Socialist Worker

Bosses fear that crisis will create revolt

Issue No. 2437

Head of the CBI bosses group John Cridland isnt the only one sitting nervously on his cash

Head of the CBI bosses' group John Cridland isn't the only one sitting nervously on his cash (Pic: CBI)

Alarm is growing among the ruling class as cracks in the old political order deepen. They know that more and more people are questioning their system and looking for an alternative. 

Tidjane Thiam, head of insurance giant Prudential, admitted this week that the political crisis was “linked to a widespread perception that the free market doesn’t really operate with its stated principles”.

The market has never functioned fairly or transparently. But now a growing number of people are concluding that there’s something fundamentally wrong with our society. 

The Economist magazine has warned that Europe faces a “crisis of democracy” as the gap between “elites” and “voters” grows. 

This has fuelled the rise of the radical left in Spain and Greece. Millions of people are looking to Greece and the prospect of a left government breaking with austerity. 

But so are the bosses, who are desperately piling on pressure to try and keep the country in the bankers’ grip.

The renewed panic about crisis in the eurozone underlines their growing anxiety. In Britain, the main parties’ long term decline is accelerating.  A poll this week showed both Tories and Labour under 30 percent.

John Cridland, head of the CBI bosses’ group, has predicted a “cocktail of uncertainty”. He complained about the prospect of a referendum on European Union membership and political instability as Ukip, the Greens and the Scottish National Party continue to grow.

Cridland isn’t the only one sitting nervously on his cash. It’s good that bosses fear the old order cracking—but the question is what happens next.

Racist populist parties, as well as left wing ones, are growing. The Scottish referendum campaign and the rise of the Greens are signs that many people are looking for an alternative on the left. The left must rise to the challenge.

Our rulers’ response to the Paris shootings underlines that building opposition to racists is crucial. Building the 21 March demonstrations in London, Cardiff and Glasgow is a key part of that task. 

We also need to build unity and confidence on our side by seeking to generalise any outbursts of workers’ struggle. 

That means making the NHS strikes on 29 January and 25 February days of working class resistance to austerity.

We must respond politically to the crisis with a left challenge in the general election. That’s why Socialist Worker supporters are standing as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). 

This can help build the fightback and a socialist alternative to the crisis—and stoke our ruling class’s fears.

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What We Think
Tue 20 Jan 2015, 17:29 GMT
Issue No. 2437
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