No mourning after. There’s still a world to win.
Posted on December 13, 2019
Now is no time for the faint-hearted. Neither is it time for blame.
After such a shocking night, punctuated by only the most fretful of broken naps, I’ll keep it brief. My head might not be at its clearest, but I do know one thing: despair is not an option.
Do not blame workers for how they voted. Angry, frustrated and sometimes beyond hope, the simplistic message of a magic solution to their problems was irresistible. Anyone who now goes down the road of arguing that ‘they’re stupid and they’ll get what they deserve’ is doing so wrong-headedly. When – and it will be ‘when’ and not ‘if’ – the Tories demonstrate by their actions that they do not have the interests of working people at heart, it’s no good anyone telling them ‘I told you so.’
Similarly, placing the blame on Corbyn and Corbynism won’t wash. Anyone who denies that Jeremy was an ‘issue’ on the doorstep must have cloth ears. On my watch he was, variously, a terrorist sympathiser who wanted to take away any income above £40k and a drip who wanted to turn this country into Cuba. It goes without saying that he’s an anti-Semite, but now, fortunately for everyone, anti-Semitism will immediately disappear as a threat in society when he steps down as leader of the Labour Party.
It’s impossible to think it could have been any other way. When challenged for any evidence of his misdemeanours, no hard evidence was ever forthcoming, but a compelling narrative had been put out there and it stuck. I’ll be careful about what I say here. There is no sensible argument about there being a conspiracy theory, but an inimical right-wing press, a cowed and cowardly BBC, some naked treachery by those who should have been his colleagues and the bare-faced cheek of a shamelessly mendacious Tory campaign made a wall of noise that became impossible to penetrate.
Like I say, no conspiracy theory, but it was always going to be unlikely that the dominant forces in British society were ever going to do anything other than continually discredit the idea of a left-leaning Labour government. Be in no doubt, the EU would have been just as vigorous in its machinations – just ask anyone in Greece.
So, yes; maybe some blame is due somewhere. But we need to carry on fighting and campaigning – there can be no retreat into docile domesticity or quiet compliance.
The planet continues to burn and supporting the protests against this wanton destruction is vital. Within a very short time, we will see the signs of the low-wage, unregulated economy that is at the heart of the Tory project. We will see workers’ rights and trade union activity under clear and direct attack in a way that we haven’t seen for three decades. Racism and racist attitudes will go unchallenged – encouraged even – by a government that will learn its playbook from Trump and Bannon. Poverty, hunger and homelessness in one of the richest economies in the world will be blamed on the victims themselves.
We can either shrug our shoulders and wring our hands or we can carry on organising resistance and opposition. We still have a world to win. So, it’ll be about dragging ourselves off the sofa, into our workplaces and communities and onto the streets. Inactivity is not an option.