A mass mobilisation is called for if we are to stop the Johnson-Farage axis from seizing power and creating a vicious anti-democratic, authoritarian regime.
This is no ordinary general election. Rather, it is an extraordinary campaign of lies, fake news and slander aimed at Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell’s leadership of the Labour Party.
Johnson, a consummate liar who is incapable of distinguishing fact from fiction, has turned the election into a populist, “People versus Parliament” referendum to endorse his naked power grab.
Johnson and Farage are using the 2016 Leave vote to plan the harshest of Brexits. They would privatise the NHS and drive down wages and conditions as part of a wild, neoliberal experiment, using UK workers as guinea pigs.
Johnson is equally ready to jettison democratic procedures, as he showed when he unlawfully suspended Parliament, to get his way. Victory for Johnson would, therefore, be a step down the road to outright dictatorship.
Johnson, who is surrounded by menacing advisers like Dominic Cummings, has the backing of the financial markets, the secret intelligence services, most of the mass media, military bigwigs and Labour right-wingers in an attempted pre-election coup.
Corbyn and McDonnell’s radical proposals for the economy, the utilities and public transport, the NHS and wages represent a break from the harsh, neoliberal, market-driven capitalist policies of the last 40 years.
Minimal wages, intense exploitation at work, the erosion of key public services, lack of real employment opportunities, soaring house prices and wretched public transport are endured by millions every day while the fat cats laugh all the way to the bank.
The plot against a Corbyn-led government is set against the real threat of a new global financial crisis. The UK economy itself is propped up by debt and low interest rates and is on a knife edge.
With the aim of discrediting their campaign, Corbyn and McDonnell have been variously accused of:
* being a ‘threat to national security’ by ex-generals for refusing to commit to the use of nuclear weapons and favouring peace over war
* weakening intelligence sharing with the US and others because they can’t be ‘trusted’
* undermining the UK’s standing in financial markets with their plans to borrow to invest in schools, hospitals and infrastructure
* supporting ‘terrorism’ by wanting to talk to elected governments like Hamas in Gaza and rejecting shoot-to-kill of terror suspects
* being dangerous “Marxists” for supporting Evo Morales, an elected president, after he was overthrown by a military coup
Some of the spurious accusations come from ex-Labour MPs like Jack Straw, who helped Blair plot the illegal invasion of Iraq, and David Blunkett, the former home secretary. Labour MPs, who have misused the issue of anti-Semitism in the party for their own ends, could even block Corbyn from becoming prime minister if he wins the election.
So these are extraordinary times as the political and constitutional crisis resulting from the Brexit referendum continues to deepen. Labour, therefore, has no choice but to go beyond routine electioneering if they are to mobilise the electorate and defeat the Johnson-Farage threat on December 12.
They should warn of the dangers of outright dictatorship should the Tories win. It would be no exaggeration to compare Johnson to pre-war dictators like Mussolini.
Labour should acknowledge that the political system and constitution is broken and not fit for purpose. They should commit to creating as a priority a citizens’ convention process to deliberate and recommend measures towards building real democracy that transfers power to the people if elected on December 12.
Labour should end its opposition to self-determination for Scotland and Wales, and establish an independent commission, with input from citizen juries in all the countries of the UK, to re-design the relationship between them. The “Union” was created centuries ago without the participation of the people and is clearly past its use-by date.
Labour needs to pledge they will implement emergency measures to address the climate crisis from day one. Corbyn and McDonnell should endorse Extinction Rebellion’s call for independent Citizens Assemblies to help draw up and oversee implementation of plans to decarbonise the economy.
Trade unions and campaign groups should be encouraged to get out on the streets to demonstrate and even take strike action against the clear and present danger posed by a Johnson government.
Such actions will help build a support network rooted in communities that can bolster a Corbyn-led government and will be necessary to defend it from the many attacks it would inevitably face from the state, the markets, the media and the corporations.
This election is a chance to start the process of ending Toryism and neoliberal capitalism for good, to switch from a cruel, uncaring, repressive state to a sharing, truly green and democratic society. Let’s go on the offensive against Johnson and kick the Tories out on December 12.