UKIP: an exercise in misdirection

NOVANEWS

 

 

 

Those of the disillusioned British electorate who bothered to vote at all on 22 May registered a huge protest vote against the three established parties of British capital. Unfortunately, they allowed their ‘protest’ to be directed in the interests of the very big business that has caused their anger in the first place.
The nationalist United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has been dominating headlines for many weeks in the run-up to and aftermath of the 22 May elections. In polls for local councils in England and for the European Parliament, UKIP saw its previously negligible clutch of council seats soar to 163, whilst the party topped the poll for the essentially toothless European Parliament, securing 24 MEPs – an increase of 11, on 27.5 percent of the poll.

As a result, all three of the big capitalist parties – LibDem, Labour and Conservative – are seeing swathes of what they consider to be their natural support base drifting towards UKIP, with a potential impact on next year’s much more important general election.

No doubt this is genuinely upsetting for the career politicians who hustle away in the front ranks of those three parties. What is less convincing, however, is the narrative that says that the election result is somehow shocking to Britain’s imperialist rulers. UKIP is, after all, very much a monster of the bourgeois political establishment’s own making.

Where did UKIP come from?

UKIP did not appear out of nowhere. And its success is certainly not attributable to any particular brilliance on the part of Nigel Farage or originality in his party’s manifesto. Indeed, most UKIP voters don’t have the first clue what’s written in that weighty document.

UKIP, essentially just another big-business-friendly party of British imperialism, differs from the others only in being new (and therefore not having exposed itself in power yet) and in being openly racist (and therefore less obviously hypocritical than all the parties that implement racist policies while pretending not to be racist).

The three main parties (if such they can still be called) and the corporate media have always striven to divide workers in Britain along the fault-lines of racism, xenophobia, religion, sexism, nationalism, and so on. We are now deep into the worst-ever crisis of over-production and still sinking – government claims of recovery notwithstanding. This means that the need for our rulers to divide workers in as many ways as possible is growing stronger as the crisis gets deeper.

Times are getting very hard for many working-class and even petty-bourgeois people – and they are going to get harder still. The ‘medicine’ of austerity is increasingly blighting the lives of the many, despite the continual assurances by establishment politicians and the servile media that we have ‘turned the corner’ and that ‘the worst is over’.

From our schooldays onwards, workers are taught that we in Britain live in a wonderful democracy where all are free and equal. However (or so the bourgeois fairy tale goes), there are sinister forces at work in the wider world. There are foreigners who either want what we have and are ‘flooding’ here to take it from us, or else these foreigners are madmen who live under such despotic regimes that they want to destroy our wonderful caring, sharing utopia.

The reality of living through the present capitalist crisis is doing much to undermine the confidence that we workers have in our rulers and their motivations, but the cynicism thus created has not yet brought enough of us to question the basic myths that have been pushed at us all our lives through capitalist media and schoolbooks.

Yes, many British workers have learned to hate and distrust all establishment politicians – but most of us still buy into the idea that somehow the system itself would work if only the people in Westminster were the ‘right sort’. Most of us know that the media lies – but too many of us still feel that ‘foreigners’ are either ‘taking our jobs’ or living on ‘our benefits’ and in ‘our houses’. Yes, we know that the wars that Britain launches around the world are not in our interest – but large numbers of us still harbour the illusion that Britain’s mercenary forces are inherently ‘the good guys’, on the side of right; heroes who are simply too civilised to commit crimes such as torture, rape, murder and genocide.

Despite knowing that British corporate media and politicians lie, many of us still have not yet woken up to the fact that the picture they have painted for us is a complete fabrication, and that this propaganda is what keeps us from recognising our real enemies and organising to get rid of them. So we allow ourselves to trust in the basic ‘honesty’ of British ‘journalism’ and to believe that the world outside of Britain really is full of despots and madmen – as proven by any half-hour perusal of the Sun, the Guardian or News at Ten, or any episode of Have I Got News For You or Mock the Week.

It is this combination of a growing distrust of established bourgeois politicians with a continued acceptance of the main planks of bourgeois propaganda that leads some workers to vote for ‘new’ and apparently ‘alternative’ parties such as UKIP.

Immigration, immigration, immigration

The three main parties all tell us that there is ‘too much immigration’ into this country and that they will be ‘tough’ on it if we vote them into power. And of course, once elected, they do indeed announce new racist measures to make life that little bit harder for ‘legal’ immigrants and totally miserable for the unfortunate ‘illegals’, but these measures are not actually aimed at stopping immigration – only at keeping alive the pretence that such is a desirable and realistic aim.

In truth, immigration can no more be stopped under the capitalist system than can the rising sun. Workers always have and always will move to where they can make a living, just as capital moves to where it can make the greatest profit.

Moreover, the capitalists and their political servants have no intention of stopping immigration, even if it were possible for them to do so. They know from their own research that ‘legal’ immigrants, taken as a whole, generate far more wealth than they take, while ‘illegal’ immigrants are worth their weight in gold to the national economy (ie, to imperialist profit margins), since they are virtual slaves of their employers, with no employment rights and no entitlements to the social wage (doctors, schools, benefits, housing, etc).

These downtrodden unfortunates live exactly the kind of lives that capitalists would prefer for all workers – no benefits, no rights, and if they get ‘uppity’ and try to stand up for themselves, they can simply be handed over to the authorities and shipped back to ‘where they came from’.

Unfortunately for the working-class movement, comparatively few workers have so far understood that the whole ‘debate’ amongst politicians about who has or hasn’t been ‘toughest’ in trying to ‘hold back the tide’ of immigration is simply a giant diversion, designed to keep workers in the dark about the real cause of their problems.

Crisis is built into the system of capitalist production, but, rather than let us understand that and draw our own conclusions about the continued usefulness of such a flawed set-up, our rulers do everything in their power to redirect our anger at the poverty that their crisis is forcing upon the masses of workers. So, just as the Nazis in 1930s crisis-ridden Germany pointed the finger at ‘jews’ as being the cause of German workers’ suffering, in Britain today our politicians tell us that ‘immigration’ and not capitalism is the enemy we need to fight.

The truth is that the only way to stop immigrants having a downward pull on our wages and conditions is to demand an end to all immigration laws and equal rights for every worker in Britain, and to recruit immigrant workers en masse into the British working-class movement. Together, we will be in a far stronger position to fight back against the attempts of our rulers to make us pay for their crisis through cuts to our pay, conditions, services, housing and pensions.

Ultimately, every person who works is a potential source of wealth to the nation. We have no reason to fear the arrival of immigrants on our shores. It is only the system of exploitation that forces workers to compete with one another for a short supply of jobs – and that would continue to be the case in any capitalist society, even if every immigrant was ‘sent home’ tomorrow.

Moreover, many of these superexploited foreign-born workers have experienced the sharp end of imperialism back in their home countries. They have often come here to escape the incredibly harsh conditions that Britain and other imperialist powers impose on other parts of the world in order to facilitate the looting of natural resources and the superexploitation of workers. This experience of the savage, fascistic face of imperialism, which is often hidden from workers in the relatively privileged centres of empire, makes such migrants a rich source of potential militance for our movement, if only we are prepared to recruit and learn from them.

Will UKIP take us out of Europe?

Much is made of the ‘euroscepticism’ of UKIP, and it is true that this does indeed play well with workers who mistrust the stated intentions of the politicians in Brussels. In other imperialist countries, too, there are right-wing populist parties and groups that, like UKIP, are anti-EU, and openly pander to xenophobia and racism.

