Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/636/10140
A fightback can stop cuts
No wonder people say they're sick of political double-talk. Mrs Thatcher said "there's no such thing as society". David Cameron talks of "the big society". But they both mean the same thing: swingeing Tory attacks on our public services and on support for working families.
"Why are they cutting useful things?" asked a young Coventry shop worker seeing council facilities being closed on her estate. Yet it is "useful things" across the country they will cut.
The Con-Dem government says "We're all in it together". But it's our vital services and jobs they want to destroy and an Institute of Fiscal Studies report shows that it is those with less who will be hit hardest.
"All in it together"? Tell that to 230 workers at Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems in Coventry, who are at war with their bosses.
£1.76 million has been stolen away from workers through pay, sick pay and job cuts, while three bosses have taken £1.58 million in bonuses.
"All in it together"? While we'll pay more for less in return, look at Cameron's allies.
He had the non-domiciled (a posh word for tax dodger) Lord Ashcroft run his election campaign; he offered the Tory treasurer job to a 40 year tax exile David Rowland; and has Sir Philip Green (who in 2005 transferred £1.2 billion from his UK business to his wife in Monaco's tax haven) in government to advise on removing 'waste' ie our services.
These three show that we're not all in it together. So how disgraceful it is that former New Labour ministers - Alan Milburn, John Hutton and Frank Field - are also helping Cameron's government, a move that says more about how Labour has changed than any change in the Tories.
No wonder John Prescott reports that Labour faces bankruptcy because "membership of the party is falling dramatically".
While all establishment politicians want to dump the crisis on working people, it is the trade unions and working communities across Britain who will have to fight back.
Wages are to be frozen, jobs blitzed, services cut and fuel allowances cut while gas prices (and profits) soar.
These facts alone could be used by the trade unions to mobilise a huge movement of opposition to a government already nervous of making these attacks as shown by Cameron's sudden u-turn on cutting free milk.
Many trade unionists, especially through the National Shop Stewards Network, are trying to pressure the Trades Union Congress to get off its knees and build a major national demo against cuts. They will lobby the TUC to support proposals from the PCS, the RMT and other left-led unions, for action to stop the Con-Dem attacks.
We should all support this call and come to the lobby of the TUC conference in Manchester on 12 September.
Rob Williams on the Visteon protest, photo Alec Thraves
"This lobby is vital. On 20 October the Con-Dem government want to attack everything that working class people hold dear. Without a movement to challenge them the cuts will go through. This is an opportunity to force the trade union leaders to organise a national demonstration to give ordinary people the confidence to resist."
Rob Williams, Unite convenor, Swansea Linamar (personal capacity)
Lobby the TUC conference
Sunday 12 September 12 noon
Central Convention Centre, Manchester
Organised by the National Shop Stewards Network
Contact the NSSN for more information and to report what is happening in your area in support of the lobby: firstname.lastname@example.org
See www.shopstewards.net for transport details
In The Socialist 1 September 2010:
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news
Socialist Party workplace news