by Ken Ferguson
· Was it just a short year ago that the master huckster Boris Johnson achieved what was flagged at the time as the quasi-revolutionary prelude to new global free market, union jack-wrapped Britain?
Then we were treated to reams of copy penned by breathless “insiders” on how the popular touch of Johnson blended with tactical genius of Cummings put the feckless Corbyn to the sword and swept away Labour’s legendary Northern “Red Wall” seats delivering a stonking 80 seat majority.
Basking in such a victory what could possibly go wrong?
Well a year on and a bedraggled Boris has been cruelly exposed by heady mixture of over over inflated rhetoric, cronyism, repeated failures particularly on the Covid crisis and, of course, Specsavers in Barnard Castle.
Indeed amidst the past year of horror of pandemic, PPE shortages, the stupidity of child like predictions of a looming Merry Xmas, the folly of “Eat out to spread the virus” one name will symbolise it all: Dominic Cummings.
Cummings is set to join legends of history such as Alfred of the burnt cakes, Canute and the waves, and Bruce with the spider, as a logo for an era.
Tories ruthlessness would make Stalin blush
Of course as any serious student of politics knows the core principle of the world’s oldest capitalist party, the Tories, is a ruthlessness which would make Stalin blush.
This was confirmed a few weeks ago with the sacking of the supposed architect of victory Cummings in a bitter row about the direction of government and indeed faced with the twin crisis of Brexit and Covid this goes to the heart of the matter.
Behind Boris stands a parliamentary largely cleansed of “moderate”MPs and firmly in the grip of swivel eyed extremists such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Priti Patel and hardline free market backers.
Yet the events have forced the cutting down of forests of magic money trees and put public debt into the stratosphere. Whatever policy course the Tories adopt to deal with this—assuming an eventual containment of Covid will be at the heart of politics in the year ahead.
However as the Voice has repeatedly warned for months one thing is certain about any conceivable Tory response: it will not be in the interests of the working class majority but will prioritise the boardrooms, bosses and speculators.
As we report elsewhere this offensive to determine a pro-business outcome to the crisis is already under way as soaring profits are clocked up alongside mass sackings, poverty pay and, shamefully, hungry children.
If there is to be any prospect of rebuffing the swelling tide of attacks and opening the way to a different normal after Covid then the one absolutely essential ingredient will be a working class breaking with the “all in it together” fairy tale and building solidarity to defend its interests.
In earlier times this would have seen a central role for the one time peoples’ party Labour but not any more.
The brazenly vengeful anti-Corbyn forces now running Labour didn’t even bother to stab Jeremy in the back—they plunged the knife in his front.
‘Don’t mention Israel!’
Daily reports of local Labour Parties and activists gagged from discussing Corbyn, criticising Israel or anything ruled out by Starmer confirm that a mass purge—ironically cheered by by all those hand wringing democrats in Westminster—confirm a return to business as usual for Labour as an alternative business party is in full swing.
This is surely confirmed by the latest “winning” strategy for Scotland (who are they talking to?) from Starmer offering more devolution to save our “precious” union. This will move to the fantasy—rejected by much of England—of so called “progressive” federalism. It seems very unlikely to end Labour’s Scottish slump.
As a pro-independence paper from pro-independence party the SSP, we welcome the growing number of polls showing a lead for independence in any indyref 2 and, of course this will be a key battleground in the 2021 Holyrood polls and beyond.
Yes Scotland as a tool for real change
But we back a Yes vote not just as an abstract idea but both as a democratic demand and more importantly as means of opening the way to an ultimately socialist Scotland and a democratic republic.
That’s why we argue that winning both a referendum and then a Yes vote cannot simply be left to the SNP but will require a 2014 style mass movement—only far bigger—if we to base the independence case on a truly pro-people and planet platform.
This would reject the neoliberal disaster of the SNP’s austerity based growth commission, its slavish courting of business, pro-NATO cold war politics and bending the knee to monarchy.
Any successful Yes vote will need to be founded on the needs of Scotland’s working class majority for jobs, housing, end to poverty pay and a real use of state power and public ownership to win such gains.
As the year end the fate of the BiFab workers is a stark lesson on the anti-working class dependence on the whims of footloose capital to develop our natural resources and the need for an independent Scotland using it power to benefit both workers and the planet we all live on.