By Charlie Kimber
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Chaotic Tories’ election panic

This article is over 5 years, 1 months old
Issue 2652
Staring down the barrel of the Brexit gun
Staring down the barrel of the Brexit gun (Pic: Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916 on Flickr)

Theresa May and the Tories should go now.

Socialist Worker went to press before local elections were held this week, but every prediction was of heavy Tory losses.

Defending around 5,500 council seats, they were expected to lose hundreds.

In advance of the poll even Tories queued up to savage May and report a hostile reception from voters.

A local party chair from Essex said, “We are struggling to get anyone to deliver leaflets, even members of our executive don’t want to go out.”


One exasperated councillor added, “Members are saying, why should I get shit on the doorstep and doors slammed in my face when I’m as angry as they are?”

The Tories deserve this. A horrific story this week summed up the society they have created.

Saloum, a refugee from Gambia in West Africa, was denied NHS treatment for his terminal cancer. He died on Sunday ­evening. Friends said that in the final moments of his life he was fearful that he might once again be sent away from the hospital.

Every day the Tories are in office there will be more such horrors.

Socialist Worker called for a Labour vote to deepen the Tories’ crisis and encourage resistance.

Parties will try to spin the results their way this week.

The Lib Dems, who collapsed in the corresponding elections four years ago, are on track to win some more councillors.

But they remain largely an irrelevance on a national scale, still rightly remembered by most people for their coalition of class crimes with the Tories from 2010-15.

Apart from a few ­by?elections, there is no voting in Scotland, Wales, Greater London or many other areas.

In similar elections last time the BBC calculated that if the voting had been held nationally the vote shares would be 35 percent for the Conservatives, 29 percent for Labour, 13 percent for Ukip and 11 percent for the Liberal Democrats.

We can guarantee there will be shifts from that. And in any case May’s ­turmoil continues.

She was informed this week that she will be the first Tory leader in 185 years to face an emergency grassroots vote to oust her.

The threshold for a petition to enforce an extraordinary meeting of the National Conservative Convention has been passed.


Sometime in June she will be hauled in front of a meeting of 800 constituency chairs and senior activists, who will decide whether to demand her resignation.

There’s no resolution of the Brexit paralysis.

Not a single piece of Brexit-related business has been tabled in the House of Commons for either this week or next.

As the Tories reel we need more resistance in the streets and the workplaces.

The spirit of defiance we saw from Extinction Rebellion has to spread to other areas.

Labour should put forward a left wing vision for Brexit—not calls for a second referendum

Labour leaders met at the national executive committee (NEC) on Tuesday to discuss the manifesto for the European parliament.

In advance there was heavy pressure on leader Jeremy Corbyn to back a second Brexit referendum.

The NEC was set to discuss multiple views. Some of its members want a second referendum in any circumstances. Others want one only to “stop a bad Tory deal”.

Another group want a “confirmatory referendum” on any deal—with staying in the European Union (EU) as the alternative option.

Jeremy Corbyn should not side with bosses
Jeremy Corbyn should not side with bosses

Three unions—Unison, the GMB and Usdaw—were expected to push for a referendum on any deal to be in the Labour manifesto for the European elections. Unite and the CWU were expected to oppose that.

Any new referendum on a deal will be undemocratic. It will reduce the choice to two toxic choices. One will be a rotten set of policies wrestled through parliament by Theresa May and the Tories.

The other will be to stay in the EU that enforces neoliberal measures and the killer “Fortress Europe” anti?migrant regime.

A second referendum is the preferred outcome of big business, the international financial institutions and the EU’s leaders.

They want to override the 2016 vote and ram through pro?capitalist policies. This should not be the option of the working class movement.

Labour should be putting forward an anti-austerity and anti?racist vision of Brexit.

And crucially it needs to be linked to action over other issues.

Instead, by its wrangles over Brexit, Labour has separated Brexit from demands that could change the debate.

They should include the defence of the NHS, a reversal of privatisation, and action over housing and climate change.

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