They are all finding it increasingly easy to operate in the space that has been created for them by bourgeois politicos and media claiming endlessly that the cause of the problems working people face is not capitalism, but rather immigrants, foreigners, women wanting equal rights at/to work, not enough powers for the police, and so on.

The main complaints of these right-wing parties against Europe is that the legislators there have powers to override national decision-making, that European immigration is destroying our economy, and that the parliament is full of ‘lefties’ intent on implementing crazy health-and-safety measures and stopping us from using our good old-fashioned common sense to get on with our lives. Their assertions could not be further from the truth, however.

In fact, the EU is a grouping of European imperialist powers that have pulled poorer European capitalist countries into a subservient ‘alliance’ that allows their people to be used as cannon fodder or cheap labour for the purpose of shoring up the power of the leading imperialist powers. For the weaker countries, it is certainly true that joining the EU means an effective loss of national sovereignty and coming under the diktat of the stronger powers, but Britain does not come into that category.

The truth is that, far from being controlled by Brussels, Britain is one of the powers that seeks to control others throughBrussels. Although, of course, our own politicians are very fond of the trick of blaming ‘Europe’ for all sorts of unpopular legislation that they themselves have chosen to create. The real debate between our rulers over Europe is about whether, now that British imperialism has lost the world hegemony it once enjoyed, their interests as imperialists would be better served as a strong force within the EU or as a junior partner with a supposed ‘special relationship’ to the US.

The warlike and oppressive imperialist EU club does indeed need to be opposed, but that opposition needs to come in a principled form that educates workers about the class content of the EU’s real programme – not in the form of yet more divisive propaganda against everything ‘foreign’. Such a principled opposition is never going to be delivered by UKIP – a right-wing, anti-immigration party whose opposition to the European club essentially stems from its dreams of bygone days when British imperialism was the strongest in the world and had no need for such alliances.

A bourgeois-approved ‘alternative’

The established capitalist parties, in an attempt to keep their own ‘place in the sun’, sometimes seek to join in the attack on parties like UKIP and the BNP, claiming to be opposed to their racism and misogyny. But, since the backward and divisive ideas that the rightists so openly espouse are in full alignment with the lies that they themselves have helped to drip-feed into the working class from an early age, it is hardly surprising that plenty of workers don’t see their unpleasant utterances as a reason not to vote for UKIP in Britain, the Freedom Party in Holland or the Front Nationale in France – just the opposite, in fact.

Given the huge amounts of airtime and column inches dedicated to Farage and co across Britain’s media that has made it impossible for anyone living in this country to avoid hearing about the party, the ruling class can have been neither surprised nor upset by UKIP’s little victories

Never mind that some of the coverage appears to be censorious. The big press barons and BBC directors know as well as any PR guru the truth of the old adage, ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity.’ All those ‘debates’ and ‘shock-horror’ stories had one aim – to give British workers the impression that Farage and UKIP represented a viable (or threatening) ‘alternative’ to the three main parties; all of which have exposed themselves thoroughly in recent years and earned the disgust and mistrust of the vast majority of British workers.

It is another classic case of misdirection, the main aim of which is to keep us from looking outside the capitalist system for solutions to our problems.

And, of course, we now face the inevitable, Guardian-approved sight of the so-called ‘left’ social democrats whipping themselves up into a frenzy of ‘anti-fascist’ hysteria, and doing everything in their power to mobilise workers who haven’tfallen for UKIP’s openly-racist rhetoric into falling back behind Labour as the ‘least-worst’ option in 2015.

Unite against fascism?

‘Vote Labour to keep out the Tories/BNP/UKIP!’ (delete as applicable), they will tell us, yet again. But what does this slogan really amount to?

There is not a single capitalist party in Britain that is not also an imperialist party. That means they are all parties of war, of privatisation, of austerity and of racism. They will all play the race card and compete to be toughest on immigration in order to keep the workers divided and save the skin of the system that pays their wages. Does it really matter whether the spivs in Westminster are holding the Sun or the Guardian in their hands while they stir up anti-immigrant hysteria at home and commit war crimes abroad on behalf of the British ruling class?

The fascist bogeyman that is conjured up by these false friends of the working class ends up making us forget the realdanger posed by those who are actually in power, and diverts the energy of advanced workers away from building a really effective working-class movement into utterly self-defeating electoral canvassing for the Labour party in the name of ‘uniting against fascism’.

As we have always said, however, the racism of the Labour party (and other ‘respectable’ bourgeois parties) ends up recruiting for the far right when its followers realise that whatever anti-immigrant steps the ‘respectable’ bourgeois parties actually take when they are in government does absolutely nothing to improve the situation of the working-class masses. Since they have been told that it is immigrants who are the cause of the problems, they cannot but conclude that the anti-immigrant measures that have been taken are insufficient, which drives them into the arms of those promising even more draconian and racist measures.

Nevertheless, fascism and racism are not the same thing. Britain’s ‘respectable’ parties (Labour, Tory and LibDem) promote anti-immigrant racism without so far having become fascist. What is true, however, is that the capitalist class keeps alive the flame of racism as a tool to use should the fascist repression of the working class become necessary.

Fascism is the response of a crisis-ridden capitalist class to a strong and militant working-class movement whose rise is threatening the capitalists’ ability to hold onto power. Fascists use a mixture of racist scapegoating, demagogy (to persuade some) and brute force (to coerce the rest) in order to keep the ruling class on top when its ‘democratic’ veneer is no longer strong enough to keep the social peace and revolution is looming.

That is clearly not the case in Britain today. The ruling class has no need of out-and-out fascism just yet (notwithstanding the increasing pile of repressive legislation mounting in the statute book to which both Tory and Labour administrations have gleefully contributed). For the moment, the working-class movement is still in disarray following decades of Khrushchevite revisionism and the demoralisation that set in following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the socialist republics of eastern Europe. Crisis, war and bitter experience are teaching workers valuable lessons every day, and the left-wing movement is finally starting to regroup, but we still some way off being a serious threat to those in power.

By the time the ruling class does need to unleash fascist repression, there’s no reason to suppose that Labour couldn’t be any less of a candidate for the job than UKIP. Or, more likely, by that time, some other organisation will have been brought into being in an effort to fool at least some of us into believing it really does represent some kind of ‘new alternative’.

The point is that being openly racist is not the same as being fascist – although open racism is certainly one general trait of fascist dictatorships. And being openly racist in words doesn’t prove that UKIP is more racist than the parties that have actually been proving their racist credentials in deeds for the last century and more. The fact that they are able to be so openly racist in their rhetoric speaks volumes for the atmosphere that has been created by Labour and Tory governments alike, particularly in the last 20 years of incessant war, anti-terror legislation and anti-immigrant hysteria.

And let us not forget that it was a Labour government that sent the police to protect the National Front in Southall in 1979 (murdering Blair Peach in the process). Or that a Labour government introduced virginity tests for South Asian brides in the late 1970s.

In their last 12 years of power alone, Labour built a string of concentration camps for (mainly black) asylum seekers, created an atmosphere of hysterical islamophobia in support of its criminal wars abroad, and perpetrated horrific atrocities and war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that’s beside their other ‘achievements’, such as presiding over privatisations, PFI and a massive widening in the gap between rich and poor, agreeing to £20bn cuts in the NHS and destroying civil liberties. Now tell us again why we are supposed to be so terrified of UKIP?

In actual fact, allowing ourselves to be corralled into ‘anti-fascist unity’ before fascist repression is unleashed actually leads us to strengthen the forces that are promoting racism, even if they do this more surreptitiously than does UKIP. Unwittingly, we would become accomplices to the promotion of racism, to deceiving the working class, to dividing the working class against itself and to facilitating the path of fascism when our ruling class feels the need to resort to it.

