“We should fight against attempts to move Labour’s foreign policy to the right & ditch the anti-war internationalism of the Jeremy Corbyn years, as represented by recent attempts to push the party into backing more nuclear weapons & NATO expansion.”
By Sam Browse, Arise.
The Tory Government’s disastrous response to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis has enriched big business while 3 million go without support and many struggle on pitiful levels of Statutory Sick Pay; reduced some incomes to less than minimum wage; and created an unemployment crisis predicted to reach a horrifying 2.2 million out of work.
For the Left, it’s important to also understand that this Tory approach of protecting profits, not people, extends beyond Britain’s borders.
That’s what motivates the recently announced £16.5bn increase in military spending, it’s what drives Boris Johnsons’ announcement that Britain – despite its legal obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty – will expand its nuclear arsenal, and it’s what has instigated the order to send an aircraft carrier to the South Pacific.
All these actions entail a view of Britain which derogates to it a right to intervene, with impunity, in the affairs of other countries – a view which, as the Black Lives Matter protestors remind us, has historically justified an imperialism dedicated to extracting profits, by force, from abroad. That project lives on today – Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, despite the lofty promises of so-called “muscular liberals”, have left millions dead and lives devastated, while private corporations profit from access to oil and contracts won by miraculously new found political influence.
And now, as the new multipolar global economy erodes the dominance of a US-based ruling class, America and its allies resuscitate the logic of mid-20th century international relations to prosecute a Cold War against China.
Rather than defend empire in decline and the profits of British and American big business, we should embrace the new multipolarity and commit to addressing the real cross-border challenges faced by the global “many”: tackling the climate emergency, vaccinating the globe against this pandemic and those of the future, and extending support to the millions of refugees, fleeing from war, persecution, and the damage caused to their homes and livelihoods by catastrophic global heating.
We should also express our solidarity with those fighting back against the rule of profit over people – most recently in Peru and Bolivia, where the left have formed governments, but also in Palestine, where the US relies on an ally for regional influence – Israel – despite its repeated violation of the human rights of Palestinians and their right to self-determination.
And we should fight against attempts to move Labour’s foreign policy to the right and ditch the anti-war internationalism of the Jeremy Corbyn years, as represented by recent attempts to push the party into backing more nuclear weapons and NATO expansion.
Our fight, today, is global. It demands an internationalist and an anti-imperialist response – one that opposes the rush to war and the threat of nuclear annihilation, while it supports those struggling everywhere for a world that puts people before profit.
- This piece is from the 8 page Labour Outlook summer update, featuring Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burgon, Bell Ribeiro-Addy & more– read & download at https://labouroutlook.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Labour-Outlook-june-2021.pdf