Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 51 Number 22, October 16, 2021 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Cartel Parties Address No Problems Facing the People

The experience of the recent conferences of the Conservative and Labour Parties demonstrates that the cartel parties of the Westminster consensus have nothing to offer in terms of the solutions to the people's concerns.

The slogan of "Build Back Better" that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has adopted means that the old pre-pandemic normal is to be brought back, but with an increased onslaught on working people, their lives, working conditions and well-being. To the demands of so many sections of the working people that the government should address the problems for them that it has created, the government's response is that they should be more proud to be British, and that alone will cause the problems to disappear, only adding to the people's anger and frustration, and the realisation that the government is simply not listening.

Under Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour Party deliberately shies away from tackling injustice. The fraudulent logic given is that to do so would be to divide people, when the reality is that the overwhelming sentiment amongst the movements of the working class and people is the thirst for justice and defending the rights of all.

Above all, there is no questioning of the outdated Westminster system, with its so-called "representative democracy", in which MPs pledge loyalty to the sovereign and not the electorate, thus representing not the people's concerns but rather the old society, which these days is wholly geared to paying the rich, which for centuries has been in need of democratic renewal.

"Electability" is made the goal of the parties, an "electability" which ensures the perpetuation of a system where the people have no say, an "electability" in which what is just is turned on its head, as with the support given to Jeremy Corbyn when leader of the Labour Party, and now every aspect of what he stood for, including opposition to war, is to be crushed with no hope of return. The cartel parties' concern for "electability" is a fraud covering over that private interests rule the roost in society, and the cartel parties in the Westminster consensus serve these interests or do nothing to challenge them.

A cruel joke is played on the working class and people, in which rather than people uniting to voice their solutions to real problems, the powers-that-be divide them into "left" versus "right" and attempt to get the people's movements to express their allegiances on this basis, while the cartel parties are supposed to represent the centre ground.

What must be grasped is the necessity for what could be called completing the democratic revolution begun in the 17th century, the necessity for the people's forces to bring into being new forms which empower them. It is not a question of a multi-party democracy, or a one-party state, or a coalition government, or any variation of the Westminster model. It is a question of how the working class and people can and must gain the power to enable them to be the decision-makers, empowering them to solve the problems society faces.

All this emphasises the necessity for the people's voice to be heard, for the working class and people to speak in their own name, dealing with their actual problems and putting forward actual solutions. To strengthen this trend, to make it conscious, is the key to turning things around in the people's favour in the coming period, when, although the death rate from Covid-19 is rising, the cartel parties act as though the pandemic were a thing of the past, and refuse to deal with its consequences. The working class and people must strengthen their demand to participate in all the decisions which affect their lives.


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