LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn’s speech yesterday defining Labour’s position on Brexit negotiations was nothing more than an abject and cowardly surrender to the bosses and bankers and a complete trashing of the Labour Party manifesto pledge to quit the EU. It also displayed the contempt Corbyn has towards the working class.
Despite the fact that Corbyn opened by insisting that Labour would respect the referendum result, he soon made it plain that the party leadership were committed to keeping Britain in the single market and customs union for the period of transition.
Already it has emerged that this transition period will be open-ended, that is it will continue indefinitely until the EU negotiators have worn down the British government with years of pointless negotiations until the point is reached when they simply give up and decide to remain. This is exactly the same tactic employed by Brussels with the left reformist government of Syriza in Greece.
Despite having the mass support of the Greek working class and youth, Syriza capitulated completely to the diktats of the EU.
This is the path that Corbyn and the Labour Party are following today, the only difference being that Corbyn has capitulated before battle has even begun! This determination by him to avoid any real fight was revealed when he was asked whether Labour MPs would vote with rebel Tory Remainers on an amendment to the government’s trade bill that would commit the UK to remaining in the Customs Union, in effect staying within the EU.
If this amendment, due to be debated next month, is passed May’s government would be fatally wounded and forced to resign. He dodged answering the question directly saying that the way to get a Labour government was to wait until the next general election – four years away.
Corbyn is terrified at the thought of the Tories being brought down, he knows it would unleash mass action by workers and young people going on the streets demanding an end to austerity, an end to all the attacks on public services and an end to a capitalist system that mercilessly exploits them.
Corbyn is good at describing the plight of workers but like all reformists he views the working class as just a passive object in history, a class to be pitied for their mistreatment under capitalism, whose only hope is in being ‘helped’ by their betters and in desperate need of the protection of EU laws as they are incapable of defending themselves. This paternalistic contempt for workers came out when he talked about the border in the north of Ireland, about how it was essential to remain in the customs union in order to ‘save’ the Irish people from having a border.
It emerged when he talked of the car industry and how British car workers jobs depended on remaining in the single market. So the future of the working class lies not in its own hands but in staying within the grasp of the EU bosses and bankers.
The working class is not a passive object to be pitied, it is the most powerful and only progressive class in history. The only way to defend a single job, the NHS or any of the rights of workers is not through the relying on the EU but in the expropriation of the bosses and bankers under socialism – this is what terrifies Corbyn and the Labour Party leaders.
Corbyn may have surrendered but the working class will go forward – if the Labour Party will not break with the EU then the working class will break with the Labour Party and build a new revolutionary leadership that will immediately organise a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and bankers under a planned socialist economy.
A workers government will break with the EU and will settle the Irish border issue by abolishing the border – let the Irish people themselves determine their future. A workers government will win the support of the millions of workers and youth throughout Europe in the struggle to abolish the capitalist EU and replace it with the United Socialist States of Europe.