From the August 1971 issue of the Socialist Standard
It has often been pointed out by Socialists that the conception of left and right wings in politics is a snare and a delusion serving only to con the working class into thinking that there is some sort of real choice between the major parties. In practice there are over 600 MPs in Parliament who all have one thing very much in common — and that the only thing that counts. They all support capitalism. Half of them make some sort of noises from time to time to suggest that they have an idea they might be Socialists (or would like you to think they are). It is hard to imagine how they can ever have the cheek to make such claims in future in light of an advert that appeared in June 7 in that great working class organ, the Times.
This expensive piece of propaganda was not exactly for Socialism. It was a denunciation of the projected entry of this country into the Common Market and in case anyone has an idea that this argument could have anything to do with Socialism, it needs only to be mentioned that it contained a host of signatures of well-known Tory MPs. Not exactly the chaps you would expect to associate with Socialists. Particularly when you see that among them are some of the better known Tory backwoodsmen, rabid reactionaries like Soref, Montagu, Bell. One cannot imagine the reason Enoch himself was not in the list but there is no doubt that the arch-racialist would have found congenial company there. And he would also have found the arch leftist, Michael Foot, as ever was. A strange aberration on his part? Certainly not, for he has got all his pseudo-socialist creeps with him, all the great Tribune heroes, Mikardo, Mendelsohn, Allaun, Orme etc, etc ad nauseam. The anti-marketeers held a meeting in the Central Hall where the great leftists and rightists shared a platform to signify their common interest in the future of British Capitalism Ltd.
Who could have thought that only a year or two ago, when the party that these lefties belong to was in charge of the management of British Capitalism Ltd., that the then Managing Director of the firm, a chap called Wilson, along with his deputy Brown, were hawking Britain's application to join the Market round the capitals of Europe like a couple of clapped-out commercial travellers? The Labour Party was so keen ("we mean business" said Wilson; what else would a "socialist" like him mean?) that they sent their twin stars on this trip even though it was clear at the time that the Head Buyer, name of De Gaulle, was going to slam the door in their faces. And at the time of writing, even Wilson himself, who led the great crusade into Europe during the whole of this tenure of power, has not come out in support of the same crusade under the new M.D., Heath. He has chosen to sit on the fence as long as he can with a cynicism that even hardened political correspondents in the newspapers find hard to swallow. Who knows? Maybe by the time this appears, Wilson will have decided that there are more votes in opposing the Market. Maybe Enoch is waiting to join him on the platform. The example of Foot and Mouth joining hands with Soref and Bell should be example enough that left and right are capitalist sisters under their skins. (Some of us are old enough to remember the picture in '39 of Molotov and Ribbentrop shaking hands; the picture that launched a myriad corpses).
The real truth is that the lefties are merely safety valves to head off working class discontent. Can you imagine the Times printing a leader devoted to the praise of Foot if Lord Thomson's minions really thought he was a socialist — a man who stood for the expropriation of Lord Thomson and all his class — as they did during the election?
As to the Market issue, we can but repeat what we have said before. This is an issue for the capitalist class, for their leaders and their stooges. Any difference (joining or staying out) to the workers of this country or France or German would be marginal indeed. The interest of the working class of the whole world is to abolish the very concept of a market economy in its entirety and build a world where wealth is produced for people to enjoy. That is a task that lefties will never perform. For the workers of the world it's a case of do it yourself.
L. E. Weidberg