WITH great fanfare the Tories have announced that they are following in the footsteps of President Roosevelt who, in 1933, launched the ‘New Deal’ in the USA, in a situation where the 1929 crash had caused a huge depression which saw millions of US workers sacked and threatening revoluton.
At that time the USA had immense resources and was eclipsing the UK, France, and Germany as the major capitalist power. It was on its way to becoming the world’s number one capitalist power, and was preparing to take on its major rival in the Pacific, Japan.
Johnson and Gove are making fools of themselves when they say that they are launching in 2020 a Roosevelt-style New Deal, when the USA has been unable to do the same, despite President Trump and the Federal Reserve Bank printing trillions of dollars and even posting hundreds of millions of dollars to workers to try and revive the bankrupt US economy.
In fact, in the USA unemployment has rocketed up by over 30 million in just months. Trump is unable to finance a recovery in the US despite a colossal expenditure, while in the UK the upstart Johnson says that he is going to ‘do a Roosevelt’ in the bankrupt UK with a puny £5bn investment plan.
This includes £1.5bn for hospital maintenance, £100m for 29 road network projects, £900m for ‘shovel ready’ local projects in England this year, and in 2021 £500,000-£1m for each area in the towns’ fund to spend on improvements to parks, high streets and transport.
In fact this is very small beer compared to the £279bn of Tory borrowing just in the opening five months of the financial year!
Meanwhile, as the multi-billion furloughing comes to an end huge firms such as BA and Tata Steel are getting ready to wage a class war on workers by sacking tens of thousands, and dictating 30% plus wage cuts for those that they are prepared to continue to employ.
Even the TUC is warning that: ‘The coronavirus job retention and self-employed income support schemes developed by government following representations to government by the TUC and unions have protected many jobs during this period, with nearly nine million employees and over 2.5 million self-employed people seeing their incomes supported by government.
‘But without further bold action by government, the economic slow-down poses huge risks to people’s jobs and livelihoods. The OECD estimates that unemployment could hit 11 per cent this year – just one of a range of estimates of sharply rising unemployment with those groups who already face the greatest labour market disadvantage set to experience disproportionate impacts from the recession.’
The TUC solution to this crisis is to refuse to defend workers jobs by calling a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers government, mass nationalisations and socialism.
Instead it is supporting the Johnson government and is calling on it to ‘Establish a National Recovery Council with unions and employers, set up sectoral working groups with unions and business groups to draw up road maps for specific industries, introduce a fully funded jobs guarantee programme that offers paid jobs with training, with a focus on young people, boost social security support for those who lose their jobs and ensure that the crisis does not exacerbate labour market inequalities, with a new drive to promote equality across all measures to rebuild the economy.’
The TUC is proposing to form a modern day Labour Front with the bosses and the Johnson government. It is moving to the right. It is not denouncing the planned mass sackings. It is being accompanied by a right wing Labour opposition who cannot find anything substantial to disagree on with the Johnson government.
Both Labour and the TUC are behaving as Tory lap dogs that will accept mass sackings and wage cutting, no doubt arguing that saving part of industry is better than saving none at all!
There are millions of workers in the TUC trades unions. Now is the time for them to change their leaders and organise a general strike to bring down the Tories, and nationalise the banks and the major industries to bring in socialism.