Defend every job, bring down the Brown government, forward to socialism

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LLOYDS stated yesterday that its takeover of HBOS would save it at least £1.5bn a year, more than it had been expecting, which all adds up to 40,000 sackings of bankworkers at the hands of bankers who are living off state aid like the parasites of the century.

In fact, both banks have revealed further major losses that they have made and have plans to raise up to £17 billion of government bail-out cash – supplied by the taxpayers.

Yesterday, the union leaders were as usual on their knees pleading to the bosses to go easy on the workers, and pleading to the government, which is financing the bankers, to see to it that there are no compulsory redundancies.

‘We believe that if this takeover is managed properly, with the full involvement of the union, compulsory redundancies can be avoided,’ said Unite joint general secretary Derek Simpson.

Their pleas will be ignored, because what is needed is action and not words. Workers must sack union leaders who will not fight and make sure that they are replaced by fighters.

The Northern Rock bank, into which the government has already put many billions, is said to be on the brink of demanding another £3bn, as it pursues its aggressive policy of repossessing the homes of workers who are in arrears with their mortgages.

While the banks carry on sponging off the state, manufacturing industry is shutting down.

What motor car industry there is in Britain is now on short time working, with sackings and closures just around the corner.

In fact, the UK’s manufacturing sector shrunk for the sixth month in a row in October.

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply said October’s reading of the index was the second weakest since the survey began in 1992.

As well, the cut-throat, cost-cutter of the air industry, Ryanair, announced that its profits had fallen 47 per cent in the first half of the year and that it expects to make a loss in the second half of the year.

Net profits in the six months to the end of September stood at 214.6m euros (£169m; $277m) compared with 407.6m euros a year earlier, the firm said.

Oil prices have fallen, but Ryanair said it expects to make a loss in the last six months of the financial year.

Its way out of this crisis is a plan to open a new service to the US provided it can secure cheap, cut-price, long-haul aircraft from rivals who are suffering even more than Ryanair.

Its competitor Aer Lingus has already announced that it wants to make up to 2,000 workers redundant.

Meanwhile yesterday, the bosses’ media was demanding a big interest rate cut this Thursday from the Bank of England.

In fact, the call has gone up that interest rates should be cut down to zero to help small businesses survive – that is if the banks will lend them any money.

The advocates of this policy are truly desperate. They are not worried if rate cuts in debt-ridden Britain send the pound into a massive crash, leading to a price inflation that will make workers’ wages worthless.

The fact is that there is only one way out of this capitalist crisis for the working class and the middle class. The union leaders must be changed and a revolutionary leadership pushed forward that will defend every job, and fight for wage rises that keep pace with the real rise in the cost of living.

Such a leadership must mobilise the entire working class for a general strike to bring down the Brown government, and bring in a workers government.

This will resolve the crisis of capitalism by expropriating the major industries and the banks and bringing in a socialist planned economy that will produce for people’s needs and not for profits, putting an end to the capitalist market.