After the June election, collective action is our only weapon!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
15 June 2017

It seems that the "nasty party" has now turned into the "nasty losers' party".  Last year, already, Cameron had lost his gamble, when his Brexit referendum failed to deliver the Remain vote which he took for granted.  And now, not only has May failed in her bid to win the landslide victory she was hoping for to shore up her party, but she's managed to shrink its 20% lead over Labour in pre-election opinion polls, down to just 2.3% - and to lose her Commons majority into the bargain!
    Not only that, but in order to retain her position and force through her Brexit agenda, May has found no solution other than to form an alliance with the most reactionary, bigoted party in Westminster - Northern Ireland's far-right DUP.
    So, May, the self-proclaimed bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism seems to have no problem with depending on the support of the Christian fundamentalists who make up 2/3rd of the DUP membership!  Nor does she seem to object to the DUP's notorious association with loyalist terror gangs in Northern Ireland - despite her own vociferous attacks against Corbyn, accusing him of being a closet supporter of the IRA!
    Nor is May too bothered by the fact that the current DUP leader, Arlene Foster, stands accused of lining the pockets of DUP business supporters with public funds.  In fact, quite the opposite, since part of her deal with the DUP is likely to involve pouring even more public funds into the hands of Foster's lot!
    But then, for the likes of May, power means power - and, of course, beggars can't be choosers!

A weak, unstable leadership
Just like Cameron did with his referendum, May undoubtedly hoped that her snap election would help her to restore some order among her party's warring factions.  Offering them more cushy seats by winning a larger majority was supposed to buy their support and do the trick.
    Except that, in this respect too, May shot herself in the foot.  Obviously, the Tories are unlikely to be grateful to her for having presided over the defeat of 25 sitting MPs, mostly by Labour, even if another 13 newcomers have been elected in Scotland!
    Until June 8th, May's Tory opponents had kept relatively quiet.  But no more:  a growing number of Tory heavyweights, including five of her ministers, are predicting that she is on her last legs, when they are not openly calling for her resignation!
    In other words, the chances for May to be able to restore any kind of discipline or stability within the ranks of her party are, at best, very slim.  And inviting her past leadership challengers, like Michael Gove, into her government, is unlikely to make much difference - since this only exposes the weakness of her position.
    In any case, this means that despite May's efforts to put on a brave face and pretend that she's ready for the Brexit horse-trading with the EU, she's not coming out of her snap election in a stronger position, as she hoped and expected, but in a much weaker one.

Behind Brexit, the capitalists' offensive

Ultimately, May got her comeuppance.  She lost votes because of her pig-headed, ultra-nationalistic stance on Brexit, because of her arrogant, know-it-all, presidential campaign, but probably even more because of her total contempt for the real problems faced by large sections of voters, whether it be poverty, the collapse of the NHS and social care, or the underfunding of education.
    In any case, speculation is now rife as to May's ability to stick to her "no deal is better than a bad deal" policy for Brexit.  But this does not mean that Brexit will not cause a chaotic mess anyway.  Whatever its form, Brexit will take place against the backdrop of a world economic crisis which is getting worse, not better.  It will affect the financial system and, as a result, it may cause mayhem here, across Europe and beyond.  It is not a question of "if", but a question of "how bad" it will be.
    What we can be sure about, though, is that Brexit will be used as yet another pretext for the government to turn the screw on public budgets and for the bosses to attack our jobs and wages.  Meanwhile, the Brexit negotiations - for which May wanted voters to reinforce her hand - will be about protecting the interests of shareholders.  Ultimately, it will be us workers here, together with our fellow EU workers, who will be expected to foot the bill.
    Now that the smoke and mirrors of the election have gone, we're faced with the prospect of yet another capitalist offensive against the working class - an offensive against which ballot papers are useless.  Our only effective weapon will be the class struggle and we'll have to use it!