|Written by Socialist Voice|
|Thursday, 13 September 2012 16:48|
The TUC demonstration against austerity on 20 October in London calls for a “future that works”. On 6 September the TUC national council was split 16 to 16 over the Prisoner Offices Association (POA) proposal to call a general strike; the union rank and file should now raise this demand in all unions. Fight the union leaderships who voted no for a general strike against this government! That is the way to build a future that works for the working class and its communities.
The POA proposal reflects growing anger against the government and the desire for an alternative. Building the alternative against austerity means involving on the march everyone on the receiving end: unemployed, disabled, public and private sectors workers and the young people.
It is time to reflect on what happened to the resistance that emerged from the militant students’ movement in 2010, the strike of 30 November 2011, and the explosions against police harassment, racism and unemployment in August 2011. While a number of strikes by construction, rail and civil service workers have continued workers now face the challenge of how to re-build and go further than last November and unite all the union and community struggles as one voice. However that cannot be done without a struggle against the main TUC leadership, the ones who voted to delay the strike action that many workers wanted and the ones who voted against a general strike.
Many activists wanted to know in December 2011 when the next next days of action would be, but trade union leaders like Prentice of Unison managed to stall the development of strike action by holding unnecessary ballots or “consultations”.
It is important to build stronger links between the rank and file across unions and between unions and communities with the aim to build strength in the base so that action is decided from below and not curtailed from above. The rank and file also need to unite with the communities who are under the harshest attacks.
Since 2010 increasing connections between the student and union movement were made, there was strong support on demonstrations and in local actions. Many unions support the student demands of: bring back EMA, end student fees, defend academic freedom, stop privatization of education. They supported the demonstration and the planned walk outs from schools, colleges and universities.
However the NUS is now concentrating on organising a national demonstration on 21 November, but makes no mention of the TUC 20 October demonstration. They are silent on the question of unity in struggle.
It is vital for students to mobilise jointly with the trade unions and to maintain the connections built through struggle. As many students recognised the working class is the force that is capable of leading an alliance that can put an end to the ConDem Government.
The Labour party is no answer
Many union leaders think the answer to the Tory’s austerity attacks is to return a Labour government to power. But no future Labour government will save the Welfare state. The anti-trade union laws have been in place since the 1980s, Labour developed the PFI’s, and laid the foundation for the privatisation of the NHS. Ed Miliband has made it very clear that the cuts will not be reversed under a Labour government.
Only a government prepared to write off the PFI debts can stop the demise of the NHS which must be returned to public finance and control or it will mean the end of the NHS.
The British economy is dominated by crises, the banks and the multi-nationals and it is deteriorating because of the problems of capitalism, over-production, a debt of trillions and a determination to make the smaller nations of the earth bare the brunt of their crisis along with the British working class.
British imperialism is determined to rob oil from the Malvinas and control vast oil and gas reserves as it supports the break up Somalia into a protectorate. Germany and France will be assisted as they push the southern countries of Europe further down into misery and will continue to destroy the welfare state.
Greedy British capitalist muggers were forced to cut corners as with Barclays, who were was caught trying to rig financial markets and fined a total of £290 million (27 June). The HSBC knowingly accepted transactions from laundered money (17 July). Barclays, HSBC and the Royal Bank of Scotland have all been subpoenaed in the US because of their manipulation of global interest rates. These rates affect trillions of dollars of outstanding loans and securities and is part of the immense speculative transactions that helped bring about the 2008 crash. Rate fixing in the USA, Britain and Germany is part of the conflict raging around the world with debt rising faster then the world’s economic output.
The Labour party have no answer to these fundamental questions of capitalism.
Only the working class
An internationalist and working class solution is the only answer, reform of British capitalism is impossible. Boris Johnson’s invited Murdoch to the Olympics with the message Britain is open for business from the thieving, corrupt and shameless. Labour did the same, Blair’s government stopped the inquiry into BAE’s alleged bribes over the Al-Yamamah arms deal because Saudi Arabia was (and is) one of the few remaining big spenders. The British banks, German’s s Deutsche Bank, USA’s Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and UBS were all implicated.
The British government and the Labour party leadership is an integral part of the world wide dictatorship of capital.
The only way out is to take public control and accountability of the banks. Cancel the debt of the smaller nations of Europe and the world! We must support the class struggles in Europe and the world and build the international links with all workers in struggle. The International Socialist League is dedicated to this task, join us if you want to fight for this future. We believe a mass movement can be built and it needs bold demands: no cuts, make the rich pay, nationalise the banks and big businesses, build a general strike.
This is the background to 20 October.