By Thomas Foster
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2809

Prepare a fight for more than the manifestos

Don't be fooled by feeble manifesto pledges, keep building the fightback now
Issue 2809
Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, and David Lammy, shadow foreign secretary in Normandy for 80th anniversary of D-Day (Picture: Keir Starmer on Flickr) elections manifestos

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer and David Lammy, shadow foreign secretary in Normandy for 80th anniversary of D-Day (Picture: Keir Starmer on Flickr)

The Tories, Labour and Lib Dems were set to release their manifestos this week—so many politicians, so little inspiration.

The manifestos will be full of empty promises, mild-mannered reforms and pro-corporate pledges. They won’t all be the same.

The Tory manifesto will be full of racist attacks, while Labour’s is set to promise some mild improvements to workers’ rights.

But they don’t offer any substantial break from the past. Instead, all continue the situation where ordinary people suffer.

A glance at Britain in 2024 shows the urgent need for real change. Over the last decade, the richest people and corporations in Britain have plundered more and more wealth.

The richest 52 families in Britain have more wealth than the poorest half of the population—33 million people.

Yet public services, like the NHS and social care, continue to crumble. But there will be no pledges of taxing the rich and going after the corporations hoarding huge profits.

There are no serious plans to inject funds into key public services on the scale that’s needed. Instead it will be tax cuts funded by a squeeze on the public sector or statements about how there’s no money left, while pledging more military spending.

Soaring rents and rising prices push people into hardship and homelessness.

But no party presents a bold plan for building hundreds of thousands of council houses. Every year more and more climate records are broken, as we barrel towards an existential climate catastrophe.

Yet Labour and the Tories continue to backpedal on climate policies, watering them down for even more timid targets.

Meanwhile Israel is carrying out a genocide in Gaza, murdering 35,000 Palestinians.

The Tories and Labour are presenting no real opposition to Israel’s apartheid, remaining deeply complicit in its atrocities.

The result is the Tories and Labour offering similar versions of pro-boss and pro-imperialist policies.

Labour’s criticism of the Tory manifesto was that it was “Jeremy Corbyn-style” with “anything you want”.

That’s why Socialist Worker is backing independent left alternatives who stand with Palestine and support all the oppressed and exploited.

We need an open confrontation with the broken system that implements racism and wrecks lives, services, wages and jobs.

But the focus of that resistance shouldn’t be in parliament. We need to fight on the streets and in the workplaces.

Whether it is striking to fight cuts or protesting for Palestinian liberation, struggle is how we can really change politics.

We must greet whoever wins the election with a fightback from day one.

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