Saturday, June 08, 2024

Week two of the election race

 It’s round two of the election campaign with Labour still streets ahead of the Tories in the opinion polls despite Sunak’s best efforts to defend his record on the TV “leaders” debate between Starmer and Sunak this week. Diane Abbott has turned the tables on the Starmerites and is now, once again, the official Labour candidate in Hackney. Nigel Farage has thrown his hat into the ring in Clacton to return to the helm of his Reform Party that one pollster puts only two points behind the Conservatives. The Liberal-Democrats and the Greens are buoyed at the response they’re getting in the seats they’re hoping to bag in July.
Meanwhile seven more Labour councillors resign over Starmer’s stand on Gaza and Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to hold his seat as an independent in Islington has kicked off with the open support of two local councillors who have resigned from the Labour Party to support his campaign. Corbyn told the media that he was not aligning himself with George Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain but said he would give critical support to an incoming Labour government.
The Tories remain in the doldrums. The “Red Belters” who turned to the Tories over Brexit are now returning to the Labour fold while many others in the once deep-blue Home Counties are looking to Reform, the Lib-Dems and the Greens for change. But our first-past-the-post constituency system is a tough hurdle for all the minor parties to jump. Farage’s return to centre stage will certainly boost Reform’s chances of getting into Parliament. Whether they will remains to be seen.
Buoyed by the polls Farage is talking all sorts of nonsense about Canada where a similarly named party rose like a shooting star in the 1990s to eventually become the new Conservative Party of Canada that has 118 seats in the Canadian House of Commons. His real concern is however at the prospect of a Remainer revival under Labour. Starmer’s already talking about negotiating a new deal with Brussels that could pave the way to “associate” status or even the second referendum the Remainers want. There’s no serious Brexiteers on Starmer’s front-bench and few left in the Tory ranks these days.
The bourgeoisie may be divided over Europe but they have no problem with the debate around defence, education and the health service. It, afterall, reflects the divisions within the ruling class over how much, or indeed how little, they are prepared to pay to maintain social peace in the country. What they don’t want is a public discussion that strays beyond the bourgeois consensus in favour of NATO, Britain’s nuclear arsenal and Israel.
Our task as communists is to put peace and socialism top of the agenda on the street. To demand a halt to British arms supplies to Israel and Ukraine. To expand our trade and cultural links with People’s China, end the confrontation with the Russian Federation and support the efforts of the Global South to halt the imperialist arms race that is threatening world peace all over the world.

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