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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Boris is in trouble

BORIS JOHNSON’S in trouble. Getting nowhere with Brussels over northern Ireland; under fire in the North Country for scrapping the HS2 Leeds extension; swamped with sleaze stories largely from his own camp – even the useless Keir Starmer is getting the better of him at Question Time in the Commons. No wonder Labour’s in the lead – the first for nearly a year – in the opinion polls.

The Prime Minister’s woes are, of course, largely of his own making. He surrounds himself with people lesser than himself and then expects them to resolve problems that even he can’t solve. His only asset has been a proven ability to get the Tory vote out when needed over Brexit and at the last general election.

Brexit was, undeniably, a remarkable achievement for the Tory leader who had to drive the grandees out of his own party during the post-referendum battles that brought down David Cameron and Theresa May. Victory, however, came at a high price. The grandees have never forgiven him for his churlish behaviour, nor have they abandoned their dreams of returning to the European Union. But the grandees aren’t the only ones.

Johnson staked everything on a Trump victory in the US elections. ‘Britain’s Trump’ believed that would lead to a ‘Treaty of Washington’ that would create an Anglo-American free trade arena which would replace the Treaty of Rome. But it didn’t happen – and it’s clearly not going to happen under Biden.

The dispute with Brussels over the status of northern Ireland has only made things worse. The Northern Ireland Protocol that governs the post-Brexit customs and immigration issues and trade between the Irish Republic, Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom was meant to resolve the problem. Now the Government, under pressure from the Ulster Unionist parties, is threatening to suspend the deal outright.

But many in the Tory camp fear that any unilateral move on northern Ireland will only add to their woes. They know that the American Democrats are mindful of the voting power of the Kennedy clan and the rest of the American-Irish lobby, which includes Biden himself. And the Americans have made it clear that they’ll support the Irish government if it comes to an Anglo-Irish trade war.

With no fall-back position Johnson’s been left floundering outside Biden’s international circle. ‘Global Britain’ remains a dream despite hosting two major international summits in the UK over the last year, and nobody now talks seriously about a ‘special relationship’ with the USA.

Some Tories clearly believe that taking Johnson out of the equation will renew the trans-Atlantic bonds they believe are essential for the survival of British imperialism. Others don’t want to rock the boat until after the next election. But for us, the future of the Conservative & Unionist Party is matter of complete indifference. It’s the future of the labour movement that counts.

These days all that Starmer & Co have to offer is the old Blairite claim that they are a tad more liberal than the Tories on social issues. But the choice for working people cannot be reduced simply to which major party is worse than the other. The choice clearly has to be for a Labour Party that reflects the demands of the street and not the differences between certain elements within the ruling class on how to best exploit those they oppress. Sadly, the future doesn’t bode well with Starmer at the helm of the Labour Party.

Labour must return to its core policies to keep its core voters. The ‘Welfare State’ and the public sector must be restored, and higher rate income tax raised to 1979 levels to help pay for it. The labour movement has the power to change the leadership and the direction of the Labour Party. That change is now needed more than ever.