With the New Year comes another Honours List issued by the Queen – a chance for the establishment to pat on the back their most reliable foot soldiers.
This year, alongside the usual celebrities and sport personalities, the Queen has rewarded those who have most effectively done the bidding of the British state and ruling class.
Among them is former Labour MP Frank Field, an arch-Blairite, otherwise known as ‘Lord Field of Birkenhead’. Field has no doubt been appointed a member of the ‘Order of Companions of Honour’ for relentlessly attacking Jeremy Corbyn and the left.
Another notable figure to have been rewarded is Vanessa Redgrave, a former member of Gerry Healy’s Workers’ Revolutionary Party. In 1999, Redgrave rejected the offer of an honour on the basis of her objection to Tony Blair’s New Labour government and the war in Iraq.
But it seems Redgrave is quite happy to receive an honour whilst a callous Tory government implements austerity, attempts to destroy civil liberties, and allows at least 150,000 people in the UK to needlessly die from COVID. It’s clear her progressive veneer has well and truly worn off.
Prizes for war crimes
Most significantly, Tony Blair was awarded the highest knighthood available – despite a petition against this decision gathering over one million signatures. It is clear that a wide layer of working people have nothing but disdain for Blair.
‘Sir’ Keir Starmer, of course, backed Blair saying he “deserves the honour”. This is nothing but an attempt by the current Labour leader to show himself similarly capable of carrying out the orders of the British establishment.
To add insult to injury, Blair’s knighthood comes at the same time as revelations that his defence secretary at the time of the Iraq war, Geoff Hoon, was told to burn documents that questioned the legality of the invasion by Western imperialism.
Similarly, it has also come to light in recent weeks that Blair’s New Labour administration initially opposed the Macpherson inquiry into Stephen Lawrence’s murder and the role of institutional racism within the police.
The British state clearly wants to assure its lackies that, as long as you act in the interest of British capitalism, no amount of death, war, and suffering is unjustified. This, however, should not surprise us.
The purpose of the state, including the monarchy, is not to protect us or to represent the ‘national interest’. Rather, it exists to defend the ruling class and their interests.
We must place no trust in an institution willing to venerate those who have attacked the working class. Instead, workers and youth must organise and fight to overthrow the monarchy and capitalism, in order to throw all these rotten relics into the dustbin of history.