Tories Out demo, Manchester 1.10.17, photo Paul Mattsson

Tories Out demo, Manchester 1.10.17, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

We can force the Tories out. Mass action, organised and led by Jeremy Corbyn and the trade unions, can act to cut the fine thread from which May’s ailing government hangs and secure a general election. Such is the urgent task faced by the workers’ movement as we begin 2019.

Parliament’s Christmas recess has allowed the Tory government to extend its agonies by a few more weeks.

The prime minister’s Brexit strategy is reliant in large part on running down the clock. She hopes the closer it gets to the official 29 March ‘leave’ date the more the growing threat of a no-deal scenario can be used to help persuade MPs to back this bosses’ deal.

Now a self-confessed ‘dead woman walking’ – forced to concede that she will not contest a future election as Tory leader – May is hoping to cling on long enough to secure a Brexit deal that protects the interests of Britain’s capitalist class. It is expected a second parliamentary vote will take place in the week beginning 14 January.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn continues to face relentless pressure from the Blairites and their friends in the capitalist media to drop calls for a general election and instead focus on demanding a second referendum on EU membership.

To do so could be to throw a lifeline to the Tories – a possible ‘way out’ of the deadlock that does not require a change of government.

Corbyn must resist such calls and instead use the opening weeks of 2019 to go on the offensive. A national ‘Tories out’ demonstration is planned for 12 January.

Not only should Corbyn issue a call for people to attend, he should plan to march at its head.

And, what’s more, he should call on the trade unions – the largest democratic organisations of the working class – to step up to the plate and organise the protest directly.

2018 ended with the mass mobilisation of French workers and young people on to the streets, donning yellow vests against austerity.

Workers here can draw inspiration from this courageous movement, which has shaken French president Macron and forced him to make concessions worth €10 billion. In equivalent terms, this would be £7 billion – enough to end the crisis in social care. This shows what fighting back can achieve.

For millions of working-class people in Britain, Christmas in 2018 was a time of hardship and suffering. Tory austerity must not be allowed to continue into the New Year.

We need a Corbyn-led government. And we need a socialist alternative to capitalist misery and austerity. Why not make your New Year’s resolution a pledge to join us and help build the fightback in 2019?