AS THE failure of the Tory attempt to become the government emerged on Thursday night and in the early hours of Friday, it combined with the impact of the Greek crisis to stagger stock markets throughout the world.
At one point Wall Street fell by 1000 points before recovering, while the pound fell in relation to the US dollar and the euro, and the price of gold rose.
The capitalist crisis dominated the election, along with the need of the bourgeoisie for a strong government to emerge, to force the workers and the middle class of the UK to take a double dose of the medicine that is proving to be so unpopular and so revolutionary in Greece.
However, the election in the UK has produced no government, and the ruling class behind the scenes is insisting that a strong government must emerge by Monday morning if a disastrous run on the pound is to be averted, and with it a big rise in interest rates to plunge the UK into an age of deflation, as well as austerity.
The election did burst the Liberal media bubble. It also proved that despite all of the treacherous actions of the Brown government – its non-defence of jobs, wages, and basic rights, as well as its role as the rescuer of the banks, and its international role as a provider of cannon fodder for US imperialism – the working class core was determined to fight a return of the Tories, and will fight the strong ‘savage cuts’ government that is being demanded tooth and nail.
Brown, however, has known for some time that the writing was on the wall. Last February he was getting his civil servants to write down the ‘conventions that determine the formation of governments including where no party has an overall majority’.
He stated yesterday morning: ‘For my part, I should make clear that I would be willing to see any of the party leaders.’ Aiming for an anti-working class coalition with the Liberals, and then the nationalists, Brown continued: ‘Clearly, should the discussions between Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg come to nothing then I would of course be prepared to discuss with Mr Clegg the areas where there may be some measure of agreement between our two parties.’
He spelt it out that he was prepared to offer a referendum on proportional representation.
He added: ‘What all of us need to be mindful of is the imperative for strong and stable government, and for that to be formed with the authority to tackle the challenges ahead, and one which can command support in parliament.’ He wants a Brown-led coalition.
Wooing Clegg from the right, Tory leader Cameron spoke in a similar vein: ‘Britain needs strong, stable, decisive government and it is in the national interest that we get that on a secure basis . . . . We need a government that reassures the international markets.’
He said to the Liberals: ‘There is a case for going further than an arrangement which simply keeps a minority Conservative government in office.
‘So I want to make a big, open and comprehensive offer to the Liberal Democrats. I want us to work together in tackling our country’s big and urgent problems – the debt crisis, our deep social problems and our broken political system . . .’
He added: ‘I think we have a strong basis for a strong government . . . No government will be in the national interest unless it deals with the biggest threat to our national interest, and that is the deficit. We remain completely convinced that starting to deal with the deficit this year is essential.
‘The new government must grip this deficit and prevent the economic catastrophe that will result from putting off the difficult and the urgent action that needs to be taken.’
The prospect remains that the manoeuvres of the three leaders will be brought to an abrupt end by a deepening of the capitalist crisis and a run on the pound in the days ahead.
This will split Labour and drive its right wing into the arms of the Lib Dems and the Tories to form a national government to save the nation, by forcing huge helpings of Greek medicine down the throats of the working class.
The British workers must get ready to follow the lead of the Greek workers and to fight savage cuts with general strikes to bring down any national government in order to go forward to a workers government and socialism.