No 1617 23rd September 2022
In-your-face budget, bolstering the rich, and suppressing the poor and desperate, is a declaration of civil war by a British ruling class which is on the ropes in the international trade war and capitalism’s Catastrophic breakdown. Immediate plunge in the pound shows its hopeless incompetence. To fight back the working class needs a revolutionary perspective of class war, challenging the complacency and opportunism of class collaborating TUC leaders and treacherous Labourism. Acceptance by fake-“lefts” of the degenerate nazi-NATO war in Ukraine, propping up Zelensky’s anti-communist fascist scumbags, with demented Goebbels lies illustrates the sick opportunism and misleadership which holds workers back. Enough is Enough is not enough – Marxist-Leninst science is the need
The insane and vicious slump savagery being imposed by the Tories on the poor and powerless, the rise of Nazi and fascist parties across Europe, and Washington’s (and stooges) attempted escalation of two decades of nazi-NATO warmongering now, using the Kiev fascists as proxies against Russia in Ukraine, all reflect the Catastrophic crisis breakdown of the 800 year old bourgeois order.
The Trussites’ risible “new framework” for economic growth – exactly the same hopeless “free-market” deregulation and greed-ridden privatisation applied multiple times over the last 60 years (including by themselves in the last ten years!!!) supplemented with massive Labour-style “irresponsible” borrowing to pay off the oil companies and feed the already well off – is an admission of total breakdown and failure.
It feels more like the rich stripping the light fittings before moving out, than an actual economic plan.
It can only drive the British ruling class closer to the edge of total failure – the pound plunging immediately on world markets – while massively ratcheting up class war pressure, brings revolutionary social explosion closer as the lower end of the working class is pushed into complete penury and desperation.
Britain is the weakest link in the entire world monopoly profit system which has all hit the buffers, trapped by the overproduction contradictions which Marx first analysed in his great work on Capital and repeatedly confirmed since in cycles of ever deeper slump collapses and – in the era of monopoly imperialism analysed by Lenin – inter-imperialist war disasters of ever greater cataclysmic extent (Franco-Prussian war 1871, Russo-Japanese war in 1904, WW1 and WW2 ).
Like those, unfolding World War Three will be stopped only by revolutionary upheaval and struggles to establish workers states.
The collapse this time of foetid, stinking and rotten imperialist degeneracy is the deepest and most widespread ever.
It will continue dragging the world towards economic, social, environmental and above all deliberately imposed warmongering armageddon, also the most horrific ever, until the working class again seizes the nettle of revolutionary struggle to destroy and bring down its ruling class – and this time on a world scale, forever.
None of the contradictions now paralysing the ruling class and making life impossible for the masses will be resolved without a giant revolutionary leap to a new historic order.
Only that way – not pleas and protests, not regulation and reforms, not limited strikes or even general strikes, not votes, not marches nor street demos or even occupations, but all-out class war to overturn and totally suppress the sick and arrogant billionaire class, its tyrannical state forces, its brainwashing media lie machines and its acolytes and servants, – will allow the creation of a new socialist world of international cooperation, leaving not one single individual behind.
Only that way can a new society of reason and rationality be built, taking all production into common ownership and ending forever the wage slavery and eco-destruction of the 800-year old bourgeois class dominated world.
Of course all partial and existing means of struggle and many more, might, and will, find a place in this titanic coming conflict as required and as might emerge spontaneously.
But they will go nowhere sustainable without putting foremost the battle for revolutionary philosophy and science, developed by a purpose built leadership cadre party of deep study and polemical struggle to grasp and constantly develop Marxist-Leninist theory (building on the huge achievements of Marx, Engels, and Lenin especially, and the work of the EPSR too).
Conscious revolutionary science is the only way in which the shifting balance of class forces can be grasped, week by week, day by day and eventually hour by hour and thereby guide the programme, strategy and tactics for the massive class fights which the world is being forced into.
Establishing a clear, coherent and above all correct perspective on the world is vital if the working class is to avoid being hoodwinked, misled, fooled and constantly set back by the lies, and counter-revolutionary violence of the ruling class which will always be unleashed to whatever extent of brute savagery it feels is necessary (which has already seen the deaths of hundreds of millions during its centuries of rule).
It is also the only way the coherence and unity of the mass struggle can be developed, inspired and maintained against all the confusion mongering and opportunism from Labourite careerists to the fake-”left” pretenders, calling themselves revolutionaries but nothing but petty bourgeois individualists, hostile to the class discipline needed to build workers states.
Along with the non-stop blanket anti-communist brainwashing by bourgeois “culture” (media, education, entertainment) the dozens and dozens of careerist “lefts” are the workers’ greatest obstacle, splitting and fragmenting class consciousness with their muddle and anti-communism, acting as agents of the bourgeoisie inside the class (some consciously so, many effectively so by dint of their dire petty bourgeois individualist conceit).
Their careerist opportunism and misleadership can undo the greatest struggle.
The miners saw their giant and heroic 1984 strike hamstrung by its leadership’s “Plan for Coal” illusions in reformist Labour, leaving the working class vulnerable to the vicious civil war moves of the ruling class and the sellout treachery of the TUC-Labour bureaucracy.
The lessons still have not been fully spelled out, of what the working class was facing then, the all-out class fight for survival by the bourgeoisie already running into the greatest collapse in history by the late 1970s (signalled first when Richard Nixon was forced to take the dollar off the gold standard agreed at the post-war Bretton Woods meeting) and which has shaken the world with slumps, Black Mondays, currency failure, regional bankruptcies and credit implosions ever since.
The bourgeoisie is ready to take any measures necessary to stay on top (see eg EPSR No 1239 29-06-04) all the way to the most violent fascism or coups.
Current union militancy says nothing about this either, its smug leadership basking in media “celeb” glory (because offering no real threat and ready to show its anti-communist colours) but leaving workers blindsided and vulnerable, with nothing but complacent pretences of the unions being able to “defend living standards” within a capitalism heading for all out war and civil war.
And what will they do about the new “restrictions on union activity” Kwasi Karteng included in his “budget”???????
Whining complaints like they made over the P&O ferry redundancy scandal (which should have seen immediate coordinated industrial action)???
Or “Enough is Enough” reformist footstamping perhaps???
Enough is nothing like enough in a world heading for a crisis collapse on a scale never seen before (as exactly none of the fake-“left” warn the working class, nor even begin to comprehend for all their academic posturing about “Marxist economics” – most of them until recently simply sneering at such perspectives as “old-hat Catastrophism”.
Really? Could we hear some recantations then??? Some polemical honesty??? Fat chance.)
Across the world the lessons have been even more savage, painfully repeated in hundreds of coups, massacres, invasions, suppressions and outright wars, (Grenada, Panama, most of Latin America, Cuba, China, Korea, Vietnam, Libya, Iraq, Serbia, Somalia, Iran, Congo, Mozambique, Angola, Philippines, Indonesia, Kampuchea, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, South Africa and many many more) against any stirrings of national-liberation and anti-imperialism, let alone fights for communism – and where such struggles have repelled it, the imperialist order is endlessly at work to try and strangle them with sanctions, disruptive sabotage, biological warfare, terror attacks and non-stop ideological subversion (see 65 years of brilliant and dogged Cuban history alone, and non-stop fabrications and lies against China, Myanmar, Venezuela etc etc).
