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We should choose who the prime minister is

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Tory toffs will decide who takes power
Issue 2820
Conservative Party members who choose the next prime minister

Tory Party Conference in 2020—members of the elite who will choose the next prime minister (Picture: Wikimedia Commons)

On Monday of next week, there will be a new Tory prime minister. The country’s latest leader won’t be chosen by millions of voters, but by around 160,000 Conservative Party members. In a country with a population of 67 million, just 0.3 percent of people get to choose the next prime minister.

Unsurprisingly, the voting Tory reactionaries are older, wealthier and whiter than the general population. But who gets to vote isn’t just a reflection of the backwardness of the Tory party. It also reflects a broken democracy, where ordinary people get no say. Widespread rage against Boris Johnson and his murderous and chaotic time in power was what finally forced him to resign.

Yet this popular anger means very little when it comes to so-called democracy. Ordinary people won’t get a choice between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak as prime minister—or an alternative to the Tories. The fury against the Tories, who are ramping up assaults daily on working class people, should have led to a general election, not an internal leadership contest. Ordinary people’s voices are being crushed.

A poll this week showed that 63 percent backed the postal workers’ strikes. And a similar number thought workers should be able to hold votes of no confidence in their senior directors and chief executives. But bosses have economic power and can ignore us—unless we fight.

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