Them and us
Them and us

Sarah Sachs-Eldridge

Millionaire Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s spring statement was another Tory declaration of the ‘them-and-us’ society.

For ‘us’, the working class, it’s the biggest cost-of-living crisis since World War Two.

For ‘them’, big business bosses, it’s obscene riches: the ‘Big Four’ supermarkets’ operating profits rose to £693 million in 2021, up 42% in a year!

On our side, hungry children are unable to concentrate in lessons. A pensioner eats a teaspoon of toothpaste in the hope his stomach believes it’s food. And so much agonising stress.

This ‘them-and-us’ system – capitalism – is based on the exploitation of the working class by the boss class. What doesn’t go to us, goes to them.

By refusing to increase benefits and pensions in line with inflation, Sunak, in effect, cut them by £9 billion! That’s on top of the £6 billion cut he made last October to Universal Credit (UC).

Around 40% of UC claimants are working: in other words workers are underpaid by ‘them’. Workers are right to organise action to fight for pay rises in the context of the price rises.

In Britain today, the richest tenth of the population now owns 43% of wealth. The entire bottom half has just 9%.

This means that fighting the cost-of-living crisis means ending the ‘them-and-us’ system. There is no lack of resources to provide everyone with a decent standard of living – it’s just hoarded away by ‘them.’

Sunak thinks he can get away with this because he sees no serious opposition from Labour under Sir Keir Starmer – the ‘Sir’ referring to services in defence of the ‘them-and-us’ society.

However, the real opposition is ‘us’ – the working class. Even some Tories are warning Sunak that there’s a danger of provoking anger that can spill over into action that could threaten the Tories’ right to rule.

Let’s give our anger an organised expression. Let’s organise mass working-class action and a political alternative, around socialist ideas. We can turn this ‘them-and-us’ world on its head so it’s the working class making the decisions. Then we can plan democratically for everyone to have a decent living standard.

Support the strikes. Workers are fighting back across the country. These need to be co-ordinated by trade union leaders for maximum impact on the bosses

  • Build for the 18 June TUC demo. Let’s push for the Trades Union Congress to pull out all the stops to mobilise for a mass working-class march through London
  • Campaign for no-cuts candidates in the local government elections on 5 May. For the trade unions to build a new mass workers’ party – an independent political voice for ‘us’
  • Join the Socialist Party! Fight for socialist ideas to end the ‘them-and-us’ society – and the war, poverty and inequality it brings