LABOUR leader Jeremy Corbyn yesterday wrote a letter to leaders of the LibDems, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party along with selected Tory Remainers calling on them to join Labour and form a National Government with himself as the ‘caretaker’ leader.
Corbyn insists this would be a strictly time-limited temporary government with the aim of calling a general election. Others see it as a means of imposing a coalition government that would go far beyond extending Article 50 and killing off Brexit.
His letter was greeted with expressions of guarded support, the one crucial proviso being that the only temporary aspect of this coalition will be Corbyn.
LibDem leader Jo Swinson made this clear when she dismissed out of hand not the prospect of a coalition but of Corbyn leading one, saying: ‘Jeremy Corbyn is not the person who is going to build an even temporary majority.’
Others, including the rebel Tory MPs, were not so dismissive while making it clear that any national unity government with Corbyn as prime minister was repugnant. But that is not the path that has been plotted by Labour MPs – the majority of whom hate Corbyn just as much as the Tories and have been scheming for years to get rid of him.
Having pushed Corbyn into issuing this call for an above-party government, they intend to use its formation to dump him at the earliest possible moment.
This was clearly stated by Labour’s London Mayor Sadiq Khan who earlier this week called for the creating of a ‘national unity’ government to stop Brexit before going on to say that while the ‘starting point for any conversation’ should be that Corbyn leads it, other options should not be excluded.
Already the bourgeois press is awash with speculation about who are the other options for leading this reactionary coalition and reportedly Swinson has spoken to the Tory Kenneth Clarke and the Labour right-winger Harriet Harman about them taking over. Both are reported to be eager for the role.
The man who has been carefully positioning himself for the role of leading a ‘unity’ government is John McDonnell. Once Corbyn’s staunchest ally, McDonnell openly courted the support of the SNP by agreeing to their demands for a second independence referendum in Scotland.
It was McDonnell who raised the issue of Corbyn being the main obstacle to a coalition government. Whoever emerges as leader of the reactionary coalition government, one thing is certain – it will not stop at killing off Brexit and remaining tied to the EU.
It will be charged by the bosses and bankers with inflicting the full brunt of the economic crisis on the backs of the working class.
With the Tory Party smashed to smithereens over Brexit and Labour split from top to bottom, it is clear to the capitalist class that the old two-party system is irretrievably broken and cannot be put back together again.
The only option to deal with a powerful working class that hates capitalist austerity is to try and repeat the betrayals of Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald who in 1931 broke with the Labour Party to form a coalition with the Tories to drive through austerity cuts on workers, including cutting unemployment benefit, something that a Tory or Labour government on their own couldn’t do. This is the reactionary, counter-revolutionary role of the national government now being planned.
The powerful working class must now enter the scene and put an end to this by demanding not a national government but a socialist government!
The trade union leaders who have refused to fight the Tories and have sat back while workers’ wages have been driven down to poverty levels and the NHS looted by the privateers must be removed and replaced by a new leadership that will mobilise the full strength of the working class in a general strike to kick out the Tories and bring in a workers’ government.
A workers’ government will expropriate the bosses and bankers, break with the EU and set about building socialism.
We urge every worker and young person to come to the lobby of the TUC on Monday September 9th to fight for this policy.