What is most worrying about the increased support for UKIP is not that it is a fascist organisation, since for the moment it is not, but that it demonstrates the extent that British people have been fooled by the propaganda that the problems that they face today are caused by immigration and membership of the EU (because it supposedly foists immigrants on the UK). It is possible for people to vote for any of the three main parties without having been taken in by such crude lies, but it is not possible for people to vote for UKIP without demonstrating that they have been.

So what should we be doing about what is undoubtedly a worrying situation? The answer is obvious: we should be countering the bourgeois lies more effectively, and exposing all those who promote them – especially the sly racism of Tory and Labour which is more difficult to spot and therefore more difficult to resist.

What we certainly should not be doing is turning ourselves into canvassing and voting fodder for any of those parties.

The task is not so daunting. Let’s put things in perspective. While 4.35 million British people did indeed vote for UKIP on 22 May – more than for any other party standing in the European election – that only represents some 9 percent of the total UK electorate. Thirty-one million voters (a whopping 65 percent of those eligible) didn’t bother to go to the polls at all.

What clearer sign could there be that British workers are sick of the corruption and venality of bourgeois politicians and don’t feel represented by any of them? No wonder the corporate media went all out to push voters towards the pro-big-business ‘alternative’. Imagine if all those disaffected voters started thinking independently and looking for meaningful alternatives to capitalism!

In the end, only the results of a general election will give a more reliable indication, but, while there clearly are some poor, mainly white, areas around the country where UKIP are building a small following, alongside their main base of disaffected Tories in the shires, much of what we’ve seen in this election has been a carefully stage-managed protest vote. There aren’t many people in Britain who really care much about who gets elected to Europe, so what does it matter whether we send UKIP or Labour there?

Just like any other imperialist party, UKIP offers no alternative. A victory for UKIP, like a victory for Labour or the Tories, is simply another victory for our rulers, who remain firmly in power after each election circus featuring its various endorsed brands of ‘representatives’ has packed up and left town.

Build the alternative

Meanwhile, the interests of the working class – the overwhelming majority – can only be served by building a party that stands for the overthrow of imperialism, and with it the outmoded system of war, racism, and the exploitation of the great majority by a parasitic minority.

A major part of that party’s task is to take on the bourgeoisie’s racist propaganda head-on and help workers – both black and white – to understand that we are being taken for fools every time we accept a lie that keeps us divided from our class brothers and sisters and away from the struggle against capitalism. While we fight amongst ourselves and get poorer and poorer, our profiteering rulers are laughing all the way to the bank.

[h1]Building such a party is acquiring increasing urgency as British imperialism drags us inexorably towards a devastating third world war, which is the only imperialist ‘cure’ for this latest and deepest-ever crisis of overproduction.[/h1]

But another world is possible, and it is quite within our capabilities to build it. That is why we in the CPGB-ML carry a portrait of the great builder of Soviet socialism, Comrade JV Stalin, on May Day, alongside his famous message to workers: “Either place yourself at the mercy of capital, eke out a wretched existence as of old and sink lower and lower, or adopt a new weapon – this is the alternative imperialism puts before the

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NHS chiefs pocket £166 MILLION in bonuses – while nurses suffer 1% pay cut

NOVANEWS

The Mirror.

By 

The rise, 36% up on £122million the year before, could have paid for an extra 4,000 nurses – Jeremy Hunt has been accused of snatching cash of frontline workers

Sir David Nicholson

Lavish: Former NHS boss Sir David Nicholson

Nurses, midwives and other carers battered by David Cameron’s assault on NHS wages are night furious at revelations their bosses’ pay packets have risen by 36%.

Senior managers pocketed £166million in bonuses and other extras last year – as the Tory-led Coalition slashes £20billion in costs from the beleaguered service.

That is up 36% from £122million the year before.

The rise, on top of their annual salaries, could have paid for an extra 4,000 nurses, who have suffered a 1% cut.

The shock figures, seen by the Mirror, sparked outrage – with staff accusing Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt of paying the wages by snatching cash off struggling frontline workers.

Jon Skewes, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This is a slap in the face to midwives and maternity support workers.

“Enough is enough.

“These figures show Jeremy Hunt has given above and beyond to senior NHS managers and taken away from midwives and other overstretched frontline staff.

“He could have used this money to pay midwives a fair increase but instead he gave it to top managers.”

NHS: Pay

Campaign group Cure the NHS, which exposed the lack of nurses that contributed to the Stafford Hospital deaths scandal, also attacked the rises.

Founder Julie Bailey said: “NHS managers are already paid well enough. The public will be very unhappy with this.

“In times of austerity it doesn’t seem that we are ‘all in this together’ as people seem to suggest.”

Unison union’s head of health Christina McAnea added: “Once again the top earners look after ­themselves.

“The value of health workers’ pay has fallen by as much as 14%. Some members are resorting to food banks for help.

“If managers are worth an increase then staff on the ground are worth it too.”

The figures, from the Health and Social Care ­Information Centre, reveal 10,000 NHS managers ­pocketed an average of £6,596 on top of their basic salary of £78,000 in the last 12 months – up 41% on the year before.

Another 25,000 got an extra £3,956 each, a 35% rise to boost their £49,000 salaries.

nursing staff dispensing drugs

Anger: The bonuses could have paid for 4,000 more nurses

But nurses’ non-basic pay was £3,892, down 1% on the previous year. Midwives earned £4,823 – a 2% drop.

Health visitors were hit by a 7% fall leaving them with £932 in non-basic pay.

The Department of Health said non-basic pay included “a whole category of payments, such as ­overtime, redundancy, bonuses and clinical ­excellence awards”.

It insisted some of the 36% rise would have been in payoffs for axed posts.

But separate figures obtained by the Mirror showed the number of NHS bosses remained static last year.

DoH spokesman said: “Managers’ pay should be subject to greater restraint than frontline staff.

“We are working with NHS England to make sure this happens.”

New NHS boss Simon Stevens ordered a clampdown on lavish spending after figures this week showed nine health chiefs blew almost £200,000 last year on fine dining and hotels.

His ­predecessor Sir David Nicholson claimed £32,000.

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Holocaust memorial day posters defaced in east London

NOVANEWS
Police investigate graffiti on event posters in Stratford, after heightened concern about risk to UK’s Jewish population.
Police investigate after a Holocaust memorial day poster is defaced in Stratford, east London

Police investigate after a Holocaust memorial day poster is defaced in Stratford, east London. Photograph: Newham Council/PA

Posters advertising a Holocaust memorial event have been daubed with graffiti including the words “liars” and “killer”.

The Metropolitan police said the incidents, which took place in Stratford, east London, were being listed as a hate crime, and said officers in Newham were investigating.

Newham council received pictures of the offences – involving three posters publicising the council’s Holocaust memorial day event – through social media.

Meanwhile, chief constables across the country are reviewing how to strengthen the protection of their officers and the Jewish community in the light of the Paris terrorist attacks.

Assistant commissioner Mark Rowley, the national policing lead for counter-terrorism, said the attack on a kosher supermarket in the French capital and antisemitic rhetoric from extremists had led to a heightened concern about the risk to the Jewish population in the UK.

Sir Robin Wales, mayor of Newham, described the incidents in east London as despicable.

He said: “This despicable and cowardly hate-crime is an assault on the values of decency and mutual respect which the vast majority of us share.

“This outrage underlines not only the importance of keeping the memory of the Holocaust alive but of standing up to intolerance and hatred at every opportunity.

“Newham council will work with our police partners to bring those responsible to justice.”

