THE CONSERVATIVE Party is tearing itself apart this week as Tory MPs await with trepidation the result of the inquiry by Sue Gray into the so-called ‘party-gate’ scandal that has submerged Boris Johnson’s premiership and implicated leading members of his administration in cover-ups.
While the jury is out on whether the leading civil servant Gray will produce the smoking gun proving Johnson lied to Parliament – a sacking offence under Parliamentary rules – the Tories are being torn apart by a crisis that completely eclipses the issue of Johnson’s survival.
Whatever the outcome of Gray’s report, what is at stake right now is the very survival of the Tory government as its MPs turn on each other like the proverbial rats in a barrel with more and more accusations of blackmail by Tory whips to force support for Johnson and the latest accusation that a minister was sacked from her job two years ago for being ‘too Muslim’.
Yesterday, the staunchly Tory-supporting Daily Telegraph carried an article headlined: ‘While Boris hangs on, poison is spreading through the Tory party’ a clear indication that the time is up, not just for Johnson but the entire preferred party of the ruling class.
What is propelling the Tories into complete collapse is not the actions of Johnson but the historic crisis of a collapsing British capitalist system that demands the working class pay for its massive debt through an all-out war on wages, benefits and services.
For the ruling class, they face dealing with having to dump the crisis on the backs of workers at a time when the Tory government has ceased to function and is facing collapse.
In desperation, Tory MPs are now clamouring for minor changes that they hope will stave off being crushed.
This has taken the form of calls for the government to scrap the 1.5% increase in National Insurance (NI) contributions due in April.
Yesterday, Tory MP David Davis (who last week demanded Johnson resign) called for the increase to be cancelled, because a cost-of-living crisis would heap intolerable pressure on the Tories from workers already facing a massive surge in energy costs when the price cap is raised and inflation has driven up the price of food and other essentials.
This new-found concern for the living standards of workers reflects Tories’ fear that millions of workers and youth are rising up against being driven into poverty to keep bankrupt capitalism from collapse.
Even if NI increases were scrapped, the massive national debt crisis dictates that capitalism will come back with even bigger attacks on workers’ incomes and benefits.
With the Tories collapsing, the ruling class are moving to embrace a new form of rule to meet the coming storm, through a national government of Tories and Labour, in coalition, based on the police and military arm of the capitalist state to force the working class into submission.
The powerful working class must take action and not allow the ruling class any time to carry out its plots to replace the Tories with dictatorial rule.
The trade unions must act in defence of jobs, wages and services.
Every closure must be met with occupations, and workers must demand the unions fight for a sliding scale of wages to match inflation.
Councils of Action must be formed that bring the millions of workers and youth who are not in unions together with trade unionists to fight to defend services and their communities from bearing the brunt of capitalist bankruptcy.
The death agony of capitalism and the death agony of the Tory party today must be resolved by the working class taking power through the organisation of a general strike to bring down the Tories and go forward to a workers’ government and socialism.
The time for the trade union leadership to sit back and observe the crisis in the Tory party is over, those leaders who refuse to fight must be thrown out and replaced by a new leadership prepared to lead the struggle for power.
Only the WRP and Young Socialists are building the revolutionary leadership required.
Join the WRP and YS today – there is no time to lose!