Theresa May survived the first blasts of the Brexit crisis storm. But she still seems headed for disaster.
Battered by resignations and Tory revolts, the end of her rule has never appeared closer.
As Socialist Worker went to press on Tuesday, an attempt by Tory MPs to secure a no confidence vote in May seemed to have fizzled out.
But her problems are far deeper than a revolt by the supporters of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson.
At present there is no way that the Brexit deal will pass through parliament.
The bigots of the DUP that sustain May’s rule seem implacably opposed to the agreement, and enough Tories say they will vote against it to ensure its defeat.
A handful of Labour MPs might be persuaded to put big business first and support the Tories, but it won’t be enough.
In response, May is encouraging the blackmail and bullying from big business that is usually reserved for undermining left wing governments.
Dire warnings of imminent disaster will be backed up by pressure on the pound, falls in share prices, promised withdrawal of investment and so on.
If this doesn’t work in the run-up to the parliamentary vote, it will be redoubled when the deal is defeated.
According to the Sunday Times newspaper, “No 10’s plan is to encourage a crash in financial markets after losing a first vote in the hope that this stampedes MPs into voting for it the second time.”
Deliberate economic damage is being encouraged in order to protect profits and break the resistance of a section of the Tory party. That’s how big May’s crisis has become.
It’s urgent that the left stops spectating and commenting, and instead seeks to shape what happens. This involves clear politics and action.
The politics begins with demanding, “May Out, Tories Out, General Election Now”. We have to seize the opportunity to bring down the Tories.
More broadly we have to reject both staying in the racist and neoliberal EU, and all the Tory and bosses’ visions of Brexit.
Our alternative is to leave the EU and simultaneously begin transforming the whole basis of a society based on capitalist policies and priorities.
We say no to the single market and yes to freedom of movement for people.
But the same package has to include tax the rich, scrap Universal Credit, end privatisation, nationalise key services under democratic control, emergency action to halt climate change and other similar demands.
Such policies could break free from the suffocating narrowness of a debate dominated by two ruling class positions.
Socialists have to say what should happen now about the Brexit crisis.
They also need to link that argument to a fight to change a society in which, according to a United Nations official last week, 14 million people in Britain live in poverty.
Four million of these are more than 50 percent below the poverty line, and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials.
At this time of crisis we need mobilisation in the streets and workplaces—marches, mass meetings and rallies. It’s great to see some local attempts at this.
But there is a great absence where the national unions and Labour should be organising.
The political vacuum this creates gives fascist Tommy Robinson more of a chance to put thousands on the streets, perhaps in alliance with others on the right.
If Jeremy Corbyn and the unions had called a demonstration demanding May goes and that there is a working class solution to the Brexit crisis, Robinson’s voice would be massively weakened.
No to racism and fascism, no to austerity, drive the Tories out.