THE real essence of the capitalist crisis penetrated into the heart of the Trades Union Congress yesterday, as delegates assembled for their annual conference at TUC headquarters in London, a much smaller venue than it has used in living memory.
The TUC leaders and Brendan Barber, the general secretary in particular, were haunted by the spectre of revolution, with Barber clearly shaken by the inner-city revolt of youth that has swept Britain.
Comparing the situation with that faced by the TUC Congress 100 years ago – before the NHS and the Welfare State – Barber said: ‘We face such a challenge again as our economy continues to be ravaged by the consequences of the gravest global financial crisis any of us have ever seen and we have a government locked into policies that are making things worse not better.
‘Last month as our cities burned with the worst rioting in decades, social divisions in modern Britain were laid bare. The violence and the criminality that we saw shocked us all and none of us would seek to justify or condone it in any way. . .’
Whilst pleading with the coalition not to provoke such deep ‘divisions’ in society, Barber is nailing his colours firmly to the mast, siding with the police and Cameron against the ‘criminality’ of the youth – by claiming that the target of these youth who have been robbed of jobs and education by capitalism – is the ‘ordinary workers’ themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, what Barber is really worried about is that the cowardly TUC leadership is struggling to keep these same ‘ordinary workers’ in line, to prevent them from joining the youth in an even bigger uprising!
This feeling was reflected by many delegates who stopped to talk to lobbying Young Socialists outside, and who said inside the conference that the time has come to take on the government’s anti-union laws, and defy any attempt to tie the unions up in even bigger chains.
To try and head off this movement, Barber is pleading with the coalition to change its ways. He said: ‘Rather than addressing the complex, long-term factors that lay behind the alienation, the poverty, the lack of social mobility, young lives stunted by hope denied – they have instead reached for simplistic cliches about moral decay, and yet as they have retreated to Victorian language about the “undeserving poor’’, they have said nothing about moral disintegration among the rich.’
Of course they have not, and they will not because they are the representatives of this same rich ruling class! This is the ABC of politics that Barber has not yet comprehended!
Barber is terrified that by smashing up all the gains of the working class, the Cameron coalition has put an end to ‘social peace’ and put revolution at the top of the agenda.
His appeal to the ruling class is that in return for the TUC leaders helping them deliver the kind of cuts needed to save capitalism, they must ‘show an example’ and make some token sacrifices like closing a few minor tax loopholes for the billionaires.
For the TUC leaders only partial, minor strike actions are permissible, but a general strike – never since it could get ‘out of control’ and lead to a ‘Bolshevik Revolution’!
The urgent issue of the hour is the rapid building up of a revolutionary leadership to replace these TUC leaders and to organise an indefinite general strike to bring down the coalition and bring in a workers government and socialism.
A socialist revolution is the only way out of the crisis for the working class, the youth and the middle class.
Now is the time to join the WRP and the YS to build the type of leadership that is necessary to do the job of getting rid of capitalism and bringing in socialism to every part of the planet.