THE TORIES have launched the most vicious attack on the working class since they came to power in 2010. After ten years of austerity, impoverishing a generation of older workers, burdening students with a lifetime of debt, and throwing an entire generation of youth onto the unemployment scrap heap, the Tory government has declared that their attacks on the working class have only just begun.
Britain is bankrupt. Millions have lost their jobs. Others who have been furloughed are living on 80% of their wage until this arrangement finishes at the end of March. Meanwhile, inflation is being let rip – gas and electric bills, council tax and rents have begun to rise.
It is in this situation that the Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a three-year pay freeze for public sector workers, condemning millions of families to starvation.
The Johnson government and his Chancellor have declared war on the working class to try to rescue a bankrupt capitalist system, which is so outdated that it deserves to perish.
This government, during the coronavirus crisis has taken on unprecedented amounts of debt, pushing the national debt well above 100% of GDP, by building up a record £2.3 trillion. Now, as the Chancellor has made perfectly clear, every single penny will have to be paid back. In fact, he boasted that the crisis of UK capitalism has only just begun!
Millions of public sector workers have been told that their pay is to be frozen, while MPs will enjoy a 4.1% pay rise. Cleaners, firefighters, teachers, council workers, refuse collectors, librarians have all been told that they must pay for the massive national debt.
At the same time, military expenditure has been increased by £16.5bn. The ruling class is obviously preparing for military action both at home and abroad.
The TUC leadership is currently watching and commenting on the developing crisis, concentrating not on fighting the Tories, and organising to remove them, but with giving them advice on what they should be spending.
Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey said yesterday: ‘These tough new tier restrictions across most of England will not be successful unless the government puts a floor underneath workers’ incomes so that they can support this fresh effort to defeat the virus.
‘It is simply not good enough for Boris Johnson and his ministers to hang on for the vaccine to come to the rescue. Our communities and people can’t wait that long. They are taking a hammering right now and need and deserve help right now.’
Not a word about action to fight the pay freeze, job cuts and the abject poverty that Unite members have been plunged into along with the rest of the working class, but instead words of advice for Boris Johnson.
The Unite leadership no longer leads its membership into battle against the Tories and the bosses – instead it addresses the Tory government, pleading with them to change their ways and soften the blow. This sort of union leadership is treacherous to say the least.
Now is the time to strike, while the Tories are split and riddled with internal division and crisis. PM Johnson faces a revolt over the new regional restrictions with large numbers of his own MPs set to vote against.
MPs are due to vote on the measures on Tuesday, a day before they are due to come into force.
A sufficiently big Tory rebellion will force Johnson to rely on Labour votes. And Labour, under Keir Starmer’s leadership are only too pleased to assist. Their role has become clear: as the Johnson government founders they rush to his rescue instead of voting to bring the government down. No wonder Starmer is so keen to clear Corbyn out of the way and pave the way for a national government with the Tories!
The burning question of the hour is not what the trade unions are going to ask the Tories to do to ‘help’ the working class, but getting rid of the current trade union leadership so that the full force of the working class can be used to bring the Tories down and bring in a workers government and socialism.
Transport union RMT has said that it will mount a co-ordinated campaign that will work with the TUC and the wider labour movement to defend pay and to fight off any attempt to freeze or cut wages.
In fact, the full strength of the working class must be mobilised to force the TUC leaders to resign and clear the way for new leaders to organise a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in socialism.
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