THE TUC New Year’s message (see page 3) has been delivered with TUC general secretary O’Grady on her knees appealing to the bosses and the government to work with the TUC for the common good.
She began her message stating: ‘This Christmas, it was great to see high streets buzzing and most people getting a well-earned break with their families …’ Falling in line with Tory policy she continued: ‘But even as things get better, not everyone is feeling it … ‘And for some – like those in our steel industry, cut adrift without government support – the picture this New Year looks even bleaker.’
She then adds an appeal to the Tories and bosses: ‘Without government action, Britain is at risk of turning into a “below-stairs” labour market: college leavers are eight times more likely to find work in the service sector than in manufacturing. And when they do find work, it’s too often dead-end, with little chance to progress.’
She does not seem to have grasped that this is exactly what the government is working for, as the only possible way of continuing with British capitalism. O’Grady adds as a prayer: ‘Decent wages and security for your family shouldn’t just be the preserve of those at the top of the tree, but should be on offer for everyone. The chance to get a home of your own; to see your kids grow up, discover and aspire; to save for your future and enjoy your retirement. In short, to be able to afford more than just scraping by. That’s the recovery I want to see – a recovery fairly shared.’ This will be the first such recovery ever under capitalism.
She concludes, ‘So as we embark on a new year, I want all of us – unions, employers, and yes, government too – to resolve that 2016 is the year we will end the two-speed economy … To employers, I say: work with us. Help us build motivated workforces on great terms and conditions that can take pride in what they do and will back your business throughout. And to government, I say this: as you promised, be on the side of the workers.’
Back in the real world, the UK is gripped by a massive capitalist crisis and is poised on the brink of a junior doctors’ strike that will very quickly involve nurses up in arms at the imposition of tuition fees and over a million NHS workers sick to death of year-on-year wage cuts. She does not mention this situation once!
Neither does she mention the anti-union laws that will be coming in early in the New Year to make all strikes illegal! She did not even express her support for the tens of thousands of workers who have had their homes ruined in the current floods – so as not to embarrass the Tories.
O’Grady and the TUC leadership are obsessed with convincing the Tories that the TUC has assumed a joint responsibility for making British capitalism profitable, alongside the Tories. The message is that the TUC is on your side, so work with us!
This is why the last TUC Congress dropped any discussion on the practicalities of organising a general strike, to signal to the Tories that they were allies not opponents. In fact, as we know, the TUC organised a mass demo to the Tory party conference to do some begging and pleading there, rather than discuss a general strike.
However, this new year is going to see an explosion of the class struggle with mass strikes in the NHS, and throughout industry. The working class will make it very clear that it is prepared to get rid of capitalism to keep the NHS and the Welfare State!
Mass strikes will lead to revolutionary collisions between the working class and the capitalist state when it will be made crystal clear that the only way forward is to overthow the state and bring in a workers government and socialism.
For this task the working class needs a revolutionary leadership that, like Oliver Cromwell, who closed down and purged parliaments, will purge the TUC of treacherous reformists, careerists and corporatists to put an end to British capitalism.
Only the WRP is building the type of leadership that will be able to carry out this task. This is why workers and youth must respond to the TUC’s New Year’s oath of loyalty to capitalism by flocking into the WRP and its youth organisation the Young Socialists.