By Charlie Kimber
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Snap general election: kick out the Tories, don’t trust Starmer

Starmer has made clear he’ll lead a pro-boss, pro-Israel, anti-migrant, anti-worker government
Issue 2906
Rishi Sunak Illustrating a story about the snap general election

Rishi Sunak praying for votes ahead of the snap general election (Picture: Flickr/Number 10)

Rishi Sunak’s announcement of an election on 4 July is a desperate attempt to avoid destruction for the Tories.

No prime minister would ever normally call an election when their party is 20 percentage points behind the opposition in poll after poll. But Sunak knows he might be 25 or 30 points behind next month. As the Financial Times newspaper wrote, “It is the play of a man who has run out of ideas, run out of options and sees no reason why his prospects might improve.”

He is rushing the vote because he thinks waiting longer might produce an even worse result than the one predicted presently. He must have been told that on inflation, Gaza, living standards, interest rates and party unity now is as good as it ever gets for the Tories.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt had hoped to announce tax cuts in the autumn leading to a November election. But the worse-than-expected government borrowing figures this week mean that’s impossible without risking a crash similar to the one triggered by Liz Truss in September 2022.

British capitalism has yet to recover from the financial crisis that began in 2008. According to one estimate, the average worker is now £14,000 worse off per year than if earnings had continued to rise at pre-crisis rates. It is the worst period for wage growth since the Napoleonic Wars.

“Nobody who’s alive and working in the British economy today has ever seen anything like this,” Torsten Bell, Resolution Foundation chief executive, said. “This is what failure looks like.”

We can’t allow the Tories five more years to savage the NHS, back imperialism and Zionism, destroy education, drive down pay and benefits and whip up racism. We can’t allow this government for the bosses and bankers to grab more money for the rich and to entrench the top 1 percent’s power.

It’s welcome we now have the chance to dump the Tories sooner rather than later. But that pleasure is reduced by the awareness of what a Labour government led by Keir Starmer will be like. As the launch of its pledges last week showed, it will be a pro-austerity and pro-boss administration. We would need to fight it from day one.

At the election, Socialist Worker will support credible left candidates who help build the movement over Palestine and break with Labour’s politics. Those candidates also need to be anti-racist and not dump support for LGBT+ people and refugees in the grubby chase after votes.

But, most importantly, let’s be active throughout the campaign to make sure Palestine is raised everywhere—with Tory and Labour candidates. Let’s be on the streets harassing the Tories and intensifying anti-racist, pro-Palestine, pro-environment and pro-worker campaigns.

Let’s not stop the demonstrations for Palestine—let’s step them up. And let’s push the union leaders to step up strikes and protests, not hold them back in the false belief that such resistance helps the Tories.

Keeping up all the struggles now is the best way to organise to fight for anti-imperialism and anti-capitalist policies whoever wins the election.

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