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

Search site for keywords: NSSN - TUC - General election - National Shop Stewards Network

Lobby the TUC for workers' action to defeat Johnson

Part of last year's NSSN lobby of TUC congress, 9.9.18, photo Mary Finch

Part of last year's NSSN lobby of TUC congress, 9.9.18, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Rob Williams, chair, National Shop Stewards Network

It's finally happened. Boris Johnson is in Downing Street. His wing of the Tory party hopes that his maverick rollercoaster can power through to a snap general election win.

He's already shown that he can utter crude bigotry from one corner of his mouth while promising vague spending commitments from the other.

All designed to paint a picture of a 'plain-speaking man of the people'. But like Donald Trump, the only people he ultimately represents are the big business elite.

Despite the bravado of the right-wing press, the capitalist establishment is taking a leap into the dark with Johnson, in order to try and find a way out of the Brexit logjam. Particularly as they and the Tory party are split over the way forward.

But a Boris Brexit, like a Cameron Remain, would be in the interests of big business.

The only thing that unites them all is their determination to avoid a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government.

Even in her farewell speech, Theresa May called on Corbyn to follow her off the political scene. In this, they are all joined by their Blairite agents in the Labour Party.

The Tories remember the last time they went for a snap general election. In 2017, the opinion polls predicted a Theresa May landslide but Corbyn's manifesto of renationalisation, a 10-an-hour minimum wage and abolishing tuition fees, totally transformed the election, denying the Tories a majority and deepening their crisis.

That electoral turnaround was based on the economic and social crisis facing ordinary people. Corbyn's best bet to defeat a populist such as Johnson, who is dishonestly targeting working-class people, is to fight on a programme of socialist policies.

The capitalist establishment worries that a Corbyn government could raise the sights of workers, who could push him further to the left.

They would expect it to intervene if their jobs were threatened and could be prepared to take action if necessary.

Just in the last few months, we've seen closures and mass redundancies announced or threatened across industry.

Shipyard workers in Harland and Wolff in Belfast closed the gates on 29 July to demand assurances over their futures, calling for the shipyard to be nationalised.

The anger that exists must be mobilised by the unions to fight for a general election to get rid of Johnson and all the Tories.

The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) is again holding a rally at the congress of the trade union federation TUC in Brighton to build such a campaign of action.

The TUC should be a council of war to bring together all the increasing number of disputes with other channels of discontent, such as the climate strike on 20 September. Come to the NSSN rally and build the campaign for a general election.

NSSN lobby of TUC congress 2019

Sunday 8 September 1pm at Holiday Inn, Kings Road, Brighton BN1 2JF

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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.

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Article dated 31 July 2019

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