YESTERDAY, Alan Johnson, the ex-CWU postal workers leader, warned the trade unions that they must accept the capitalist crisis, and as slaves of capital must prostrate themselves in front of it, mollifying the god of the markets by sacrificing tens of millions of workers’ wages, jobs, pensions and basic trade union rights. He branded any other course, other than being a slave to capital as ‘delusional’.
He spoke as a genuine Labour ‘lieutenant of capitalism’, as Lenin would have described him. An ex-postal workers’ trade union leader who proved his worth to the bosses in that post and then graduated to become a political lackey of capitalist rule as a Blairite Labour Party minister, ending up as Home Secretary, after displaying his great enthusiasm for privatising the Royal Mail, a policy that the Tories have taken over, and which his ex-union members were and are completely opposed to.
In his reply to Unite leader Len McCluskie, Johnson ignores the kernel of the Unite statement that Miliband and Balls are rerunning the great betrayal of the 1930s, when Ramsay MacDonald crossed the floor of the House of Commons and split the Labour Party, keeping it out of government for 14 years till 1945, (14 years of mass unemployment, starvation, hunger marches and wars) by forming a national government with Baldwin, that ushered in the hungry 30s.
He does not mention this in his Guardian article because he is fully conscious that Miliband is treading this path and is fully prepared to take the same road, to join hands with Cameron and Clegg against the working class.
Johnson has the gall to suggest that Miliband has positioned Labour as ‘a credible alternative to the coalition’ and not as a potential partner in crime.
MacDonald did set Labour on the path to ‘destruction’, and Miliband, Balls and Johnson are doing the same now.
He adds of the Miliband ‘fair-cuts’ campaign: ‘Miliband is the only party leader capable of bringing a new morality to our economy and our society. But he’ll only do it by living in the real world, not some fantasy utopia based on outdated ideology and a distorted view of which vested interests should be immune to radical change.’
Here Johnson emphasises that he regards the trade unionists’ right to strike, and ability to defend workers’ wages and pensions as a ‘vested interest’ on a par with the ‘vested interest’ of the bosses and bankers, which, by the way, the Blairites devoted themselves to serving both at home and abroad for all of the years that they were in office.
He continued to state in the Guardian that, ‘The trade union movement lost its way in the late 1970s when it opposed the minimum wage and supported the closed shop.’ He does not like the 1970s, which the working class and the Labour party dominated for very good reason.
In fact, the trade union movement found itself in the 1970s when it brought down the Heath government in 1974, and forced the Wilson Labour government to legislate the end of all Heath’s anti-union laws, including his industrial courts.
What was wrong with the 1970s was that the revolutionary party was not able to complete the job and mobilise the working class to put an end to capitalism.
Wilson fought the seafarers, dubbing their strike a ‘communist conspiracy’ and Callaghan was in fact brought down by the workers ‘winter of discontent’.
The Labourites refused to put an end to capitalism, and brought in Thatcher the heroine of the Blairites.
Johnson much prefers this period, when Thatcher organised a civil war against the miners and the printers while the TUC prevented the mass of workers from joining the struggle with a general strike.
The working class must learn the lesson of the 70s and the 80s. It is that the working class is the most powerful class in society but requires a revolutionary leadership to put an end to capitalism.
Today, when the capitalist system is suffering its greatest crisis, and the Labourite leadership is getting ready for another national government, the lesson is burning bright. It is build the Workers Revolutionary Party into the revolutionary leadership of the working class to organise that class to take the power in the days ahead, and put an end to capitalism, tossing the ruling class and all of its Labourite lackeys into the dustbin of history.