World working class understanding has not been helped by the retreats from international revolutionary perspectives by Moscow from at least the 1930s onwards.
Despite the irreversible and shattering Russian Revolution and 70 years of gigantic and historic achievements by the Soviet Union, not least in out-manoeuvring and then destroying the West’s deliberately built-up Hitlerite aggression (supported by the entire imperialist camp throughout the 1930s as a “bulwark against communism”) – [incorrect] theoretical revisions to revolutionary theory (Stalinism) became one of the great problems for the working class.
Delusions in “peaceful coexistence” (leading to disastrous worldwide CP retreats into “parliamentary roads” and their brutal suppression in Chile 1973, for example or Egypt in 2103), culminated ultimately in the liquidation of the dictatorship of proletariat by Gorbachevism and an insane return to the “free market” just as it was heading for the buffers of the greatest Catastrophic breakdown in history (see EPSR Books Vol 13 Gorbachevism and Vol 21 Unanswered Polemics against Stalinism).
All this and far more needs endless challenge by the working class, building Leninism to do it.
One particular arena for that at present is on the “Ukrainian” war, where Western philistine reformist opportunism, laced with sick chauvinism (Little Englanderism in “Brexit” Britain) has helped corral the petty bourgeoisie and much of the working class in behind the sick warmongering being imposed by the West alone.
For as long as it swallows the poison psyops propaganda about defending “freedom and democracy” and the demonisation of Russia’s resistance with Goebbels fabrications about non-existent “war-crimes” etc, the working class will never get out from under.
From the beginning it has been clear to anyone not completely saturated in opportunism and ingrained anti-communism (ie virtually the entire fake-“left” bar one or two more honourable exceptions), that the war has been deliberately provoked and set running by the West as a diversion and distraction for a bankrupt imperialism, not least by its has-been Anglo-Saxon wing, at the forefront of the total deluge of LIES and Goebbels allegations which pour out daily via a compliant bourgeois media (with the “liberal” media like the Guardian and Channel Four News at the forefront). It was warned of 20 years ago by Leninist science (EPSR Perspectives 2003):
1. The Western imperialist economic system (and its global domination) is irretrievably condemned to ever-worsening economic ‘overproduction’ crisis and slump, and to ever more hysterical US-led warmongering as a cover-up diversion from capitalism’s humiliating collapse (and for use as an ‘excuse’ for economic devastation which the slump was going to create anyway).
2. The difficulties limiting the freedom to act for US warmongering aggression, the sole superpower, come from growing state bankruptcy; domestic class conflict; Third World national liberation struggle and socialist revolution; resistance by China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea, etc to an American diktat; international conflict with such emerging powers as India, Brazil, etc; and inter-imperialist-war problems yet again with all the old major rivals for leading nation like Japan, Germany, France, Britain, etc, etc.
In the ever-deepening contradictions within this entire, ever changing balance internationally of class and national forces, it is US imperialist warmongering aggression which must inevitably face humiliating failure and defeat.
As is obvious the crisis was already unrolling far back, making a mockery of the ruling class attempts to blame “Putin’s attack” for the economic devastation underway.
It is the ultimate upside-down lie. After humiliations and failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the upsurge of “jihadist revolt” and then the 2011 shock of post-Credit Collapse street rebellion in the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt, (subsequently toppled by military coup), US subversion managed to install ultra-right fascist stoogery in power in the CIA-manipulated $5bn price-tag Maidan “peoples revolt” in Kiev (in reality a manipulated coup tapping decades of nazi-sympathising reaction in the once Catholic Polish west of the country (responsible for some of the worst WW2 pogroms)).
The imposition of Nazi repression ever since 2014 with torchlight parades, street violence and intimidation, bans on left and opposition groups, and reactionary Ukrainian nationalist suppression of the minority Russian language and culture, led to resistance and autonomy demands by the Russian majority eastern sectors, rewarded only with brutal war by the Kiev regime on the east from 2014 onwards, shelling its civilians ever since.
It was a simmering pot which the West turned to the boil this year to deliberately provoke a hemmed in Russia (also threatened by NATO buildups across East Europe) pretending that “Moscow started it”, a constant soundbite lie repeated daily to give the West the excuse it needs for its economic collapse.
Despite its plotting, so far, like much other Western warmongering it has gone badly; and the Russian move to defend the threatened regions has succeeded in steadily driving back the Ukrainian nazis.
Lying Western “analysis” tried to suggest the Russians were “failing” with a nonsensical account of a supposed Moscow “timetable” and alleged unfulfilled plan to “take Kiev”. It never existed, as the former US arms control inspector Scott Ritter has demonstrated, being a feint operation to allow the main offensive to proceed in the east which until recently it did very successfully, devastating the Ukrainian forces (which Western propaganda fell very silent about for three months - with only occasional outright lies about Russian casualties and no figures for the thousands of hapless near untrained Ukrainian conscripts being killed).
But the West has steadily upped its direct intervention to the point where Moscow’s war is no longer with Ukraine but effectively with NATO itself and the vast resources of the US and its allies (though not entirely in harmony as explained below.)
As Ritter has further explained, at a cost of billions of dollars, NATO has essentially taken control (as it did in Serbia, Libya and elsewhere) now applying all of its own intelligence, planning, logistics and military command resources, on top of training Ukrainians in several European countries and providing billions in up-to-date equipment. Unknown numbers of NATO personnel are in Kiev or connected to it, and numerous Western fighters (which it is pretended are “volunteers”).
Essentially NATO is now fighting directly though it happens to use Ukrainian troops (a completely illicit operation since Ukraine has not joined and was specifically excluded from it and for which there are no treaty “obligations”).
To keep public opinion on side for this hair-raising international aggression the Western psychological warfare and intelligence agencies have poured out a non-stop stream of utter garbage about “warcrimes” or “civilian casualties” all relying on never verified figures or coached witness accounts, or simply declared by “Ukrainian sources” reported unquestioned by the media reporters, (who do not deserve to be called journalists after this). Most outrageous is the gathering of laughable “evidence” by “Ukrainian (!!!) warcrime teams”. Yeah right, that’s going to be “objective”. Even Hitler never thought of that one.
Anyone who believes this whole exercise is to defend “freedom and democracy” (led by cynical reactionary Boris Johnson, Tory harridan Liz Truss and the tricky and corrupt US establishment Democrats around ”Joe” Biden!!!) after two decades of war blitzing of Serbia and the utter wrecking of half a dozen countries in the Middle East, with a rampage of warcrime butchery (as Wikileaks revealed, hence the murderous persecution of Julian Assange for over a decade) wiping out hundreds of thousands of innocents, and leaving wrecked and bankrupted societies where tens of millions face starvation (Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Libya, and Iraq among others) needs their head examined – repeatedly.
