The number of UK unemployed rose by 164,000 between June and August, to 1.79 million, taking the official unemployment rate to 5.7% from 5.2% in the previous quarter, the biggest increase since the early 1990s.
Jobseeker’s allowance claimants rose by 31,800 to 939,900 in September, up 104,900 over the year.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said its surveys suggested unemployment will reach two million by this Xmas and three million by next Xmas, figures last seen in the days of the Thatcher governments and the hungry 1930s.
The trade union leaders yesterday refused to attack the government over the huge increase in unemployment. They centred their demands on pleading with Premier Brown who has handed the bankers some £660 billion of rescue money, to show a little of the same generosity to the working class.
GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny said: ‘Now is not the time for faint hearts. The government should use public spending to create jobs on projects like Crossrail and other transport infrastructure, on social housing schemes, and ships and aircraft for the armed forces. . . . This spending will keep people in work and boost confidence and is just as necessary as the bail out of the banks.’
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber did not even bother to suggest that there should be some public works to create some new jobs.
He said, arguing for a better class of soup kitchen, that unemployed people ‘will need all the help they can get with redundancy pay, re-training and personal advice.’
The PCS union expressed deep concern over the sharp rise in unemployment and reports that up to 10,000 jobs will be cut in the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The union urged the government to reverse its decision to cut another 12,000 jobs in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by 2011.
Unite general secretary, Derek Simpson said: ‘The government has a role to play in increasing public spending, creating jobs and generating confidence. Government intervention should not just stop with the banks. Action across the wider economy is necessary to protect jobs and the economy in a recession. Thatcher buried Keynesian economics and the current crisis shows just how wrong she was.
It’s time to resurrect John Maynard Keynes and kick-start the economy.’
The reformist trade union leaders just do not get it. They have been assisting a bankers’ government that has made many declarations that it will do everything necessary to stabilise the banking system, and this highly inflationary policy absolutely depends on forcing the working class to accept the entire burden of the financial and economic crisis. No mercy is to be shown to the working class.
Thus far, £660bn has been available to the banks. Every cent of this will have to come off the backs of the working class and the middle class if the British bourgeoisie are to stand a chance of avoiding national bankruptcy, and becoming the EU’s Zimbabwe.
Brown has gratefully accepted the support of the trade union bureaucracy for the first stage of the rescue campaign for the banks, the second stage is to make the working class pay for it, and he will be more than pleased to accept any help from the trade union bureaucracy for that stage of the bankers’ struggle to survive.
Putting forward demands that Brown must begin a programme of public works to develop the economy and put millions back to work, is to continue shoring up the Brown government.
It is no different from demanding that George Bush who has also nationalised a few banks start a programme of public works.
The only serious demand for the working class and the trade unions today is that it must use its strength to bring down the Brown government and bring in a workers government.
This government must expropriate the bosses and the bankers and bring in a socialist planned economy.
It will stop all sackings and repossessions and begin a huge programme of public works to provide jobs, trades and homes for millions. This is the way forward.