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General Election 2024: End the Tyranny of Conservative Rule

Statement by Anti*Capitalist Resistance

Monday 27 May 2024, by Anticapitalist Resistance

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This statement by Anti*Capitalist Resistance was published on 22 May when the prime minister Rishi Sundak announced the British general election for 4 July.

1. As socialists, we are clear: the Conservatives are the class enemy who represent the interests of big business and some of the most reactionary ideas in our society. As the founder of the NHS, Nye Bevan, said, “they are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of people to semi-starvation.” Any crushing defeat for the Tories is something we celebrate, along with millions of other working people exhausted by 14 years of austerity, vicious racism, and callous disregard for the cost of living. This is why we do not hesitate to say: Kick the Tories out, keep up the struggles, and organise the resistance!

2. What do we mean by ‘keep up the struggles’? Under a new Labour government, there’s no time to pause or ease up in our fight. Waiting for them to ‘settle in’ is a luxury we can’t afford. We are clamouring for a progressive shift from the previous Tory regime—that is clear. The unions must demand that a Labour government be a catalyst for radical change, not a reason to become inactive.

3. This election makes the 22 June London protest calling to Restore Nature Now even more important. We need to keep up the pressure. The demonstration should be a clarion call to all politicians and civil society that the environment is the central battle because it is not about some other separate issue; it is about the very basis of life on this planet. We have to fight to build our movements even during election periods; the battle of politics will be won through mass forces taking action to fight for the future.

4. Labour policies rarely diverge significantly from Conservative ones, but Labour’s foundation in the mass trade union movement and its integration into these working-class organisations is a unique advantage. This presents an opportunity to advocate for a socialist agenda using more avenues to power than we have under a Tory government. The unions should leverage this influence to drive policies on wages and working conditions that address the cost of living crisis. Labour must eliminate all anti-union legislation and establish a ‘bill of rights’ for working people. It means a fight to reverse a decade of austerity that has devastated our communities and lives. King’s College London estimated that around 148,000 people died due to government austerity policies between 2010 and 2020.

5. There are some obvious policies that need to be addressed immediately: scrap Rwanda legislation; end the war on refugees and the immigration raid; scrap the Cass recommendations; implement rent controls now for housing, scrapping the right to buy, and a massive expansion of council housing; end the blight of food banks through higher wages and better social security; end the two-child benefit cap. A Labour government must call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and halt all arms sales and other strategic support for Israel, scrapping the recent restrictions on the right to protest and organise.

6. We are in solidarity with the oppressed after the election, but also in the context of the election, which we anticipate will prominently feature the “culture war” and foresee a heightening of attacks. Refugees (with immigration raids and the Rwanda deportation policy), disabled people (with attacks on social provision), Gypsy, Roma, and Travellers (with legislative attacks on their way of life), trans people (facing attacks on medical autonomy and increasing hate crimes), Muslims (with Islamophobia set against the ongoing genocide in Gaza), and Ukrainians and Palestinians fighting for their national liberation against horrific colonial violence.

7. Two Conservative climate policies were ruled unlawful by the courts for failing to provide enough evidence that there were sufficient policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A Labour government must prioritise the climate, end North Sea oil and gas extraction, and rapidly shift towards a low-carbon economy with free accessible public transport and renewable energy. Their attacks on democratic rights to protest have also been declared unlawful by the Supreme Court.

8.Emergency funding and radical reform of the NHS based on co-production, with full bodily autonomy (for women, disabled people, trans people, and everyone) should be guaranteed in its constitution.

9. After the election, we should be watchful and ready to organise against any resurgence of the far right, many of whom are waiting for a ‘woke’ Labour government to start mobilising, especially taking advantage of reactionary social resentments increasingly expressed by younger men. Even the lukewarm measures of a Labour government are too much for these enraged fascists, so determined to obliterate any sense of hope for a better future. We can see the growth of Reform UK to the right of the Tories as evidence that the bitter pain of capitalism is forcing not insignificant numbers of people into the arms of reactionary politics, where they see racist hate against refugees as the only way to make sense of the world.

10. As an anti-capitalist organisation, ACR is clear that no elections to parliament can solve any fundamental issues people struggle with. Parliament isn’t neutral under capitalism, and it is wrapped up with the power of capital. Democracy under capitalism is limited and distorted; limited to only the realm of ‘politics’ and not the wider economy where we spend most of our lives working; distorted by wealth and tradition, weighed down by money flowing into the media, advertising, and promotion for the parties backed by the rich. We stand for a more radical vision of society—one where we have participatory democracy, workplace control, and a socialised economy based on human need, not private profit—a society aligned within planetary boundaries, not wrecking our environment in the name of growth and business. A world of radical abundance and public wealth, not one of scarcity and misery for billions. This is our vision of the future world—it is one we are committed to fighting for.

Source Anti*Capitalist Resistance.

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