THERESA May ‘survived’ the vote of no confidence in her leadership of the Tory Party by 200 votes to 117 on Wednesday night – a feat only achieved after she gave the promise that she would stand down as leader before the next general election.
To describe her victory as pyrrhic doesn’t do justice to the state of absolute chaos and collapse that grips this minority Tory government with over a third of her MPs wanting her out. May headed off to Brussels yesterday declaring she would get a ‘legally binding’ agreement from the EU that her deal with them to keep Britain forever under the thumb of the European bankers and bosses can somehow be softened and made acceptable to the Tory Remainers and to the Labour Party.
Before she even left, Brussels poured cold water on the idea that they were prepared to re-negotiate anything. Their contempt for May was expressed when they graciously condescended to give her 10 minutes of their time to state her case.
If May and the Tories are able to stagger on despite a political crisis that has rendered her and her government a complete and utter shambles then the responsibility rests on the shoulders of Corbyn and the Labour leadership.
Despite repeated calls from the SNP and LibDems to join them in a motion of no confidence in the Tories, Corbyn has steadfastly refused to lead any fight to bring them down. Instead Corbyn just keeps saying it ‘is not the right time’ and restrict himself to calls for a general election.
Corbyn knows full well that under the rules of a fixed term Parliament a general election before the latest term expires in 2022 is impossible unless the Tories agree to it – something they are unlikely to do.
Corbyn is prepared to sit back and allow a Tory government that is disintegrating by the hour to carry on while he mumbles about parliamentary arithmetic. The Labourites keep May in office for the reason that they support wholeheartedly overturning the result of the 2016 referendum. They have reneged on their election manifesto to break with the EU in favour of staying at any cost.
This means support for a Tory government, that while gripped by terminal crisis, is still free to carry on with its permanent austerity attacks on the working class. A government that is still ‘rolling out’ Universal Credit and impoverishing millions of workers and their families.
While Corbyn plays the role of the loyal opposition to May’s crumbling government, over 130,000 children face homelessness this Christmas as a direct result of Tory policies while the NHS faces its biggest ever winter crisis as a result of austerity cuts. While Corbyn waits for the right time, the working class are already moving into action.
This Christmas is seeing an unprecedented wave of strike action across the country. Workers on South Western Railways are on strike on December 22 while on the same day Virgin Atlantic pilots are coming out until Christmas over union recognition. Cleaners at Luton airport are striking over pay for 7 days from 21st December while Underground workers on the Bakerloo Line are out on Boxing Day.
Veolia bin workers in Cheshire are planning a series of strikes starting on 21st December over unpaid shifts while Arriva drivers in the North East are on strike for 7 days over pay. The determination of the working class to fight this Tory government to break with capitalist austerity and break decisively with the EU is expressed in these strikes.
The working class won’t wait for Corbyn to act and will be inspired by the example of French workers and youth to take its own independent action by forcing the trade unions to organise a general strike and mobilise mass demonstrations to put an end to this farce in Parliament by kicking out the Tories and going forward to a workers government and socialism.
What this revolutionary situation demands is the building of a new revolutionary leadership prepared to organise and lead this struggle for power.
Only the WRP is building the leadership required – join today.