Britain: Starmer’s victory – a new stage in the unending crisis 

The Tories have suffered a devastating defeat, allowing Starmer into Number 10 with a massive majority. But this new Labour government will be one of intense crises. Workers and youth must prepare for battle. Join the RCP!

After 14 years of Tory attacks and brutal austerity, the crushing defeat delivered against Rishi Sunak and his gang of Conservative criminals is most welcome.

The scale of this thrashing was truly historic. Having lost a whopping 251 seats, the Tory Party has been reduced to an impotent rump. It represents the biggest and most humiliating hammering faced by the Tory Party in its nearly 200 years of existence.

A swathe of key Tory wretches have lost their seats: former prime minister Liz Truss, Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, defence secretary Grant Shapps, and the arch-reactionary ‘minister for the nineteenth century’ Jacob Rees-Mogg, to name a few.

“Thank God I'm free. It's over and I'm glad”, reflected one former Tory MP who had lost his seat, to a baffled BBC News host. Such is the scale of despair amongst this layer of hacks and chancers, who knew what was coming all along.

The sharp, ignominious decline of the traditional party of British capitalism, once the envy of ruling classes across the world, is a reflection of the scale of the political earthquake shaking Britain.


The beneficiary of the Tories’ demise has, unsurprisingly, been Starmer’s Labour. But although Labour now have a whopping 170 seat majority, the number of people actually voting Labour fell by over half a million since the 2019 general election.

Indeed, a poll by YouGov just before the election found 48 percent of those intending to vote Labour were doing so ‘to get the Tories out’. Only 5 percent said Labour’s policies were their key reason for voting, and a dismal 1 percent said it was because of Starmer’s leadership.

As such, many held their noses as they put their cross on the ballot for Labour, seeing no alternative. There is little feeling that things will change.

The real reason for Labour’s landslide was the collapse of the Tory vote, much of which went to Farage’s Reform UK. 

The Tories won 6.8 million votes (23.7 percent), whilst Reform took 4 million (13.4 percent). Combined, these add up to 10.8 million (38 percent), significantly more than Labour’s 9.8 million (34 percent). It is also worth noting that Labour’s vote, calculated as a percentage of the overall electorate, comes to just over 20 percent. That means only one in five of the electorate actively supported the Labour Party. At the same time, 40 percent of the electorate abstained, an increase of 7.4 points on previous elections, which highlights the fact that a very large layer could see no fundamental difference between the main parties standing.

Yet, due to the ‘first-past-the-post’ system, Labour swept up due to this split in the right-wing vote. All this is hardly a ringing endorsement for Starmer and his gang of establishment stooges.

No trust

The degree of scepticism and distrust towards the traditional parties and politicians is palpable. One recent YouGov poll revealed that almost half of those surveyed considered Starmer untrustworthy – a record high. 

“I am so disillusioned and angry with our party leaders and MPs that I am now contemplating the effect my vote will actually have”, stated Alexandra, a young woman from London, in advance of election day. “I can’t see a bright future for our country, economy, and public services, no matter who gets in.”

“It’s like trying to pick which kind of STD [sexually transmitted disease] you want,” said another voter interviewed by journalists in the run-up to the election.

The Financial Times summed it up: “Beneath the surface of this historic Labour victory, the signs are ominous. The share of Britons who think Starmer’s party understands the problems facing the UK is at a record low, as is the share who say Labour keeps its promises; both figures are much lower than they were for Boris Johnson’s government when it took the reins.”

This disdainful mood has been compounded by the callous attitude of the Tory and Labour leaders towards the genocide in Gaza. And this found its reflection in the large number of protest votes registered yesterday for a swathe of pro-Palestine independent candidates.

Notably, former left-wing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who ran as an independent after being purged by Starmer, won the seat of Islington North by a huge margin.

Elsewhere, in Blackburn, Dewsbury & Batley, Leicester South and Birmingham Perry Barr, pro-Palestine independents were able to claw victory from Labour’s hands. Others did not win, but got sizable votes. 

Right-wing Labour MPs like Jess Phillips and Wes Streeting, meanwhile, came within a hair’s breadth of being unseated by pro-Palestine candidates. In Bethnal Green and Stepney, East London, the sitting Labour MP Rushanara Ali saw her 34,000 vote majority reduced to just 1,800. In his own constituency of Holborn and St Pancras, Starmer himself, who faced a pro-Palestine independent candidate, saw his vote cut in half from 36,000 to 18,000.

A further indication of this hatred towards the establishment parties was the diminished share of the vote going to Labour and the Tories – the lowest since 1918. What’s more, voter turnout dropped to its lowest since 1945, revealing a deep rejection of mainstream politics.

Crisis government

Sunak Image No10 FlickrSunak has packed his bags and left Number 10 / Image: No10, Flickr

Sunak has packed his bags and left Number 10. Starmer has rushed to kiss the King’s ring and ask his permission to form a government. No doubt, the Starmeroid will be beaming with jubilation.

But the Labour leader’s smile will not last long. His government will face an avalanche of problems, given the crisis of British capitalism.

