In exactly one month’s time, voters will go to the polls. As Labour’s campaign grows and gains, the Tories are going into full panic mode. Keep up the pressure! Fight the Johnson-Farage alliance with bold socialist policies!
With a month to go until election day, Johnson and the Tories are beginning to sweat. The Conservative campaign lurches from one disaster to another. Each day brings with it a new embarrassment or scandal.
At the same time, Corbyn’s Labour are going on the offensive, taking the fight to Boris and the billionaires. And thousands of activists are taking to the streets, knocking on doors across the country in order to secure a Labour victory – as the reports below graphically illustrate.
As a result, the polls are narrowing. And this is before the manifesto has been launched, which will no doubt enthuse voters even further with its radical pledges.
This is why Downing Street have gone into full panic mode, with Johnson pulling out all the stops to maintain his tenuous grip on power. His pact with Farage and the Brexit Party is just the latest desperate move.
But Farage’s promise to stand aside in seats currently held by the Tories will be no panacea for Johnson’s headache. He still faces an uphill battle to hold onto seats in Scotland and the south. And with Labour’s mass campaign getting bigger and bolder by the day, we can still make large inroads into many Conservative-held marginals.
There is no room for complacency, however. We cannot let up. We must continue to escalate and fight all the way to 12th December.
The mass mobilisation and bold class-based demands seen in Labour’s campaign so far point the way forward. We need to ramp these up even further in the weeks ahead, galvanising the entire force of the Corbyn movement around a clear socialist programme.
This is the way to beat the reactionary Johnson-Farage alliance. This is the path to victory.
Corbyn enthuses the crowds in Pudsey
By Jacob Parker-Dalton, Leeds Marxist Society
Activists from the Leeds University Marxist Society and Leeds Socialist Appeal headed down to a packed campaign rally in Pudsey on 9 November, where Jeremy Corbyn was expected to make an appearance.
Pudsey is one of two key marginal seats in the Leeds area for this year’s general election, with the incumbent Tory MP, Stuart Andrew, clinging on with a measly majority of 331.
Labour is therefore prioritizing the seat – along with Morley & Outwood – in its campaigning efforts. And no doubt supporters from the local CLP were galvanised by this flying visit from the party’s leader.
Even before the rally, excitement in Horsforth – the village in which the event was set to take place – was palpable. By noon, almost 300 people were assembled in Horsforth Hall Park, gathering around the bandstand where Jeremy Corbyn was set to make an appearance.
After some delay, Corbyn arrived along with Angela Rayner, Shadow Secretary for Education, and Jane Aitchison, the local candidate for this year’s election. The crowd chanted ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn’ as Jeremy made his way across the field, accompanied by Angela and Jane.
Jane was the first to speak. She emphasised the effect that Tory cuts have had on the local community, citing examples from the many conversations she had had thus far in the campaign. She also stressed the fact that she is not a ‘politician’, but rather a firm representative of the community of Pudsey, having lived and worked in the area as a trade union representative for 25 years.
To that end, Jane promised that she would only take half of the MP salary if elected – making her a real workers’ MP on a worker’s wages. She finished her contribution with a firm call for a socialist Labour government.
Angela Rayner was next to the podium. She and Corbyn had just come from the launch of Labour’s new education policy. This includes the provision of free childcare for those under five; the scrapping of exams at Key Stage 1 and 2; and the establishment of a cradle-to-grave National Education Service.
Rayner outlined all of these policies, while admitting that she never believed that her left-wing politics would ever land her a job as a frontbencher.
Jeremy Corbyn was last to take to the stage, embarking on a wide-ranging speech that energized the crowd at every turn. Cries of ‘shame!’ were heard loudly as Corbyn lambasted the Tories for their cruel austerity policies.
Particularly prominent was Corbyn’s attack on Jacob Rees-Mogg for his disgusting comments regarding the Grenfell tragedy, as the Labour leader pointed out the clear link between public sector cuts and this disgraceful loss of human life.
If the crowd that followed Corbyn and his colleagues all the way back to the red ‘battle bus’ is anything to go by, then local activists are clearly more than enthused. This was also reflected by the strong interest in our Socialist Appeal paper, with its Marxist perspective and programme.
As Marxists in the Labour Party, and as students in the central Leeds area, we are making a concerted effort to get involved in campaigning and fighting for a socialist Labour government. In particular, we are organising students from the Marxist society to get involved through the Students4Corbyn campaign.
But this is not our fight alone. There are many marginal seats like Pudsey and Morley & Outwood across the country that we need to win in order to put Corbyn in Number 10.
By continuing to mobilise and organise a mass campaign around bold socialist policies, we can channel all the accumulated anger and hatred towards the Tories and take advantage of their disastrous campaign – and we can win! Labour to power on a socialist programme!
