Given the choice in the US presidential election between a neoliberal, banker-oriented, imperialist warmonger or Trump’s demagogic promises to regenerate industry, create jobs, end crime and 'drain the swamp' of corruption, nobody should be too surprised at the result, Bill Greenshields told the Communist Party of Britain's political committee on Wednesday evening (November 9).
He accused the political and media 'establishment' of being as out of touch with working class realities, frustrations and aprirations in the USA as they are in Britain.
Socialists, communists and the left have played a part in mobilising people against austerity, capitalist globalisation and imperialist war, helping to show how politicians and the media are in the pockets of the rich and powerful, Mr Greenshields remarked. 'But protest has not been at a high enough level for people to see through right wing populism as well', he insisted.
While Trump's victory, like the Brexit referendum vote in Britain, has disoriented the ruling class and their politicians in both countries, a strong socialist and progressive alternative also has to be built. 'Otherwise', Mr Greenshields warned, 'an alliance between the most reactionary circles of finance capital and a section of working people turning to right-wing populism and nationalism could sow the seeds of fascism'. The former CP chair and President of the National Union Teachers said it was counter-productive to dismiss all or even most Trump or Brexit supporters as racists and bigots.
Instead the left everywhere must develop action and thought around the left alternative, while giving no quarter to racism, sexism and other ideas that divide the working class and the people.