Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

Sunak IN as Tory PM: all OUT for the fight against the ruling class

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011
The Central Committee of the Young Communist League has issued the following statement in response to the declaration of Rishi Sunak as new Tory Prime Minister.
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The imposition of Rishi Sunak on Britain as prime minister by a handful of Tory MPs was an anti-democratic charade. Tory factions have squabbled and settled on Sunak, imposing the richest prime minister in history, swiftly after getting rid of the shortest lived and most incompetent. The political system of Britain’s ruling class continues to degenerate while working people are impoverished. 

Ruling class selects a new chief Tory

Sunak represents continuity on economic and political terms more palatable to the ruling class and the markets, carrying forward over a decade of Tory austerity. 

The brief but eventful premiership of Liz Truss saw out a monarch and shattered the value of the pound. 

The economic policies pursued by Truss reflected one hard right faction of the Tory Party. She promised outrageous tax cuts for the rich and big business, but the lack of accounting, credible forecasting and the projected budget shortfall proved enough to cause financial markets to baulk. This in turn led to a collapse in the value of the pound and market chaos prompting massive intervention by the Bank of England to prop up financial markets, pension funds and the value of government bonds. All this was enough for yet another Tory coup. 

While the left and labour movement can take pleasure in the farcical state of the Tory Party and the personal humiliation of Truss, we must be careful. 

Dictatorship of big business 

We must be clear that financial markets and the City of London should not decide economic policy or who governs Britain. While Truss was the victim this time around, this wasn’t a benevolent protection of working people by the markets, these same markets are much more likely to be used to topple even a moderate Labour government, never mind a radical left government set on constructing working class state power.  

While much of the Tory rhetoric and messaging remains the same – with the new addition of solving the problems created by Truss – we also now hear a return to the talk of ‘difficult choices’ ahead. 

Working people and the youth know what this means. Difficult choices are easy for the ruling class because they are, always and everywhere, attacks on our rights and living standards. They are promising austerity in a rapidly failing state, against a backdrop of no meaningful recovery for working people or public services since the 2008 crisis. There’s nothing left to cut. 

Current polling and the projections of a Tory defeat in a snap election are to be welcomed, but there are also dangers for the left and labour movement in the current situation.

The fight isn’t over

In the first instance, we cannot allow complacency to creep in – the idea that a Labour victory is merely a matter of time. This threatens to dampen the rising wave of industrial militancy and the advances in class consciousness we are currently seeing. The Tories are far from beaten and will resist all calls for an early election. 

Secondly, while Starmer has made some lukewarm promises and paused his crusade against the left and the labour movement, a Labour government under his leadership is highly unlikely to present a meaningful alternative for working people. In echoes of New Labour, Starmer has launched a “Prawn Cocktail Offensive 2.0” holding meetings and dinners with FTSE 100 and global companies including Tesco, NatWest and Amazon. Just as with Blair and Brown, we can expect Starmer to take his orders from these same forces if he ever makes it into Number 10. 

Thirdly, we must reject the narrative of the Labour leadership, the monopoly and state media and the ruling class that only by abandoning the left policies has Starmer been able to gain a poll lead. In reality, only Keir Starmer could have failed to amass a poll lead this large until now, given the dire and squalid state of this Tory government. It is nothing Starmer has done which has led to this situation, but the fact that the Tories have torn themselves apart – and the economy in the process. 

All of this takes place during spiralling living costs, stagnant wages and rocketing poverty and indebtedness for working people across Britain. Even the ruling class and state media reluctantly acknowledge the situation, with swathes of BBC news and the newspapers devoted to tokenistic cost cutting measures.

Britain’s ruling class political system and right wing electoral politics have failed working people. There is no easy or quick solution in a snap election. The power of working people and the youth is built in our communities, campuses and workplaces, not in Westminster. 

The ruling class response to deep economic crisis and inequality is to force working people to a miserable breadline existence. 

Britain’s Communists are clear on our response and the strategy for the youth and working people:

  • We must intensify the fight for real measures to help working people battle spiralling costs of food, energy and essentials – and the labour movement must place itself at the centre of this struggle.
  • The trade union battles taking place today must be supported and broadened – the fight against stagnant wages offers the labour movement the opportunity to demonstrate its importance to a new generation, build on rising membership numbers and raise class consciousness across Britain. 
  • As a central part of this, the left and labour movement must fight to remove Tory anti-union laws and anti-democratic restrictions on the right to strike 
  • We join the call for an immediate general election. This government has no legitimacy or democratic mandate. 
  • However we cannot allow the prospect of a right-wing Labour government to undermine rising militancy. Starmer and his cowardly leadership must be called out. 
  • The labour movement must mobilise for a maximum turnout at the upcoming Britain is Broken National Demonstration on 5 November 2022.
  • There is a pressing need for a bigger and stronger YCL and Communist Party. 

If you want to play your part, now is the time. Get active and build the struggle wherever you are.

Join a trade union and a tenants union, organise in your workplace, your campus and your community. 

Join the YCL and the Communist Party!

Join the fight for a real victory over the ruling class!

In comradeship

Central Committee
Young Communist League

28 October 2022
London, Britain

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