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Make Liz Truss’s stay in Number 10 a short one 

This article is over 1 years, 5 months old
A broader fightback on the streets and in the workplaces is needed to get rid of newly appointed Liz Truss and the rest of the Tories
Issue 2821
Liz Truss outside 10 Downing street

Liz Truss leaving Downing Street

Liz Truss becomes prime minister with a fragile social base. She is only in Number 10 because just 81,000 Tories voted for her. That’s fewer people than voted for strikes in the Royal Mail.

According to an instant YouGov poll, just 14 percent of people believe she will be a better prime minister than Boris Johnson. And 83 percent of people are disappointed to see her in office.

Her first challenge is to head off the shattering effect of companies pushing through an 80 percent rise in fuel prices scheduled for 1 October.

Numerous leaks suggested that Truss would be forced to pump tens of billions of pounds into some sort of price curbs. If she doesn’t, mass poverty and the wipe-out of large sections of small business could see her swiftly ejected.

But none of the plans involved the full renationalisation of the profit-hungry oil and gas firms. So the billions will act as a subsidy to keep them in business. And ordinary people will be expected to repay it through tax rises and higher bills in the future.

The crisis is far deeper than energy bills. It includes low pay and benefits, rocketing food prices and housing costs, and a collapsing NHS with a record 6.7 million people waiting for treatment.  The Bank of England predicts a recession lasting more than a year.

The climate crisis worsens, and Truss wants an increase in military spending to 3 percent of national production by 2030. That would cost £157 billion. Whatever Truss announces in her first few days as prime minister, we need a sharp acceleration in strikes and protests. 

The Trades Union Congress (TUC), which brings together unions, meets this weekend. It ought to be a council of class war. But there’s no sign of that from the top.  The TUC has called merely a parliamentary lobby on 19 October. 

And departing general secretary Frances O’Grady tamely announced this week only that the TUC will take the government to court if it attacks workers’ rights. It’s time for serious discussion of what’s needed to win—and winning means pay deals above inflation and radical action to freeze price rises, tackle climate chaos and win decent homes.

That will take a considerable escalation of struggle. The present strikes show the potential. Royal Mail, BT, Openreach, rail, refuse, bus, dock workers and many more are hitting back on the picket lines.

The TUC incorporates unions with over 5 million members. Why can’t there be a clear and concrete plan for united and escalating strikes? That’s not just the TUC leaders’ responsibility. It’s up to all the individual union leaders to fight for it.

Truss’s desperate plans are designed to bail out big business. We need a fightback that can win for the vast majority of people.

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