ON Saturday June 29, the News Line daily newspaper will be having a joint conference with the All Trades Unions Alliance, the body that is the industrial arm of the Workers Revolutionary Party. (See add page 1)
Already great interest and support are being expressed in and for this conference by workers in the trade unions, who have been shocked by the emergence of the capitalist crisis, and by young people who, however well educated they are, understand that they have no future under capitalism.
Workers are now facing a massive price inflation at the same time as they are experiencing the Brown government seeking to impose three-year wage cutting deals on them.
For the first time in Britain, foodstuffs such as rice are being rationed by the supermarkets to prevent traders buying in bulk, and speculating on making their fortune by selling at much higher prices in the near future.
There is no end to the massive price increases being driven by the onrush of oil prices to $200 a barrel.
This price inflation gives families a harsh choice, either buy food and petrol for the car, or pay the rent or keep up mortgage repayments to the banks.
Already this contradiction has seen millions plunged into either rent arrears or being unable to pay their mortgage debts.
At the same time, council estates are being demolished or sold off leaving large numbers of people worrying about whether they will have a roof over their heads, while homeowners are watching the advance of negative equity.
Already, Citibank has estimated that over 250,000 people have been pushed into negative equity, where the selling price of their home is less than their mortgage debt!
These families now face repossession by the banks, as will many more families in the period ahead.
Young people, if they are working, are experiencing super-exploitation at cheap labour rates of pay, while if they are studying face repaying tens of thousands of pounds of debt when they graduate and get a job.
The BMA has estimated that if the cap is lifted on tuition fees in 2010, as Labour is threatening to do, medical students who graduate as junior doctors will get their first job owing as much as £57,000 in tuition fees and other debts.
With interest rates poised to go up, to try to strengthen the currency and the banks, unemployment is set to grow and all these contradictions are set to explode into revolution, as the movement of the working class and the road hauliers show.
Everywhere the three-year wage-cutting deals, and government and employer plans to put an end to final salary pensions are being opposed, and everywhere workers are getting ready for mass strike actions to force wages up, or oil prices down, like the hauliers, in order to feed families, pay rents or mortages, or buy petrol and diesel.
This mass movement of millions is going to be met head on by a Brown government whose sole aim is to save British capitalism, no matter what disasters this will mean for the working class.
Under the impact of this approaching clash the Brown government may well transform into a national government – as did the Ramsay MacDonald government in 1931 – in order to impose draconian cuts in wages and benefits on the working class and the middle class.
Our News Line-ATUA conference is meeting to discuss and to organise the working class for this historic struggle.
The first thing to realise is that the reformist trade union leaders are organically incapable of leading the working class forward in this situation.
They will seek to run up the white flag and betray the working class as quickly as they can, arguing that a decade of belt-tightening is necessary for the good of the country, i.e.the ruling class.
The working class requires a revolutionary Marxist leadership to lead it forward to bring down the capitalist government of the day, and to go forward to a workers’ government and socialism.
The central issue is the building of the WRP and the Young Socialists into the revolutionary leadership of the working class, that will lead the working class to victory, to a workers’ government and socialism. This is what will be discussed at the News Line-ATUA conference. Make sure you are there.