Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/765/16688
Editorial of the Socialist
Give us jobs, not Tory lies
We've been hearing this rubbish for years - British workers are lazy - and now Eton-educated Tory London mayor Boris 'the bankers' friend' Johnson has stepped in, accusing British workers of sloth, defined as a reluctance to work or make an effort.
New figures blow this bunkum out of the water. On average 45 people apply for every low-skilled job. When eight jobs were advertised at a new Costa café in Nottingham over 1,700 people applied.
In April a new Tesco received more than 4,000 applications for around 150 posts in Rowner, Hampshire.
And millions of people are struggling with bosses who won't give them the hours they need to earn an income you can live on. Underemployment has doubled since 2008.
During the 2010 general election, in the initial aftermath of the banking crisis, an unemployed young woman called Vicky Harrison committed suicide because of the hopeless situation she felt confronted by, after receiving over 200 job rejections.
Since the Con-Dem cuts coalition took power the jobs crisis has worsened. In response the Socialist has been demanding massive investment into a programme of socially useful job creation.
Now another tragic suicide has shown the impact of Con-Dem cuts on real lives - Stephanie Bottrill walked in front of a lorry after she was hit by the bedroom tax.
She had packed her belongings into boxes and was prepared to move but nowhere suitable was offered. In Solihull, where Stephanie lived, 1,200 social housing residents are affected by the bedroom tax, yet the council has only 20 one-bedroom homes available.
Labour and Tory governments have nurtured an enormous housing crisis by their failure to invest in decent council house building and renovation projects.
This is just one gaping need that could be met by investment in jobs and training and public services.
Reports of nursing shortages point to another area where investment in jobs and training could contribute, not only to reducing the unemployment figures but to meaningful improvement in public service provision and living standards.
But all we hear is that there must be cuts, that there is no money. More lies. Society has enormous wealth - but it's hidden away from the vast majority of us, even though we create it through the work we do - in the bank vaults and tax havens of the super-rich 1%.
Further evidence of the richest hiding billions of pounds in tax havens has been revealed in the Guardian.
British companies are sitting on an estimated £800 billion in cash, because they don't see a profitable investment opportunity.
A fighting socialist programme would include a major tax on the rich, nationalisation of failing and cash-hoarding industries, and linking this to the public ownership of the major monopolies which control the economy.
But no establishment party puts this forward. It needs a mass movement of the working class to fight for it.
Unsurprisingly the establishment parties are increasingly rejected; polls show a fall in support for all three.
Ukip is seeing a growth in support - this is a reflection of the disenchantment with all the three main parties but Ukip will also be exposed for what it is - another party of the 1%.
We need to build a political voice for the working class and all those suffering under austerity. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is a step towards building this.
This is not a crisis caused only by the greed of the bankers or the fat-cat bosses -fundamentally it is a crisis of the capitalist system.
Capitalism is based on production for profit and not for social need. We have to fight every attempt to put the cost of the crisis onto the backs of the working class but we also have to transform the way society is run to put an end to cuts and crisis for good.
Capitalism is a chaotic system - a socialist plan for the economy, organised through democratic workers' control and management, would eradicate unemployment and mean we could start to build a society based on the needs of the billions and the environment, not the greed of the billionaires.
In The Socialist 15 May 2013:
Fight the bedroom tax
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news