Tories wiped out in North Shropshire by-election. Now is the time for the TUC to call a general strike to finish them off!

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THE VOTE came in at 4am on Friday morning for the North Shropshire by-election. The Liberal Democrats won, taking a seat the Tories have held for nearly 200 years. Winner Helen Morgan took the seat by nearly 6,000 votes, overturning a Conservative majority of almost 23,000.

Tory co-chairman Oliver Dowden said yesterday that ‘voters were fed up and wanted to give the party a kicking. We’ve heard that message loud and clear,’ he said, warning Johnson: ‘One more strike and he’s out.’

The petit bourgeois, farmers and those living in the rural communities and market towns have had enough of Johnson’s fake talk that he is ‘levelling up the north’ – they fear they are about to be ‘levelled down’.

What has been revealed by this election result is not only the acute crisis and splits facing the Tory Party, but the acute crisis of Labour, that is now propping the Tories up.

Labour leader Keir Starmer during the coronavirus pandemic has been Johnson’s left advisor. He says that he is useless, yet he refuses to call for him to resign. He keeps him in office.

Last Tuesday 100 Tory MPs voted against Boris Johnson’s ‘Plan B’ Covid restriction in the biggest rebellion and split in the Tory Party since Johnson became leader. They overturned Johnson’s 80-seat majority and would have defeated him. Johnson would have been brought down there and then if it was not for the Starmer-led Labour Party.

Starmer was proud of the role he played. He crowed that if his party under his leadership hadn’t acted in ‘the national interest’ Johnson would have been defeated.

If Johnson had lost that vote he would be out by now. No one can say that Johnson remaining in power is in the interests of the working class. Starmer takes the working class for fools when he says that Johnson is useless but refuses to call on him to resign or bring him down!

The current Labour leadership is operating in the interests of the ruling class, to help keep capitalism going!

After yesterday’s by-election defeat you have the very real prospect of a letter being sent to the Tories 1922 Committee demanding a leadership election.

After Johnson’s removal, replace him with who? Well the vultures are definitely circling and they certainly won’t be waiting for an election to forge a new form of rule.

The ruling class needs an even more vicious leadership to drive through the cuts necessary to keep British capitalism from going over the precipice.

At the beginning of December Foreign Secretary Liz Truss used a cheap stunt to highlight her bid to replace Johnson as PM. A picture circulated in the capitalist press of Truss, decked out in a soldier’s helmet and army camouflage on top of a British army tank in Estonia, threatening Russia.

It was a direct copy of one taken of her ‘political hero’ Margaret Thatcher in 1986.

Labour leader Starmer has also pushed his credentials to the fore, proving that he will ‘put the national interest first’ in saving Johnson from his own Tory MPs.

The line being pushed is that in these extraordinary times extraordinary measures are required and that ‘we must put our difference aside in this time of crisis’.

Starmer is priming himself to join some form of National Government of one kind or another, becoming deputy PM to which ever Tory replaces Johnson as PM.

A National Government will mobilise the forces of the capitalist state to have it out with and push back the trade unions.

However the working class is rising up against Johnson and the Tory Party. University lecturers, London Tube drivers, and binmen are balloting in council after council. Strikes are breaking out across the length and breadth of the country. Coach drivers, bus drivers, teachers, nurses, GPs … there isn’t a section of the working class that isn’t furious that the entire weight of this crisis has been unceremoniously dumped on their backs.

Everything has gone up in the shops, inflation has rocketed to 5.1%, gas, electricity and water bills are soaring, rent is rising through the roof. Everything is rising except for wages.

Starmer must not be allowed to get away with his plan to join a national Government with a wing of the Tory Party. The TUC must be made to call a general strike to finish the job began in North Shropshire to bring the Tories down with a general strike and bring in a workers’ government and socialism. There is no other way. There is not a moment to lose!