Ordinary people, sick of the Tories and inspired by Jeremy Corbyn’s politics, shaped the astonishing election result. They can shape what happens next too.
Already a protest at Downing Street at 5pm has been called by Lambeth NUT union branch and others.
The humiliated Theresa May faces an uphill struggle to patch together a government. The Tories are as divided as ever, and no longer have a majority or any faith in their leader.
The support of DUP bigots or yellow Lib Dems won’t come without causing further upsets on the Tory benches.
And the imminent Brexit negotiations—in which May now has an even weaker mandate—can only bring their divisions to the fore.
It’s possible they can get away with it. The numbers are there, just, for them to bluff it out if they avoid major crises. But the more opposition they face the less tenable that becomes.
May asked voters for a mandate, and got none. Even some Tories are calling for her to resign. Protests on the streets can add to the pressure.
They can make it harder for a minority or coalition government to pass a single vote in parliament—to push through cuts, bombing campaigns or attack on migrants.
And they can boost Corbyn’s chances of winning a new election if that government falls.
PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka told Socialist Worker, “Corbyn and McDonnell’s policies caught the mood for change. Investment in public services, renationalisation and an end to the public sector pay cap inspired millions.
“May has no mandate for austerity and cuts. If she cobbles together a government we have to fight to halt any cuts and win decent pay. PCS will fight and we urge the rest of the trade union movement to join us.”
Inside the Labour Party, the right wing MPs and grandees who spent two years trying to unseat Corbyn currently have little choice but to praise him.
But they are already preparing the argument to replace him with someone who, as Peter Hain put it, “looks more like a prime minister”.
This means a return to the uninspiring politics that saw Labour defeated in 2010 and 2015.
They can be stopped. It wasn’t just Corbyn’s policies that got the vote out, but also his mass rallies and the sense of participation his campaign inspired.
If those who support him remain mobilised, the right will find it far harder to roll back the clock.
In the long run only the mass activity of working class people can make the ideas behind Corbyn’s support a reality. And right now it can decide the shape of the next government.
Socialists in every town and city must organise protests and take to the streets.
We demand May must go. We won’t accept any government by the bigoted DUP. And we won’t forgive any MP who supports the Tories’ attempts to hang on.
But it’s only a change of language
Leeds students have occupied too