BRITISH capitalism is ‘at war’ Cameron told the bosses yesterday, an ‘economic war’ which requires the state to rip up the rule book, strip off the thin veneer of democracy and get down to the task of having it out with the working class.
This was the message Cameron delivered to the annual conference of the bosses organisation, the CBI, a message that the gloves are coming off and the state is gearing up for an all-out confrontation with the very future of capitalism at stake.
In his speech Cameron invoked the Second World War stating: ‘When the country was at war in the 1940s Whitehall underwent a revolution.’ He went on, ‘Normal rules were circumvented. Convention thrown out. . . . Well this country is in the economic equivalent of war today and we need the same spirit.’
He denounced the use of courts to challenge government policies as being a ‘Judicial review industry’ while pledging to cut red tape that prevented business from thriving.
In particular, Cameron singled out ‘equality impact assessments’ and promised to scrap them.
These are assessments carried out on government policies to ensure that they comply with the laws relating to equal opportunities and aimed at preventing discrimination on the grounds of sex or race.
The attack on the Judicial Review process means an end to the right of people to mount legal challenges to government decisions.
All this will end if Cameron has his way, and any legal objections to school or hospital closures, the demolition of council estates to make way for redevelopment, the construction of airports etc., would all be done away with and the developers and speculators given a completely free hand.
Although Cameron presented it as a ‘war’ against civil servants, Whitehall bureaucrats and the courts, it is quite clear that the real enemy for the government is the working class.
This attack cannot be separated from the government’s recent moves to severely restrict the ability of workers to take cases of unfair dismissal to employment tribunals and the ripping up of health and safety legislation.
In September Cameron announced that thousands of businesses would be exempt from health and safety inspections and that laws relating to health and safety would be scrapped as part of a war against ‘health and safety culture’ and a war against ‘compensation culture’.
In fact it’s a war against the working class, with the intention of turning the clock back to the 19th century when workers had no rights and unions were illegal, a time when the bosses could exploit at will under the protection of the courts and police.
What this is about is declaring that all legal rights for workers that have been built up over the years are to be scrapped and the capitalist class given unrestricted right to exploit, free from any legal redress.
It means that the coalition government can make any policy it likes and impose it without any of the ‘checks and balances’ that bourgeois politicians like to boast prevent a dictatorship emerging in parliament.
This is the real meaning of Cameron’s speech to the bosses, that capitalism is at war with the working class and the state is being transformed into a naked dictatorship of the capitalist class in order to take on and defeat the enemy.
The working class must immediately demand that the TUC mobilise the full strength of the unions to meet this declaration of war.
Workers must demand that the leadership of the unions respond by organising an immediate general strike to bring down this government and replace it with a workers government.
Union leaders who refuse to wage war on behalf of the working class must be thrown out and replaced by a new revolutionary leadership that will lead the working class to victory.