"With deep divisions in the Tory party, Boris’ government is a minority government in all but name."ANDREW PARSONS / I-IMAGES

“It’s the arrogance. It’s the contempt. That’s what gets me." The United Kingdom’s new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, once commented that Brown’s succession to Blair – without calling a General Election – was “as democratically proper as the transition from Claudius to Nero”. Then, on the steps of 10 Downing Street, Boris paraded Britain as a “home of democracy”. Now, looking at how Boris was elected, his concern for democracy proves little more than window dressing, and his disgust at Brown's arrogance merely tongue-in-cheek.

Our new PM was elected by the 160,000 Tory party members – a staggering 0.2% of the UK's population. Of these individuals, the majority are over 55 years of age and believe that Islam is “a threat to the British way of life” and “Trump would be a good British Prime Minister.” 

The mandate of a reactionary, unrepresentative slither of society is no mandate at all. The recent defeat in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election leaves Boris' government with a working majority of just one. With deep divisions in the Tory party, Boris’ government is a minority government in all but name.

 "The youth and working class should not simply despair at Boris’ victory, but start organising for his inevitable defeat."

Boris is plagued with the same Brexit problem as his predecessor. There is no majority for the final deal offered to Britain. Right now, there is parliamentary paralysis, and Boris’ jingoistic, Little-Englander rhetoric cannot change this fact. Halloween is a fitting date for our proposed exit from the EU: a spectre is certainly haunting Parliament – the spectre of a cliff-edge Brexit. This would be devastating for British trade, instigate the breakup of the Union and most likely cause a decisive split in the Tory Party. 

Though the jesters have taken over the court, we would be wrong to mistake Boris for a mere clown. Homophobic, sexist, duplicitous, conniving and racist, his deplorable tenure as Foreign Secretary offers a chilling window onto what is to come. His signing off on arms exports to the Saudi regime, fuelling the destruction of Yemen, was recently found unlawful by the Court of Appeal. Beyond his proclivity not to read briefing notes, it is his uncritical support for the British Arms industry which reveals where exactly his priorities lie: innocent life is ultimately the price paid for profit.

It is easy to fall into disillusionment as we observe the rise of demagogues around the world. Indeed, Johnson’s relationship to Trump is like that of a poodle and a master. A no-deal Brexit, far from ensuring so-called 'sovereignty', will open up our public services to the plunder of American corporations. Trump has already said as much.

"The parliamentary paralysis can only be broken with a General Election."

However, the youth and working class should not simply despair at Boris’ victory, but start organising for his inevitable defeat. The status quo is clearly broken, and faith in the system run by and for a tiny minority is quickly depleting. After a decade of austerity it is no surprise that Corbyn’s message and manifesto resonated with the downtrodden majority: his election as the leader of the Labour Party was an expression of total disillusionment with mainstream British politics. 

With a new economic slump looming, many people have been completely left behind. Any growth which occurred since 2008 was built not on investment in the economy, but on the driving down of wages and living conditions. The resulting despair and disillusionment with the status quo is the basis of Britain’s political turmoil, and the same process is occurring across the world. The labour movement and mass left organisations’ general failure to provide a genuine socialist programme – which could channel this social crisis – has paved the way for reaction.


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However, we should draw great inspiration from the militant mood at the recent ‘f*ck govt, f*ck Boris’ demonstration, which attracted around 10,000 protesters on Johnson’s first day in office. People are taking action. Hundreds of canvassers gathered last month to launch the ‘Unseat Johnson’ campaign, challenging the meagre majority that Boris currently holds.

This rejection of Boris and the rotten party he represents must be given a political expression. If Labour and the Trade Union’s channelled the energy seen recently on the streets of London into mass strikes, demonstrations and protests, this fragile government could be brought down in a matter of weeks.

The parliamentary paralysis can only be broken with a General Election.

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