social democracy we are witnessing its final meltdown. Ken Livingstone was forced to resign, Chris Williamson was repeatedly and unconstitutionally deselected, there was no way back for left-wingers like George Galloway, and even Mr Corbyn himself was harangued as an antisemite in a disgraceful campaign of Goebbelsian fiction. Far from fighting for principles, Labour’s most ‘left-wing’ leader ever, capitulated. One U-turn would never be enough for the ruling class, and before much time had passed his long-held positions of principle on everything from Trident to Nato to EU membership had been given up.
The need for a Workers Party arises from this developing situation. Thousands of committed and well-intentioned socialists are distraught and disillusioned with their experiences inside the Labour party. Millions of Labour voters are appalled at the undemocratic manoeuvres of the party as it attempts to overturn the democratic mandate of the 2016 Brexit referendum.
The establishment of the Workers Party, with the anti-imperialist and socialist politician George Galloway at its head, can provide inspiration to those who, like himself, find themselves politically homeless or desire to put their talents, creativity and energies at the service of the working class.
The Workers Party believes in the importance of a planned economy, in the directing role of the state. Free-market fundamentalism has gutted Britain of its industries, undermined our manufacturing and productive industries, castrating our society and adversely destabilising proud working-class traditions, culture and way of life.
Our country needs the state to guide the economic life of the country in such a way as to promote work, to respect the dignity of labour, and to serve the working people. All adults have a duty to work in a useful fashion, according to their talents and abilities, and society has an equal duty to ensure that useful employment is available to all, part-time or full-time according to the domestic, health and life constraints of the worker.
Useful work, well done for collective benefit gives personal fulfilment and shall be the basis of a society that collectively tackles the growing scourge of mental ill-health.
Class politics and socialism
The Workers Party is a socialist organisation. The Workers Party stands on principles and will not give these up, one by one, in the misplaced hope of a truce with our enemy.
The Workers Party is unequivocally committed to class politics. Though the fashion of the times is to divide working people along identity lines, we seek to unite them, based on their shared class interest. It is not ‘homophobic’ or ‘racist’ for socialists to focus their attention on those contradictions that concern the whole working class in its struggle for socialism. While being totally opposed to discrimination on grounds of race, sex or sexual proclivity, we declare that obsession with identity politics, including sexual politics, divides the working class.
The Workers Party stands with all those countries that have attempted to break free of imperialist domination and build a different kind of world. We defend the achievements of the USSR, China, Cuba etc, not least the debt owed by humanity to the Soviet Union and Red Army in their war of liberation against German fascism.
The Workers Party defends the independence and right to development of those countries that are today undermined and attacked by imperialism, not least the heroic Venezuelan people.
We categorically reject the attempt by the ruling class, its paid agents and the EU imperialist bloc to rewrite history so as to equate the Soviet Union with Hitlerite Germany. We shall defend the positive historical legacy of the Soviet Union as well as all those today who struggle for socialism; for an alternative world order.
What kind of Brexit – what kind of Britain? This is the question in many working people’s minds.
The Workers Party positively embraces Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Britain needs to be free of the EU regulations that would restrict our fiscal and monetary policy and prevent Britain from taking public ownership of key utilities and transport infrastructure.
If we are to be free to direct the affairs of our country to meet the needs of working-class people, we must be able to have something to say on the free movement of capital out of our country as well as the free movement of labour into it. Under a socialist system, the control of our borders, both physical and financial, will be a guarantee not only of the rights of our workers to good labour rights and rates of pay, but will restrict the ability of capital to pack up and leave for greener pastures, abandoning our workers and decimating British industry.
In tandem with these measures will be the coordinated action of workers and government to ensure that the ever-increasing productivity of labour, arising today from the development of robots and artificial intelligence, is put at the service of lightening the drudgery of work and not replacing the working class. We reject a future of parasitism where the British people, through the operation of the City of London, degenerate into an unemployed feckless rump living off cheap imported food and the plastic-electronic consumables of global capitalist anarchy.
What kind of Britain?
A ten-point programme for workers
- An end to imperialist wars and financial domination, starting with withdrawal from Nato.
- Rebuild British industry and abolish the anti-worker ‘rationalisation’ that puts profits ahead of people to provide useful, secure jobs for all in decent conditions, with living wages, paid holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, etc.
- Decent, cheap, secure housing for all.
- High-quality, free pre-school childcare and education, followed by high-quality, free, lifelong education and vocational training.
- Free and comprehensive healthcare with no waiting lists, accompanied by easy access to cheap and nutritious food.
- Public, high quality laundries, crèches and dining facilities that enable women to take part in work and public life without prejudice or physical barriers.
- High-quality, free provision of all necessary support services for the disabled, as well as the elderly. Full state support to enable families to look after their elderly, with nursing homes and sheltered accommodation for those in need of it, so that all workers are able to live full, dignified and meaningful lives.
- Universal access to a cheap or free fully-integrated public transport system and all essential amenities: water, sanitation, heating, electricity, post, telephone, internet.
- Open and easy access to all forms of culture and the media.
- A government that prioritises giving resources to the solving of urgent problems such as the need to live sustainably and protect our natural environment, putting science at the service of the people.