BOTH Tory prime minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Keir Starmer spoke at the annual conference of the leading bosses’ organisation, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), yesterday.
Johnson was up first giving the assembled titans of British industry a speech that was universally described in even the most loyal Tory-supporting press as ‘rambling’, ‘bizarre’ and ‘bewildering’ even by his standards.
CBI delegates were treated to Johnson losing pages of his speech and, in one surreal moment, praising Peppa Pig World and urging everyone to visit the theme park.
If the bosses were left in a state of confusion and despair over Johnson’s rambling speech they will have been horrified when he quoted from Lenin, the great leader of the Russian Revolution.
In the section outlining his wish-list for electrification as the key to a new ‘green’ industrial revolution Johnson told his bemused audience: ‘Lenin once said the communist revolution was Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.’
Lenin did not just say this, but in 1921 the All-Russian Congress of Soviets approved the state plan for the electrification of the entire country in 10 to 15 years, dragging Russia from being a backward agricultural-based economy into a leading industrial powerhouse.
This incredible achievement was made possible only because capitalism had been overthrown in Russia in 1917 and replaced by a workers’ state and a planned socialist economy. Only a workers’ state could plan and mobilise such a vast undertaking for the benefit of the Soviet masses.
In China, since the working class overthrew capitalism, the country has leapt from being a backward country economically into becoming the leading industrial nation on the planet.
China has the world’s longest high-speed rail network at a time when the Tories have been forced to scrap the HS2 (High Speed Two) extension between Birmingham and Leeds – a distance of about 120 miles.
Johnson may have thought it clever to quote Lenin to the bosses but all he has done is underline the fact that bankrupt capitalism is unable to develop an advanced infrastructure or any of the developing technology.
With the CBI delegates in a state of despair at the complete meltdown of the prime minister and a weak Tory government drowning in sleaze they are desperately hoping for salvation from this political and economic crisis.
At this point, Labour leader Starmer stepped forward to pledge full allegiance to the bosses and capitalism promising the CBI that Labour would be a ‘stable government and a tight ship’.
He assured delegates: ‘Our five fiscal rules make it plain that we will never spend money for the sake of it’.
Starmer promised the CBI that Labour would go all out to bring down the national debt by cutting expenditure and imposing austerity cuts to services.
It reinforced his speech at September’s Labour Party conference that Labour’s priority was to ‘invest in business to build a strong economy’ and ‘repair the public finances.’
Yesterday’s speech was yet another grovelling application by Starmer for the Labour Party to be admitted to a Bonapartist-style national government.
The ruling class is increasingly aware that the Johnson government is breaking up and on its own is too weak to take on and defeat a working class rising up and refusing to be driven back to the poverty of the 19th century to save a bankrupt capitalist system.
This is driving the rapid move towards a government of national emergency – a reactionary right-wing Bonapartist coalition of Tory and Labour MPs to dump the crisis on the backs of the working class.
The Bakers Union, one of the founding unions of the Labour Party in 1902, disaffiliated from the party over the treacherous policies of Starmer and the right-wing leadership.
Workers must demand that every affiliated union follows this lead and breaks with this reactionary Labour Party, and go forward to rapidly build the WRP to put an end to the plan for a national government by organising a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers’ government and socialism.