Rocked by the Brexit vote and then the general election upset, May has at times sought to pretend she empathises with the situation facing ordinary people. The Tories have shamefacedly tried to claim to the title of ‘the party for working people’.
The Blairite wing of the Labour Party, having been weakened by the general election result, has been using the issue of a ‘soft Brexit’ as their main lever to organise against Corbyn. At the behest of the capitalist class they are openly collaborating with pro-EU big business MPs in all parties, including the Tory Party. If it is not countered Starmer’s announcement will be a significant victory for these pro-capitalist, neo-liberal forces.
Jeremy Corbyn’s call to scrap tuition fees and to introduce maintenance allowances is a welcome development in the fight for free education. Although there is a way to go before these reforms are won, the Labour Party’s proposal to invest an extra £25 billion into education in England offered a clear alternative to the long-term programme of cuts and corporatisation.
The dramatic surge in support for Labour in the general election pulled the rug from under Corbyn’s opponents within the party. By conceding on the demand for a more radical manifesto, they believed they had provided Corbyn enough to hang himself.
Unfortunately, the Labour Party in Northern Ireland hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in early August, with six members of its Executive Committee suddenly resigning their positions, allegedly because of other left groups – People Before Profit (PBP) and the Socialist Party – organising within the party.