The Tories are playing for time, desperately trying to reorganise themselves after their harrowing election campaign.
That’s a good reason why we should step up the campaign for a fresh election and complete the unfinished business of June 8 by consigning Theresa May’s weak and divided government to history.
The tens of thousands on London’s streets on July 1 were of one voice that the Tories should go. As things stand, they will have to be made to resign and a new election called. Here are six sound reasons why asking the people to vote again is right:
- May’s government has no mandate. No one – including Tory supporters – voted for an alliance with the ultra-reactionary DUP who now think it’s Christmas every day in Downing Street. The election was inconclusive and divided the UK. A new poll would offer an opportunity to unite communities behind a programme for radical change.
- Let’s not give the Tories time to adjust to the new situation, elect another leader, steal some of Jeremy Corbyn’s policy clothes and fight the next election at a time of their choosing.
- The Tories are pressing ahead with a so-called “hard Brexit” which will favour the corporations and the banks. They need to be stopped before it is an accomplished fact and a more progressive approach to leaving the EU given a chance.
- Another major financial crisis is brewing. UK citizens are overloaded with debt and have cut any savings to the bone. Some suggest that car loans could be the next sub-prime disaster in the making. The Tories would impose the burden of a new crash on to the backs of working people.
- Leaving the Tories in office for longer than necessary gives the right wing in the Parliamentary Labour Party more time to plot against the leadership. There’s a hardened group in the PLP that will do anything to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from becoming PM and that includes working with some Tories.
- The UK needs a new democratic constitution. People are increasingly powerless and voiceless, as the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower showed. No tinkering with the system will sort this out. Labour’s manifesto included a pledge to organise a convention on the constitution to address the issues of power and sovereignty in our society. Throwing the Tories out and electing Corbyn would bring a convention on the constitution a step closer.
How can a new election be achieved? For a start, you could sign the petition which calls for a fresh election and help build support for the idea. Obviously, a petition won’t do the trick by itself. Nor will demonstrations and marches, however big unless they are followed up by actions.
Campaigns against cuts, in defence of the health service, for lifting the pay cap and for more resources for education could also include the call for a fresh election in their demands and sustain their actions until one is called.
The trade unions, whose leaders have sat on their hands for most of the time for the last seven years, now need to organise industrial action in defence of their members’ living standards.
It’s no use them moaning about how public sector workers have suffered a real loss of earnings under the pay cap because of inflation. They need to start mobilising their members for sustained strike action for higher pay and link it to a call for another election.
This may be construed as illegal activity under the notorious anti-union laws, but the time for pussyfooting around is over. This is a social emergency and the people should get another chance to exercise their democratic right to vote.