WITH THE Tory government of Theresa May staggering from one crisis to another this week over the issue of Brexit, the desperation of the ruling class to overturn the referendum result was on public display yesterday when they were forced to wheel out ex-Labour chancellor and prime minister Gordon Brown with a half-baked plan to rescue British capitalism.
In a speech at the Institute for Government Brown lamented that if Britain left the EU then it would have ‘no future’. In a naked appeal to fear, he painted a picture of car industry bosses packing up and moving production to Europe, manufacturing industry collapsing overnight and the influence of Britain in the world disappearing.
Unless something was done to stop British capitalism leaving the EU by holding a second referendum Brown insisted the nation would be divided and at war with itself on a scale never before seen. According to Brown there must be further debate on Brexit by setting up a Royal Commission to investigate what people really thought, failure to do so he stated would lead to a country even more divided than it was during the three day week of the 1970s, the miners’ strike in the 80s, the Poll tax uprising and the Iraq war.
Brown claimed that if nothing changed, that is if Britain actually quit the EU, then the entire ‘fabric of society’ would be torn apart. He bemoaned a breakdown of trust between the working class and the Tories, noting that 60% of the population had no trust in the government.
This breakdown, as he put it, could lead to the rise of parties that based themselves not on the reformist Labour formula of propping up a decaying capitalist system and acting as faithful servants to the bankers, but on the anger of workers who hated the austerity imposed by the Tories – austerity which he was careful to avoid saying he himself paved the way for.
For Brown, first as chancellor then as prime minister, laid the groundwork for all Tory austerity attacks against the working class. It was Brown who arrogantly proclaimed that he had single handedly ended capitalist boom and bust; it was Brown the economic genius who decided to sell half the country’s gold reserves for a knockdown price.
It was Brown who championed and massively extended the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) that has resulted in saddling hospitals with massive debts owed to the hedge funds and helped bankrupt the NHS. The same Brown was so convinced of the superiority of the capitalist financial and banking system that he led the way in deregulating the banks, allowing the bankers to gamble unrestrictedly, directly leading to the banking crash in 2008.
When the banks crashed in 2008 it was Prime Minister Brown who rushed to bail them out and insist that the working class pay the trillions of pounds of debt needed to keep them afloat. Brown and Tony Blair led a Labour government that was elected on a massive majority by workers and youth who hated Thatcher and the Tories and he was a central player in its bombing campaign in Yugoslavia and the illegal invasion of Iraq – an invasion he now claims divided the nation.
More than anyone Brown is responsible for the economic crisis being dumped on the backs of the working class and for him now to turn around and moan about a divided society and workers hating the government and the capitalist system it administers is contemptuous.
That a man so despised by workers is now pushed forward as the saviour of British capitalism shows just how desperate the ruling class is. As for his heartfelt cry that British capitalism has no future outside the bosses’ and bankers’ EU, the plain fact is British capitalism is weak, bankrupt and has no future at all.
The only future for the working class is to kick out this Tory government and go forward to a workers government that will break with the EU immediately and that will expropriate the banks and industry under the management of the working class as part of a socialist planned economy. Socialist revolution is the only way forward today.