ON TUESDAY Tory Foreign Secretary Liz Truss used a photo opportunity to stake out her bid to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.
The photo of her, decked out in body armour and helmet, on top of a British army tank in Estonia, threatening Russia, was a direct copy of one taken of Truss’ ‘political hero’ Margaret Thatcher in 1986 at the height of the year-long strike by printworkers and just after the one-year miners’ strike of 1984-85.
The symbolism of the Truss photo opportunity was not lost on the bourgeois press, nor on the Tory party, and the military and police wings of the capitalist state.
Truss was proclaiming loudly that she is the one true heir to the ‘iron lady’ Thatcher, the only Tory MP prepared and capable of continuing Thatcher’s legacy of all-out war to smash the trade unions and drive the working class into the ground.
Thatcher set out to destroy the trade unions in Britain in the 1980s with a carefully developed plan to take on the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), the most powerful union in the country, and destroy it.
It was a planned war.
She relied on the vast North Sea oil wealth, which was then flowing and provided the energy supplies necessary to prevent any shut down of the economy, and also the revenues the Tories needed to wage their class war.
She made a deal with Gorbachev that Poland would supply the UK ruling class with scab coal, and was able to go for an entire year of the strike without a single power cut!
Thatcher mobilised the full force of the state, creating a national police force, backed up by the army, which she won over 100% with her support for their war against the Argentine. The military returned home threatening an ‘air strike’ against striking workers.
In 1984-85, the police and army special forces physically attacked striking miners and pickets in planned pitched battles, such as the Battle of Orgreave, and hundreds of miners were arrested and jailed!
Despite all these preparations and the use of terrorist methods, Thatcher failed to smash the NUM – the miners returned to work, without an agreement, only after the TUC leaders betrayed them by refusing to call any further strike action.
The pits, however, remained open and were not closed until years later under the Major government, after Thatcher was brought down by the Poll Tax riots.
Fast forward 35 years and we find Truss, who already this week declared her military support for Israel in a war against Palestinians and Iran, emulating her idol on a tank in Estonia threatening Russia, and serving notice to the ruling class that she is the one to replace Johnson and lead a war against the working class at home and abroad.
However one photo will not do the trick for Truss.
The writing is on the wall for Johnson as all his pledges, that bolstered Tory election success, of ‘levelling up’ and sorting out the NHS and social care, along with boasts of creating a ‘high wage economy’, have collapsed like a pack of cards.
No levelling up, no high wage economy, an NHS that is at the point of collapse, while inflation is spiralling out of control, destroying the lives of millions across the country.
This is not the 1980s when Thatcher could finance her war on the miners and printers thanks to the massive oil revenues from the North Sea.
Instead, today the Tory government and the entire British capitalist system is kept going only through debt and the Bank of England printing trillions of worthless paper money. British capitalism is collapsing!
It now faces the whole working class that is rising up demanding that the unions take action, and is determined that its wages and public services will not be sacrificed for the profit of the bosses and bankers.
The Tories are ditching Johnson and preparing for a new form of rule that outlaws strikes and jails protesters. The working class must now urgently build the new revolutionary leadership of the WRP and the YS to confront a bankrupt, and decrepit Tory government and capitalist system, and bury both.
This means kicking out those trade union leaders who collaborate with the Tories and building the WRP rapidly to mobilise the full strength of the working class to carry through a socialist revolution to do what should have been done in 1984-5, that is put an end to British capitalism for ever!