Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/631/9897
The Socialist 30 June 2010 |
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Government's swingeing cuts
Only one choice... Fight back!
For a national union-led demonstration now
Only one choice... Fight Back! (Click to enlarge)
Millionaire Tory leaders George Osborne and David Cameron are going to write to every public sector worker in the country to ask where the billions of pounds of public spending cuts should be made. They are asking workers to nominate each other or themselves for the axe!
Nancy Taaffe, Library worker
Meanwhile it was reported in the press last month that the fortunes of the richest people in Britain have soared by 30%. Many finance houses, hedge funds and banks have actually recouped their 2008 losses as a result of the huge bank bailout packages. No tough decisions for the City wolf packs then.
But in Osborne's phoney consultation we will not be given the opportunity to tick a box which says 'Would you like your local nursery to remain fully staffed?' nor one saying 'Should we restore corporation tax to the much higher level of the pre-Thatcher days?'
We will not be asked to express a preference for wages that pay our bills or to scrap Trident or to end the war in Afghanistan. We will not be given the choice of cancelling all PFI debt instead of cutting benefits for the sick and unemployed.
And we will not be able to express a preference for a health service that benefits from the nationalisation of the pharmaceutical firms and using the profits to care for people.
No, the reality is, we are given no choice at all by this bloc of all three main political parties in parliament and in local councils who say the working class must pay.
But another choice is available to the working class of this country. And that is the choice being made by the Greek and Spanish workers.
They were also told 'there is no alternative', that 'lazy workers' would have to pay for the debts. Initially some of those workers may have swallowed the lies and propaganda being fed to them by big business and its friends in the media.
But, as the realisation of what these cuts meant set in, hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets in protest.
Greek workers unfurled a banner around the Acropolis urging "Workers of Europe resist". Spanish workers carried placards through the streets of Madrid with a huge '5%' on them, representing the pay cut they were expected to take. Such images are not lost on us.
The Trades Union Congress here in Britain must call a national demonstration now.
Also the call by the European TUC for a European-wide day of action on 29 September, which could potentially involve 24-hour general strikes in a number of European countries, is something that could develop across the summer and have a significant impact by the time the date arrives.
We must make sure these ideas become a reality, because to fight back is really the only option. On that we have no choice.