ON Wednesday, the general secretary of the TUC, Frances O’Grady, penned another begging letter to the Tory government, this time to the Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox.
In it, O’Grady expressed the ‘concerns’ of the TUC over the proposed EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and EU is aimed at establishing the dominance of North American multi-national companies over Europe.
CETA contains all the provisions of TTIP including the legal right of companies to sue governments if they fail to privatise public services or in any way enact legislation that might hinder their ability to gouge as much profit as possible under the demand for ‘free trade’.
The massive opposition by workers throughout Europe has effectively killed TTIP, much to the fury of US capitalism, but now they hope to sneak CETA through with the connivance of bourgeois parties in Europe.
Cameron and Osborne were both fervent supporters of TTIP and many of the Tory enthusiasts, like Liam Fox, for leaving the EU see the future of British capitalism as being an economic vassal to America and its multi-national giants.
They have absolutely no problem with laws that impose privatisation on services like the NHS – they positively welcome it. After expressing her primary concern that CETA ‘will result in a significant loss of sovereignty’ and the threat it poses to the ‘UK government’s control over public services’, O’Grady urges Fox and the government to ‘not support’ its ratification when it comes up for consideration in Europe.
This is just the latest in a line of grovelling appeals to the Tories to be kinder to workers by the leadership of the TUC. At this year’s TUC conference, they refused to offer any real support to junior doctors, leaving them to fight on alone in defence of the NHS. Instead, O’Grady crawled before the Tories begging them to re-enter negotiations with the BMA and reach a compromise sell-out of their struggle.
Over the question of the new anti-union laws, designed by the Tories to make strikes illegal, she claimed it was a victory because a few minor concessions were made – concessions that O’Grady insisted were secured, thanks to the support of ‘progressive’ Tory MPs.
The leadership of the TUC has been reduced to going begging to the various factions of the Tories for help, while turning their backs on the working class who are more than willing to fight. Instead of leading any struggle, the TUC has determinedly opposed all strikes and struggles that threaten the government, dumping their own policy on calling a general strike in favour of open class collaboration with the Tories.
In this period, when the world crisis of capitalism is so acute that everyone from the Bank for International Settlements to the UN Trade and Development Conference is predicting an imminent worldwide crash and the consequent massive increase in austerity attacks on workers as the ruling class seek to dump their crisis on the backs of the working class, this treacherous leadership must be kicked out.
This crisis can only be resolved for the working class by the overthrow of capitalism through the victory of the socialist revolution. This requires a revolutionary party to lead the working class in a struggle to overthrow a bankrupt capitalist system and advance to socialism.
This means building Trotskyist parties in every country. The struggle for Trotskyism is central to the struggle for the socialist revolution. On November 12, the WRP and Young Socialists will be meeting to celebrate Trotsky’s lifelong struggle for the victory of the world socialist revolution and the 47th anniversary of our daily paper.
This rally will not be just to remember Trotsky, but a vital part of the struggle to continue his fight through the building of sections of the Fourth International in every country to lead the rapidly developing socialist revolution.
We call on every worker and young person to come to this rally and join us in building the revolutionary leadership that is historically necessary and which will be decisive today.