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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 March 2009

Capitalist crisis: Make the bosses pay!

Build for a one-day general strike

Cleaners employed by contractors Mitie protested outside the Willis building in the City of London , photo by Chris Newby

Cleaners employed by contractors Mitie protested outside the Willis building in the City of London, photo by Chris Newby Full story

As the global economic crisis intensifies, the world's leaders - the G20 - are meeting this week next to the symbolic heart of the economic maelstrom - the City of London. For over twenty years, the City has been an unregulated financiers' paradise, where Fred 'the Shred' Goodwin and his ilk made vast sums of money on an unprecedented scale.

Hannah Sell

New Labour, and the Tories before them, are responsible for deregulating the City and creating a nirvana for hedge fund and other speculative traders. As government minister Peter Mandelson famously said, New Labour is "intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich."

Now it is us - working class people and the poor in Britain and worldwide - who are being expected to pay the price for economic crisis. In Britain unemployment has passed two million and is expected to reach three million by the end of 2009. Youth unemployment is now over 15% and rising rapidly.

Globally, the managing director of the World Bank has warned that, unless the G20 take action, the economic crisis is likely to cost 90 million lives, and lead to an increase in the number of people going hungry of nearly one billion.

On Thursday 2 April, Youth Fight for Jobs will be marching to the G20 demanding the right to a decent job and a free education for all young people. The Trades Union Congress is also demonstrating in coalition with numerous other organisations on Saturday 28 March - asking the G20 to "put people first".

However, it is ruled out that the G20 will 'put people first' and take effective action to prevent the tragedy that is unfolding for billions worldwide. The actions of the world's governments to date speak for themselves. The banks have been rescued while the rest of us have been left to drown. In Britain 1.22 trillion has been used to underwrite the banking system compared to less than 0.1% of that - 800 million - put into job creation.

Bus workers demonstrate over pay, photo Paul Mattsson

Bus workers demonstrate over pay, photo Paul Mattsson

The G20 demonstrations are a start but we need much more. The trade union movement needs to go on to launch a mass campaign in defence of jobs, pay and public services. As the Lindsey oil refinery strike showed, if workers fight we can win victories. The government is consciously trying to divide public and private sector workers. The trade unions need to bring them together in a united struggle.

In France last week three million workers and young people took to the streets in over 200 cities. We need a similar day of action here in Britain as a step towards a 24 hour general strike. The demands of such a movement should include:

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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.
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In The Socialist 25 March 2009:

Capitalist crisis: Make the bosses pay!

March for jobs!

Map of Youth March for Jobs route


Socialist Party editorial

Tide of job losses must be fought


Socialist Party election campaign

Rail union launches euro election challenge

An appeal from Bob Crow

No2EU Financial Appeal pdf

NO2EU Supporter appeal pdf


Socialist Party campaigns

Students need a mass fighting organisation

Credit crunch hits home

Campaign for a new workers' party

MPs - an honourable profession!

Fast News


Socialist Party feature

The uncaring care sector

Pay for your own vetting


Socialist Party marxist analysis

State repression in Britain

Keeping (illegal) tabs on us


International socialist news and analysis

France: Three million take to the streets in national strike

Canada: "Fighting back makes a difference"

Mass demo in New York against budget cuts

Scotland: International Socialists conference a big step forward

Dundee Prisme occupation: Workers remain defiant

Stop the slaughter of Tamils: London campaign meeting


Socialist Party workplace news

Nom-dom jobs slasher

New allegations hit Unison's right wing

Unison Four to face further hearings

Wales: United battle needed to stop college cuts

Fighting for justice for cleaners!

PCS Land Registry jobs and pay campaign

Workplace news in brief


 

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