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Vote Labour in the European elections – and increase the Tories’ crisis

This article is over 2 years, 8 months old
Issue 2654
A vote for Labour in the European elections will be a boost for leader Jeremy Corbyn - and will deepen the Tory crisis
A vote for Labour in the European elections will be a boost for leader Jeremy Corbyn – and will deepen the Tory crisis (Pic: Neil Terry)

The Tories are in near-terminal collapse. They cannot pass legislation, they cannot resolve Brexit and their supporters are jumping ship to the racists of the Brexit Party.

But Labour is also in trouble.

It’s hard to tell now whether the person really in charge is Jeremy Corbyn or deputy leader Tom Watson.

Watson and his coterie simply make up policy. On Monday Watson declared that Labour was “a Remain and reform party”.

This junked Corbyn’s line that Labour is still seeking a better Brexit than the one on offer from the Tories.

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer suggested that Labour now is in favour of a “confirmatory referendum” on any deal. This was exactly the policy recently defeated by the party’s ruling national executive committee.

It’s not just that Labour is facing two ways and satisfying nobody. It’s that the party is paralysed. It’s doing virtually nothing in the midst of a great social and political crisis.

Corbyn raised the Labour vote at the 2017 general election by an insurgent series of rallies and campaigning. Now he is usually confined to members-only events.

Labour is reducing its own vote by its passivity, its weeks of talks with the Tories, and the decision by the majority of its European Parliament candidates to back a second referendum.

More importantly, together with the trade union leaders, they don’t call the active mobilisations that could drive the Tories out.


In the vacuum that creates, racists of various types make the running.

The next few days matter. Labour could still launch a real fight that brings together the call for an anti-austerity and anti-racist Brexit with action over the NHS, housing, climate chaos and other urgent issues.

But Corbyn’s desperate effort to hold together his divided party make that very unlikely.

It is necessary to campaign every day against the racists and to vote on 23 May. Those on the left who suggest abstention—let alone those who line up with Farage—are playing with fire.

Perhaps they can tolerate the idea of a swathe of the Brexit Party, or Ukip, or Tommy Robinson, becoming MEPs.

But such an outcome won’t be a boost for democracy. It will open the door to much broader, more confident and more vicious racist and Islamophobic mobilisation.

It will encourage racist attacks and set back the unity we need against the Tories and the bosses.

Socialist Worker calls on readers across Britain to vote Labour.

Many of the Labour candidates are rotten right wingers.

But the higher the vote for Labour, the greater the crisis for the Tories.

And the easier it will be to argue for the battles in the streets and the workplaces that we desperately need.

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