IN THE Spectator magazine this week, Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak broke ranks with the official Tory line that British capitalism could survive by indefinitely printing billions of pounds of paper money, by saying that the point has been reached when the massive state debt will have to be paid.
Government borrowing in October this year was over £22 billion the highest ever total on record.
In seven months, the government borrowed £215 billion pushing the UK public debt to over 100% of GDP.
Publicly, the Tories claim this debt mountain doesn’t matter – huge amounts of debt can be paid for by printing worthless paper money and because the interest rates on debt are so low the government can afford to service its debt repayments easily.
Sunak however knows better.
At the time of the world banking crash in 2008, he worked for a hedge fund in the city and he recalls sitting in front of his computer screen and daily watching ‘very large sums of money just disappearing’.
Sunak knows that worthless paper money can ‘disappear’ before your eyes in the capitalist crisis and bring the economy crashing down.
At present, the government pays 0.3% on the vast amount it borrows, but Sunak warns that these interest rates could treble at any time and bring the state finances to the point of bankruptcy.
He said: ‘It is clearly not sustainable to borrow at these levels. I don’t think morally, economically or politically it would be right.’
What is right for Sunak is that the working class will be made to pay for this crisis, not the bosses or bankers.
When asked about the prospect being advanced for a wealth-tax on those with a personal wealth of over £500,000, Sunak dismissed it, saying: ‘We should be celebrating aspiration.’
The filthy rich must be protected while the wages of public sector workers are frozen and cut while in the private sector fire and rehire wage-cutting reduces the pay of millions of workers to poverty levels.
Central to Sunak, and to the capitalist class that he speaks for, is the drive to force a re-opening of capitalism regardless of the cost in lives.
This overwhelming imperative was behind this week’s debacle over school closures.
Many found it incredible that the government was prepared to use emergency legislation and the courts to force councils to rescind instructions for schools to close for four days to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
What this revealed is that the state will brook no opposition from councils or anyone else in the drive to restore profits for the bosses.
These were just the opening shots in a class war that will erupt as poverty and mass unemployment result in millions of workers and youth rising up onto the streets refusing to pay with their lives for the profits of a bankrupt capitalist class.
In 1971, Britain’s leading expert in counter-revolution, General Sir Frank Kitson, wrote the book Low Intensity Operations, the handbook that lays bare the preparations of the capitalist state to deal with any uprising by workers.
He wrote: ‘If a genuine and serious grievance arose, such as might result from a significant drop in the standard of living, all those who now dissipate their protest over a wide variety of causes might concentrate their efforts and produce a situation which was beyond the power of the police to handle. Fumbling at this juncture might have grave consequences even to the extent of undermining confidence in the whole system of government.’
The working class must take warning from these preparations by Sunak to unleash a brutal class war backed up by the full force of the capitalist state, its police, military and courts.
Workers must make their own preparations to meet this threat by demanding the unions organise immediately to bring down this Tory government with a general strike and smash the capitalist state by seizing power and replacing it with a workers’ state and socialism.
The building of the WRP is decisive in this struggle to take power – join today, there is no time to lose.