Tories out!, photo Mary Finch

Tories out!, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Tom Baldwin, Socialist Party national committee

Tory conference was a picture of a party in crisis. Rows and rows of empty seats highlighted the dire state of what was once the most successful capitalist party in the world.

They are deeply divided. Their leader, Theresa May, is under attack from all sides, and runs a government that is almost completely paralysed.

Chancellor Philip Hammond launched a limp rallying cry for the party to “regenerate capitalism.” He rightly recognised that ordinary people don’t feel the system works for us.

But capitalism is based on exploiting workers’ efforts, in order to make profits for the bosses. It can only ever work for a tiny minority.

The Tories have no solutions to the many problems that capitalism creates. In fact their austerity drive has made things worse.

No significant new policies have come through the conference; not that this divided minority government has been able to put forward an agenda anyway.

The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, who has overseen disastrous changes to rail timetables, even arrived seven minutes late for his own speech.


So far, the threat of a Jeremy Corbyn-led government has meant the Tory factions’ open warfare hasn’t resulted in a leadership challenge against May. However, she is pinned down by continual sniping from both sides of the Brexit divide.

Prominent Tory Remainer Dominic Grieve has said he’d be willing to bring down the Tory government in favour of a cross-party one if it meant ending Brexit.

On the other side, Boris Johnson has called the prime minister’s ‘Chequers deal’ proposal for Brexit “deranged.” He is looking to build popularity with what passes for the Tory grassroots in order to further his leadership ambitions.

The Brexit deal is supposed to be sorted by November. But the Tories are incapable of even agreeing with themselves, let alone EU negotiators. Tensions and disagreements are rising between EU leaders as well. And any proposals the Tories or EU do put forward will be to benefit bosses, not workers.

We desperately need to get rid of them. A new general election would be a real ‘people’s vote’. That would allow us to change not just the nature of Brexit – so that it defends workers’ interests – but the direction of the whole country.

We can’t guarantee that even this zombie government will simply collapse. All those suffering from Tory austerity need to act together to force them out.

Coordinated strikes in catering and the gig economy, and big votes for action in other unions, show the huge potential that Corbyn and union leaders should have tapped into long ago.

The Socialist Party agrees with Labour MP Laura Smith’s call for unions to organise coordinated strike action to bring down this cruel and callous government.