Socialist Worker

The Tories are weak— and we can stop them

Issue No. 2727

The Tories are in crisis, a fighback can beat them back

The Tories are in crisis, a fightback can beat them back (Pic: Roger Fenton)


The Tory government is wrecking working class people’s futures, and gambling with their lives.

But it is also weaker than at any point since the last general election. Boris Johnson’s approval rating is tumbling and sections of his own MPs are at war.

Last weekend 20 Tory MPs urged Manchester to accept tier three Covid-19 restrictions just as their “Red Wall” counterparts were railing against the measures.

The party’s internal WhatsApp group reflected the scale of the infighting, with northern MPs accusing the signatories of “throwing them under a bus” in order to curry favour with Number 10.

Yet the government carries on with its toxic non-strategy.

Its reckless policies are promoting the spread of Covid-19, all while it pretends to have the virus under control.

Just look at how university workers and students have been fed to the dogs.

Thousands of students are forced to self-isolate in halls of residence and pay extortionate fees for online learning. And millions of workers are being callously thrown on the jobs scrapheap just as the Tories deny them the support they need.

The present “emergency” scheme means the government will pay bosses two thirds of the wages of staff in businesses if they have to close under new restrictions.

Replacement

If you’re on Johnson’s £3,000 a week salary you can afford to lose a third of it. You can’t if you are on £300 a week.

The biggest shock is still to come.

The furlough scheme is due to end in its current form at the end of this month. Its wholly inadequate replacement means that the minority of workers facing unemployment who qualify will lose a quarter or more of their wage.

Most will simply be sacked or not be given any shifts on their zero hour contracts.

We need a completely different approach. As a minimum, the Tories and bosses should be forced to guarantee 100 percent of people’s wages if they are threatened with unemployment. There also should be no proposed cuts in benefits.

Failing firms should be nationalised under democratic control. As coronavirus cases soar, there needs to be lockdowns of
non-essential workplaces with workers sent home on full pay.

Test and trace has to be taken from the privatisers such as Serco and run with the support of local public health services.

Unsafe schools have to close, but with full provision for free meals, food distribution and childcare.

The Tories won’t move without a fight. They still cling onto the idea that it’s “business as usual” by refusing to push for measures that may actually halt the rising tide of the second wave.
It’s time to fight to lock down the Tories
.


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