Our country will face radically different futures depending on whether Labour or the Conservatives form the next government.

We know what the Tories will do. They are responsible for the broken society that stares us in the face.

A housing crisis with a decent home way out of the price range of most young people. A chronically underfunded NHS unable to cope with staffing shortages, lengthening waiting lists and closing wards.

Crippling tuition fees forcing students into debt to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds. An explosion in zero-hours contracts.

Rip-off energy bills in a privatised racket run by giant corporations; rip-off travel fares from our privatised rail and bus networks.

A culture of institutional bullying and harassment that has driven disabled people to suicide and forced many more into poverty. A looming dementia tax that will rob elderly people to pay for social care the government won’t fund through taxes on the super-rich, whose wealth has ballooned during the era of so-called “austerity.”

A casual and increasingly dangerous racism given a nod and a wink by ministers who propose firms publish lists of foreigners they employ and want passport checks on maternity wards.

Massive police cuts leaving our communities at risk — with Theresa May’s “solution” to rip up our human rights. Prisons so understaffed that riots, murder and suicide take place within their walls.

And war, endless war, abroad, combined with a slavish alliance with the very regime — the head-chopping sheikhs of Saudi Arabia — which funds and sponsors terror around the world.

Nothing new there, but now we have a choice. Labour does not represent more of the same or “austerity-lite.”

Its fully costed manifesto would take us in another direction — bringing our railways and utilities into public ownership, building new social housing, putting more police on the streets, banning zero-hours contracts and taxing the tiny minority who sit on mountains of unearned riches to pay for a properly resourced health service and investment in our communities.

Labour would reshape Britain, making it a fairer, better paid, better educated and healthier country and, yes, a stronger and stabler one too.

But it would also help reshape a world that has become more dangerous since the turn of the millennium — refusing to fawn on an overgrown baby in the White House who can’t remember which country he has ordered bombed and doesn’t believe in climate change, stopping the flow of armaments to murderous tyrants around the world and working to bring an end to a culture of lawlessness that has turned huge swathes of the globe into free fire zones, forced millions to flee their homes and seen the rise of genocidal terrorist forces killing the innocent from Baghdad to Damascus, Mogadishu to Tehran, Berlin, St Petersburg and Paris to Manchester and London.

This is an opportunity worth grasping, a chance to make a real difference. And it can only be realised by voting Labour.
The Morning Star has always fought for Labour majorities at election time, but we have not usually called for a Labour vote in every seat. We do now.

This is not because there are no good candidates outside the Labour Party — some, such as the SNP’s Chris Stephens or the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, have excellent records as MPs.

Nor is it because there are no bad candidates inside the Labour Party. There are, of course.

But Labour’s turn towards socialism, so evident if you compare its current manifesto to those of previous elections, did not come out of a vacuum.

It is certainly not the result of a Damascene conversion by Labour MPs, nor even of shrewd electioneering by a party that has clocked how popular public ownership and pay rises are.

It is the product of a sustained struggle by ordinary people, the millions who marched against war and austerity, the workers who took strike action to defend their jobs, the hundreds of thousands who rallied to Jeremy Corbyn as a leader who could end the race to the bottom and do things differently.

Corbyn has put socialism back on the political agenda, forcing even the Tories to make promises — capping energy price rises, for example — that they denounced as Marxist two short years ago.

The election campaign has shown socialist fixes for Britain’s broken economy go down well with the electorate and seen Labour catch up with the Tories in the polls as its policies are given a hearing.

It is extremely important that these achievements are made to last — and that’s no easy task, given the strength of the Establishment forces ranged against them inside and outside Parliament.

A mass movement for change will be needed whoever wins the election.

Our paper has rejected the concept of a “progressive alliance,” partly because it often seemed to include the Tories’ Liberal Democrat partners in crime, and partly because voting for smaller parties is often more likely to harm Labour than anyone else (the Daily Mail’s tactical voting guide recommends a Green vote in Bristol West to beat Labour, and a Plaid Cymru vote to do the same in Arfon, despite its hatred of both parties).

But once the results are known, maintaining the drive to the left in Labour and building on the growing movement for socialism in this country will depend not just on the number of seats won, but on the strength the left can demonstrate through overall share of the vote and visible presence in communities.

Scotland in 2015 also showed us how quickly the status quo can change, how easily supposedly impregnable majorities can melt into the air.

With most polls weighted against groups deemed less likely to vote — such as the young — and an unprecedented surge in voter registration, it would be unwise to predict any result by what has happened in the past.

So vote today with hope, not fear. Don’t just vote to keep the Tories out, but vote positively for a government that will fight for you.
Vote Labour. Everywhere.

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