We are to be brainwashed again!

Sent to the local Shields Gazette

Those in charge of the political affairs of British capitalism are worried. The nationalist propaganda that their predecessors pumped out for years -- justifying the British Empire on the grounds that the colonised peoples were inferior -- has come back to haunt them. A large section of the native working class still believe this crap, long after it has ceased to be any use to the ruling class. Now that there is a large minority of workers from or descended from people from the old Empire, our rulers want them, in the interests of national unity, to be regarded as fellow Britishers. So now they are going to "educate" workers that it is nasty and wrong to go on thinking that black people are inferior and cannot be British.

Of course people who have dark skin are not, and never were, inferior. All human beings are members of the same biological species -- homo sapiens -- and we all have the same capacity to learn. There is, if you like, only one race -- the human race. We are all citizens of the world, Earthlings.

But this is not what the politicians are proposing should be taught in the schools. They want to teach working-class kids "what is means to be British" as Jack Straw put it in a speech at Oxford University. According to The Times (26 January), in true Jingo fashion he "called for a strong 'British story' to reflect the heroic nature of the country's history and foster a greater sense of citizenship".

So, although racism is now out, equally divisive nationalism is still in and is in fact to be stepped up. Schoolkids are to be taught, as before, that they are primarily members of a supposed "British nation" all of whose members allegedly have a common interest different from the subjects of other so-called "nation-States". The only difference will be that they will be taught that this British nation now includes dark-skinned people from the former Empire and that such people too can now proudly look down on "foreigners".

Socialists will try to do what we can to counter this nationalist state-propaganda by pointing out that nationalism is an ideology which ruling classes use to try to obtain the acquiescence and support of those they rule over and that wage and salary workers from all countries have more in common with each other than with their rulers. Ultimately, they have a common interest in establishing a socialist world commonwealth where there'll be no frontiers or nation-states just people speaking different languages and enjoying different tastes in dress, music, culture and the like but which everybody will be entitled to share in.


Primeministers come and go

Sent to the local Shields Gazette

In his notorious militarist speech of 12, January aboard HMS Albion, Blair compared Islamic terrorism to "revolutionary communism in its early and most militant phase", and said it should be dealt with in the same way.

In his pre-prime-ministerial tour of India, Brown declared that "Islamic extremism had to be fought at all levels, 'just as we learnt we had to fight communism at all levels'" (Times, 19 January).

What can they have in mind? Of course by "communism" they don't mean communism in the proper sense (which is just another name for what I call socialism), even if, as faithful servitors of UK Capitalism PLC, they are just as much opposed to this. What they meant was the ideology under which state-capitalist Russia and China sought to challenge the world hegemony of the Western capitalist powers.

In referring to "revolutionary communism in its early and most militant phase", Blair is going back even further -- to the period before Lenin's death when the Bolshevik regime still hoped to be saved by the world revolution Lenin had mistakenly thought was on the cards. The one good thing that the Bolsheviks did was to try to stop the slaughter on the Eastern Front in WWI by taking Russia out of the war. How did the Western powers react? By themselves invading Russia.

So, what Blair and Brown are in effect proposing is to maintain and build up Britain's armed forces, to send them to do battle whenever needed, to bribe "moderate Muslims", and to generally employ dirty tricks in a bid to beat off the latest challenge to the world hegemony (and oil supplies) of the Western capitalist powers. To such an extent have they assimilated themselves to the job of running a capitalist state and furthering the interest of its capitalist class.

While in India, Brown revealed that he can be just as hypocritical as Blair. He was photographed laying a wreath in memory of Gandhi. As he could himself see the contradiction between advocating the build-up and use of armed forces and Gandhi's reputation as an apostle of non-violence, he explained that it was not Gandhi's non-violence that inspired him but the way he dealt with the challenge he faced (as if he didn't do so non-violently). What a hypocrite! But this is only par for the course from the canting Christian that he is. In any event, he only did it to curry favour with the Indian government to try to get contracts for British capitalist firms to make a profit by selling their goods in India.

"Blair Must Go!" proclaims the current SWP poster given away free on demonstrations. No doubt they are already preparing new ones saying "Brown Must Go!" just as before they had "Major Must Go!" and "Thatcher Must Go!". Meanwhile, as we know that prime ministers come and go but it makes no difference as they're not the cause of the problem but the capitalist system of competitive struggle for profits is, we offer the only logical socialist slogan: CAPITALISM MUST GO!