General election

Time to hold the main parties to account

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In the wake of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, the Scottish National Party swept all before it. At the 2015 UK general election it won 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats, taking half the popular vote.

The 2016 Scottish election confirmed the SNP’s dominant position, winning 47 percent of the vote and giving it just short of an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament.

Editorial: Class war at the polls

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On Monday 22 May, a few days before we went to press, Salman Abedi detonated a bomb at the Manchester Arena, killing 22 people. The horror of this attack, targeting young people attending a concert, pulled the general election campaign to a sudden halt.

Theresa May’s immediate response was to announce that the terror threat level had been raised to “critical” and to put 5,000 troops on the streets of Britain, as well as formally suspending national political campaigning for the rest of the week.

Proposed social care plan 'worse than US Medicaid'

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The Tory social care funding plans aim to extend to care in your own home, charges which individuals already have to pay if they move into residential care.

As it stood before the election, anyone with assets over £23,250 had to pay the full cost of their care if they move to a care or nursing home. Care costs in homes are high, with one in ten older people spending more than £100,000 in their lifetimes; £700 per week for residential care or an average of £1,000 per week for a nursing home place.

What if Corbyn won?

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As soon as Corbyn’s manifesto was leaked, the election campaign began to take a turn. Corbyn’s supporters began to feel more confident; people who hadn’t been sure made up their minds to vote for him. Taxing the rich, abolishing tuition fees and putting an end to privatisation all proved very popular and contributed to a serious shift in the polls before campaigning was suspended after the Manchester bombing.

Tory NHS spending is a bung to privatisers

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In the days following the publication of the Tory manifesto the Telegraph trumpeted “Tories pledge £8bn rise in NHS spending.” It added, “Conservatives would also triple the fees charged to migrants for using the NHS, to help raise more funds from overseas patients.”

The overt racism of this proposal shouldn’t surprise us. But what of the £8 billion pledge? The figure is over the course of the next government, so roughly £1.6 billion per year.

Will the media be the ones wot won it?

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It may seem bizarre to many people that the Conservative Party has been riding high in the polls after seven years of battering public services and fuelling racism. One popular explanation for this is the role of the media. Given the magnitude of its attacks on Jeremy Corbyn that seems to make sense.

The Sun ran the headline “Blood on his hands” for a vile rant against Corbyn and McDonnell, attempting to attack them over their relations with the IRA. It was printed the day after the Manchester bombing.

Why did the Tories win?

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The shock of the Tory majority win in May's general election threw up lots of questions for socialists. Sally Campbell looks beneath the results to understand the dynamics at play in british politics.

The immediate response of most people remotely on the left to the election of the Tory majority government last month was despondency. This was not what we had expected; not what the polls had predicted — until that exit poll, which was largely met by disbelief.

Election complexities

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In post-election discussions we seem to be running with the line that Labour lost by not being left wing enough. I think that’s simplistic.

Partly Labour have lost their social, more than political, link with much of the working class.But also most folk right now see neoliberal capitalism as the only game in town.

Questions asked at the time of the bank bailouts were effectively deflected. The story through the election, from many voters too, was whether “we can afford” reforms. That helped the Tories.

They're back and nastier than ever

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The speed with which Cameron formed his new cabinet was a sign of the Tories' urgent desire to push through more austerity and racist attacks. Siobhan Brown looks at what we can expect.

The shock result of a Conservative majority government was the news we didn’t want to hear. Most of us thought we wouldn’t. Ordinary people across Britain despaired at the thought of yet more cuts, redundancies and privatisation.

The Tories have already announced some of the most vicious cuts they can muster, with plenty more to come. That Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, has said that it is irrelevant for voters to know where £12 billion worth of welfare cuts will come from suggests they plan to only get nastier.

Standing up to the UKIP threat

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Campaigns against Ukip helped stop it winning the swathe of MPs it wanted, but it still won nearly 4 million votes. Stand Up to Ukip's Jo Cardwell says anti-racists need to keep up the pressure.

The UK Independence Party (Ukip) failed to win the number of MPs it hoped to in the general election, despite its meteoric rise in the polls since 2010. But despite its humiliating post-election fall-out, its high share of the vote serves as a warning for anti-racists.

Ukip was a few percent short of winning a number of MPs, and managed to poll nearly 4 million votes across the country, as well as control over its first local council, Thanet. The party came second in 120 constituencies; the top 20 of these are equally distributed between Tory and Labour areas.

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