WHEN The Daily Telegraph carries as its banner headline ‘Beginning of the end for Boris?’ then it is certain that plots to dump him are growing by the hour.
The article, written by Allister Heath, opens: ‘There is an overpowering fin-de-regime stench emanating from Downing Street that can no longer be ignored.’
Fin-de-regime translates as ‘end of the regime’; in this case the regime in question is that of Boris Johnson’s.
The speed at which the Tories and their supporters have turned on Johnson and his entire administration has been dramatic. Two years ago Johnson led the Tories to a massive 80-seat majority in Parliament and was hailed as the greatest leader ever.
Even last year, as government officials and MPs held Christmas parties in defiance of the government’s own lockdown rules, while over 500 people died from Covid on the same day, Johnson was still seen by the Tories as unassailable.
Johnson has led a government with wild promises of building a world leading strong economy, of ‘levelling up’ and creating a high wage society. Reality however has now bitten back as British capitalism is being torn apart by the world economic crisis.
Inflation that we were assured was purely a temporary phenomenon is now admitted to be out of control with energy and food prices driving millions of workers into poverty.
Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak this week drove a nail in the coffin of Johnson’s high wage economy pledge when the Treasury told the public sector pay review body that wage settlements had to be below inflation as higher wages are responsible for price increases.
Workers wages are now blamed for inflation. Not levelling up but levelling down pushing the working class into the gutter – that is the demand today.
In the same way, Johnson’s call on Wednesday’s TV Covid briefing for workers to work from home at the same time as instructing them to go to work only to attend parties has caused derision.
What capitalism is demanding is for workers to be forced to work until they drop or get rushed off to hospital from the virus – not go to parties.
The crisis tearing the Tories apart over Johnson has little to do with parties but the issue of what type of regime is capable of inflicting wage cuts, unemployment and the complete opening up of the economy on a powerful working class that is rising up in strike action over pay, jobs and defence of the NHS.
The issue for them is to install a different government that is capable of waging a class war on workers and young people.
Tory Foreign Secretary Liz Truss made her pitch as the ‘strong leader’ to replace Johnson when she posed recently for a photo on top of a tank in Estonia threatening Russia – a direct copy of a photo taken by her hero Margaret Thatcher the ‘Iron Lady’ revered by the Tories for her war on the trade unions in the 1980s.
The other alternative is to install a national government with Labour forming a partnership with the Tories to carry out an onslaught on the unions and workers.
Labour leader Keir Starmer has positioned himself as an unofficial partner of Johnson fully supporting all the actions taken by Johnson and refusing to call for his resignation, readying him and Labour MPs to enter a reactionary coalition government.
The crisis for the Tories and capitalist class is that they face the most powerful force in Britain – the working class, the only class that produces value through its labour.
This weak decaying capitalist system and a ruling class in its death agony cannot carry out the war necessary for its survival without the treacherous leadership of the reformist trade union leaders holding back and diverting workers’ struggles into demands for crumbs from the capitalist table.
These leaders must be removed and replaced with a new leadership prepared to mobilise the huge strength of the working class in a general strike to kick out the Tories and go forward to a workers’ government and socialism.
This means urgently building the Workers Revolutionary Party and Young Socialists to carry through a socialist revolution and put an end to bankrupt British capitalism forever.