PM JOHNSON’S Tory conference speech was completely empty bombast that sought to cover over the economic catastrophe that is developing throughout the capitalist system with a false bravado.
Much of it was at the expense of Labour Party leader Starmer, who is acting as Johnson’s stooge, and is more than ready, willing and able to join the Tories in a national government, when the bosses demand that one is set up.
Johnson spent some time ridiculing Starmer, and did not even mention the £20 a week Universal Credit cut that is going to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of working class families.
They did not rate even a word! What he did emphasise was that he is the USA’s poodle. He boasted that he was carrying out ‘Churchill’s last words to his cabinet, “Never be separated from the Americans”, very good advice I think that you will agree.’
In fact, the Tories have been starving the poor to spend tens of billions on aircraft carriers that are now in the Pacific with the US Navy preparing for a war with China.
Behind the cover of Johnson’s showbiz bombast are the words of his Chancellor that the Tories will not hesitate to make the major cuts that will be necessary as the capitalist world plunges into a slump.
Immediately ahead are huge increases in energy prices. Cornwall Insight forecasts that the energy price cap will rise to about £1,660 by next summer. That is about 30% higher than the record £1,277 level for the cap set for winter 2021-22, which began at the start of October.
This, combined with the imposition of higher interest rates, will touch off a worldwide slump that will force millions of workers into penury, unable to pay their living costs and see masses of people go hungry and homeless.
Johnson’s bombast and talk of levelling up, and a high wage economy is the most cynical smokescreen ever, so that the ruling class can take the working class by surprise and force it back to a situation that has not seen since the Hungry 1930s.
What Johnson requires is for the trade union bureaucracy, the group that Lenin called ‘the labour lieutenants of capitalism,’ to collaborate with him to say that Johnson means well, but must go much further – rather than mobilise the working class now to defend itself while it is in full strength, to defeat the capitalist enemy and go forward to socialism.
Johnson’s fairy tale about a high wage economy, and levelling up, is being spread on the eve of a worldwide economic collapse and the trade union leaders are collaborating.
Responding to Johnson’s ‘smokescreen’ Conference speech TUC leader Frances O’Grady said: ‘My advice to the PM is simple. The best way to level up pay and conditions across the country is to give workers and their unions more bargaining power at work. 11 years into a Conservative government we hope that he can finally learn this lesson.’
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: ‘Boris Johnson is right to focus on society’s built-in inequality. But given this stated aim to ‘‘level up’’, he has made a very poor start.
‘All eyes will now turn to the spending review later in the month to see if the government has ‘‘the guts’’ to invest in education recovery.’
Unison general secretary Christina McAnea said: ‘It’s high time the Prime Minister took his own advice. An above-inflation wage boost could help pull the severely understaffed NHS and social care back from the brink. The public sector pay freeze must be ditched too.’
The RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: ‘I will be writing to the Prime Minister, asking that he turns rhetoric into reality and as a first step agrees to a summit to protect and create jobs in the maritime and offshore sector.’
These leaders are misleading the working class and playing Johnson’s game. Instead of calling for summit talks with Johnson, to fix up some rotten deal, the trade unions must be organising to take general strike action while their strength is intact.
There must be a recall TUC Congress to organise and name the date for a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government and a socialist nationalised and planned economy. To achieve this requires a new and revolutionary leadership in the working class. Join the WRP and the YS today to rapidly build it!