But it has worked enough for the moment on a philistine and bamboozled Western public to allow the West to further up support, succeeding in pushing back the Russian line around Kharkov.
Great flurries of triumphalism and psyops defeatist comments have followed, ludicrously suggesting this is virtually the end for Putin’s intervention, combined with more carefully organised and rehearsed “discoveries” of “warcrimes” - all total lies, and mostly only emerging days after re-occupation, when there has been time to plant supposed “evidence” and prepare “witnesses" with their stories.
These are remarkably few in fact and the real atrocities are the reprisals being carried out by the Kiev fascists themselves, “punishing” alleged “collaborators with the Russians” just as the local population in the Bucha district was butchered after the Russian withdrawal by the Ukrainian “clean-up squads” – the shot victims then lyingly presented as being casualties of the Russians in “mass graves”.
It is fear of Ukrainian “punishment” squads that has led local populations to demand referendums on joining Russia - they want the greater sense of security that Russia would be obliged to defend them if attacked rather than being able to tactically pull back as they did from Kharkov district.
This defensive move by the majority population in the east, who are Russian speakers, was of course immediately presented by Washington/London as being an “imperialist move” by Putin, holding “sham” votes – but it is just the opposite and if anything it might have be supposed that Moscow would prefer not to take on the additional burden.
But it has, and with it is clearly determined to step up the anti-imperialist resistance by the call for a partial mobilisation in Russia.
The Western “experts” like Afghanistan general and then CIA head David Petraeus immediately wheeled out to “explain” how this meant Putin was “weak” (yet again) only served to underline the stunning impact this has had on Western confidence, as did a series of articles “explaining” that Putin was losing support in the rest of the world, which on close reading suggest just the opposite.
It remains to be seen whether any kind of better Leninist perspective might be generated in Russia as the reality of the crisis war pressure sinks in.
The EPSR holds to its understanding that there can be no support for the anti-Leninist Putin as such and his perspective of “denazifying” Ukraine, still clung to even though it becomes clearer that is the West, the entire monopoly capitalist order, which is sinking into outright Nazism, generally and specifically here by virtue of its close ties with and egging on of the Ukrainian regime and military, saturated with swastika and other fascist toting thuggery not least the Azov brigade.
The entire Western capitalist order needs “denazifying” which can only be achieved by its revolutionary overthrow.
Putin’s mobilisation however indicates what a tough nut the imperialist order is trying to take on and any defeats it inflicts on NATO are of huge benefit for the world proletarian struggle.
All kinds of splits are emerging in the West despite the great bluster that the war has “unified” NATO (was it therefore in doubt then??).
The sanctions war on Moscow has been backfiring badly, causing a massive shift in international trading patterns that potentially undermine the West’s dollar-based grip on planetary exploitation and revealing international anti-Western hostility.
And the major European countries are suffering badly, most of all Germany and France, both dragging their feet to some extent on more sanctions, and arms supplies and fearful of the consequences of Russia’s gas and oil shutdowns this winter. More analysis is needed but the question is posed about the real target of the warmongering at all.
As the EPSR’s Marxist understanding has long said, a critical element of the crisis of capitalism is the inter-imperialist rivalry for ever tightening markets. Japanese and German competition began undermining the US decades ago (it was central in the ending of the Cold War (see EPSR Book13 on Gorbachev) and suits the US to the ground to see powerful and efficient Germany hobbled.
One recent news story goes further to suggest a direct conspiracy:
Berlin, Germany (World Express). War in Ukraine began on February 24. Since then, the sanctions imposed by EU countries against Russia have started to have a negative impact on European economies. The sanctions boomerang came as a surprise to the federal government, most politicians in the traffic light coalition and ordinary voters. However, as it recently turned out, these consequences of the anti-Russian sanctions were unexpected only for the Germans. The USA had calculated all the consequences in advance and, moreover, consciously decided to weaken the German economy.
As early as January 25 - a month before the outbreak of war - RAND Corporation prepared the secret report “Containment of Germany for the United States and the world” for the US secret services and the US Democratic National Committee. The purpose of this report is very simple: the US is provoking Russia in order to declare it an aggressor and to force Germany to impose suicidal sanctions on the Russians.
The aim of US policy is to weaken Germany as much as possible...Although Germany remains a country with limited sovereignty, the pace of economic development in the EU depends on the state of the German economy. The development of Germany could ultimately make Europe not only a political but also an economic competitor to the USA, the Rand experts write.
The German economy is vulnerable because it relies on unlimited access to cheap Russian energy. A sanctions war provoked against Russia could put an end to this. A disruption in Russian supplies could trigger a systemic crisis that would be devastating for the German economy. According to the Rand report, this is the purpose of the US policy of provocation.
Germany is even more vulnerable because the German Green Party is too ideological...“The Greens will be the “war party” that could destroy the German economy.
The report accurately predicts the impact of sanctions on Russia on the German economy: a loss of 200-300 billion euros in 2022 alone. The authors accurately predicted a fall in the euro rate below the dollar rate. They also predicted that German GDP would fall by 3-4% per year over the next 5-6 years. Most predictions have already come true. Germany is in an economic crisis comparable in scale to the losses suffered by the German economy after the Second World War.
Whether this slightly too pat sounding conspiracy is correct or not, it accurately pins down a critical aspect of the Catastrophic crisis drive to war left unmentioned by all the fake “left” theories (of war on Russia followed by war on China), namely the huge conflict between the major powers. That was the great contradiction in WW1 and WW2 – and it is again.
Build Leninism Lee Tubbs
Back to the top
Disneyish pomp and pointless posturing around the Queen’s funeral underlines the has-been weakness of the ossified British ruling class still stuck with parasitical feudalist hangovers in the ever intensifying cutthroat trade war conditions driving the capitalist world into Catastrophic failure
British imperialism may have manoeuvred and bullied some middle-class public opinion behind its royal circus one last time but it will solve nothing for this bankrupt ruling class.
In fact, the ludicrous pomposity and largely made-up theatrical “tradition” on show in the Queen’s funeral marches, will only make matters worse as the full savagery of the world imperialist crisis, already more than a decade into “austerity” Slump, bites much harder this winter.
Not only the vast expense for this charade in itself (being kept an embarrassed secret by the debt-laden government) but its in-your-face display of the wealth, privilege and consumption by the ruling class can only inflame class war sentiment.
All the nonsensical rites, idiotic uniforms and stuffy establishment “protocols” were anyway more befitting an Alice in Wonderland fantasy via Disney than a modern economy trying to survive the hurricane of trade war and financial collapse now tearing the world capitalist system apart.
Within it, the British bourgeoisie is one of the most desperate on the planet as the world economic Catastrophe accelerates ever faster, dragging mankind into economic Depression, eco-disaster and nasty, not to say Nazi, mass murder warmongering imposed everywhere from Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan to the Yemen, Libya, Syria, the non-stop genocidal barbarity against the Palestinians and the current foulness of the NATO proxy attack on Russia in Ukraine, using as its tool the outright vicious fascism installed by the CIA-organised Maidan coup in Kiev nearly nine years ago.
