Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/325/9434
War, Poverty, Inequality... Fight The Profiteers
LAST WEEK at least 200,000 people joined demonstrations against warmongering President Bush's visit to Britain.
People weren't only protesting at Blair and Bush because they're making the world more dangerous but because they're capitalist politicians, making the world - and their own countries - far more unequal.
These politicians defend the profits and needs of big business both internationally and in their own backyards. This is bringing havoc to working-class people's lives.
Tony Blair's Britain shows the power these profiteers have. New Labour are determined to bring in foundation hospitals which threaten the NHS' basic principles, increasing inequalities between different hospitals and introducing more privatisation.
That means more money for the fat cats but also more problems and more cost for health service users.
In this week's Queens Speech, which opens a new year in parliament, Blair and Co. want to introduce top-up fees for universities. These fees would top up the differentiation amongst students (see page 3).
"Make Britain less equal" could be New Labour's motto. Even the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit has produced a new report telling Blair that Britain's economic performance is hit hard by persistent poverty and glaring social inequality.
The survey says that the deep gulf between rich and poor widened under the Tories in the 1980s. Blair's government did nothing to change the situation so now, under Labour, inequality is more prevalent than in any other European Union country.
Despite unemployment being at a low level, Britain has a higher rate of relative family poverty than any EU country except Greece and Portugal.
In education years of cutbacks means that Britain faces a "legacy of underachievement", particularly for those in poorer groups. The elitist and discriminatory top-up fees for students will make that far worse.
Blair may use the findings to work out priorities for Labour's third term of government.
But who can expect anything but spin to come out of it from a politician geared to defending private profit?
Whether you're most angry at Bush and Blair for making the world a more dangerous place or at Blair for making Britain an even more unfair, unequal society, the two problems are closely linked.
The Socialist Party fights for a society which is not in thrall to the needs of profit, either of the US oil companies or fat-cat privatisers in Britain. We are battling for a socialist society and socialist economy, run to meet the needs of all. Join us!
In The Socialist 29 November 2003: