THE election of Starmer as Labour leader has been cheered to the rooftops by both the trade union bureaucracy and the Tory Party-supporting media.
His claim to infamy is that his refusal to oppose a second referendum over the EU and to fight the last election supporting the Brexit referendum result cost Labour the election, after millions of Labour voters rejected Starmer, and Corbyn’s neither ‘yes nor no’ position and voted for Brexit and Boris Johnson.
Having delivered one great betrayal of the workers to the bourgeoisie the Tories are now licking their lips at the prospect that he can be used to keep the crisis-ridden capitalist system going. This is after his declaration that he is willing to work with the Tories, meaning that when the issues become sharper and more dangerous for capitalism, he will join them in a national government, following the road to disaster first paved by Ramsay MacDonald.
In fact the GMB trade union in greeting his victory made no secret of where Starmer should turn.
It declared: ‘We’re in very uncertain times right now, and that calls for bold and strong leadership. Labour and the union movement must work with the government to get us through the coronavirus crisis … The GMB union will be full square behind Keir and Angela in the weeks, months and years ahead.’
In fact The Sunday Telegraph recorded that ‘Starmer has told Boris Johnson that he will be a “critical but constructive” partner during the coronavirus crisis as he yesterday signalled a break from the overtly hostile approach of Jeremy Corbyn’s regime.
‘Just minutes after achieving a landslide victory the new Labour leader spoke directly to the Prime Minister to offer to work with the government to steer the country through the “National emergency”.’ The Tory newspaper added: ‘Sir Keir accepted Johnson’s offer to attend a briefing next week with other opposition party leaders to receive updates on the UK’s response to the pandemic.’
In his victory speech Starmer stated that Labour and the government held a ‘shared purpose’ adding: ‘Under my leadership we will engage constructively with the government, not opposition for opposition’s sake, but with the courage to support where that’s the right thing to do.’
We are living in a situation of the greatest ever crisis of capitalism where the number of jobless in the USA increased by over 10 million in just the last two weeks, and where President Trump has declared publicly that there would be thousands of dead US workers in the next two weeks.
The position of the UK ruling class is grim. Its airports are closed. Its great airlines are going bust. The motor car industry has ceased to exist, and the Tory government has just ended 10 years of austerity imposed after the 2008 crash by announcing that it is to borrow trillions of pounds from the banks to prevent the complete collapse of British capitalism.
One banker, Charles Bean, a former deputy to governors at the Bank of England suggested that the UK central bank instead of embarking on more quantitative easing should just resort to the printing of trillions of bank notes. This would touch off the biggest inflationary disaster since the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler to power.
In Germany, the Weimar Republic, unable to pay the crippling war reparations demanded by the Allies, resorted to printing money to pay off its debts. The currency became worthless overnight with the German mark quite literally not worth the paper it was printed on and German workers starving in the streets.
What is needed in the UK, is not a national government to produce this catastrophe, but a workers’ government to end the death agony of capitalism by bringing in socialism. The truth is that capitalism is in its death agony, and the working class was identified a long time ago by Karl Marx as its grave digger.
Lenin and Trotsky proved the validity of Marx’s thinking by carrying out in practice the Russian revolution of 1917, at a time when capitalism was slaughtering millions with a world war bloodbath and a Spanish flu pandemic.
The way forward for UK workers is to put an end to the capitalist crisis by overthrowing UK capitalism with a socialist revolution, showing US and European workers the way forward.