BRITISH POLITICS is in turmoil. But who will gain?
Combating austerity is a huge challenge for every trade unionist and socialist—whether it comes from the present government or a future Labour one.
So is fighting to stop the rise of Ukip.
One crucial task is to press for more resistance in workplaces, schools and colleges and on the streets.
Monday’s NHS strikes, for example, were a big success.
Such strikes, if they were escalated and generalised, are the way to smash the austerity drive.
And struggle unites workers.
Not only do those taking part feel stronger, but powerful strikes change the atmosphere in society.
The “us and them” is workers against Tories, not “British workers” against immigrants.
Nobody started ranting about foreigners as they watched those health workers fighting for our health service and decent pay.
Trade union leaders who call off strikes—as happened in local government and on the Tube last week—are throwing away the chance to weaken the government and to hit back at Ukip.
But as well as more strikes, we also need a concerted drive against scapegoating and racism.
When Ukip comes knocking, the main parties’ response is to pander to its racist lies about immigration.
That kind of shameful strategy will only help Nigel Farage to seem more credible and more mainstream.
Instead we need systematically to tear apart his claims that immigrants are the problem.
To be successful in the long term we have to show who is really to blame for low wages, lack of decent housing and unemployment. And we have to put forward an alternative.
The left outside the Labour Party has to get its act together.
We’re too fragmented and inward-looking.
We need socialists in every workplace and community and standing in elections, who argue and organise to target the rich, not scapegoat immigrants, Muslims, and people on benefits.
Millions of people are alienated from mainstream politics. But they not anti-political.
When up to 15,000 people gather in George Square in Glasgow for a Scottish independence rally last weekend, when 1,300 meet at a People’s Question Time in east London, when 2,000 listen to Naomi Klein on capitalism and climate change there is no shortage of interest in politics.
We need a stronger left to focus it.
The Socialist Workers Party is fighting for more resistance, against racism and war, for a stronger and more united left, and for a revolutionary alternative at the heart of every struggle.