“Boris Johnson can’t go soon enough but as a movement we can’t just wait for the Tory backbenchers to decide when it’s time to get rid of him.”
By the Arise Festival Volunteer Team
Anger is rising every day at Boris Johnson and the Tories. Their corruption, deceit and hypocrisy know no bounds as they continue a disastrous mishandling of the pandemic which has led to over 175,000 deaths and oversee a deepening cost-of-living crisis.
And what is their response to this growing anger and unpopularity? To further entrench a hard right-wing agenda in terms of attacking our health, rights, jobs and livelihoods. As Richard Burgon MP said this week, “Every day we see another disgraceful development when it comes to the Tories’ rule-breaking and hypocrisy. Every week we see them ram through yet more reactionary measures – from their anti-protest Police Bill to cuts to Universal Credit.”
In this context, thousands of people from across Britain have signed up for a major online event taking place this Saturday, hosted by Arise – A Festival of Left Ideas. The summit of social movements, trade unions, community campaigners, Campaign Group MPs and others will seek to amplify the voices of, link up and build up all the different campaigns that have emerged in response to Tory misrule. It will emphasise in the words of Labour NEC member Nadia Jama that, “We’ve all had enough of the lies and deceit coming from this Tory government: our country is not safe in their hands.”
Some of the key issues that will be highlighted include the ongoing #KilltheBill movement, the need to stand up to racism including the Borders and Nationality Bill, and the need to support our public services and workers on the frontline of the Tory attacks.
Speakers on this note will include Holly Turner of NHS Workers Say No who says that, “I’ve witnessed first-hand the struggles and suffering which front-line workers have faced throughout the pandemic due to this government’s lies, negligence and greed.”She will update us both on the latest campaigning to save our NHS and to support NHS workers in their struggle for a decent pay rise.
As Labour Hub readers will be well aware, the Labour Front Bench under Keir Starmer has failed to speak up for workers taking industrial action or in full support of the pay claims of NHS and other public service workers. This makes it all the more important that those of us on the Labour left not only support these struggles verbally but speak up for them – and amplify the voices of those in these struggles – at every opportunity.
In the words of John McDonnell MP, “People are on the march – and what we’re doing on 29th January is bringing those people together to talk about the way we can work together to develop a strategy not just to oppose this government, but eventually to rid us of it.”
We also mustn’t let a Tory removal of Johnson at a time of their liking lead to an end to this anger. So the event this Saturday – and the activities flowing from it – will highlight how, as Mercedes Villalba MSP says, “Boris Johnson has to go, but we can’t stop there because no Tory Prime Minster will ever work in the interest of our communities.”
We’ll leave the final word to Richard Burgon MP: “Boris Johnson can’t go soon enough but as a movement we can’t just wait for the Tory backbenchers to decide when it’s time to get rid of him. We need to bring together all the progressive resistance to the Tories taking place across our communities and workplaces, and step up the fightback – to not only get Boris Johnson out, but to defeat all their attacks on our health, rights, jobs and livelihoods.”
See you Saturday!
- Johnson Out! Resist the Tory Offensive takes place this Saturday (January 29th) at 2pm and is hosted by Arise – A Festival of Left Ideas.
- Speakers include John McDonnell MP; Sarah Woolley, BFAWU; Dr. Sonia Adesara, Keep Our NHS Public; Shami Chakrabarti; Mark Serwotka, PCS; Helen O’Connor, Peoples Assembly; Daisy Carter, Young Labour; Murad Qureshi, Stop the War; Beth Winter MP, Welsh Labour Grassroots; Dave Allan, TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee; and many more. Register here.
- This article was reproduced from Labour Hub here.