Britain’s chauvinistic pretence now to be an imperial power, capable of enthralling and cowing the world with a show of military and religious pomp and circumstance, was just that, a pretence to cover up the underlying reality of burnt-out powerlessness, industrial and financial decline and loss of competitiveness.
Elements of the historic forced compromise with feudal privilege after the Cromwellian bourgeois revolution (1640-60) could still be turned to advantage in the heyday of rising capitalism and colonialism to cow the “natives” (after butchering them) and to pursue alliances and rivalries with other “great powers”, but it has long become an increasingly onerous burden when a much more light-footed and flexible bourgeois order is needed to even begin keeping up with international cutthroat trade war and world monopoly competition.
Not for nothing did some bourgeois press commentators highlight the delusions by citing the song title “Heroes, just for one day” from David Bowie (a nasty little fascist song - and singer - incidentally) as the massively expensive pantomime pageantry was gone through, including the absurd and arrogant delusion/pretension by the ultra-toff Jacob Rees-Mogg of turning up in an actual top hat.
The ruthless realities of trade war weakness immediately made themselves felt, as Liz Truss was obliged to concede:
Liz Truss admitted that she did not expect talks on a free trade deal with the US to start “in the short to medium term” while speaking to reporters last night on her plane over to New York, where she is attending the United Nations general assembly. No one who has followed progress towards the “massive” free trade deal once promised will be surprised by the substance of what Truss said; it has been clear since Joe Biden won the US presidential election that for the time being the deal is all but dead. But the fact that Truss was prepared to admit this quite openly is notable. Last year, on a similar trip to the US, Boris Johnson was more evasive.
In answering the question candidly, Truss was also burying a commitment in the Conservative party’s 2019 manifesto, which said:
Our goals for British trade are accordingly ambitious. We aim to have 80 per cent of UK trade covered by free trade agreements within the next three years, starting with the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Even before that the showpiece march made far less of an impression than intended, falling flat on the alleged “four billion” world audience and an indifferent and often hostile world population, even in the sad remnants of the colonialist Empire, now euphemistically called the “Commonwealth”, half of whose members straightway announced their wish to cut loose from even the “informal” ties remaining when the Queen died (see below).
At home the ostentatious displays of wealth and privilege have gone down like yesterday’s leftover porridge among much of the mass population, not just among workers but many middle class too, terrified by the oncoming desperation of winter fuel bills, unpayable food inflation, unemployment and collapsing small businesses.
Millions - even tens of millions - face real penury and poverty, (as always in the Third World), but increasingly across Europe, where the most economically savaged of all are in Britain.
Occasionally through the blanket hype over two weeks came the odd working class voice, declaring the whole thing meaningless at best and an insulting kick-in-the-teeth for most to see so much money being spent when millions families are frantic with heat-or-eat fears, and worse, about the future.
Even the alleged “popular” support for the Queen, whipped up among the middle class and a few petty bourgeois influenced sections of the working class is not quite what it seems, neither in the alleged numbers, nor its meaning.
Some of this was simply a wish to see or participate, a shallow enough ambition whose equation of such an artificial spectacle with “history” is a sad reflection of the philistinism and ignorance imposed on ordinary people by the relentless brainwashing of capitalist “culture” and its dumbing-down through the tabloid press and media.
It was mingled with the increasingly stirred up jingoism and backward nationalism of now non-stop warmongering supported by a dwindling number of more reactionary elements (with many vox pop interviews reflecting past military connections or middle-class Toryism).
But even here the mood in the main was of regret and fearfulness for a “changing world” desperately clinging on to an often imaginary reactionary past.
But overall the supposed “outpouring of sentiment” had to be whipped up with a massive campaign of blanket propaganda and media manipulation, using all the sophisticated tricks deployed to twist and bend modern elections and then some, including virtually suppressing all news from the “real world” for ten days.
So ghastly and treacly was this non-stop symphony of sycophancy to coral and direct the public that some of the more “liberal” bourgeois commentators were forced to shut down its non-stop ooze:
eight days ago, I unplugged the radio and have lived in this cave of silence since. There was no final straw or particular anti-royal sentiment. I have nothing against fervent monarchism, sincerely expressed: it was merely the sound of people aping royalism, the performative respect, above all the repetitiveness. It’s such a fundamental principle of broadcasting, that whatever you say, you can’t say it twice. Even the rookiest DJ on hospital radio knows this...Six days ago, I gave it one more chance, only to find Today programme presenters trying to amp up the nation’s solemnity by talking more slowly. Honestly, the insult: we have to hear the same thing an apparently infinite number of times, but now it’s going to take much longer.
One former monarchist declared himself so turned off it has made him republican and others were equally distrustful:
Kenan Malik writes that we should respect the public mood, but do we really know what the public mood is (“We can respect popular opinion for the Queen and question the idea of royalty”, Comment)? On the one hand, I see wall-to-wall media coverage about mourning, grief, loss, eulogies, with not a dissonant voice. On the other, not a single person I know is experiencing an iota of grief at the death of a rich old lady they never knew. My teenage children say that none of their friends at school cares. I would suggest that a sizable minority of people, possibly even a majority, simply do not care, but this is a truth that dare not be told. Pious platitudes and sentimentality abound, no one dares stick their head above the parapet and say “whatever”.
Patrick Morrello Manchester
Some of the more extreme unctuous nonsense has been quoted by Private Eye:
A round-up of very important journalism:
“At Windsor the skies opened. The heavens themselves were weeping.” - Quentin Letts, Times
“A lone seagull let out a cry as it glided past the Royal Standard, flying at half mast.” - Bryony Gordon, Daily Telegraph
“There is sadness in the air but magic in the skies. On 8 September, after Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II had died at age 96 at her Balmoral home in Scotland, multiple rainbows seemed to spontaneously appear in the skies over the United Kingdom.” - Carla Sosenko, Newsweek
“A rainbow lit up the cloudy sky above Buckingham Palace yesterday before news of the Queen’s death was announced. Royal fan Ellen Matthews, 69, said when the double-arch appeared: ‘She’s gone. The Queen has died. That’s a sign of transformation.’ An hour later, she was proved right.” -Andy Lines and Lydia Veljanovski, Daily Mirror
“A golden cloud in the shape of the Queen’s head was spotted in the sky just moments after her death was announced. British mother Leanne Bethell captured photos of the striking formation above the A4169 in Telford, Shropshire on Thursday.” - Daniel Jae Webb, Independent
“Her Majesty rides off into the sunset: Cloud over London resembles late monarch on a horse.” - Daily Mail.
“Tim Ley took this astonishing image of the cloud formation ‘resembling Queen Elizabeth II’ [right] on his dinner break at JCB Earthmovers, in Leek Road, Cheadle, at around 2pm yesterday afternoon...
