YESTERDAY road hauliers made it crystal clear that the Labour government had seven days to make a big cut in fuel duty, to save their family companies from going bust, or else there will be blockades of the oil refineries that will quickly bring the UK to a standstill.
They also added that the situation was much more serious that it was before the 2000 fuel blockade, and that a new blockade would have the full support of millions of workers – as did the 2000 blockades. Workers are now being crucified by an oil price racing towards $200 a barrel.
The point is being made that hauliers ‘are starting to see insolvency and bankruptcy on a daily basis.’
Faced with the threat of blockades the Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged oil industry leaders to come up with ideas for improving supplies as fuel prices soar to well over £6 a gallon.
However the oil tycoons are not bothered. They are relaxed about the situation, since they are making all time record profits, and want to continue doing so.
The government has also announced new moves to increase oil production in the North Sea. Brown says it wants to make the most of the UK’s reserves.
He says this from the point of view of strengthening the base of British capitalism, through the oil barons making even more profits!
There is only one way to make the most of the oil and gas fields of the North Sea, from the point of view of the working class, and that is to renationalise an industry that Thatcher privatised.
This would immediately provide the basis for oil and gas prices to be slashed, with the industry’s profits flowing into the public purse and not into the accounts of the bosses and bankers.
Brown, of course is not going to take this course. He is the politician who has pledged to the bankers that he will privatise all state owned industries. He is opposed to socialist measures such as the re-nationalisation of the oil and gas industry. He is a Thatcherite.
Another policy that would see a huge fall in oil prices would be to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and withdraw all British troops from there at once.
The Iraq war, an imperialist adventure, had the strategic aim to lower oil prices back to $10 a barrel, by putting the Iraqi oil wells into US ownership.
The defeat suffered by the US and the UK has resulted in massive tensions in the Middle East, the Gulf and Central Asia. These have pushed oil prices sky high. They prepared the way for the US sub prime mortgage crisis and the financial havoc that this has created.
However, there is no way that Brown will quit Iraq and Afghanistan, and separate himself from US imperialism, and adopt a less warlike relationship to the Arab world, Iran and the Gulf.
Neither will Brown take action against the City of London speculators. These are buying up oil stocks for years ahead and assisting in the driving up of oil prices.
The British working class is therefore stuck with bankrupt capitalist policies and a bankrupt capitalist system that will mean rapidly rising inflation cutting wages savagely, high interest rates that will means millions of jobs lost, and the bankruptcy of many small businesses, while the threat of homelessness will hang over millions of homeowners unable to service their huge mortgages.
The TUC and all trade unions must give their full support to the road hauliers and call a general strike to support the planned blockade of the oil refineries.
The strength of the working class must be used to bring down the Brown government from the left and to go forward to a workers government that will expropriate the bosses and the bankers and bring in a socialist planned economy, starting with the renationalisation of the oil and gas fields in the North Sea.