This week saw Gordon Brown spending £37 billion of our money on buying up shares in two failing banks – HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland – as part of his staggering £500 billion bailout plan.
Brown’s plan is aimed at rescuing the banks so that they can go back to doing what got them into trouble in the first place – speculating with our pension funds and making profits out of our debt.
In the meantime he will try to make ordinary working people bear the cost of the bailout. We will be told we must pay, through massive cuts to our public services, and through job cuts and repossessions when the recession hits.
Yet vast amounts of wealth remain untouched – sloshing around the City, the hedge funds and countless offshore tax havens.
We should demand that the government takes over that wealth and uses it to guarantee our homes, jobs and pensions.
If the government can find money for bankers in a matter of days, there is no reason why it cannot immediately raise the state pension, provide every child in Britain with free school meals, or pay public sector workers a decent wage.
But such measures would go against the priorities of a system that puts profit above all else.
That is why we won’t win these reforms without a fight. And it is also why we need to fight for a different system altogether – one based on human need.