CRISIS-RIDDEN British imperialism, split over whether to serve the European Union or the United States, is now like a ship without a rudder, and is heading for the rocks.
The split in the ruling class is irreversible. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hammond, has announced that before the outgoing PM hands her resignation to the Queen on Wednesday, he will have handed his to her, if as expected Boris Johnson is elected as the new Tory PM. Hammond wants the UK to be dominated by the EU’s bosses and bankers.
He has vowed to bring the still-to-be Johnson government down, if Johnson carries out his pledge, made to the Tory Party membership and to the country, that he will take the UK out of the EU on October 31st, to implement the instruction from the 2016 referendum.
Leaving the EU means for Johnson cuddling up to the USA and winning a trade deal with the US by doing Uncle Sam’s and Wall Street’s dirty work, especially in the Gulf.
The seizure by British marines of the Iranian supertanker off Gibraltar was just for the benefit of Uncle Sam. In fact, this action saw British imperialism digging its own grave.
A furious Iran has correctly hit back by seizing a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. It was able to do this after British imperialism exhibited its new puny status by being 10 minutes too late to stop the Iranian action.
It was reduced to a radio appeal after the Iranian Revolutionary Guards advised the tanker crew that they would be safe as long as they obeyed the instructions that they were given.
The hard-pressed British frigate, HMS Montrose was 10 minutes too late to make a difference, and the Stena Empero was conducted into Iranian waters.
The UK’s boarding and holding of the tanker Grace 1 off Gibraltar was clearly going to provoke a response. British imperialism, however, could not cope with it and has now seen its prestige in the vital Gulf region sink to well below zero.
Britain, now to be led by would-be PM Johnson and Foreign Secretary Hunt is now seeking to conduct gunboat diplomacy without any gunboats to do the job.
The logic of this position must drive UK imperialism to draw closer and closer to the USA.
But in yesterday’s Observer Lord West issued a warning: ‘Some powerful groups in Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States want war and think a precision strike against key parts of Iran’s military capability would lead to regime-change. They are wrong. It would lead to an open-ended war with catastrophic consequences across the region and the globe.’
The former First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff concludes: ‘Whoever the next prime minister is, he is going to face a major international crisis as soon as he is in post.’
Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom yesterday warned London against further provocations, as reports emerge that the British government is considering freezing Iranian assets and may take other measures as well.
He said the ‘UK government should contain those domestic political forces who want to escalate existing tension between Iran and the UK well beyond the issue of ships.’ He added: ‘This is quite dangerous and unwise at a sensitive time in the region.’ He added, however, that Iran ‘is firm and ready for different scenarios’.
It is now clear for all to see that British imperialism has reached the end of the road and must be put out of its death agony by the UK working class organising a socialist revolution.
The trade unions must demand that the UK hands back the Iranian oil tanker, Grace 1 seized in Gibraltar.
Workers must also organise for a general strike and tell any Johnson government that it will bring it down if it does not leave the EU on October 31st. Leaving the EU must be the beginning of the British socialist revolution to expropriate the bosses and the bankers at home! This is the only way forward!