Tim says he hopes the image was a sign that the Queen has joined her beloved Prince Philip in heaven.” - Stoke Sentinel
“Was fireball a harbinger for a happy reign?” - Daily Mail, reporting that a burning asteroid was seen in the night sky “just a few hours after the doors to Westminster Hall opened to the Queen’s devoted public”
“Girls Aloud star and Fight For This Love singer Cheryl has honoured the Queen with a touching post on Instagram... Cheryl wrote: ‘May you spread your wings and fly into the loving arms of your awaiting Prince.’” - Newcastle Chronicle
“The Queen performs a national service. Every morning she has her breakfast, most days her outfit is already decided for her royal appointment - shake hands, give speeches...
We all owe her our gratitude.” -Amid all the celebs paying tribute, only Dame Vivienne Westwood remembers to praise the Queen for having breakfast every day
“King Charles could wield axe.” - The Express comments on possible changes to the counsellors of state
But in case this cloying nonsense was not working properly it was combined with bullying and violent attacks against any “the Emperor has no clothes” shouting out by republican protests, a nazi-censorship state-sanctioned by absurd police arrests (of demonstrators, but not their attackers) including one barrister declared to be “breaking the law” for merely thinking about writing something on a blank sheet of paper.
The real source for George Orwell’s 1984 “thought crime” slander of “Soviet totalitarianism” is revealed once more - capitalism and its bourgeois dictatorship, once veiled by the pretences of “parliamentary democracy” but increasingly exposed as the world crisis deepens.
Somewhat more robust dissonant voices were heard from sections of the working class, and not least when they were in the mass, particularly at football. It was not out of “respect” that the English Football Association shut down matches the first Saturday after the queen’s death but fearfulness that the old days of deference have long since become outright contempt (the same fear that underlies all censorship and forced opinion making). Noticeably, cricket and golf with their much more middle-class support base, were allowed to proceed:
Celtic fans interrupted the minute’s applause in memory of the Queen before their game against St Mirren on Sunday by singing anti-Royal chants.
The Scottish FA had left it up to individual clubs to make a decision on whether they wanted to pay tribute to the Queen this weekend following her death earlier this month.
The majority of matches across the UK have seen fans and players observe a minute’s silence and sing the national anthem ahead of kick-off, but this time there was a minute’s applause.
However, chants could be heard over the top of the applause from the Celtic end, as fans sang: ‘If you hate the Royal Family, clap your hands.’
Supporters also held up a banner with the same message, while there were audible boos before the minute’s applause had even got underway.
The Celtic players and manager Ange Postecoglou continued to applaud throughout the minute before the referee blew his whistle to signal that 60 seconds was up.
Following the applause, the national anthem was not played as the game started shortly afterwards.
The reaction of the Celtic fans comes just four days after they also voiced their displeasure at the monarchy during their side’s Champions League match with Shakhtar Donetsk.
Fans held a banner in the stands that read ‘f*** the crown’, while another message stated ‘sorry for your loss Michael Fagan’.
Fagan famously managed to scale the Buckingham Palace walls before creeping into Her Majesty’s bedroom while she slept in 1982.
Celtic’s supporters are not the only set of fans who have disrupted tributes being paid to the Queen this weekend.
Dundee United fans sang ‘Lizzie’s in a box’ prior to their match with Rangers on Saturday, sparking outrage among the home crowd at Ibrox.
Far from tapping and supporting this correct class sentiment of hatred and mockery for the grotesque money grubbing monarchy and its endless “extended family” of useless and parasitical hangers on, (filling endless pews in the Westminster Abbey service) all leeching off the masses with their gross “inheritance rights” and commercial sponsorship supplements for their fatuous “celeb” prancing – the class-collaborating Labour movement leadership were some of the first to doff their caps and tug their forelocks when the Queen’s death was announced – astoundingly postponing the TUC autumn Congress, one of the most significant in recent years as anti-Slump militancy grows.
Even more cravenly the “left” militants like the RMT’s Mick Lynch and the Communication Workers Union promptly called off strikes on the post, the railways and elsewhere, instantly taking all momentum out of the growing strike wave, to “show their respect”.
Could class-collaboration get much more treacherous???
Labourism and its official trade union foundations are and always have been intimately bound into the bourgeois imperialist system “loyally” upholding its state and its colonialist plundering (from which come the super-profits to pay for much of the “better living standards” and “welfare benefits” in the “advanced” countries).
Gains won by hard struggle by ordinary workers – at huge cost – have only ever been reformist sops, available only because of this ultimate collusion with capitalism.
They have always been vulnerable to the collapse and disintegration of the capitalist system and the needs of a hard-pressed ruling class to jack up exploitation – as has been made obvious ever-since the great global credit failure and especially now as welfare support is slashed, libraries and social services closed (and much else in local provision – with Labour councils in the forefront of cutbacks) and most of all in the steady disintegration of the National Health Service, supposedly the great “achievement” of the reformist Attlee government and now simply being dismantled, the little that remains kept in place only to feed the big pharma monopolies, property companies and Tories' cronies with tax money.
The price paid for decades of bureaucratic TUC-Labourism has also been political and philosophical with a long running corruption of class understanding, and the spreading of Union Jack jingoist and racist attitudes deeply through the working class, particularly among the workers’ “aristocracy” (see Lenin: Left Wing Communism – an infantile disorder) of better paid, skilled and semi-managerial labour, and their opportunist representatives – all still reflected in Little Englanderism as expressed for example in unthinking acceptance of the vile NATO war on Russia (incredibly swallowing the grotesque lie that the ruling class is “defending freedom and democracy” by backing the Kiev Nazis!!!!)
The whole Labour movement leadership is anti-revolutionary and anti-communist and deadly for the real interests of the working class which will never be fulfilled until the stinking degeneracy, tyrannical colonialist exploitation and irredeemable warmongering of the capitalist system is ended in the only way possible, in its revolutionary overturn to establish working class rule, in the only form possible the dictatorship of the proletariat (see EPSR Book Vol 10 Reformist “socialism” is finished. eg)
There is no alternative – all “democracy” is a lying fraud in capitalism, a cover for the dictatorship of capital.
And the British monarchical form makes that particularly obvious just at this point of transition.
As the man shouted at one of the processions before he was jumped on by the reactionary bystanders, “who elected you”? (or Liz Truss if it comes to it, or Boris Johnson before that or any of them in a stitched-up and manipulated “electoral” system).
All the intertwined networks of the bourgeois freemasonries and backscratching groupings were briefly on show, from the outrageous “accession” meeting of the unelected Privy Council to the funeral march itself, laden with feudal hangovers of City Guilds, assorted knighthoods (Garters, Thistles etc), Royal guards and “companies” all prancing and posturing their preposterous stuff.
Not quite out in the open was the actual Freemasonry itself, also one part of the network of links and ruling class interactions, (and traditionally with one of the Royals at its head - see book The Brotherhood).
