For now we face the fight for our existence.
There is an old saying: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not all right, it’s not the end.” For me and millions of people across the country right now, there is great despair. For some they are leaderless, directionless, angry, confused or terrified. I am with you.
As I sit here, confused and unsure as to how this happened, all that I am certain of is what is coming. This article is not going to pretend that all is OK in Scotland just because the SNP wiped the board, Scotland voted for an alternative, if only everyone else had. Ultimately anyone that didn’t vote Tory has ended up with a Tory government. What next? Here is my prediction.
Friday 8th May will be remembered as the day that the collective jaw of the left hit the floor with the speed of a Eurostar. Everything we thought would happen didn’t, the Tories won. As the results came through, our hopes of a change in government faded, the light at the end of the tunnel began to fade, darken, gone. The last result hadn’t been announced before the human instinct for blame kicked in. Who’s fault was this, ‘we need to move centre’, ‘the biggest problem was’, ‘they didn’t listen’, the screams of suddenly sage analysts referencing a tweet they posted several years earlier to demonstrate how they ‘were saying this all along’, despite having followed party lines for the following two years. The fault, dear reader, was not in our stars, but in ourselves. The next six months is going to be full of blame, let’s look at what we could and can do differently.
The next 100 days are going to see the most damaging policies of any Tory government ever. Whilst we sit here blaming and in-fighting, the Tory’s will:
- Nail the lid on the NHS
- Gerrymander constituencies
- Ensure a more punitive bedroom tax
- Ban strikes (or near as they can) and trade union education
- Scrap your human rights
- Remove the last vestiges of the post-war settlement.
The next 100 days must to see the fiercest resistance from all that care. The next 100 days will have to see a suspension of posturing from candidates wishing to become a General Secretary or political leader, a cessation in sectarian dividing lines and the need for everyone that sat on their arses whilst others marched for their rights in 2010 – to go ‘poll tax’ on the Tories.
After the next 100 days, the acceptance period for most of the country will kick in. As opinion of Cameron’s premiership dwindles, he will be replaced by Boris Johnson in a couple of years, giving the Tories a honeymoon period before the next election. Britain will, on the other hand will be a radically different place. Without Scotland, the remainder of the UK will become a corporatocracy. Without an NHS, the poor will be squeezed out of health care, as the vulnerable die, Virgin, Circle and Maximus will reap huge profit. With the reduction in the number of constituencies, removing the Tory scum will be a bigger haul than this time. Without human rights, personal freedoms and liberties will be savaged. Without Europe, your workplace protections will be decimated. Welfare cuts will see suicide and homelessness rocket further – all by a government with support from 24% of the registered vote.
For me the one thing that is clear, we on the left cannot continue the way we have been working. We do some things very well; we speak to people’s souls and fire them with hope. We need hope in these times of fear. Politically, the centre ground has been crowded and I would resist, as I have done, any party that claims to represent working people to move left. That ‘Spirit of 45’ needs to be returned, the cost of inaction on this point will be the entrenchment of board room, hedge fund Britain. As for trade unions, we need to become the bold leaders we always have been. Capitulation during public sector negotiation must end. We must find common ground to unite, remember who our enemy is – the Tories. We face the fight for our lives now. For the people, turn off the X-Factor and get involved, please get involved – It’s a class war, I’m fighting, will you?
Don’t get bitter, get better.
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