|Volume 47 Number 11, June 14, 2017||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBCENTRE||SUBSCRIBE|
Following the debacle suffered by the Conservative Party in the recent General Election, comparisons are being made with 1974 when Edward Heath won a slender majority in February but failed to form a government. Heath asked the famous question, "who rules?" and the resounding answer was, not him. At that time the miners were a formidable organised force and the striving of the miners for the recognition of their rights forced another election to be held in October of that year. Harold Wilson representing the Labour Party won the election and formed a majority government. Using this example, it is predicted that the country will hold another election within a year and that, presumably, Labour could make further headway and form a majority government.
The problem of course is that the conditions in 2017 are not at all similar to those in 1974, at a time Keynesian economics went into crisis and the social welfare state was just beginning to unravel. Today nothing is predictable because the forces at play and the private interests are no longer what they were in the past. The very serious challenge which has presented itself to the working class is to become an organised political force in its own right. New basic organisations are required which work out the independent politics of the class and unite it to bring them about. The working people cannot afford to simply hand over their power to representatives which they do not even select and over which they exercise no control. Look what happened with the Labour MPs that revolted against Corbyn. Where did they get their mandate? How are they being disciplined? Who decides?
Today the working people know perfectly well Who Rules. The financial oligarchy rules. The real question is Who Decides Who Rules? and the challenge facing the working people is to deprive the financial oligarchy of the power to deprive them of what belongs to them by right, including their right to govern themselves and exercise control over the decisions which affect their lives. For this to happen, the workers need to replace political parties which divide them along sectarian lines with basic political organisations which do not limit their role to filling in a ballot to hand over power to others but put the power to select candidates and control the agenda in their hands.
The workers need to organise to discuss the results of this election. They need to put their own rights in command of the discussion, as the reference point for their analyses and plans of action, not the analyses coming out of the ruling circles and their media. This is what the workers need to do to prepare for what lies ahead.