Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/948/25421

From The Socialist newspaper, 10 May 2017

Editorial of the Socialist, issue 948

Local election results must mean Corbyn campaign is stepped up

Socialist Party members join others at a rally for Jeremy Corbyn in Leamington - these rallies show the potential to build mass support, photo by Lenny Shail

Socialist Party members join others at a rally for Jeremy Corbyn in Leamington - these rallies show the potential to build mass support, photo by Lenny Shail   (Click to enlarge)

The results of the 4 May county council and metro mayor elections will have disappointed many supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. They must act to sound the alarm - Jeremy Corbyn can win this election but only with a bold, mass campaign. There is no room for hesitation or compromise - if the Tories are to be defeated on 8 June, a left programme for measures to improve living standards for working and middle class people must be got out to the majority.

Labour lost 383 council seats, while the Tories gained 563 and won four of the six 'metro mayor' positions. With the general election less than a month away, this is not a good result for Labour. However, behind the headlines of the Corbyn-hating press, these results are also not as good for the Tories as May would have hoped. Clearly, particularly given the low turnout in these elections, there is no direct correlation between them and a general election.

However, even if this result was simply repeated on 8 June it would give May a modest increase in the Tory majority - estimated at around 20 more seats - not the landslide that the capitalist media are predicting. Among the small minority of the electorate who voted, the main trend was a polarisation between the Tory and Labour vote. This was added to by the collapse of Ukip, which was left with only one council seat and its vote share reduced from 22% to less than 5% in four years. At the same time, the predicted Lib Dem surge didn't materialise. They lost 42 seats and even the unreliable projections of what these results may mean in the general election predict an increase of just three parliamentary seats for the Lib Dems (bringing them to a grand total of eleven).

Brexit

Labour should have been able to gain in this situation. So why didn't they? May's nauseating repetition of her and the Tories being the "strong and stable" hands needed to carry out Brexit negotiations has clearly had an effect on a layer of people. Leading Tories are trying to emphasise the idea that they are ready and willing to do 'full battle' with the EU.

But not in the defence of workers' interests! May was a Remain campaigner in the EU referendum because she recognised the importance of the EU for the interests of capitalism. Big business is hoping she will use an increased majority to implement as soft a Brexit as she can get away with within the context of the divided Tory party. What is certain is that any Brexit she and the Tories negotiate will be 100% opposed to the interests of the working class.

Unfortunately Corbyn's position on Brexit is not clear to the working class. This stems from his mistaken decision - under pressure from the Labour right, as well as some on the left - to back Remain during the referendum campaign, despite his historic position of left opposition to the neoliberal EU. Since the vote he has been quiet, giving the impression of trying to avoid the issue, aiding the Tories' portrayal of him as indecisive and weak.

This can still be overcome, but only by being clear, loud and unashamed in saying that a Corbyn-led government would carry through a Brexit in the interests of the working class. A workers' Brexit would mean jobs, homes, services and decent pay for all as opposed to the Tories' Brexit, which will inevitably mean the rich continue to prosper and the rest suffer. It would also be an internationalist and anti-racist Brexit, defending the rights of EU citizens living in Britain.

Another big factor in these local election results was the policy of local politicians. Local areas have been devastated by cuts to council jobs, closures of libraries and children's centres, cuts to benefits and privatisation of vital services and of council housing. Blairite Labour politicians have carried through such attacks and found themselves punished at the ballot box. Unfortunately, in a vain attempt to compromise with Labour's pro-capitalist right, Jeremy Corbyn has not clearly opposed local Labour cuts.

Despite this, Corbyn's policies are potentially enormously popular. As we have outlined in the last few issues of the Socialist, Corbyn has made very good policy statements on things like increasing the minimum wage, building council homes, lifting the public sector pay cap and so on. But, given the sabotage by the right of his own party, as well as the press, this message will not get out to enough people if he plays by the rules of conventional electioneering.

Rallies

Corbyn and McDonnell should call mass rallies in every town. Figures show there has been a surge in voter registration by students, the majority of who support Jeremy Corbyn and his free education pledge. Corbyn should seize on this and call a speaking tour of universities. During the EU referendum campaign, a number of trade unions poured the full weight of their resources behind getting the Remain vote out from their members. Some union members were receiving almost a phone call every day telling them how to vote! Where is the same effort to back Corbyn now? The left trade union leaders should place themselves firmly at the head of the campaign to win workers over to Corbyn's programme.

