FOR many years the Labour Party projected itself as the champion of the working class, hence its very close ties with the trade unions, including the now defunct bloc vote. In response workers donated hundreds of millions to the party that they had founded through their trade unions.
Blair and Brown purged Labour of its ‘Clause 4’, pledging the nationalisation of the means of production, and weakened the bloc vote, in order to project the party as the ‘businessman’s party’ and put the working class in its place
Then came the 2008 banking and business crash that discredited the bankers and the bosses for all time.
Now along comes Miliband, who is devoted to capitalism. He has publicly said that he will carry on with Tory cuts and make even bigger cuts should that be necessary to save capitalism.
This policy is none too popular with the working class and the trade unions, and is so similar to the Tories that it fails to win the middle class.
This orientation means that Labour has run an election campaign using its own rival austerity programme. This tactic is as popular as catching a good dose of flu.
So how is Labour dealing with this problem?
It is seeking to reposition itself to the right, to win back the support it has lost in some areas to UKIP, and has also proclaimed that its great ambition is to be the champion of the Tory voters, who are fed up with a party that has not won a general election since 1992.
In a speech on Saturday Miliband stretched out one hand to UKIP voters when he declared: ‘I know immigration can benefit our country. But I also know for that to happen, there have to be proper controls on immigration.’
He unveiled his Five Principles for Labour’s Immigration Control: ‘We need a system of controls. We will cap the number of workers from outside the EU. . . Fair rules means that entitlement to benefits needs to be earned.
‘You should contribute before you claim. So, with Labour, when people come here they won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years. And we’ll stop child benefit and child tax credits being claimed for children living in other countries.’
He added for good measure: ‘Everyone in Britain should know how to speak English. Sometimes, we’ve been too timid about this. But it is something we should expect from everyone who comes here.’
Perhaps Labour will have English tests on the borders, and turn all non-English speakers away.
On cutting the numbers of migrants coming into the UK he declared: ‘Britain needs a Prime Minister who will only make promises on immigration that he can keep. . . A plan that starts with strong borders; so people have confidence that we control who comes into the country.’
After embracing UKIP supporters he turned his attention to the Tory Party,
In an interview with the Observer, he announced: ‘I want to reach out to Tory voters, to Liberal Democrat voters, to UKIP voters, to non-voters … to people who feel that David Cameron can’t answer the challenge of our time, who worry about our place in the European Union, who really think to themselves, “we can do a lot better as a country”.’
Asked what he could offer Conservatives worried about the rightward drift of their party, he says: ‘Who is going to stand up to tax avoidance? Who is going to stand up to energy companies? Who is going to stand up to banks? That is absolutely something I think will appeal to Tory voters.’
Miliband’s solution to the economic and political crisis is to turn away from socialist policies and to embrace immigration control, ‘English speakers only wanted!’ and ‘One Nation Toryism’.
He has underlined that Labour is not and does not want to be the ‘Champion of the Working Class’. To emphasise that stand he confirmed that ‘Austerity’ Balls would be his Chancellor, saying: ‘He’s incredibly well qualified for the job.’
The News Line advocates bringing down the Tories on May 7th and urges that in all constituencies where the WRP is not standing to vote Labour, for a majority Labour government.
There is no doubt that there will be a massive collision between the working class and such a right wing government that will create the conditions for a socialist revolution. Join the WRP today to build the revolutionary leadership of the working class!