On 7th June, the people of Britain will go to the polls to elect the next government. According to all the polls Labour is set to gain a hefty majority over the Conservatives. The polls show that Labour is now leading the Tories by a massive 28 points. Yet the election campaign has been as dead as a Dodo, and the great majority show little interest and less enthusiasm for either New Labour or the Tories. The general election turnout is likely to be low - some have even predicted the lowest for over 100 years. The reason for this alleged "voter apathy" is not hard to find.
Editorial note: The following is a full version of the shorter article we published on 8 June on the British election.
Labour has won the elections with a majority of 167 seats at Westminster,
slightly down on last time when they won a landslide majority of
179 seats. On the face of it, it is an outstanding triumph for Tony
Blair. But these results do not adequately express the contradictory
nature of the mood in British society. The mood of the masses is
sceptical. The working class is disappointed and frustrated with
New Labour. Despite Labour's landslide victory, the underlying
mood is extremely volatile.
There have been a lot of disasters on the railways in Britain. But the real disaster has been rail privatisation itself. There was a lot of rhetoric from the Tories about the 'dynamism and efficiency' private capitalism would bring, but experience has shown that the only people to benefit from rail privatisation have been the profiteers, not the general public that has to use the railways. So what is the alternative?