THE Blair-Brown government intends to spend hundreds of billions of pounds on building a new fleet of nuclear-powered submarines to deliver the replacement of the Trident nuclear missile, carrying a nuclear warhead, to targets up to 5,000 miles from the firing point.
Reformist politicians point out that all of the money earmarked for this expenditure could be used to provide the quality of health care, a free state education system for all, and the council housing that people so desperately need.
Others point out that this expenditure is set to take place at the same time as the UK is lecturing Iran that it will not be allowed to have any kind of nuclear programme, even one for the production of energy for civilian use.
Then again, journalists and others speculate as to why Britain needs such weapons, since they are no use for fighting Al-Qaeda or for putting down insurgencies in Afghanistan or anywhere else.
However, there is a need. In the last few weeks we have seen the spleen and the hatred that the British bourgeois media and the British ruling class have for Russia, with its massive oil and gas resources under state ownership, while the UK and the EU have none.
Then, there is the fact that there are up to a 1,000 Russian oligarchs in London. These are people who grabbed some of the USSR’s state assets for a few kopeks and became instant billionaires under the regime of Boris Yeltsin.
Under Putin, they have refused to subordinate themselves to the Russian state. They want their own bourgeois state, and have fled the country, and been welcomed by the British government with open arms, passports and British citizenship if that is required.
Putin’s purge of the pro-Western oligarchs, and the restoration of gas and oil resources to state ownership, was applauded and cheered by the Russian workers. They hate the oligarchs as thieves who tried to loot the USSR and were prepared to see millions of Russians starve.
Here, they try to function as a government in waiting, with those like Berezovskiy calling and working for the overthrow of the Russian government.
Meanwhile, great oil companies, such as Shell, snarl at Putin because the concession that they got from Yeltsin and Berezovskiy for a song is being questioned, and there are demands that if Shell wants the concession, it will have to pay the market rate or quit Russia.
Berezovskiy and his bourgeois gang are imperialist agents, whom the western bourgeoisie hope will be able to help them restore capitalism in Russia and act as their representatives in the division of its wealth.
But the Russian workers will not have them back.
In fact, Russian workers support Putin’s action in jailing and exiling pro-Western oligarchs. The Russian workers, however, would and will go much further than Putin. The workers will lock them all up and restore all of their ill-gotten gains to the ownership of the state.
Russia’s youth in particular are beginning to march forwards in the tradition of the three Russian revolutions. They don’t want capitalism, they hate imperialism and they loath the Berezovskiys and the Gaydars (he was the man who said that he would restore capitalism in one hundred days of shock therapy).
In fact, one of the fastest growing movements in the territory of the USSR today is the Trotskyist movement. It opposes the new bourgeoisie and its Stalinist political leader Putin. It opposes Putin’s ‘Great Russian’ propaganda drive against the Georgians, Belarusians and Ukrainians.
It fights for proletarian internationalism, and the organisation of a political revolution to overthrow the Stalinist bureaucracy and the new bourgeoisie that it has spawned, and restore rule through workers and peasants soviets.
The British capitalists are rearming because it is a life or death matter for them to get their hands on Russia’s huge resources. They also know that the traditions of the October Revolution live on and they fear this revolutionary tradition and revolutionary role of the Russian and Soviet workers.