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The Manchester bombing has sent waves of shock around the country. 22 lives have been taken; many more have been irreparably damaged. This disgusting act of violence must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
There is, of course, no silver lining in such events. But the Tories will almost certainly attempt to manufacture one.
Since the contents of their ghoulish General Election manifesto first came to light last week, the Tories’ have been plummeting in the polls. May has already been forced to backtrack on her hated dementia tax. And their plans to scrap the triple-lock on pensions and remove winter fuel allowance has significantly eroded their traditional voter base.
But now, May will cynically try to capitalise on the bombing by restating her strong and stable mantra, which will now be given a more militaristic hue. Already the army have been brought onto the street to guard “key locations”. The capitalist press will go to town in trying to paint Corbyn as a terrorist sympathiser, pointing (fallaciously) to his relationship with the IRA and Hamas.
Unite against terror, war, racism, and poverty
Corbyn must hit back at the Tories’ opportunism. Terrorism is the direct consequence of the endless wars pursued by successive New Labour and Tory governments. The atrocity committed in Manchester clearly demonstrates the need for a different sort of society.
This case must be made as clearly as possible!
A mass demonstration, calling for the working and middle classes to unite against all the ills which plague our society today – whether terror, war, racism, or poverty – could go a long way to doing this.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC), which organises nearly six-million workers, should be taking a lead on such an initiative. But more likely, this task will be left to Corbyn and his supporters.
Over the last 30 years, no mass party in the UK has put forward a socialist position on terrorism and war. With Corbyn leading the Labour Party, there is now a chance to get these arguments heard.
In the face of this atrocity, the people of Manchester have demonstrated a resolve and collective strength which has buoyed the spirits of many across the country, even at these tragic times. It is important to recognise and thank them for their kindness.
But is it not also true that the vast majority of working class people, no matter where they are from, would do the same under similar circumstances?
More than anything, this indomitable spirit of solidarity amongst workers, which invariably comes to the surface at times of crisis, points to the possibility of a different form of society – one based on peace, not war! A socialist society.
This is the case that Corbyn has to make.