The May 2021 election results across much of England, while unsurprising, have exposed the depth of the crisis for the Labour Party. Johnson’s Tories should have been losing seats hand over fist.
They are led by a narcissist, opportunist, and serial liar. They preside over a government mired in the sleaze of corrupt crony-capitalism. Their negligence, incompetence, and callousness have given Britain a ‘world-beating’ pandemic death toll. They really are content to ‘let the bodies pile high’.
Further, representing the super-rich, the financial speculators, and the self-satisfied middle classes, they have swung even more sharply to the right, bringing in a bill to march us towards a police state, while peddling a programme of crude flag-waving nationalism and brutal anti-migrant racism.
But instead of losing seats, the Tories have consolidated the right-wing mood of much of the English public created by the 2016 Brexit Referendum and the 2019 General Election, making gains across the country.
How has it come to this?
Starmer and the Labour Right have purged the Corbynista Left, wrapped themselves in the Union Jack, and fumbled on one issue after another, from Brexit to Covid to the Police Bill, to the point where they appear to represent nothing at all.
The response of leading Labour figures to their shambolic electoral performance was immediate and unequivocal: to blame Corbyn, waffle about ‘reconnecting’, and promise further moves to the right. Towards oblivion. Because who needs Starmer waving a Union Jack when you already have Johnson?
When the Left accommodates to the Right, it loses: it reinforces reactionary arguments, demoralises its own supporters, and alienates progressive people. The Tories have built a base among the most reactionary sections of society, supported by a mainstream media entirely committed to pandering to and enflaming people’s worst impulses.
What’s the alternative?
The Left has to focus on the progressive working class, the marginalised and the oppressed, unionised and precarious workers, migrants, the disenfranchised. Those with a radical consciousness that could become a revolutionary one.
There are millions of us, in multicultural cities and towns, in the public services, in the fiercely anti-racist, anti-climate change, increasingly activist new generation, among the wide sections of the population who oppose racism, authoritarianism, and English nationalism.
We have a mass base – among young people, feminists, minorities, and organised workers – among the kind of people who join Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and Kill the Bill protests.
The job of socialists is to rally the people who hate what the Tories stand for, support democracy, believe in multiculturalism, and want to save the planet. The job is to build a mass movement of resistance by refusing to make concessions to
authoritarianism, nationalism, racism, misogyny, disablism, all attacks on minorities.
The job is to organise progressive people into a fighting mass movement. We want to throw racist statues in the harbour, block roads against climate catastrophe, take strike action against fire-and-rehire bosses, and fill the streets with anger when people are murdered by cops.
The A*CR does not aim to be an alternative political party. Some of us are in the Labour Party, some in other parties, some in none. But we do aim to pursue an alternative kind of politics: principled, uncompromising, ecosocialist, democratic, and revolutionary.
Join us to Fight the Right, to Fight the Tories, to Fight the System. Join us to Fight for Red-Green Revolution.