|The News Line: News
Saturday, 20 October 2012
Call general strike! Bring down coalition! Forward to workers government!
TODAY’S march called by the TUC must not be just another mass demonstration against the drive by this coalition to bail out the banks and capitalism by turning the working class into paupers.
It must be the start of an all-out campaign to force the TUC to call an indefinite general strike to bring down the coalition and go forward to a workers government – and replacing those leaders who refuse to carry out this vital task.
No other policy can match up to the severity of the crisis confronting workers and young people today.
All attempts to ‘persuade’ this government to retreat from its relentless policy of driving down wages, cutting pensions and destroying the Welfare State are not just useless, but are a dangerous diversion from this fight.
It assumes that there is an alternative strategy for capitalism to survive along with the gains that the working class has made.
That this is nonsense was made clear by Cameron at the Tory Party conference when he made plain that it was ‘sink or swim’, and that for capitalism to swim, the workers, the unemployed, the youth, the poor, the elderly and the majority of the middle class must be crushed.
This has been made even clearer in the unemployment figures released this week which showed a slight increase in the number of people in work.
On closer examination it becomes clear that this slight increase has been achieved not through the creation of full-time employment but by an explosion in so-called ‘mini-jobs’ where workers, and especially youth, work for less than 15 hours a week, on top of the fantastic number of part-time workers who now number over eight million, and are desperate to find full-time jobs.
The British capitalist economy is limping along on the back of a vast army of unemployed and part-time workers who get paid so little that they can only exist by supplementing their wage with benefits.
As for those in full-time employment, wages have been cut in both the public and private sector through wage freezes and below-inflation increases that have gone on for years.
At a time when prices, particularly for essentials like energy, food and rents are soaring, while the profits are rolling in for privatised utilities, the mass of the employed are facing poverty and destitution.
For those out of work and relying entirely on benefits the situation is catastrophic and very frightening.
The new universal benefit will place a cap on benefits, including housing, that will drive people quite literally into the gutter.
The answer given by the coalition to concerns that taking Housing Benefit away from under-25 year olds would leave them on the streets, was met with the derisory response of ‘let them go back to their parents’.
That is the brutal position of this government.
It simply does not care that one charity has reported a doubling of the number of adults and children referred to them for emergency food aid over the past six months. Its only concern is to bring down the national debt, a debt that was caused by the huge sums spent rescuing a banking class that needs to be abolished.
This money is to be raised through the impoverishment of working people and the smashing up and privatisation of the entire Welfare State – a return to the 19th century.
Already in the NHS, hospitals bankrupted through having PFI projects forced on them are being closed or privatised.
The new Health and Social Care Act, passed into law a few weeks ago, opens up the NHS to being run by Clinical Commissioning Groups with access to 80% of the NHS budget. Their remit is to implement privatisation and provide huge profits for the multi-national health care companies.
One group of financial advisors recently published a prospectus for these companies that boasted that there is a ‘significant opportunity for the private sector in primary and secondary care’ – to make £20 billion from the NHS in the next few years by taking over GP services and setting up new community health clinics.
The crowning glory of the Welfare State, the NHS, is now to be a cash-cow to be milked by capitalist parasites courtesy of the government.
These attacks from the government are set to pale in comparison to what is coming – as the crisis of the banking system and the continuing collapse of the eurozone lay waste to British capitalism and its banks.
Even the deputy governor of the Bank of England, Paul Tucker, was forced to warn this week that ‘the worst may still be ahead’ for the banks.
As for the Labour Party, at a time when the coalition is reviled throughout the country they have been bending over backwards to ‘prove’ that they are a safe pair of hands as far as capitalism is concerned.
In his speech to the Labour conference, Ed Balls pledged that the spending cuts and wage freezes introduced by the coalition would remain under any future Labour government, and promising a ‘zero-based’ spending review in the first year of any Labour government.
This endorsement of Cameron and Osborne’s attack on workers was reinforced by Miliband’s ‘One Nation’ speech in which he proclaimed that we are all in it together and we all need to embrace the Tory philosophy, of ‘One Nation’ peddled by Disraeli, one of the icons of Toryism.
Having this arch-reactionary as a hero is not something to be proud of, it indicates a desire on Miliband’s part to return the working class to the days before Labour was founded and workers voted for either ‘One Nation’ Tories or Liberal hypocrites.
The working class broke with all this forever when it founded the Labour Party in 1900, and voted it into government in 1924.
All of this means nothing to the leadership of the trade unions.
According to Len McClusky, leader of Unite: ‘It was the best speech from a Labour leader I have heard and it will offer hope to voters’, a view echoed by Unison which went so far as to claim: ‘He offered a vision and hope to the young, to the vulnerable, to the sick and to the elderly based on decency and fairness’.
In fact, Miliband offered the ideological basis for not only freezing every worker’s wage to save British capitalism, but also to form a future national government.
It is Tory propaganda that there is ‘one nation’. This is a capitalist country divided into two warring classes. Workers have absolutely nothing in common with the bankers and bosses who created this crisis and who intend to survive it on the backs of the working class.
We repeat, what Miliband and Balls are really aiming at is the establishment of a coalition between themselves and the LibDems, possibly including sections of the Tory party as well, and even a few trade union leaders, to manage the crisis after the Tories are chucked out by an enraged people.
Their aim is to try and repeat the Ramsey MacDonald national government of the 1930s which cut the dole when a Tory government was too weak to carry it out.
At the TUC conference the union leaders were forced by the pressure of their members to support the resolution calling for the TUC to ‘consider the feasibility’ of organising a general strike.
But it is clear from their support for Miliband and Balls that they were trying to fool the workers by riding two horses at the same time.
This mass demonstration must spell it out to the TUC that if it does not call an indefinite strike to bring down the coalition and bring in a workers government and socialism, it will be removed and replaced by a new revolutionary leadership that will.
The leaders who support the line of Balls and Miliband must be replaced by a leadership that will set up Councils of Action throughout the country to mobilise millions to fight the cuts and closures, that are threatened, with occupations and will call a general strike to bring down the coalition and bring in a workers government and socialism.
We call upon all workers and youth who agree with this course of action to join us in building the leadership to do this job.
We urge you to come to the News Line Anniversary Rally on Sunday 28th October, and to join the WRP today.
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