Socialist Worker

Resistance can split the ruling class

Issue No. 2344

The Tories have started a bizarre argument amongst themselves. 

David Cameron has said that some things have to be protected from cuts.

This is clearly a lie, since he claims it applies to the health service which the Tories are slashing.

But for disgraced former defence minister Liam Fox the cuts are just not enough. 

He has demanded a five year spending freeze—in real terms a £345 billion cut—ahead of the budget. 

Fox resigned after his best mate—a lobbyist—could not remember which meetings with which bosses he didn’t attend not to discuss arms contracts with. 

Fox seems to have lost his grasp of reality altogether. 

So in a much-heralded speech he pronounced, “The great socialist coup of the last decade was making wealth an embarrassment. It is not. 

“It is the prize for aspiration and hard work, and its side effects are higher tax revenues, more jobs and more investment.” 

This is as delusional as it is wrong.

Vince Cable, a Lib Dem who didn’t go to jail this week, criticised Fox and his allies for wanting a “jihad”. But then he argued for lifting the ring fencing on where the cuts fall.

Universities minister David Willetts boasted that the current cuts are “more ambitious than Mrs Thatcher” as he presented the apparent middle ground of the row.

On this at least he is honest and right. 

So in the public sector 500,000 jobs have officially gone since the general election. But the real figure is higher.  

According to the GMB union’s calculations over 380,000 jobs have been slashed from local councils alone. 

The Unison union has found that four unemployed people, on average, are chasing each available job in Britain.

In some areas things are much worse. The ratio is ten job seekers for every job in 26 council areas. 

This shows up the government lie that private sector jobs would replace the slashed public sector ones.

 The cuts are affecting the lives of millions of people. 

All the government can do is argue over how to have more of them.

Tragically, there has been nowhere near enough resistance to this from union leaders. 

Too quickly and too often they have responded without any of the militancy needed to resist the government.

Fortunately some workers are fighting back. Civil service workers are striking on budget day. 

That should be a rallying point for everyone who wants to resist Tory austerity.

We urgently need to escalate the resistance to the cuts and organise to make the most of the divisions in the establishment. 

 


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Article information

What We Think
Thu 21 Mar 2013, 14:18 GMT
Issue No. 2344
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