For a workers' political party!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
7 May 2013

As predicted by the polls, the anti-European, anti-immigrant, anti-working class UKIP came out of nowhere in the May local elections, adding 157 seats to its original eight.

Of course, 157 out of 2,362 seats isn't all that much. But that's only due to the voting system. According to BBC figures, had this been a national ballot, UKIP would have scored 23% - against 29% for Labour and 25% for the Tories, leaving the Lib-Dems in 4th place with 14%.

All three main parties reacted to UKIP's rise with the same hypocritical dismay. They were quick to dismiss it as a mere protest vote. But at the same time they all fell over themselves to promise that they would listen to the fears expressed by UKIP's voters over Europe, immigration and the welfare state.

Who sows the wind...

But who created these artificial fears and fuelled the prejudices expressed by the crass demagogy of Nigel Farage and his sidekicks? Who, if not the politicians of the main three parties, who systematically tried to cover their backs, and the responsibility of their capitalist paymasters for the crisis, by looking for scape-goats?

Who pointed to Britain's membership of the EU as being the cause of every ill since the crisis broke out? Who accused Brussels of "strangling" the British economy and imposing a straightjacket on its legal system? Who, if not the present ConDem and the previous Labour governments, which both blamed the economic slump here on the Eurozone crisis, when both are due to the same world capitalist crisis?

Haven't the same governments pointed to migrant workers as being a "burden" for Britain, its public services and welfare system, despite the fact that these workers contribute just as much to the value created and the taxes paid in this country as any British worker? And all of this to conceal the looting of public funds to rescue the profit system - which is the only real "burden" on society.

Finally, who pointed to the jobless, the disabled and all the poor as being "cheaters and skivers". Who blamed them for the government's ballooning deficit and who lied cynically, by accusing them of "abusing" the system and earning huge welfare payments, when most only get peanuts - and in any case, not enough to live on? And who accused the jobless of being "lazy", when every real job attracts hundreds, sometimes thousands of applicants? Again, Labour started the ball rolling, by blaming the poor for their poverty and the ConDems just went much further down the same road.

A threat for the working class

For the main parties, the rise of UKIP is not just a threat to their seats, but also a golden opportunity to justify further attacks against the poorest and most vulnerable and against the working class as a whole, in order to boost the profits of big business.

Already, the Tory right-wing mob is raising its head behind a gutter rhetoric similar to UKIP's. And Cameron is bound to yield to this pressure, as he has already done many times in the past.

As to Labour, its leader Ed Milliband, has already embarked on a"political realignment" by endorsing in all but words, much of the ConDems' line against welfare claimants, the jobless and migrant workers.

For the working class, the fact that a section of the electorate has come to identify with the stench of UKIP's xenophobic, anti-working class rhetoric, is a major threat, even if it is only as a protest vote.

History tells us that the rise of fascism between the last two world wars fed on such prejudices among irate petty-bourgeois, who were driven to despair by the crisis of the 1930s and led to believe that the Jews, the poor and workers' organisations had caused their misery. UKIP and its look-alike in the Tory party are not Hitler's thugs - not yet, but it wouldn't necessarily take long for such a movement to emerge, should the crisis deepen.

In the 1930s, the German working class was unable to fight off the rise of Hitler because its organisations refused to unite its ranks in a common fight to challenge the rule of the capitalist class.

Today, in Britain, the working class has still to use its enormous potential against the attacks of the bosses and their politicians. By joining ranks in an effective fight against these attacks, by demonstrating that it has the strength to fight off the capitalists' greed, not just in its own name, but in the interests of society as a whole, it could pull the carpet from under the feet of the likes of UKIP.

But in order to go on the offensive, the working class will need a party of its own, a party which takes the lead of its struggles and resolutely expresses the need to get rid of the profit system - a revolutionary, communist workers' party that needs to be built as a matter of urgency!