Boris Johnson is shutting down Parliament.
His plan will limit, and is designed to prevent, Parliament passing legislation to stop Britain exiting the EU on 31 October without a deal. Johnson may also calculate he can dodge or face down the consequences of a vote of no-confidence once Parliament reconvenes next week. Labour′s preferred ″option″ of a general election before 31 October will be a non-starter. In any general election that is called after that date, Labour will be in a weakened position.
The suspension of Parliament is a long-term threat to democracy. Johnson is using not just the leverage of government, but his own personal political clique within the Tory Party, to override democratic safeguards. Talk about ″representing the will of the people″ and the democratic mandate of the referendum three years ago is undermining and sidelining democracy and the elected members of parliament.
″No deal″ is against the wishes of the democratic majority. Parliament opposes "No deal" Brexit. Polls have repeatedly shown large majorities for Remain as against "No deal". ″No deal″ was not an option in the June 2016 referendum. Nobody voted for it.
If Johnson crashes the UK out of the EU, there will be massive jobs losses and chaos across the UK against the wishes of Parliament. The proper response of democrats to such a situation would have been to call a general election and seek a new democratic mandate. But Johnson is a political chancer out for himself. Johnson is acting as a Mussolini figure.
History tells us what politicians that seek to rule by suspending Parliaments are thereby doing. In 1933 Christian Social Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuß suspended the Austrian Parliament to cut through a parliamentary stalemate. Dollfuß used that opportunity to block all attempts to reconvene Parliament, threatening to use military force. Such consequences are still a long way off, in Britain, now. But Johnson is seriously undermining our civil and political liberties.
In stopping this coup, parliamentary and legal tactics are important. But they are nowhere near as important as building a protest movement which can assert the democratic majority opinion which firmly opposes "No deal". We also stand for opposition for Brexit, a federal, democratic united Europe, and the defence of free movement.
Jeremy Corbyn and Labour should clearly come out in opposition to Brexit and demand a second referendum in which we can stop Brexit.
Socialists who believe Brexit will help consolidate the power of the international political right should now urgently step up our efforts to defeat Johnson′s threat to parliamentary democracy. We must insist, urgently and actively, that the Labour and trade union leaders organise mass working-class opposition to Johnson. They must announce a programme of civil disobedience, demonstrations and public meetings.
Those on the left who believed that Brexit would have good consequences for Labour and the working-class now need to sober up and think about what Brexit really means - reversals to the democratic rights that working-class people have fought for and won, and a chance for the Tories to regroup and plan further attacks on the working class. Brexit is threatening the rights of migrant workers.
Brexit is not of the left, but is a movement of the right.
We call on Parliament to refuse to be suspended. But in the first place democracy has to be renewed, regenerated and defended outside Parliament. That is how it was in the past. This is how it has to be now.
We need continuous demonstrations in every city. The labour movement - unions, local Labour Parties, Trades Councils - must take a lead. Labour MPs should back - in fact the MPs and trade union leaders should be told to lead - those protests.
We call for organised industrial action against Johnson′s outrageous attack on parliamentary democracy.
Labour and trade union activists can take the lead now by organising protests on the streets and in workplaces - including discussions about taking industrial action.
Organise a workplace meeting, circulate petitions, take delegations to protests.
We will be working in those left-wing networks which oppose Brexit to build this campaign. Join us!
Defend democracy, oppose Johnson's coup
Oppose the suspension of Parliament
Stop No Deal Brexit, Stop Brexit
Labour must clearly oppose Brexit and campaign for a second referendum
For a Workers' Europe
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