Both the British Conservative and Labour parties are as red, white and blue on the issue of foreign policy. They are in essence two peas from the same imperialist pod. Much has been made of Jeremy Corbyn’s supposed “anti-war” position. But let’s explore the recent Labour manifesto.
Labour has pledged to spend at least 2% of the GDP on defence which in their own words is to “guarantee that our Armed Forces have the necessary capabilities“. The manifesto goes on to boast that Britain’s defence industry is “world leading” and that Labour would continue to support “development and innovation in this sector“. All to protect the jobs of those in Britain’s booming bomb making industry. Much of which goes to Saudi Arabia, where a campaign of genocide is being carried out against the Yemeni people.
Trident, Britain’s nuclear ‘deterrent’, is only mentioned once in the manifesto. Labour supports the “renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent”. Quite the u-turn from Corbyn. Labour go on to state they want to “lead multilateral efforts… to create a nuclear-free world“. More doublespeak from the Labour camp who desire to create a nuclear-free world by upgrading Britain’s nuclear weapons system.
Under the inappropriately titled ‘diplomacy’ section of their manifesto it talks of Britain’s relationship with the US being “based on shared values“. It goes on to claim Trump ignores them. Britain is a racist state founded on the mass looting and genocide of more than half the planet. The faux outrage at Trump is sickening and very typical case of the Labour party acting as it if possesses some kind of moral superiority when it comes to the issue of racism. It was the Labour party that subjected women immigrating to Britain from Asia to “virginity tests” in the 1970s. It a Labour chancellor during their much celebrated “Spirit of 45” years that referred to Britain’s colonies as “diseased nigger communities”. And it was the Labour Party of the Attlee years that pushed the burden of post WW2 costs on to those living in the ‘colonies’ and sucked the wealth back to Britain to build a welfare state off the back of Black and Brown people in the global south.
They go on to talk of the millions who have been killed in recent years and how terrible they think it is. But it was the Labour party that killed and displaced millions in Iraq. And cue the predictable “Corbyn voted against it” screeches. Yes he did, but who the hell are the Brits to vote on whether it is okay to bomb somewhere or not. You have ask what sort of individual would remain in a party that has carried out such crimes.
The Chagos Islands also get a mention. That the Labour government would support their right to return to their homeland. It was the Labour party of Harold Wilson that gave the authorisation for the islanders to be expelled in the first place.
Britain is arguably historically the biggest abuser of human rights on the planet yet the Labour party think they can lecture China, Egypt, Gulf states (most of which are British neo-colonies!), Myanmar, Russia, the Philippines and Turkey on their affairs.
And perhaps the most sickening of all is the framing of Britain’s war on Yemen as “Saudi-led”. Diminishing Britain’s role to one of merely selling arms. When we know the British are advising on air strikes which happen to be deliberately hitting the agricultural industry in Yemen. This has led to widespread famine with Yemenis starving to death.
The Conservatives and Labour parties are both imperialist entities and will continue to operate in this very way because Britain’s economy is reliant on imperialism. Corbyn is a social imperialist, he puts a friendly face on it. But it makes no difference for those living outside of the Eurocentric Corbyn project whether it’s Tory or Labour bombs dropping on them. And you’d be a fool to think British imperialism would end with Corbyn.