On the eve of Boris Johnson's coronation as Prime Minister, Londoners gathered outside Downing Street to show their opposition, reports Chrissy Brand
A summer of discontent began in earnest on Monday 22 July outside Downing Street, under the warm evening sunshine. An inspirational rally called by the People's Assembly Against Austerity saw powerful speeches from a wide range of trade unionists, NHS workers, activists and MPs. The message that united all speakers, and animated an angry, determined-for-change crowd, was straightforward, underpinned by hundreds of grievances from all across the country: Johnson has no mandate and is not my Prime Minister.
The fact that a mere 160,000 members of the Tory party have made a dire, life-changing decision for over 60 million people as to who is the next prime minister is, proves, once again, that we do not live in a democracy at all. It is up to the British people to decide who governs and who is prime minister. We need a general election now, where we can overturn that slender Tory majority of four MPs.
Johnson is a racist, misogynist, sexist, homophobe, who is also incompetent, out of touch with real people and over-privileged. He must be booted out, along with his conservative cronies, as soon as possible. We must take to the streets to achieve this, along with talking to colleagues, friends and families in our communities and workplaces across the country.
We must ensure that this very strong movement carries the fire in its united belly throughout the summer, building a series of actions, demanding a general election.
There were around twenty speakers at the rally in Parliament Square, all of who shared horrific real life stories of hardship, inequalities and suffering, witnessed by them in their communities and workplaces on a daily basis. The Tories' murderous policies have created a massive backlash from ordinary people from all walks of life, uniting people in an unstoppable mass that will hopefully soon rid this country of the vile Tories, once and for all.
Several speakers echoed the words of Eddie Dempsey from the RMT, who called for an end to privatisation and a demand to bring the people's assets back into public ownership; with the renationalisation of the railways, Royal Mail and the corrupt banking system. Stop the attacks on the welfare states, and on the unions, day in day out. We are the fifth richest country on the planet, so we can afford to feed everyone, can provide homes for all, can provide free education and can give hope and opportunity.
Dr Mona Kamal told the crowd how a third of beds have disappeared from mental health services in the past decade. Whether it is the man who oversaw the NHS destruction (Hunt) or the man who wants to sell it off to Trump (Johnson), neither has a mandate or legitimacy.
Both the Green and Labour Parties were represented by wise women and men who included Diane Abbott, Amelia Womack, Laura Pidcock, Caroline Lucas, amongst others. There was complete agreement that decades of neoliberalism have turned the UK into one of the most unequal countries in Europe.
The dangers posed by Trump's puppet Johnson and his Churchillian fantasies could lead to another war in the Middle East over Iran. Lindsey German from Stop the War emphasised this, with a message for Johnson that if he pursues such a line, he will help create a mass anti-war movement, the like of which has not been seen for decades. She also underlined how it is a disgrace that Johnson can become Prime Minister and, along with all speakers, called for a general election now. Lindsey expressed a feeling, shared by all present, of now living in an Alice in Wonderland world where racists, right wingers and their media say that Corbyn is a racist, when it is clear to the vast majority of the population that it is Johnson who holds that vile epithet, with his long record of disgusting slurs against so many.
Johnson must go and be replaced with a government that will lead on an anti-austerity agenda, promoting a sustainable economy. Caroline Lucas fumed that it is hard to imagine a less qualified and divisive Prime Minister. He is unfit for public office, a racist, homophobe, Islamophobe. Johnson uses his Telegraph column to cast doubt on climate change, more proof that he is a human wrecking ball that has to go.
Richard Burgon MP was clear in that we have two immediate tasks as a movement. To kick Johnson out and get Corbyn in. The billionaire class has a big problem in that they may lose an election, which will lead to Diane Abbott, John McDonnell and Jeremy in government. Never forget that the establishment will move heaven and earth to stop an anti-austerity, anti-racist prime minister.
In the workplaces, on the streets, in hospitals and communities, radical change is coming. Get involved now. This summer of discontent is simmering and will boil over at the Tory conference in Manchester, if not before, Make sure that you and everyone around you are part of it!