Tackling cost of living crisis means tackling capitalism

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LABOUR leader Miliband yesterday lashed out at the payday lenders and the way that these vulture capitalists are preying on the poor, making life impossible for ordinary people.

He asked: ‘as I listened to these stories, my overwhelming thought was: how is this being allowed to happen in Britain, 2013?

‘Because these stories of payday lenders are just one part of the cost of living crisis facing families across our country.’

His answer was not a programme to destroy the monster of capitalism in crisis and replace it with socialism, but to try to make a few running repairs, amounting to damage limitation, to a system that has reached the end of the road.

He revealed that ‘The official figures say that on average working people are £1,500 a year worse off than they were at the election.’ He then contrasted this situation stating that ‘Chief executive pay went up by seven per cent last year.’

He asked ‘can anything be done?’ and his answer amounted to nothing beyond a bit of tinkering.

The reality is that the world crisis of capitalism is laying waste to jobs and living standards all over the world, unleashing a slump, banking collapses and massive unemployment, particularly youth unemployment.

The USA, the major capitalist power, is on the brink of total collapse and bankruptcy with $17 trillion of debt, increasing all the time, with the US government printing $85 billion a month to try to keep the banks going.

Deep in this crisis the British ruling class is boldly declaring that the minor, illusory recovery can only be kept going on the basis of a decade of wage freezing and wage cutting with zero-hours contracts, and the trade unions under permanent attack.

Their representatives, such as the ex-Labourite Milburn, are openly saying that the middle class cannot re-emerge in the way that is required unless the poor are made poorer and the Welfare State abolished.

Faced with this crisis, all that Miliband can say is that they will carry on with the Tory cuts, but they want to see a living wage of £7.65 in the UK – except in London which will be on £8.80.

Any minor increases in the minimum wage will not even get workers half back to where they were in 2008, and will be rapidly eaten up by inflation.

A two-year energy freeze will be treated with contempt by the privateers, who will grab it back with a vengeance one way or another, if they carry it out.

Miliband’s programme is not even the minimum programme of social democracy, it is an openly bourgeois programme.

He declared: ‘A dynamic market economy, with profitable private sector companies, is essential for creating the wealth we need.’ This, with capitalism collapsing worldwide, is a declaration of bankruptcy.

He added he was for ‘Opening up competition in banking’. This is after over a trillion pounds has been spent propping up the British banks which are still getting millions of pounds of quantitative easing given to them. The banking parasites rejected competition decades ago in favour of cartels of asset-strippers.

His speech was just a shallow attempt to win some votes, not a serious attempt to mobilise the working class to deal with the crisis. Socialist policies to resolve the crisis of capitalism are now well known and enormously popular, this is why Miliband ignores them.

Workers don’t want a two-year energy price freeze they want the renationalisation of the energy companies and all privatised industries, including the railways, to massively slash prices for good.

They want wage rises linked to the cost of living so that workers are not pauperised by the bankers’ crisis.

They want a vast programme of public works to build millions of council homes to provide millions of jobs with skilled training for the youth.

This will mean taking on the bosses not serving them under the disguise of a very few left words. The crisis of capitalism requires a socialist revolution. Nothing less will suffice.