The general election campaign marks a decisive turning point for politics in Britain. When Theresa May called it, she had a 22-point lead in some opinion polls and Tory strategists were predicting a majority of up to 100 seats, allowing her to implement her austerity programme and negotiate a Brexit without the threat of being derailed by backbench revolts.
The fire at Grenfell Tower in West London spread with horrific speed and witnesses have described heart-rending scenes as residents attempted to escape. This is a terrible tragedy and there has naturally been an outpouring of sympathy and human solidarity with the residents and families affected.
Theresa May’s failed election gamble is a nightmare for the capitalist class in Britain. Seven weeks ago most of Britain’s elite were hopeful that May would succeed in dramatically increasing the number of Tory MPs, thereby buttressing her government to be able to weather the storms of economic crisis, to carry out vicious austerity against the majority in society and to implement a Brexit in the interests of the 1%.
The closing of the opinion polls, even after the horrific Manchester bombing, has confounded all wings of the capitalist establishment. The Blairites in Labour are a key part of this coalition and they are just as terrified of the prospect of Jeremy Corbyn being declared prime minister on 9 June.
This atrocity, which the Socialist Party completely condemns, has echoes of the Bataclan concert attack in Paris in November 2015. In both, ordinary people from all walks of life were indiscriminately slaughtered, especially the young.