Looking at one of our social media feeds this morning, we saw a post about the forthcoming general election bearing the legend ‘only 9 days to go!’ Only? This sodding election already feels like it’s been going on for ages! The thought of another eight campaigning days full of spin, bullshit, media manipulation. outright lies, emotional blackmail to go out and vote to name just some of the shite associated with an already toxic election campaign fills us with dread.
We’re not going to start delivering lectures on voting vs not voting. As far as we’re concerned, if someone who is stuck into grassroots campaigning year round wants to cast a vote we’re not going to cast judgement on them. That’s because we value what they do with their campaigning, not where they decide to put a cross on a ballot paper. What does get us riled is activists with no previous party political alignment who’ve dropped all of their campaigning activity to jump onto the Corbyn bandwaggon. From the number of non-party aligned activists we’ve seen doing this, that’s a lot of gassroots activity that’s been suspended.
This election is going to be a tough one to call and we (almost) feel sorry for any pundits who are being put under pressure to come up with an accurate prediction of the outcome. However, let us for one moment, entertain the notion that Corbyn might scrape enough seats together to form a government. For many activists, Labour and non-party aligned, they would see that as akin to the Second Coming. For those of us of a more realistic/cynical bent, it would simply be business as normal.
If Corbyn does somehow manage to cobble together a government, we can expect of chorus of ‘don’t do anything to rock the boat’ aimed at us and other grassroots activists who not only have never had any illusions about Corbynism but have been very cynical about it. To anyone who is thinking about joining in that chorus, we have one thing to say – we’ve no intention of stopping and every intention of continuing to rock the boat.
Real change isn’t going to come from a change of actors in the long running soap opera that’s the Westminster bubble. Things may end up being slightly less shite for a while but that will only be because the elites think that allowing Corbyn to throw a few crumbs from the table may ease some of the pressure that’s bubbling away out here in the real world. Corbyn knows there’s only so far he’ll be allowed to go before pressure is put on him to rein in his so called ‘largesse’. Basically, he’ll simply end up as a ‘nicer’ manager of a capitalist system that’s moving ever deeper into crisis.
Real change will only come through self organisation in our workplaces and communities away from the influence of any party political agenda. That cuts across from workers organising themselves in cutting edge unions such as the United Voices of the World through community run school uniform/food banks onto community gardens and resident run parks. Initiatives that are very different from each other but all of which have an ethos of bringing power right down to the grassroots.
It’s only through developing collective empowerment and responsibility that we’ll start the process of wresting power away from the dysfunctional elites who can only maintain their grip through the imposition of ever more manipulative and authoritarian tactics. All we have to do is hold our nerve, refuse to get sidetracked by election fever and continue to build the collective structures we need to start to finish the system as it is off for good and build the new world we want and need.