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The British election

There are certain basic elements of the Brexit process that have to be restated in order to make sense of the coming British general election. The first is that it is an utterly reactionary process that aims to strike savage blows at workers. "Making Britain great again" involves doing away with democratic and workers rights, a full-throated racism and scapegoating of refugees running alongside a foreign policy of slaughter and conquest as lackeys of the USA.
There is no progressive "Lexit" that can be counter-posed to Brexit. The idea that a retreat behind British borders with their "own" capitalist class is a better terrain for socialists is simply nonsense.  Separation only makes sense when one nation is oppressed by another.  British workers need to unite with workers across Europe to fight European capital. 
We agree with British socialists that Theresa May is staging an electoral coup. Brexit has unleashed endless conflict and contradiction. She hopes to gain a large parliamentary majority and ram through a hard Brexit in the face of widespread opposition. The process is similar to Trumpism in that the conservatives have a mechanism that enables holding power in a disintegrating economy if they embrace the racists and sections of the fascist right. 
We agree with British socialists that they should be calling for a Labour vote. Although Labour will not oppose Brexit, a landslide for Corbyn would stop the process in its tracks and a large vote would strengthen the many battles that will follow the election.
However for the socialists, a major issue is the confusion and disarray in their own ranks. They have tried to win support by proposing policies that will advance workers rights while remaining within the confines of capitalism. This is no longer a feasible policy.
Brexit would mean a savage and ongoing attack on workers, but so also would the Blairite policy of offering support to a rapacious European capitalism that has driven sections of the working class to despair. For socialists the project has to be unity of workers across Europe and aiming for a United Socialist States of Europe.
Socialists should fight for a Labour victory and work alongside young Corbynistas inside the Labour party. However they must make plain how consistently Labour has betrayed the workers, the limitations of the mild reformism of Corbyn himself and the need to call for a revolutionary party of the workers.
These are arguments for Britain alone. Until recently the British Labour party did not organize in the north of Ireland and does not now stand candidates. This arises from an historic understanding of Britain's role as an imperialist power in Ireland.  Because of the imperialist nature of relations between Britain and Ireland, it is impossible for the British Labour party - even under a left social democratic leader such as Corbyn - to play a progressive role here.  It is for this reason that we reject calls for the Labour party to organise in the north.  Any socialist approach must start with that understanding.


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