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

Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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 special coronavirus appeal.

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:

trianglePPE contracts: It pays to have friends in high places

triangleStop the Tories putting profit before health

triangleRace disparity gets worse - fight to improve living standards for all

triangleSystem failing thousands of children in care

triangleOptare: Right to strike defended

Austerity:

triangleWhy the Socialist Party is backing Hugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangleWorld capitalism's terrified strategists abandon austerity - for now

triangleNon-fiction: This Land - the story of a movement

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

Tory:

triangleWales exams scrapped: What's behind the headline?

triangleTory crisis cannot be 'reset' - workers need a new mass party

triangleTory U-turn: Furlough extended - not enough to save jobs

Schools:

triangleCampaign for school Covid safety must continue

triangleSchools need union action for safety

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

26/11/20

NHS

PPE contracts: It pays to have friends in high places

25/11/20

Covid

Covid crisis: "We won't pay the price"

25/11/20

Health

Stop the Tories putting profit before health

18/11/20

Unison

Women workers need strong trade unions to defend their jobs, pay and services

18/11/20

Covid

Covid, vaccines, 'big pharma' - and the need for socialism

18/11/20

NEU

Campaign for school Covid safety must continue

18/11/20

Government

Tories in turmoil... 'Reset' the whole system! Fight for socialism

18/11/20

Government

Tory crisis cannot be 'reset' - workers need a new mass party

18/11/20

Children

System failing thousands of children in care

18/11/20

Education

Wales exams scrapped: What's behind the headline?

18/11/20

Croydon

Croydon Council declares bankruptcy - no cuts in Croydon or any other council

18/11/20

Universities

Tories student 'evacuation' plan won't work

11/11/20

Police

Spycops inquiry : why the capitalist state feared and continues to fear socialism

11/11/20

Covid

Capitalists vs working class - not in it together

11/11/20

Children

Tory U-turn: Free school meals

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


November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999