Socialist Worker

The Tories are down but not out - we need to start kicking to bring them down

Issue No. 2561

Workers on the march last Saturday - union leaders need to up their game

Workers on the march last Saturday - union leaders need to up their game (Pic: Neil Terry)


It’s less than a month since the general election and the Tories have dropped almost their entire manifesto.

Environment minister Therese Coffey confirmed this week that the Tories don’t plan to hold a free vote on fox hunting. And the government is “reflecting” on its election threat to scrap free school meals for young children.

Many of their nasty policies, such as grammar schools and the so-called “dementia tax”, had already been dropped from the queen’s speech.

Last week their weakness in parliament forced them to announce that women from Northern Ireland can access abortion for free in England.

Top Tories are publicly arguing about university tuition fees and the public sector pay cap. Former Tory chancellor Lord Lamont lamented in the Sun newspaper this week, “If ministers go on like this, the government will disintegrate.”

The Tories are on the ropes but they won’t collapse automatically. The best way to get them out is to fight for the biggest level of resistance possible.

More and more people want an alternative. Tens of thousands marched in London last Saturday demanding an end to Tory rule. Jeremy Corbyn’s left wing policies have mass support.

But there has also been a block on resistance.

Price

The trade union leaders could call and lead the kind of action that can beat the Tories. They have repeatedly failed to do so. And workers have paid the price.

A new report this week found that public sector workers’ median hourly earnings fell by nearly 6 percent between 2005 and 2015. There was anger at the pay cap on the protest. Even Tory ministers such as Boris Johnson are saying it should go.

But are the unions organising any action, let alone strikes, to demand better wages? No. On the contrary, the TUC last week called off a planned rally against the cap.

It’s tempting to sit and watch the Tory crisis unfold. But ordinary people have the power to push the Tories to breaking point.

Everyone can do something—whether it’s protesting at a Tory MP, pushing for strikes at work or building protests to defend services. There should definitely be a major protest at the Tory party conference in Manchester in October.

We want all the Tories out—but Theresa May’s resignation will be a good start. As Lamont said, for the Tories, “It is important she survives.”

He knows that if she goes, the “free-for-all” in the Tory party will continue–and damage the party.

The Tories are at one of their weakest points since coming to office in 2010. We have a real opportunity to get rid of them–let’s seize the time.


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