Our votes won't change anything, but our fights can change everything

4 December 2019

That Johnson and Trump have been wining and dining on the occasion of NATO's 70th anniversary, is a reminder of what sort of world these politicians represent.
    When it was set up, in 1949, NATO was meant to "protect the world" against the alleged Soviet "threat".  Ironically, this "threat" never materialised before the Soviet Union collapsed, 28 years ago!
    But NATO is still there, with its annual £780bn military budget.  It can no longer conceal the fact that it is only there to preside over the looting of the world by a handful of very rich multinationals - American, British, etc., whose interests must be protected at all costs, including the cost of on-going wars.
    In short, NATO is a war machine designed to protect the interests of the world's richest.  No wonder the likes of Trump and Johnson should be among its keenest supporters!

Johnson's sick lies

Meanwhile the campaign for the "Brexit election", as Sky TV calls it, goes on.  And just as happened during the 2016 "Brexit Referendum", torrents of lies are flooding media outlets, generated by Johnson and his Tory sidekicks, in the hope of attracting more votes.
    The Tory manifesto's pledges on the NHS are the most cynical examples of these lies.
    So the promise of "40 new hospitals" - already made in September - has been recycled.  Only, the plot thickens: these are refurbishment plans and only 6 of them are actually funded!  Of course, there is no "new" hospital whatsoever!
    This is followed by the manifesto's "50,000 more nurses" pledge.  As it turns out, 19,000 of those are existing NHS nurses, who the Tories pledge to convince to work for a longer period of time within the NHS (how, they do not say!).  Worse, this 19,000 figure includes the 12,400 nurses that last January's NHS Long Term Plan already intended to retain!
    Another 12,000 nurses are to be recruited from abroad (at a time when, under Johnson's premiership, the Home Office has just blocked a plan to do just that!).  14,000 would be recruited by reinstating the nurses' bursaries (scrapped by the Tories two years ago!).  The remaining 5,000 would come via internal NHS apprenticeships!
    So, once again, the "50,000 more nurses" is just another blatant lie, designed to sound good in election speeches!
    That demagogues like Johnson should play politics using such lies, without the slightest consideration for the fact that what is actually at stake is the health of the population and in particular the health of the working class, does not come as a surprise, of course.  They're just self-serving careerists who know which side their bread is buttered - on the capitalists' side!

The election and what comes after

This applies to their Brexit blackmail too: all party leaders claim they will quickly solve the Brexit conundrum once and for all.  But this is just another lie!  Johnson's "oven-ready" deal and Farage's "clean break" are just mirages, behind which lurks open trade war, or endless horse-trading.  Either way, the Brexit saga's long, divisive shadow will remain, with its anti-migrant, xenophobic bias.
    It is obvious that the Tories and their Brexit party twins do not represent our interests.  But nor do the other parties in the election.  This means that we can't cast our votes in any useful way.
    Many of us may be tempted to vote Labour, as a means of voting against Johnson's upper-class, arrogant contempt, or because of Labour's "radical programme".  After all, re-nationalising utilities, reversing the Tories' austerity and repealing their anti-strike laws would not resolve the real issue - the capitalists' stranglehold over society - but it might pause the further degradation of our conditions.
    It might, but only assuming Labour does not bend over backwards to show it's "not anti-business", as Corbyn does.
    As we've seen all along during the Brexit saga, the bosses are already sharpening their knives to reorganise production and cut jobs, in order to protect their profits - and we will have to fight back against these attacks.  Most politicians are openly on the bosses' side, telling us that we must be more productive.  Labour is just telling us: "vote and we'll take care of the rest".
    But no-one will - nor can - do our fighting for us.  Whoever gets into Downing Street, the real battle will start once the polling stations close.  By that time, the promises of the campaign will be quickly forgotten and we will be left with our only effective weapon - our collective strength.  We will have to build up this strength, by joining ranks across sections and nationalities and by seeking in our own ranks a fighting leadership that we can trust - unlike the current union leaderships.  We'll need a leadership which is accountable to us; which does not seek to take us down electoral dead ends and which does not aim at forming cosy partnerships with the bosses.