An extraordinary election campaign saw the biggest swing to Labour since 1945. The result was a triumph, demonstrating a seismic shift in British politics.
Now an illegitimate Tory government has stitched up a deal with the DUP – one of the most reactionary parties in Europe, as they stagger towards negotiations over Brexit over which their deep divisions are beginning to show.
Keep mobilising to get them out!
Jeremy Corbyn was central; once the election was called he hit the ground running. 90 rallies in 60 towns and cities motivated people to campaign. What a contrast to May’s refusal to meet people and debate her opponents.
Labour’s radical manifesto, promising nationalisation of the railways, abolition of tuition fees an end to the public sector pay freeze and more, shifted political debate. It underlined what Corbyn’s team has consistently argued – austerity is a political choice and we reject it.
Over 2 million people registered to vote with young people to the fore. Turnout was visibly up especially amongst younger voters –reaching a 25 year high.
It wasn’t just the tuition fee pledge that led to this. For those who grew up watching the devastation of the Iraq war and of the financial crash, and who have suffered the sharp end of austerity since, it was the promise of a real political alternative to neo-liberalism that was key.
The role of campaigners and unions complemented the input of Labour canvassers. The teaching unions, for example – supported by parents and school students – illustrated the kind of public services that people actually need. Unions didn’t just ask their members to vote Labour but to get involved on the ground.
Rupert Murdoch had a long face on election night as Labour’s excellent social media campaign delivered for Corbyn.
Government in waiting
Once the exit polls came out it was clear that Corbyn’s Labour had confounded its critics inside and outside the party. The Tories scraped over the winning line but the Labour Party is prepared and ready for a further election – one which could well propel Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street with a sizeable majority.
The Grenfell tower disaster showed the callous face of May and the Tories. It was Corbyn who was welcome by tenants and firefighters. It is his policies and his government that would prevent more Grenfells.
Corbyn has grown in confidence and his political statements are sharper;. “From Hillsborough to Grenfell the pattern is consistent: working-class people’s voices are ignored.”
When John McDonnell called for a million people to support the July 1 #Not one more Day demonstrated, what other Shadow Chancellor would have said that?
We have proved that radical policies don’t lose votes. And for the first time opinion polls are showing not only that Labour are ahead, but that Corbyn is more popular than May as Prime Minister.
We need a mass movement of millions to chase the Tories out, sweep Labour into office and defend a Corbyn-led government which will be under siege from the bankers, the bosses and the neoliberal elites.
Let’s step up the fight