Like desperate poker players, the leaders of the three main political parties are trying to outbid each other as to who will make the cuts in public spending they claim are needed to bridge Britain’s budget deficit.
This game will continue until next spring’s general election. The stakes are high—our schools, nurseries, home carers, libraries and many more things on which we depend are all up for grabs.
If the cuts go ahead, we will be paying yet again for the billions lavished on bailing out the bankers.
In a desperate effort to steal Tory policies, Labour ministers are rushing to announce plans to reduce spending, claiming these are somehow cuts that won’t hurt.
Not to be outdone Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg promises “savage” spending cuts and a pay freeze for public sector workers.
From the treasury down to local councils, universities and art galleries, plans for cuts in services are being drawn up.
This all takes place as the unemployment figures mount, with many workers fearful for their future.
The debate between the three establishment parties is over future cuts, and we have to prepare to fight whoever gets elected.
But attacks on services are already underway—as is resistance.
Every one of us has a stake in the outcome of the battle to maintain post and fire services, and the fight by Leeds bin workers and college lecturers in Tower Hamlets.
Victories can help to spread confidence that we can resist attacks.
We need to group together the best trade union activists with students, community activists and others to build on this new spirit of resistance.
We need to spread the message that militant action works.
There is an urgent need too for a political alternative to Labour that can unite the left.
This could as a champion for all those fighting attacks on jobs, services and pensions, and those opposed to Labour’s wars and the fascist British National Party.
In every trade union we need to continue the debate over trade union funding for a Labour government that is attacking us and over the necessity of creating an alternative electoral force for working people.
Meanwhile, every Socialist Worker reader should join this Sunday’s protest outside Labour’s conference and build support for those fighting back.