Theresa May announces her resignation for 6 June, but the Tories are desperately hanging on to power and face turmoil in their efforts to leave the EU. People across the country whether in support of Leave or Remain are withdrawing their support from the mainstream parties who are unable to agree on a consensus on EU membership.
ISL – Britain
Labour are also in turmoil with Jeremy Corbyn for neither ‘leave’ or ‘remain’ in the EU elections, yet proposing a customs union that will be dominated by the interests of the EU and the City of London, that is Remain plan B.
Corbyn’s idea of a customs union repeats the same old garbage of the EU – which is a war machine against workers and the peoples of Europe, for the pillage of African resources and colonisation.
The Tory/Labour negotiations to agree a deal were a farce. They were nothing more than choreographed manoeuvres to allow a respectable period of time to pass before they were allowed to collapse. Corbyn is “Hardly the scourge of the establishment” sitting across the table with the Tories and not out on the streets fighting for a workers’ way out.
Both Tory and Labour fail to represent the interests the working class which has opened a gap in which Nigel Farage’s, as we write, Brexit Party has become a leading force in the polls for the upcoming EU elections – 34%, Tories 11% and Labour 21%. Many have turned away from the traditional parties in the hope that the populist Farage’s party will honour the 2016 vote and their interests. However, Farage is a former commodity trader and strong supporter of Margaret Thatcher’s leadership, he is not “a man of the people”, he will continue to serve the rich and powerful elites. The Brexit Party with no manifesto or policies and a Chair who is a real estate magnate will continue to serve the interest of the elites.
Far right nationalist and fascist leaders are also standing. Tommy Robinson in the North-West and others hope to capitalise on the anger in working class areas, especially in the north against the policies of the Labour Party. The imposition of Tory austerity by Labour councils and their refusal to fight against cuts by mobilising people on the streets is also opening a space for the likes of Robinson, who claim to represent the “forgotten working class”.
The populist campaigns of the right are attracting a huge number of votes that are from the traditional parties here and across Europe, whose cruel and harmful policies have year on year continued to attack the rights and living standards of workers. In Britain, the use of food banks has skyrocketed, and people are hungry – that this is happening in the world’s 5th largest economy means the tensions in Britain are increasing every day.
End Tory austerity and Labour’s implementation of cuts!
Labour and the unions’ leadership don’t organise workers
Attacks on workers are driven by the world and European financial and economic crisis, the City of London and the EU defence of big business. In Britain, austerity policies have led to a stark deterioration in the living standards of the poor. Attacks continually deepen because there is no drive to unify any resistance by union or Labour leaders. There is no call to build a general strike, which if mobilised for could collapse the government.
Labour do not have a workers and socialist answer, they are a tale of two parties with two capitalist programmes, one for Remain and one for Brexit. That is the reality of Corbyn’s broad church and inevitably splits will continue.
In recent meetings rank and file construction workers have been calling for a national strike; 30,000 outsourced porter and cleaning workers at ISS are currently voting for strike action over pay, but union leaders do not organise a national strike and only local ballots are happening; college workers strike and win their battle over pay; student climate strikes continue; strikes of the new unions, IWGB and UVW, are taking place every week. Struggles are taking place on the streets, but the union leaders are not listening.
If the issues were linked – austerity, climate disaster, pay and conditions, etc, a mass movement with working class communities could bring this Tory government down. So, union branches must begin to fight for this perspective, to unite all struggles and call a general strike, built from below, at the same time put that demand to the TUC.
Rank and file branches to demand TUC call a general strike to defeat the Tories!
Eu attacks workers and sovereignty
Following the 2008 crash, the EU directed their crisis on the backs of the European working class particularly the peripheral countries in the south, east, and west and hit the workers in central Europe. The attacks on Greece, Portugal, and Ireland were brutal, like Eastern Europe they are now semi-colonies of the EU.
Germany and the EU put an end to the sovereignty of the euro states and by (a) imposing automatic sanctions on all countries that exceed the fixed public deficit limit (b) The European Court of Justice can fine States that do not approve the necessary laws to guarantee the budgetary pact (c) The Eurogroup (council of the economic ministers) has the last word on the state budgets, put before going to the parliaments.
For the destruction of the EU!
In the south Irish workers have had important mobilisations and victories against austerity and for women’s right to choose. That is why it is possible to build common fights between Irish and British workers against all those trying to impose austerity and remove workers’ rights.
Ireland suffers from control by the EU of its budget and from Britain in maintaining the divisions in Ireland above all by maintaining the border. There should be no borders between the south and northern Ireland, we are for a united Ireland as the only way to fight control by imperialism and degradation caused by its policies.
European workers mobilising
Spanish, Italian and French workers are fighting against austerity, we have to unite and build with them. The French yellow vest movement is a response from workers to austerity and attacks by Macron and the EU. They have taken to the streets and formed 1000s of struggle committees across France, this needs to happen here. French unions called a renewable general strike because of pressure from the Yellow Vest movement.
We must give full support to these movements and the initiatives of militant unions and social struggles against capitalist governments and the far right. We need a movement like the yellow vest movement to push the unions to fight, to overcome our isolation and build joint mobilisations that can force the unions to organise a general strike.
To do that struggle assemblies are needed and link together to build a national movement.
Unite with Workers across Europe against the EU!
Reform is impossible
It is impossible to reform the EU; it must be destroyed. We must leave the EU on a worker’s programme that combines all the workers of Europe against the capitalist institutions that are pushing back living conditions and creating poverty amongst the majority of Europe’s working class. The EU can only be defeated and destroyed in a struggle by workers fighting for a socialist programme.
For a working class and socialist United Europe