IN January the European Trades Union Confederation (ETUC) issued the call for trade unionists across the continent to rally on the eve of the European Summit, being held on the 14/15th March, under the slogans ‘Against austerity’ and ‘jobs for young people’.
Responding to this call the British TUC has organised what is billed as a pre-budget rally under the slogan ‘A future for families, a future that works’, due to take place on the 13th March in Westminster, starting at 6pm and finishing at 7.30pm.
According to the TUC: ‘It is time to change course and build a future that works’ before going on to make it perfectly clear that the aim of the rally is ‘to put pressure on chancellor George Osborne to change course.’
At a time when the working class faces complete ruin and destitution as a result of the vicious austerity measures being carried out by the coalition this attempt to limit the trade union movement to a one and a half hour-long rally in order to ‘put pressure’ on Osborne is not just pathetically inadequate it is completely treacherous.
A conscious act of treachery being carried out by a leadership that is more frightened of challenging the government than it is concerned with protecting the working class.
The leadership of the TUC know full well that the only pressure Osborne and Cameron respond to is the pressure from the bankers and financiers, from their capitalist masters.
This pressure was delivered in spades last Friday when Moody’s rating agency stripped British capitalism of its coveted Triple-A rating, stating that the coalition had not reduced the sovereign debt – in reality the banks’ debts that have been passed over to the state – and that the austerity measures introduced so far are not cutting deep enough.
Osborne responded to that pressure right enough, he immediately pledged to carry on and intensify the war against the working class, to cut deeper in order to bail out bankrupt British capitalism.
He certainly isn’t going to be persuaded to change his mind because a group of servile trade union leaders go cap-in-hand begging him to be a little less harsh while saving capitalism from bankruptcy.
This rally is really a desperate attempt by the trade union bureaucracy to pretend that it is actually doing something while at the same time making sure that what they do is as unthreatening to the government as possible.
Last year the TUC leadership were shocked to find that their traditional method of letting off steam, calling a mass demonstration on a Saturday, revealed the revolutionising effect this crisis has had on the working class.
The TUC demonstration on the 20th October saw 500,000 marching against the government, a march that was dominated by the demand for a general strike to bring down the coalition.
This was clearly expressed in the unanimous vote at the end of the London march for the TUC to call a general strike.
This latest pre-budget rally is an attempt by the TUC to wind down the movement and divert it from a general strike onto the lines of acting as just another pressure group.
With the coalition preparing to launch an all-out war against wages, benefits and the entire welfare state this conscious attempt to disarm the working class has to be answered.
The demand must be for the immediate organising of a general strike to bring down the government and replace it with a workers government that will go forward to socialism.
Those leaders who oppose this demand or who attempt to betray a general strike, as the leaders of the TUC did in 1926, must be removed and replaced with a new, revolutionary leadership prepared to wage this struggle.
Only the WRP is fighting to build such a leadership – join us today.