Jeremy Corbyn is acting like a man on tightrope balancing between the contending forces of the right and the left wings of the Labour Party. The advance Labour made in the first two years of Corbyn’s election is waning.
International Socialist league
No one talks about rising membership anymore and the Labour Party continues in crisis over Brexit, and the splits over austerity. This explains why the combined efforts of the Party’s membership and the trade union bureaucracy did not win the increased vote that they were looking for in the recent local elections.
The great conundrum for workers is that to vote in local elections against Tory austerity means voting for Labour councils who implement Tory austerity, as Labour ‘left’ councillors are also voting for cuts. Corbyn instructed Labour councillors to make cuts budgets, while talking about how bad austerity is!
Labour councils oppose a needs budgets for the working class and support privatisation. So, while Corbyn praises one council for returning some services to public ownership he does not demand all Labour councils do the same.
The Labour Party leadership are anti-austerity in words only. To bring an end to austerity means to fight for the overturn of capitalism in order to build socialism. That means fighting for a programme and a party whose aim is a workers’ state under workers control, nationalisation and socialisation, a planned economy and control over foreign trade. This will have to involve mass combative actions of workers which Labour will not lead.
Banks and Labour
McDonnell has repeatedly said that he will work with the banks, now he says he wants them in the government. McDonnell said at Bloomberg’s new European headquarters, 19 April, “…when we go into government, we want you to come with us, alongside representatives from our manufacturers, our trade unions and wider civil society. There will be a seat at the policy making and policy delivery table for you.
“What we are offering is a new start in the relationship between Labour and the finance sector,”
“The right for our financial service companies to win business across Europe, and the reciprocal right for European companies to win business here, remains essential.”
What does this mean? It means that Labour’s leadership, however left they may appear, will incorporate the interests of finance capital into a Labour government, and they are preparing for that now.
As stated in the in-house journal of the ruling class, the Financial Times:
“Jonathan Reynolds, the Shadow City minister has been preparing the ground for some time, engaging with banks, insurers and asset managers, and earning praise for his open-minded approach…Having met StanChart and the LSE, McDonnell is now set to take tea with Goldman Sachs, the epitome of all he disdains, and international head Richard Gnodde.”
For the avoidance of doubt, John McDonnell has repeated on radio, “let me be clear, we are not going to nationalise the banks” he explained recently to the HSBC bank.
Here McDonnell reveals the essence of Labour’s programme – protect financial capital whatever the cost. Money laundering, front-running on foreign exchange, LIBOR fixing etc, offshore banking and the international tax havens are run by and for the super-rich and will remain so under a Labour government.