The Executive Committee of the Young Communist League has released the following statement on today’s General Election Result.
Today’s general election result comes as a severe blow to working people across Britain. The scale of the Tory victory is the result of a failure of left and progressive forces to effectively mobilise across the country to remove this antidemocratic, antiworker government. It is a victory for Britain’s ruling class and the privately owned monopoly media which played a fundamental role.
The real and present danger for working people in Britain is now five more years of decline of living standards and decency, even more brutal than the last decade. In addition, Boris Johnson is now perfectly poised to implement an antiworker Brexit, maintaining pro-monopoly policies, attacking workers rights and opening our NHS to privatisation by US corporations. The only force which could ever oppose this is Britain’s working class. This remains the case.
The election of a left led government under Jeremy Corbyn would only have been the beginning of the struggle for Socialism in Britain and this certainly is not the end. Labour did not lose because of public perception of Jeremy Corbyn, despite the unprecedented media onslaught. Labour did not lose because of left policies of nationalisation and investment in public services. These policies are popular and widely supported.
Labour lost, especially in their heartlands, because of a failure to unequivocally pledge to respect the result of the Brexit referendum. Britain’s Communists have warned for years that this had the potential to result in electoral disaster. The right-wing of the Labour Party have only themselves to blame for this.
This election also clearly demonstrated the iniquity of the First Past the Post electoral system and that 16 and 17 year olds are not allowed to vote. Without both of these advantages the Tories would not have achieved a majority. We must now redouble efforts to campaign for Proportional Representation and votes at 16.
We now enter an acutely dangerous period for Britain’s working class. Our public services and the NHS hang by a thread. Unemployment and underemployment are rampant. One in three children grow up in poverty in one of the richest countries on the planet.
Boris Johnson and the Tories, already supremely arrogant, will be further emboldened by this victory. They will come after what is left of the welfare state with a vengeance. They will step up attacks on our trade unions. They will try to grind Britain’s workers with low wages, high rents and the cost of sky-high privatised services. What will the answer from Britain’s working people be?
Britain’s Communists say our answer must be ever stronger resistance and not one moment for despair. The stakes for our class, the world and humanity are too high. Every community must become mobilised. Every school, college and university must become a political hotbed. Every workplace must become a fortress.
The media are trumpeting that this is the biggest Tory majority since Thatcher. From the UCS Work In to the Poll Tax, recent history tells us that the only force which can defeat a rabidly antiworker Tory government is a militant youth and working class in organised struggle, with a mass, disciplined trade union movement.
Our chief objective must be to build a strong Communist Party, YCL and a mass extra parliamentary shift centred on the trade union movement and popular campaigns. In the final analysis the Labour Party is a social democratic party which aims to mend capitalism – not to end it. The various capitulations made during this campaign and especially in relation to respect for the Brexit referendum result illustrate this point.
Our priority remains building the YCL and the Communist Party in a non-sectarian way through our work in communities, trade unions and in the broad movement. Working class state power and socialism in Britain will never result without a mass, disciplined and militant Communist movement that can help sweep the people into power. We will continue to campaign for a full withdrawal from the European Union as well for a broad, democratic alliance of left wing forces. These remain essential precursors to putting Britain on the socialist path with the working class in political power.
Far from being disheartened by this result, we are more determined than ever in the months and years to come to intensify the struggle in our communities, schools and workplaces. We fight not just to oppose bosses, landlords and other parasites. We are fighting to replace their political dominance and the capitalist system. We’re fighting to win a new society, free from the exploitation of man by man – a new Socialist society.
The struggle carries on. While there is a will to win, no defeat is final. Where working people stand up for their rights, victory is always within reach.
If you are one of the many millions asking what you should do in light of this result, our answer is simple.
Join the YCL, join the Communist Party and join the people’s struggle where you are!
Join the struggle against this Tory government!
Join the struggle for Socialism!
Young Communist League
13 December 2019