Save our schools reads NEU banner. Photo: Glenn
Save our schools reads NEU banner. Photo: Glenn

Fight for a new mass workers’ party

Alex Gillham, Leicester Socialist Party

Severely underfunded schools built with aerated concrete have been told to close due to dangers of building collapse. Other vital services across the UK continue to crumble due to decades of cuts and rampant privatisation, carried out by Tory-led governments and New Labour before them.

State schools, faced with a funding crises due to rocketing energy bills and cuts, are on their knees, and it is often low-paid support staff, needed to educate our children, who face the axe.

A similar situation can be seen across all of the UK’s public services. The NHS, once seen as the best healthcare system in the world, has been torn apart by Tory austerity. Many services have been cut and privatised beyond recognition. The UK’s lifeline is in permanent crisis.

Firefighter numbers are down by over 20% since 2010, and fire and rescue demands are at an all-time high as the climate crisis deepens.

Over 1.2 million people are on council housing waiting lists and so-called affordable homes are being built at a pitiful rate.

Social care services, essential for protecting the most vulnerable in society, are also woefully neglected. One-in-five adults in the UK are classed as unpaid carers, unable to access the qualified services they need.

The truth is, the UK is the sixth wealthiest country in the world, with the resources needed to ensure a comfortable life for all, supported by well-funded public services. But that wealth is in the wrong hands – in the banks and coffers of big businesses, who put profit above all else.

On offer from the vultures in the Tory party: more cuts and pain. But Sir Keir Starmer and the Labour Party also offer no solution, U-turning on a weekly basis on pledges for further funding.

There have been strikes in many of these public services, as workers from teachers to civil servants and nurses have fought for the pay and resources needed. Overworked junior doctors and consultant doctors will continue their strikes for pay.

The only way to reverse the collapse of UK public services and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure is building a strong workers’ movement willing and able to take action to defend jobs, pay and conditions, and fight for full funding and to end privatisation. And a mass workers’ party to fight for these demands, armed with a socialist programme, so we can have the public services we so desperately need.