Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1019/28310

From The Socialist newspaper, 21 November 2018

Editorial of the Socialist issue 1019

May's government limps on... Corbyn and unions must call urgent, mass action

Tories out, photo by Paul Mattsson

Tories out, photo by Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

May's government is on the brink of collapse. The prospect of May getting her Tory Brexit deal through parliament currently appears slim.

The 'confidence and supply' arrangement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which has propped up the government since last year's snap election, is breaking down. The Tory hard Brexiteers are running around trying to scrabble together the 48 MPs they need to trigger a confidence vote in an attempt to remove May as Tory leader.

Nonetheless, for now, she is clinging on. It is urgent that the trade unions and labour movement act to demand a general election to kick the Tories out. A continuation of Tory government means a continuation of brutal anti-working class policies.

Poverty

Even the United Nations has condemned the government's driving of millions further into poverty as "punitive, mean-spirited and often callous" (see page 4). There are now more than 4.5 million children in Britain whose parents cannot afford to feed them properly. We need to get the Tories out.

The trade unions and Jeremy Corbyn should be organising mass protest action to call for a general election, which would be a real people's vote. This should be linked to a clear socialist programme, including on the question of Brexit.

On that basis, it would be possible to build on the snap election last year, where Labour increased its vote by 3.5 million, giving a glimpse of how popular policies like a 10-an-hour minimum wage, mass council house building, free education and nationalisation could be.

It is reported that Tommy Robinson and the leader of UKIP are organising a 1 December protest against 'Brexit Betrayal'. This is a warning that, if the labour and trade union movement don't give lead, right-wing nationalist and racist forces can attempt to fill the vacuum and seek to divide the working class.

The call for a general election should be linked to clear opposition to May's deal, which has been struck in the interests of big business and the billionaires. Corbyn's 'red-line' should be opposition to all neoliberal pro-capitalist rules.

Indeed, negotiations should be reopened on the basis of opposing all EU single market and customs union rules - like those on state aid, 'market liberalisation', or the posted workers' directives - that go against the interests of the working class.

He would then be able to make a call for international solidarity with workers across Europe. This means seeking to build a European-wide campaign of socialists and workers' organisations to use the talks to tear up the current pro-big business rules of the EU bosses' club.

Backed by popular support in Britain, and with solidarity from workers across Europe, he would be in a far stronger negotiating position than May. In addition, a Corbyn-led government would be able to use a programme of nationalisation to take the ability to inflict job losses, closures or reductions in pay and conditions out of the hands of any corporations that move to take that path under the guise of Brexit difficulties.

This approach would be in the interests of the working and middle-class majority. For the capitalist elite, by contrast, a Corbyn-led government with socialist policies and mass popular support is an even worse nightmare than the mess they are in over Brexit.

That is why, while Corbyn is calling for a general election, the pro-capitalist wing of the Labour Party is either not doing so at all or, in some cases, doing it in such a token way as to make it clear they have no intention of fighting for one.

Capitalist class

Britain's capitalists are currently looking on in horror, as events spiral out of their control, with no party reliably representing their interests, leaving them weakened, and humiliating them on the international stage. May's Brexit deal is not what the majority of big business wanted, which was a continuation of EU membership or something closer to that.

Nonetheless, the CBI bosses' club has given support to May's deal because they are frightened of the instability that rejecting it could lead to, including a 'no deal' Brexit and a Corbyn government, and also because it leaves Britain in the Customs Union for an unspecified transition period.

When May spoke to parliament last week the Blairite Remainer head of the European Select Committee, Hilary Benn, asked her to acknowledge that she was proposing to keep Britain in the Customs Union and that this was in the 'national interest'.

It is possible, if the capitalist elite step up the pressure to vote for May's deal on the false grounds of 'national' interest - by which they mean not the interests of the majority but the interests of big business - a section of the Blairites, currently campaigning for a second referendum, could fall into line and prop up May in power. In practice, this would mean the establishment of a kind of informal national government in order to defend the interests of the capitalists.

Corbyn should make clear now that any Labour MP who votes to save May will immediately have the whip withdrawn. This would allow for selection contests in the relevant constituencies so that Labour members and trade unions could choose a candidate who is prepared to stand up for working-class people to contest the next election.

However, even if the Blairites stick to their current position and vote down May's deal, it will not represent a change in their hostility to Corbyn or their determination to prevent him coming to power and implementing radical policies in favour of the working-class majority. Rather, it will be down to a fear of being discredited by association with a bad deal and a doomed prime minister, thus wrecking their chances of effectively sabotaging Corbyn's leadership in the future.

Transform Labour

That is why the fight for a general election has to be combined with an urgent struggle to recreate Labour along democratic socialist lines. This must include the immediate introduction of mandatory reselection of MPs.

An emergency labour movement conference should be called, open to all genuinely anti-austerity forces, to discuss how to urgently transform the party.

