Socialist Worker

Four weeks to put the case for the fightback

Issue No. 2196

The Tories—a party of the rich, for the rich—shouldn’t have a hope in the general election.

A programme of cuts in vital public services, attacks on pensions, tax breaks for millionaires, more nuclear weapons and attacks on immigrants should have no chance of success.

But Conservative leader David Cameron is ahead in the polls because Labour has betrayed the people who voted for it.

From its inception New Labour venerated big business and the free market.

Then, when the system crashed, it bailed out the banks while letting unemployment soar.

And Gordon Brown’s pitch for votes is now an eerily similar programme to Cameron’s—with a slight time lag.

Mark Serwotka, the leader of the PCS civil service workers’ union, struck a real chord when he spoke to delegates at this week’s NUT union conference:

“I say to you that if you judge the government as an employer, this is the worst government in the history of this country.

“I’ve got no illusions in David Cameron, I know he’ll be dreadful.

“But in the last four years, we’ve lost 100,000 jobs. We’ve had more privatisation than under Thatcher and Major combined.”

If the Tories win it will be because working people can’t bring themselves to vote for Labour.

Socialist Worker urges readers to use the election period to put forward socialist ideas and to build the fightback we will need whoever wins.

There will be strikes and anti-cuts campaigns over the next four weeks—in this period they are more important, not less.

Many trade union leaders will try to have four weeks of “social peace”.

But the greater the resistance, the less chance of Tory arguments getting a hearing. It’s defeated, demoralised and sold‑out workers who accept Cameron’s solutions.

We need strong campaigns for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates.

Everyone should get involved in working for their nearest candidate.

We also need united resistance to the threat from the British National Party.

The Nazis must not be allowed to get new confidence and further fake respectability from grabbing a parliamentary seat or adding a new clutch of councillors.

And it is urgent that we consciously build now for the fightback after 6 May.

That means building permanent structures that bring together trade unionists, pensioners, the unemployed, students and campaigners.

The Right to Work emergency conference on Saturday 22 May, backed this week by the NUT conference, should be part of all our election work.

Ruling classes across Europe are determined to make workers pay for the crisis. The battles in Greece are a sign of what’s to come.

The stirrings of the struggle in Britain can be felt in the battles at BA and the anti-cuts campaigns that have already begun. But much stormier struggles are to come.

We need to prepare.


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What We Think
Tue 6 Apr 2010, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2196
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