THE terrorist atrocity in Manchester last Monday night which killed 22 young people at a pop concert has been seized upon by the Tories as a ready-made excuse to effectively ban political campaigning in the run-up to the general election.
Originally as a mark of respect to the victims of this outrage all political parties agreed to the suspension of campaigning for the following day. The WRP suspended for 24 hours its campaign in the five constituencies in which it is standing candidates.
However, it now transpires that any decision on resuming the election campaign by the main parties rests solely on the say-so of Theresa May. What was agreed between the Tories and Labour was that campaigning be suspended for at least 24 hours and could possibly be extended indefinitely if May says so.
Claiming that suspension is a mark of respect and that the public does not want to see Labour and the Tories ‘squabbling’ at this point in time and that it would use up valuable police time protecting politicians, an agreement has been struck between May and Corbyn that the campaign will only resume when both agree it can do so.
Until then, all national broadcasts and interviews by the two parties will remain suspended, although the Labour Party has apparently advised local candidates that they may resume putting leaflets through doors but no more than that, effectively giving the Tories a free run at a time when May is on the ropes, and was awaiting a KO blow.
With May reeling from the collapse of her flagship social care policy and forced into a series of humiliating U turns that has destroyed her presidential-style campaign, the Tories are now terrified that a Labour victory is now a distinct possibility.
Opinion polls have shown a growing groundswell of support for Labour with the gap narrowing to single figures in the country and in Wales completely eclipsing the Tory support. With over 600,000 new, mainly young, people registering to vote in this election the anti-Tory vote is gaining a huge momentum.
It suits May and the Tories very well to use the Manchester atrocity to try and ride out the storm.
To his shame, Corbyn has agreed to this pact with May and is awaiting her permission to re-start campaigning.
What if May decides that it should be an indefinite ban since the terrorist threat is long-term? – or even that the whole general election should be abandoned in the name of her ‘war on terrorism’, and that she should rule as an unelected supreme ruler until a more appropriate time!?
These are not fanciful scenarios; the Tories are desperate for a ‘strong and stable’ dictatorship to take on and smash the working class which is rapidly emerging as a revolutionary force not prepared to put up with Tory austerity any longer.
Already May has declared a virtual state of emergency with up to 4,000 heavily armed troops on the streets – if the election takes place it will be under the guns of the capitalist state – while the Tories are now claiming that all this is necessary because another attack is imminent.
The Tory strategy will be to avoid all discussion on their policy of attacking the young and elderly and destroying the NHS in favour of a campaign exclusively focused on the ‘war on terror’. The working class must demand that Labour immediately rejects this deal with the Tories that attacks the democratic right to vote in an election, and gives May a smokescreen behind which she can hide her vicious austerity policies.
Labour must immediately re-start the national election campaign whatever the Tories say or want.
Anything less is a betrayal of the victims of Monday’s bombing and a betrayal of the whole working class.
Terrorism will not be defeated by giving the Tories a free run in this election. The only way to end it is to end imperialism, that through its endless wars to re-conquer the world has smashed up country after country and created the fertile ground for terrorists to flourish.
We call on every worker to vote Labour on June 8 to kick out the Tories and to vote for the WRP, in the constituencies where it is standing, and the struggle for socialism – the only way to defeat imperialism and terrorism.