Gaza: tipping point in western crisis of legitimacy for politicians and media?

Workers are turning away from mainstream media in droves, and they may not be coming back.

In the video above, Comrade Joti Brar spoke to RT News regarding a debate in Parliament that had centred on the question of British arms sales to Israel.

Introducing that debate, Labour MP Zarah Sultana asked Parliament to consider the need for arms export licences for weapons sales to Tel Aviv, pointing out that, while ‘oversight mechanisms’ do officially exist, the committee appointed by the House of Commons to fulfil this function has not actually met since March.

Making a further mockery of this charade of a ‘process’, Ms Sultana explained that while official sources cite £474m worth of arms being sold to Israel by British companies since 2015, “the true figure is shrouded in secrecy. Under open export licences, arms companies can export an unlimited quantity of specified equipment with no further monitoring and no tracking of their total value.”

That is: not only is there no real monitoring via the official ‘oversight’ committee, most of the arms being sent out from Britain evade this august body anyway. Essentially, no one in government is keeping any record of what is going where. Quel surprise.

Mounting public pressure demands political response

The fact that this parliamentary debate was held at all is a sign of the growing pressure that MPs are coming under from their outraged constituents, and Labour MPs in particular. The need to be seen to be doing something in response to the zionist regime’s brutal genocide of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, and to try to distance themselves from the British state’s blatant complicity, is becoming urgent for many.

Without really wanting to hold back the zionists in any meaningful way, MPs are aware that there is a mass and growing movement of workers in Britain who are watching developments closely, and are just as closely scrutinising the response of their so-called ‘elected representatives’.

Used to having full control of the narrative via the mass media, and confident in their ability to control official debate while covering over or brushing aside the real sentiments of the British people (who they most emphatically do not represent), Britain’s mandarin class was taken entirely off guard by the visceral response to Israel’s intensive carpet bombing of Gaza. Neither in Parliament nor in the former Fleet Street editorial offices did those who set the parameters of public discourse see this one coming, and their panic is palpable.

Lie machine exposed as never before

Horrific lies were told by the zionist PR machine during the first 48 confused hours following the launch of the Al-Aqsa Flood resistance operation, and these were immediately taken up by western politicians and media with their habitual knee-jerk ‘create a hysterical atmosphere where reasoned discussion becomes endorsement of beheading babies’ arrogance.

Many even claimed, entirely mendaciously, to have independently verified the information, not least amongst them US president Joe Biden. Except in this instance, the lies being broadcast 24/7 by corporate media and imperialist politicians were debunked in record time.

Meanwhile, the zionist ‘response’ of all-out indiscriminate warfare against more than two million civilians penned into a tiny area with no air defences and nowhere to hide was being beamed into workers’ cellphones around the globe in real time … as was the footage of Israeli leaders describing the entire Palestinian population as “human animals” who must be “erased” from the earth.

Unforgettable images, videos and testimonies circulated on WhatsApp groups, TikTok feeds and Telegram channels far beyond the reach of the corporate media’s control … all while western politicians rushed to Tel Aviv to demonstrate their firm resolve to stand with the murderers.

And the streets of cities around the world erupted with protesting crowds.

Indeed, the flood of information has forced even such pro-zionist outfits as the BBC and the Guardian to moderate their positions, and occasionally to question some of the zionists’ more blatant lies and genocidal positions. Not because they really do want to hold these fascistic maniacs to account, but out of a growing fear that they are collectively losing the last vestiges of their credibility with large swathes of the British public.

A growing awareness of the lies, corruption and duplicity of British politicians and media was kick-started during the Iraq war 20 years ago. This crisis of legitimacy was exacerbated by the Brexit fiasco and accelerated still further as western governmental responses to the Covid pandemic unfolded. For years now, journalists and politicians have regularly been rated as our least-trusted professionals, earning more opprobrium from workers than estate agents (the profession whose name used to be widely used as a synonym for dishonest shystering in Britain).

Now the imperialist-backed war against Gaza has created a tipping point from which there may be no return. Ever larger numbers of Britons have turned away from corporate news sources, including the formerly revered ‘Aunty Beeb’, and all the indications are that they will not be coming back again.

Labour’s social justice credentials in the dust

Meanwhile, the Labour party in particular is haemorrhaging support from its base. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, former specialist in ‘human rights law’ (don’t laugh) capped a decade of careerist genuflecting before the zionist beast by refusing to judge from the mountain of available evidence whether war crimes just might be being committed by Israel in Gaza.

This was despite the fact that he had earlier had no hesitation in asserting to an LBC radio audience that the Palestinian resistance (‘Hamas’) had “obviously” committed terrorist atrocities during its operation. He went on to assure his stunned host that Israel “had the right” to collectively starve and freeze the civilians of Gaza by cutting off supplies of power, food, water and medicine to them all.

Starmer’s refusal to condemn Israel, arriving in people’s living rooms alongside gut-wrenching footage of babies being removed from cold incubators in the shells of devastated Palestinian hospitals, was the last straw for many formerly loyal Labour members and supporters.

