AFTER the Tories’ defeat at the hands of a defector to UKIP in the recent Clacton by-election, David Cameron vowed that he would ‘throw the kitchen sink’ at Thursday’s Rochester vote, caused by another defector from the Tory ranks, Mark Reckless.
The net result of this massive campaign was yet another humiliating defeat for Cameron, meaning that the knives are well and truly being sharpened for his removal as leader.
While his chief whip, Michael Gove, went on the media proclaiming that he was ‘100% certain’ no other Tory MPs are going to jump ship and join UKIP, there are dozens of them in marginal seats scared stiff at the prospect of losing their jobs.
The vote saw Reckless overturn a Tory majority of 10,000 at the last general election to win by 2,920, Labour came third with 6,713 votes (halving their vote in 2010), while the LibDems continued their terminal decline by coming 5th after the Green Party, only achieving a derisory 349 votes.
Despite all the overblown rhetoric from UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, about this vote being a ‘game changer’ for his right-wing populist party, the reality is that, more than anything, it lays bare the complete and utter political crisis ripping apart both the Tories and the Labour Party.
Only weeks ago the Labour Party leadership were engaged in plotting to get rid of Miliband seen by many MPs as ‘un-electable’ – the plot appears to have fizzled out in the absence of anyone willing to take over.
At the heart of this crisis is the world economic crisis of capitalism and its catastrophic impact on a weak British economy, being driven into the ground by a massive national debt and solely reliant on a banking and financial system that is out of control and on the brink of complete collapse.
Driven by this crisis, the Tory-led coalition has ruthlessly pursued an austerity programme that has seen living standards of workers and the majority of the middle class pushed down to levels not seen before.
A programme of wage cutting, zero hour contracts and the mass privatisation of every public service, including the NHS, has produced a wave of hatred for the Tories and their LibDem allies amongst the working class.
This hatred translated itself into the Yes vote for Scottish independence from workers and youth in the referendum – a burning desire to create a completely Tory-free Scotland forever.
In Rochester, what we witnessed was a collapse of the Tory vote as their supporters flocked to UKIP.
In both Scotland and in this by-election, the collapse of the Tory vote did not result in the electorate turning to the Labour Party.
While the Tories are hated, the Labour Party leadership are held in a mixture of contempt mingled with disgust at their history of betrayal going back to the Blair government.
At every step, the Labour leadership of Miliband has been in complete agreement with Cameron and Osborne that British capitalism must be shored up by ever growing austerity measures inflicted on the working class.
For workers there is absolutely no difference between the Tories and the reformist Labourites – both can only hold out a future of permanent austerity cuts in order to keep the bankers’ profits rolling in.
This refusal of the Labour Party to produce policies that benefit workers and not the capitalist class, has allowed the right-wing Thatcherites of UKIP to temporarily make gains.
The historic issue facing workers and youth today is to resolve this crisis of leadership within the working class as a matter of greatest urgency.
The working class is desperate for a new leadership that will boldly fight for socialist policies – for the nationalisation of the banks and industry under workers control, for the reorganisation of society by putting an end to capitalism, which produces only for the profit of a few capitalists and bankers, and advancing to a socialist society where production is for the needs of everyone.
Only the WRP and Young Socialists are building this leadership – join today.