A recent report from the Fairness Foundation says that Britain will become more unfair and unequal over the next five years, with a growing divide in terms of wealth, health, and housing. But even this only offers a glimpse of the attacks facing workers, the poor, and the youth in the years to come.

Starmer is wedded to capitalism, and will pursue the interests of big business. With the system in crisis, this means further attacks on ordinary people. This will put him on a collision course with the working class, who will resist further austerity and cuts to living standards.

“Labour’s towering majority is capturing attention for now, but it is built on weak foundations,” explained the Financial Times. “As James Kanagasooriam, chief research officer at polling firm Focaldata puts it, the coalition of voters that has put Starmer in 10 Downing Street is better understood not as a skyscraper but a sandcastle. As the tide comes in over the next few years, it could well be washed away, just as the Conservative party’s has been this week.”

We can therefore say with confidence that Starmer’s massive majority in Parliament – just like that won by Boris Johnson and the Tories in 2019 – will have dynamite built into its foundations. This new Labour government will be riddled with crises from day one.

Music of the future

With little real choice on offer, this general election can only provide a partial, momentary snapshot of the mood in society. 

The victory of Nigel Farage – whose Reform UK won four new seats and 14.3 percent of the vote, making it the nation’s third party by vote share – is an ominous warning. He will use his parliamentary platform to whip up the forces of reaction.

"This could be the beginning of the end of the Conservative Party,” gloated Mr. Farage. “There is a massive gap on the centre-right [!] of British politics, and my job is to fill it.”

The crisis in the Tory Party, as it undergoes its death agony, will open up a realignment on the right of British politics. The One Nation ‘moderate’ Tories are all but finished.

“The Conservatives are facing Armageddon”, bemoaned former lord chancellor Robert Buckland. The leadership contest is “going to be like a group of bald men fighting over a comb”, he added.

Reflecting the growing radicalisation towards the left, in Stratford & Bow, East London, 1,791 voted for Fiona Lali , who stood openly on a revolutionary communist programme. Hundreds of people signed up to volunteer for her campaign, many of whom have since joined the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP).

The RCP, only founded in early May, decided to stand Fiona in the general election to test the mood and raise the red banner of revolution.

This proved a resounding success, with our campaign reaching and resonating with wide layers. This was the first time that our party has engaged in mass work. But it is only the beginning – an anticipation of the opportunities that lie ahead.

Starmer’s bitter medicine

Titanic struggles are on the order of the day! This Labour government will act no differently from the Tories in their attempt to patch up British capitalism.

Starmer will continue to arm the Israeli war machine. He will continue to follow the diktats of US imperialism. And he will continue with Tory economic policies, meaning the bitter medicine of further austerity. “Our approach to public spending is based on strong fiscal rules, which will govern every single decision we make in government”, said a Labour spokesperson.

Britain’s new chancellor, Rachel Reeves, said that she hopes investors will now see the UK as a “safe haven”. Her hopes are well-founded: the markets responded very positively to the election result, with the FTSE 250 index rallying to its highest level in over two years!

Business leaders and investors will be rubbing their hands in glee at Starmer’s victory. He is the ‘safe pair of hands’ – the sensible steward of the bosses’ interests – that they have all been waiting for.

Any hopes that Labour will deliver anything positive for workers will soon be dashed. Rather than reforms, there will be brutal counter-reforms on the cards. The deepening crisis of British capitalism will be the backdrop to Starmer’s reign.

In the process, Starmer’s Labour will become even more hated than the Tories.

Prepare for action

comrades Image The CommunistThe RCP will build on its success in Stratford & Bow / Image: The Communist

The working class must prepare for what is coming. The trade union leaders should get off their knees and prepare for action across the board, rather than spouting hot air. The Labour ‘lefts’ should grow a spine and stand up to Starmer. The time for pussyfooting around is over.

Enough is enough! After a decade-and-a-half of stagnation and decline, the working class must refuse to shoulder the burden of this capitalist crisis. Make the billionaires and bankers pay!

Will Hutton, the Guardian columnist and liberal economist, sneers that trade unionists “are more interested in partnering to create good workplaces than being the industrial wing of a proletarian revolution that never comes”.

Well, we have seen where ‘partnering’ with the bosses has led. Ask the steelworkers of South Wales – who face mass sackings – where this class collaboration has got them?

We have had enough of these betrayals by trade union bureaucrats and ‘Labour’ politicians. They are only interested in their careers. 

Build the revolutionary party

The RCP will build on its success in Stratford & Bow to help forge a movement that can resist the attacks from a Starmer government.

To fight the British establishment, with its support for genocide, we are launching a national campaign against imperialism and militarism. In doing so, we are seeking a united front with others, to link the struggles against Starmer and the war criminals.

We have entered a qualitatively new stage in Britain. The coming period will be one of storm and stress, which will transform consciousness on a mass scale, starting with the youth.

We are facing revolutionary times, in Britain and internationally. It is vital that we build a revolutionary party in advance of these unfolding events. That is the task that we, the RCP, have set ourselves; the task that is demanded by history.

We urge all those who voted for Fiona, and all those who supported our campaign nationally, to join us and prepare for the coming British revolution.

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