Socialist Worker

Don't despair at more cuts - defy the scum

Issue No. 2454

Part of a 4,000-strong protest in Bristol last week against austerity

Part of a 4,000-strong protest in Bristol last week against austerity (Pic: Glen Laird)


The vibrant protests and mass meetings against the Tories during the last week should inspire us all.

Join any that are taking place in your area this weekend.  And build the 20 June People’s Assembly demonstrations.

There is a window of opportunity to use the rage after the election to create a power that can break this rotten government.

It is launching brutal attacks after winning the support of fewer than one in four of those eligible to vote. 

On 27 May the Tories will use the queen’s speech to declare war on welfare, trade unions and vital services.  They are going to whip up more racism and abandon any effective action on climate change. 

We are with those who say don’t give in, don’t despair—defy the scum. 

The size of the Tory and the Ukip vote can’t be wished away.  We need to think seriously about how to broaden the left.  We need to keep campaigning against Ukip.

But, contrary to media and the Labour leadership contender’s myths, the general election didn’t see a stampede to the right.

In Scotland Labour was beaten by the Scottish National Party that spoke to its left over austerity and Trident. And more people in England voted Labour in this year’s general election than did under Tony Blair in 2005. 

Resistance

We need to turn anger and defiance into action. The trade union leaders need to start resistance. 

PCS union general secretary Mark Serwotka was right to tell his union’s conference this week, “In times like these there are two options—fight or flight.”

It was excellent that the Network Rail strike was called soon after the election result. Other strikes may be coming on London Underground and in further education colleges.  

Local strikes continue and victory would be a huge boost—we all need to give solidarity.

This week leaders of the Unison union and the Royal College of Nursing vowed that any attack on extra NHS pay for weekends and nights would cross a “red line”. That has to mean sustained strikes.

The People’s Assembly demonstrations in London and Glasgow on 20 June are crucial.  They must become a launchpad for action that can win.

In 2010 the student revolt helped trigger the biggest trade union demonstration in British history in March 2011. 

This in turn created the conditions for mass strikes in the summer and then 2.5 million striking in November 2011.

We need a similar process, on an accelerated timescale.  And this time we shouldn’t stop the fight just when it’s started.  The street protests, strikes and the People’s Assembly demonstrations are the route to creating the confidence to fight and win.


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