The graffiti, which is being treated as racially aggravated criminal damage, has already been removed from the three sites around the Stratford area, the council said.

The posters, which are on display at 43 sites across the borough, are advertising the council’s Holocaust memorial day event on 27 January at Stratford town hall.

The council said police were checking the borough’s CCTV footage to try to identify those responsible and council officials would monitor all advertising boards in case of further offences.

Resident James Tattle reported one of the incidents to Newham council on Twitter.

He said he was “repulsed” by what he saw.

“I recently noticed the posters promoting the Holocaust Memorial Day event, I thought it was great that an event was happening locally to mark the occasion. I was utterly repulsed, and saddened, to see one of the posters had been defaced,” he said.

“I couldn’t believe that anyone would stoop so low as to scrawl that graffiti – not something I expect to see in London in 2015.”

The racially aggravated criminal damage was found in three locations: two in High Street, Stratford, and one in West Ham Lane, near Stratford Park, the council said.

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Nigel Farage admits he still wants the NHS scrapped in favour of US-style insurance scheme

NOVANEWS
Mirror
By 

The Ukip leader says ditching the NHS is a ‘debate we’re going to have to return to’

Ukip Leader Nigel Farage

Debate: Ukip Leader Nigel Farage

Slippery Nigel Farage has admitted he still wants Britain’s treasured NHS to be scrapped and replaced with a US-style private insurance-based system.

The UKIP leader was caught on video in 2012 telling supporters he would “feel more comfortable” with a privatised health system.

When the bombshell video emerged last year, panicking UKIP spin doctors insisted Mr Farage’s views have since changed.

But in a new BBC interview to be aired this morning, Mr Farage says ditching the NHS is “a debate we’re going to have to return to”.

And he makes clear it was only abandoned as official UKIP policy due to pressure from worried pals.

Mr Farage said: “I triggered a debate within UKIP that was outright rejected by my colleagues, so I have to accept that.

“As time goes on, this is a debate that we’re all going to have to return to.”

The 2012 video proved highly toxic to UKIP, which is now trying to take votes from Labour as well as its traditional base of disaffected Tories.

In the clip, Thatcher-loving Mr Farage said: “I think we are going to have to move to an insurance-based system of healthcare.

“Frankly, I would feel more comfortable that my money would return value if I was able to do that through the marketplace of an insurance company, than just us trustingly giving £100billion a year to central government and expecting them to organise the healthcare service from cradle to grave for us.”

Labour said the comments show the self-styled ‘man-of-the-people’ was completely out of step with the public.

But in his latest interview Mr Farage insisted a dramatic change in approach will be needed to care for Britain’s ageing population.

“There is no question that healthcare provision is going to have to be very much greater in ten years than it is today, with an ageing population, and we’re going to have to find ways to do it,” he said.

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Scottish nationalism is a dangerous diversion

NOVANEWS

 

Fight for the unity of the British working class!

 

Saltire
The following resolution was passed at the recent CPGB-ML party congress.
This congress notes with concern the frenzy of nationalist sentiment that has been whipped up amongst British workers in Scotland in the run-up to the recent independence referendum.Congress further notes that the conduct of this referendum had all the hallmarks of a classic piece of bourgeois misdirection: the huge amount of media coverage given to fake ‘choices’ and bourgeois electoral ‘promises’, for example, and the massive corporate media endorsement given to the ‘Yes’ campaigners, while at the same time presenting them as an ‘alternative’. This reflects a similar level of hysteria around the European elections in May this year, when, whileofficially rejecting the racism and scaremongering of UKIP, the other main parties and the entire media machine allimplicitly endorsed the party and its leader by jumping to their agenda and giving them endless amounts of coverage.Congress believes that in the cases of both the Scottish nationalists and UKIP, the votes they received would not have been nearly so high without the constant media circus surrounding them, which acted as an extremely persuasive endorsement, even as the other main British parties were pretending to stand in ‘opposition’ to them. In fact, UKIP and the SNP, just like the other capitalist parties in Britain, all serve the imperialist ruling class and work to preserve that class’s rule.

Congress further believes that votes for the SNP and for Scottish ‘independence’, like votes for UKIP, are an expression of the fact that workers are dissatisfied and disillusioned with bourgeois politics and have given up their hopes of Labour delivering for working people. They are angry at declining living standards, shrinking job opportunities and disappearing services; they are aware that something is wrong with the status quo and that something needs to be done about it. By presenting us with various carefully-presented ‘alternatives’ to the main capitalist parties, our rulers seek to provide us with harmless (to them) outlet for our anger, while keeping intact the very system that causes that anger in the first place.

Congress notes that, with the worst effects of the overproduction crisis still to hit British workers, and with World War 3 looming on the horizon, the British ruling class is very much in need of any and all diversions that can help to keep the working class divided, and stop us from understanding the real cause of our problems.

Congress further notes that, for all the left-leaning sentiment of many of the supporters of Scottish ‘independence’, the ruling class has no intention of allowing its own unity and strength to be diminished by any apparent separation. Nor is there the slightest reason to suppose that those members of the British ruling class who call Scotland home have any intention of giving up their status as some of the world’s richest and most ruthless imperialist exploiters. Therefore, congress believes that an ‘independent’ Scotland would divide and weaken the British working class without dividing or weakening the capitalist ruling class and without changing that ruling class’s imperialist character.

This congress believes that, in the context of Britain, the promotion of nationalism in all its forms – English, Scottish, Welsh, black, etc – is ultimately aimed at dividing workers from one another and at diverting as many of them as possible away from the revolutionary struggle for socialism. Such a struggle, while not noticeably on the agenda for many in Britain today, is bound to become more obviously necessary in the coming period, as unemployment spirals, essential services are cut or scrapped altogether, and poverty and war take their toll on workers who once imagined that the temporary gains and apparent ‘peace’ of the post-WW2 period were here to stay.

Congress further believes that the various ‘left’ forces that support the call for an ‘independent’ Scotland are doing so for the usual unscientific and opportunistic reasons – because they have (as usual) unquestioningly accepted bourgeois propaganda that claims that Scotland is a separate nation to the rest of Britain; because (as usual) they have accepted the fake debate and ‘choices’ presented in the imperialist media referendum circus; and because (as usual) they have no interest in standing up for the long-term revolutionary interests of the British working class. Our party has no problem standing on the opposite side of these charlatans on a whole host of issues, from support for the anti-imperialist resistance to British imperialist wars to support for the former and presently-existing socialist states. There is no reason for us to suddenly seek the shelter of such dubious endorsement on the question Scottish nationalism.

As far as devolution is concerned, this congress takes the view that the maximum possible local powers with really representative officials, elected and recallable by those they serve, should be the right of all workers in Britain. But these, like all the other just demands of British workers, will be fought for and won on the basis of a real class struggle, not granted in fake form by way of a bribe for taking the nationalist bait. In a class society, it is not so much a question of where a parliament is based as to whom the MPs inside it give their loyalty. An imperialist-aligned parliament in Holyrood is no more likely to be representative of the interests of Glasgow welders and Highland crofters than the Westminster parliament has ever been of East End dockers and small Cornish sheep farmers.

This congress endorses the view taken at the last congress that Scotland is not a nation separate from the rest of Britain, and that Scottish nationalism is a reactionary ideology, aimed at tying workers more tightly to an imperialist ruling class.

Congress further endorses the arguments made in Proletarian recently that the ‘independence’ on offer is of such a character as to be merely a mirage, not capable of weakening the unity or strength of the British ruling class, but very much aimed at breaking the unity and strength of the British working class. By dangling the chimera of an ‘independent’ Scotland in front of workers in Scotland, the ruling class aims to offer an outlet for workers’ anger against the capitalist system, and to lessen the resistance of all British workers to its neverending drive for austerity and war.

