WORLD capitalism was reeling yesterday as the economic sanctions, imposed to strangle the Russian economy and pave the way for regime change in Russia, caused havoc on the world stock markets and drove up the prices of energy and food across the globe.
Oil prices soared to over $139 a barrel and wholesale gas prices more than doubled, while the panic in the stock markets was further intensified with the news that US president Joe Biden is hinting that the US will impose a ban on buying Russian energy completely.
In Britain and across Europe and the US, the cost of living is soaring with everyday items from petrol, heating and food already shooting up at the fastest rate for 30 years – and heading even higher.
Analysts are confidently predicting that energy bills for the average UK household will reach £3,000 in the coming months while the price of petrol, already at an all-time high of 155p a litre, will increase to more than £7 a gallon shortly.
A future of the most abject poverty and destitution is the immediate issue for the working class as capitalism is in the grip of a world crisis deeper than anything that has gone before.
In their desperation the Tories are now abandoning any pretence of ‘saving the planet’ through a zero-carbon policy and turning back to old ideas of resurrecting failed gas and oil fracking – regardless of the environmental consequences.
This will outrage the large sections of the middle class and youth who are already rebelling over the plundering of the environment by a capitalist system that places profit before the survival of the planet.
Capitalism is intent on making the working class pay for an imperialist war to smash the gains of the Russian revolution and re-establish capitalism as the dominant force in the world.
The response of the TUC and trade union leaders to this unprecedented crisis facing workers has been to declare their solidarity with the Tory war drive and all its sanctions.
The letter sent by the TUC, and signed by leaders of ten of the UK’s major trade unions to Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak last Friday, not only pledged full support for all the sanctions that are impoverishing workers but even demanded ‘that sanctions are made effective by increasing enforcement funding’.
These union leaders also want more money to crack down on ‘money laundering in the UK’.
Fat chance of that happening when the entire city of London has only kept going through money laundering while the Tory Party has made millions out of donations from Russian oligarchs!
In fact, so closely have these oligarchs become embedded in the British political system that one of them, Evgeny Lebedev, was actually elevated to the peerage by Boris Johnson in 2020 and now sits as Lord Lebedev in the House of Lords, one of the country’s major law making institutions.
According to press reports, the security services dropped alleged concerns about his ennoblement following an intervention by Johnson who allegedly objected to their concerns describing them as ‘anti-Russianism’!
The Labour Party leadership have called for an inquiry – but the one inquiry they are not keen on is that conducted by the police into Johnson and his lockdown breaches.
Only weeks ago, Labour leader Keir Starmer was calling for Johnson’s removal as prime minister but on Sunday he backed Johnson to the hilt saying politicians should demonstrate ‘unity’ at this time.
The Trade union and labour leaders are in unity with a capitalist system and its Tory government that is waging war on Russia, war on the anti-fascist Ukrainian and Donbass Republic workers, and war on the working and middle class at home.
These leaders must be thrown out and replaced with a new leadership that will call a general strike to kick out the Tories and go forward to a workers’ government and socialism.
This means urgently building the WRP and Young Socialists in Britain and revolutionary sections of the International Committee of the Fourth International in every country to lead the struggle to put an end to imperialist wars through the victory of the world socialist revolution.