Of all the spineless political acts that exist, the petty bourgeois Labour councillors of Harrow council decided to perform the worst. In a moment of clumsy political adventurism they moved to withdraw from the Labour group and form their own independent group, thus passing over the council effortless and at will, potentially, into the hands of a Conservative led coalition. And all that, in the name of the working class.
Yet, this minor political development in this small area of the global political map, represents with great accuracy the political culture, notion and class, that characterizes every movement that is been taking place from the so called left, away from the traditionally social democratic parties, and towards formation of independent organizations. The result has been in constant and abrupt display i.e. the weakening of the class movement, the splitting of the working class in endless political formations in the context of parliamentary opportunism, and the untroublesome handing over of power to the most aggressive political representatives of capital.
For the petty bourgeois politicians such moves are logical, since the burden of the class struggle lay heavy on their delicate political consciousness. For a worker this is nothing but a further derailment of the class struggle. Workers must ask themselves, is it not reformism, in which ever form it manifests, left or right, the main ideology that is used to envelope the true nature of a class society based on oppression and economic deprivation of the many? Will there not be the same petty bourgeois reformist elements to battle against in these new formations? Of course there will, any development of an organization from the so called left will have left reformism at the core of its essence. Then why postpone the fight against reformism and petty bourgeois domination of working class representation, to take place in displaced areas of the political scenery. When at the same time these movements and political formations while been made in the name of the working class, they have resulted to great political casualties and defeats on behalf of the workers. The answer is simple there should be no further postponement or displacement.
These 9 councillors however, took their adventurism a step further as they arrogantly kept their positions as councillors and moved in opposition to the Party through which they acquired their political stature in local politics. Who told these creatures that these political positions belong to any individual, either that be a local councillor, a minister of parliament or for that matter a prime minster. These positions belong to the wards they represent, the constituencies and the party. Should they wish to heroically withdraw from the labour group, then they should resign of their posts and allow the Labour party to re-elect new representatives. Nor should they be expelled as this would simply mean that they can continue as councillors outside the influence of the Labour Party wards they were voted to represent.
Whatever excuse they may come up with to justify this adventurism, it will not express their deep motives. The excuse will only uncover the opportunity they have been waiting for. Indeed, the simple truth is that they face the same problem petty bourgeois left politicians face throughout Europe. The only way to fight against cuts and austerity and to protect workers’ rights is to escalate the class fight by creating a strong opposition inside the Party gathering around it all the local workers association, and local trade unions, while at the same time reigniting and developing the local trades council. The British working class is very fortunate to have great examples of such developments in its recent history with the fight that the council of Liverpool led against Torries policies in the 80s, and further back with the great role trades councils played during the 1926 general strike in local administration and organization. These examples must never be allowed to be forgotten as they are as relevant to the present problems local communities face in Britain as then.
In the face of this challenge these petty bourgeois lefties flee towards any direction that will save them from such responsibilities but also allow them to keep the cloak of champions of social justice. With them without doubt every socialist sectarian element will rejoice in their great decision to take on the right wing leadership of the Labour party as well as the policies of the government when in reality they have only taken themselves out of the way in the most opportunistic manner possible.
The battle as always lies within.