Britain

The crisis of capitalism is sharpening by the day. As a result, trade unions are moving onto a war footing. Already the ruling class is worried about a ‘Spring of Discontent’. This must become a generalised struggle to bring down the Tory government.

The recent trial and sentencing of elite socialite and sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell has opened the curtain on the disgusting den of sin that the capitalist class inhabit – with all eyes now on Prince Andrew and the crisis-ridden monarchy.

A number of key unions have seen seismic shifts to the left in recent months, as workers turn to the industrial front for action. To beat the bosses, the left needs a strategy for united action, as part of the struggle for workers’ power.

Last week, the Tories suffered a humiliating electoral defeat in their formerly safe seat of North Shropshire, a rural constituency dominated by the Conservative Party for nearly 200 years. Boris Johnson is running out of road as he lurches from one scandal to another. This opens up further instability and crisis for British capitalism.

In the post-war period, MI5 (the British state’s internal security agency) paid little attention to the activities of Trotskyists in Britain, regarding the threat that they posed to be minimal. But the rise of the Militant in the 1970s and 1980s – a tightly organised, professional and theoretically trained organisation founded by Ted Grant – completely transformed the Secret Services’ perception of Trotskyism.

Journalist and founder of the whistleblower organisation WikiLeaks Julian Assange can now be extradited to the US to face charges of espionage, ruled Her Majesty's High Court on 10 December. This ruling was in favour of an appeal by the US government to overturn the previous decision by the Westminster Magistrates' Court from January, which denied the extradition on the grounds that the harsh and restrictive prison conditions that Assange may face could worsen his mental wellbeing, creating a real risk of suicide.

A row over an alleged Downing Street Christmas party held during lockdown has added further fuel to the fire for Boris Johnson and his scandal-ridden government. The labour movement must mobilise to kick out these crooks and charlatans.

The tragic drowning of 27 migrants in the English Channel has brought home the misery and devastation facing refugees worldwide. Capitalism is horror without end. Only socialist revolution can bring down the borders and avert this catastrophe.

The following article was published in 1981, shortly after the opening of the so-called Cabinet Papers for 1950. These documents revealed the extent to which the post-war Labour government, so-often heralded by reformists as ‘real socialism in action’, was obsessed with routing communists and radicals out of the party, and ultimately toeing the line of the capitalist establishment. These revelations are proof that even a radical reformist government will ultimately defend the interests of the capitalist system if it is unwilling to break with it.

Having strengthened their grip at the recent party conference, the Labour right wing are undertaking a fresh wave of expulsions of Socialist Appeal activists. But Starmer’s purge cannot break the link between Marxism and the labour movement.

Last weekend saw the inspiring in-person return of Revolution Festival. With over 600 attendees, 32 incredible talks, and tens-of-thousands of pounds raised, this phenomenal event represents a major landmark for the forces of Marxism.

In their attempts to block the new left-wing leadership in Unison, the right-wing bureaucracy are looking to tie the left up in legal wrangles. The only way forward is to mobilise the rank and file. Defend the union! Let the members decide!

It’s been an amazing start to the new academic year for the MSF, with thousands signing up to Marxist societies across the country, participating in meetings and reading groups, and organising on campus. Join the Marxists! Join the revolution!