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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Measure for Measure

SUMMER may have begun this week, but it seems that the silly season, which usual starts in August, is already upon us. Boris Johnson tells us he’s going to restore the old Imperial measurements, which were discarded in the 1980s to conform with the norms of the European Union, and that he’s going to build a new European bloc consisting of the Baltic States, Poland and Ukraine to stake out British imperialism’s interest in eastern Europe.

The return to yards and gallons, in tandem with the current metric system, will certainly be a boon to the older generation who still can’t make head or tail out of metrication, but it will be a matter of indifference to the generations brought up under the new system and it will make no difference to the price of anything sold on the high street.

On the other hand, Johnson’s proposed British-led bloc – based on Russophobia, neo-liberalism and a loathing of the Brussels’ bureaucracy – offers little or nothing to the proposed members already in the EU and nothing at all to the Ukrainian regime that wants to be a full member of the European club. Nobody takes the idea seriously, least of all the proposed members of this alternative European union. The ‘BoJo bloc’, like the return to feet and miles, has clearly been floated by the Downing Street team to distract the public from the continuing Partygate scandal that threatens to bring down the Johnson premiership.

The number of Tory backbenchers calling on Johnson to stand down or face a confidence vote is apparently growing, although it still falls short of the 54 needed by the Tory 1922 Committee to trigger a vote on the Prime Minister’s future. A far greater number of Conservative MPs would be needed to dump Johnson. Half of them, in fact, would have to vote to oust him for the motion to pass.

Whether the rebels can muster the 178 or so members to take that decisive step remains to be seen. Many think that the grandees will stay their hand to see what happens at the two by-elections this month. If the Tories lose both – Labour is expected to win one, the Lib-Dems the other – then Johnson’s in big trouble. If it’s bad news for the Tories, the Remainers may make their move. But then again, maybe not.

The Remainers, who are the driving force behind the move to topple Johnson, don’t have an agreed candidate to replace him. Jeremy Hunt is a front runner but there are others who also fancy their chances if Boris goes.

Sadly Labour is saddled with a lame-duck leader whose only achievement has been to kick Jeremy Corbyn out of the Parliamentary Party and drive hundreds of thousands of Corbyn’s supporters out of the party over the last two years.

While the Tories fight amongst themselves, the time is ripe for the labour movement to seek out another leader to replace Starmer to face whoever takes Johnson’s place at the next general election.

At the same time, communists must continue to struggle to put the communist answer to the capitalist crisis back on the working-class agenda whilst building solidarity with the people of the Donbas fighting, with their Russian allies, for their freedom, and fighting for peace and socialism all over the world.