by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
In an interview with the Financial Times in January 2014 Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, stated that “Labour will only succeed as a pro-business party” and this is where he shows his true colors and they are definitely not the Labour red and it shows how far that the party has traveled since its inception as a party for the trade union movement and how far it has gone off course.
There is already an abundance of pro-business parties at Westminster, more than enough of them, one should think. The three main parties are already vying with UKIP to be the most pro-business party, and Labour is no exception here. To many, the sight of the traditional workers party turning gamekeeper leaves the socialists and those of the working class scratching our heads.
It would appear that Ed Balls is stuck in the Westminster bubble where the needs of the City of London take priority over the needs of the rest of the country and he needs to get out and see real life for a while. And he is, that must be said, not the only one in that party who needs to do so. They need to immerse themselves in the lives of the people, the working class who they are meant to represent, and see what life it truly like.
There are many self-proclaimed socialist in the Labour Party who would not know what socialism is meant to be even if it bit them in the proverbial backside. They would not even recognize it.
Socialism – and that is what the true Labour Party was based upon when it was founded as a political party by the Unions – is about the people, the working people, the working class, and about the peasantry and not about aiding and abetting the capitalists. Capitalism cannot be reformed. It must be ended.
For too long the Labour Party and its cousins, the so-called Social-Democrat parties in Europe (and elsewhere), have tried to play Socialism Lite, trying to create “capitalism with a human face”, as they refer to it. Sorry, it does not work and will never work. The corporations will see to that, and that includes the corporations called governments. Capitalism will never have a human face regardless of what any of those parties will try and try to tell the people.
All the Social-Democrats everywhere, including Labour in Britain, have been doing is tinkering around the edges and always mindful not too upset the business community.
Nothing against business, but it has to be business where the means of production are in the hands of the workers and the farmers and not where they are in the hands of either private exploiters, national or international corporations, or indeed the state, as was done under so-called socialism in the countries that adopted the Stalinist approach. State capitalism is not socialism. That means no nationalization of businesses with the possible exception of the vital utilities such as electricity, gas and water.
Neither capitalism per se, nor nationalization, that is to say state capitalism, under the guise of people-owned companies, is working or has worked, as far as business is concerned and the rights and incomes of the workers and peasants. Only when the means of production are owned by those who use them and produce the goods and services will a change come about in the condition of those who work in the shops, workshops and factories and in the fields and forests, and will turn those workers from slaves to owners. No nationalization can and will ever do that.
For far too long, during the the twentieth and now in the twenty-first century have we interpreted socialism as businesses being owned by the state. That is not what the term “means of production in the hands of the workers” means. It means what it says, namely that the means of production must be owned by those who do the work and not owned by the state or any private individual or group of people.
Those who interpret the term “means of production in the hands of the workers” as the businesses being owned by the state remind me of the people who love to interpret the Bible in similar ways that suit them and who manage to read stuff “between the lines”.
The problem also is political parties per se and the Labour Party is no exception there in that a party will always force its members to, especially when they are part of the government or opposition, vote along party lines and will not allow them to vote according to their consciences or the brief they have received from their constituents or even the grassroots of the party. The truth is that if Labour moves any further away from its roots and the working class it will not succeed but fail, and fail miserably.
Unless, and I say that even though I advocate the destruction of the party system altogether, the Labour Party returns to its roots, to socialism and total support of the working class it is not fit for the purpose and thus the working class will need to find a new way and leave that party far behind.
The trade unions should remove their support for this party now and tell it where to go for it is, after all, the party that the trade unions gave life to. It must be allowed to flounder and be cast upon the waters to sink if it is not willing to return to its roots and its values.
But, the trade unions, more than once, themselves have abandoned the workers for political gains, especially the TUC, and we of the working class must never forget that either. Too many of the leadership of the unions love their power, love to exert it and fear to lose it and to that end are prepared to make all manner of compromises, leaving the workers out in the cold.
Let's not forget who stabbed the miners in the back in 1926 and even in the Thatcher era. It was the TUC. The congress of the trade unions, that it is purported to be but which it, apparently, is not.
We already have a Tory Party and we don't need a pink version of the same. The country and the working class of this country need a true red organization that will bring about true socialism for the working class where the means of production truly will be in the hands of the workers. We need a true worker ownership of the means of production and not state capitalism, under whichever guise it masquerades. But, alas, the Labour Party of today would never understand that and neither does the British Communist Party, alas, nor any others.