WITH the financial storm clouds starting to burst around him, Prime Minister Brown has established with his cabinet reshuffle that he means every word when he says that his sole concern is the stability of the capitalist system.
Since it was not possible for him to bring back the hated Tony Blair, he has done the next best thing, and restored the already twice sacked Peter Mandelson, the arch Blairite, who has for the past four years been battling for the EU’s big businessmen and bankers against the US bosses during worldwide trade talks.
He is to re-enter the cabinet as Minister for Business, without having to stand for election, via the back door of the House of Lords.
Mandelson, an ex-Stalinist, was sacked amidst alleged scandals from two previous cabinet positions, and prides himself that he is one of the founding fathers of ‘New Labour’, and intrinsically hostile to socialism and trade unionism.
Along with Brown and Blair he pushed through the dumping of Clause Four, the nationalisation clause, out of the Labour Party constitution, weakened the TU bloc vote, and transformed Labour into an open businessmen’s party, and its government into a businessmen’s government.
The reintroduction of Mandelson is a public display of Prime Minister Brown’s contempt for the trade union leaders, and his intention to trample all over the trade unions and the interests of the working class.
It is a remarkable display, since just a few months ago the Unite trade union leaders Simpson and Woodley handed over £5 million to the Labour Party to prevent it going bankrupt, even before the banks went bust.
The Unite and other union leaders, plus assorted lefts, told workers that saving Labour from bankruptcy would see the Labour government move to the left to bring relief to millions of workers whose wages, jobs, pensions and homes are being destroyed by the capitalist crisis.
Now Brown has given the trade union bureaucrats and their ‘left’ friends of the ‘Convention of the Left’ a blunt demonstration of where he stands.
The reinstatement of Mandelson is the equivalent of spitting in their faces, with the ink on the £5 million cheque hardly dry.
The trade union leaders will go down in history as the traitors who financed the government while it was attacking their members, and which responded to the donation by stepping up its attacks without any response from them.
The Brown government is now reorganising itself in order to act more decisively to safeguard the capitalist system by bringing in new forms of rule against the working class.
This will see the imposition of mass unemployment, the repossession of tens of thousands of homes, rapidly rising prices ripping up the value of wages, and the speeding up of the privatisation of the NHS, education and the Welfare State, to raise more money for the bankers.
The cabinet reshuffle is to be followed by the revamping of the Cobra emergency committee into an economic council. Cobra previously dealt with terrorist alerts and road haulage and petrol strikes. It will now bring forward the measures necessary to defend the system in the course of the economic crisis.
On it is to sit Prime Minister Brown, Chancellor Darling, and the new Business Secretary Mandelson, along with business chiefs some of them ministers via the House of Lords, plus other components of the state machine, the civil service chiefs and the military and police chiefs.
These are going to decide on measures that will be deemed to be vital to defend the crisis-ridden capitalist system, but will be resisted by the working class. In the wings watching and waiting are the leaders of the Tory and Liberal parties.
They have already declared that they are a loyal opposition and are ready to assist the government. A qualitative worsening of the crisis will see them rapidly called in to form a national government that will present a programme of draconian job, benefit and pension cuts to save the nation (ie the bankers and capitalists) at the expense of the workers and the middle class.
The working class must make its own organisational and political changes. It must remove the union leaders and replace them with a revolutionary leadership. It must take action to bring down the Brown government and bring in a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers, do away with capitalism and bring in socialism.