British General Election 2019


The heavy defeat of Labour comes as no surprise. It shows once again that the reformist road to socialism is a cul de sac, an illusion. The forces of reaction, especially the media, mobilised to undermine a Labour Party promoting mildly radical policies. Even if elected into government, the capitalist ruling class and their agents – the Civil Service, the judiciary, military, etc. – set about obstructing the implementation of any of Labour’s radical policies. Former Labour prime Minister Harold Wilson’s memoirs provide plenty of examples of such sabotage.

There has been a concerted campaign to discredit Jeremy Corbyn. The Zionists have played a large part in this because they don’t like Corbyn because of his past support for the struggles of the Palestinian people against the oppressive Israeli state. Zionism is a racist doctrine because it claims Jews have special rights, over and above other people, to settle in lands already occupied by other peoples. It is Zionists who initiated accusations of anti-semitism in the Labour Party. The pro-Zionist Friends of Israel pressure group had around 80 Labour MPs as members. The media latched onto this campaign as a way of discrediting Corbyn. There aren’t many anti-semites in the Labour Party but a moral panic has been whipped up to convince people that Corbyn and the Labour Party are anti-semitic.


Support for Brexit draws on nationalist and racist sentiments which are still widespread in British society, including some leftist organisations. Both the Socialist Workers Party and the Socialist Party called for “Lexit”, for Britain to leave the EU and become a socialist state. This sort of Little Englander mentality has been around for a long time, embraced by Labour politicians such as Tony Benn and Jeremy Corbyn. These people imagine that it would be possible to build socialism in Britain in isolation from developments and struggles in other countries. They think that there is something uniquely different about Britain compared with other countries. In an increasingly globalised world the struggle for socialist transformation is unavoidably an internationalist one.

There are other Trotskyites – the Alliance for Workers Liberty and Socialist Resistance – who claim that the EU can be reformed in a socialist direction. This is an illusion because the EU was formed and is run to promote the interests of the European capitalist classes. It is fundamentally anti-working class and is emerging as an imperialist bloc coming into increasing conflict with rival imperialist powers such as the USA, Russia and China. The monopoly capitalist and bureaucrats controlling the EU are firmly opposed to any democratic reforms.

In or out of the EU, the same people – big capitalists – will continue to oppress and exploiut us – unless we do something about it.


Brexit is not the most important issue we face. It pales into insignificance compared with the environmental crisis. Rates of global warming and environmental degradation are accelerating. The fundamental cause is the capitalist system which cannot survive without continuously expanding and thus gobbling up increasing amounts of natural resources and burning more fossil fuels. Some of the leaders of capitalist countries recognise the need to control these destructive processes but are unable to reach effective international agreements and controls, as illustrated by the impasse at the current international Madrid conference on climate change. If allowed to continue, capitalism will kill the planet.

So as the youthful Extinction Rebellion movement has realised, urgent action is needed to save our natural environment. We need to move towards planned and truly democratic socialist societies to deal with this crisis. Electing reformist Labour governments won’t do it. To achieve this revolutionary upheavals are necessary.