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Editorial Create the conditions for a new government of the people

THE Morning Star went to press earlier than the conclusion of the debate on the deal the Prime Minister fashioned with her ideological soul mates in the European Commission. 

She has gathered no greater support than at its earlier outing, so the only question that troubled the political betting fraternity last night was how big would be her margin of defeat.

Jeremy Corbyn has kept the government’s business managers on the hook over the precise timing of a confidence motion. 

He has played his hand well even though the parliamentary arithmetic limits his chances of success. Nevertheless the device has the beneficial effect of keeping the question of an alternative government in the minds of voters and focuses attention on policy beyond the Brexit horizon.

Theresa May’s charm offensive to union leaders didn’t gain much traction. Her carrot — a promise to seek additional social protections to her deal — proved to be poor fare. 

Neither has her pitch to such Labour MPs who can be persuaded to line up with government loyalists won many promises of support — certainly not enough to compensate for the Tory Brexiteers. 

Pressing home Labour’s attack offers the best chance for creating the conditions for an election. That the Tories in Parliament cannot find a semblance of unity is a measure of just how deep the divide between the contending forces in our ruling class has become. 

The People’s Vote campaign is splashing out on a slew of social media ads in a desperate and losing bid to divert Labour from its conference policy. 

It is beginning to dawn on it that it has reached the limits of its potential in the Parliamentary Labour Party and that even in the Labour rank and file — where illusions about the EU are not challenged enough — there is no great enthusiasm for diversionary tactics that disrupt Labour’s challenge.

The growing understanding across Labour’s ranks —  in both Parliament and party and in the trade unions — that the party’s future depends on keeping faith with its steadily growing electoral base has limited the appeal of the second vote tendency.

This is a Tory Brexit crisis. Just how deep it is a crisis for the Tory government lies in the truth that even in May’s wounded state there is no immediately credible candidate to replace the Prime Minister. 

In these circumstances we might expect that the most powerful centres of power in the constellation of corporate interests — in whose collective interests the Conservatives hold office —  might exercise decisive influence. That they have not done so far and maybe cannot do so anyway tells us just how profound is this crisis.

This is an explanation for the re-emergence of media chatter about the creation of a new centre party. 

The chances of denying Labour the opportunity to form the next government depends on fostering an atmosphere of division and disunity in the party itself and in confecting a credible challenge in enough constituencies to split the anti-Tory vote.

Be sure that even the most ardent advocate of class collaboration in the PLP understands how risky such an enterprise is. The demise of the SDP — despite extravagant media promotion and mountains of money — is constantly in their calculations. 

The latest Survation poll shows Labour on 41 per cent and the Tories on 38 per cent. At the start of the last election Labour was 20 points behind. 

With the less unequal media climate of a general election it was the winning combination of Corbyn’s consistency and Labour’s radical manifesto that made the difference.

Today our collective task is to create the conditions for a new government of the people.

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