UK GOVERNMENT debt has risen above £2 trillion and hit £2.004 trillion for July. The debt is £227.6bn more than last year. It is the first time the debt has been above 100% of gross domestic product (GDP) since 1960-61, the ONS has confirmed.
The July borrowing figure was £26.7bn the fourth highest borrowing in any month since records began in 1993. The three higher figures were the previous three months.
These figures means that UK capitalism is broken and busted and that Boris Johnson’s Tory government has been spending on a scale that makes ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s 2019 general election spending pledges seem miserly in the extreme. These were denounced by Johnson at the time as spending that would bankrupt Britain.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has commented: ‘Today’s figures are a stark reminder that we must return our public finances to a sustainable footing over time, which will require taking difficult decisions.’
This can only be done by a massive assault on the working class to return it to the hungry 1930s.
The situation at British Airways must focus the minds of every worker in the UK. The boss has sacked 42,000 workers in a fire and rehire operation, and will only accept back those who agree to a massive wage cut and the ripping up of all the working practices that the BA workers and trade unions have established.
As furloughing comes to an end, this is the prospect that faces millions more workers. They will be fired and only those willing to work under much worse conditions will stand a chance of being rehired.
The government’s new national apprentice scheme will seek to force young workers with no experience of class struggle into jobs that will replace the established workforce and see them work on maximum hours for minimum rates of pay. Young workers will refuse to be scabs. They will join the anti-Tory movement and the socialist revolution.
The Tories, in fact, have been shaken by the depth of their crisis and by their unpreparedness. In 1979, when Thatcher became PM she had a plan and immediately organised to seek to drive the working class back, to smash the mining industry, privatise council housing, undermine the welfare state and to try to smash the miners, the vanguard of the working class.
First of all, she gained the support of the military for her class war by refusing to mediate with Argentina and going to war to take back the Malvinas with the help of the then US President Reagan. He allowed the US to resupply British troops at a crucial stage of the war.
After that victory, Thatcher then used the discovery of North Sea oil to finance the building up of massive coal stocks so that she was able to go through one year of a miners’ strike without a single power cut. She was greatly assisted by the TUC who allowed the miners to fight alone.
She was able to organise the police and the military to fight it out with the miners at Orgreave and other places. She was, however, despite all her preparations, unable to defeat the miners who returned to work after a year without a contract, but with no pit closures.
Thatcher then went too far with the Poll Tax and was forced to resign, and was replaced by the Major government that did manage to carry out the pit closure programme.
Today, the Tories have been shocked and shaken by the economic and political crisis, and its sharpening by the coronavirus pandemic. They have also been weakened by the fact that millions of workers who voted Tory in 2019, did so to get out of the EU, and will not support them again.
The Tories are now screaming at Johnson that they did not form the government to preside over the ending of British capitalism. They are demanding action to make the working class pay for the crisis as the Thatcher government did.
They are now in a rush, and have now mobilised 20,000 troops to be available for action on the streets of the UK in the next six months. There is no doubt that these troops will be used against the working class to try to force it to accept a return to the conditions of the 1930s.
This Tory onslaught will touch off the socialist revolution in the UK. We urge all workers and youth to join the YS and the WRP to lead the British socialist revolution and to spread it all over Europe to bring in a Socialist United States of Europe.