THE Tory class war at home means permanent austerity for the working class, with anti-union laws brought in to further chain up trade unions, while wages have been frozen for up to ten years.
The NHS is facing ever more savage cuts, while the pensionable age is being adjusted upwards. The army of the homeless is growing rapidly, as are the numbers sleeping on the streets, while the number of families that depend on food banks runs into millions!
Pensioners meanwhile are being presented as the privileged enemy within, with their triple lock pension arrangements the target for government action, while students now know that the interest rate on student loans is to go up to 6.1% from September.
The UK’s foreign policy is an extension of this class war policy at home. At a time when we are all being lectured that there is no money tree, hundreds of billions are being found preparing for a new imperialist war, centring on the Middle East, where the UK ruling class has been selling billions of pounds of bombs and aircraft to the Saudi ruling class, and supporting Israel.
The UK has found hundreds of billions for two giant new aircraft carriers, support vessels, the aircraft to go with the carriers, and the docks to hold them, and has been feverishly preparing a dock in Bahrain, where the plan is to base them but which however is still not deep enough. The first giant aircraft carrier was launched yesterday in Portsmouth, HMS Queen Elizabeth. The 65,000-tonne ship has been undergoing sea trials since setting sail from Rosyth dockyard in Fife, where it was built in June.
The 900ft-long carrier cannot currently deploy planes but flying trials are due to begin next year. Its sister ship, another giant carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is currently under construction. The Queen Elizabeth cost £3bn, its escort vessels will cost £1bn each, and its aircraft, 40 are ordered, £100 million a go, and are due to make their first trial flights from the carrier’s deck next year with 120 aircrew currently training in the US.
Under an agreement with the USA, the UK has already contributed US$2.5 billion towards development costs and is down to buy 140 of the jets. Captain Petitt, senior naval officer for the two vessels, said at the launch they would become the UK’s ‘most potent strategic weapon bar the continuous at sea deterrent’.
He added he could ‘certainly see’ the vessels used in campaigns against Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil) and expected them to be sent to the Gulf on deployment when ready. He added: ‘The base, HMS Juffair, at Mina Salman Port will play a central role in the Royal Navy’s ability to operate in the region, and reaffirms the UK’s determination to work with Bahrain to maintain security and stability in the Gulf. The facility will give the UK an enhanced and permanent presence in the region, allowing longer-term deployments in the Gulf.’
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony in Bahrain, then Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: ‘The beginning of construction work at Mina Salman Port marks a watershed moment in the UK’s commitment to the region. The presence of the Royal Navy in Bahrain is guaranteed into the future, ensuring Britain’s sustained presence east of Suez. The new facility will enable Britain to work with our allies to reinforce stability in the Gulf and beyond.’
Commander Joint Forces Command, General Sir Richard Barrons KCB CBE ADC, said: ‘This is a reflection of the continued cooperation and engagement between the Bahrain Defence Forces and the UK Armed Forces. We welcome the continued support from Bahrain which enables the Royal Navy to operate in the Gulf region.’
Capitalist Britain, that cannot afford an NHS or proper pensions or free state education, is awash with cash for war preparations! The UK working class is clearly in the same trench as the oppressed peoples of the Gulf and the Middle East. The way forward is for the working class of the world to unite to disarm and smash capitalism and imperialism through the victory of the world socialist revolution.