Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1024/28452
The Socialist 9 January 2019 |
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Tories Out. End austerity. Mass working-class action for a general election
Socialist Party members and supporters outside parliament demanding a general election, 11.12.18 , photo Ra Ragavan (Click to enlarge)
Tom Baldwin, Socialist Party national committee
Few things sum up the complete disarray of this Tory government like the 'Brexit ferries'debacle.
The Tories handed a £13.8 million contract to Seaborne Freight to ship lorries in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Yet the company owns no ships, not even a pedalo. And the terms and conditions on their website appear to have been copied from a takeaway restaurant!
This is symptomatic of a government in crisis. Riven by internal divisions and lacking a parliamentary majority, they have difficulty advancing any significant policy.
They are failing even in the main task facing them - negotiating Brexit. The vote in parliament on May's deal was cancelled before Christmas and there is currently no clear prospect of the government winning. Jeremy Corbyn was right to describe May as being "in office but not in power".
If the Tories were just incompetent, this might be comical. But they're still the nasty party.
Recently shown on BBC2, the film 'I, Daniel Blake' shines a light on the cold cruelty of the government's benefit sanctions regime. Over 130,000 homeless children spent Christmas in temporary accommodation.
The Tories continue to dismantle our public services and to hold down wages. They are attacking ordinary working-class people in the interests of their big business paymasters - less for us means more profit for them.
The same anti-worker, pro-big business approach is shown in their proposed Brexit deal. Most of the capitalist class would like Britain to remain in the EU and the deal is aimed at coming as close as possible to that. It means retaining the neoliberal rules of the EU's single market.
We cannot allow this shambolic shower of pitiless politicians to remain in office for a day longer. Corbyn should call for mass mobilisations of working-class people - organised by the trade union movement - to build the fight to kick out the Tories and force a general election.
The 'gilets jaunes' (yellow vests) in France have shown fighting back works - with French president Macron already forced to make €10 billion worth of concessions.
The trade union movement should follow the 'Tories out' demonstration on 12 January with a programme of protests and strike action against Tory austerity - demanding a general election now.
A general election would be a real 'people's vote'. It would pose the possibility of a Corbyn-led government - allowing us to change not only the nature of Brexit but the whole direction of the country.