IN THEIR desperation to prevent a complete meltdown of Britain’s food industry the Tories have agreed to pump tens of millions of pounds into a private American company, CF Industries.
This is the giant fertiliser company that supplies 60% of the country’s Carbon Dioxide (CO2) supplies as a by-product of its fertilisation production.
CO2 is vital to the food industry for meat production and extending the shelf-life of fresh packaged food, it is also vital to the nuclear industry for cooling reactors.
When CF Industries closed its two plants, on the grounds that increased gas prices made them ‘uneconomic’, CO2 supplies dried up overnight, plunging the country into an unprecedented food crisis that has the potential to cause havoc for the nuclear industry as well.
The Tory solution to the crisis is to bail-out the American private company to the tune of many millions of pounds of taxpayer money in return for them reopening one of the plants for three weeks.
When challenged on why the taxpayer was bailing out a private US company Environment Secretary George Eustice said: ‘The reason why it is justified for the government is … if we didn’t there would be a risk to the food supply chain.’ He added ‘It’s not a risk the government is willing to take.’
What the Tories didn’t dare risk was the prospect of empty supermarkets and people rioting on the streets against a system that has broken down to the extent that it cannot feed the population.
Already, workers are faced with inflationary increases in the cost of living while at the same time the Tories are making the biggest cut to benefits in history, along with increases in taxation for the lowest paid.
New estimates from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that a low-income family will be £1,750 worse off by April next year as a result of spiralling inflation. This means a working family faces extra costs of £33.50 a week due to Universal Credit cuts, increases in National Insurance and the explosion of energy prices. Millions of workers won’t be able to feed their families, even if the supermarket shelves are kept filled.
While the Tories are screaming that they must cut benefits to save the capitalist economy, they are quite happy to throw tens of millions to a US company to stay open for three weeks.
The big energy companies who have managed to survive, while dozens of their smaller rivals have gone bust, are also demanding multi-billion pound ‘support packages’ or ‘rescue loans’ to keep them from collapse.
This week, the Unite union, the biggest union in Britain, demonstrated the cowardly refusal of trade union leaders to confront directly the most crucial issue facing workers today – of taking over these collapsing companies that exist purely to make a profit, not propping them up with billions extorted from the working class.
In a joint statement with the Prospect union concerning the jobs crisis facing their members at the privately owned Springfields Nuclear Fuels, they called on the Tories to ‘urgently develop options for alternative ownership structures’ as the ‘current ownership model is becoming a potential obstacle in preserving the site and the jobs that depend on it.’
The only urgent alternative to private ownership is for these companies to be taken over by the working class. This is the very demand that union and Labour leaders are terrified of and instead resort to useless appeals to the Tories for ‘alternative ownership structures.’
The only solution to the crisis for the working class is the complete nationalisation, without compensation, of gas, electricity and every other industry that has been systematically pillaged by the privateers and placing them under the management of the working class.
This requires the working class to take power.
The trade union leaders who refuse point blank to lead this struggle must be thrown out and replaced by a leadership prepared to mobilise the strength of the working class in a general strike to kick out the Tories and go forward to a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and advance to a planned socialist economy.
Only the WRP fights for this policy – join today!