June wasn’t the end of May

The ‘elite’ need May, or more specifically the Tories, to continue their privatisation and cuts plan. They see Brexit as the opportunity to push through a sort of ‘shock doctrine’*, bringing in fundamental and irreversible change to the way society is run. The red tape burning and introduction of new powers for themselves is a job they are determined to finish, and May is just the figurehead of the moment (don’t believe the posturing of Gove and Johnson about relaxing austery, this is just playing to the gallery). May is ‘blowing the devil’s trumpet’ for her class, and will be given a place in the ‘elite’ which befits her unflinching loyalty to their cause. The deal with the bigots of the DUP is only there as a fail-safe, an insurance, against any dissenting Tory who might voice an objection at some point. May’s backers don’t really need this deal, as was shown when the amendment on public sector wage capping was rejected; they didn’t need the help of the Lib Dems. The cheering after the vote was disgusting. These cuts have caused death and destruction, and within shouting distance of Grenfell!

There is a misconception that the right wing media’s election campaign was unsuccessful. On their own terms they could’ve done better, but they increased the Tories vote! So stories of their demise are premature. They will learn from the success of the left by using social media, and next time find ways of subverting this too.

It is clear that fear plays a big part in how people vote. It is unnerving to have conversations and read about others where people say things like “I know our pension is going to be cut. I know the bus service is going. I know the NHS can’t cope. But I’m still going to vote for the Tories”. Is this a case of cognitive dissonance or a just a ‘better the devil you know…’

One of the things that got me angry was the immediate response to the vote of the pundits on the BBC. Shock, then, ‘what does this mean for us; for Parliament? How do we the media handle it?’ No analysis of how the anti-austery message had hit a chord with people. Then, once again, they focus on the individual: ‘Corbyn ran a good campaign’ he has ‘proved himself a leader’. For them it’s Corbyn alone confounding their belief system, not his policies. He’s now a celebrity, he’s marketable.

There are people who think all we have to do now is wait for the ‘imminent collapse’ of the Tory government, which will allow Corbyn to step in. This is a blind alley, and we’ve been here before. For instance, trades union leaders will use this to hold back their members.

Corbyn and co are caught in a bit of a muddle. They have a mass of people behind their social policies. So far, this has allowed them to fend off the entrenched careerists to their right. They can’t keep trying to steer a line between these forces. While they do this the thousand or more Labour councillors who backed Owen Smith in the leadership election are still cutting services!

Corbyn won his votes on a commitment to reverse austerity. He has stated in Parliament that cuts have cost lives. He now has to clearly signal that Labour councils must NOT implement any more cuts.

We cannot rely on Parliamentary democracy to deliver change. It’s important that we keep up our local campaigns to save services, thus pushing the Labour leadership from below.

 

*what Naomi Klein describes as “the brutal tactic of using the public’s disorientation following a collective shock – wars, coups, terrorist attacks, market crashes or natural disasters – to push through radical pro-corporate measures, often called “shock therapy”. The depletion of public services, especially the emergency services, means that they will not be able to cope with a major disaster and private agencies will be brought in. www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/06/naomi-klein-how-power-profits-from-disaster

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