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Bristol rally

Thousands rally in Bristol to demand an end to austerity. Photo: Jonny White/Demotix

The Tories know they lack legitimacy and risk soon becoming a lame-duck administration. We must work to create an immense political crisis

David Cameron’s return to power came as a vicious shock to the millions who voted to reject brutal Tory austerity.

Just 24% of the electorate voted for the Conservatives. Yet our clapped-out electoral system handed them a tiny majority in Parliament.

The Tories can’t believe their luck. But they know they lack legitimacy and risk soon becoming a lame-duck administration. That tiny majority makes them weak.

So they are resorting to “shock and awe”. They hope to jam through as much of their Thatcher-throwback programme as they can, as fast as they can. Already, bans on strikes, clampdowns on free speech, and the abolition of the Human Rights Act are proposed.

And the spending cuts will continue – and worsen, with £12bn of social security spending scheduled to go.

They want to overwhelm and intimidate any opposition whilst they stage a smash and grab raid for the wealthy. They hope, in just five years, to transform British society, tearing up cherished institutions like the NHS.

They will succeed only if we let them. But already thousands are rallying against the plans. Meetings to organise opposition in Manchester, Newcastle and London have been the biggest since the Iraq War protests. In Bristol, a group of A-level students called a demonstration that became, with two days’ notice, the biggest in the city’s history. Over 4,000 marched.

At the time of writing, over 60,000 people have pledged to attend the People’s Assembly demonstration in London on 20 June. Coaches will be arriving from across the country.

All roads lead here. The bigger the attendance, the more we push the Tories onto the back foot. It has to be the spark for the social explosion that will break this government. We must work to create an immense political crisis.

This article first appeared in Counterfire's new free paper. Contact us for copies to distribute in your area.

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