Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1004/27703

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 July 2018

Editorial of the Socialist issue 1004

Corbyn and unions must act to bring down government in crisis

Tories out!, photo Mary Finch

Tories out!, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

We need to sweep this rotten lot out! The Labour leadership and trade union movement must act now, for a mass mobilisation to boot out the Tories and for a general election. Tories out - a Corbyn-led government in with socialist policies!

As the Brexit white paper staggered its way through the House of Commons, the crisis in the Tory party just deepened and deepened.

Parliament has now broken for summer - no wonder Theresa May wanted to end it all five days early.But the shipwreck they leave behind them in Westminster will not disappear over the summer.

We should prepare for a general election as soon as possible after parliament returns.

With little over two months until an agreement with the EU is meant to be reached in October, 'project fear' of a no-deal Brexit is ramped up, with the likes of Amazon warning of riots if Britain crashes out of the EU.

The attempt at compromise at Chequers lasted less than a week. Tory grandees, like Chris Patten on Newsnight, say they have never seen the party in such crisis.

Still Theresa May has managed to scrape along, despite resignations and open warfare around her between the right-wing Brexiteers and the Remain-in-all-but-namers.

A third Tory front has been opened up by former education minister Justine Greening, backed by former Tory prime minister John Major. Greening openly declared that parliament is unable to come to a decision on Brexit, and so there should be a second referendum, in which she will campaign for Remain. What an admission that her own party is unable to govern.

It appears the new Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, has already been sidelined by May. He cuts a hapless figure as he attempts to negotiate with EU representatives despite multiple guns being held to his head.

Chief whip Julian Smith now faces a clamour of calls to resign after it emerged that he had instructed MPs to disregard the parliamentary 'pairing' system in order to save the government's neck in knife-edge Brexit votes. Pairing is only a convention, which has, in fact, been broken many times by all parties, but in the heat of this crisis this blatant manoeuvre just serves to underline the murky, untrustworthy, desperate state of the Tory party.

And the open warfare is not confined to issues around Brexit. On Radio 4, Tory MP Dominic Grieve tore into home secretary Sajid Javid's abhorrent decision not to oppose the death penalty when two UK citizens are tried as IS suspects in the US. Again Theresa May is paralysed.

This follows crisis after crisis: universal credit, NHS and social care, Windrush to name but a few.

Underlying volatility

Of course, a general election is exactly the threat they use against each other. Leading Brexiteers threatened that if the government was defeated on the vote on a customs union, there would be a vote of no confidence and a general election - and then the risk of a Corbyn government. Labour is ahead in the polls and only 11% support May's Brexit plans.

What recent polls show is the huge underlying volatility in the situation, due to the depth of the crisis faced by British capitalism.

A poll for the Times on 22 July showed more support for Boris Johnson than May, and 38% saying they would support a new Brexit party to the right. Former Ukip leader Nigel Farage is said to be raising money for a new 'hard Brexit' party, while US alt-right demagogue Steve Bannon says he is raising 1 million for a right-wing mass movement, and has lent support to the recent protests by the 'Democratic' Football Lads Alliance. Meanwhile, polls suggest a third of voters might support a new anti-Brexit centre party.

The crisis is such that some Tories are now voicing an alternative solution to the risks attached to a general election: a national 'unity' government. Anna Soubry stated on Radio 4's Today programme that the problem is that "extremists" are in control in both main parties. Right-wing Brexiteer toff Rees-Mogg is "running the country" and the whole Labour front bench are "old Trotskyists", she said. The only solution therefore would be to appoint a government of national unity.

This would mostly comprise the pro-Remain Osbornite wing of the Tories and the pro-Remain Blairite wing of the Labour party - many of whom, such as Chuka Umunna and Tony Blair himself, are champions of a second referendum or 'people's vote'. She floated the idea of the SNP and Plaid Cymru joining as well. A national government would not in fact be in the interests of the whole 'nation', it would be in the interests of big business, the vast majority of which wants to see Britain remain in the EU.

Political and economic crisis

In a fragile world economy still burdened with debt and facing trade wars, big business wants as much stability as possible in which it can maximise profits with the least barriers, and continue to force the working class to pay for economic crisis through low pay and austerity. For them, the lack of a party that can achieve this outcome is a political crisis of historic proportions.

The idea of a national government is raised when capitalists fear that their traditional political representatives are not strong or stable enough, and they don't have a reliable alternative to represent their interests either. A national government was talked about by the ruling class in 1968 under Harold Wilson's Labour government, and again in the 1970s, when there was economic crisis and a fear of trade union power which could push the Labour Party to the left. In 1931, the Labour Party split and the right formed a national government with the Tories.

This measure is not the most likely, not least because it is such a desperate card that can only be played once. Most importantly, it could leave Corbyn in a powerful position to lead the opposition that would develop.

Behind the scenes, the pro-Remainer Blairites prepare the ground for the possibility of a new 'centre' party. Anything to save capitalism from a Corbyn government. In 1981 the right wing split from Labour to form the Social Democratic Party in order to undermine the chance of a Labour government that could move in a leftward direction.

This time a new party could include Remainer elements from the Tories and from the Lib Dems. Tory Remainer Dominic Grieve has warned of a break-up of the current party system if there is no deal. Lib Dem leader Vince Cable was said to be in talks about the creation of a new centre party. But far from being some kind of middle ground, a 'centre' party would be a pro-capitalist, pro-Remain party - the kind of establishment, neoliberal, austerity party that has been rejected in elections in country after country as masses of people have sought an alternative.

Fightback needed

In reality, the only path to solving this crisis in the interests of the vast majority is through a mass determined fight by the labour and trade union movement.

