Theresa May’s election U-turn

Proposed new laws to curb strike action by key public-sector workers were hastily ditched as Corbyn's popularity rose during the election campaign.

Proletarian writers

Theresa May delivering a speech on the Conservative's election manifesto

Proletarian writers

As Tory knives come out for Theresa May’s scalp, the Daily Mail claims that a leaked copy of her original draft election manifesto included “tough new laws to curb strike action by key public-sector workers including doctors, nurses, teachers, customs officers, prison guards and rail workers”.

According to the Mail, she dropped this plan on the advice of aides who feared it could be a vote-winner for Corbyn. After the election drubbing she abandoned the Iron Lady posture, instead scrambling to placate public-sector workers by a partial relaxation of the seven-year-long cap on their pay.

The leak serves to show the emptiness of all the ‘strong and stable’ pre-election bragging. (As well as the U-turn over public-sector workers, the draft manifesto also wanted to impose a dementia tax even steeper than the one she was forced to backtrack on. The original intention was to take all but £50,000 of the savings and assets of the elderly in need of care, even worse than the £100,000 proposed in the final manifesto that caused such a storm.)

But the leak is also useful in that it makes it clear the kind of future capitalism has in store for us if it is not overthrown. Whilst May exhibited spectacularly bad timing in setting out her election stall, the dark future of strike bans and welfare cuts of which she dreams is in fact a reality in which all will share, whatever capitalist party or parties enter government. (See Theresa May secretly planned to outlaw strikes by teachers and nurses by Simon Walters, Mail on Sunday, 22 October 2017)