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Seize on Tory splits to build the struggle

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Issue 2536
A problem shared? Prime minister Theresa May with chancellor Philip Hammond
A problem shared? Prime minister Theresa May with chancellor Philip Hammond (Pic: Number10)

In her latest attempt to appear in control, prime minister Theresa May has unveiled her vision of the “shared society”.

This was designed to contrast with former prime minister David Cameron’s “big society”.

She hopes it will make good on her promise that Britain will work “not for the privileged few but for every one of us”.

Apparently a “shared society is one that doesn’t just value our individual rights but focuses rather more on the responsibilities we have to one another.

“A society that respects the bonds that we share as a union of people and nations.”

What empty nonsense. A government of and for millionaires is trying to pose as a friend of ordinary people.

As May was making the speech, the deep crisis in the NHS was coming to a head.

To try and distract from it she hypocritically promised to overhaul mental health services.

This is exactly the same pledge, in virtually the same words and using almost exactly the same money, that Cameron pledged in January 2016.

May’s speech was met by near-universal derision. Her government cannot escape from division and looming crises over Brexit.


The Tories are torn between bigotry and the demands of big business. Their friends in the City of London are determined to remain in the European Union’s (EU) neoliberal single market.

But that would mean keeping freedom of movement for EU migrants. And many Tory MPs and most of its voters see slashing immigration as the number one priority.

Last weekend these divisions once again surged to the surface.

“It’s going to blow up,” said one minister. “May is living in a cocoon of delusion.”

This could spill into open warfare after the Tories trigger the Article 50 process for leaving the EU. With a working majority of just 14 MPs, the pressure will mount on May.

The bosses’ Financial Times newspaper reported that even “Mrs May’s allies bemoan the lack or original thinking in departments”.

Our task is to make the most of the Tories’ divisions.

The BA cabin crew, Southern Rail and Tube station strikes show that workers have power—we need more struggles.

And Labour should be supporting them, not attacking them as London mayor Sadiq Khan has disgracefully done.

The Tories are divided, but they are also trying to whip up racist division within the working class.

Crucially we have to build for the Stand Up To Racism demonstrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff on 18 March to defend refugees and migrants.

We have to unite our side—so we have a movement that’s big enough and strong enough to give the Tories a kicking.


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