The fight is on, but it isn't going to be fought in the Labour Party
Keir Starmer's sacking of Rebecca Long-Bailey last week is an indication of how committed he is to steering the party to the right. It is clear that at every level of the party the right is on the attack.
Counterfire energetically supported the Corbyn project while always pointing out the pitfalls and the limitations of a purely parliamentary strategy for change. It's very important now that we are clear about the new situation. Starmer's witch-hunting of the left, his positioning as a reasonable and loyal opponent of this calamitous government shows that the attempt to transform Labour has been defeated. But this doesn't mean that the phase of popular opposition is over.
The sad truth is Starmer is assaulting the left just at the time when there is an upsurge in popular opposition to the Tories and all they stand for.
Widespread anger at the government's arrogance and incompetence is shown in plummeting polls, mass support for key workers, and popular pressure that has forced the government to u-turn three times in the last few weeks. The amazing Black Lives Matter protests have led to a surge of anti-racist sentiment, but they are also one more sign of the depth of the anger and the breadth of the desire to protest.
Given the mix of government turmoil, growing class anger, and imminent economic meltdown, there will be more protests and more resistance. It is clear from Johnson's absurd New Deal rhetoric and his desperate promises on the economy that the government is very worried by the popular mood.
So the fight is on. But it's not going to be fought in the Labour Party, it is going to take place in the workplaces, the communities and on the streets.
What is needed more than anything is effective, strategic mass mobilisation against the government and strengthened rank and file organisation in the workplaces.
We urge everyone who is sickened by Starmer's rightward shift to get involved in this kind of mass politics - building workplace organisation, supporting the People's Assembly, fighting every cutback and closure on the ground.
Socialists and resistance
We will continue to work alongside everyone in Labour or out that wants to fight this government. But creating effective, joined-up resistance is going to require a grassroots socialist organisation to provide analysis and develop clear politics and practice that can win. The government's propaganda has to be challenged, the arguments for change from below have to be promoted and defended and groups of socialists meeting together in every area are crucial for developing solidarity and coordinated campaigning.
Counterfire has been at the heart of the resistance since we launched just ten years ago. Our online support is growing daily, our website is read by tens of thousands every week, but we need active, participatory socialist organisation everywhere to create the kind of working-class movement that can win.
We urgently need a left that will take a fight to this government.
Before you go...we need your help
More articles from this author
- Fight to defend jobs, pay, pensions - Tunnel Vision January 2021
- The people the media's forgotten about: voices from the frontline
- Facebook must reverse the ban on the SWP - Counterfire statement
- Safety first: defend firefighters under attack
- Fighting fire with fire: British Gas strikers burn sham contracts
- Solidarity with the British Gas engineers - model resolution
- British Gas workers turn the heat up: GMB strike update