Cameron declares war on public sector – unions must answer with general strike


Tory prime minister, David Cameron, has finally come clean about the coalition plans for destroying the welfare state and the entire public sector.

Yesterday, he announced that in two weeks the coalition would produce a white paper, entitled ‘Open Public Services’, which spells out for the first time the government’s intention to privatise every aspect of public services including the NHS and education.

In an article in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Cameron stated that when the white paper passed into law the new ‘presumption’ will be that all public services will be provided by private companies, this means that there would no longer be a need for government to introduce separate legislation for every proposal to privatise an existing public service.

According to Cameron ‘We will create a new presumption – backed up by new rights for public service users and a new system of independent adjudication – that public services should be open to a range of providers competing to offer a better service.’

For the NHS this means that everything from drop-in health centres to hospital operations will automatically be thrown open to the bloodsucking private health care and insurance companies.

In education every school will be run by education companies, religious groups or charities.

Public services like roads and highways, care homes, special schools, parks, libraries, social security offices and the rest are all earmarked for being run by private companies determined to squeeze every ounce of profit out of them.

For charities, becoming involved in this ‘Big Society’ bonanza, Cameron is holding out the promise of ‘new revenue streams’ to make up for the loss of government funds, so they too will be engaged in gouging out a profit from the working class, the sick and the elderly.

In a contemptuous attempt to assure any doubters, Cameron promises that this capitalist privatisation free-for-all will be ‘regulated’ by an independent adjudicator, presumably one similar to the Financial Services Authority regulator that happily sat back and watched the banks crash so spectacularly.

Only two exceptions to the privatisation rule will be allowed, the security services and the courts.

Obviously, the ruling class is acutely aware that in the immediate period it will be forced to rely upon its armed thugs and courts to try and hold back the rising tide of hatred that this mass destruction of the entire welfare state and public services will create amongst workers and young people.

They did not create this crisis and will not sit back idly and watch as services are destroyed in the name of private profit.

Above all, this white paper blows out of the water any notion that there is an alternative under capitalism, that the coalition can somehow be persuaded to come up with a plan B.

No such plan exists, for capitalism to survive it must drive the working class back to days when there was no welfare state, no pension or unemployment benefit – only private medicine, private education and the workhouse.

That is the future capitalism holds for us all.

The only alternative is for workers to fight every cut, every job loss and every attack on services through a campaign of strikes and occupations to prevent closures and privatisation.

In every area Councils of Action must be built as a matter of urgency to organise these struggles.

All those trade union leaders who bleat that it is illegal under the anti-union laws to strike over ‘political’ issues must be removed and replaced by a leadership prepared to lead a real struggle to bring down this government through a general strike and replace it with a workers government and socialism.