If anyone still had any illusions that the Labour Party was a socialist organisation able to bring about real change then the Labour Party conference in late September in Liverpool should have finally convinced them that this was not the case.
The conference began not with the singing of The Red Flag but with the national anthem God Save the King. This is the first time in Labour Party history that this has happened. Keir Starmer went on to sing the praises of the Queen who, according to him, had created a personal relationship with people ‘based on service and devotion to our country’. There was a minute’s silence for the Queen, with no heckling voices of dissent to be heard in a totally silent hall.
The conference was a tightly choreographed event, designed to stifle opposition, and much like a national conference of Democrats and Republicans in the U.S.A.
The so called left within Labour has been thoroughly routed and Starmer and co. are busy repositioning Labour as a party of the centre. This suits the boss class’s fears about the Truss government being unable to tackle the present economic situation and resulting widespread civil disorder. When the flames of social unrest start rising high, then the big red (blue surely? Ed.) fire engine of Labour is always ready to douse them. To many elements in the ruling class a Labour administration is preferably to an inept Truss government facing increasing workplace unrest and general discontent.
The big business and corporate sponsors have also returned, after being scared off during the Corbyn period, with Amazon paying for the reception on the opening night of conference. In fact this year saw the biggest turnout of big business companies since 2010. These included Wrightbus, owned by Jo Wright, who donates to the Tories. Other companies to be seen were Sainsbury’s, Google, Lloyd’s Banking, Labour and energy firm E.ON.
A reception sponsored by Bloomberg, on Monday night of the conference, saw Starmer, Rachel Reeves, (shadow chancellor) Jonathon Reynolds (shadow business secretary) and David Lammy (shadow foreign secretary), speaking to more than 600 big business leaders.
These capitalist outfits are sensing that Labour will soon be back in power and they intend to influence it as much as possible. For their part, Starmer and the Labour leadership have been actively encouraging connections to big business over the past year, appearing at breakfasts, dinners and other events with business leaders.
Meanwhile the Momentum group, which continues to peddle the illusion that Labour can be won to socialism, pleaded at their rally on Saturday September 24th for people to stay inside Labour. Left MPs and trade union leaders got up one after the other to push the idea that Labour can be won to backing strikes and can be turned in a radical direction. Chief among these was John McDonnell, a main architect of the Corbynist phenomenon that was quickly crushed and extinguished. Another MP, Dawn Butler, begged people to stay within Labour.
At the conference the Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said that: “The Tories are not on the side of the working people in Britain today”. The thing is, Angela, neither is the Labour Party.