Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 54 Number 12, June 1, 2024 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

July 4, 2024, Election :

All Out to Elect Anti-War Candidates and Challenge the Cartel Party System!

On May 22, Rishi Sunak stood in the pouring rain in Downing Street, to the accompaniment of "Things Can Only Get Better", and announced the general election on July 4. This Parliament has now been dissolved, and the new Parliament has been called to meet on Tuesday, July 9. The State Opening of Parliament and The King's Speech will follow on Wednesday, July 17.

The prerogative of surprise was the only tactic left open to Sunak as his government has been increasingly beset by crisis and disarray, the calculation being that the polls could only get worse if the election was left till the Autumn. The childish reiteration by the Conservative Party that the issue facing the electorate was the "choice" between Starmer and Sunak was only matched by the Labour Party's one-word slogan of "change", when both are part of the moribund cartel party system. In fact, a very large majority for Labour presents a danger for the people that, far from bringing about "change", would present the favoured solution for the ruling elite in intensifying the anti-social offensive and rule by the executive, as an integral part of the state of the rich. It would represent an intensification of the delivery of a pay-the-rich programme, and, even more dangerously, of a pro-war, pro-Zionist, government, which sees war and military might as key, under the rubric of "security". The ruling elite hope for stability in this way, which the Conservative Party, since the ascendancy of Boris Johnson, has been unable to provide.

What, in contrast, is crucial for the working class and people is to utilise the election not to do more of complaining about how terrible Conservative and Labour, and their leaders, are, but to advance their interests and the programme of the working class. For the people, the struggle epitomised by the slogan "Enough Is Enough" goes on, and the working class is determined this must be further built, election or no election. At the same time, it must be utilised to affirm and fight for people's empowerment. The issue is not to pick a side, in the sense of agreeing that this is "choice" versus "change", which is empty rhetoric. The parties which constitute the cartel party system have nothing but contempt for the struggles of working people apart from garnering their vote. What is the choice when Labour and Conservative are both gate-keepers of political power? Change comes from working people fighting for their interests and a programme which favours them, in which they further empower themselves, in which they are empowered to speak in their own name.

There are twin aims for the working class and people in this election. One is to fight for the alternative, for the rights of all, for a change in the direction of the economy, for candidates who are anti-war, who are opposed to the cartel party system. The other is to strengthen the fight for empowerment, for democratic renewal of the political system, for an Anti-War Government, which would be a fundamental shift to the participation of the people in fulfilling their desire for peace and the decision-making power.

It cannot be overlooked that this election campaign is taking place in the context of the Zionist genocide against the Palestinians, and the complicity of Conservatives and Labour in backing this genocide and arming Israel. When the world's peoples in their hundreds of thousands and many governments are taking a just stand in opposition, there will be candidates who genuinely oppose this genocide, not just shed crocodile tears about the need for humanitarian assistance. The struggle is continuing and of necessity must be a central feature of this election campaign.

In this context, and that of the people's movement and the stands of the youth for what is just, we call on people to vote for anti-war and independent candidates wherever possible. Let us go all out to elect candidates who have an anti-war stance, taking steps towards a government which cannot be free to pursue its pro-war nature in Parliament unopposed. At the same time, the fight is on to establish an Anti-War Government, that is a government with modern democratic arrangements. This is the perspective and vision that inspires the working class, the youth and all the democratic forces. Build discussion groups and other collective forms in which the participants empower themselves.

Build the Resistance!
All Out to Elect Anti-War Candidates!
Build the Voice of the People!
Take up the Need to Renew the Political Process!
Together We Can Achieve Success!

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