Transforming Labour


The following letter appeared in the July issue of the Labour Representation Committee’s Labour Briefing (

Balls and Miliband’s latest promise to deliver Labour government austerity in 2015 comes as a surprise only to the wilfully naïve, and should not be doubted. Believe them! Ken Loach’s appeal for a “new political party of the left” spelled it out: Labour is “advocating its own brand of austerity and privatisation”. But while the logos of Unite, GMB, Unison and the rest are prominently displayed among the promoters of the June 22 People’s Assembly Against Austerity, they should not be believed. The overpaid trade union bureaucracy will voice popular anger against attacks on the working class, but it is loyal to Labour’s front bench and to the delusion of people-friendly capitalism. Their stage-managed mass mobilisations will be timed not to damage the electability of capitalism’s alternative management team.

Democratising the Labour Party and transforming it into a real party of working class socialism, which the Labour Representation Committee and its adopted journal, Labour Briefing, aims to do, should not be about putting the present band of careerist misleaders of our party into office. Another Labour government which runs capitalism, like every previous one, would disempower and demobilise the workers’ movement. Our movement will be rebuilt in opposition, resisting capitalism, not trying to make it work.

Transforming our party is inseparable from the enormous task of winning socialist consciousness amongst the mass of workers and taking control of our trade unions, Labour’s backbone, away from the self-serving bureaucratic caste which dominates them now. That will require organised democratic unity of all the forces of working class socialism, presently divided and ineffective, and commitment to the Marxist political programme of replacing minority rule of the capitalist class by majority rule of the working class. Comrades inside and outside Labour need each other. We should take each other seriously.

Stan Keable