THE NEW WORKER

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 16th June 2017


May must go!

by Daphne Liddle

THERESA MAY is trying to hang on to power that is draining away every day. She has eaten humble pie before the 1922 Committee of backbench Tory MPs and taken responsibility for the mess that party is now in. She has also taken it upon herself to get them out of the mess. Someone should tell her that when in a hole it is best to stop digging.

May is trying to delay the Queen’s Speech; she knows that Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to oppose it, clause by clause, in the House of Commons knowing that with the support of the other parties in Parliament and just a couple of dissident Tories he can knock enough holes in it to force May to abandon it.

May has already admitted that she will have to drop further austerity measures — she will have no support from her putative informal coalition partners in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

But if May cannot produce a viable Queen’s speech that wins majority support in Parliament the law says that the Queen must call on the leader of the opposition to form a minority government. This has happened before.

And Jeremy Corbyn certainly has a viable platform of policies to put forward, and is ready and able to take over the Brexit negotiations, which are scheduled to begin next week.

May is drifting as the deadline draws near and she is having real problems negotiating with the DUP.

This in itself could lead to further disaster — the breakdown of the Good Friday Agreement in the occupied north of Ireland if the Westminster government is seen to be taking sides against the Republicans when the agreement demands it should be neutral.

Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin’s leader, commented: “History will show alliances between Ulster unionism and British unionism have always ended in tears,” he said. “It is far better to look to our own place, to all of the people here, to deal with the people of this island, this part of the island as one community.”

And the DUP is making demands on May in return for a lifeline that will give her just a handful of extra votes in the Commons.

The Portadown Loyal Orange Lodge (LOL), who are currently prevented from marching in the flashpoint Gavaghy Road following a long history of sectarian violence, last week issued a statement amidst speculation as to what concessions the DUP could demand in return for striking a deal with the Tories. Orangemen were banned from marching through the nationalist area of the mainly loyalist town following repeated riots during the Troubles.

Protests against the ban culminated in 1998 with the shocking murders of three young boys after their house was fire-bombed in a loyalist arson attack.

Ireland’s Prime Minister has issued a warning to Theresa May over her plans to do a deal with the DUP to prop up a Tory minority government. Enda Kenny, who has been Taoiseach since 2011, warned that the arrangement, if poorly handled, could jeopardise the peace process in Northern Ireland

And Tory grandee John Major has urged Theresa May to pull out of DUP deal over risk of violence returning to Northern Ireland. He said “People shouldn’t regard it [the peace process] as a given. It’s not certain; it’s under stress; it’s fragile.”

Now Theresa May is using the dreadful tragedy of the fire at the Grenfell house tower block — a consequence of the Tories’ “bonfire of health and safety red tape” — as an excuse to delay further negotiations with the DUP.

So the prospect of a Queen’s speech fades further into the future whilst the Brexit negotiations loom nearer and May seems lost in a wilderness.

The waiting negotiators in Brussels know that May’s government has no proper mandate to agree to anything. And even Donald Trump has knocked her off his list of world leaders important enough for him to visit.

If the Tories had someone who could take May’s place that would have been done. But the only candidate who seems keen to take over this impossible task is Boris Johnson — who has made himself very unpopular with most of the party. The Tories are fatally divided.

They can dither and delay until Corbyn is invited to form a government — or they can call another general election immediately — which Corbyn would win.

Corbyn has vowed to oust May but most of the hard work in achieving this is being done by May and the Tories.