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The election is a chance to push socialist ideas

The general election will be fought on racist, imperialist and pro-boss grounds—socialists must fight for our ideas
Rishi Sunak vying for election votes in Amersham (Photo: flickr/ The Conservative Party)

Rishi Sunak vying for election votes in Amersham (Photo: flickr/ The Conservative Party)

We need to tear up the establishment’s view of what the election means.

If it’s left to Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer we face five weeks of boredom and competing right wing programmes.

It will be slightly different versions of pro-corporate, pro-Israel politics interspersed with vicious racism from the Tories—and nothing different from Labour.

Sunak called the election for 4 July because he thinks waiting longer might produce an even worse result than the one predicted presently.

He launched the campaign drowning in pouring rain in Downing Street. It’s got worse since.

His brilliant advisers sent him off to the shipyard where the Titanic was built, triggering inevitable jibes about sinking ships.

We want the Tories, the open party of the bosses, booted out.

A Sunak victory would be a disaster for every working class person, for the NHS, for our schools, for people menaced by the cruel regime of Universal Credit, for all who want action over climate chaos, for people stuck on zero hours contracts and without union rights.

More people will be deported or jailed. Cops, generals, racists and fascists will feel stronger. Women and LGBT+ people will face renewed assaults.

The main threat to a Labour victory is that Starmer is so wooden, uninspiring and cautious that birds nest in his limbs and the voters stay at home.

Labour wants a boring campaign because it offers no real alternative.

It backs genocide in Israel and the bosses at home. It has its own plans to use terror laws and extra border guards against refugees.

At the election, Socialist Worker will support left candidates who help the movement over Palestine and break with Labour.

Those candidates need to be anti-racist and not dump support for women’s liberation, LGBT+ people and refugees in the grubby chase for votes.

Let’s be on the streets harassing the Tories and intensifying anti-racist, pro-Palestine, pro-environment and pro-worker campaigns.

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.

Fighting now is the best way to organise resistance to whoever wins the election.

Don’t be a spectator. Be part of the struggle now and shape the battles that will come afterwards.

If there’s a visit by Rishi Sunak or Keir Starmer make sure they receive the welcome they deserve—an onslaught of socialist rage.

When Reform UK candidates campaign, treat them like the rotten racists and Islamophobes they are.

Let’s drive Sunak out and to start the fight for real change. Build the fightback and build revolutionary socialist politics at the heart of it.

Harass the guilty

It was good to see pro-Palestinian protesters heckle Rishi Sunak as he arrived at South Staffordshire College in Cannock last Friday.

No politician should be allowed to escape from making clear statements about Gaza—or suffering the consequences if they back Israeli genocide.

On the same day campaigners sprung into action after hearing that Keir Starmer was launching the Scottish Labour election campaign in Glasgow.

Protesters chanted, “Keir Starmer, you can’t hide, you’re supporting genocide,” and, “What do we want, ceasefire, when do we want it, now.”

Labour intentionally held the launch on the outskirts of the city.

But that didn’t stop protesters from gathering at short notice to hit back at Starmer’s support for Israel’s genocide.

Angela from Glasgow Stop The War told Socialist Worker, “We had less than an hour to organise a picket outside the event.

“But we had to oppose Keir Starmer—or Kid Starver as we should call him.

“It’s important that for the whole of this election campaign the issue of Palestine is at the forefront.

“I hope that wherever they go, Starmer and Sunak will be hounded by protesters. They deserve it.”

‘Unions need to back left alternatives’

As Rishi Sunak announced the general election, PCS union members were gathered in Brighton at their annual conference.

Keith, who works in the revenue and customs department, told Socialist Worker, “I’m glad. It’s really the sooner the better—we can kick out the Tories.”

Ollie, who works in the lands registry department, said he will vote Labour with no illusions.

“I’m not keen on Keir Starmer, but I’ll vote Labour to keep the Tories out. The Tories only look after themselves and their mates,” he said.

Greg—from the Office of National Statistics—slammed the failures of both the Tories and Labour, saying, “I definitely won’t be voting for the Tories. I also don’t like the direction that Labour is going in under Starmer. I may well vote Green.

“People are done with the Tories and I think Labour will get in mainly because people are fed up.”

And a PCS member of the Leeds branch committee blasted Starmer’s leadership of Labour.

“The Palestine movement will have a key impact on this election. Keir Starmer’s position on Palestine has been shameful,” they said.

“Trade unions need to support the alternatives to Labour. We want politicians that actually represent us.

“Standing against the Israeli state and the atrocities it’s committing will be the bare minimum for me and probably for millions of others.”

They added, “Just like Palestine activists, anti-racists need to stay on the streets. We’ll always get push back from the government but keeping protests and campaigns going will be so important.”

Jack, who works in the culture sector, also spoke about the effect of the Palestine movement, saying, “The mobilisation of the Palestine movement has huge potential to create a new layer of politically aware and active people. The trade unions will be central to that.”

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