Johnson's comic-book politics and the real world of the class struggle

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
18 September 2019

That Johnson should have invoked the "Incredible Hulk" to rescue the Tories from their Brexit mess is wholly in character.
    As his long-standing partner in crime, Cameron, explained, Johnson's decision to turn into a Brexit crusader was solely intended to “help his political career”.  Yes, a career based on Hulk-like stunts and exaggeration, fairy tales and outright lies.
    Of course, it's a bit rich for Cameron to blame Johnson for the past 3 years of Brexit chaos.  After all, long before Johnson entered the frame, who was it who paved the way for this Brexit folly?  Who, if not Cameron and Osborne, with their anti-EU and anti-migrant rhetoric, which was meant to conceal their bailing out of British capital by means of brutal cuts on the back of the working class?

More absurd pantomime

Ironically, though, no sooner had Johnson's "Incredible Hulk" stunt made newspaper headlines in Britain, than he was seen chickening out of a press conference in Luxemburg, for fear of having to face the wrath of a handful of British expats based there, who had come to protest against his increasing absurd policies.
    Indeed, while the British government has changed, nothing new has been proposed by the British "negotiators".  Johnson himself had pledged that he would never talk to the EU leaders as long as the "Irish backstop" remained.  But, having failed to suggest an alternative, he was left with no choice but to meet them.
    There's method in Johnson's madness, though.  The whole point of the exercise is for him to appear as a victim of the EU's vindictiveness, just as, in the past, Theresa May used to go out of her way to convince voters that the 27 EU member states were ganging up against poor little Britain.
    Likewise, today, Johnson and his Tory hardliners are not deluded enough to think that something positive can come out of this latest stage in their Brexit mess - at least nothing that will earn them any electoral credit.  They know that they are like “the mouse that roared” in relation to the EU; that their nonsensical insistence on Brexit will come at a cost and that someone will have to take the blame for this.
    So, Johnson's problem for the time being is to deflect this blame away from his own person and his own party - first towards the EU and, second, towards the opposition parties - in order to protect his political career.  Ultimately none of this has much to do with Brexit!

Back in the real world of exploitation

Today, Johnson brags about his determination to get Brexit over and done with, in order to talk about the "real issues", such as the NHS, education and crime.
    Ok, so let's talk about the real issues!  Yes, those which affect the working class majority of the population!
    Let's talk about the 3.7 million workers who are officially employed in casual jobs.  Or about the additional 1.85 million self-employed workers who earn less than the minimum wage.  Let's talk about all those workers who do not get any form of paid holiday nor sick pay, because their employment status is not recognised for what it really is.  Or let's talk about the estimated one million workers who, although they are legally entitled to 28 days paid holiday, do not get any.
    And let's not forget that Johnson and his sidekicks like Priti Patel and Dominic Raabe, have made no secret of their agenda: whatever happens with Brexit, they will make sure that the few benefits that workers gained out of Britain's membership of the EU - in particular in terms of working hours and paid holidays - will be scrapped, in order to increase the competitiveness of British companies and, therefore, boost their shareholders' dividends.
    Another indication of what Johnson considers as "real issues" to which he wants to devote his time, is given by the estimate of how much a no-deal Brexit would cost in public subsidies to compensate the companies operating in Britain for their losses: £30bn a year, according to the very official OBR!  And, while a softer Brexit might cost less in compensation, the reduced disruption will still come at a hefty cost, so that the final bill will be of the same order of magnitude.
    Indeed, there is no question for this government of leaving it to companies and their shareholders to pay for their own losses out of their colossal wealth.  And there is no question either, that the bill will have to be paid by the working class, once again, just as it was after 2008.
    So this time the image of Hulk might really fit the situation.  We, the working class, have more and more reason to be angry.  And as our anger increases, we will rediscover the real strength we have, when we use our collective muscle against the Johnsons of this world and their capitalist masters!