Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1093/30991

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 July 2020

Boris's new big deal

Boris Johnson, photo Chatham House/CC

Boris Johnson, photo Chatham House/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Boris Johnson has attempted to grab the headlines by bigging up his government's £5 billion post-pandemic spending programme on schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

"Build back greener, build back faster", barked the "tougher than a butcher's dog" prime minister, before the cloud of a reimposed lockdown in Leicester darkened proceedings.

In reality, much of what's been pledged is recycled commitments and announcements by the government. It will do nothing to prevent the economy plunging into the deepest recession in 300 years.

The PM has promised £1 billion extra for schools in England, spread over ten years. But before parents, teachers and students cheer, the National Audit Office points out that £6.7 billion is needed for basic school repairs, and a further £7.1 billion to bring schools up to a 'good condition'.

Decade of austerity

Indeed, a decade of Tory austerity has led to chronic underfunding in health and education. Johnson's spending programme is hardly on the scale of President Roosevelt's spending programme in 1930s America and, as the Socialist pointed out in a recent article ('Roosevelt's New Deal programme - reforms to save capitalism' at socialistparty.org.uk), it largely failed to turn the depressed US economy around.

The PM's investment plans in infrastructure to rebuild the economy is part of his political strategy to retain support in former 'red wall' Labour constituencies, which switched to the Tories in the last general election.

This is deemed necessary by Number 10 because Johnson's standing in opinion polls has plummeted as the government's poor handling of the coronavirus pandemic has become more apparent.

A recent poll for the i newspaper shows a negative approval rating of -7 points for the prime minister compared to a positive rating of +38 in mid-April. And 76% of those polled say the lockdown was implemented too late. However, only 19% of respondents thought right-wing Labour leader Keir Starmer would make a better PM.

Johnson is reportedly insisting there must be no return to austerity, despite the massive funding crisis in councils due to government cuts. Moreover, since being elected to parliament in 2015, he has voted for all the Tory governments' austerity measures. And there was no outcry from him when the 2010 Tory government scrapped Labour's timid 'Building Schools for the Future' programme, which stopped 715 rebuild projects.

Most of the government's largesse will go into private hands. This is despite the failure of private sector companies in building and running hospitals, and having to renationalise the part-privatised probation service, and bailing out the private train operating companies to the tune of £3.5 billion this year.

Green investment?

The Tories support for private developers and landlords, and hostility to council housing, means that the chronic shortage of affordable housing is unlikely to be addressed. The Tories' 2015 'Starter Homes Initiative,' costing £2.3 billion, produced zero new properties!

There is little sign of investment in green jobs such as public transport schemes, energy production, insulating homes, etc. In fact, the previous National Infrastructure Strategy, aimed at tackling crucial environmental issues, has again been kicked down the road, including the manifesto commitment to a national home insulation programme. Johnson has, however, lavished spending on environmentally unfriendly new road building.

The Tory government's bailouts and handouts to big business will do little to address the chronic social problems facing working-class communities, ie jobs, pay, housing, transport, education and other service provision.

The failed capitalist profit system, which Johnson champions, is the root cause of austerity and underinvestment in infrastructure. Only socialist policies can build better, greener and faster.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 1 July 2020:


No going back

A socialist NHS fit for heroes


Workplace news

PCS: Change in leadership needed to secure union's future

Come to the NSSN conference

Sunday trading: Government blinks first

Trade unionists stand in solidarity with Maxine Peake

Equity union president elections

Tower Hamlets council strike

MoJ cleaners' covid outbreak


What we think

Workers need a new mass party to defend their interests


News

Tories put profit before lives

Boris's new big deal

Tory full return to school plans gamble with lives

Yes to self-identity: Fight for trans rights

Benefits system being used to force return to unsafe workplaces

Leeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

Capitalism and corruption go hand in hand

Plastic waste ignored

News in brief


Campaigns

I left Labour and want to end capitalism - join us in Socialist Party

Cardiff community fights nursery closure: Council must step in

Fighting Fund: Target smashed by half time

Black Lives Matter has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

Selling the Socialist

Red flags line road for Ken Douglas


Lessons from history

75th anniversary of the Attlee Labour government


Readers' opinion

From slavery to Black Lives Matter - racism and capitalist injustice exposed

Readers' opinion


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 July 2020   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Government:

triangleTeachers demand fighting union strategy

trianglePublic sector workers respond to the budget

triangleFacebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!

triangleTories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

triangleVaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

Austerity:

triangleTories tout toilet tensions

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: The TUSC anti-austerity challenge in the Welsh parliament

triangleHelp fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Saving the music industry from pandemic and austerity

Tory:

triangleNot a budget for the working class!

triangleTory cladding money will not make us safe

triangleNHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies

Schools:

triangleJohnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

triangleHackney teaching assistants strike against cruel and unnecessary job cuts

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

5/3/21

Budget

Tories keep bailing out bosses, while piling the pain on workers and public services

3/3/21

Budget

Not a budget for the working class!

3/3/21

Women

Women's health matters

3/3/21

Budget

Public sector workers respond to the budget

26/2/21

Labour

Liverpool Labour meltdown

24/2/21

Schools

Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

24/2/21

Uber

Drivers win case - they are workers

24/2/21

Covid

Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

24/2/21

Labour

Starmer's speech a return to New Labour

24/2/21

Covid

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage

24/2/21

Privatisation

Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run

24/2/21

Vaccine

Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

23/2/21

Britain

The struggle needs an electoral arm

17/2/21

NHS

NHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies

17/2/21

Covid

Covid workplace safety

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999