THE world capitalist crisis as well as shattering the energy industries – oil, coal and gas – is also decimating world steel production and in particular destroying the British steel industry, and British capitalism.
Tata Steel’s giant UK Port Talbot plant, where once 14,000 people worked, lost £1m a day in December. Tata posted a UK operating loss of £306m for the year to March 31, and accepted an £850m write-down on its UK plants.
Last week, the company said that it would axe 1,050 more jobs in Wales, following 1,920 sackings announced at its Scunthorpe, Scottish, and Rotherham plants. In fact, it is preparing a complete shut-down!
Steel is now being dumped and sold below cost price all over the planet as the capitalist crisis deepens. In other words, the world crisis of the capitalist system has issued British capitalism and its Indian-owned steel industry a death sentence, along with all of the towns where the mills are situated and all of the families that depend on the steel industry plus all of the shops and other small businesses that have also been sentenced to death as a result of the steel crisis.
Whole towns and regions are set to be decimated by the ‘nuclear option’ of the great steel and energy crash that the crisis of capitalism is driving forward. Meanwhile, the bosses are trying to blame the ‘yellow peril’ for the crisis, now in the guise of the Chinese workers, whose steel industry is now producing more steel than the US, Japan or Germany.
It is ironic that the British Tory Party is now cuddling up to the Chinese Stalinist leadership, and pleading with it to invest in the UK, to build its railways and power stations here. It was not so long ago that China was conquered in the Opium Wars and in the 1930s the parks in the British concessions had ‘no dogs or Chinese’ notices displayed. China has come a long way since then!
It is the Chinese revolution that changed everything, throwing out the Emperor and the feudal and capitalist system, and bringing in a planned economy that has provided the basis for China to overtake the US as an economic power. It is doubly ironic that the bosses and bankers of the West are relying on the Chinese economy and its continuing rapid development to haul them out of their crisis!
The issue that faces British workers is that capitalism has hit the buffers. Its British leadership, the Tory party, is seeking to drive history backwards to the 19th century, to the smashing of the Welfare State, the trade unions and the NHS, to a land where the bosses rule over millions of zero-hours contract workers.
The Tories and the bosses are the enemy that we face. The working class and the steel workers and their families will not be diverted by all of the anti-Chinese drivel. The steel workers, supported by all workers must now act decisively to defend their jobs and the living standards of their families and the whole of the working class. The whole British steel industry must be occupied to stop the sackings and to defend every job.
The TUC must be immediately purged of its super-soft collaborating leadership and a general strike called to defend steel jobs and all jobs by bringing down the Tory government and bringing in a workers government and socialism. A workers government will nationalise the steel industry and all of the major industries and put them under workers’ management.
An economic plan can then be drawn up and implemented to take the UK forward and provide the jobs, wages, education, healthcare and services that workers and youth need. Since the whole planet is gripped by the crisis of capitalism, the removal of the bosses in the UK will act as an enormous encouragement to do the same in all of the major capitalist countries, so that a worldwide socialist planned economy can be built to satisfy the needs of all human beings, wherever they may be. This is the way forward.