The political system on both sides of the Atlantic is utterly broken, with the dominant political parties essentially two sides of the same establishment coin.
There is a desperate need for a new political vehicle, and there was genuine hope the Labour Party could be that vehicle when Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour leader in 2015.
The political agenda he spearheaded threatened the neoliberal status quo, but he was sabotaged by a combination of right-wing Labour MPs, corporate media hacks and Labour Party bureaucrats.
The 40 years of neoliberalism that the UK’s ruling elites have imposed on the country has created a dangerous political vacuum, which is being exploited by right-wing populists. This is what propelled Boris Johnson into 10 Downing Street and Donald Trump into the White House. Far right extremists have been emboldened too, and it’s no exaggeration to suggest that the prospect of fascism now looms large.
It’s happened before. The 1929 financial crash exposed the failings of capitalism and none of the mainstream parties offered a credible solution. The vacuum they left was filled by fascists who seized power in Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan, while enjoying significant popular support in the US and Britain.
The reflections of the great Italian Marxist thinker, Antonio Gramsci, who died in 1937, are remarkably prescient. This quotation is particularly pertinent when he said: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” We’re currently witnessing the ‘morbid symptoms’ to which Gramsci referred, so we need to learn the lessons of history and start planning to avoid the mistakes of the 1930s.
It is encouraging to see tens of thousands pledging their support to the movement for a new people’s party in the US. This initiative began after Bernie Sanders’ bid for the Democrats’ presidential nomination was sabotaged by the same forces that destroyed the Corbyn project here.
Their vision is to build a new progressive populist party to take big money out of politics, deliver free health care, free higher education, an infrastructure jobs programme, a $15 (£11.21) minimum wage, strict financial regulations, and more besides.
The US Democrats and Republicans have turned their backs on the working class to answer every call of the billionaire class. Polls in the US indicate that almost two out of three Americans are now calling for a major new party.
The Resistance Movement, that was established after the UK’s general election last year, is following a similar trajectory to build grassroots support for a new political vehicle by initially focusing on extra-parliamentary activities.
The Labour Party no longer represents the best interests of working-class communities and opposition leader, Sir Keir Starmer, is a pillar of the establishment. His leadership highlights how the Labour Party is used as an establishment tool to maintain the economic and social status quo.
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