We’ve just checked out a few newsfeeds and there are a lot of people around Westminster this evening (28.8.19) protesting about the move made by Boris Johnson to prorogue Parliament in a bid to ensure Brexit is not de-railed. We have to admit that’s quite an impressive turnout for a short notice protest. However, it has to be said that from what we’ve seen so far, it looks like the protest is very white and very middle class. After almost ten years of brutal austerity, we understand why the many anti-austerity and housing activists we know are currently wondering just where many of these protesters were when hundreds of thousands of working class people were getting thrown under the bus.
We’re looking at a Parliament that for almost the last ten years, has passed pretty much every austerity measure that’s been put before it. They’ve gone along with the Tory governments of the day in shitting on our class for almost a decade now. Why would any working class person in insecure housing and in precarious employment want to come out on the streets to defend a Parliament that has been instrumental in dumping on them? Why would any BAME person who has been feeling the increasing heat of the hostile environment that this Parliament has not stopped want to take the risk of coming out onto the streets to defend this institution?
As for the centrist tendency who’ve been placing their hopes in the monarchy refusing Johnson’s request to prorogue Parliament, do us a favour? We’re they seriously expecting an obscenely rich hereditary ruler to come to the rescue of their ‘democracy’? Well, at least that illusion has now been put to rest!
Don’t get us wrong, we recognise the seriousness of the situation but a bit of context wouldn’t go amiss here. Anyone who has been following the whole Brexit debacle should realise that Johnson’s move has been on the cards for ages. There’s no doubt that this is going to be spun as a Parliament versus the people conflict. Given the way a right leaning media with populist tendencies operates, they’ll do a very good job of spinning this.
It’s likely that Johnson will call a general election to come very soon after Brexit has taken place on October 31st. Please don’t be surprised if there’s some kind of arrangement between Brexit supporting elements of the Tories and the Brexit Party to not tread on each others toes in that election. Also, please don’t be surprised when the election results in a governing coalition of Brexit supporting Tories and a fresh intake of Brexit Party MPs.
When this does happen, that’s when things will start to get really ‘interesting’. Any attempts by either the UK or an Eire under pressure from the EU to start implementing a hard border will escalate tensions in the north of Ireland and (hopefully) hasten the path to eventual reunion. The likelihood of Scotland wanting to break away as an independent entity will increase dramatically. There’s even an uptick of interest in independence in Wales. The UK as we knew it looks to be on its way out which will doubtlessly be a source of joy to our anti-imperialist comrades:)
Politics in the UK – and whatever may follow after its breakup – will never be the same again. How things will evolve in an era when people’s faith in politics is already at a low ebb is the big question. Bear in mind what we’ve written about the potential consequences of this loss of faith as people are becoming more inclined to give an authoritarian ruler a chance to ‘sort things out’: Be very careful what you wish for! Suffice to say, if we are to fend off this threat, there is a lot of work to be done…
For those of us who want radical change, this potentially could be the best opportunity that’s ever been presented to us. Whether that opportunity will be firmly grasped or squandered is to say the least, open to some debate… What can and has to be done is the re-building of community solidarity at the grassroots: Rebuilding solidarity at the grassroots… Without a base at the level of the neighbourhood, any project aimed at bringing about radical change will fail. This work at the grassroots is where we’ll continue to focus our efforts…