A recent article by Workers' Liberty has caught my attention so much so that I thought it worth commenting on. I find it extremely difficult to grasp the reality in which they are living. I find it is extremely difficult how a Marxist organisation can at the present time can advocate a vote for the Labour Party. The do add stipulations though, The slogan is 'Vote Labour, Prepare to Fight'.
What does this actually mean though? To say 'Vote Labour', however you say it is to say 'Vote Labour'. Throughout the article it is many clear how bad the Tories are and of course this is all true, in reality the article completely misses the point. Born in 1985 I have spent the whole of my life under tory policies because there is no real difference between Labour and tories these days, in fact in many sectors Labour have gone even further than the Tories dared. The article goes out of the way to point of some of the progressive reforms of Labour such as Tax credits but fails to mention that what Labour has given with one hand has been taken away with the other and the gap between rich and poor is greater than before 1997! Without much democratic structures left in Labour there is not a route to 'reclaim it' so this is simply leading towards a dead end.
The AWL make a point of the trade union link with Labour and the importance of it. Whilst this is a valid point the trade union link can not be ignored. But one only has to look at the TU's which are not affiliated to Labour and those that are. Even amongst those that are it is easy to see a huge mood for braking that link amongst the rank and file and the bureaucracy is hanging on. So really with this as the background the position of 'Vote Labour, Prepare to Fight' plays the role off holding back the the most militant Trade Unionists and giving the bureaucracy left cover. I do not see how the trade union link can be seen as a reason for voting for labour. Whilst there was no official affiliation between TU's and the Liberal Party, but it clear that the Liberals were not a workers party. In the United States the TU's give huge some of money to the Democrats but they again are not seen as a workers party. In Germany we have seen the rise of Die Linke which is supported by socialists internationally yet most of the TU's remain affiliated to the SPD. In consequence the TU affiliation to Labour is nothing more than a historical hangover but not a reflection of Labour's aims. It is what Labour has done which counts.
The actions of the Labour Party of the last 13 years has resulted in pushing away the working class on mass. Membership has more than halved, the only youth to join are Blairites, often even constituency meetings can't get quoracy. At the Welsh Labour Party hustings there was only MP's, AM's, councillors and a handful of others present. The Labour Party is a shell of its former self and the working class generally no longer see it as their party any more. I certainly don't and never have, my first political activities began campaigning against the Labour Party and have done so now for over 7 years. A whole generation of working class youth have only ever known a right-wing Labour party. This is why the tories are likely to win the election despite the working class hatred that exists for them,this is why the BNP is able to gain ground in ex-labour heartlands, because there are countless voters, amongst the older voters who have always voted labour but say they will never vote Labour again because of the betrayals.
So with huge anger of working class people towards the Labour Party, where even the LRC go as far as to say that people are looking for a new party. To say vote Labour in this situation is to say that working class people can not build there own alternative they can only resist the cuts when they come. More importantly though it is a way to drive a wedge between yourselves and anyone you try to convince to vote Labour. Instead socialists should support TUSC or other left candidates where they are standing and where there are none, with a possible few exceptions, Socialists should call for spoilt ballots as a protest and link that to the need to build a real alternative.