Only our collective fights will allow us to defend our class interests!

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6 November 2019

The Brexit saga has now mutated into a general election which, we are told, will finally end the current parliamentary deadlock and restore some sort of sanity to the political institutions.  Whether it can - let alone whether it will - is quite another question!
    In any case, the fact is that in this election campaign, the main contending parties are now chasing votes by boasting that only they can offer the quickest way out of the Brexit conundrum!
    But isn't this ironical, three years and five months after a referendum in which Johnson, Farage and the Leave camp sold Brexit as a no-brainer, to be done in the blink of an eye, paving the way for a bright future!
    Indeed, this general election is the most obvious proof of the fact that, on the contrary, Brexit was just a mirage, based on lies and false promises, which has led, predictably, to a dead-end.

Class must come first!

But Brexit was also a trap, designed to give credit to the idea that nationality should take precedence over class.
    "Put Britain First" and other nationalist slogans put forward by pro-Brexit politicians are designed to entrench the idea that those of us who happen to have British nationality, also have the same interests as “our” British bosses.  As if workers, regardless of nationality, could have any interests in common with their exploiters, British or foreign!
    Whether Britain's flag-waving politicians like it or not, today's working class is, above anything else, an international class, quite simply because its members are subjected to the same capitalist exploitation in every country across the planet.  And no amount of nationalist rhetoric should be allowed to weaken the fundamental class solidarity which ties the working class here to its migrant sisters and brothers coming from abroad.
    And of course, the politicians who champion such nationalist slogans do not fall for their own "classless" nonsense.
    Take Rees-Mogg’s comment on LBC that the Grenfell fire victims lacked "common sense".  Obviously, for this upper-class toff, whether dead or alive, the poor are always to blame - simply because they belong to the "wrong" class!
    Or take Johnson and his rant in the Daily Torygraph, in which he compares Corbyn to Stalin and denounces his "hatred of wealth creators".  All that, because Corbyn had been exposing the ostentatious wealth of the small ultra-rich minority.  But for Johnson, as for all the members of his class, the only wealth “creators” are the capitalists.  Never mind that their wealth comes from the value they steal from the working class!  After all, the only wealth which is actually “created” in society is produced by workers' labour!

The class struggle never stops

Ever since the Brexit saga started, the class interests of the working class have been pushed onto the sidelines.  Not only has this been a deliberate policy on the part of the Brexit politicians, but there has been no voice on the political scene to express these class interests.
    This is not going to change in the coming general election.  All the main parties will be offering their loyal services to the capitalist class, by proposing their respective "fast-track solution" to Brexit and promoting the fact that it is the "best solution for Britain" - i.e., for British capital.  But no party will stand in this election in order, first and foremost, to defend the interests of the working class against its exploiters.
    No party will use this election to assert unambiguously that there is only one working class and that any attack against migrant workers is an attack against the working class as a whole.  In particular, no party will make a stand in favour of the free movement of labour and against the tightening up of immigration controls.
    And no party will use the platform of this election campaign to expose the damage caused by the capitalists' private ownership of the means of production to the economy itself, but also to society as a whole.
    So, once again, the working class will have no voice in this election.  Yet there would be a lot for the working class to denounce on this occasion.  Over the past 3 years, working conditions have been deteriorating fast, more and more jobs have been cut and casualised and the NHS is grinding to a halt.
    Fortunately, beyond the ballot box, workers have other, more efficient weapons to defend their interests - those of the class struggle.  Coming strikes at Royal Mail and South Western Railway point in the right direction.  But these strikes need to be generalised.  Because Brexit or not, the working class will need to mobilise all its forces, beyond all divisions, industrial or national, in order to make the most of its collective strength.