Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/709/14150

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 March 2012

A Socialist Party 2012 congress report

Britain: working class begins to 'rise like lions'

Dave Carr

A vitally important discussion among delegates focussed on the deep and protracted crisis in capitalism, and the impact of the government's austerity measures on Britain. The session was introduced by Hannah Sell, Socialist Party deputy general secretary, and summed up by executive member Clive Heemskerk. After a thorough debate, delegates agreed a British Perspectives document proposed by the executive committee.

Hannah began by saying that the last year was characterised by the entry of the working class movement onto the stage of history - shown in the strikes, demonstrations and other forms of protest. The Socialist Party has played an important role in initiating, organising and assisting in many of these events.

The session was preceded by a fraternal speech by PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh, who referred to the fantastic fightback by trade unionists in 2011 against the Con-Dems' attacks on living standards and working conditions - in particular, the TUC demo on 26 March and the two one-day strikes on 30 June and 30 November. PCS and other unions are balloting for renewed strike action on 28 March. Chris added: "To defeat this rotten government will take consistent generalised strike action."

But, as Hannah pointed out, because of the betrayal of the right-wing trade union leaders, it is not yet clear to all workers what is required to beat the government.

Increasing numbers are, however, drawing the conclusion that a fightback is necessary. Despite the attempt by the right-wing trade union leaders to betray the pensions struggle, the strategy put forward by socialists and the left will mean that many workers are better prepared to fight the relentless attacks they face.

British capitalism continues to languish in the doldrums, with little economic growth and a reluctance to invest. The government is so wedded to austerity and neoliberalism that it will resist taking any serious measures to address this.

In dealing with the effects of the crisis Hannah referred to the "cold cruelty of the ruling class", exemplified by its decision to close Remploy factories, throwing 1,700 disabled workers onto the dole and the welfare reform bill among other vicious attacks.

Them and Us society

The outrageous bankers' bonuses, while savage cuts are being made to jobs, benefits and services, the widening inequality and 'slave labour' workfare schemes, are leading to widespread anger among people. However, the right-wing trade union leaders are holding back developing an opposition movement, falsely believing that taking action will damage Labour's election prospects.

For their part the Labour leaders believe that they can only get back into office by emulating the policies of the coalition government - hence Ed Miliband and Ed Balls saying that they won't reverse the spending cuts nor end pay freezes.

Building a left political alternative to Labour is vital and underlines the importance of standing anti-cuts candidates under the banner of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the forthcoming elections.

In intervening in elections and in the struggles of the working class the Socialist party will unapologetically put forward its socialist programme. As Chris Baugh pointed out: "Socialist internationalism is the antidote to the tyranny of the markets and capitalism".

Subjects covered in the discussion on 'perspectives for Britain' included Scottish independence and the referendum - with a speech by Philip Stott the general secretary of the Socialist Party's counterpart in Scotland. Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales secretary spoke on political perspectives for Wales.

Other issues included unemployment and workfare, the crisis in the NHS, pensions and government attacks on public services, political representation of the working class, racism, immigration and the far right, the Greens, the attacks on women's rights, housing cuts and homelessness, widening inequality, pay freezes, can the coalition last?, transport, and more besides. Further material on these issues will be carried in future issues of the Socialist.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 15 March 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Resist Cameron's cold cruelty

Fight the cuts - for a workers' alternative

Fight back against attacks on pensions

Those fracking Tories

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Construction workers fight on

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Widespread fraud alleged as Putin wins presidential poll

Kazakhstan: Oilworkers' lawyer freed from prison


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

National demo needed to save our NHS

Liberals' 'democratic' conference

Fighting Con-Dem attacks on education

14 March - Socialist Students get a response

Housing crisis in London

Library cash goes to supermarket bosses

Coventry: Fight for a socialist alternative

May Day greetings


Socialist Party congress

Socialist Party Congress 10-12 March 2012

World developments show - capitalism is crisis

Trade unions and workplaces

Britain: working class begins to 'rise like lions'

Building the Socialist Party: 'year of the branch'

Young, socialist and proud to be!


Reviews & readers' comments

'Westenders' - omnibus edition

The best of 'literary fiction'


 

Home   |   The Socialist 15 March 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

Britain:

triangleA new movement for system change

triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Crisis, capitalism and class division - a discussion on perspectives for Britain

triangle130 Years of May Day in Britain: Fight for workers' rights more relevant than ever

triangleThe special Covid crisis of British capitalism

Working class:

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Class struggle and the role of the working class in changing society

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Labour - time for a new party for the working class

triangleLifting the lockdown: workers must not pay the price

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

Government:

triangleHong Kong: The fight for democratic rights

triangleNo going back: Nationalise social care!

Socialist Party:

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: The collapse of stalinism

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The Vietnam war

Labour:

triangleSocialist Party Wales: Starmer turns Labour right - Time for a new workers' party

Cuts:

triangleNottingham unions fight council job cuts

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

8/7/20

Southampton

UCU: election victory for combative rank and file

8/7/20

NSSN

Fantastic virtual NSSN conference: "Fight for our lives and livelihoods''

8/7/20

Socialist Party

The best place to start - join the Socialist Party

8/7/20

Trans rights

Trans rights protests oppose Tory backsliding

8/7/20

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter - the fight is not over

8/7/20

Equal pay

Homerton hospital workers deserve equal pay and conditions

8/7/20

Jobcentre

Jobcentre reopening: only union struggle will put safety first

8/7/20

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

8/7/20

Nottingham

Nottingham unions fight council job cuts

7/7/20

Bangladesh

Bangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills

1/7/20

Fighting Fund

Fighting Fund: Target smashed by half time

1/7/20

PCS

Change in leadership needed to secure union's future

1/7/20

Black Lives Matter

BLM has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

1/7/20

Ken Douglas

Red flags line road for Ken

1/7/20

Leeds

Leeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999