The victory of Keir Starmer in the election to choose the Labour Party leader, with Angela Rayner as deputy, is undoubtedly a major setback for the left and has been greeted by much fanfare by the main mouthpieces of the capitalist class like the Financial Times.
Yet, Johnson and his government are continuing to adopt a laissez-faire attitude. They have not ordered schools to shut; they have not ordered all non-essential businesses to close and implement home-working where possible. These measures are needed if people are truly to be able to avoid all non-essential contact with others.
After years of constitutional crisis and division, the UK left the European Union at 11pm on 31st January 2020. But while the Brexit saga has entered a new chapter, the book is far from finished. Under Boris Johnson’s deal, a temporary “transition period” will run until the end of the year. It will maintain EU rules that block state intervention into the economy and wholesale re-nationalisation of privatised industries.
Labour’s 2019 election result is a setback, but not the catastrophe the media paint it as. Their vote exceeded that obtained by Blair in 2005 and Brown in 2010. Many of the newly elected Tory MPs have very slender majorities which could easily be overturned, if a combative, mobilising, socialist strategy is adopted.