Socialist Worker

This is Britain with business in charge

Issue No. 1721

What we think

This is Britain with business in charge

TRAINS HALTED, roads in chaos, food poisoned, floods and tornadoes caused by global warming. This was Britain at the start of the week, Britain with the businessmen in charge and profit as the driving force. Railtrack, while making 1.3 million a day from us, has the arrogance to say we can choose between a railway which runs at 20mph (which might be safe), or go a bit quicker and risk disaster.

What's the government's response to this clear evidence that putting profit before people is a disaster? It is more privatisation, more power to the sleazy crew who have brought the country to a standstill. Letting the market rip in food production led to BSE. So, says New Labour this week, let's get more of the market into health, let's allow private health firms to make even more from the NHS crisis and encourage them to grab more hospitals. After all, in a few years we can have an inquiry which reveals how disastrous it has been and finds that nobody was really to blame.

Privatisation has turned rail travel into a possibly deadly and certainly dreadful experience. So, says New Labour this week, let's press ahead with privatising air traffic control. Let's have a Railtrack in the sky with bidders including Virgin Atlantic.

The pollution pumped out and encouraged by the giant corporations is murdering the planet and bringing climate change from Bangladesh to Bognor. So, says New Labour, let's stuff the cabinet committees full of businessmen, let's proclaim ourselves the party of business, and let the rich keep more and more of the loot they have stolen from us.

All this from the government which has the gall to say it stands for "the many, not the few". One of the most common objections to socialism is that workers cannot run society, that we would all be helpless without the expertise, brilliance and imagination of the "entrepreneurs" who run business. Does anyone really believe that democratic planning of socially-controlled industries and services could plunge us into a worse situation than we have now? Would workers really decide to produce toxic food and turn the railways into a lethal lottery?

Thousands of people in every city look at crumbling Britain and the violent, divided, unjust world, and yearn for something better. They question, perhaps for the first time, what we are told is the only possible way to run society. Socialists have to have answers and organisation that can turn that mood into a fighting resistance and a positive force for change.

Help us raise 200,000-to build the fight against capitalism

WE HAVE now reached halfway in our 200,000 appeal. In the last week you have sent in 15,782. This brings the total to 100,635. This week will be crucial in helping us meet our target. For most workers it will be the last payslip before December and the run-up to Christmas.

That's why this weekend we are asking all our supporters and readers to dig deep, and help us make a big push into the final strait. Every pound helps us build the fightback by working people in Britain. In the run-up to Christmas don't forget the Socialist Worker Raffle. Order your tickets, and sell them to friends, workmates and family, from 020 7517 9196.

  • Special central London screening of the video of the Prague S26 protest against global capitalism. Speakers include eyewitness reports from journalist Mark Steel and Julie Waterson. Saturday 11 November, 8.30pm, Camden Centre, Bidborough St (near King's Cross), London WC1. 5 (4 concs)

Donations this week include: 

WORKPLACES: Driving Standards Agency Nottingham SW readers 120, Birmingham City Hospital SW readers 74, BBC Libraries SW readers 25, De La Rue Printers High Wycombe SW readers 11.78. 

INDIVIDUALS: Mark Smith 50, Brian Iles 5, C Wells 25, A Stevenson 15.20, P Bebson 5.

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Article information

Sat 4 Nov 2000, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1721
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