HAVING REPEATEDLY RULED OUT AN EARLY ELECTION, it turns out Theresa May was secretly preparing for one all along. As with the Brexit referendum, it’s internal Tory Party divisions that are determining the course of events. Both the need to free the government from the threat of backbench rebellions by aiming for a larger majority and the fact that the police are looking into around 30 instances of Conservative election expenses irregularities were factors in the announcement
We welcome the opportunity to challenge this reactionary government at the polls. Our party may have been written off by many in the media, but it has some distinct advantages in this fight. First, its policies - see page 5 – are electorally popular. Secondly, Labour’s massive growth over the last two years – with another 2,500 people joining on the day the election was announced – is a huge asset. It will enable our impressive army of activists to connect personally with more voters than ever, while the Tories rely increasingly on their media friends and paid advertising to bludgeon voters with their customary fear-mongering. Thirdly, in Jeremy Corby we have a leader of great principle and integrity, a man whose record shows that he is as far from being just another career politician as Theresa May is from being a purveyor of truth and decency.
But the key to a Labour victory will be our ability to articulate a clear narrative, something the leadership has already begun to do. This election is about austerity and the state of the economy, but it’s also about what kind of Brexit we are heading towards. Theresa May’s version is encouraging separatism in Scotland and fuelling tensions in the north of Ireland, where the potential imposition of a hard border could have a calamitous impact. The Lib Dem response is to pretend last year’s referendum never happened. Only Labour can overcome the divisions on Europe among working people by championing a Brexit that puts jobs and prosperity first. While Theresa May is in lockstep with a narrow, divisive nationalism that will prioritise the Tory right agenda on immigration, Labour must reaffirm its values of co-operation, inclusivity and respect for the rights of all our citizens, targeting our real enemies: the corporate elites who are exploiting the current crisis to attack living standards and sow division.
This election is an unprecedented opportunity to take a clear socialist message to voters all across the country. Let’s work all out for a Labour victory!