Every part of this makes up the fabric of the bourgeoisie’s overall hidden control, operating constantly in the background, making the critical decisions, looking after ruling class individuals and, along with the thousand and one informal links and connections between banks, monopolies, Stock Exchange and the military, serving its overall class interests.
The whole elaborate framework penetrates right into the structures of “parliamentary democracy” with all the senior figures from every party coopted into the secret workings of the Privy Council, with its unchecked and hidden powers (including declaring war) and obliged to swear oaths of loyalty.
It is part of the ruling class plans to take direct command in crisis, if the democratic façade should really break down and the class war be threatening to go out of control.
But the best line of defence for the ruling class is the grovelling and submission of the official Labour movement itself still mostly joining in the platitudes about the Queen’s “service” and her alleged provision of a focal point for “stability”.
It is complete garbage of course, both for this dysfunctional royal family itself and internationally for the power and influence of the British bourgeoisie.
As at least some commentaries were able to point out, far from “holding things together” the Queen’s life and reign not only oversaw the relentless defeat and decline of British imperialism, but represented and personified the brutal attempts to cling on, from the horrific mass killings of the 1947 Partition of India, stirred by the deliberate divide-and-rule sectarian hatreds the British fostered and inflamed (personally supervised by the Queen's cousin Lord Louis Mountbatten), to the savage torture and killing in Africa’s colonies.
It took the distant New York Times to spell out some of this, (not out of any principles so much as inter-imperialist glee at the fading of the former power) after a few nods to the mythology:
The queen embodied a profound, sincere commitment to her duties....She has been a fixture of stability, and her death in already turbulent times will send ripples of sadness around the world.
But we should not romanticize her era. For the queen was also an image: the face of a nation that, during the course of her reign, witnessed the dissolution of nearly the entire British Empire into some 50 independent states and significantly reduced global influence. By design as much as by the accident of her long life, her presence as head of state and head of the Commonwealth, an association of Britain and its former colonies, put a stolid traditionalist front over decades of violent upheaval. As such, the queen helped obscure a bloody history of decolonization whose proportions and legacies have yet to be adequately acknowledged.
Elizabeth became queen of a postwar Britain where sugar was still rationed and rubble from bomb damage still being cleared away. Journalists and commentators promptly cast the 25-year-old as a phoenix rising into a new Elizabethan age. An inevitable analogy, perhaps, and a pointed one. The first Elizabethan Age, in the second half of the 16th century, marked England’s emergence from a second-tier European state to an ambitious overseas power. Elizabeth I expanded the navy, encouraged privateering and granted charters to trading companies that laid the foundations for a transcontinental empire.
Elizabeth II grew up in a royal family whose significance in the British Empire had swollen even as its political authority shrank at home. The monarchy ruled an ever-lengthening list of Crown colonies, including Hong Kong (1842), India (1858) and Jamaica (1866). Queen Victoria, proclaimed empress of India in 1876, presided over flamboyant celebrations of imperial patriotism; her birthday was enshrined from 1902 as Empire Day. Members of the royal family made lavish ceremonial tours of the colonies, bestowing upon Indigenous Asian and African rulers an alphabet soup of orders and decorations.
In 1947, Princess Elizabeth celebrated her 21st birthday on a royal tour in South Africa, delivering a much-quoted speech in which she promised that “my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” She was on another royal tour, in Kenya, when she learned of her father’s death.
On Coronation Day in 1953, The Times of London proudly broke the news of the first successful summiting of Mount Everest by the Sherpa Tenzing Norgay and the New Zealander Edmund Hillary, calling it a “happy and vigorous augury for another Elizabethan era.” The imperialistic tenor of the news notwithstanding, Queen Elizabeth II would never be an empress in name — the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947 stripped away that title — but she inherited and sustained an imperial monarchy by assuming the title of head of the Commonwealth.
“The Commonwealth bears no resemblance to the empires of the past,” she insisted in her Christmas Day message of 1953. Its history suggested otherwise. Initially imagined as a consortium of the “white” settler colonies (championed by the South African prime minister Jan Smuts), the Commonwealth had its origins in a racist and paternalistic conception of British rule as a form of tutelage, educating colonies in the mature responsibilities of self-government. Reconfigured in 1949 to accommodate newly independent Asian republics, the Commonwealth was the empire’s sequel, and a vehicle for preserving Britain’s international influence.
In photographs from Commonwealth leaders’ conferences, the white queen sits front and center among dozens of mostly nonwhite premiers, like a matriarch flanked by her offspring. She took her role very seriously, sometimes even clashing with her ministers to support Commonwealth interests over narrower political imperatives, as when she advocated multifaith Commonwealth Day services in the 1960s and encouraged a tougher line on apartheid South Africa.
What you would never know from the pictures — which is partly their point — is the violence that lies behind them. In 1948, the colonial governor of Malaya declared a state of emergency to fight communist guerrillas, and British troops used counterinsurgency tactics the Americans would emulate in Vietnam. In 1952 the governor of Kenya imposed a state of emergency to suppress an anticolonial movement known as Mau Mau, under which the British rounded up tens of thousands of Kenyans into detention camps and subjected them to brutal, systematized torture. In Cyprus in 1955 and Aden, Yemen, in 1963, British governors again declared states of emergency to contend with anticolonial attacks; again they tortured civilians. Meanwhile, in Ireland, the Troubles brought the dynamics of emergency to the United Kingdom. In a karmic turn, the Irish Republican Army assassinated the queen’s relative Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India (and the architect of Elizabeth’s marriage to his nephew, Prince Philip), in 1979.
We may never learn what the queen did or didn’t know about the crimes committed in her name. (What transpires in the sovereign’s weekly meetings with the prime minister remains a black box at the center of the British state.) Her subjects haven’t necessarily gotten the full story, either. Colonial officials destroyed many records that, according to a dispatch from the secretary of state for the colonies, “might embarrass Her Majesty’s government” and deliberately concealed others in a secret archive whose existence was revealed only in 2011. Though some activists such as the Labour M.P. Barbara Castle publicized and denounced British atrocities, they failed to gain wide public traction.
And there were always more royal tours for the press to cover. Nearly every year until the 2000s, the queen toured Commonwealth nations — a good bet for cheering crowds and flattering footage, her miles clocked and countries visited totted up as if they’d been heroically attained on foot rather than by royal yacht and Rolls-Royce: 44,000 miles and 13 territories to mark her coronation; 56,000 miles and 14 countries for the Silver Jubilee in 1977; an additional 40,000 miles traversing Jamaica, Australia, New Zealand and Canada for the Gold. The British Empire largely decolonized, but the monarchy did not.
During the last decades of her reign, the queen watched Britain — and the royal family — struggle to come to terms with its postimperial position. Tony Blair championed multiculturalism and brought devolution to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but he also revived Victorian imperial rhetoric in joining the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Social and regional inequality widened, and London became a haven for superrich oligarchs. Though the queen’s personal popularity rebounded from its low point after the death of Princess Diana, the royal family split over Harry and Meghan’s accusations of racism. In 1997 the queen famously shed a tear when the taxpayer-funded Royal Yacht Britannia was decommissioned, a few months after escorting the last British governor from Hong Kong. Boris Johnson floated the idea of building a new one.
