Socialist Worker

Theresa May calls for snap general election—our chance to get the Tories out

Issue No. 2550

We cant allow the Tories five more years

We can't allow the Tories five more years (Pic: PA)


Theresa May has called for a general election on 8 June—it means we have a chance to get her rotten Tory government out.

We can’t allow the Tories five more years to savage the NHS, destroy education, drive down living standards and whip up racism.

We can’t allow this government of bosses and bankers to grab more money for the rich and to entrench the top 1 percent’s power.

The pundits will say that May is guaranteed to win, but none of them foresaw the shocks that have swept the last year.

Less than a month ago a government spokesperson said, “There has been no change in our position on an early general election—that there isn’t going to be one.”

May’s official spokesperson added, “We have been clear that there isn’t going to be an early general election. The prime minister is getting on with delivering the will of the British people.”

May’s move is a recognition that there are major battles to come—and that she can’t be sure of getting her way.

She hopes to gain a big enough majority to ride out the reality of the Brexit talks which will set the Tories against one another. She also wants more backing to deny an independence referendum in Scotland.

Some of the wiser heads in the government will also sense that the pent-up anger over austerity will not lay dormant for ever. They believe it’s better to have an election now before everyone sees the brutal truth about an NHS in crisis, collapsing social care, schools cutting staff and so much more. 

Power

The next seven weeks matter. Real power does not lie in parliament—but the result on 8 June will frame many of the battles to come.

Every rotten element in society—racists, bullying managers, police chiefs, admirers of Donald Trump—will want to see the Tories celebrating outside Downing Street.

A victory for Labour will boost the confidence of working class people to fight and to pressure the government.

It will raise the question of a society that breaks from austerity.

The Tories say every vote cast for them will make the Brexit process better for everyone. The opposite is true.

To win a Brexit that serves the interests of the majority rather than the bosses means dumping the Tories.  

Some of the Labour right would prefer the Tories to win than to see Corbyn in Downing Street. They will have to be pushed aside.

Labour’s campaign would be stronger if it was uncompromising and directed firmly towards the interest of working class people.

Labour will win only if it inspires people and gives them hope of real change. Labour lost in the 2015 election because it was for austerity-lite and because it had snubbed strikes and protests.

And Labour councils must stop implementing Tory cuts and attacking their workers.

Let’s now see policies such as the £10 an hour minimum wage, taxing the rich, opposition to war and funds for schools and hospitals. Building a million council houses, fighting racism, ending privatisation, taking back rail and the Royal Mail should also be at the very centre of the campaign.

“Moderation” is the enemy. Labour would be in a better position if it could raise slogans such as—“For the NHS, not Trident missiles”, “Chuck out the parasites, take over the banks”.

And the union leaders should be stepping up strikes and protests, not holding them back in the false belief that such resistance harms Labour.

We want Corbyn to win—but that means more struggle not less.


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