Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1062/29777

From The Socialist newspaper, 30 October 2019

Anti-austerity, socialist policies can be a winning formula

Part of the crowd at a Jeremy Corbyn rally in Chignford, east London, 6.7.17, photo Mary Finch

Part of the crowd at a Jeremy Corbyn rally in Chignford, east London, 6.7.17, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

As the parliamentary Brexit crisis drags on, the already deep distrust of capitalist politicians is being further undermined. Johnson is straining every nerve in order to get a general election. In the process he is revealing how the capitalist class are prepared to bend, break or change their own rules whenever it suits them.

The Fixed Term Parliament Act was an undemocratic device cooked up by a previous Tory prime minister, David Cameron, in order to try and strengthen his weak coalition government. Now, heading a government so weak it cannot govern, Johnson has no hesitation in changing the law introduced by his predecessor in order to suit his interests.

Contrast that with the treatment meted out by the courts to groups of workers who, despite having an overwhelming majority for strike action, are banned from striking if the numbers who voted in the ballot are even one below the legal threshold.

As the Socialist goes to press it seems as if Johnson could succeed in getting an election before Christmas. The task of the workers' movement is to fight to ensure he doesn't succeed in winning it.

Johnson's risk

Johnson's strategy is very high-risk. Despite his spurious claims to have ended austerity, millions of working-class people can only see a continuation of the misery imposed by successive Tory governments for almost a decade. And despite his attempt to mobilise Brexit supporters by promising 'to get Brexit done' or 'die in a ditch', he has done neither!

In a general election the Tories are likely to lose both Remain votes to the Lib Dems (19 of their 20 target seats are Tory) and pro-Brexit votes to the Brexit Party. The election result is therefore very unpredictable. But the most important factor will be the kind of campaign that Jeremy Corbyn runs.

Corbyn is being attacked from all sides. Not least from the pro-capitalist wing of his own party. Even the arch-Blairite Peter Mandelson was forced to recognise, however, that Corbyn's policies are popular.

Right now those policies are being largely drowned out by the noise of the Westminster bubble. Corbyn and the Labour lefts bear a big share of the responsibility for this. Their endless attempts to compromise with the pro-capitalist Labour MPs have - as we warned - done nothing to stop the Blairities trying to undermine Corbyn. Instead, it has resulted in his anti-austerity message becoming almost inaudible.

As the 2017 snap election showed, a general election is an opportunity to change all this. If Corbyn comes out fighting with a socialist programme he can mobilise massive popular support. Calling for the immediate nationalisation of Royal Mail, for example, will be extremely popular with the postal workers who have just voted in big numbers to strike.

A pledge to kick all the profiteers out of the NHS - in contrast to Johnson's willingness to open it up to US capitalism - would be popular with the vast majority of the population.

In the last election, Labour's manifesto pledged to abolish tuition fees; if this was repeated and expanded on - with a promise to write off all student debt - it would enthuse millions of students and graduates. Mass council house building, nationalisation of the energy companies, an immediate minimum wage of 10 an hour for all, along with abolition of zero-hour contracts - a programme of these demands and more could electrify Britain.

On Brexit, Corbyn needs to pledge to renegotiate it in the interests of the working class - refusing to accept the EU's pro-privatisation, pro-austerity laws. He would then be able to argue clearly in favour of his deal in any confirmatory referendum.

This programme should be combined with nationalisation of the major corporations and banks, to really take the levers of power out of the hands of the capitalist saboteurs that would otherwise do all in their power to prevent the implementation of pro-working class policies.

In the run up to the 2017 election, the Socialist Party argued that Corbyn could win if he fought on a socialist programme. At the start of the election campaign few believed us. While Corbyn didn't win, however, he gained 3.5 million extra votes - the biggest increase for any party in a general election since 1945. This clearly demonstrated that it was possible to kick the Tories out, provided Labour did not stand on an 'austerity-lite' Blairite manifesto but put forward policies in the interests of the working class.

In the coming weeks, or at most months, the workers' movement will have another chance to get the Tories - who have driven millions into dire poverty - out of office.

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 30 October 2019:


What we think

Anti-austerity, socialist policies can be a winning formula

Mass protests rock the globe


News

Tories out now. Bin Boris. Corbyn can win with socialist policies!

39 migrants found dead in Essex lorry container

Argos Christmas bonus cut


Wall Street Crash

The 1929 Wall Street Crash: When the capitalist system was on its knees


Workplace news

PCS union election: For a fighting democratic general secretary

PCS: Support Marion Lloyd - a history of workers' struggle and a programme for the future

McDonald's - Striking to end low pay

London - 'autumn of discontent'

RMT election: Fight the cuts, vote for Jared Wood

Uni workers' pay and pension strike ballot


Butterfields

How working-class tenants beat Gentrification


Black history

Black Liberation... Only possible through socialist struggle

Obituary - Bob Lee: 1954 - 2019


International socialist news and analysis

Chile in revolt


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Enfield North socialists lobby candidate stitch-up

Selling the Socialist

Donate to fund the fightback at Socialism 2019

Chile protests - London solidarity rally


Reader's opinion

Life in the gig economy

Film reviews: Sorry We Missed You by Ken Loach

TV: The Accident - Will capitalism be exposed in upsetting, true-to-life drama?

Opinion: Labour Party is structured to block left councillors

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 30 October 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Anti-austerity:

triangleLabour Party leadership contest: Fight for a mass anti-austerity, workers' party with a socialist programme

triangleTories out! Corbyn in with anti-austerity and socialist policies

triangleEquity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

triangleAnother blow for Boris. Johnson and Tories must go. General election now!

triangleTake the wealth off the super-rich

Socialist:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Was the Coronavirus pandemic inevitable?

triangleWe need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

Austerity:

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleWhy I joined the Socialist Party

triangleCouncils must demand control of supplies and reversal of austerity

Election:

triangleSabotage - the inner workings of Labour's political machine exposed

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

Brexit:

triangleLeicester Socialist Party: Britain after Brexit

Capitalist:

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

General election:

triangleCouncil cuts could cost Labour another general election

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleAnti-academy strikes kick off in Redbridge

Coalition government:

triangleClass collaboration and worker militancy in World War Two Britain

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

29/5/20

Labour

Lessons from the Corbyn experience

27/5/20

TUC

Covid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!

27/5/20

Coronavirus

Reckless, lying cheats

26/5/20

Coronavirus

United action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan

26/5/20

Coronavirus

Coronavirus pandemic news in brief

26/5/20

Coronavirus

More blunders and profiteering in Tory track-and-trace scheme

25/5/20

Coronavirus

Care home workers suffer PPE shortage and job loss fears

22/5/20

Coronavirus

Black and Asian Covid-19 deaths: an indictment of capitalist inequality

20/5/20

Coronavirus

Johnson's reckless 'back to school' plans threaten everyone's safety

20/5/20

Coronavirus

Confidence plummets in Tory strategy for Covid-19

20/5/20

Benefits

Universal Basic Income: not a solution to insecurity and poverty under capitalism

20/5/20

Covid

Furlough cut-off could force millions back to unsafe workplaces

20/5/20

Council

Crisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

20/5/20

Rich

Rich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

19/5/20

Coronavirus

Transport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

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: 07748 534 891

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


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