Initial thoughts on the British election result

As I write this blog post is seems that Theresa May is going to form a government with support of the DUP.

This will of course be a very weak government especially in the context of the upcoming Brexit negotiations. It is hard to see how May can last very long as Prime Minister given the magnitude of the electoral set-back and her reasoning for the snap election being that securing what she expected to be a massive majority in parliament would have given her a stronger mandate going into Brexit negotiations. The likes of Boris Johnson will be waiting for any mistake or sign of weakness and are ready to make a move for the leadership of the Tories.

The big winners of the election are of course the Labour Party and given what seems to have been a significant majority among younger voters the political momentum is definitely with them.

For revolutionary Marxists the result of the election is something of a double-edged sword. It does represent, or better reflect, a move to the left in British society – engaging with that development among the working class being the reason for giving the Labour Party critical support in the election.

However with the Labour Party being in opposition there is no way to test their claims of having a programme that can really meet the interests of working people. There will be some opportunity to test their commitment to militant class struggle as it is likely this will increase as the working class are emboldened by Labour’s parliamentary success and the Tories weakness. But any such militancy will tend to be seen through the prism of parliamentary democracy and strengthening Labour’s chances in the next election rather than in terms of building working class self-organisation in the form of workers council type formations based on proletarian rather than bourgeois democracy.

There is now a bit of talk on the left (at least on Facebook) about “Blairism” being “dead” in the context of this big vote for the Labour Party.


Actually “Blairism” is merely social democratic reformism taken to the extreme in the context of weak organisation of the working class and related low levels of class consciousness. “Corbynism” is merely a reaction by social democratic reformism to the stirrings of reaction to austerity by the British working class

“Blairism” is not dead.

It is still there as an option within the political DNA of social democracy.

It is just that a more left wing (though still not particularly left wing in a historical context) veneer is now being provided to allow the Labour Party to play its traditional social role of diverting any moves towards militant class struggle into the political dead-end of parliamentarianism.


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