THE bourgeois press is awash with the news that Labour leader, Ed Miliband, is facing calls from within his own shadow cabinet for him to get out or be thrown out before the next general election.
Despite all the denials that the knives are out for Miliband, the fact that on Thursday during a TV interview he was forced to confront the stories of plots against his leadership head-on and declare them to be ‘nonsense’ indicates that a crisis is indeed very advanced in the top layers of the Labour Party.
As a rule of thumb, when dealing with the Byzantine intrigues and plotting that goes on in the three Westminster parties, the stronger and more emphatic the denial, then the closer the stories are to the truth.
No denial from Miliband or his dwindling band of supporters can disguise the fact that the leadership of the Labour Party is in complete political meltdown just months before a general election, with Labour MPs in a state of panic over opinion polls that show Miliband is less popular than Nick Clegg!
Unable to confront the real source of the political crisis ripping them apart, they are heaping all the blame on Miliband and his personal shortcomings.
The fact is that the crisis has absolutely nothing to do with Miliband’s ability to eat a bacon sandwich in public or even his inability to remember mentioning the economic crisis during his speech to the party conference – what drives this crisis is the very policies of the Labour Party.
These policies were spelt out clearly at their last conference when the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, (whose wife and fellow MP Yvette Cooper has been named as one of those plotting to oust Miliband) pledged that a future Labour government would make all the ‘hard choices’ necessary to bring down the national debt.
In other words, the Labour Party is committed to exactly the same policies of savage austerity cuts as the Tories.
Policies that have made the Tory party hated by the working class have been adopted by the Labour Party leadership wholesale, indeed they are even trying to out-do the Tories in embracing austerity, so desperate are they to prove themselves to be a reliable ‘businessmen’s government’ willing to do whatever is necessary to keep the capitalist system going.
The Labour leadership are not alone in facing acute political crisis. The Tories are split from top to bottom over Europe and how best to keep the sinking ship of British capitalism afloat.
Cameron, who came perilously close to getting the boot over the Scottish referendum and had to be saved by Gordon Brown, now faces the prospect of being ousted if the Tories lose the Rochester by-election to UKIP.
At the same time, he faces humiliation in Europe over his refusal to pay the £1.7 billion the EU is insisting upon and his demand for an end to the free movement of labour within the EU, something that has been completely ruled out by the rest of the EU leaders who certainly don’t want an end to the movement of cheap labour on which the economy of Germany in particular relies.
For the working class the issue is not whether or not Miliband survives – a change in leadership will bring about no change to the austerity policies of Labour whoever is in charge – the burning issue is dumping these policies all together.
The trade unions, which built and finance the Labour Party, cannot be allowed just to sit back and beg to the Labour Party leadership to ‘stand up’ for the workers as the TUC continuously pleads.
The huge crisis in all the political parties reflects the huge crisis within capitalism.
This crisis will not be resolved in infighting over who best can impose austerity on the working class but by demanding that the TUC call an immediate general strike to kick out the government and advance to a workers government.
This government will implement socialist policies to organise a socialist society where production is for the benefit of workers not for the benefit of a tiny handful of bankers and capitalists.
The capitalist system is going down – going forward to socialism is the only way to resolve the crisis of capitalism.