cropped-supporters_of_britain_red_liberation.pngBritain: Elections are a disaster for Theresa May and the capitalists!

Now is the time to strike! Bring down this weak and discredited minority Tory coalition!

 

Statement of the RCIT Britain, 14 June 2017, www.thecommunists.net

 

 

 

The British general election of 8th June produced not the overall victory for May and the Tory government that they hoped for. May who called the elections in the hope of pushing through a hard Brexit which was aimed directly against working-class interests, hoping to politically destroy Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party has made a grave-mistake – she failed to get a majority in the parliament! The British ruling class is now in deep crisis.

 

Furthermore the results show that the right-wing-populist UKIP has been wiped off the political map. We have already seen a disastrous result for UKIP during the local elections last month as well as the fact that they have continuously been losing ground since autumn 2016. The collapse of the far right-wing UKIP saved the Tories at the general elections as the overwhelming amount of former UKIP voters swung to the Tories. It is the concrete policy of Theresa May with her aggressive approach against immigrants, her determination to cut ties with the EU by a hard-Brexit strategy, her anti-liberal sentiment that attracted UKIP voters to come back to their rightful home i.e. the Conservative party.

 

The Scottish Nationalists did badly losing seats to the Tories as well as Labour. Nicola Sturgeon’s call for a second referendum on independence did not go down well with voters. Beside the harsh alienation of the Scottish Labour Party bureaucrats against Corbyn caused many working class voters who supported SNP until now to return again to Labour because of Corbyn. The more nationalist sectors who are in favour of the Brexit support the Tories and the hard-liner May (we shouldn’t forget that a third of the SNP voters backed Brexit).

 

The tactic of the Tories to push for new elections was obviously based on the hope to win more seats by the sympathy of Brexit supporters of various political backgrounds for the hard-liner May. However the result is a loss of 13 seats and a massive gain for Labour led by Corbyn gaining 30 seats.

 

Hence “Britain has a hung parliament, with no party holding an absolute majority in the House of Commons. After 650 results out of 650 in the snap General Election the state of the parties is:

 

Con: 318 Lab: 262 SNP: 35 Ukip: 0 LD: 12 Others: 23 (326 needed for a majority)

 

Theresa May has said she intends to form a government, with the support of the DUP (the North Irish loyalist party), and guide the country through Brexit talks.

 

Jeremy Corbyn called on Mrs May to resign and said the Conservatives should stand aside for a Labour minority government”. [1]

 

May has cobbled a coalition together with the extremely reactionary Democratic Unionist Party led by Arlene Foster from Northern Ireland. It is doubtful whether the May Government will last long and it is a probable chance that new elections will have to be called.

 

“An online petition demanding that the Conservatives scrap plans to form a government with DUP support, gained nearly 300,000 signatures in just 12 hours. Signed by 278,843 people at the time of writing, it also calls for Theresa May to resign after she lost her parliamentary majority. Speaking outside No 10 after the result became clear, the prime minister said she would seek to form a minority government with a “confidence and supply” agreement with the Northern Irish party”. [2]

 

Although Corbyn and the Labour Party failed to win more votes than the Tories he is the political victor in this election. His anti-austerity and anti-war campaign found resonance among large sections of young and working people who despise the Tories because of their austerity policies, including zero hour contracts, privatisation of the NHS, food banks, cuts in social care and welfare benefits as well as for their racism and chauvinism towards migrants and their families.

 

The Blairites have been keeping their heads down and have made no comment on how close Corbyn came to being elected Prime Minister and forming a minority Labour government. At the moment they are keeping their powder dry and waiting for an opportunity to attack and eventually remove him as leader. They are bitterly disappointed that Corbyn did so well and confused about the outcome of the elections. Even though the Blairites managed to win the support of the Scottish Labour Party which goes so far that the SNP even tried to convince Corbyn supporters in Scotland to vote rather for the SNP than for Labour if they want Corbyn to have a chance their open war against the popular demands of Corbyn harmed them a lot. Furthermore it has not been helpful for the Blairites that Jon Cruddas explained the growing support for Corbyn inside Labour with strange conspiracy theories about a “Trotskyist invasion” of Labour led by Corbyn. The arch war criminal Tony Blair has had nothing to say since the result of the general election.

 

Michael Roberts a Marxist economist made this comment on his blog about the effect on British capital and their jitters at a weak conservative government. “The UK election result is a personal disaster for the Conservative leader Theresa May. She called the snap election to get a big majority and crush the opposition Labour party and its left-wing leadership. But instead the Conservatives lost seats and its majority in parliament and Labour under leftist Jeremy Corbyn increased its share of the vote dramatically after a vigorous campaign. The turnout was 69%, the highest since 1997, when the figure was 71.4 per cent. It seems that young people turned out for Labour, particularly in the big cities. Labour gained 10% to reach 40%, while the Conservatives also increased their share by 5% to 42%. The big loser was the anti-EU anti-immigration party UKIP which collapsed”. [3]

 

Most of the centrist groups like the British affiliates of the IMT (Socialist Appeal), L5I (Red Flag), CWI (Socialist Party) and the SWP opportunistically tied themselves to Corbyn’s coat tails without realizing and openly stating that he is a left reformist and ultimately a defender of British capitalism. Corbyn has always had a close relationship with the labour aristocracy and the labour bureaucracy. He even stated that he will put 10.000 extra police on the street which is against the aspirations of class consciousness workers, blacks and migrants as well the youth in Britain. Corbyn argued against the sharp oppression of young activists who were on the streets in the London uprising in August 2011. However defence of the youth in words and an increase of police forces in deeds demonstrate the ambiguous character of Corbyn. It shows the danger of following blindly and uncritically the left reformist Corbyn instead of openly challenging his politics.

