THE Tory Chancellor, George Osborne, was described in the bourgeois press as being ‘rattled’ by the news coverage of his Autumn Statement.
In fact, ‘rattled’ goes nowhere near the rage he exhibited towards the BBC and their ‘totally hyperbolic’ reporting on the savage cuts he outlined on Wednesday.
What got Osborne in a frenzy were reports on BBC radio that the Office for Budget Responsibility had made projections that the cuts the Tories intend to make would reduce the size of the British state to its lowest since the 1930s – the period of the Great Depression, of mass unemployment and hunger marches.
How dare the BBC repeat figures produced by an official body that reveal the true intention of Osborne and Cameron? As far as the Tories and the ruling class are concerned the function of the BBC is to faithfully repeat all the lies about how British capitalism is booming and prosperity is just around the corner.
According to one BBC comment, the OBR report read like the ‘Book of Doom’ and that the figures for the cuts were ‘utterly terrifying’.
Unfortunately for Osborne, his rant about the ‘left-wing bias’ of the BBC – a bias that will no doubt see them designated as enemies of the state if they carry on like this – was undermined within hours by the Institute of Fiscal Studies which had analysed his figures and declared that his plans to impose public sector cuts over the next five years would result in cuts on a ‘colossal’ scale.
The Institute, the leading body for analysis of public spending, warned such cuts would result in a ‘fundamental re-imagining (remaking) of the state’.
Cuts of this magnitude would cut state spending on government departments and local government to the point where the role of the state would be ‘changed beyond recognition’, said the Institute, with state expenditure reduced to levels of the 1930s.
What is meant by a ‘fundamental re-imagining of the state’ is nothing less than the complete destruction of the Welfare State established at the end of the Second World War by a Labour government swept to power by a working class that returned from the war determined never to return to the starvation and poverty of the ‘hungry thirties’.
The Welfare State, which established a free health system, free education, council housing, pensions and benefits for the unemployed and sick, will be re-imagined out of existence, to be replaced by a completely privatised system run for the profit of the capitalist class.
In fact, it turns out that on close inspection all of Osborne’s figures on the cuts necessary to reduce the deficit – a deficit caused by the huge bail-out of the banking system – rely on people spending a massive £360 billion over the next five years.
According to an analysis carried out by the Independent newspaper, given that wages have been cut to the bone and workers simply cannot afford even the essentials of life, Osborne’s plans rely on the public running up this colossal amount through unsecured lending – credit cards and bank overdrafts.
If the spending on credit doesn’t happen then all his plans for deficit reduction get blown out of the water.
No wonder Osborne has been reduced to a state of fury as even the bourgeois press and media make it clear that his plans to ‘save’ capitalism will be at the expense of the greatest gain made by the working class, the Welfare State.
In its crisis, capitalism cannot any longer afford a Welfare State. It can only survive by going back to the kind of conditions workers faced in the 1930s, conditions of poverty and hunger.
But this is not the 1930s, the working class is not defeated and on its knees begging for charity. On the contrary, it is the most powerful class in society and will not accept the destruction of the Welfare State as the price for keeping a bankrupt capitalist system staggering on.
What is urgently required today is the building of the leadership of the Workers Revolutionary Party that will organise the socialist revolution to put an end to this system, as part of the world socialist revolution.