ASLEF assistant secretary Simon Weller puts forward what for us seems a contradictory position. As far as we can see, sanctions on Russia have driven up the price of many things British workers need. And that’s not good.
The cost of living crisis is forcing thousands of workers to take strike action to recover ground in the pay packets. So where is the sense in backing British imperialism’s drive to war with Russia, which sanctions key goods (especially energy) which we need, and threatens to embroil our people in a conflict which has nothing to do with us.
The Trotskyist Socialist Appeal group have said of the successful TUC motion on Ukraine “This is an inter-imperialist war between the reactionary capitalist regime of Putin in Russia, which has imperialist ambitions, and US imperialism and its allies in NATO, which want to degrade Russia to a point where it is unable to challenge their interests.
The war is being fought in Ukraine, and it is Ukrainian (and Russian) working people who are dying. But at bottom it is caused by the conflicting and equally reactionary interests of Moscow and Washington.”
The old Trot lines live on…. They just don’t stop hating Russia but the analysis has no relevance to the here and now. That here and now demands that Russia’s security concerns regarding NATO should be the primary consideration for anyone not wishing to see this conflict escalate to the point that directly involves a European war or at worst a nuclear one.
It wasn’t Russia that expanded to the borders of NATO but NATO that expanded to the borders of Russia. It’s nothing to do with Russian capitalism or supposed imperialism, but everything to do with US hegemony and whether one prefers a U.S. dominated unipolar world or a multipolar one.