THE international banking system has collapsed, the steel industries of the planet are in slump, and the US and Japanese motor car giants are in desperate straits, on the brink of bankruptcy, with huge debts instead if profits, amidst rapidly collapsing order books.
Capitalism is in crisis and nowhere more than the UK.
This is where Margaret Thatcher decreed in the 1980s that the UK did not need mining or ship building industries, and, in fact, did not need any industries at all.
All it needed were banks, and a banking system that would sit astride the planet, sucking out its wealth, with a portion of it trickling down to the millions who would be working in service industries.
The Blair-Brown gang carried forward this position, regarding it as a virtue that manufacturing jobs were leaving the UK by the million, and instead advocating that we all live off the ‘knowledge economy’.
Now the banks have collapsed, the remnants of the manufacturing industries are on short time or closing down and the high streets are putting the boards up.
Never has there been a clearer example of the failure of capitalism to satisfy the elementary requirements of the working class and the middle class, and the need to get rid of it, replacing it with a socialist planned economy producing to satisfy people’s needs and not to satisfy the needs of profiteers, parasites and billionaires.
However the reaction of the Labour Party and the trade union leaders to this historic collapse of capitalism, has been to rally round it and to seek to save it, at the expense of the working class.
Labour is pushing through plans to set the whole nation on a course of coughing up all its wealth to save a relative handful of failed bankers and capitalists. The trade union leaders are now telling their members to accept wage cuts and job losses providing some jobs remain.
They have become the chief lobbyists for the Labour government to hand billions of taxpayers’ money to the owners of the motor car and steel industries so that they can decide at their leisure which plants to close and how many jobs are to be cut.
The trade union leaders have dumped socialism, and nationalisation, in favour of understanding that bosses have no alternative in a crisis but to cut and close.
Tony Woodley told the world the other day that the government must ‘waste no more time in putting together a package to save Britain’s car industry. The union is urging the government to move quickly to ensure that at least 70,000 car workers and their families are not made to pay the price for City greed and recklessness.’
He is not calling for nationalisation.
Woodley added: ‘2009 is going to be a difficult year. We start it heading into what may prove to be the deepest recession any of us have seen.
‘That means anxiety for millions of working people – not least those employed in or dependent on the motor industry and its long supply chain, very many of them working at Vauxhall, Land Rover and Jaguar plants on Merseyside and in Birmingham.
‘Car workers and their families should not have to pay the price for the economic storm. . .’
‘So there is a strong business case as well as an overwhelming social justice case for government help for the motor industry. . .
Tony Woodley puts forward a business case for the bosses. The bosses say that there is a very good business case for sacking thousands!
Woodley does not demand nationalisation, he does not pledge to defend every job. He is acting for the bosses and not for the workers. Socialism, not a business plan, is the only way out of the crisis. Union leaders like Woodley who have become cheerleaders for the bosses must be sacked and replaced by leaders who fight for the real interests of the working class.