 

The RCIT in Britain in its most recent statement on critical support for Corbyn pointed out the weaknesses of the centrists and their attitude to the united front.

 

“Centrists either of the ultra-left variety or the opportunist’s variety has never being able to understand the role of the Marxist united front as practiced by Vladimir Lenin or Leon Trotsky. The RCIT in a major study of the Marxists classics explained our attitude to the United Front and our tactics towards reformist parties like the British Labour party.” [4]

 

“However, opposite trends cannot be excluded – at least temporarily. Under certain circumstances such parties can even experience an initial rejuvenation (see, for example, the British Labour Party under Corbyn) In contrast to such an opportunistic approach, as Bolshevik-Communists; we would work inside such a party while openly advocating our independent program. While cooperating with other forces within the party, we would uncompromisingly fight against reformist and centrist tendencies. We would try to patiently convince the majority of the party to adopt a revolutionary perspective. If this fails and the party degenerates into an ossified reformist formation, revolutionaries would draw the conclusions and split from such the party, taking with us all amenable militant workers and oppressed, and found an authentic revolutionary party”. [5]

 

Of course, as we have argued in several documents, social democracy and the Labour Party in particular have a history of betrayal and cowardice and will betray as soon as they will have the opportunity to do so.

 

“Of course, as we have indicated above, no one should have any illusions about these new reformist or populist parties. Ultimately they will betray the working class and the oppressed either when they have the opportunity to enter a government or when they play the leading role in a mass struggle. It is for this reason that revolutionaries must warn the masses in advance about the true nature of the leaderships of these parties. But at the same time, Marxists must not ignore the politicization and radicalization of sectors of the working class and the youth which currently find their expressions in support for these new parties. Any sectarian abstentionism against this process would only guarantee the isolation of revolutionaries. This is why critical electoral support for such parties, in addition to entryism under certain circumstances, can be a legitimate instrument for Marxists in the current period.” [6]

 

However, the RCIT in Britain when advocating critical support for Corbyn in the recent election recognized that under his leadership the party had rejuvenated and attracted a huge swathe of youth.

 

“However, with the successful campaign of the left-reformist Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn in summer 2015, this decline has been turned around. Despite open hostility by the pro-Blairite party establishment, Corbyn’s campaign was based on an anti-austerity and anti-militaristic platform which created huge enthusiasm among young people. In the space of a few months, the Labour Party’s “membership jumped from 201,293 on 6 May 2015, the day before the general election, to 388,407 on 10 January 2016. This development is an important indicator that bourgeois workers’ parties, even after a long period of decline, can revive and be rejuvenated if newly-radicalized youth and workers see no alternative to them to politically express their desire for change. Labour’s membership comeback also demonstrates how wrong numerous centrists (like, for example, the CWI) were when they declared in the early 1990s that the Labour Party (and social democratic parties in general) is no longer bourgeois workers’ parties. We authentic Marxists have always rejected this assumption while, at the same time, having also consistently denounced the opportunistic adaption to Labourism and never-ending entryism as practiced by the CWI’s former comrades, the IMT of Ted Grant and Alan Woods”. [7]

 

The RCIT in Britain emphasises the necessity for activists in the Labour Party to organize and accelerate the struggle against the treacherous Blairite wing in the party bureaucracy. [8] The task must be, now more than ever, to expel the Blairites as the most open and aggressive agents of the ruling class inside the party.

 

Furthermore the CLPs and branches must demand from their Labour MP’s to vote in Parliament consistently against all austerity attacks as well against all racist, anti-democratic and militaristic bills.

 

Finally, it is urgent to prepare a general strike to bring down this Tory minority government. Obviously Corbyn and the left-reformist bureaucrats in Labour will not support voluntarily a general strike because this demand is an attack on capitalist society and neither Corbyn nor his left-reformist friends are willing to go down this path. However such a general strike is crucial for the working-class in Britain in order to advance the struggle against the capitalist class, for jobs for all, for an end of racism and chauvinism, for an increase in social benefits, and a marked improvement of the NHS, etc.

 

This general election has produced a hung parliament with a very weak and discredited minority Tory government. This crisis is reflected in all the major metropolitan imperialist nations.

 

The RCIT in Britain puts forward the following transitional demands and proposals for workers and the oppressed who want to join the fight and overthrow this hated Tory Government.

 

* For an indefinite general strike to bring down this discredited weak Tory minority government!

 

* Kick out the Blairite wing of the Labour Party!

 

* Demand from all Labour MP’s to oppose all austerity attacks as well against all racist, anti-democratic and militaristic bills!

 

* For self-defence guards of workers and migrants to defend our communities against fascist and police provocation!

 

* For open borders for all refugees, full equality for all migrants, equal wages full citizenship and the right to speak their own language!

 

* Self-Determination for the people of Scotland!

 

* For a unified Ireland as a 32 County workers republic as part of a United Socialist States of Europe!

 

* For a workers government pledged to bring down capitalism and for the destruction of British imperialism!

 

 

 

We call on all workers and the oppressed to join the RCIT in Britain as the first step and help to build a new World Party of the Socialist Revolution which will be the Fifth International.

 

 

 

Footnotes

 

(1) http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/general-election-2017-live-coverage/ar-BBCfgRt

 

(2) http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/almost-300000-people-sign-petition-against-the-tory-dup-deal-in-just-12-hours/ar-BBCnJGj?li=BBoPWjQ&ocid=SK2MDHP

 

(3) https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/uk-election-british-capital-in-disarray/

 

(4) https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/uk-general-election-6-2017/

 

(5) https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/chapter-4/

 

(6) https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/chapter-6/

 

(7) https://www.thecommunists.net/theory/book-united-front/chapter-6/

 

(8) https://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/europe/uk-general-election-6-2017/

 

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