Now is the time for Jeremy Corbyn to seize the moment. Instead of allowing right-wing capitalist representatives on all sides to frame the debate, a bold argument for a workers' Brexit - a socialist Brexit - and a general election to achieve it could cut through the chaos like a scythe.

At the same time, the Blairites in the Labour Party, who act every day to prevent that from happening, need to be ousted.

Pro-capitalist Labour Brexiteers such as Frank Field and Kate Hoey voted to save the Tories last week. And like clockwork, as soon as the Tory crisis flares the Blairites pick up the antisemitism weapon again.

Instead of sensible discussion, a furore is raised about the new code of conduct on antisemitism (once again proving that it is an illusion for those around Corbyn to think they can mollify their opponents).

In extraordinary scenes, Labour Dame Margaret Hodge MP shouted publicly at Corbyn in the Commons, calling him a racist and antisemite, just a day after suspended MP John Woodcock (awaiting a sexual harassment investigation) resigned, claiming the Corbynites were out to get him and the party had been taken over by the 'hard left'.

Labour's shadow cabinet has had an away day to prepare for a possible general election. It is imperative that Labour and trade union leaders act to drive the Tories out and to fight tooth and nail for the programme that inspired millions of people last year and still could again if it is energetically promoted. That is the only way to offer an alternative to the anger and fears of working class and young people on all sides.

We need a mass struggle against the Tories and the Blairites, for a government that can implement the 2017 manifesto and more - jobs on proper contracts, pay rises, council homes, rent control, a 10-an-hour minimum wage and free education. Stop universal credit. Save the NHS from cuts and privatisation. Renationalise rail, water and energy. Take the banks and big companies into democratic public ownership so that the enormous wealth in society can be used for the benefit of all. A socialist, internationalist, anti-racist Brexit in the interest of all workers. General election now!

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 25 July 2018:


What we think

Corbyn and unions must act to bring down government in crisis


News

New health secretary, same privatisation agenda

Fight the racist far right

Universal credit causes £24m rent arrears

Dodgy MP lobbied for genocidal Sri Lankan leader

Them & Us


Workplace

PCS members back fightback on pay - keep building pressure

Blacklisting of Militant supporters by Thatcher government revealed

Victory for Swansea postal workers against management victimisation

Hull recycling workers win right to sick pay

EDF Energy strike victory against vehicle tracker device

Sheffield tram workers strike for 72 hours


Trump protests

250,000-strong human tide sweeps London against visit of bigoted billionaire Donald Trump

School students: why we walked out against Trump

Protesting Trump's visit - action around the country


Nationalisation

The case for socialist nationalisation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Kentish Road victory: Respite centre saved by determined campaign

Tories' LGBT Action Plan: 'A cynical ploy with no solutions'

Fighting for trans rights at Bristol pride

10,000 at Northern Pride

Durham Miners' Gala 2018

Obituary: Ged Travers 1957-2018


Environment

Plastic waste - capitalism's Frankenstein monster


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 July 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Tories:

triangleTories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

triangleTories using pandemic to privatise NHS more

triangleTesting: Tories' 5bn gift to private sector

triangleYes to self-identity

triangleTories put profit before lives

The Socialist:

triangleWhy I joined - Covid changed my outlook

triangleThe Socialist summer schedule

triangleGetting the Socialist over the summer

triangleI joined the Socialist Party to fight back

Socialist:

triangleYoung Socialists and Socialist Students day of action

triangleNorth London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

triangleUnite union branch pledges to support socialist candidates who oppose cuts

Government:

trianglePCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

triangleGE Aviation workers march to save jobs

Labour:

triangleLabour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

Brexit:

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Britain after Brexit

Election:

triangleUCU: election victory for combative rank and file

General election:

triangleCouncil cuts could cost Labour another general election

Right-wing:

triangleGermany: Right-wing terror attacks - fight racism, fight capitalism!

Trade union:

triangleEngage for Change Hull - trade union youth festival goes online

Labour Party:

triangle100 years since the foundation of the Communist Party of Great Britain

EU:

triangleWakefield Socialist Party: Splits in the EU

Parliament:

triangleDefend the right to strike! RMT and NSSN lobby parliament

Capitalist:

triangleAnniversary of nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Theresa May:

triangleTheresa May admits tuition fees system is broken - but plans new attacks on students

Economic crisis:

triangleCWI rally: 80 years since the murder of Leon Trotsky

Universal Credit:

trianglePCS union demands better deal for benefits claimants

Antisemitism:

triangleTrade unionists and artists stand with Maxine Peake

Public ownership:

triangleCapitalism causes crisis profiteering: fight for workers' oversight and public ownership

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

Labour leadership:

triangleLabour leadership election: Starmer wins but the fight for socialism goes on

Boris Johnson:

triangleFrom first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

5/8/20

Coronavirus

Tories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

5/8/20

Coronavirus

Capitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation

5/8/20

Labour Party

Labour payouts: unions must discuss political representation

5/8/20

Coronavirus

NHS pay: 15% for all now

5/8/20

Coronavirus

From first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures

5/8/20

Universities

What would socialist universities look like?

22/7/20

China

Huawei: what's behind Johnson's u-turn?

22/7/20

Coronavirus

Fight for our livelihoods... Fight for our lives!

22/7/20

Music

Saving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

22/7/20

Luton

Luton Council sunk by airport investment: fight for funding, not speculation!

22/7/20

The Socialist

Getting the Socialist over the summer

22/7/20

Coronavirus

Fight for the NHS

22/7/20

NHS

Tories using pandemic to privatise NHS more

22/7/20

Them & Us

Them & Us

22/7/20

Steel

Nationalise Tata Steel to save jobs

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999