This should include discussion on: restoring the policy-making power of Labour Party conference - including a democratically exercised role for trade unions; the introduction of a new, socialist 'clause 4', replacing the one introduced by Tony Blair with one committing to democratic public ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange; the opening up of the Labour party to all socialist and anti-austerity forces to participate on the basis of a renewed, federal structure.

The Socialist Party would enthusiastically participate in such a conference, including arguing for the adoption of a programme designed to prevent the inevitable attempts of the capitalist class to use economic sabotage to defeat a Corbyn-led government.

Key points would include the nationalisation of the banks and major monopolies under democratic working-class control and management, in order to pave the way for a socialist plan of production to meet the needs of all. This would be linked with a new collaboration of the peoples of Europe on a socialist basis - based on working-class solidarity across borders.

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


In The Socialist 21 November 2018:


What we think

Tories Out! General election Now!

May's government limps on... Corbyn and unions must call urgent, mass action


International socialist news and analysis

How can Trump be defeated?

Spanish state: Over one million students strike against sexism and for inclusive sex education

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka


News

Even UN slams Tory poorhouse Britain

Housing arrears double, suicide risk soars - scrap Universal Credit!

75,000 kids in foster care - and counting: end cuts and for-profit care

Them & Us

What we saw


Workplace news

Save the high street: public ownership, not ghost malls

'Worker's death could happen again' at Leicester plastic factory

Arriva Rail North under pressure after nineteenth Saturday strike

Indefinite dinner ladies' and teaching assistants' strike

Hamilton posties walk out against bullying

Tube strike solid against victimisation


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Save our NHS - oust the Tory wreckers!

Solidarity with Irish rape trial protests

Thousands march against racism - now Corbyn and unions must take lead

Mansfield council must step in to save miners' park

Stop Nottingham Labour's cuts to disabled travel!

Step up fundraising for the Xmas Collectathon!


Opinion

Nothing to offer from the Blairites

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 21 November 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Brexit:

triangleTory chaos reaches fever pitch

triangleFight for a general election to kick out the Tories

triangleAusterity: not one more day - Tories out now

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Brexit - Will the Tories survive?

triangleFor a socialist alternative to the EU - mobilise to kick out the Tories!

Unions:

triangleThousands march against racism - now Corbyn and unions must take lead

triangleLatest Socialism podcasts

triangleUnions and campaigners challenge Southampton cuts inside Labour and out

triangleCall to arms by Southampton council unions

Government:

triangleWorkers at the forefront of the new wave of protests in Iran

triangleEyewitness: French protesters seize streets against President Macron

triangleEnd Tory misery - general election now!

Labour:

triangleFight Cardiff Council's school cuts

triangleBlairite Birmingham steps up union-busting and two workforces plan strikes

Socialist:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Imperialism and war

Election:

trianglePCS AGS election: Where now after the Left Unity conference?

General election:

triangleBrexit as a window on our times

Britain:

triangleNothing to offer from the Blairites

Trade unions:

triangleCollege lecturers in Wales strike against low pay and workload

Big business:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Seattle council's struggle against big business on wealth tax

Labour Party:

triangleIslwyn Labour Party calls for council no-cuts budget

Europe:

triangleLiverpool Socialist Party: Eastern Europe - a revival of class struggle

EU:

triangleThem & Us

MPs:

triangleParliamentary coup in Sri Lanka

Blairites:

triangleBlairites plan to expand their very own academy chain

Parliament:

trianglePolitical turmoil in Sri Lanka

European:

triangleWhat we saw

Anti-austerity:

triangleHaringey 'Corbyn council': end the secrecy and confusion - lead a fight against the cuts

United Nations:

triangleEven UN slams Tory poorhouse Britain

Tony Blair:

trianglePhilip Green scandal - bring him down like BHS

Public ownership:

triangleWe need system change to halt climate change

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleEngaging book about Corbyn's rise doesn't provide answers on how to change Labour

UKIP:

triangleFight the racist far right

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

11/12/18

Socialist

Tory chaos reaches fever pitch

5/12/18

EU

Fight for a general election to kick out the Tories

5/12/18

PCS

PCS AGS election: Where now after the Left Unity conference?

5/12/18

Technology

The growth of artificial intelligence technology

5/12/18

Huddersfield

Racist attack in Huddersfield

5/12/18

Buses

Fatal bus crash - an avoidable tragedy

5/12/18

Housing

Arrogant landlords can be beaten

5/12/18

Tories

Austerity: not one more day - Tories out now

5/12/18

NHS

Health bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

28/11/18

Environment

We need system change to halt climate change

28/11/18

Housing

The Tories' letting fee ban is full of holes - we need rent controls and council homes!

28/11/18

Haringey

Haringey 'Corbyn council': end the secrecy and confusion - lead a fight against the cuts

28/11/18

Brexit

End Tory misery - general election now!

28/11/18

EU

For a socialist alternative to the EU - mobilise to kick out the Tories!

22/11/18

Brexit

Brexit as a window on our times

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: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999