YESTERDAY Gordon Brown attempted to revive his political credibility, severely damaged after the Northern Rock and Child Benefit details crises by delivering a speech to the only constituency that matters to him, the CBI bosses.
He began at his smarmiest: ‘It is a privilege to be here to address you this morning; to see the CBI so well supported by so many impressive companies like that of your own President. . .’ etc, etc.
He added his declaration of loyalty concerning the effects of the US sub prime mortgage crisis. ‘And it is precisely because of these new short term and long term global challenges that every government in the world has to look afresh at what it can do to support business.’
This turns out to be hammering the working class and the poor in every conceivable way as the CBI and the government work ‘more closely together for Britain . . .’
He added: ‘Earlier this year when inflation threatened to increase in the wake of oil and utility price rises, we took the difficult decisions to bear down on inflation and by staging public sector pay, keeping average overall awards at 1.9 per cent, we supported inflation moving back to target.’
‘We’, the bosses and the government took the difficult decision to starve the workers!
He pledged that the workers would carry on paying for the crisis. ‘And I assure you that we will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure that in future we maintain our hard won stability. We will take no risks. There will be no irresponsible relaxation of pay discipline, no unfunded spending commitments, no unaffordable promises and no short-term giveaways . . .’
He pledged a public private partnership in which the government ‘each year to 2017 will invest £20 billion a year in transport – double what was spent a decade ago. And having opened the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, we will now proceed with a unique partnership between business and government: the £16 billion investment in Crossrail.’
This is tens of billions straight into the coffers of the bosses and the banks.
He added, about the gripe that the CBI has about capital gains taxes: ‘we will continue to listen and discuss with you the representations we have received about capital gains tax, ensuring that we maintain reforms for a fairer and simplified system that rewards enterprise.’
He pledged that light touch health and safety regulations that have turned the building industry into a killing field would continue.
For the NHS and education it is to be more privatisation. ‘The new Council for Educational Excellence also contains business leadership so that standards in the schools can reflect the needs of business for the future. And last week we announced our intention to set up a new forum for the private sector to make sure their contribution to the NHS continues to grow – and to represent value for money for patients and taxpayers.’
He says chillingly: ‘Of today’s 6 million unskilled workers in Britain we will soon need only half a million – over 5 million fewer.’
It turns out that these 5 million workers ‘have a duty to make themselves employable’.
‘Indeed while in the old days the obligation was on the unemployed to find a job, in the new world the obligation on the unemployed should be not just to seek work but to train for work.’
It is to be compulsory labour through cutting benefits.
He added: ‘In the old days the government ran the whole welfare system through separate jobcentres and benefit offices. In the new world, Jobcentre Plus . . . will ask private sector agencies and charities to play a central role.’
It is to be unlimited aid for the bankers and capitalists, from public private partnerships pouring billions into their coffers to the lightest of light touch health and safety regulations. For the workers it is beat, beat and beat again.
Workers must step up the struggle to bring down this bosses government and replace it with a workers government that will resolve the developing crisis of capitalism in favour of the working class by expropriating the bosses and the bankers.