Socialist Worker

May Day is our chance for resistance

by Chris Bambery
Issue No. 2149

We are paying twice over for this crisis. We have been paying with job losses and cuts since capitalism started to spiral downwards.

Then last week the New Labour chancellor, Alistair Darling, imposed the most severe cuts in public sector for three decades.

Tory leader David Cameron, scenting an election victory, has talked of an “age of austerity” and suggested public sector wages should be frozen. Some 70 percent of businesses surveyed said they will follow this advice and do just that.

We will have to pay for the £1.4 trillion lavished by Gordon Brown and Darling on the bankers. They promised we’d get our money back. They lied.

Now we’re told we will have to pay extra taxes, accept cuts in our services and pensions, while unemployment continues to surge upwards.

This Labour government is counting down the days until the general election. The odds on the Tories winning it shortened to eight to one at the start of this week.

We have a choice. Most trade union leaders urge working class people to cling to the wreckage of this Labour government as it slips below the waves.

But there is a better alternative to going down with a sinking ship. We can build on the examples of Visteon and Prisme and the May jobs march in Birmingham called by Unite.

We should popularise occupations as the most effective way to fight for jobs.

New Labour offer no protection to workers. Like the Tories, they expect us to pay for this crisis.

Yet Britain’s rulers are deeply divided and nervous of unrest in response to this recession.

Either way, if Gordon Brown miraculously holds on in Downing Street at the next election or if Cameron wins, we will need to fight for our futures. Better to start now rather than wait.


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Tue 28 Apr 2009, 19:01 BST
Issue No. 2149
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