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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 January 2011

We'll resist Cameron's 'hard times'

Build the anti-cuts movement

National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of TUC conference in Manchester 2010, photo Suleyman Civi

National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) lobby of TUC conference in Manchester 2010, photo Suleyman Civi   (Click to enlarge)

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron's New Year message told us that 2011 will be a "difficult year". The Con-Dem coalition, he claimed, will take "hard but necessary steps" in the next 12 months. When the 'hard steps' are by workers to the Jobcentre, they will be far more difficult than those being trodden by millionaire, expenses-claiming ministers.

Roger Shrives

Chancellor George 'all in it together' Osborne, for instance, took his New Year break at an exclusive Swiss ski resort much favoured by Prince Charles. Meanwhile, the capitalist economy he is responsible for toboggans towards catastrophe.

Cameron wants workers to pay for the crisis. The 'difficult year' started with a bang as VAT was hiked up from 17.5% to 20%. This regressive tax hits lower-paid workers and unemployed people particularly badly. Labour claims to be against the rise even though Alistair Darling was considering the same VAT increase.

But Cameron reserves his hardest steps for hundreds of thousands of public sector workers. Up to 80,000 people were warned they could lose their council jobs over Christmas and more will do so over the coming months. Other workers face pay cuts and other attacks such as on pensions. Students and education staff are fighting spiralling fees and job losses. These people don't need Cameron to tell them that times are hard.

Cameron put a positive spin on his cuts, saying: "Together, we can make 2011 the year that Britain gets back on its feet." Don't believe what the Tories or the Fib Dems say about the crisis.

How can the profit-based private sector ever replace all the public-sector jobs that the Con-Dems have put at risk? Small businesses are likely to suffer from the increased poverty in society and big business is only interested in offering a handful of jobs at the lowest possible wages.

The people of Britain do want to "get back on their feet", Mr Cameron. But they can only do that if they start from clear opposition to all your government's cuts and all attacks on services and the people who use them.

Cameron's coalition is very fragile and mass pressure could well break it. The Lib Dems, who were in the lead in many opinion polls before the May elections, would struggle to get a dozen MPs today according to the same polls!

The anger is clearly there. The heroic movement of the students at universities, colleges and schools clearly shows that. So do the many thousands of workers on anti-cuts protests. But anger is not enough, it needs to be organised.

The working class has the potential strength to smash these cruel cuts. The National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) conference on 22 January, aims to launch an all-Britain anti-cuts campaign based around the power of organised workers.

If you're a public sector worker awaiting news of your job, a private sector trade unionist worried about the future, a service user or a member of an anti-cuts movement locally, put this date in your diary now.

If you're a student fighting the destruction of education, if you believe that not one job or service should be cut to pay for a crisis caused by big business, start the fightback by coming to the 22 January conference. Help to make it a bad year for Cameron, for his coalition and for axe-wielding councils!


NSSN anti-cuts conference

Saturday 22 January 2011

11.30am - 3.30pm

South Camden Community School

Charrington Street, London NW1 1RG (by Euston Station)

www.shopstewards.net

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In The Socialist 5 January 2011:


National Shop Stewards Network

We'll resist Cameron's 'hard times'

NSSN anti-cuts conference: Trade unionists to debate the way forward

A real strategy to fight the cuts


Socialist Party youth and students

March together, win together: students and workers join the demonstration in Manchester on 29 January

29 January demonstration in Manchester: Students and young workers unite


Socialist Party feature

2011: a year of sharpening struggle


Socialist Party news and analysis

Rail operators profit from commuter misery

Northern Ireland water crisis: Privatisation agenda wrecks service utility

NHS cutbacks - health bosses and government to blame

Tommy Sheridan trial - guilty verdict is a sham

Private ownership, public pollution


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Fight the NHS pay freeze!

Heinz strike again

Birmingham bin workers fight back

More pay strikes at Newsquest papers

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference on 22 January 2011

Trade unions must fight for agency workers' rights


Obituaries

Tribute to John Macreadie, trade unionist and socialist fighter

Grunwick: leader of historic strike dies


Socialist Party review

Fela! the musical


 

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