May Election in June

 

When the prime minister called this election the prospect of a Labour victory appeared fanciful. There were seemingly foolhardy protestations that the yawning gulf measured by opinion pollsters might be reduced, but surely not significantly so?

Theresa May has shown herself to be incompetent as a politician, choosing to present her cult of a personality that is both insipid and dour. Worse, for her, a reputation for strength and decisiveness has been tarnished by a campaign of indecision and vacillation.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn has displayed vigour and resolution, promoting, through Labour’s manifesto, an alternative increasing numbers of the electorate find appealing.

The terrorist outrages have starkly demonstrated the baleful consequences of Tory austerity; it leaves people vulnerable. The loss of 20,000 police officers, and a similar number of community support officers, has reflected badly on the former Home Secretary.

If the Tories do lose the election there will be the irony that law and order is an important contributory factor.

But, will the Tories lose?

The majority of voters are workers whose interests should be contrary to the Conservatives’. However, there is a Trojan paralysing working class programmes called Brexit.

Just a year ago a slim majority voted to leave the EU. There was good reason to do so from a working class perspective. The EU is undoubtedly constituting itself as a pan-European super-state to serve the imperialistic aims of its capitalist class.

Voting to leave, though, merely launches the working class into the orbits of other imperialist blocs, most likely a transatlantic one centred on the USA. Whichever way the working class voted in the referendum, capitalism was the victor.

It is the custom to refer to a capitalist class, but this can convey an impression that capitalism is homogeneous. Most definitely this is not the case. It is a barely tempered chaos of competition, and it was competing capitalist elements that used the referendum in pursuit of partisan ends.

The anti-EU faction successfully fascinated enough of the electorate through the illusion of sovereignty. It is illusory because the restrictions and demands of the EU are to be exchanged for restriction and demands of arrangements, deals, with other capitalist blocs.

Since the turn of the twentieth century, and before, capitalism has been a worldwide system in which vestiges of national sovereignty are allowed for as long as they don’t contradict capitalist imperatives.

The Brexit vote serves as an ideological restraint, encouraging nationalist, too often xenophobic, thinking, that continues to serve capitalist purposes as a prophylactic against class consciousness and the internationalism that entails.

Many who might otherwise vote Labour on 8th June might vote for May the Brexiteer, despite her having been a tepid remainer.  She could well harness votes that would usually be denied the Tories because of the vague perception that she’ll negotiate some ill-defined “good deal for Britain”.

In this digital era the purpose of Trojans is to paralyse, even destroy, programmes. Brexit, for or against, might well serve to do precisely that to the Labour programme.

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