THERE is nothing like the crisis of the capitalist system to bring out the essence of the Labour and trade union leaders, as labour lieutenants of capitalism, as Lenin put it so succinctly.
Nowhere is this clearer than in the UK, where the Labour Party Premier Brown, ridiculed by the ruling class and its media as Mr Bean, just a few months ago, has responded by setting out to prove that he is the man, and that Labour is the party that is going to rescue capitalism for them.
While stamping on workers’ wage claims in the public sector and rejecting any claim over 2.1 per cent he has handed out tens of billions of pounds to the banks as well as guaranteeing their deposits.
Along with the Treasury and the Bank of England he has decided that inflation is not the enemy any more, and has urged the Bank of England to slash interest rates even more, while he has just taken measures to help the bosses that will double the national debt by 2010.
The only inflation that he will not tolerate is wage inflation, this remains public enemy number one.
He has publicly assured the bankers that he will take any measure needed to prop up their bankrupt system, and that he rules nothing out.
At the same time the pre-budget report revealed that tens of thousands more civil servants are to be sacked, and industries such as the Royal Mail and services like the NHS are to be privatised, all to be able to bail out the banks.
Unemployment is set to rise by over a million, but Brown remains determined to defend and sustain capitalism. His government has made the defence of the collapsing capitalist system the reason for its existence.
In this role it is being supported by the trade union leaders. The leaders of the Unite, GMB and Unison trade unions publicly supported the pre budget report and the attacks that it makes on the working class and refuse to call for the industries to be nationalised to defend every job.
The trade union leaders supported dumping clause Four out of the Labour party constitution, do not support socialism, and have become out and out careerists.
They now reason that trade unionism can function during a boom, but when boom turns to slump trade unionism is redundant and it becomes an issue of accepting wage cuts and redundancies to try to stop closures.
The GMB at JCB made a deal with the employer to accept £50 a week wage cuts, and hundreds of sackings to stave off even bigger mass sackings.
Their reward for this capitulation was to see the boss come back and announce there would have to be more sackings, a decision that the GMB then accepted.
The Unite leaders are of the same stripe, and are currently trying to negotiate a deal with Mandelson for billions of pounds of bail out money for the engineering employers, and in return to accept wage cuts, redundancies and more flexibility to try and avoid closure.
This is not trade unionism. This is the trade union leaders acting as labour lieutenants for the bosses, helping them to last out the crisis at the expense of workers.
The same is happening with the banks. The nationalised Northern Rock has sacked thousands of workers and is evicting thousands more from their homes and the Unite trade union leaders are not taking any action at all.
Labour will smash all of the gains of the workers to bail out the bankers and the trade union leaders will let them do so, patting themselves on the back for becoming ‘partners’ of the government.
The way forward is to build the revolutionary leadership of the WRP and the News Line to replace the current traitors at the top of the movement.
A revolutionary leadership will do what is needed when faced with a corpse that is starting to stink, that is bury it, through expropriating the bosses and the bankers to go forward to socialism.
These are the issues that will be discussed and acted on at next Sunday’s News Line anniversary rally (see page 1 ad). Make sure that you are there.