Communist Party Political Committee Report February 2017: ‘Class Politics Vital to Understand Trump and EU’
‘The most powerful big business circles in the USA are determined to promote their interests aggressively against China, Russia and the European Union’, Communist Party chair Liz Payne told the party’s Political Committee on Wednesday evening (15 February 2017).
But at the same time, she pointed out that the conflicts within the country’s state apparatus reflected differences of tactics and strategy within the US ruling class.
‘Some US corporations such as Exxon Mobile are involved in exploiting Russian oil and gas resources, or in the case of tobacco and soft drink giants see the market potential in China – while others resent Chinese competition at home and abroad or put geo-political and factors first in order to complete the provocative military encirclement of Russia and China’, she declared.
As a key base for US imperialism in the Middle East, Israel would receive unequivocal support from Trump, as it would have done from a president Hillary Clinton – but without even the lip-service to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
‘However, we should be in doubt that a “one-state” solution would be a “no-state” non-solution for the oppressed Palestinian people’, Ms Payne argued.
Revival of inter-imperialist rivalry
CP international secretary John Foster agreed that the revival of inter-imperialist rivalry was key to understanding recent political and economic developments.
He pointed out that Trump and his key advisers were concerned that workers being thrown on the scrap-heap by capitalist globalisation might turn increasingly to the left, as demonstrated by the support for social democrat Bernie Sanders in the fight against Hillary Clinton to be the Democratic Party candidate in last year’s US presidential election.
‘During the election campaign, Trump promised protectionist measures in order to defend and create industrial jobs and redistribute wealth in favour of the working class – yet most of US big business, including major interests within his own regime, profit from globalisation and its so-called “free markets”‘.
Mr Foster pointed to CETA (the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU), endorsed that same day by the European Parliament.
It allows monopoly capital to circulate with little or no restriction throughout the common territories, including in Britain, and enables corporations to sue democratically elected governments in accordance with an ‘investor dispute mechanism’.
This could raise a major legal obstacle to the renationalisation of public services and utilities, Mr Foster declared.
He warned that US big business wanted to draw Britain closer to its side in what could develop into a trade war against the EU.
The CP Political Committee urged the labour movement in Britain to overcome its differences over the EU referendum and oppose neoliberal treaties and rules of every kind, whether operating in the EU or being considered by Theresa May’s Tory government.
‘Neoliberalism directly threatens our public services’, Morning Star editor Ben Chacko commented, highlighting the impact of cuts across the NHS and, in England, the accelerated privatisation of hospital services.
General Secretary Robert Griffiths identified the lack of class analysis and class politics on the left and in the working class movement as an ongoing weakness.
‘Trump and his team include a number of sexist, racist and homophobic bigots, as does the leadership of UKIP in Britain – but we should also be clear about the class interests they and their policies represent, and which pose grave dangers to all workers and their families, not least to women and ethnic minorities’, he insisted.
‘Similarly, we need to be clear that British ruling class policy has been to stay in the EU, or in the Single Market if that proves impossible and – failing even that – to conclude neoliberal trade and investment deals with the US, Canada, Turkey, Israel and other countries as necessary’, Mr Griffiths added.
London district secretary Steve Johnson agreed that concentrating on personalities, however vile, could cloud a clear analysis: ‘Racism, the Ku Klux Klan, the ‘Black Lives Matter‘ campaign, sexism, homophobia, union-busting and the mass deportation of immigrants existed in the USA before the election of Donald Trump’, he remarked.
CP trade union organiser Graham Stevenson reported that the mass of people in their workplaces and local communities did not share the media obsession with Trump above their own concerns about pay, benefits, pensions, jobs and public services. A new round of steep domestic fuel price rises, following the latest 9.8% average increase announced by Npower, will hit millions of people already in poverty.
A ‘Progressive Alliance’?
Britain’s communists also expressed their ‘total opposition’ to moves to create a so-called ‘Progressive Alliance’ of right-wing Labour, ultra-leftist, Green and LibDem forces.
‘Some well-meaning supporters want such an alliance to stand against Tory cuts – yet it would unavoidably help rehabilitate the LibDems, who betrayed millions of voters to form a coalition with the Tories in 2010 and begin a vicious ten-year programme of cuts and privatisations’, Liz Payne reminded the meeting.
‘For others, especially the Greens and New Labourites, their main agenda is to campaign for continued membership of the EU and its neoliberal Single Market. They oppose Labour’s left leadership for respecting popular democracy, when all genuine progressives should be supporting Jeremy Corbyn and his comrades’, she concluded.
The Political Committee decided to:
- Publish a new range of campaigning materials for the ‘Our NHS‘ and ‘Stand Up to Racism‘ demonstrations on March 4 and 18.
- Mobilise for the International Women’s Day event organised by the Coordinating Committee of Communist Parties at the Marx Memorial Library on March 11.
- Attend the Marx Oration at Highgate Cemetery, March 19, to be delivered by Venezuelan Ambassador Rocio Maneiro.
- Welcome the British Peace Assembly event at the MML on March 24 in memory of renowned Marxist scientist J.D. Bernal.
- Urge support for Graham Stevenson as Communist Party candidate for West Midlands mayor in the May 4 local elections.
- Promote new Morning Star pamphlets on the EU by John Foster and Imperialism and the Middle East: Challenges for the Left.
- Participate in an international seminar on July 1-2, organised by the Marx Memorial Library, the Institute for Employment Rights and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Germany) on the future of the EU.