NINETY Five Labour MPs voted against the government’s renewal of the Trident programme in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening as the Labour Party in parliament split.
The Blair-Brown faction won the day with the support of the Tory Party. Its leader Cameron showed a new found arrogance in parliament insisting to Blair during parliamentary questions, that he would win the vote only because he had the support of the Tory Party, and that he must pledge that he would not retreat from carrying out the motion.
This is the third major vote in the House of Commons that Blair has won, thanks to the support of the Tory party.
The first was the vote to go to war with Iraq and the second was on the government’s education ‘reforms’. On key questions Blair has governed with the support of the Tories.
However, when one takes into account the current and deepening world crisis of capitalism, and the way that this crisis is set to wreck the pack of cards that is the British capitalist economy, causing a crash in the housing market, a leap in unemployment and a run on the pound, it is clear that Wednesday’s vote was in fact a dress rehearsal for the forming of a national government.
This will be to serve ‘the interests of the nation’ (meaning the bosses) when the bosses and bankers require wage cuts, big spending cuts and bigger benefit cuts to try and keep the British capitalist economy afloat.
The 1929 Wall Street crash led to the 1931 crisis in Britain, where to save the capitalist economy the Labour Prime Minister of the day, Ramsay Macdonald crossed the floor of the House of Commons to lead a national government alongside Tory leader Stanley Baldwin.
This government cut the dole and opened up the doors for the hungry 30s.
It also saw the Labour Party reduced to a rump and kept out of office until the Second World War produced a social revolution, part of which was a Labour victory in 1945 and the establishment of the Welfare State and the NHS in 1948.
Today’s Ramsay Macs, the Blairites, will be elated with their victory over Trident and will argue that this is the way to ensure that Blair’s ‘legacy’ is established, through the smashing and privatisation of the Welfare State, hand in hand with Cameron and the Tory Party.
That this will be completing the split in the Labour Party and breaking with the trade unions is obvious.
The only way out of this crisis is for the trade unions to use their strength to bring down the Blair-Brown government to defend the NHS and the Welfare State, and to bar the way to a return of the Tories by bringing in a workers’ government that will resolve the capitalist crisis through expropriating the bourgeoisie and bringing in socialism.
However, the reformist leaders of the trade unions, bound hand and foot to capitalism, are organically incapable of taking this road.
This is a trail that will have to be blazed by the revolutionary party, the WRP.
We call for the organisation of councils of action to stop all cuts, hospital closures and sackings by occupations and strike actions.
Councils of action will demand national strike action to bring down the government and will fight for a new leadership in the trade unions to carry out this task and to drive the Blair-Brown gang out of the Labour Party.
The working class in Britain needs a new and revolutionary leadership which will not shrink from using the full strength of the working class to expropriate the capitalists and go forward to socialism.
This is the task that is being speedily put on the agenda by the deepening world crisis of capitalism.
The only way to prevent Blair, Brown and Cameron liquidating the great gains of the NHS and the Welfare State is through the organisation of the British socialist revolution to replace bankrupt capitalism with production for peoples’ needs and socialism.
This is the only way forward.