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Don’t let the Tories off the hook

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Issue 2500
Michael Gove launched a stinging attack on David Cameron
Michael Gove launched a stinging attack on David Cameron (Pic: Policy Exchange/Flickr)

Under fire over tax havens, junior doctors’ contracts and school academies, the Tories are desperate to appear united. But the European Union (EU) referendum makes that impossible.

Justice secretary Michael Gove—seen as the most loyal senior Tory on the Leave side—launched a stinging attack on David Cameron’s Remain campaign on Tuesday.

He said it “treats people like mere children, capable of being frightened into obedience by conjuring up new bogeymen every night.”

It follows the surreal rebellion of Cameron’s hated benefits axeman Iain Duncan Smith last month and high-profile criticisms from prominent backbenchers.

This Tory government is in greater disarray than at any point since Cameron came to office in 2010. Now should be the time for us to go on the offensive. The Tories are divided, and they could be beaten.

The fantastic People’s Assembly demonstration last Saturday confirms that initiatives against them can win huge support.

Yet our side keeps throwing away opportunities.

Some union leaders see winning council elections for Labour as more important than backing resistance to Labour councils’ cuts.

Unite union leader Len McCluskey rightly slams Blairites who undermine Jeremy Corbyn.


Yet he is blocking a key plank of Corbyn’s policies with the lie that Trident nukes create jobs.

Many point to the inspiration of the junior doctors’ strikes.

But why aren’t other unions mobilising their members to come and join hospital picket lines and strike rallies?

And when polls show huge support for nationalisation to save jobs, why are the steel workers being left to face the chop without a fight?

We can—and must—do better on all these fronts. But we can’t avoid the question that has set the Tory party at each other’s throats.

Losing the vote on the EU could end Cameron’s rule. So it would be a tragic mistake for the left to save his bacon by campaigning for a Remain vote.

As Socialist Worker has consistently argued, the EU is a bosses’ club that exploits workers.

It is a racist fortress that drowns refugees. It’s right to vote Leave.

Leading figures in the Labour and Green parties say that if Cameron goes we’ll get someone worse. This is a topsy turvy view of the Tories’ crisis.

Cameron is every bit as vicious as, say, Boris Johnson or George Osborne.

He is the frontman of every attack the Tories have driven through—from the bedroom tax to NHS privatisation.

If he falls, any Tory government left will be weaker than ever—whoever is at the helm. Our enemies are squirming. Don’t let them wriggle off the hook.

Plan of action

  • Junior doctors were set to strike on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Everyone can go to picket lines—and push their union leaders to offer real support
  • The NUT union is balloting for strikes over forced academies and cuts. Everyone has to do all they can to help them win
  • Our movement must not be divided. We need to support refugees and oppose racism. Join the convoy to Calais on 18 June and this Sunday’s Trade Unionists for Calais meeting

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