Exact figures do not seem to have been collated anywhere, but judging by the separate reports that are available of various collective resignations, between 50 and 100 Labour councillors have so far resigned in protest at their party leader’s position, many not only from their positions but from the party entirely. The party has lost control of three councils as a result (Oxford, Burnley and Norwich). More resignations have resulted from a head office edict to local Labour branches that they should refrain from discussing this divisive issue at all.

The mounting pressure on councillors from their constituents can be inferred from the Daily Mail’s reporting that two separate council leaders (Burnley and Pendle) had urged Starmer to resign following his refusal to call for a ceasefire. According to the paper, another poll found that nearly a fifth of Labour councillors have considered walking away from the party over its Gaza position.

Individual members are likewise tearing up their party cards, some after decades of clinging to the ‘better than the Tories’ branding peddled by the fake left.

Then on 14 November, Starmer capped his militant ‘standing with’ the genocidaires by whipping his MPs to abstain on a vote in Parliament which would have amended the King’s speech to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The sheer weight of public pressure on this issue forced 56 Labour MPs to go against this voting prohibition, ten of them front benchers, who had to resign from their shadow cabinet roles (not, needless to say, from the Labour party) in order to cast their votes in favour.

Toothless as this rebellion by Labour MPs was, it would not have happened at all had those concerned not felt that their position before the electorate would be untenable if they meekly followed Starmer’s instructions. Many of them are, after all, members of the entirely mis-named ‘Socialist Campaign Group’ of parliamentarians – MPs whose presence in the Commons and in Labour is supposed to provide proof that some scope for moving the party and the country ‘in the direction of’ socialism exists within the British parliamentary system.

As a result of this very public and blindly unconditional support for Israeli crimes, support for Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour is in freefall, with a very real threat of boycott by significant numbers of formerly loyal Labour voters. For those of us who have some knowledge of the Labour party’s history, Starmer’s positions can come as no surprise. But for the millions who remain unaware of the party’s bloodstained history of loyal service to British imperialism, Starmer’s barefaced hypocrisy and arrogant refusal to reflect reality has come as a shocking revelation.

Gaza and Ukraine – spot the difference

In the RT News interview above, the presenter asked our comrade some very telling questions, and made some obvious comparisons that western corporate media have been avoiding like the plague.

Although many have been forced to acknowledge that some debate on the question of Israeli war crimes may be necessary (a debate our rulers are doing everything to kick into the long grass, even as they are accelerating the shipment of arms and other supplies to the zionist war machine), no such admission has been made in the case of Ukraine.

But if it might be a contravention of Britain’s own laws for our government to provide weapons to a supremacist ethno-state for the purposes of collective punishment and genocide in Palestine, might that not also be the case in the Donbass? After all, there is more than a passing similarity between the two wars.

In both cases, proxy armies are doing the USA’s bidding in service of its geopolitical aims.

In both cases, the whole of society has become militarised, and is motivated by a fascistic ideology (both the Ukrainian and the Israeli governments include openly-avowed fascists, as do both their armed forces) and the racist goal of constructing an apartheid supremacist state in which one group of people (Russians, Palestinians) are kept in permanent subordination to another (‘Ukrainians’, ‘Israelis’).

In both cases, the aggressing power is ready to wipe the subject people out entirely if they are not prepared to accept their place as untermenschen in a permanently stratified society.

The big difference in the debate around these two wars and the outrage against British complicity is that the narrative around Ukraine has been far more successfully curated by the imperialists. The mass of workers in Britain and the west are unaware of the extent of the lies they have been told about Ukraine and Russia in a way that millions no longer are about the lies surrounding Palestine.

And for this difference, the two biggest contributing factors have been time and the indomitable steadfastness of the Palestinian resistance. While most workers had no knowledge of anything that was going on in Ukraine before 24 February 2022, and were therefore open to the hysterical propaganda manipulations of western media when Russia launched its special military operation in defence of the Russian people, the Palestinian issue is one that has been punctuating our consciousness for 75 years. Over that time, the entire progressive world has long ago come down unanimously on the side of Palestine, and even the United Nations has had to admit that all rights are on the side of Palestinian resistance.

Added to these factors are: first, the deepening global economic crisis, being felt by workers everywhere as the inflationary ‘cost of living crisis’; second, Nato’s total failure to defeat Russia in Ukraine, which has not only exposed many lies regarding that conflict and about Russia generally, but has also given a great boost to the forces of anti-imperialist resistance worldwide; and third, the shift in geopolitical balance following on directly from Russia’s impending victory, which has, among other things, contributed towards the successful Chinese mediation of a rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the middle east.

Moreover, the popularisation in recent decades of the concept of a worldwide muslim community of faith, the ‘Ummah’, has led to a deep sense of connection with the cause of Palestinian freedom not only amongst anti-imperialist activists but amongst muslims all over the world. This sense of identification, combined with real communication networks, has created a powerful basis for organisation and information-sharing that is beyond the reach of corporate media control. And, since muslims live amongst non-muslims all over the world, the information they are sharing with each other is inevitably also reaching their other friends and contacts, and thus making its way into the wider social consciousness.

All of which is feeding into the phenomenon of the huge anti-zionist and pro-Palestine marches in the streets of western capitals that we are seeing today.

One thing seems certain. In their rush to ‘stand with’ Israel, western politicians and media have entirely underestimated the changed conditions – changed in no small part as a result of the imperialist failure in Ukraine.