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Ten years of austerity—unless we fight back

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Issue 2359

Ten more years of austerity, cuts and mass poverty is all the Tories and Labour can promise.  Chancellor George Osborne is set to announce his latest assault this week. 

His spending review will grab £11.5 billion from those already hardest hit by Tory policies. And he admits that the last three years of austerity are only the beginning. 

Prime minister David Cameron agrees, saying last week, “I don’t see a time when difficult spending choices are going to go away.”

That means cuts for the rest of us and bumper bonuses and pension pots for Osborne and Cameron’s pals. Unsurprisingly they don’t actually find those choices very difficult.

But it’s not just the Tories who are promising unrelenting austerity.

Labour leader Ed Miliband declared last week that if Labour gets elected it will stick with the Tories’ austerity spending plans.

He added, “So when George Osborne stands up next week and announces his cuts in day-to-day spending, we won’t be able to promise now to reverse them.” 

His admission that he accepts austerity is a blow for millions of people who look to Labour to oppose the attacks they face.

The only way we are going to stop government after government imposing cuts is to get organised. 

The huge People’s Assembly last week shows the mood of anger that exists (see pages 10&11). 

It was a chance for people to express their opposition to everything Cameron and Osborne stand for. And many made it clear they were not willing to be told to wait for Labour either.

Now there are plans to roll out local People’s Assemblies around the country. 

Socialists should be a part of these.  They can gather together activists to show the strength of our side. 

They can also be a place where we can discuss what sort of fight we need.

But it was clear from the London Assembly that people wanted fewer words and more action. 

Action like the teachers’ strikes set to take place on Thursday which is set to be followed by a national strike in the autumn. 

Cheers greeted anyone at the Assembly who talked about taking action or striking against the Tories’ attacks.

There is also real enthusiasm for building the national demonstration outside Tory party conference in Manchester on 29 September to defend the NHS.

This is now backed by the Unison, Unite and GMB unions. 

Activists in every town and city should organise transport from their workplace and local community. It’s a chance to mobilise and say to people, “If you hate the Tories, march with us.”

A massive demonstration could put pressure on union leaders to call more action—and give confidence to everyone else that we can fight back.


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