Live updates of commentary and analysis from Marxists around the country after yesterday’s General Election:
This election result confirms the process that is going on around the world of a growing polarisation. Workers and young people are looking for political leadership and either forming radical mass movements or as in Britain transforming existing parties – the ruling class can not go forward and still have no way out of the crisis which began in 2008. Everything they do goes wrong. We are in a period of growing instability politically, socially and economically. Capitalism as a system is in at an impasse, it can no longer develop the productive forces and offers only poverty and war as it attempts to stagger on. Only a revolutionary break with this rotten system and the creation of a democratically run socialist planned economy can offer any hope. Before we reach that point we will see many twists and turns, many ups and downs – but history is on our side.
Bob Percy, Norwich
Canterbury 🙂 While the right either were too arrogant to bother/had just given up entirely/just sat murmuring among themselves, Jeremy Corbyn and a lot of people on the left were engaging with the public on racism, tuition fees, austerity, the NHS, etc. Big well done to everyone who campaigned on behalf of Labour in Canterbury, I never saw a single conservative out on the streets, maybe they themselves have no confidence in their own beliefs. I hope everyone continues to be brave enough to speak their minds, open enough to listen to & engage with people who may not agree with you, and always ALWAYS louder than the reactionary right who only say all the nonsense they say because they have only their arrogance/ignorance to base it on, rather than any logic or evidence. Enjoy your day!
Ellen Lee, Canterbury
What a remarkable election! The ruling class will be fuming with May.
Corbyn has pulled off this great result with socialist policies that have galvanised large layers, especially of the youth. The party has regained votes that had previously gone to UKIP in the last election, something the “experts” did not foresee. With only 7 weeks, a viciously aggressive press and a divided party, Corbyn has created a mass movement by taking the party to the left and breaking away from the Blairites. Let’s enjoy the awkward, cringey feelings all his critics will be experiencing. But let’s not become complacent- we need to recruit the youth and workers that have been so enthusiastic during the campaign and, more importantly, align the party leadership to the rank and file.
Sanders, Melenchon and now Corbyn are leaders that express the polarisation in society along class lines- capitalism is crumbling and people are seeking a way out. This explains why Labour has regained votes that had previously gone to UKIP. Let’s take the movement forward! Fight for socialism!
Alex Schofield Claramunt, Leeds
If you’re high on election vibes, why not join the Labour Party *right now*?
If you are a member, get to the next Labour/Momentum meeting near you!
We’ve been proven right that a radical, left wing program is what wins people over, but there will still be some who deny it. Shove them to the sidelines.
There’s a real chance that we’ll see another election soon, and we can easily make massive gains again, united behind this kind of manifesto.
Kieran Glasssmith, Bristol
Corbyn has overseen the biggest increase in Labour’s vote share since Clement Attlee in 1945.
All this on the face of a bitterly hostile PLP, trenchantly biased media and two terrorist attacks obviously intended to help the Tories.
An absolute confirmation of the transformative power of the left wing anti-austerity programme we were all told was political suicide.
Andy Southwark, London
So I just woke up to the election results and things worth to notice are:
1)SNP still dominant force in Scotland despite bigger losses than most commentators expected. The lower share of vote is due mainly to lower turnout, people clearly unimpressed with their government record, and…
2) Many yessers have voted for Labour despite the SLP’s Unionist stance, this shows how substantial part of the YES movement is driven by a positive desire to change things (which we saw in the Corbyn’s camp) as opposed to ideological commitment to Independence. That’s good as I wouldn’t support a movement that was driven by ideological commitment to nationalism. I wish the other camp was driven by anything other than Ideological commitment to the Union but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
3) The North-East has returned blue. This leaves the SNP with little support in its most traditional “tartan Tory” areas but still strong in former Labour heartlands such as Glasgow. This poses uncomfortable questions to the leadership that has so far tried to appeal to both wings of the party. It may be a great opportunity to transform the SNP into a members-led political force, as opposed to the current farcical attempts to silence the membership when it comes to new policy and motions. The ousting of Angus Robertson creates a vacancy for the post of Westminster leader, which I hope will be filled by a real left-wing voice (Mhairi Black? Tommy Sheppard?)
Emanuele de Vito (Edinburgh)
After decades of confusion and division, of flim-flam Lib-Dems and UKIP etc, British politics turns back to being about class. If anything is significant about this election it is precisely this.
The polarisation of society into classes reflects the deep crises of capitalism; no more no less. The classes are in conflict and all attempts to disguise this fact with propaganda about immigration and nationalism has been thrown to the four winds.
Now it is time to drive the class questions home. All Marxists and socialists should now bring to the attention of the masses the glaring contradictions between the rich and the poor and the lack of control we have over our lives. Every opportunity should now be used to expose the capitalist system for what it is, for its exploitation, as the cause of poverty, its treatment of the poorest and the destruction of the environment.
On the other hand, we need to explain patiently what can be achieved when we have our revolution; how we can bring to bare all the resources in society, democratically planned and commonly owned, to truly solve the problems of humanity. This result is a major step along this road. Do not despair at what happened last night.
IT JUST AIN’T OVER YET! FORWARD TO SOCIALISM!
Steve Brown (Ashington)