In recent years, public pressure has been building on the British state and institutions to acknowledge and make amends for the legacies of empire, slavery and colonial violence. In 2013, in response to a lawsuit brought by victims of torture in colonial Kenya, the British government agreed to pay nearly 20 million pounds in damages to survivors; another payout was made in 2019 to survivors in Cyprus. Efforts are underway to reform school curriculums, to remove public monuments that glorify empire and to alter the presentation of historic sites linked to imperialism.
Yet xenophobia and racism have been rising, fueled by the toxic politics of Brexit. Picking up on a longstanding investment in the Commonwealth among Euroskeptics (both left and right) as a British-led alternative to European integration, Mr. Johnson’s government (with Liz Truss, now the prime minister, as its foreign secretary) leaned into a vision of “Global Britain” steeped in half-truths and imperial nostalgia.
The queen’s very longevity made it easier for outdated fantasies of a second Elizabethan age to persist. She represented a living link to World War II and a patriotic myth that Britain alone saved the world from fascism. She had a personal relationship with Winston Churchill, the first of her 15 prime ministers, whom Mr. Johnson pugnaciously defended against well-founded criticism of his retrograde imperialism. And she was, of course, a white face on all the coins, notes and stamps circulated in a rapidly diversifying nation: From perhaps one person of color in 200 Britons at her accession, the 2011 census counted one in seven.
Now that she is gone, the imperial monarchy must end too. It’s well past time, for instance, to act on calls to rename the Order of the British Empire, a distinction that the queen has bestowed on hundreds of Britons every year for community service and contributions to public life. The queen served as head of state in more than a dozen Commonwealth realms, more of which may now follow the example of Barbados, which decided “to fully leave our colonial past behind” and become a republic in 2021. The queen’s death could also aid a fresh campaign for Scottish independence, which she was understood to oppose. Though Commonwealth leaders decided in 2018 to fulfill the queen’s “sincere wish” and recognize Prince Charles as the next head of the Commonwealth, the organization emphasizes that the role is not hereditary.
Those who heralded a second Elizabethan age hoped Elizabeth II would sustain British greatness; instead, it was the era of the empire’s implosion.
Even this account completely smooths off the edges of a thoroughly disgraced and disgraceful reactionary institution in which the Queen from the beginning played a conscious and calculated role, brought up taught to make Nazi salutes by her Hitler sympathising uncle Edward, and a mother who remained a Nazi-sympathising reactionary her entire life, and proceeding on to play a key role in Britain’s post-war anti-communist crusading in alliance with American imperialism.
Her own marriage to the Greek royal family appendage Philip, arranged, as cited, by Mountbatten, was part of the savagery imposed on the Greek people by her declared “mentor”, the arch-reactionary Winston Churchill attempting to re-establish Britain’s semi-colonial dominance of the Balkans through the horrific slaughter of the 3 year civil war from 1946-9.
And far from being the idyllic romance, it was a mess of degeneracy, not least through Philip’s notorious “Thursday club” boys playboy meetings in Soho.
It was certainly far from the “model of family life and moral principles” deliberately built up as the PR image, as the EPSR has said before:
These degenerate parasites not only cost a fortune each year, paid for by the ordinary hard-up people of Brittain, but the example of “moral values” they set the nation at the top of society might cause even the most open-minded some surprise.
Obviously, every person on earth has the right to their own morality as a private individual, requiring only willing partners, adult and independent enough to make up their own minds.
The problem for those running modern capitalist states, – the greatest show on earth in all history, – is that their highly publicised leading figures are not private individuals at all.
They are very much used as public icons, precisely to try to establish the notion of the great and the good ruling over the rest of us in all spheres of life.
The capitalist ‘democracy’ system of grotesque injustice, unfairness, exploitation, and greed makes it essential to have such a hierarchy of admirable ‘stars’.
The royals, as one small sordid example, are no exception. They are meant to be admirable, and used to be endlessly promoted as such.
[..]the ruling-class racket pretends [for example] that “a statement of values, a code of morals” can be taught by schools “on behalf of society” prior to a revolution clearing out the depraved establishment and all its ideological protectors and hangers-on.
Any self-respecting independent-minded children would not even want to discuss the obscene Duchess of York and her grubby bad-taste lifestyle requiring no less than nine fulltime servants to help her get from one shopping spree to the next, one skiing holiday to the next, and one sex debauch to the next, and running up debts of £3 million in the process.
Now supposedly, what this philistine owes to the banks is to be recouped by merchandising her royal title around tatty products from her Budgie the helicopter gross opportunism in name-selling, pretending to be a ‘children’s story-writer’ in order to market some hack glitzy goods that the star-struck are gullible enough to buy.
HM Queen’s alleged disapproval of this money-grabbing gall is even more tedious than the tawdry duchess. Let the scandal-sheets finally catch up on EIIR’s own impenetrable philistinism, and her ‘royal family’ sham with the bonk-mad reactionary Greek aristocracy reject, rivalled only by her own mindless comforting from various horse-world chinless wonders.
It is a complete joke to suggest that “the Queen and Prince Philip have been let down by their children and relatives”, etc. There is nothing remotely commendable about any of the royal circus, and that matters because far from being ‘private individuals’ in anything they do, they solely exist, – and are paid a fortune, – to be ‘celebrity figures’.
If the royals, and establishment figures like them, choose to live by that hokum, then they must die by celebrity scandal too, the moment they are smoked out by the muck-raking press (inseparable from the philistine commercialism of the free-market ‘democracy’ system by which the entire ‘constitutional monarchy’ fraud survives). (EPSR No837 23-01-96)
That was in 1996, only just after the royals had been exposed for their cold arrogance and disdain by the campaigning of Princess Diana.
Of course Diana was also part of the same parasitic aristocratic circle and as much a playgirl as any of them (for all the charity work), leading to the pointless car crash death.
But the royals were holed beneath the waterline.
Desperate efforts to repair the devastating reputational damage has gone on ever since but only underlines the sick cynicism and manipulation of the whole establishment racket, not least in the carefully organised stitch-up character assassination of BBC journalist Martin Bashir (who carried out the Diana interview).
By suggesting that a piece of journalist sleight-of-hand to win the Diana interview which blew the royals apart, was somehow “beyond the pale” instead of being no more exceptional than all the other devious trickery used daily by the media circus to “grab the story”, the establishment has attempted to deflate the entire history of Diana’s exposé, implying that she was mentally “on the edge” and only agreed to the interview because of such “underhand means”.
That is not what the very determined, long and forthright interview demonstrated at all (see eg EPSR No 829 21-1-95), which was far from the implied hesitant confusion of a “tragically isolated woman tricked into saying something she did not really mean”.
And far from exceptional, the sick history of infighting, entitlement and snobby attitudes, (including outright racism around the current princes – both saturated in privilege and greed) continues and continued right through to the funeral day.