This congress believes that the ultimate source of nationalist sentiment in Britain is pessimism amongst workers. This pessimism follows the collapse of the Soviet Union and the east European socialist bloc, as well as 60 years of revisionism running rampant in our movement. Workers have for too long been bereft of clear ideological guidance, and too many of our self-appointed leaders have endorsed the propaganda lies of the capitalists rather than standing up for the interests of the working class.

Congress notes that, as a result of this, our class as a whole has temporarily lost faith in the possibility of revolution. Today, all too many of us are looking for smaller and smaller ‘gains’ with which to satisfy ourselves: not the guarantee of a secure, equal and totally free health service, for example, but one where the profiteers aren’t too obviously dominant; not opposition to all cuts and privatisation, but a plea that cuts should come a little more slowly … and so on. In the case of Scotland, workers are trading their fight for a socialist Britain in return for the electoral promise of fewer cuts to health and education services north of the border – with no reason to believe that such promises will ultimately be kept, and an implicit agreement to raise no objection to whatever cuts are implemented in the rest of Britain.

This congress believes that, in light of all the above, the job of communists is to show workers that it is not immigrants (in the case of those who have fallen for racist propaganda), white people (in the case of those who have fallen for black nationalist propaganda) or ‘the English’ (in the case of those who have fallen for Scottish nationalist propaganda) who are to blame for their problems, but the capitalist-imperialist system itself.

This congress therefore resolves:

To uphold and propagate the position reached at our last congress that Scotland is not a separate nation, but that the workers in Scotland are as much a part of the British working class as workers in Yorkshire, Merseyside or Bristol.

To make every possible effort to overcome the pessimism that leads people to be drawn into nationalist diversions, and to explain to workers on both sides of the border that we need to build the maximum possible unity in order to develop a revolutionary movement to overthrow imperialism and build socialism throughout Britain.

To resuscitate the memory of such legendary working-class leaders from Scotland as Willie Gallacher and others who were instrumental in developing revolutionary class consciousness and forging a strong communist party in Britain in the 1920s and 1930s. The legacy of this movement is still to be felt in the antipathy that many older working-class people in Scotland still feel for nationalism, despite the widespread disillusionment with Labour in particular and with social democracy generally.

To produce two pamphlets, as agreed at the last congress – one that collects all our party’s articles and analysis on this question in one place, and another that aims to answer in a simple way questions such as ‘Does standing against independence make me a unionist?’, and ‘Are you saying I shouldn’t feel proud of my Scottish heritage and traditions?’

No to bourgeois nationalism, which ties workers to imperialism and turns us into tools of our own oppression.

Yes to working-class unity, yes to revolution, and yes to a socialist future for all British workers!

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Divide and rule: EU immigration and UKIP

NOVANEWS

The following resolution was passed at the recent CPBG-ML party congress.

This congress recognises that the current economic crisis gripping the capitalist world is a crisis of overproduction due to contradictions inherent in the capitalist system itself. It is this crisis of overproduction that causes the bourgeoisie, as owners of the means of production, to close down much of their operations ,thus giving rise to a huge increase in unemployment worldwide.

This congress further recognises that the crisis of overproduction expresses itself as a financial crisis principally because, with glutted markets, the bourgeoisie is unable to sell all its products and therefore defaults on loans on a massive scale. Rescued by the bourgeois state, the banks recover their solvency on the backs of the taxpayers, who are required to pay higher taxes in return for diminished public services for years into the future, while the bourgeoisies of the various capitalist countries continue exponentially to increase their wealth.

This congress notes that the bourgeois media in this country are offering up two Aunt Sallies to bear the blame for the distress its system is causing to the masses of the working class, including the privileged sections of it – the labour aristocracy and intelligentsia. These are (a) the European Union, and (b) immigration.

This congress asserts that our party is resolutely opposed to the European Union as an imperialist project, but that we are nevertheless aware that the European Union is in no way responsible for the economic crisis.

Congress notes, however, that the single currency has had the effect up to now of concentrating the worst effects of that crisis on Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland. This inequality has created pressures within the European Union which threaten to tear it asunder – a result that we would welcome. However, whether the European Union survives or not will not affect the economic crisis which will progress relentlessly to the end of its cycle.

This congress notes that, because full employment is extremely rare under the conditions of capitalism, the capitalist system puts workers in competition with each other to secure whatever employment opportunities exist.

Congress further notes that, to safeguard its iniquitous system, the bourgeoisie encourages workers to blame each other for the lack of jobs – exploiting differences of nationality, race, religion, gender, or any other which is to hand.

This congres believes that workers need to understand that we can only confront the real cause of our misery – the capitalist economic system – if we unite for the purpose, overcoming all forms of racism and xenophobia, which only harm the proletarian movement.

This congress further believes that the recent successes of the UK Independence Party in local elections, in which it fought on a platform of opposition to the European Union and to immigration, bears testimony to the seductive appeal of such wrong ideas among those who are worst affected by the bourgeoisie’s onslaught on workers’ livelihoods and living standards.

Congress therefore resolves that our party must redouble its efforts to spread among the broadest sections of the working class the understanding that the real cause of the present austerity is the capitalist system; that the only solution is socialism, and that there is an absolute need for unity of workers regardless of nationality, race, religion, sex, etc in the fight to overthrow capitalism and establish and build socialism.

 

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UKIP, xenophobia and the upcoming general election

NOVANEWS

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Divisive role of racism

Racism is a potent weapon used by the ruling class to divide the working class so as to render the latter powerless in its struggle against capitalist exploitation and all the ills that flow from it – unemployment, inadequate housing, poor education, with health provision and social services under relentless attack. Racist propaganda aims to portray the foreigner and the immigrant as the enemy, responsible for all the ills of capitalism, and thus direct the wrath of the working class against the ills and inequities of capitalism against those who are the worst victims of capitalist exploitation and predatory imperialist wars. While ever-present in bourgeois society, racism assumes monstrous proportions in periods of economic crisis, as has been the case since 2008, which set off the worst ever economic crisis, as well as in the run-up to elections, when bourgeois parties try to gain electoral advantage by setting up their divisive stalls through whipping up anti-immigrant and anti-refugee hysteria. The next British general election, due in May 2015, is no exception. This time round, spurred on by the electoral successes of the anti-immigrant and anti-EU Ukip (United Kingdom Independence Party), the major bourgeois parties – Conservative, Labour and LibDem – have turned up the volume of their racist propaganda.

Ukip’s electoral success

Ukip won the greatest share of votes in the last election to the European Parliament held on Thursday 22 May 2014 on an anti-EU and anti-immigration platform, causing panic in the Conservative camp. With a fairly large number of Conservative parliamentarians harbouring great sympathy for the Ukip programme, Prime Minister David Cameron, in an effort to appease the Eurosceptic battalions in his party, was obliged to promise, if his party won the election, an in-or-out referendum in 2017 on British membership of the European Union. Further, he asserted that he would recommend a British exit from the EU unless he could secure better terms for Britain, which would require treaty revision. That will not happen, for such a revision requires the agreement of all other member states, quite of few of which are opposed to such an outcome. For its part, Ukip has successfully exploited the chasm that separates Cameron’s rhetoric from reality and has lured two Conservative MPs to defect to its camp – Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless.

