Saturday, May 25, 2024

Singing in the Rain

Rishi Sunak vowed to "fight for every vote" as he called a snap general election for July during a downpour outside Downing Street on Wednesday. He certainly needs to given the 20 point lead Labour currently has in the opinion polls.
Harold Wilson, the man who led Labour to victory four times in the 1960s and 70s, once said that a week is a long time in politics so anything can happen in the next six weeks. But at the bookies Sir Keir Starmer is the odds-on favourite to take Sunak’s place so barring a miracle it looks like curtains for Sunak on Thursday 4th July.
The Tories’ dismal performance at the local elections in May and the drubbing they got at the Blackpool South by-election doesn’t augur well for them in the future. They lost more than half the local council seats that they were defending and though Sunak tried to boost Tory morale by claiming that the seven to nine per cent swing to Labour wasn’t enough to give them an overall majority few believed him.
One of the reasons for the Tory collapse is the rise of the Faragist Reform Party. And even though Nigel Farage isn’t standing for parliament this time round his new platform will almost certainly take hundreds of thousands of votes away from the Conservatives. Few disaffected Conservatives will ever vote Labour many will turn to Reform, the Greens or the Liberal-Democrats while disaffected Labour voters – particularly in the northern “Red Belt” that went Tory over Brexit at the last election – may easily return to the fold now that Britain is out of the European Union.
Starmer’s problem will be in getting the Labour vote out given his lacklustre manifesto that barely differs from the Conservatives he claims to oppose. A few crumbs to the unions; some meaningless pledges on the health service and housing and a promise to renationalise the railways in some form. That’s all it is.
Starmer & Co stand for little apart from personal ambition and slavish support for American imperialism and what they believe to be the dominant section of the British ruling class. But unlike the Tories they face no serious challenge from within the labour movement. Labour’s army of local government jobsworths and the legion of trade union bureaucrats that run the big unions and the TUC will go along with the “New Deal” while many others on the street simply want to see the back of the Tories.
Few will turn to the left posers and the other charlatans on the fringe of the labour movement who say they are “communists” or “revolutionary socialists” while standing on utopian or left social-democratic platforms that only garner part a protest vote.
Within the Muslim community some will support George Galloway, who is defending the Rochdale seat he won for the Workers Party of Britain in February, and others who are also standing on independent pro-Palestinian platforms. This will, no doubt, draw votes away from Labour in some constituencies but whether this will cost Starmer any seats remains to be seen.
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and his colleague, Diane Abbott, are another matter altogether. Both are outstanding Labour MPs victimised by the Starmer clique for daring to speak up for the Palestinian Arabs. They have the support of their constituency parties. If they stand as independents we must support them.

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