There is no time to lose. The next four weeks must see the full weight of workers, trade unions, students, NHS activists, and all those fighting back, being thrown behind the effort to kick out the hated Tories and win a Corbyn-led government on a socialist programme.

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


In The Socialist 10 May 2017:


What we think

Local election results must mean Corbyn campaign is stepped up


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories wrecking our NHS: kick them out!

Corbyn pledges freeze on 'STP' health cuts

Corbyn pledges council powers to take over academies

Tories forced to publish useless plans on toxic air

1,000 super-rich own 658 billion!

Corbyn promises to scrap hospital parking fees

Corbyn would limit TV junk food ads

What we saw


International socialist news and analysis

France: Macron won't solve economic & social crises


Local elections 2017

TUSC's anti-cuts message finds positive response

Liverpool city region mayor election - almost 8,000 votes for TUSC

Tories win West Midlands mayor - the complete failure of the Labour right

Labour hangs on in Wales despite cuts councillors

Doncaster TUSC's campaigning against cuts goes on


Workplace news and analysis

Tube strike at London Bridge over unfair dismissal

After the Unite elections - now turn outwards

Workers fight back against race to the bottom!

Royal Mail walkout over suspension of union reps

Good debate and response at radiographers' union conference


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

US: women ice hockey players' strike threat wins living wage

Featured letter: disabled workers want our voices heard, not charity

Foreign aid corruption: capitalism to blame

Why I joined: raising the ideas of socialism

Theatre review: Fracked! Political satire skewers frackers

The Socialist inbox


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Campaign launch: "rip-off bosses and greedy bankers - enough is enough!"

Overflowing Corbyn rally in Leicester

Hundreds rally for Corbyn in Leamington

One Housing tenants force housing association back

Jobstown Not Guilty trial round-up

Yorkshire meeting in solidarity with the #JobstownNotGuilty campaign

Socialists tell free marketeers

Packed Socialist Party meeting discusses the general election

Sutton Coldfield socialist campaign stall


 

Home   |   The Socialist 10 May 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Left parties, Greek tragedy and Jeremy Corbyn

triangleSustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

triangleTrade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

Election:

triangleAmy Murphy for Usdaw president - vote for a fighting and democratic union

triangleCabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

triangleBlairite horror and Labour's divisions graphically exposed

The Socialist:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Building the Socialist Party

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building the Socialist Party

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Socialist:

triangleTeesside Socialist Party: 'Fake' Trump! What's really going on in the US?

triangleTheatre: 'Young Marx' shows growth in great platform for his ideas

Brexit:

triangle2018: more upheavals loom

Tories:

triangleThousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

Labour:

triangleCorbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

Council:

triangleWe must fight all council cuts!

General election:

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

17/1/18

Labour

Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

17/1/18

Trump

Victory! Trump's UK visit cancelled by fear of protests

17/1/18

NHS

NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

15/1/18

Carillion

Carillion crisis: demand action to save jobs and services

10/1/18

Tories

Cabinet chaos as shambolic reshuffle underlines Theresa May's impotence

10/1/18

NHS

Sustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

10/1/18

Education

Bigot Toby Young quits - now scrap the new uni regulator driving privatisation

10/1/18

Them & Us

Them & Us

10/1/18

Teachers

Teacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

3/1/18

Fire service

Fire service victory

3/1/18

Fares

Rail: fares up, bosses' pay up - delays and cancellations up

3/1/18

Higher Education

Mobilise against rip-off executive pay

3/1/18

Virgin

NHS in winter crisis as Branson creams off 1bn

3/1/18

Homes

Thousands live in tents and sheds - seize empty homes

3/1/18

Fat cats

Widening wealth gap, increase in poverty...make the fat cats pay

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


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

triangle17 Jan Corbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

triangle17 Jan NHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangle17 Jan We must fight all council cuts!

triangle16 Jan Home care workers to strike

triangle15 Jan Carillion crisis: Demand action to save jobs and services

triangle12 Jan Outrage against 'monster block' plan

triangle12 Jan Mini-strike wave continues and intensifies

More ...

triangle23 Jan Bristol North Socialist Party: 'You can't have capitalism without racism' - was Malcolm X correct?

triangle23 Jan Cardiff West Socialist Party: How the Poll Tax was beaten

triangle24 Jan Caerphilly Socialist Party: The Carillion scandal

triangle24 Jan Cardiff Central Socialist Party: Carillion collapse - Watershed moment for public services

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

January 2018

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