Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2667

‘National government’ wouldn’t protect us

This article is over 4 years, 8 months old
Issue 2667
Jeremy Corbyn shows what happens when you make concessions to the left
Jeremy Corbyn shows what happens when you make concessions to the left (Pic: Sophie Brown)

Lots of people are rightly appalled that Boris Johnson is our prime minister.

It can be tempting to focus on where he is weakest to force him out. And a big problem for Johnson is Brexit.

The Tory government campaigned for Remain in the European Union (EU) referendum because the EU benefits business. Yet Johnson backs Leave because he thinks Britain’s ruling class is better off outside the EU.

Several high-profile Tories, and other politicians who back Remain, are organising against him. Some want a “national unity” government involving left and right MPs to block a no-deal Brexit. But lining up behind people who represent the bosses would be a disaster for working class people.

When left wingers try to unite or compromise with right wingers, the right wins. This is because under capitalism, right wingers and their ideas dominate. They are seen as reasonable and rational.

Left ideas, even if a majority of people back them, are treated as “extreme”. So any compromising tends to involve accepting right wing ideas. Look at the Labour Party. Left wing leader Jeremy Corbyn has made concessions to the right in the hope of holding the party together. All it has done is embolden the right to demand more—and has entrenched their position in the party.

A “national unity” government would be led by the right in the interests of business. Any left wingers would be expected to compromise with Tories.

Those pushing it assume that we share some common interests, whatever our class background. This isn’t true.

In theory it can seem that bosses making money helps us all. It might encourage them to keep their businesses here, so protecting jobs.

Yet time after time workers have accepted lower pay or worse conditions to “save jobs” only to suffer job cuts later down the line. Bending over backwards to placate business just leaves us worse off.

We also have to challenge the idea that essentially fighting to stay in the EU is good for workers.

The EU is a racist, neoliberal project that operates in the interests of a tiny minority. It has not benefited working class people or given us more rights.

On the contrary, it is set up to block measures such as wholesale nationalisation. And its brutal border controls leave tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees to drown in the sea.

That’s why Socialist Worker supported Leave in the referendum. Doing deals with right wingers to stay in the EU helps the bosses, not us. And a national government, by absorbing some Labour politicians, would undermine even limited opposition from Labour.

Neither the EU nor the Tories will protect working class people. We have to organise to fight for our own rights.


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