Electric mood in Manchester as Corbyn outlines Labour’s radical agenda
By Hal Nickson, Manchester Gorton CLP
Last Thursday in Manchester, around 3,000 people queued up in the pouring rain, at only one day’s notice, to attend a Labour election rally and hear Corbyn speak. Despite the cold and wet, nothing could dampen the spirits of the enthusiastic and diverse crowd.
The audience heard from four local parliamentary candidates – all from a new cohort of left-wing, unapologetically working-class local trade unionists: Ian Byrne (Liverpool West Derby); Nav Mishra (Stockport); Tony Wilson (Hazel Grove); and Paula Barker (Liverpool Wavertree).
Then the crowd heard from Angela Rayner, who outlined Labour’s transformative National Education Service policy; Rebecca Long-Bailey, who discussed Labour’s programme to fight climate change with a ‘Green Industrial Revolution’; and of course Corbyn, who raised the roof as he emphasised Labour’s radical policies.
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) November 7, 2019
Class politics were clearly front and centre. The speeches were full of policy proposals that provided a breath of fresh air from the last decade of Tory austerity and privatisation.
On this point, Corbyn declared that austerity is a ‘political choice’. We must warn, however, of the difficulties that a left-wing Labour government will face in implementing these enormously popular policies, if the key levers of the economy remain in private hands. Only on the basis of nationalisation, workers’ control, and a socialist economic plan can we put an end to austerity, exploitation, and capitalist crisis.
It was clear from this Manchester rally that this election is exactly what was needed to re-energize the Corbyn movement. It was a big morale boost to activists present, with everyone feeling that we are part of a movement that is making history.
By channeling this energy with a mass campaign for socialist policies we can win.
Hundreds turn out to campaign to keep Kensington red
By Adam Booth, Bethnal Green & Bow CLP
Over 200 Labour supporters from across London convened outside the Notting Hill Gate library on Sunday afternoon in order to keep Kensington red.
The constituency is currently held by Emma Dent Coad, a left-wing Labour MP who was elected in 2017 with only a 20 seat majority – the smallest in the country. This was an amazing achievement, overturning a Tory majority from the previous election of more than 7,000 votes.
Now activists are determined to maintain the seat for Labour. This determination is heightened by the appalling sight of how the Tories have responded to the tragic events at Grenfell, which occurred only days after the 2017 snap election.
Not only is the local Conservative council responsible for the Grenfell murder, but the Tory government has shown nothing but contempt for residents and firefighters as they attempt to shift the blame away from those who are guilty: callous Tory politicians and their big business friends.
Despite the area’s rich reputation, with its abundance of millionaire mansions, Kensington is also home to many large (and neglected) working-class neighbourhoods and council estates – including Grenfell itself.
But the large crowd on Sunday ensured that the voices of these working-class voters will be heard, as we enthusiastic spread through the streets to campaign for a Labour victory.
With this kind of sustained effort, based on the mass mobilisation of Labour’s energised mass membership, there’s no doubt that we can keep a hold of important seats like Kensington – as well as winning in other key marginals in-and-around London.
Boris and the Tories are right to be scared. We’re coming for them – and the billionaire class that they defend.
Activists in Putney receive a warm welcome on the doorstep
By Daniel Langley, Bromley & Chistlehurst CLP
Last Wednesday evening’s ‘Unseat’ event in Putney started in St Joseph’s church in Roehampton. Roughly 100 Labour activists crammed into a small room to hear speeches by the local Labour candidate, Fleur Anderson and Owen Jones.
Both spoke about those that feel left behind, and both spoke about ‘social justice’, the lack of quality social housing across Roehampton, and the segregation the residents are facing.
Owen rightly spoke about wages being stagnant since the Victorian era, along with reminding us all about the destruction of our society over the last nine years of Tory and Lib Dem austerity.
There was huge enthusiasm, and those in the room came out in a huge number, on a work night, even before the Manifesto had launched.
Out into the night, Labour activists and Socialist Appeal supporters went door-knocking in the local estates. The first estate we visited was red. Every single door that was knocked on was a Labour voter.
They gave various reasons: the NHS; the mental health crisis; the lack of social housing; because they feel safe in Labour as an immigrant; because youth centres have been closed; because the estates are poorly looked after and not cleaned – the list went on.
Corbyn’s programme and the renaissance of socialist ideas are giving the masses a sense of hope.
During the canvassing, news spread quickly that Tom Watson had stepped down. This hyped everyone up further. There were cheers at the weakening of Blairism, and an understanding of how this will demoralise further the already disarrayed right wing.
The rank and file continue to move from strength to strength, even as we wait for the manifesto. The bolder the socialist programme that we see, the likelier and likelier it gets that Boris and his parasites will be thrown out of Number 10.