102 years ago, British workers struck in solidarity with the Russian Revolution. Conditions were ripe for revolution, though the opportunity was missed. Rob Sewell explains the revolutionary potential displayed by the working class in Britain, the errors of their leadership, and the lessons of these experiences for the class struggle today, at a time when war, crisis and chaos are similarly rampant. This article first appeared in issue 30 of In Defence of Marxism, the theoretical magazine of the International Marxist Tendency. Click here to subscribe and get the latest issue.

The British ruling class and its representatives are cynically using the conflict in Ukraine as an excuse to attack the labour movement and the left. We must build the forces of Marxism, and fight back against the flag-waving servants of capital.

As ever, the outbreak of war has led to all manner of hypocrisy and propaganda from the agents of imperialism. Marxists must cut through this fog, and point out the real class interests at play. To end the horrors of war, we must end capitalism.

Across the world, an epidemic of violence against women, femicide, and domestic abuse plagues society. This is yet another symptom of a sick system. Capitalism is the disease. To end sexism and oppression, we must fight for revolution.

‘Sir’ Keir Starmer has cynically used Russia’s attack on Ukraine as an excuse to attack the anti-imperialist left, and to prove his loyalty to the establishment. The labour movement must fight the enemy at home, not the ‘enemy within’.

The recent letter in praise of NATO by British Labour Party leader, ‘Sir’ Keir Starmer, is designed to impress the establishment whilst chastising the left. Instead of offering apologies for western imperialism, the labour movement must fight for socialist internationalism.

With inflation soaring, the bankers and bosses are trying to shift their costs onto the working class. But it is the capitalists who should pay for this crisis. The trade unions must launch a united fightback. There is no time to lose.

We’re often told that the British monarchy is little more than harmless pompery, the equivalent of a shiny ornament atop the solid Christmas tree of British democracy. It is there to look nice, but does not actually affect how the country is run. And after all, isn’t the Queen a lovely lady who works mightily hard?

Following a two-year witch-hunt, Kirklees Council has shamefully sacked Unison president Paul Holmes. This disgraceful act will embolden employers to go on the offensive against trade union activists. A titanic fightback is needed.

In a cynical attempt to distract from his crises back home, Boris Johnson is whipping up hysteria around the ‘threat’ of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Socialists must expose these lies – and the imperialist interests that hide behind them.

It is the duty of left activists to defend Paul Holmes, the democratically-elected Unison President, who is facing a witch-hunt by the employers and union bureaucrats. Unfortunately, however, sectarian elements are aiding this victimisation.

Despite mounting pressure on all sides, the Prime Minister is stubbornly clinging on. But it is clear that the ruling class is looking to replace him. This is opening up a crisis for the whole establishment, preparing an explosive situation.