Our Say

After G8 and the London bombings - the way forward

London terror attacks condemned

After Live 8:
from pressure to action

The G8 summit and political power

Make the G8 leaders history

A sham election

10 good reasons to boycott May 5

Don't be blackmailed into voting

Reject ‘dependency’ politics

No votes for New Labour!

Parliament seals its own fate

A secret policeman's government

Vote for "none of the above"

How to remember the victims of the tsunami

A state of crisis

New Labour and the big lie

Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

After the US election

Blood on New Labour's hands

Butler and weapons of mass deception

With 'leaders' like these, who needs enemies?

How to meet the threat from the right

Barbarians at the gate

Torture, values and lies

The silence of the lambs

War crimes in Iraq

The slaughter in Madrid

The unfinished business of the miners’ strike 1984-85

L’état – c’est New Labour

The death of liberal democracy foretold

Hutton washes the state whiter than white

Top-up fees and the market economy

Our challenge for 2004

New Labour's march to a police state

Bush & Blair - partners in crime

London Region revolts against FBU leaders

Postal workers in the front line

No turning back

Where we go from here

Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

Regime change begins at home

Blood on New Labour's hands

There's more involved than just Blair

New Labour, lies and spies

Firefighters should reject deal and disown leaders

BECTU vote on New Labour link a step forward

Time runs out for FBU leaders

New Labour's one-party state

The blind alley of crude anti-Americanism

Occupation of Iraq - time to move beyond protest

War is a test for principles

Iraqi defiance shocks and awes

FBU leaders who backed capitulation should resign now

Down with New Labour's war - for regime change in Britain

FBU at war with New Labour

New Labour, not just Blair, is the target

50 years since the death of Stalin - an assessment

FBU finds itself in Precott's trap

War is Peace - Blair's fictitious 'push for peace'

15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

Crisis of globalisation behind attack on Iraq

Tell it how it is

An injury to one is an injury to all

War plans expose fraudulent 'democracy'

A 'regime change' in Britain is the answer to war on Iraq

FBU needs a new strategy

Challenging New Labour

A moment of truth in the fight against New Labour

Gilchrist says it how it is

Time to defy the anti-union laws in support of the FBU

FBU must ask for solidarity strikes

FBU leaders must ask for support now

New Labour provokes confrontation

Italian police attack No-Global movement

New Labour declares war on FBU

Don't let the FBU fight alone

UN writes a blank cheque for war

Blood on Putin's hands

Unions must support firefighters with action not words

Support the firefighters - defeat New Labour

Bush-Blair war agenda revealed

Seeing through New Labour's weapons of mass deception

The US media and the new garrison state

The BEGINNING of Politics

How technology could
free humanity

'Terminator' engineering: A threat to humanity

The future is socialist

Asylum legislation fuels racist attacks

Road map to the future

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How to meet the threat from the right

The outcome of the local and European elections, with the advance of right-wing populism in the shape of the UKIP, adds to the existing crisis of the parliamentary system and contains real warnings about the future. New Labour finished third in the local elections in terms of the share of the vote, the first time a governing party has done so. In the European elections, the Tories and New Labour could not muster 50% of the vote between them, while New Labour plunged to its worst performance for more than 90 years.

In Britain, the parliamentary system has produced two major parties - New Labour and the Tories - that stand more or less for the same thing. Both are defenders of capitalist interests, with New Labour more wedded to international big business than the Tories. In terms of state institutions, parliament has no control over the executive, which in turn is ruled in presidential-style from 10 Downing Street.

More and more decisions of importance are actually taken at World Trade Organisation and European Union levels. The WTO is totally undemocratic and unaccountable while the EU is ruled by a Byzantine bureaucracy and appointed commissioners. Its parliament is a standing joke for its lack of clout. In this way, the corporate-driven globalisation process forces the pace and is the real source of this crisis, leading to a transfer of power from national to global and regional bodies.

Taken together, all these factors have produced a crisis of authority and legitimacy for democracy capitalist-style, not just in Britain but throughout the rest of Europe as well as in the United States. More and more people are unrepresented and their votes count for little. This is an open door for right-wing populism, which UKIP has walked through. In the East Midlands, UKIP polled 26% and finished joint top with the Tories. UKIP recorded 19% in the Eastern and South East regions and over 22% in the South West. Nationally, UKIP got 15.6% of the vote in the European elections, finishing in third place. If you add in the 4.7% recorded by the fascist BNP, the two together were within 1.5% of New Labour's share of 21.88%

UKIP, a seedy bunch led by Robert Kilroy-Silk, the former Labour MP whose daytime TV show was ended by the BBC in the wake of an inflammatory attack on Muslims, have tuned in to the discontent of sections of the chauvinist middle class and poor workers unrepresented by any party. Kilroy-Silk has said his group will set out to "wreck" the European parliament.

Bourgeois democracy isn't a fixed abstraction, or a set of rules, but a form of the political expression of capitalist rule. It became the dominant political form during the 20th century, extending to the majority of countries world-wide, shadowing the increasing dominance of capitalism. It was suspended during the imperialist wars. It became the vehicle through which fascism came to power in some countries in the 1930s. Today, politics is pursued through war and state-sponsored terror, and globalisation has transformed the role of the state. The "hollowing out" of the capitalist state has brought a convergence with economic interests in an unprecedented way. The mask has slipped and the authoritarian face of the state as bodies of armed men is revealed, at home and abroad.

As we have seen, capitalism is unable to defend even the minimal democracy that ordinary people fought to achieve in struggles that go back hundreds of years. New Labour in particular has opened the door to the populist right. What this means is that the defence of democratic rights and political representation cannot be left to the capitalist state or parties, who are historically incapable of this task. In this regard, the Respect coalition presented absolutely no alternative during the elections. Their populist programmes said nothing about the crisis of the state and indicated that reform was still possible within the capitalist framework, so long as the right policies were adopted. On the EU, Respect made a series of propaganda points but put forward no alternative political framework through which to carry them through. In other words, Respect was and is for the status quo with a radical face. All George Galloway, Respect's main figure, could say was that Tony Blair should resign in the wake of the results in order to restore New Labour's fortunes.

The real challenge which the Movement for a Socialist Future is taking up is to advance democracy through a struggle for regime change in the most comprehensive fashion. This will mean building new, truly democratic institutions. We have to develop revolutionary alternatives to the existing state in terms of parliament, the legal system, state administration, police, prisons and the army. That is the lesson from the local and European elections.

Movement for a Socialist Future
17 June 2004


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