SATURDAY’S Daily Telegraph gave the Tory leadership candidates some advice. This was: ‘It is no good pretending to be Mrs Thatcher – and the candidates should admit we face a crisis worse than hers.’ This is the understatement of the year!
In fact, Thatcher had the complete support of the armed forces for the struggle against the miners after she gave the go ahead to the Malvinas war in 1982, and was able in its final stages to fly to the US to urge President Reagan to resupply the British forces, which he did.
Without that relationship between Thatcher and Reagan, and the resupply of British troops that took place, the British army would have had to surrender.
Up to that point the US military had treated the war with interest and were keen to see whether the Argentinians, equipped by the US and using French Exocet missiles would be able to see off a much weakened UK army. Britain prevailed with the assistance of the USA. There was a special relationship. This does not exist with Biden!
The army was then Thatcher’s and went along with her plan to smash the NUM and a further two-years-long preparation to take on the miners.
Internationally it was not only the USA that stepped in to prop up up the UK ruling class. Thatcher developed a special relationship with the then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who allowed Polish coal to be exported to the UK to build up a coal mountain to prepare for taking on the miners, at the same time as North Sea oil had begun flowing, creating a mountain of cash that was also used to prepare to fight the miners.
The struggle was planned and prepared. When Thatcher moved against the miners in 1984, with the TUC Congress standing by just watching, many miners considered that they were so strong that they would not need a general strike to win. There is no such conception today! Nevertheless, it was a desperately close run thing.
The miners stayed out for a year and then returned to work without an agreement, proud and undefeated. Thatcher went on to fight the printers and then sought to impose a Poll Tax.
This was a bridge too far, and she was brought down by the working class when her own party turned on her and brought in John Major. He ended the Poll Tax drive and after a pause implemented the pit closure programme. Today’s crisis is qualitatively different.
The capitalist class itself internationally, is in a huge crisis with the dollar and pound collapsing and inflation thrusting upwards, sparked by the western powers decision to break relations with Russia and to fight it to the end. The era of a love-in with Gorbachev is over, and now it is to be war to the death with Putin!
Now the whole of Western Europe is starved of Russian gas and oil and is experiencing massive inflation, with workers battling to keep up with huge increases in the cost of living, and with no end in sight of the war between the imperialist powers and Russia.
In the UK, the ruling class has never been weaker. The Tory government has burnt its boats with the Kremlin, sacking Russian oligarchs who owned Chelsea Football Club, were involved in the House of Lords and owned the Evening Standard. The close friends are now bitter enemies!
The Tory party is in fact split and divided and could be driven out of office by even the declaration of a general strike. It is now struggling to form a government.
Meanwhile, the Labour Party is led by a former State Prosecutor who is opposed to socialism, against nationalisation and also against equal pay or wage increases that keep up with the rate of inflation.
The UK ruling class has never been weaker or more desperate, as it feverishly seeks to increase military spending and drive the working class backwards to the conditions of the 1930s.
The Johnson government has gone down in a pack of lies, the Biden regime in the USA is discredited at home and abroad, while Russia is now the number one enemy that must be fought to the death, no matter how many workers die or starve to death.
What is ahead is not another ‘miners strike’ but a general strike uprising of the masses who will not accept being ruined by the massive economic and political crisis of capitalism.
Now is the time to massively build the WRP and the Young Socialists and sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International worldwide to organise the victory of the world socialist revolution and the end of capitalism.