As for the Queen, virtually the last action she took of any import was to buy Prince Andrew his way out of the grotesque scandal of the association with convicted paedophile Jacob Epstein – a sick cover-up legal settlement costing reputedly at least £10 million to keep everything quiet.
The now mooted “trimming down” of this degenerate circus will change nothing.
The world has grown up and developed while Britain is on the historical skids like all imperialist domination.
The most telling responses are those reflecting the breakaway and hostility of anti-imperialist sentiment throughout the former colonies:
I had expected that those of us minoritised in Britain would understand this as a test of our loyalty, patriotism and Good Immigrant status. We would therefore fall into two categories: those who sought to pass the test, by enthusiastically toeing the line of national mourning, and those too conscious of the harm Britain’s power has caused, who would stay silent.
But it turns out that tone policing is no longer tenable. Social media have been saturated by the harrowing memories of a legacy the British establishment has refused to acknowledge. The plunder of land and diamonds in South Africa, crimes that adorned the Queen’s very crown. The physical suffering that continues from violence inflicted by her government in Kenya, even as her reign was celebrated for having begun there. The scars of genocide in Nigeria, events that took place a decade into her rule. In Britain, minoritised people are remembering this Elizabethan era through the lens of the racism that was allowed to thrive during it. Shooting the messenger – the radio host and former footballer Trevor Sinclair was quickly hung, drawn and quartered for voicing this perspective – has failed to quell the tide of global truth-telling.
The burdensome task of truth-telling – to a hostile Britain more used to hearing that its past is glorious – has always fallen unequally on the descendants of empire. Yet as I write, our stories are continuing to be erased. During her reign, the BBC tells us, colonies “gained independence”, but there’s no mention of those who were imprisoned, shot and killed in the struggles – from the Gold Coast to Cyprus, India and Malaya – that were required to win it.
This trauma is not recalled with a single voice. One of the effects of the empire that Queen Elizabeth personified is that it is unevenly remembered within our communities. People who were enslaved were taught that their assimilation into the culturally superior empire was a form of advancement. Families such as mine in Ghana experienced the violence of colonialism, and were then educated to believe it was justified.
I understood it as a lesson that even in our freedom, we are not free. We are expected to be grateful for having been colonised. We are racialised, and then expected to prove that racism exists. Even as black British people continue to die at the hands of the state, such as the unarmed Chris Kaba, news of the black community’s mourning is obscured by the more important story of royal mourning. To the extent that it’s ever acknowledged that black lives matter, now is certainly not the time.
Afua Hirsch’s article explicitly describes the everlasting damage created in the name of colonialism (This is a Britain that has lost its Queen – and the luxury of denial about its past, 13 September). I saw first-hand the ongoing horrors and cruelty of this in the 25 years that I worked for the international trade union movement in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific islands.
Land was taken over to grow food for the west so it got used to having cheap pineapples and mangoes all year round. Rubber and palm oil plantations in Malaysia destroyed soil and reduced the amount of land for domestic farming. Mines ruined people’s lives and created civil disturbance in Papua New Guinea – the list is endless.
This globalised world of international trade controlled by the mega-rich and multinationals has created another form of slavery. Workers are paid a pittance to work in inhumane conditions, while families struggle to keep their children alive. We cruelly let these countries pay the price for climate change disasters and deny them affordable Covid vaccinations.
For all the good things that Queen Elizabeth II did for us, did she really create a “modern world” where all people – not just white people – can live in a world of justice, fairness and equality? I think not. Jennifer Luck London
The weakness and grossly hypocritical arrogance of the British establishment meanwhile was no better revealed than in the belligerent Tory demands to ban the Chinese delegation from attending, attempting to further whip up fascist/racist/chauvinist war hatred around the avalanche of Goebbels lies and monstrous fabrications (non-existent Uighur “genocide” or “Tibetan repression”) endlessly poured out against the Chinese workers state while at the same time saying nothing about the attendance of the tribalist thug-Sheikhs from the Middle East, ignored too by the British press. This account from Press TV:
Dozens of human rights campaigners have rallied in front of the Saudi Embassy in London, denouncing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s trip to the city for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral amid international outcry over the kingdom’s unbridled rights violations.
The demonstration, which was held on Saturday, also drew opponents of the ruling Al Saud family as well as British people hailing from various social strata.
The participants held up posters depicting the results of the kingdom’s atrocities besides placards that read “justice for [Jamal] Khashoggi.”
The veteran Saudi journalist was slain and dismembered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in 2018 over his opposition to and activism against Bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, and the royal family’s outright human rights violations.
Some other placards carried by the protesters read “boycott the murderers” and “hands off Yemen.”
A Saudi-led coalition invaded the Arab world’s poorest nation in 2015 to reinstall its Riyadh-friendly government. The coalition has so far failed to realize the objective while killing tens of thousands of Yemeni people and imposing a total blockade on the impoverished country.
The Saudi war combined with the embargo have created a dire situation in Yemen, which has been described by the UN as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
The Saudi regime has also violated an April-present ceasefire with the Yemeni army, which is barely holding, on numerous occasions.
Demanding an end to the rule of Al Saud and Bin Salman, the demonstrators, meanwhile, denounced Riyadh’s ongoing crackdown on Saudi human rights activists, scores of whom are languishing across the kingdom’s prisons.
He added, “Who will mourn the political prisoners who have been arbitrarily executed in Saudi Arabia as a result of his dictatorship? Who will give voice to the women of Saudi Arabia who have been imprisoned simply for campaigning for the right to drive; [and] campaigning for the women’s rights? Who will give them voice while he is here?”
The new development came after in early September, a group of rights advocates voiced concern that the UK government may be complicit in human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, citing lack of clarity over what the Persian Gulf Strategy Fund (GSF) supports in the kingdom.
The Middle East Eye report quoted some campaigners as saying that at a time when the human rights situation is deteriorating in Saudi Arabia, uncertainty about what the GSF is supporting in the kingdom raises questions about whether the UK is bolstering institutions involved in abuses.
The Royal role has become its opposite; once “granting” regal status to tinpot local tribal chiefs around the Arab Gulf to service British Empire naval base requirements, the British ruling class is now forced to kowtow itself to these thugs, who have accumulated all the oil money, giving them the regal deference they demand.
Not simply for a common interest in horses (!!!) was the Queen close friends with the Dubai Sheikh Maktoum, owner of vast stables in Newmarket and kidnapper of daughters, and not out of “charitable” concern alone did Charles take paper bags of cash from Gulf “royalty”.
The reduction of imperial pride to grovelling humility is almost complete.
But the world will not be rid of this ever more degenerate and sick ruling class, and the fascist warmongering it is dragging the world ever more deeply into, until it overturns the entire stinking class rule racket, bourgeoisie and all.
And to do that means building the Marxist revolutionary cadre party in constant polemical battle to develop and advance revolutionary understanding without which there can be no end to the horrors of capitalist collapse.
Back to the top