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From: The Socialist issue 1051, 31 July 2019: Force a general election

Search site for keywords: Tories - General election - Big business - Tax - Inequality - Poverty

Build a working-class movement to

Force a general election

Mass workers' action can oust the Tories, photo Senan

Mass workers' action can oust the Tories, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Lindsey Morgan, Leicester Socialist Party

With Boris Johnson 'elected' prime minister by just 92,153 Conservative Party members, he's keen to present himself as a representative of ordinary people.

But his policy announcements are anti-worker and pro-big business through and through.

Johnson's minority government is propped up by the tiny, right-wing DUP, and is careering towards the impending establishment crisis of a no-deal Brexit. His fear of working-class anger has led him to propose some measures supposed to dampen the inequality caused by the Tories' austerity project.

Meanwhile, in the finest traditions of the main party of British capitalism, he is steering through more tax cuts for big business and the rich as impoverishment grows among the many.

More than four million people in the UK are now trapped in "deep poverty," according to a report by the Social Metrics Commission. Their income is at least 50% below the official breadline, meaning an unjust weekly struggle to afford essentials that the bosses take for granted. Under the Tories, seven million people, including 2.3 million children, were at this level of poverty for at least two of the last three years.

The Social Metrics Commission is chaired by a Tory peer, and argues there is a "pressing need for a concerted approach to the problem." The Tories' view of the "problem" seems to be that the bosses aren't rich enough, and their "concerted approach" involves more tax cuts for them.

One of Johnson's proposals is for 'free ports', whereby areas of the UK such as Belfast and Teesside would have Singapore-style tax-free zones, allowing big business to cream off even bigger profits without paying in to public services.

Attacks on workers will continue with Boris Johnson, cheerleader for cruelty, as our prime minister. But as vile as he is, Johnson is only a symptom of the capitalist system controlled by the parasitic super-rich class. His job is to protect the profit system.

The Tories represent big business and have just 138,809 voting members. The trade unions have over six million workers as members and rising. Workers need a party of our own.

Jeremy Corbyn should use the huge enthusiasm which was created by his anti-austerity platform to start pushing the pro-capitalist Blairites out of Labour and throwing open the doors to workers and unions to control it instead.

The unions could mobilise the huge anger at inequality by building for a mass demonstration for a general election, and joint strikes as well if necessary.

A working-class movement like this could force a general election, get the Tories out, and push a Corbyn-led government towards socialist policies. Policies like taking the banks and big business out of the hands of the tax-cutting super-rich and putting them into public ownership under democratic workers' control and management. Fighting for socialism is the only answer to the capitalist system keeping so many of us destitute.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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