With the possibility of a general election looming, Theresa May has desperately appealed to Labour voters to consider voting for the Tories. Her callouts have contained nothing but the usual rhetoric of ‘building a country for everyone’, as well as many empty promises that will do little to nothing to solve the problems facing the workers of Britain.
May claims that “millions of people who have supported Labour all their lives are appalled by what has happened to a once-great party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn”. This is despite Labour Party membership almost tripling since his election to party leader in 2015!
And what about the five million votes that Labour lost during the appalling leadership of the Blairites? Now, under Corbyn, the party is going back to its socialist roots, rather than being a Tory-lite party like it was under Blair.
“To be that party for the whole country,” May has said, “Conservatives must… offer a positive and optimistic vision of the better future that our policies will deliver”. This is nothing but an admission that, having been in power for eight years, no one is optimistic about the future under a Tory government! In contrast, millions are inspired by Labour’s vision promoted by Corbyn, as seen by the enthusiasm for the Labour manifesto at last year’s election.
With Corbyn’s nationalisation plans proving extremely popular, May now feels the need to rush to the defence of capitalism. She laments that “the markets are still not working in the interests of ordinary people”. Precisely! It is because they are not designed to - they never will work in the interests of ordinary people.
May claims that: “Free markets drive innovation, reward creativity and increase efficiency. But it is the job of government to make sure they work properly.”
Translated this means: markets guarantee enormous profits for the capitalists, but under pressure the state has to intervene, otherwise calls for nationalisation will only grow.
More of the same
On the housing crisis, May has said that: “we will only fix this broken market by building more homes”. Indeed, it is precisely the logic of the market to prioritise building luxury flats for millionaires, as this is more profitable than building affordable homes for all. In London alone, over 15,000 recently built luxury flats remained unsold at the beginning of 2018, whilst 1 in 59 Londoners are officially homeless.
May therefore ignores the fact that nationwide there are around ten empty homes for every homeless household. Therefore, as well as nationalising the developers and construction companies so as to ensure the building of affordable homes, we should expropriate the houses which are currently empty, and accommodate all those who need a home.
Corbyn has demanded this for the survivors of Grenfell. But this should be extended to all those who have been priced out of a place to live for one reason or another.
May points out that “too many people have not had a decent pay rise”, but does nothing to actually address this. Instead, May promises that “Conservatives will always strain every sinew to help people keep more of their money". In other words, for workers to keep a little more of their continually low pay, whilst taxes are lowered for the rich!
Of course, this has to be the Tories’ policy. They cannot implement a higher living wage due to the fact that they are in the pocket of big business and the bosses!
Fight for socialism
Overall, May has not mentioned a single fully-formed policy which would ‘work in the interests of ordinary people’. This is in stark contrast to Corbyn, McDonnell and co. at the recent Labour Party conference.
From May’s plea to Labour voters, it is clear that the Tories are terrified of a potential Corbyn government, backed by a mass movement of the working class.
If genuine socialist policies were to be implemented - such as placing the commanding heights of the economy under democratic workers control - we could transform the economy and finally improve the living standards of workers who have felt the full force of the 2008 financial crash.
What we need now is to kick out the Tories, and put Corbyn and Labour into power on a socialist programme.