Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/25284

Posted on 18 April 2017 at 19:08 GMT

8 June general election

Tories out!

Defeat the millionaires' government

Save our NHS demo, 4.3.17 , photo Paul Mattsson

Save our NHS demo, 4.3.17 , photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Jeremy Corbyn must fight the election with socialist policies

Theresa May has called for a general election for one reason - not the reason she gave - but because of the government's weakness in face of a rising tide of anger in British society. Workers are suffering the most prolonged squeeze on wages since the mid-nineteenth century. Benefits cuts are leaving millions without enough money to feed themselves and their families. In 2015 a record 185,000 bed days were taken up by people admitted to hospital suffering from malnutrition. Education and the NHS are facing life-threatening cuts. The housing crisis is acute. The new ultra-draconian anti-trade union laws are creating bitterness and frustration among trade unionists.

Far from being a strong government, May fears that, given the Tories' wafer-thin majority in parliament, she could be overwhelmed by forced u-turns. In the first year of the Tory government alone there were eleven, now - in order to try to prevent more - May has made the biggest u-turn yet. Having pledged not to call a snap election she has gone ahead and done so. This shows how capitalist politicians change the rules whenever it suits them. Cameron and Clegg introduced the Fixed-term Parliaments Act in order to try to shore up the Coalition government for five years, now May is over-riding it to try to strengthen a weak Tory government. She is gambling, based on current opinion polls, that she will win the general election with an increased majority and will then be more able to carry out her real programme - not the warm words about helping the 'just about managing', but vicious austerity.

High risk for Tories

Her gamble is high-risk. The real poll will take place on 8 June, and a lot can happen between now and then. She is partly posing the election as a referendum on Brexit, hoping that the third of Tory voters who supported 'remain' will reluctantly continue to support her government. This is not guaranteed however - some may well switch to the pro-remain Liberal Democrats.

Moreover, the hated Tories are very unlikely to make significant inroads in Scotland. The Scottish National Party is not yet fully exposed and is likely to largely maintain its electoral base. Winning the Copeland byelection has probably given May hope that the Tories can improve their position in the North of England. However, in both the Copeland and Stoke byelections the Tory vote actually fell in absolute terms. The Tories only scraped victory in Copeland because the Tory vote held up better than the Labour vote.

Globally the lesson of recent elections - from the US, to France, to the Netherlands - is that voters want to punish the capitalist establishment; and those parties and candidates that claim to be anti-establishment can have a mass appeal. Look at Melenchon in France, who by standing on a left programme, has soared to 19% in the opinion polls with a possibility that he will even go through to the second round. Jeremy Corbyn has already stated that Labour will not oppose the general election going ahead. Now he needs to launch an election campaign based on socialist policies that are relevant to working class people's lives.

Policies for socialist change

It is clear that much of the pro-capitalist cabal at the top of the Labour Party will be secretly welcoming this election because they think Corbyn will be defeated and they can then replace him with some pro-capitalist pro-austerity leader. However, they could rue the day this election was called. If Corbyn fights on a clear socialist programme - for a Brexit in the interests of the working and middle-class - he could win the general election.

The policies that first thrust him into the leadership of the Labour Party would be a good beginning - an immediate introduction of a 10 an hour minimum wage, free education for all, mass council house building and nationalisation of the rail and energy companies. These should be combined with policies such as an immediate end to all cuts in public services and a pledge to immediately renationalise Royal Mail. Jeremy should make clear that he would kick the privateers out of public services and education. He should pledge to introduce a real socialist NHS - a well-funded, comprehensive, high quality NHS, under democratic control, with care free at the point of use. These demands should be linked to the need for fundamental socialist change - for a society run in the interests of the majority instead of for the profits of a few.

Such an election campaign should not be limited to speeches and election broadcasts. The campaign to defend the NHS should be linked to the mass movement which began with the national demonstration on 4 March. Jeremy Corbyn spoke at that demonstration. Now he, together with the trade union movement and health campaigners, should call a second demonstration, during the election campaign, mobilising millions onto the streets against the Tories and in defence of the NHS.

A Socialist Party statement

This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 18 April 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

General election:

triangleUsdaw ADM 2017: Left challenge needed to end assault on retail jobs and conditions

triangleHealth Campaigns Together meets to chart the way forward

triangleJobstown trial begins

triangleWorkplace news in brief

trianglePCS Left Unity says get rid of the Tories!

Government:

triangleTUSC's programme for local jobs and services

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangleBenefit bullies

triangle200,000 empty homes - 250,000 homeless - end property speculation

Election:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleMelenchon result shows potential for building a mass left force

triangleTory trouble

Socialist:

triangleProtests in solidarity with LGBT+ people facing persecution in Chechnya

triangleBristol Socialist Party: An informal discussion

NHS:

triangleStrikes can end nurses' poverty pay

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleA bold socialist campaign could get rid of the Tories

Parliament:

triangleJobstown Not Guilty: defend the right to protest

Austerity:

triangle40% of GPs plan to quit - reverse all NHS cuts and sell-offs!

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

26/4/17

What we saw

What we saw

26/4/17

Council

Tory trouble

26/4/17

Mental health

Cuts, profit and bureaucracy lead to 50% rise in mental health deaths

26/4/17

NHS

40% of GPs plan to quit - reverse all NHS cuts and sell-offs!

26/4/17

Homeless

200,000 empty homes - 250,000 homeless - end property speculation

26/4/17

Refugee

Refugee rescue

26/4/17

Cuts

Benefit bullies

21/4/17

Unite

Len McCluskey re-election - a defeat for the right

19/4/17

Benefits

Benefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

19/4/17

NHS

What kind of movement is needed to save our NHS?

19/4/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

19/4/17

Students

Joint struggle can stop tuition fee interest hike

19/4/17

Liverpool

Fight the Sun's bigoted lies

19/4/17

Carers

900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

18/4/17

General election

Defeat the millionaires' Tory government

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle26 Apr Health Campaigns Together meets to chart the way forward

triangle26 Apr TUSC's programme for local jobs and services

triangle26 Apr Jobstown trial begins

triangle26 Apr The real origins of May Day

triangle26 Apr How Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangle26 Apr BMW strikers determined to win pensions dispute

triangle25 Apr A bold socialist campaign could get rid of the Tories

More ...

triangle2 May Doncaster TUSC election rally: Tories Out, Corbyn4PM, Socialist Steve for mayor

triangle2 May Manchester Socialist Party: Can Corbyn win on socialist policies?

triangle2 May Bristol Socialist Party: Kick he Tories out!

triangle2 May Merseyside TUSC pre-election public meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice