A general election is on its way and the Tory Party is in turmoil. A Labour government provides the only route out of the current crisis. This can only be achieved if Labour fights the election on a class programme.

A general election is on its way and the Tory Party is in turmoil. A Labour government provides the only route out of the current crisis. This can only be achieved if Labour fights the election on a class programme.

It certainly is a period of sharp and sudden changes. Events are unfolding day-by-day, if not hour-to-hour.

The sudden euphoria of a possible Brexit deal with the EU - which had sent the pound rocketing - has now given way to a more sober reality. Despite positive talk, a deal is far from being agreed. Most likely negotiations will lead nowhere.

The serious strategists of capital are extremely cautious. According to UBS Wealth Management, which oversees $2.5tn for rich capitalist clients:

“In our view, it is still too early to conclude that success is likely. With time tight and much ground to cover we still, on balance, believe that the UK will be asking for a further extension to Article 50. This is likely to be followed by a general election which will decide the final Brexit outcome.”

This assessment is as sober-minded as any. The EU wants both to avoid a hard border in Ireland and to protect the integrity of the Customs Union and the Single Market. But the UK government wants to leave as a whole and avoid a hard border.

In typically diplomatic language, Michel Barnier, the EU's Chief Negotiator, described the UK’s proposals as “fiendishly complex”. In plain English this means incomprehensible.

Without a deal, an extension is inevitable. The threat of a no-deal Brexit will then be kicked down the road. This renders a National Unity government obsolete, leaving the field open for a vote of no confidence in the Tory government and a general election.

Even if Johnson manages to get a deal, it would get voted down - just as Theresa May’s deal was before it. The Tory PM leads a government with a majority of minus 45 and a 100% record of defeat.

What is certain is that there will be no hard Brexit on 31 October. The ‘powers that be’ will avoid this calamity at all costs.

Election

Boris BrexitThose pushing for a second referendum - in preference to a general election - will not have the necessary votes for it. The Blairites, led by none other than Tony Blair himself, have thrown all their weight behind this proposal. They desperately want to derail any prospect of an election and a Corbyn government.

It is clear, however, that Boris Johnson is preparing for an election, which he hopes to turn into a “Parliament versus the People” election.

If Johnson wins, he will turn Britain into a ‘Singapore-on-Thames’, with a bonfire of regulations and workers’ rights. And he will sign a trade deal with Washington that will allow Trump and American big business to privatise the NHS and trample over all manner of standards.

A Johnson government would also preside over the break-up of the Union, with Scotland jettisoned as a sacrifice to the Brexit-obsessed Little Englanders that now dominate the Tory Party.

Splits

Yet a Tory victory is far from assured. His strategy was to transform the Conservative Party into the Brexit Party, in order to stem a haemorrhage of support towards Farage’s reactionary outfit. But the problem for Johnson is that any political shift to an openly no-deal Brexit position will fracture the Tory Party.

Damian Green - the leader of the One Nation group of Tory MPs, which currently speaks for around 80 backbenchers - has already confronted Johnson over the issue. Many Conservative MPs are threatening to break away if the Tory leader pursues a no-deal Brexit. Boris has clearly backed himself into a corner.

Johnson has no alternative but to launch a campaign of bluff and bluster. His personal mission, as he sees it, along the same lines as Trump, is "nothing less than making our country the greatest place on earth" - starting with Brexit.

Along with his chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, the man who is pulling all the strings, Johnson will ensure that the next general election will be the dirtiest fought on record.

This will place a simple choice before the British people: a reactionary hard-line Johnson government, pursuing the calamity of a hard Brexit; or a radical left government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

Class

Kick out this unelected gangJohnson could be the shortest-serving leader in British history. The polls give him some hope. But there are many pitfalls ahead. Farage could split the Tory vote, forcing Johnson into an even more hard-line campaign. But this would cause further fractures elsewhere, with ‘moderate’ Tories in London, the south, and in Scotland abandoning the party for the Lib Dems.

If Labour fights on class issues - such as jobs, wages, housing, education, health, and so on - then Corbyn can regain ground and win the election.

Jon Trickett, MP for the Yorkshire constituency of Hemsworth, believes Labour can cut across the Brexit debate. And he is right.

“When I go round my patch, it’s no exaggeration to say this, actually Brexit isn’t mentioned that much,” Trickett stated. “People who are very, very impassioned by Brexit will talk about nothing else. But the vast majority of people are talking about bus services, cuts to the health service, the cost of living.”

An election will clearly be fought between Labour and the Tories. The Liberal Democrats, who are in effect offering nothing, will be squeezed. They will be between a rock and a hard place.

Socialism

corbyn at conferenceThe SNP in Scotland has shown willing to put Corbyn into power. The Welsh nationalists and Greens will follow suit. The Liberal Democrats - despite Jo Swinson’s poison - will eventually be forced to acquiesce.

John McDonnell has correctly asserted that if Labour does not win an outright majority, but ends up as the biggest party, they would not enter a formal coalition with the SNP or Liberal Democrats.

“Well, I think we can win a majority, but if we go into a minority government situation, there will be no deals, we’ll just lay out our programme and they either support it or they don’t.”
“If they don’t support it we’ll go back to the country and it will be interesting, if they did, to see how they argue against a real living wage, investment in public services, restoration of trade union rights, tackling climate change.”

This general election will be the most important that we have faced for generations. The ranks of the labour and trade union movement must be mobilised to guarantee a Labour victory.

We will fight for a Labour victory. But a Labour government must not attempt to patch up capitalism. Rather, it must do away with this rotten system and introduce a socialist economic plan that can solve the problems working-class communities face.

Our battle-cry must be: Bring down the Tories! Labour to power on socialist policies!