The ballot box won't give us a voice, but collective action will!

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3 May 2017

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal" - so the saying goes - and for us, workers, the June 8th election won't be any different.
    Of course, it's quite another story for the Tories.  So much so, that May keeps repeating that "it is the most important election in my lifetime".
    In fact, one doesn't have to be a great political strategist to figure out that this was May's only chance to win an election.  Had she waited until 2020 as originally planned, her government would have been so totally discredited by then, due to the consequences of its Brexit chaos, that she would inevitably have suffered heavy losses.
    But then May cannot possibly admit that the primary purpose of this early election is to ensure that she and her party can carry on enjoying the perks of power for an additional two years, can she?  She has to find a more palatable excuse.

Their "national interest" isn't ours!

So now comes her blackmail:  she says she needs our votes to "strengthen her hand" against the EU, in her horse-trading over Brexit.  She adds that this election "is about voting in the national interest, voting for the future" and that if we don't back her up, "we" will get a bad "deal for Britain".
    And, day after day, the media barons are showing their support to May by helpfully reporting all kinds of horror stories accusing the other EU countries of "ganging up against Britain".
    But should all this hot air make us forget May's record?  For instance, her pledge last year to take care of the Jams (the "just about managing", never mind the "not managing at all").  And what did she do?  She went on to cut their benefits!  Meanwhile, the "gig economy", zero-hours contracts and low-paid self-employment keep spreading like the plague, undermining living and working conditions even further.
    And what about May's other pledge - to clamp down on the fat cats' arrogance and extravagant salaries?  Today, the big companies' CEOs still get paid 132 times as much as the average wage earned by their employees - an all-time record!
    This is what May's hot air about the "national interest" and a "good deal for Britain" are really about.  The "hand" she intends to play in the Brexit process will aim to protect the profits of British capital at all costs - just like the other EU leaders, who will aim to defend the interests of their own companies.
    Already today, that hand that May wants us to strengthen, is slashing the benefits of the poorest.  And tomorrow, it will be this same hand which will present us with the bill for protecting the profits of British bosses from the Brexit mess. For us, workers, to strengthen May's hand would be giving our vote to our class enemies!

Our strength is not in the ballot box

This coming election is rigged by the two main parties' hypocritical endorsement of what they call the "will of the people" - the vote of just 38% of all registered voters for Brexit, after a campaign heavily distorted by lie upon lie.  What about the 62% who didn't vote for Brexit?
    Yet, it is the chaos caused by Brexit which threatens to isolate us from the rest of Europe, and to divide our ranks along national lines - as if workers of all nationalities did not have the same exploiters and the same interests!
    Against these threats, Corbyn's election promises appear largely irrelevant.  What would happen if Labour won the election?  Corbyn's "Brexit for the many" would still mean turning the clock back for the working class.  As to his pledges, how would they be implemented, when he has no authority over Labour, with its long record of anti-working class policies?
    This time round, even more than ever, we won't be able to express our interests in this election.  Every vote for the main parties will be presented as a vote for the politicians' Brexit mess and used to justify making us pay for its huge bill.
    However, we have another way of making ourselves heard - our collective strength.  To counter the bosses' coming offensive we will need to mobilise all our forces, around common fighting objectives.  We will find against us not only the politicians who claim to speak in our name today, but also union leaders who fear that a large-scale mobilisation might undermine their partnership with the bosses.  In this struggle, our only reliable allies will be those foreign workers, who the pro-Brexit camp has been systematically scape-goating and blaming for the deterioration in our conditions.   It is only by uniting our ranks, across all nationalities and industries, that we will be able to muster enough collective strength to fight off the bosses' attacks.  The sooner we use it, the better!