LABOUR leader Sir Keir Starmer has unceremoniously sacked shadow education secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey. This is the MP who was the main contender standing against Starmer in the leadership election.
Long-Bailey, a firm supporter of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his socialist policies, was on Corbyn’s frontbench team.
Following Labour’s defeat in the 2019 election, Long-Bailey entered the leadership contest to replace Corbyn and was supported by many on the left of the party. She has big support in the Labour Party and came second in the contest, securing 26.6% of the vote, while Starmer won 56.2%.
Why did Starmer sack her? What ‘crime’ did she commit to warrant her being stripped of her position and kicked out of the shadow cabinet? Long-Bailey was asked to stand down on Thursday after retweeting an interview with actress Maxine Peake.
Maxine Peake, best known for the sitcom dinnerladies and Shameless, in her interview suggested that US police learned violent tactics from the Israeli secret services, something which is not only undoubtedly true, but something no one, including Israel is denying.
In the interview, Peake discussed the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, saying: ‘The tactics used by the police in America, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, that was learned from seminars with Israeli secret services.’
The article quoted the Israeli police refuting Peake’s claim – they do not deny that Israeli police train US cops, only that ‘kneeling on necks’ is not a technique passed on.
Starmer said: ‘The sharing of that article was wrong … because the article contained anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and I have therefore stood Rebecca Long-Bailey down from the shadow cabinet. I’ve made it my first priority to tackle anti-Semitism and rebuilding trust with the Jewish community is a number one priority for me.’
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell and Unite general secretary Len McCluskey have both condemned Starmer and defended Long-Bailey who was sacked for retweeting the article already printed in the Independent.
This sacking, as most people know, has nothing to do with ‘anti-Semitism in the Labour Party,’ and everything to do with new Labour leader Starmer clearing out the Corbynites from the party leadership.
On Tuesday, when Johnson announced the removal of the two-metre distancing rule, something Labour affiliated unions Usdaw and TSSA have rightly opposed, Labour leader Starmer gushed: ‘When I became leader of the Labour Party I said that our party will offer constructive opposition with the courage to support the government when they are doing the right thing … my offer to work with the Prime Minister still stands.’
Starmer is booting out the Corbynites for one reason, which is to clear the path for forming a national government with Johnson. The Labour bureaucracy’s true role has been revealed, as the fifth column of the state, to defend capitalism at all costs.
And there will be a cost, an enormous cost. We have now entered the period of super-austerity, where millions of workers have lost their jobs overnight. Heathrow, Gatwick, BA, Swissport, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, the steel industry, shopping centres, aerospace, Crossrail, Royal Mail are all sacking by the thousands and tens of thousands.
As far as the capitalist state is concerned, a national government must to be formed to rally the ‘capitalist nation’ to support the state attempting to put down the uprising of youth and workers that super-austerity and mass unemployment will provoke. Already police are being used to attack youth who have come out on the streets to enjoy the summer evenings.
They, and troops, will also be used to attack workers who rise up against being dumped onto the mountainous scrap-heap of a projected 11 million unemployed. A national government is required to carry out this type of operation.
What is required today is the building of the revolutionary party, the WRP, to lead the working class to bring down the government, expropriate the bosses and smash their state to go forward to socialism and a socialist planned economy.