Socialist Worker

No need to wait to resist the Tories

 It’s time the Tories saw a real fight. They are under pressure. People blame them and their cuts for the chaos of their flooded homes. Polls show that 60 percent of people think that they have handled the floods badly.

Issue No. 2391

 It’s time the Tories saw a real fight. They are under pressure. People blame them and their cuts for the chaos of their flooded homes. Polls show that 60 percent of people think that they have handled the floods badly.

They face angry residents wherever they go.

At the same time local councils across Britain are announcing this year’s budgets, which will mean yet more slashing of services that everyone relies upon. 

The Tories are starving councils of funds and hoping they can shift the blame for the cuts this causes.

David Cameron’s declaration that “money is no object” and that “we’re a rich country” was quickly retracted.

But he exposed a truth—austerity is not an economic necessity, it is a political choice. 

There is money for flood defences, for hospitals, for decent pay for public sector workers, for pensioners and schools. 

The Tories just choose not to spend it on the things millions of ordinary people need.

The only reason they are able to get away with it is the weakness of the opposition they face. Labour is not really offering an alternative that can lift the spirits of millions under attack from cuts and austerity. 

They tail the Tories on attacking immigrants or people who claim benefits. 

They claim cuts are necessary.

Working class people have had enough. Yet when they look to their union leaders, those leaders too often fail to offer a lead.

Every time workers vote for action they find they have another fight on their hands. 

It can sometimes takes months, to turn a vote into action that can have a real impact. 

Now the NUT union leadership has finally called a national teachers’ strike on 26 March. It’s a great opportunity to show the power of a strike. 

Everyone should get behind them and offer solidarity. 

But other groups of workers are frustrated that their votes 

are not being turned into action now. 

Local government workers and college workers in the Unison, Unite, GMB and UCU unions are fighting for a decent pay rise.

If all these fights were urgently turned into serious strikes then the government would face problems on several fronts at once. But time and again union leaders back away from such a fight.

As the general election nears, the pressure not to rock the boat in case it has an impact on the Labour vote will increase.

But a fightback against the government would be popular. 

It’s good the TUC have called a march on “Britain needs a pay rise”, we should build a big demonstration. 

But that’s not until October.

We need to put pressure on union leaders to seize the time and lead resistance to the Tories now.


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What Socialists Say
Tue 18 Feb 2014, 16:43 GMT
Issue No. 2391
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