The Clacton and Strood by-elections

Having defected to Ukip, Douglas Carswell resigned his parliamentary seat, forcing a by-election in his Clacton constituency from where he won, with a 35% swing over the Tories. This was quickly followed by the defection to Ukip of another Conservative MP, Mark Reckless. Following in the footsteps of Carswell, he too resigned his seat, forcing a by-election in the constituency of Rochester and Strood. With a swing of 42% to Ukip, Reckless won on 20 November by a majority of 2,900 votes, securing 16,867 votes (42.10%), while the Conservative candidate polled 13,947 (34.81%) and Labour 6,713 (16.76%). The LibDems, with 349 (0.87%) were reduced to total irrelevance, with their share of the votes sinking below the 1.2% the Liberals received at the Glasgow Camlachie by-election in 1948.

More than Douglas Carswell, who is a figure of some stature and intellectual depth, the defection and victory of Reckless, a much-derided nonentity, sent shockwaves through the Conservative Party. If Ukip can win in Rochester, which was the 271stmost winnable seat on its list, it can hardly augur well for the Tories. Their defeat in Rochester was all the more glaring considering that Cameron had made it a point of prestige, reportedly saying that he wanted to kick Reckless’s fat arse off the green benches of the Commons and insisting that he would throw the kitchen sink at winning the seat. Cabinet members and Conservative MPs were instructed to visit the constituency in support of their candidate. Notwith-standing a record number of 97 ministerial visits, including five by Mr Cameron, as well as by 246 Tory MPs (80% of their number in the Commons), each of whom made at least one visit, and a logistically impressive mail drop to each household across the constituency on the morning of the poll, the Tories failed to win the seat where they had a majority of 10,000 at the last election.

Profusion of racist propaganda

In sheer desperation, the Conservative candidate, Miss Kelly Tolhurst, sent a barely disguised racist letter, approved by the Tory headquarters, mentioning “uncontrolled immigration” and the fact that local people felt unsafe on their high street owing to crime, linking the two issues in a way that made it appear that it was the immigrants who were responsible for crime on the high street. Even some right-wing Tory MPs were reportedly ‘incandescent’ about the letter, characterising it as ‘deeply unpleasant’.

For his part, Reckless maintained that Ukip stood for the repatriation of migrants after Britain’s withdrawal from the EU, a statement which Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, was forced to dismiss, with Reckless insisting that repatriation had been the party policy up to then. A mere few days later, Farage went on to say that children born to immigrant parents in the UK ought also to be regarded as immigrants.

While the prime minister slyly hints that Britain is in danger of being overwhelmed by migrants, some of his colleagues are only too overt on the subject. His Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, explicitly asserted on the Andrew Marr Show that Britain’s towns were being “swamped” by migrants, with their residents “under siege” from “large numbers of migrant workers and people claiming benefits”. On instructions from the Party leadership, Fallon retracted his remarks but by then his utterances had achieved their intended purpose of fanning the flames of racism. Be it said in passing that Fallon received public support from several MPs, including David Blunkett, former Labour Home Secretary.

Ukip and Labour

In addition to being a threat to Tory electoral fortunes, there are signs that Ukip is eating into Labour votes as well. In October, Ukip came within 617 votes of winning in Heywood and Middleton (Greater Manchester), a safe Labour seat in the Party’s former industrial heartlands. Ukip asserts that it, not Labour, represents the concerns of the working class. The truth is that none of the bourgeois parties, including Ukip, care about, let alone represent, the interests of the working class. Ukip’s main policy plank – anti-EU an anti-immigration – is hardly a recipe for the liberation of the working class from the horrors of capitalism.

In an effort to placate the eurosceptic wing of his party and win the coming General Election, David Cameron is concentrating on securing EU agreement for draconian restrictions on in-work and out-of-work benefits for migrants from the EU, such as the denial of universal credit to those who are unemployed, denial of tax credits, social housing and child benefits to those who have been in Britain for less than four years; and those unable to secure work for six months are to face deportation. If implemented, these proposals can only result in the subjection of migrants to further exploitation and degradation.

Not desiring to lag behind, the Labour Party too is busy burnishing its anti-immigrant image, notwithstanding the assertion by Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, to the effect that Labour will not pander to ” those who deny the positive contribution that immigrants have always made to our country”. It is precisely to such people that Labour is busy pandering. In October, Labour leader Ed Miliband, saying that immigration was the top concern of his Party, went on to declare that Labour would work for EU reforms, which would entail barring migrants from new member countries for a longer period, and deny child benefit and tax credit for children resident outside of Britain. In November, Ms Reeves announced an extension of the restriction on out-of-work and in-work benefits.

Writing in Why Vote Labour 2015, Shadow Immigration Minister, David Hanson, with admirable candour, stated: ” There is nothing in labour history, values, or traditions that require us to be in favour, in principle, of unlimited immigration”, adding that “…we have and always will be for managed immigration”. Dead right! Like the other bourgeois parties, Labour is, as it always has been, in favour of managing immigration to suit the interests of British capital, for the purpose of every single measure to draw a line between migrant and indigenous workers, as by limiting or denying state benefits to the former, is to hand them on a platter to the capitalist class as material for super-exploitation. This in turn puts downward pressure on the wages and conditions of non-migrant labour and gives rise to resentment against the unfortunate foreign victims of such measures, while the capitalist class laughs all the way to the bank.

ONS figures

At the end of November, the ONS (Office for National Statistics) published figures revealing that in the year to June 2014, net migration to the UK rose to 260,000, compared with 244,000 in June 2010 when the Conservative and LibDem coalition government came into office promising to reduce migration to the ” tens of thousands” by 2015. According to the latest figures, immigration for the year 2014 rose to 583,000, up from 502,000 in the previous 12 months.

Ukip seized upon these figures, with Nigel Farage accusing the Tories “of a total scandal or a long-standing con trick”.

Ukip migration spokesman, Steven Woolfe, said:

” Today’s astronomical migration figures show an abject failure by this Government to control immigration, despite countless promises to the public.

“‘The eye-watering increase places immense strain on employment prospects, schools, hospitals and housing.”

It is not immigrants who are placing strain on employment prospects, schools, hospitals and housing; it is the inexorable workings of capitalism which produce these strains, for even if every immigrant were to be thrown out of the country, within a very short time capitalism will see to it that a certain portion of the population is superfluous to its requirements. This is the truth that none of the bourgeois political parties dares to speak.

In an attempt to out-Ukip Ukip, a Labour spokesman greeted these figures thus:

“Every quarter, the net migration figures shred Theresa May’s reputation a little bit more. A failing immigration system presided over by a failing Home Secretary and Prime Minister”.

In addition, the ONS figures drove home the simple fact that the government’s fixation on EU migrants, driven by Ukip, bears no relation to reality. Of the 583,000 people who came to Britain from abroad, a good deal fewer than half, or 247,000, came from the EU. In other words, as usual, greater migration is from outside the EU which theoretically is within the government’s remit to control, which goes to show that all the anti-EU noise by the government, as well as other bourgeois parties, is merely a side show to distract the attention of the masses and deluding them into believing that an exit from the EU will solve all problems. Moreover nothing is ever mentioned about the 315,000 plus people who EMIGRATE from the UK every year! It is equally deceptive to assert that an end to all immigration will solve the problems of unemployment, for imperialism is bound to continue causing job losses through the export of capital and increased labour productivity on a vast scale without any help from net immigration.

