TORY Foreign Secretary Liz Truss bluntly told British workers and their families that they will be made to pay the price for the imperialist war against Russia – indeed she came close to suggesting we should be grateful for the opportunity to be driven into starvation to further imperialism’s designs.
In a BBC interview on Sunday morning, Truss gaily announced that the sanctions on Russia will drive up the cost of living crisis in Britain and that ‘fighting for freedom’ in the Ukraine ‘has a very high cost for us.’
The cost will not be born by Truss, Johnson or the Tory and Labour MPs who are clamouring for economic sanctions that will drive the working class in the UK, Europe and the US into the greatest poverty ever experienced in the history of capitalism.
Imperialism, unable to risk sending in troops to face the Russians militarily, has resorted to economic warfare in order to try to destabilise Russia, and prepare the ground for some ‘regime change’, installing a completely pro-western compliant regime in place of Putin.
These sanctions, designed to smash the Russian economy by cutting the country out of the international payment mechanism, Swift, and seizing Russia’s foreign reserves held abroad, have hit the Russian currency – but the knock-on effect on international capitalism is massive with multi-national companies unable to recoup any profit made in Russia.
But the greatest burden will fall on the working class as the sanctions will send the price of oil and gas soaring into the stratosphere.
Russia is one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers supplying about 40% of Europe’s gas (90% of Germany’s) and the third largest producer of oil.
While the UK only gets 4% of its gas supplies directly from Russia the disruption to the oil and gas market internationally has already driven the price of oil up sky-high on the international markets.
Petrol has soared to over £1.50 a litre and is on track to go over £1.70 – with diesel even higher. Not just energy but food prices will soar, along with shortages.
Russia and Ukraine are massive producers of wheat and cooking oil, globally supplying 29% of wheat, 19% of corn, and 80% of sunflower oil – with sanctions hitting these staple commodities the cost of living will become unsustainable for millions of workers and their families.
The surge in inflation is predicted to lead to the sharpest fall in living standards ever experienced in the UK, greater than the oil crisis in the 1970s or the 2008 world banking crash and leading to the worst recession in history.
The working class will not stand by and allow their lives to be destroyed in order to undermine and destroy the Russian economy.
The Tories know this, and are preparing for a showdown with the working class to impose starvation and poverty on their backs.
Their preparations have long been made for this showdown and have taken on an added urgency.
Not for nothing has Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, just announced his intention to merge the fire service with the police.
Dragooning emergency workers into the capitalist state apparatus, where the expertise of the fire service would be invaluable when it comes to using water canons against strikers and demonstrators, has long been an objective of successive Tory governments, and today it has become even more crucial for the ruling class as a weapon to use against the working class and youth.
It goes hand-in-hand with the Police, Crime and Evidence bill that will give police absolute authority over any demonstration or picket line.
As capitalism wages war to overthrow the property relations established by the 1917 Russian revolution, at home it is preparing its state forces for a war against the working class to make them pay for it. The working class must make its own preparations.
Workers must demand that the TUC immediately organise a general strike to mobilise the huge strength of the working class to win by bringing down the Tory government and going forward to a workers’ government and socialism.