UK General Election 2019
So we have woken up to a Tory majority today, despite them gaining only a 1% increase in votes. This is not surprising, given the blanket anti-Corbyn rhetoric in every major news outlet including the BBC. We don't blame Corbyn and we definitely do not blame the manifesto. We are both proud that we went out campaigning for Labour, talked to people on the doorstep. More people than we ever expected got involved in this vital first step into political activism and a political awakening.
This form of campaigning, in a social public grassroots way, has been destroyed by Thatcherism and Blairism. They turned the vote and the democratic process in to a private individual choice. Labour were trying to get their politics back to a grassroots people-led campaign, and the fact that it didn't win them a majority only shows that parliamentary politics is too far gone to be reformed for the benefit of the working class. However we now have a groundswell of people who have experience going out onto the streets and doing politics, who will hopefully become radicalised in the face of this proto-fascism and find more revolutionary avenues than Labour. This moment is key.
What we are seeing is Trumpism in the UK. Boris Johnson's fascist, ethnonationalist leanings were not taken seriously by any press and he managed to keep focus on Brexit to the detriment of any other issue. His racist, sexist and homophobic behaviour and hatred of the working classes did not cost him the vote, the same as with Trump, and it seems most liberals quite enjoy people saying what they were thinking anyway. We need to start learning, and quickly, from the situation in the states. The privilege of whiteness, of middle classness, of normativity, cannot conceptualise what fascism is and what it will do to people. None of this effects them, and they will close their eyes to it until the end.
10 years of austerity has led to an austerity of imagination that we have come to face to face with on doorsteps. It's led to people voting against their own interests, maybe feeling like fascism is the only change that can happen, or perhaps that things can't get any worse. Sadly, it can. The rights and privileges we live under in the UK are not god-given or secure, they have been hard fought for or bought by blood throughout the colonies. The right to life is always in the balance, and power always wants to strip it away.
There's a few of demonstrations happening today. The largest I've seen on social media is called 'not my prime minister', and is organised by Stand Up To Racism which is considered to be a front for the SWP. In case ppl don't know, the SWP were involved in a huge cover up of a senior member raping women members. They have never been fully accountable or made amends for this, partly because they are a very insular and undemocratic party which tries to hitch its wagon to popular movements and take them over. The description for the event is 'Boris Johnson is a racist, bigot and a homophobe. He doesn't represent multicultural Britain.' it then lists all of the bigoted things he said which have been publicised during the campaign.
All of these things he said obviously did not cost him the majority vote share. Just like Trump, people knew he was a racist, a bigot, a colonial ethnonationalist, and a homophobe and they voted for him anyway. We have to admit that some people agree with these things. We have to admit that some people just want people like us dead. This not my president style of protest feels, just as in America, more about distancing yourself from Johnson's racism to make yourself look good. It is far too liberal and not radical enough. It is not good enough to feel upset or outrage or disaffection. It is not good enough to remove yourself from blame or agency.
This election should prove that we need huge systemic change that cannot be won via parliamentary politics. The system will not allow a revolution. We need a movement of anti capitalist class struggle with solidarity for those most targeted by Johnson: to get socialism we need to fight for it, we were never going to be able to just vote for it. What we don't want is some liberal centrist pretending to be in favour of multiculturalism usurping Corbyn and waiting 5 years for an election. This is not the beginning of the struggle, it's another stage. Change has always been won through militant coordinated action: meeting together, strategising, organising protest, disobedience, strikes, occupations. And it's been won by the people doing the fighting.
Another demo happening today is at Leicester Square. It's called Power beyond Parliament and acknowledges the failure of parliament to deliver a society that works for the many. This is the kind of line we should be taking. Things are too dire to not call for entire system change. Because neoliberalism has infected us, this means change without and within. This means an entire new language. This means a new way of being. When Audre Lorde talked about the master's tools this is what she meant. When she talked about self care it was about holding each other close while fighting against power in all its forms, of a radical love and empathy which informs a radical active politics.
We will try to check out both demos, but want to focus on Power beyond Parliament which starts at 5.30. DM us if you want company. This isn't the beginning, it isn't the end, it's part of the struggle. ✊🏼