Refugees

As regards the influx of refugees, they are the victims of wars waged by imperialism, or the civil strife inspired, aided and abetted by imperialism – from Yugoslavia to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and many other places. Their number, for the first time since the Second World War, stands at a record 50 million. These are people who have been forced in their millions, literally at gunpoint, to flee from their countries, devastated by predatory imperialist wars waged by Anglo-American imperialism, yet they are denied refugee status by the ruling classes of the very countries which are responsible for their sad plight. In 2014 alone, 3,000 people have died in the course of attempts to reach Europe via the Mediterranean. Those lucky enough to survive the journey are subjected to extremely harsh treatment by the police forces of the countries of their intended destination or of the transit countries. One has only to cast a cursory glance at the refugee shacks in the French port of Calais to gauge the immorality and inhumanity with which imperialism treats the victims of its wars.

The US and British inspired civil strife in Syria alone has forced 3.3 million Syrians to become refugees abroad, with another 7.6 million internally displaced, with no end in sight as yet as leading imperialist powers continue to fuel the war with weapons and money funnelled through their surrogates – the Gulf autocracies and the Turkish government of Erdogan.

The British working class is honour bound to defend the right of the victims of its ‘own’ ruling class to seek and gain asylum in Britain. Any other stance would be the height of meanness and a total violation of the basic principles of proletarian internationalism.

Labour – not a working-class Party

If the Labour Party were truly a party of the working class, which it decidedly is not, its spokesmen would not be promising the recruitment of 1,000 extra UK border guards to keep immigrants out. They would not be complaining, as the Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper did recently, that during the Coalition government ”the number of people stopped and turned away at the border has halved. A smaller proportion of the people absconding at the border are being found”, adding that “we recently discovered 175,000 failed asylum seekers may not be removed because the Department has ‘limited resources’”. How is this stance any different from that of Ukip?

If indeed Labour had the interests of the working class at heart, it would instead be pinning the blame for all the major ills of our society on capitalism – not on the victims of this system. However, it is not a party of the British proletariat, notwithstanding the shrill assertions of its apologists – ‘left’-wing social democrats, renegade revisionists and counter-revolutionary Trotskyites. Rather than looking after the interests of the working class, it stands, just like the other bourgeois parties, for attacking the working class at home and waging war against the oppressed peoples abroad. And to continue to do that, it needs a divided working class, to which end it is not at all disinclined, just like the other bourgeois parties, to use the weapon of racism.

Migrants are not scroungers

Far from being scroungers, who lead lazy lives on state benefits, repeated studies have shown that just the opposite is the case. The latest study on the subject by two distinguished migration experts at University College, London University, published in November, brings out clearly that between 2000 and 2011, European migrants made a net contribution of £20bn to public finances; of this, £5bn was from East European migrants, educating whom would have cost Britain £6.8bn had their education not been paid for by their countries of origin. If they appear to be contributing to poor housing, bad schools and inadequate health provision, that is mainly due to the fact that, being at the bottom of the pile, they end up in deprived and rundown places which are not provided with decent services and facilities – a fault that is neither theirs nor of the people already eking out an existence in such places.

Disillusionment with bourgeois parties

The rise of Ukip is a reflection of the disillusionment of the electorate with the three major bourgeois political parties, none of which have any real solutions to the problems facing the working class. Having spent gargantuan amounts rescuing the robber barons of finance capital, with the Treasury empty and budget deficits uncomfortably high, wages stagnant despite the economy being allegedly in its sixth year of recovery, the government is busy attacking the working class through continuing austerity as well as waging war abroad. In the absence of a truly revolutionary party of the proletariat, whatever resistance the working class has to offer is channelled into the dead end of support for the Labour Party which promises to implement similar austerity measures only over a slightly longer period sprinkled with ‘kindly’ rhetoric. Thus we find ourselves in the dreadful situation whereby the ruling class not only attacks the working class and wages war on the oppressed people but also, through its agents in the working-class movement, controls the anti-austerity and anti-war campaigns whose function, it would appear, is to pacify the anger of the working class and mobilise them as vehicles for the election of a Labour government. The People’s Assembly against austerity and the Stop the War Coalition perform precisely these dishonourable roles – furious denial by the revisionists and Trotskyites notwithstanding.

A hung parliament likely

Meanwhile, to stop the Ukip bandwagon gathering momentum, Conservatives and Labour are busy putting out the same sort of vicious propaganda against migrants and refugees. Only the results following the coming general election will show if they have scuppered the chances of Ukip emerging as a third major force in the British parliament, eclipsing the LibDems. What is most likely, though, is that the next parliament, like the present one, would be hung, with no party commanding an absolute majority. Whether Labour or the Tories get the most seats will depend on the performance of the SNP (Scottish National Party) in Scotland. If the latter manages, as predicted, to rout Labour in Scotland, and Labour lost quite a few of its 41 seats in Scotland it would thus be deprived of the chance of emerging as the largest party in parliament.

Overthrow imperialism

Be that as it may, the working class needs to understand that no bourgeois party has a solution to its problems, for the solution lies outside the bounds of imperialism. There will be no peace on earth, and no end to attacks on the working class, as long as imperialism continues to exist. The overthrow of imperialism alone will bring about the liberation of the working class in the imperialist countries and the vast masses of oppressed people abroad. Unless and until the working class grasps this obvious truth, it is bound to be driven from pillar to post between the Conservatives, Labour and some other outfit like Ukip. Those who are really interested in serving the working class and the oppressed peoples have a duty to work for the building of a truly revolutionary party of the proletariat, without whose leadership the working class cannot accomplish its historical mission of achieving socialism through the overthrow of capitalism.

Europe not overpopulated

Before concluding this article, it is worth emphasising that neither Britain nor the rest of Europe are overpopulated. The European Commission has just published a report on the subject entitled The 2015 aging report: underlying assumption and projection methodologies. It states that in a Europe defined by aging societies, shrinking workforces and stagnant living standards, immigration, while being a political problem, is part of the solution.

The EC report forecasts that immigration into the UK up to 2060 will be to the tune of 9 million people, while net immigration into the EU will total 55 million, of whom 70% will be destined for just four of the EU’s 28 member states: 15.5 million to Italy, 9.2 million to the UK, 7 million to Germany and 6.5 million to Spain. That these projections are likely to be exploited by xenophobic parties such as Ukip in Britain , the Front National in France and the Northern League in Italy, has little to do with the reality of a Europe characterised by an aging and shrinking workforce.

The EC report goes on to say that Africa’s share of the global population is forecast to rise from 15% in 2010, while that of Europe will fall from 7.2% to 5%, despite net migration flows. Overall the EU’s population is forecast to rise to 523 million in 2060 form 507 million in 2013.

According to these projections, Britain will become the EU’s most populous country, with the number of people rising form the present 64.1 million to 86.1 million in 2060, with the French population rising from 65.7 million to 75.7 million, while that of Germany will register a decline from 81.3 million to 70.8. Largely owing to immigration, the UK would wield extra weight in the EU – if, that is, the EU is still in existence by then and the UK continues to be a member of it.

Conclusion of the EC report

European societies are aging so fast that, even with net migration, the EU will in 2060 have only two working-age people for every person over the age of 65, instead of the present four.

Nobody knows whether these projections will actually come to be realised. One thing, however, is clear, i.e., that in the sober analysis of the European ruling classes, immigration is more of an economic necessity than a political choice.

As usual, bourgeois thinking on the subject is marked by a kind of schizophrenia. On the one hand the bourgeoisie whips up racist and anti-immigrant hysteria, the better to divide the working class by diverting the latter’s gaze away from capitalism as the real cause of its misery and laying the blame on the doorstep of immigrants, while on the other hand it at the same time produces well-founded reports that emphasise the necessity of increased immigration.

Overpopulation and immigrants are not the problem. Capitalism alone stands in the way of fraternal harmony, rising prosperity and a peaceful world. Let the working class realise this truth, rise to the occasion and accomplish its historical mission of overthrowing capitalism and replacing it with socialism. Let those who claim to be socialists, Marxist-Leninists, make sure that it is this message, and this alone, that permeates the working-class movement.

