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Build resistance now to vicious Tory offensive

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Issue 2584
Street sleeping has risen under Tory rule
Street sleeping has risen under Tory rule (Pic: Garry Knight/Flickr)

The year ends in avoidable cold and misery for the victims of Tory Britain.

Refugees are shut out in Calais and Dunkirk by Theresa May’s racist border closure.

And the number of rough sleepers on Britain’s streets has more than doubled since the Tories came to office in 2010.

Going without shelter can kill. Every winter homeless people die. And at least 200 refugees have died at Britain’s border since 2000.

Yet there’s plenty of room for everyone in the palaces of the royals and the empty flats of the rich. In England alone there are more than 200,000 “long term vacant” properties.

But the Tories have only contempt for the poor, and are plunging more people into poverty.

Their Universal Credit regime (see page 6) means thousands of families will spend Christmas in fear of being evicted. And the low wage economy leaves millions struggling to make ends meet.

The Tories claim the public sector pay cap is a thing of the past. Yet no public sector workers have been offered a raise that even begins to make up for years of austerity. More than a million council workers, for example, face a further pay cut in real terms.


They’ve been offered 2 percent this year and 2 percent next.

Yet RPI inflation is 3.9 percent a year, and even the official CPI figure is 3.1 percent.

The survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire still wait for new homes. And tenants and residents across Britain still wait for safety works to stop a repeat of the tragedy.

The Tories remain in crisis over the European Union, as they have been for several years. Their splits are far from healed, and this makes them weaker.

Yet somehow they remain in office. And every day of Tory rule brings more suffering.

Labour’s relative success in the general election in June brought hope to many.

But a new election could be four years away.

We can’t afford to wait. And Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faces pressure to blunt his radical edge.

What’s missing is the kind of mass resistance from below that can push the Tories back, overturn their attacks and bring down their government.

It’s disappointing that most union leaders have so far backed off from a revolt over pay. Activists must push to get the campaign back on track.

The US ambassador to Britain confirmed this week that despised president Donald Trump plans to visit in 2018.

This should be an occasion for enormous protests to send Trump packing.

And getting a big turnout on the demonstrations against racism on Saturday 17 March can help strengthen the resistance to the racist right and build solidarity.

There is everything to fight for—and no time to waste.

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