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Editorial: Labour is the only party offering hope of a better future

LIES have played a big role in the election, with non-profit investigators First Draft finding 88 per cent of Conservative Facebook adverts in the first four days of December were misleading — while none of Labour’s were.

The Lib Dems have also had to resort to trickery, claiming in numerous constituencies that only they can beat the Conservatives when they actually trail Labour in third place.

The media have been complicit — the Observer’s tactical voting guide, for example, advocating a Lib Dem vote to beat the Tories in the Labour-held and super-marginal seat of Kensington (where the Lib Dem candidate, for good measure, actually was a Conservative MP until September this year). 

Plaid Cymru have spent most of their time trying to pick holes in Labour’s election pledges, while the SNP seeks to use its dominance north of the border to suggest they are the best hope of preventing a Tory majority UK-wide.

They have also — as have the Lib Dems and a fair swathe of the liberal media — tried to promote the idea that this campaign is all about Brexit.

Actually it’s all about Labour. Labour, alone of the main parties, has stepped up with a compelling vision as to how this country could be different.

It is also the only one to have run a positive campaign, based around what it will do with power if elected, rather than engaging in dishonest personal attacks.

Labour has had difficulty in winning over voters on some issues, most notably the commitment to a second referendum on EU membership, which this newspaper warned would be a vote-loser in large parts of the country.

Many of those who pushed for the policy may not care. Significant forces in the parliamentary party are comfortable with the status quo, and remain hostile to Corbyn as the harbinger of change.

Our response on the revolutionary left should be to embrace the potential for radical change that has been built up despite that.

Transforming Labour from a party totally committed to capitalism to one prepared to confront corporate power was always going to be a long battle.

The Labour left has not been strong enough to get its way on everything. But it has gone into this election with a message of hope.

Expansion of public ownership. Action on climate change, including through a publicly owned and controlled transport system, with 3,000 lost bus routes restored. A housing revolution. Ending super-exploitation in the gig economy. Stronger unions. A ban on arms sales to killer regimes.

After years of soaring homelessness, growing child poverty, crumbling hospitals and cash-strapped schools, this country is crying out for a Labour government that will act fast on all those issues.

And Labour’s policies to address them are popular, overwhelmingly so. The gulf between the attitudes of the majority of the population and those of the small coterie who dominate our politics and media has been thrown into sharp relief in the last four years. Hence the cheating and the lies — the only way the Establishment can hope to win.

This is a struggle between the labour movement and that Establishment. It pits popular enthusiasm for a revived socialism against the big battalions of the British ruling class, with its spooks and its judges and its business leaders and its press. 

Election victory or loss will not end that struggle. But a Labour victory is still of paramount importance. The Establishment is desperate to reverse the growth of socialism we have seen since 2015 and will seize on every setback to try to take back the Labour Party. A return to “politics as usual” is not an option as we hurtle towards social and ecological catastrophe. 

But a Labour win would reverberate across Europe and the world as the moment we hauled on the brakes and turned our faces towards a better future.

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