Anti-war protest, Downing Street, 7.4.17. Photo: Jim Aindow Anti-war protest, Downing Street, 7.4.17. Photo: Jim Aindow

We need a dynamic, combative left, fit for the 21st century

The Tories go into this election seeking to extend their agenda of austerity, inequality, racism and war. Over the past seven years they have increased poverty, raised job insecurity, cut health and education, ratcheted up Islamophobia, and sought war and destruction across the Middle East.

It is clear that another May government would spell more pain for the poor, deliver more breaks for the rich, pursue NHS privatisation, and further cosy up to the unhinged Donald Trump as he threatens more war in various parts of the globe. 

The Labour Party has its most radical leader in history. Despite monumental pressure from the media and the right of his party, he has pushed for a manifesto that challenges the neoliberal dogma that has been dominant for decades. The commentators may not like it, but it is popular amongst millions of people. 

Tooth and nail

We must fight tooth and nail to support Corbyn, before and after the election, but we must be realistic about what he can achieve. If he wins on 8 June, it will create a massive crisis in society. Even with a democratic mandate, the media, the courts, the corporations and the right-wing in his own party will look to block any attempts at real change. 

It is clear that getting a new government would only be the beginning. Changing the politicians in charge is not enough to deal with the challenges and the forces that confront us.
If Corbyn wins we will need a massive movement in the streets to defend him from the constant attacks that will inevitably follow and to push the project forward. If he doesn’t succeed we will need mass resistance against an emboldened Tory government intent on pursuing their austerity agenda. 

Since its formation just seven years ago, Counterfire has been central to building the movements against austerity, war and racism. We work to encourage every strike, every protest, every battle against injustice. It is these kinds of struggles from below that provide the basis for real change. 

We are a growing organisation with active groups up and down the country. But we believe socialists need to be organised in every town, city, community, college and workplace. We have a very successful media operation on and off line, but we need many more people who can write reports, contribute to our analysis of a fast changing world and help distribute our paper.

These are challenging times, but they also present a big chance for the left. There are many reasons to be hopeful. The centre-ground is collapsing and the result has not just been a drift to the right, but a political polarisation. The enthusiasm for Corbyn shows that there are millions of people who want to see real change. 

But the sense of anger and alienation needs to be organised. We need a dynamic, combative left fit for the 21st Century. All of those of us who believe in a fundamental transformation of society need to get organised. Join us now and help change the world.