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WHY ARE LONDON’S POLICE TRAVELLING TO I$RAHELL?

NOVANEWS
Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

In the six month period from 1st March 2014 to 31st August 2014, Eighty of London’s Metropolitan Police staff travelled to Israel. This period coincides with Operation Protective Edge, the recent bombardment and massacre of of over 2000 Palestinians in Gaza.

British armed response unit

Recently it was revealed that the Israeli army is systematically training US police forced in tactics and strategy developed as an occupying army. Has the same or similar service been provided to European police forces?

The Metropolitan Police will not reveal the purpose of the trips to Israel or the rank of the staff that travelled. A reason given for withholding the information is that it would “have the effect of compromising law enforcement tactics and strategies ”. However, If the Metropolitan Police are learning inappropriate tactics and strategy to use on London civilians then, it is for that very reason, that this information should be released into the public domain.

If it’s the reverse and the police are teaching tactics and strategy to Israel in the context of its illegal occupation then it shows a level of involvement in the occupation that was hitherto hidden and may imply criminal behaviour according to international law.

“when your police come back, you become their enemy”

The US Militarised police force

The recent events in Ferguson demonstrate the danger of an over militarised police. Do we want to see this in Europe? Eran Efrati warned that Israel’s training of American police is dangerous. Their methods are developed in a context, where the “citizens” are seen and treated as an enemy to be crushed. As he explains, “when your police come back, you become their enemy”.

March 03rd, 2014 talk by Eran Efrati including the revelations that the United States police forces were being trained by the Israeli Army

 

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Britain’s GCHQ Domestic Spying

NOVANEWS

Apparatus to be granted Greater Surveillance Powers after Paris Attacks

Global Research

Following the tragic events in Paris, David Cameron is meeting with security heads to potentially grant the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) even greater spying powers. In a disgusting (yet predictable) move by Cameron and fellow Western leaders, these latest attacks are being used as a justification for illegal GCHQ and National Security Agency (NSA) spying, and as a pretext to further expand the surveillance state – which is already at heights never seen before in human history. This is the first time that governments have had the capacity and technological capability to monitor the behaviour, conversations, opinions and habits of the people on such a grand scale, in a quest to predict the behaviour of entire populations.

Tony Porter, the governments own surveillance commissioner, is worried at the level of spying in Britain and the lack of knowledge the public has about the pervasiveness of government snooping. Referring mainly to the ubiquitous CCTV cameras in the UK, Porter recently revealed how he is troubled by the apathy and ignorance of many citizens who don’t understand how the information is used, and he points out that the data obtained from these devices can be used to predict behaviour. Along with the sophistication and level of GCHQ spying – which compiles copious amounts of data on the public with no warrant, it unveils the surveillance state that Britain has become, even surpassing George Orwell’s dystopian vision of the future in his book 1984. Across the water in the US, high-level NSA whistleblower William Binney has been warning the public about Stasi-style surveillance for years, describing the NSA as “totalitarian” in nature and their practices as “a total destruction of the rights you thought you had under the constitution”. He also states that the objective of the surveillance state is “to set up the way and means to control the population.”

Cameron’s meeting supposedly stems from a desire to prevent terrorist attacks in Britain, yet he does not even pay lip service to a major cause of the attack, namely; the support and creation of rebel armies and terrorists in Syria by NATO powers, in addition to the perennial Western wars in the Middle East. A wonderful article by Tony Cartalucci titled: Paris shooters just returned from NATO’s proxy war in Syria, documents how the Kouachi brother’s returned home in the summer of last year after fighting alongside the al-Qaeda affiliated Syrian rebels, and this latest attack is partly blowback from NATO policy in Syria. NATO powers (including France) have been arming, funding and training this assortment of rebel bandits for years, but not one leading Western politician has called for an end to the proxy war in Syria to prevent future attacks.

The failure of French intelligence and security services to prevent the attacks also raises serious questions. NATO powers have long been aware that returning fighters from Syria pose a security threat on their return, and the Kouachi brothers were on the radar of both French and British intelligence for years. Cherif Kouachi was arrested and jailed for terrorist activities in 2008, with both brothers travelling to Yemen in 2011 for weapons training from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), according to Reuters. If the Kouachi brothers weren’t high level terror threats that required serious attention from intelligence services since their return from Syria, then who is?

Despite the French Prime Minister merely explaining the lapse as clear failings, it is a highly suspicious that these individuals weren’t being tracked by the state up until the attacks. The news that Helric Fredou, a police commissioner who was involved in the investigation of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, supposedly committed suicide at around 1am on Thursday is also highly suspicious.

This has led many to believe that these attacks may have been allowed to take place in order to provide the pretext for a further erosion of civil liberties in NATO countries, and in an attempt to pass internet censorship bills under the guise of fighting online terrorism. There is also discussion that France may implement legislation similar to the tyrannical patriot act passed in the US after 9/11. The war on terror has always been a war on the people’s civil liberties, and a justification for a surveillance state that the Stasi would be envious of.

It is difficult to ascertain exactly what happened in Paris last week. It may have simply been blowback from the proxy war in Syria, or it may have been of a more nefarious nature in the form of a stand down by French intelligence, or an attack directly ran by the French state. Whatever the cause of the attacks, it is clear that the leaders of the West will use this tragic incident as a pretext to attempt to further erode the people’s civil liberties in Europe and elsewhere.

Posted in UK0 Comments

The Petition Delivered to “Save the Children”

NOVANEWS

Revoke Tony’s Blair’s Global Legacy Award

Global Research
blair_save_children

I walked down to the Save the Children offices accompanied by Miranda Landgraf and Robin Priestley from 38 Degrees to deliver the petition to the offices of Save the Children UK on Tuesday 13th January 2015.

handing in the petition

We had a private meeting with Brendan Cox, director of Policy and Advocacy who listened and responded well although we all had to agree that it was now impossible to remove the award from Tony Blair, especially as the award was from the semi autonomous USA branch of the charity.However, Brendon did agree that it had been a misjudgement on Justin Forsyth’s part not to challenge the choice of recipient for their award or inform his staff, and that communication and consultation between members of the Save the Children Fund Global federation needs to be improved so that such internationally damaging choices are not repeated.

We had a brief debate about the differences in the perception of Tony Blair and policy in the Middle East compared to that of the UK branch, as well as the shortfall in our own UK government’s response to the current humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the overall political situation of occupation and oppression.

Miranda Landgraf handed Brendon the three baskets of crocheted flowers (490 altogether) that she had brought with her. Each flower has the name and age, where known, of a child victim in Gaza. Countless more flowers could have been produced to represent so many more of the innocent children that have died across the Middle East under Blair’s watch in his various roles. Rather too many for one person to create.

flowers

Many of those who signed this petition had voted that Malala Yousafzai be put forward for a future award and I suggested  Ebola nurse William Pooley. Unfortunately it is not clear if the award is an annual event, but our suggestions will be forwarded to them.

Brendon Cox agreed to make a public statement about the error of judgement made by Justin Forsyth and to address some of our other points. We explained that we were not out to damage Save the Children UK , but rather to help them regain the trust of those who have so generously supported them over the years.

In the circumstances the outcome was as positive as was possible and some good has been achieved. Hopefully such a situation will not happen again and communication will be improved all round.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/stop-save-the-children-charity-from-giving-tony-blair-their-annual-global-legacy-award

Best wishes

Miranda Pinch

Posted in Campaigns, UK0 Comments

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