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:

triangleTories on the brink - kick them out!

triangleWe can win the vote at 16!

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleSchools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

Election:

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

triangleCorbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

Parliament:

triangleWestminster sexual harassment scandal

Austerity:

triangleTUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

8/12/17

Government

Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

6/12/17

Labour

Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

6/12/17

NHS

Branson sues NHS: kick out the profiteers

6/12/17

Immigration

Royal wedding exposes them-and-us visa system

6/12/17

Banks

RBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

6/12/17

Homelessness

Rough sleeping crisis: make homes, not arrests

6/12/17

Poverty

End Tory war on poor

6/12/17

Rail

Nationalise rail now

29/11/17

Them & Us

Them & us

29/11/17

Homes

Tory housing policy: build zilch, hike prices

29/11/17

Wages

Make the Tories history

29/11/17

Birmingham

Birmingham bin workers win!

29/11/17

British economy

Amber warning lights flash on British economy

23/11/17

Pay

After the budget - unions must launch pay fight

22/11/17

Climate change

Carbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


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

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the full 5% claim

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

triangle30 Nov Dramatic retelling of Grunwick strike

More ...

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

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

V2