SPEAKING with Labour’s former Chancellor Lord Darling by his side, in full support, the Tory Chancellor Osborne yesterday pledged violent retribution against the electorate if it should vote to break from the European Union in the June 23 Referendum.
Osborne threatened that leaving the EU would be an ‘irreversible’ step that would cause ‘financial instability’ and leave the UK ‘with no economic plan’, demanding an immediate response from government.
He pledged an emergency budget to tackle a £30bn ‘black hole’. Both Osborne and Darling said that the measures would require £15bn of tax rises and £15bn of cuts. These include a 2p rise in the basic rate of income tax and a 3p rise in the higher rate, while spending on the police, transport and local government could take a 5% cut.
They agreed that the ring-fenced NHS budget could be ‘slashed’, along with education, defence and policing. While he enjoys the support of Darling and the Labour Party right wing, 57 Tory MPs have already issued a warning that his position would be untenable if he attempted to slash the NHS, schools and police budget.
Conservative MP and Vote Leave campaigner Steve Baker said: ‘I am shocked that the Chancellor is threatening to break so many key manifesto pledges on which all Conservative MPs were elected.’
Osborne told Radio 4’s Today programme that the UK would not be able to ‘afford the size of the public services that we have at the moment’ outside the European Union and would have to ‘cut its cloth accordingly’. He countered the threat of Conservative MPs blocking an emergency Budget, suggesting that Labour and Conservative MPs would join forces to ‘take the necessary measures’.
He said: ‘No Conservative wants to raise taxes, least of all me, but equally Conservative and Labour MPs understand you cannot have chaos in your public finances … a Conservative government would do what is needed to deal with huge instability in our economy.’
Meanwhile, a meeting has been jointly organised by the CWU, GMB, TSSA and the FBU which features John McDonnell as a key speaker. He is putting forward the Corbyn ‘left’ line for surrendering to the EU. This is that ‘If we come out of Europe while the Tories are still in power it will be disastrous for working people. It is important we remain in at the moment to ensure we get the reforms that we need.’
Manuel Cortez of the TSSA, another speaker, says in advance: ‘A Tory-led exit will be a disaster for working people. Those leading the Leave campaign want a race to the bottom. Sadly, many of the employment rights we take for granted will go up in a puff smoke. We also know the deep hatred and contempt that the Tory government, who will be in power come June 24th, has for workers. We critically support staying in to give people some protection from the callousness of Cameron, Osborne, IDS and Gove.’
The right wing of the TUC is using McDonnell and Corbyn to prevent a struggle for removing the Cameron government on the basis that the EU defends workers (tell that to the Greeks and the millions of unemployed).
They are for keeping the Cameron government in office because, as Corbyn said, only a Labour government can be trusted to negotiate leaving the EU. Now Osborne has said that there are many Labour MPs who, if Brexit triumphs, will prevent Cameron being removed as PM and will support a Cameron government and its austerity pledges by forming a national government when Brexit wins.
Corbyn’s pledge that Labour will not support post-Brexit austerity measures is worthless. As the crisis hits his party, it will be split as its right wing stampedes to support Cameron. Corbyn is opening up the door for this scenario with his refusal to call for a vote to leave the EU to be followed by an immediate general election!
The issue remains that workers must vote ‘Leave’ on June 23, and then take action to bring down the Tory government and bring in a workers’ government and socialism. This is the only way forward.