Article from this weeks issue of The Socialist
Millions of people woke up on Friday 8 May to face the nightmare of a Tory majority government. Workers, pensioners, young people, the unemployed and the disabled: all of these people and more are now in fear of the misery that this new government will mete out.
The stock markets meanwhile rose in relief that ‘their government’ was in power.
It is incredible that, after the Con-Dem coalition presided over the longest wage squeeze since Victorian times and the decimation of public services, Labour proved incapable of defeating it.
The right-wing press has declared this proves Labour was too left wing. But the opposite is true; Labour was not left wing enough, refusing to put forward a real anti-austerity alternative.
In Scotland the SNP swept the board, virtually annihilating Labour who were derided by Scottish voters as ‘red Tories’. While in reality the SNP in Scotland has carried out austerity, it was by posing as being to the left of Labour and anti-austerity that the SNP was able to win.
Voters in England and Wales were also enthused by a seeming voice against cuts. In opinion polls the SNP reached 9% across the whole of Britain, despite only standing in Scotland!
Yet Labour endlessly repeated that it too would carry out further severe cuts in public spending and would be ‘tougher on benefits’ than the Tories. Ed Miliband refused to contemplate forming a government supported by the SNP even if that meant the Tories coming to power as a minority.
For all those desperate to end austerity Labour was clearly signalling it wasn’t on their agenda.
Read the full article, and more analysis of the election on the Socialist Party website