THE LEADERSHIP of the Trade Union Congress, a body which includes 6.4 million workers and has the power to shut the entire country down with a general strike, has given up any semblance of a fight against the Tories and is now calling on them to bring in a ‘workers’ budget!’
In an opinion piece in the Guardian newspaper yesterday, Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, wrote her article under the headline ‘Rishi Sunak must deliver a workers’ budget to ensure a post-Covid recovery’.
Her headline would do credit to ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said in no uncertain terms that he is determined to ‘balance the books’ and with the UK in £2.1 trillion pounds-worth of debt, Sunak has indicated that the budget will include plans to begin to claw that debt back.
This means tax hikes, job cuts, pay cuts, benefit cuts and an attack on the triple-lock pension.
In this context, the call of the leader of the TUC O’Grady to the Tory Chancellor to deliver a ‘workers’ budget’ signals her complete bankruptcy in the face of the growing crisis of UK and world capitalism. In fact, she must be immediately removed along with the other members of the TUC General Council and replaced by a leadership that is prepared to fight and defeat the Tories and bring in socialism.
The whole drive of the rulers of this country is to enable capitalism to begin making its profits once again at the expense of the working class through superexploitation.
Today, more than ever before, the working class requires a leadership that will call and organise a general strike to defend jobs, conditions and benefits by bringing the Tories down.
O’Grady writes: ‘Top of Rishi Sunak’s to-do list must be to extend furlough and support for self-employed people until at least the end of the year. This would give families financial certainty and help employers get back on their feet … On Wednesday, the Chancellor has an opportunity to rebuild our economy for the better. We hope he chooses good green jobs, world-class public services and fair wages.’
Under O’Grady, the biggest trade union body in the country, an organisation that wields the power of 6.4 million workers, has been reduced to pleading and ‘hoping’ that the Tory Chancellor chooses to aid jobs, public services and fair wages. This acts as if the class struggle can be boiled down to individual conscience and good and bad choices. This is complete and utter rubbish!
The Tories do not make individual choices. They make class decisions based on class interests.
And a massive split is emerging within the Tories with ex-Chancellor Hammond leading the pack, preparing to either push Johnson further to the right or dump him in order to carry out the requirement of the ruling class, that is, to carry out a class war against workers. Hammond and Co are demanding big tax rises now! They are saying that the depth of the world crisis requires an immediate action against the working class.
Meanwhile, O’Grady and the leaders of Unite and Unison plead with the Tories to be good to the workers.
Unison has also urged the Tory Chancellor ‘to make his 3 March budget a “workers’ budget” for pay, jobs and investment in public services’.
This is not only a betrayal, and a dereliction of duty by the TUC and Unison leadership, it is also an attempt to sup at the master’s table. They are putting themselves forward as the left advisors of the right-wing Tory government.
Lenin however saw them in their true colours when he called the trade union bureaucracy ‘The Labour Lieutenants of Capitalism’.
Meanwhile, Starmer guts what is left of the Labour Party, offers Johnson ‘critical support’ and to assist him in any way that he can. In fact, the wage-cutting, the job-cutting and the privatising that are taking place in the bus industry and in the airports are touching off a storm of working class anger.
The way forward is to build the revolutionary leadership of the Workers Revolutionary Party to take the leadership of the working class revolt against capitalism, to overthrow it, smash its state apparatus and bring in a workers’ government and a planned socialist economy that can provide jobs for all.