LABOUR leader Keir Starmer instructed his party’s MPs to abstain in last night’s vote on the Tories’ new Covid regulations tier system, thus ensuring the survival of a Tory government that is split from top to bottom and which faced a defeat that would have brought the Johnson government down.
Ahead of the vote, Starmer attempted to justify his refusal to vote against the Tories saying: ‘Coronavirus remains a serious threat to the public’s health and that’s why Labour accept the need for continued restrictions. We will always act in the national interest, so we will not vote against these restrictions in parliament tomorrow.’
The ‘national interest’ as far as Starmer and the right wing Labour leadership are concerned is to keep the Johnson government from collapsing by acting as its main prop in Parliament.
The only mild criticism Starmer had of the Tories was to say: ‘I remain deeply concerned that Boris Johnson’s government has failed to use this latest lockdown to put a credible health and economic plan in place.’
His only worry was: ‘It is short-term government incompetence that is causing long-term damage to the British economy. It is imperative that the government gets control of the virus so that our NHS can be protected and our economy recovers faster.’
Starmer is only worried about the capitalist economy not about the fact that these new restrictions leave millions of workers facing continued cuts in wages and mass unemployment, while at the same time being hopelessly inadequate to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.
There has been not one occasion throughout this entire crisis when Starmer has offered anything but loyal support to Johnson and the Tories. Not a single occasion when he has tabled any motions of no-confidence in a Tory government that has carried out policies that have led to the massive excess of deaths from Covid-19 in Britain.
Not a single motion of no-confidence in a government that has handed out billions to their chums and multi-national corporations for useless PPE equipment and test and track systems that don’t work, while the death toll from Covid-19 is the highest in Europe.
Their delay in implementing lockdown early is estimated to have cost at least an extra 30,000 Covid-related deaths as the Tories pursued a herd immunity policy of keeping British capitalism open at all cost.
The Tories were forced to concede a national lockdown after millions of workers simply refused to obey the instructions to keep on working under lethal conditions, but then in August, in defiance of all scientific advice that lifting restrictions would lead to an even greater second wave of deaths and infections, they lifted them.
Again, not a single vote of no confidence from the Labour Party, just complaints about the Tories being ineffective. Indeed, the only decisive action taken by Starmer has not been to demand the removal of the Tories but to launch a massive witch-hunt against former leader Jeremy Corbyn and any Labour Party member suspected of supporting him or harbouring any support for socialist policies.
The lengths Starmer and the right-wing will go to ‘cleanse’ the Labour Party of any vestige of socialism was underlined at the weekend by Labour Deputy leader Angela Rayner who told a meeting of Labour Friends of Israel: ‘If I have to suspend thousands and thousands of members, we will do that.’
Propping up the Tory government while driving any mention of socialism out is clearing the way for Starmer to lead the Labour Party into a national government with the Tories.
What is clear is that the only way to bring this Tory government down is by the working class intervening and taking action to kick them out.
This means removing the current leadership of the trade unions, who also refuse to do anything more than offer criticism of the government, and replace them with a new leadership prepared to mobilise the full strength of the working class in a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government and socialism.
Only the WRP is building the revolutionary leadership required to organise and lead the struggle for socialism – join today.