|The News Line: Editorial
Monday, 14 May 2018
FORWARD TO THE BRITISH SOCIALIST REVOLUTION!
THE DAILY Telegraph has been speculating on: ‘What would a 21st century British coup look like?’ in an opinion piece written by Paul Carter, a political commentator who is writing a book about Harold Wilson and the part played by Louis Mountbatten in a coup that secured his resignation. He wondered aloud if the ‘near-coup’ led by Earl Mountbatten of Burma in 1976 could happen in modern times.
In his 1987 memoirs, former MI5 officer Peter Wright stated that the head of the CIA’s Counterintelligence Division told him that Wilson was a Soviet spy. There has been no lack of such accusations against Corbyn.
Wilson became PM after Heath who was involved in a major struggle against the miners called a general election to show that he ruled the country, not the them. To his astonishment the electorate opted for the miners, and Labour under Wilson was returned first as a minority government and then a government with a majority of three. The working class surged forward. Taking its revenge for the three-day week it smashed all of Heath’s anti-union laws and drove up wages creating a massive crisis for the ruling class and its state.
Wilson could not hold the working class back. As far as the ruling class was concerned he had to go. In 1976 he stunned his cabinet and the working class by resigning, making way for the more right wing Callaghan, who duly handed the baton over to Thatcher in 1979. However, not only the power of reason was used against Wilson. In 1971, General Frank Kitson published his book ‘Low Intensity Operations’ where he discusses under what conditions the army would have to take action against the British people.
He wrote: ‘It is difficult for the British with their traditions of stability to imagine disorders beyond the powers of the police to handle, but already there are indications that such a situation could arise, and this at a time of apparently unrivalled affluence. It has to be recognised that methods of tying down large numbers of policemen and soldiers have been developed for use against governments which rely on popular support and which can not therefore afford to use the sort of ruthless brutality which a dictatorship could use in order to control the situation in an economic way.
‘If a genuine and serious grievance arose, such as might result from a significant drop in the standard of living, all those who now dissipate their protest over a wide variety of causes might concentrate their efforts and produce a situation which was beyond the power of the police to handle. ‘Should this happen the army would be required to restore the position rapidly. Fumbling at this juncture might have grave consequences even to the extent of undermining confidence in the whole system of government.’
Under Kitson the UK army was turned much more towards operations within the UK. He learned his trade in Kenya against the Mau Mau and continued it in Malaya during the emergency. He then moved to the Home Front. On 15th February 1972 he was promoted Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his operational service in Northern Ireland the previous year. Bloody Sunday, on 30th January 1972 in the Bogside area of Derry, saw British soldiers ordered to shoot 28 unarmed civilians during a peaceful protest march against internment. He was then made Commandant of the Staff College, Camberley, 5th March 1978 – 18th January 1980, training the officer corps in his methods before he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, UK Land Forces on 1st July 1982.
There is not the slightest doubt that the election of a Corbyn government would lead to a massive workers revolution to seize back everything that the working class has lost since the 2008 crash.
It is this reality that is terrifying and splitting the ruling class and its representatives in both the Tory and Labour parties. The way forward for workers is to build the revolutionary leadership of the WRP to seize the revolutionary opportunity as it arises, to bring in a workers government to expropriate the bosses and bankers, smash the capitalist state and disband its army and and officer corps!
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