The local government elections results, analysed from the point of view of their political significance for a general election, confirm that the Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party has further advanced relative to the Tories since 2017.
In May reports in the British press indicated that the government is planning to increase its troop deployment in Afghanistan from 600 to over 1000. These reports suggested that Prime Minister May will make an announcement at the NATO summit in July.
Notes from the front of 09-12-16
Liberal Democrats gain at expense of Tories on Brexit
The by-elections in England since the EU referendum, two of which have taken place this December, have seen Labour come under a new pressure from the Liberal Democrats.
The article below by Tom O’Leary provides an analysis of the recent Autumn Statement including the forecasts for growth and living standards that have been revised sharply lower by the Office of Budget Responsibility. A key point is that the OBR is clear: around 60 per cent of the cuts made to those forecasts are a result of the Brexit referendum vote. Brexit will make us poorer.
The Tory media and the Labour right will spend the next four months claiming that the most important question facing Britain and people within it is whether Britain stays in the EU or not. It is not. The most important question facing people in Britain is whether economic, social, and political policies are pursued which defend their living standards. This requires the rebuilding of social services, increases in wages, a state led investment programme focussed on green and other infrastructure, opposition to Britain’s wars, opposition to the forms of racism whipped up every day in the media and numerous other policies.
An historic moment in British politics
Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Labour leader is without exaggeration historic. It represents an unprecedented situation in British politics. The Labour government of 1945 passed progressive domestic reforms but it was a supine tool of the US internationally – Ernest Bevin and Attlee played a key role in setting up NATO. At that time both the British capitalist class and the US perfectly understood that the shattering effect of World War II and its outcomes necessarily required partial concessions – acceptance of the temporary building of a welfare state which therefore the first post-war Tory governments initially made no attempt to reverse. At that time the US and West European economies were also undergoing rapid growth which gave them economic room for manoeuvre.