Escape from McMurder Incorporated
There is no need to despair. The recent revelations in the Labour party about sabotage by principle-free centrists is a good thing, it’s helping release energy that would have been wasted worrying about which meaningless Labour committee the left should try to take over to do more constructive things like actually fight the working class corner for once. Before the Corbyn project many socialists said there was no point in attempting to work with Labour, after the centrist Milliband was trounced it was obvious that the hopeless world of triangles and poppycock was coming to an end at last. I remember saying it wasn’t just that socialists should stop flogging the dead horse of labourism, but that the poor horse was now little more than a stain on the road after over a hundred years of being thrashed, disappointed and manipulated by unprincipled leaders.
It was hard to persuade the old guard to do anything new, though. Admitting you have invested perhaps decades in a project that has objectively made things worse is really difficult. I remember how hard it can be to let go of all the work you did building up something that ended up supporting things that are objectively useless, but it had to be done.
The Corbyn project changed that for a short time, despite its shortcomings. But when Labour finally, if accidentally, had a leader who wasn’t in the pocket of the ruling class we all saw what happened. It demonstrated even more clearly that there’s nothing in the Labour project to hold on to. Instead of what Tony Benn called a party with socialists in it we need a movement that’s founded on socialist principles, putting the needs and demands of the working class first, voicing clear internationalism, as in the needs of the class everywhere rather than some tiny decrepid post-empire country on the edge of Europe, and clear and unabashed anti-racist and pro immigrant rights policies that aren’t up to be triangulated out of existence, and of course doing whatever needs to be done to avert the ecocide that’s on its way or the rest of this is irrelevant.
As a start a new politics based on true local democracy is required that is outside of the control of the old way of doing things. The rotten boroughs that ignore people’s needs, the parliamentary system where the current clown car massacre squad rule unassailably despite losing the popular vote, needs to have something that works for all of us created alongside it. The old system will then have to change or get in the bin, either works.
When Martin Luther King gained an interview with the president of the USA, full support was promised to him. There was a but, the president had political enemies all around him who would want to stop the civil rights legislation. So King was told make me.
When we have strong movements that actually represent us properly, where our needs are known, and true political choice is available it doesn’t matter who thinks they’re in charge. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Starmer or a Johnson, or Ronald McDonald. When our needs and desires are known, we will have what we need whether they want it or not.
If there are any questions of principles versus pragmatism, our response should be you have to ask?