THE British ruling class moved swiftly and ruthlessly yesterday to crush opposition to the election of Theresa May as leader of the Tory Party.
Her opponent, the leading Brexit campaigner Andrea Leadsom, was first subjected to a campaign of vilification over an interview given to the Times newspaper, a campaign described by her supporter Tory MP Iain Duncan Smith as a ‘black-ops operation to denigrate her reputation.’
Behind this attack on Leadsom was the fear that she could very well win the leadership election with the support of the thousands of Tory members who voted to leave the EU and would never vote for May.
Leadsom was also pilloried for making a grovelling apology to May afterwards, showing herself to be too weak to carry out the requirements of the ruling class for a strong Tory leader capable and willing to take on the working class and smash it.
This is becoming a burning requirement as the world crisis of capitalism plunges even deeper by the day with a world banking crisis not just predicted but expected any moment.
In order to prepare for this economic tsunami set to engulf not just Brtain but the world, a crisis that will necessitate undreamed of austerity cuts, the ruling class could not afford a nine week election period for Tory leader – the decks had to be cleared and they were.
As for Tory members’ wishes, they were contemptuously swept aside by the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Now every Tory ‘Brexiter’ from Gove to Johnson is rallying behind May and her class war leadership declaring their unswerving support for her.
In the immediate offing is the rising demand for a snap general election. Both the LibDems and the Labour election campaign manager Jon Tricket have called for an immediate general election, something that the Tories may very well welcome.
What is strengthening the Tories and giving them confidence is the reactionary manoeuvrings and plotting by the right-wing Blairites who are doing their very best to split the Labour Party.
On the same day that the ruling class ruthlessly settled their leadership issue by imposing their dictatorship over their party, the Blairite Angela Eagle instigated a leadership contest to oust the democratically elected Jeremy Corbyn.
Knowing that they stand no chance of defeating Corbyn in a democratic vote of Labour members, hundreds of thousands of whom joined because Corbyn held out the promise of a fight for socialist policies, the right-wing are relying on today’s meeting of Labour’s national executive committee to rule that Corbyn cannot stand unless he has the nomination of 51 MPs.
Only by this tactic to force Corbyn off the ballot paper can Eagle – who has voted consistently for imperialist wars, for benefit cuts, detention without trial, ID cards and student loans – hope to win.
So while the ruling class is ruthlessly settling its leadership and preparing for a real battle, the right-wing of the Labour Party is intent on aiding them by dumping Corbyn and splitting the party on the possible eve of a general election!
The time is long overdue to put an end to this deliberate sabotage that can only keep the Tories in power. The leaders of the trade unions must take a leaf out of the book of the ruling class and act with equal ruthless determination.
The leaders of Unite, Unison and every union who have given their verbal support to Corbyn must now immediately translate this into action. They must tell the Blairites plainly that if they don’t stop all this reactionary scheming they will be stamped on hard. Eagle must be made to withdraw her leadership challenge!
If Eagle refuses, then any leadership election must include Corbyn’s name on the ballot paper, otherwise the trade union movement, which founded and has always funded the Labour Party, will refuse to recognise it or any ‘leader’ that emerges from it and will not let the right-wing have a penny of trade union money.
Just as the ruling class exerts its dictatorship over the Tory party the unions must now exert the dictatorship of the vast mass of workers, who hate the Tories and capitalism, over the right-wing of the Labour Party and drive them out of the movement for good!