THERESA May’s speech closing the Tory conference on Wednesday revealed all the weakness of the Tory Party – a party reeling from the mass movement of workers and youth that defied all the threats and intimidation by the bankers and employers during the EU referendum.
After seven years of the most savage austerity cuts to pay and benefits, along with the attacks on the Welfare State and NHS, the anger of the working class has been expressed in a defiant mood, a mood that is fast turning towards the path of revolution.
This movement refuses to lie down and passively accept pauperisation as the price for keeping the banks from going bust. Her speech was a desperate attempt to disown in words the policy of austerity championed by Cameron and Osborne by making the outrageous claim that Tories are ‘truly the party of the workers,’ adding to a disbelieving world that they are also the ‘party of the NHS’.
They are the party of the NHS in the same way that a rope is the main supporter of the hanging man. This was plain when she went out of her way to praise Jeremy Hunt, the would-be hangman of junior doctors and the NHS.
She vowed in her speech to ‘go after’ tax-avoiding businesses and ‘restore fairness’ by spreading prosperity. This was music to the ears of the TUC leaders. Begging the Tories for ‘fairness’ has been the only cry of the TUC in the face of every Tory attack, and they are overjoyed at the prospect of seats on the board where they will be able to fetch the tea for the employers while posturing as important people taking on the responsibility for making capitalism work.
Immediately she heard May’s speech, TUC general secretary Francis O’Grady rushed to welcome it, saying: ‘We are pleased Theresa May has renewed her commitment to having workers on company boards. This is a good step towards building a fairer economy.’
May isn’t in any position to build a fairer economy; she is presiding over a bankrupt capitalist Britain that is sinking fast into a massive crash. On the same day she made her speech, the IMF announced that worldwide debt is at a record high of $152 trillion – 225% of global GDP – blaming the orgy of printing money to bail-out bankrupt capitalism as the main culprit.
Unless something is done by countries to bring down their huge national debts, the IMF warns, they face ‘deep recessions’, in other words, complete collapse. Britain’s share of this debt stands at approximately £1.7 trillion. Cameron and Osborne were open in their determination to pay it off through austerity.
Having seen the working class turn on them with hatred, May is forced to adopt the posture of fairness and relief from cuts. But in his speech to conference her new Chancellor, Philip Hammond, completely undermined her when he made it clear that there would be no end to austerity saying: ‘The work we began in 2010 is not finished. The deficit remains unsustainable and it will need to be tackled in due course.’
There will be no let-up in the attacks on workers and their families; in its historic crisis capitalism is forced to make the working class pay. What May’s speech revealed is how weak the Tories are and how terrified they are of the mass movement of workers and youth that is becoming revolutionised out of this crisis and sees no future under capitalism.
It is this mass movement that May is forced to try and hold back by relying on the treachery of the TUC and the Labour right-wing. The working class and young people will not, for a minute, be fooled by May’s charade. For workers to have any kind of future today, the Tories have to be kicked out and replaced with a workers government and socialism.
The TUC leaders, who refuse to lead the fight for a general strike to achieve this, must be removed and a new leadership built to replace them.
That leadership is the WRP and Young Socialists.