Since the announcement of a snap general election earlier this week, a number of significant resignations have already been announced. The despised ex-chancellor George Osborne has stood down, as have the arch Blairites Tom Blenkinsop and Alan Johnson.
But despite this announcement, Labour right-wingers continue to brief against Corbyn in the Tory press. John Woodcock, for instance, has announced that although he will stand, he would “not countenance ever voting to make Jeremy Corbyn Britain’s prime minister.”
Rumours abound about why the Tories have chosen now to call a snap election. The mainstream media, and much of the left, claim that it is cynical attempt to exploit Labour’s current low polling. But this is only half the picture.
The main reason a general election has been called is because the Tories are hamstrung by a tiny parliamentary majority (just 4 MPs), and fear that they could be overwhelmed by forced U-turns. In their first year alone, the Tories were compelled to make eleven humiliating U-turns.
If they are going to plough ahead with a hard Brexit and yet more brutal austerity it is essential for them, therefore, to seek a firmer mandate on which to carry it out.
That said, the Tories are not necessarily approaching this election from a position of strength.
But this does not mean that a Labour victory will be in any way straightforward. It will be an uphill struggle, make no mistake. This is partly Corbyn’s own fault. Over the last two years, Corbyn has allowed the Blairites to wage a civil war against him and his supporters and he has barely raised a hand in defence. This has taken a toll on Labour’s electoral credibility.
But in spite of all this, Corbyn can still win.
The best thing Corbyn can do now is to silence the Blairites and campaign for a socialist program which turns the 2015 manifesto on its head. Such a program should include the renationalisation of the NHS, Royal Mail, and the railways, a £10 an hour living wage, free education for all, mass council housing building, repealing anti-trade union legislation, and kicking the privateers out of our public services.
These demands should be linked to the need for fundamental socialist change – for a society run in the interests of the majority instead of the few.