In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

SWP: fellow-travellers of British imperialism

Posted by seumasach on June 26, 2008


Zimbabwe: Mugabe cracks down on opposition.(Socialist Worker)


 The SWP has adopted openly pro-imperialist politics over Zimbabwe. Under the veneer of supporting worker’s power they are helping to hand Zimbabwe back to the imperialist in London and Washington. Our message on this issue is simple;

Hands off Zimbabwe! Defend Zimbabwe’s sovereignty!


(Posted with our own commentaries)

Ken Olende looks at the current crisis and what the opposition can do

The situation in Zimbabwe continued to deteriorate as Socialist Worker went to press.


[Support for the opposition is assumed both by the author and in the reader. The situation in the world is deteriorating; is it all Mugabe’s fault?]


The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai had sought refuge in the Dutch embassy, while the government crackdown on opposition supporters continued.


This followed the opposition’s withdrawal from the presidential run-off election, due to take place on Friday of this week, in the face of intimidation from Robert Mugabe’s governing Zanu-PF party.



More than 80 MDC activists have been killed during the campaign. There have been arbitrary arrests of civic leaders.


[Has the violence really been so one-sided? Do you rule out , a priori, any kind of provocation or strategy of tension for which London is so renowned?]


Fourteen leaders of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (Woza) opposition group were detained for nearly a month for protesting at the delay in releasing the election results. Two of their leaders are still in detention.


NGOs have effectively been closed down by the regime – those providing food relief, drugs and support to Aids/HIV patients have been particularly hit.


[Well done, the regime! All over the world this lesson is being learnt: if you want to prosper, keep Western NGOs out!]


But the MDC has borne the brunt of the attacks. Tsvangirai has been repeatedly arrested, his rallies banned and campaign buses impounded.


[Is there no reason why there should be such hostility to the MDC?- couldn’t it be something to do with the fact that despite the barrage of propaganda, many Zimbabweans understand only too well what they stand for]


The state-controlled media is ignoring the MDC, while people are being forced to remove satellite dishes to prevent them from viewing media independent of the state.


[Independent of the Zimbabwe state, but not the British one]


Detained MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti faces treason charges, which carries the death penalty.


[Couldn’t he, in fact, be a traitor? Isn’t selling your country to Western imperialism an act of betrayal]


In the face of the crisis, some in the Western media have called for military intervention. Such intervention is extremely unlikely as military leaders are aware that Western troops would face mass hostility – not just from people in Zimbabwe but from all surrounding countries.


[It wouldn’t work so we don’t support it. Anyway, we’re part of the Soros mob and we prefer to undermine enemies of the empire from within rather than bombing them)


As Britain is the former colonial power, any British troops would be viewed as imperial invaders.


[No. British troops would be imperialist invaders!]




Zimbabweans are suffering terrible hardship, not just from repression, but also from economic collapse.

[Any idea who might be behind the economic collapse?]


But they are only too aware that it was Western-imposed structural adjustment programmes that began the country’s economic crisis in the 1990s.


[They didn’t just begin it, they continued to this day in order to deliberately destabilise Zimbabwe.]


No African Union or regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) negotiators would consider military intervention. Their preferred solution is the establishment of a government of national unity, which would include Mugabe, his supporters and the MDC.


They point to Kenya, where violence has subsided following the recent election crisis after the appointment of a government with both the sitting president and the opposition.


But rather than end political violence, a government of national unity would integrate it into the political structure. The relative support for each party would not affect its representation.


All trade unions and left organisations reject the call for a government of national unity, arguing that it would benefit the elite and further distance the country from any real democracy. It also disarms any mass action that could challenge the corruption at the top.

[No to reformism; imperialist control of Zimbabwe now!]


It is a tragedy that the general strike it called in April against the fixing of the election results collapsed within a day.


[It collapsed within a day because no one supported it. This could well be a tragedy for the imperialist sharks and warmongers who have shown they cannot dominate by brute force in Iraq and Lebanon, and now, nor can they subvert their enemies from within]


The workers of Zimbabwe are still enormously powerful and mass action would be the most effective way to challenge Mugabe. 


[But, “tragically’, they have shown they don’t want to]


However the movement faces a real problem of direction. It is no small thing to go out on strike against a repressive regime in a time of severe hardship. The leadership offered by the MDC was at best vacillating, and often non-existent.


Since the MDC was founded it has steadily moved away from its trade union roots to embrace neoliberalism. It is hardly a surprise that workers do not see the party as a reliable leadership.


[Yet you are effectively supporting them!]




Repression has been stepped up since the failure of the strike. But Zanu-PF has not had everything its own way. Groups of opposition supporters have fought them on the street in areas like Epworth, Bikita, Zaka and Chimanimani. But these were isolated actions, with no central leadership.


The International Socialist Organisation of Zimbabwe commented that, “the alternative is a regrouped united front of civic society and the opposition to launch a serious and determined programme of civil disobedience and mass action.


[Delightfully Soroesque terminology, don’t you think? Where did they learn this: The Open Society Institute?]


“Any struggle that fails to do this will be outflanked on its left by this crafty regime, which has shown strong capacity to cynically manipulate the poor’s concerns and demonise the opposition as a stooge of the West.


[It wouldn’t take much to outflank brazenly neo-liberal politics on the left.]


“Without such a united front and a pro-poor, pro-working people and anti-capitalist ideology we shall not prevail against this regime.”


[But, in the meantime, we can do the bidding of our imperial masters and help prepare regime change and bring the  MDC stooges to power.]


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