The Chancellor’s U-Turn is a timely ploy. He still intends to plunder this country’s welfare state and finally destroy our environment. Most of us know this. The working class must rise-up!
Last Saturday hundreds of thousands of people went onto the streets to protest against the unelected Truss government. 700 of us marched through Plymouth, echoing “Enough is Enough”.
The mini-budget of a week ago was a full-frontal, in-your-face, “up-yours” statement from a Government committed to taking all the tax money and giving it to the richest 1% of society, whilst cutting health and welfare services, pensions and benefits even further.
The spontaneity of the working class is gorgeous to watch. People came out onto the streets at a moments notice! It was a Poll Tax moment, and I would predict, just the beginning. The cry went out across Britain’s countries – “Tax the Rich!” – and we scared the MPs to their core.
Truss may be modelling herself on Margaret Thatcher, milk snatcher, but she would be advised to remember that it was the mass protests of we, the wage-slaves, that forced that class warrior out of office.
Mainstream media have been immediate in their protection of Kwarteng. Apparently putting him “through the ringer” in Monday morning interviews, they repeated his own mantra, that it was the markets and MPs who forced him to think again. Yes, MPs were worried for their votes, but that was because of our protests, not their super-rich financiers.
The question is, why would the mass media omit talk of workers protests when questioning Kwarteng? The answer, of course, is to because the media exists to do a job for the Tories. After all, more than 80% of newspapers and TV is are owned by super-rich Tories.
In one sense I agree with Kwarteng – the tax cut to the 45% tax-rate was a huge distraction. This U-turn has little fiscal effect but leaves the way clear for the rest of his vast macro-mini-budget.
The core of the budget was to free-up corporate business, and especially the off-shore zombie corporations who rely upon billions in tax-handouts to survive. The super-rich are going to get more hand-outs at our expense.
Ah, say’s the Press, at least Truss and Kwarteng are spending £120billion on subsidising our fuel bills. But this is a sleight of hand. The reality is our energy bills are doubling or more whilst the oil corporations make record profits to line the pockets of their executives and large shareholders.
Through this supposed hand-out the money comes to us, only for us then to pay the energy companies. It’s another handout to the rich, cynically manipulated so that we, the impoverished, are the ones who pay the piper.
The Government knows that had it given the £120billion directly to the corporations there’d have been uproar. By paying it through us they thought it would appear as egalitarian support for “ordinary people”.
We are not fooled.
The Enough is Enough protesters are clear – cap the profits, legally challenge the profiteers. We need the taxes we pay for the services, benefits and pensions we need to stay alive. Right now it Robin Hood in reverse, taking from the poor to give to the rich. We all see this for what it is.
But the budget deregulation plans are even worse. Borne from the far-Right free-market ideology of “Small State”, Truss intends to cut health and welfare even further, despite the past decades destroying any material “welfare principle” in government policy.
In truth, those pulling Truss’s strings are closer to neo-fascist Italian politicians than Thatcher, having her openly congratulate Giorgia Meloni and Berlusconi. make no mistake, together, they are out to break the working class.
Our social infrastructure is all-but busted. We will see homelessness, unemployment, winter deaths, poverty and environmental destruction all rise over the next year as a result. Unless we continue to rise-up, now.
Saturday proved that the working class are getting tough – enough is indeed enough. 170,000 workers were on strike. Huge numbers more are balloting, including nurses, care workers and teachers. Inflation for working class people, where the price of essentials – fuel, rents, energy, food – is rising far higher than the luxuries of champagne and caviar.
We estimate inflation for workers is now above 16%, food alone at 11%, and likely to rise further. So any increase in pay or pensions needs to be above 16% for us to be able to stay still. The budget hinted at cuts to Universal Credit and a cap on State pensions. In addition, private pensions have been placed on life-support by the devaluing of the pound, requiring the Bank of England to print £65billion in bonds over-night just to stop pension bankruptcy.
I’m refusing to celebrate the passing of 50-years since I first signed-up as a trade union activist. This country is in a terrible state. The worst in my long lifetime. Media and politicians are trying to hide the fact.
It is no small fact to see that the Tory Government this year have brought-in undemocratic laws against all forms of protest, and are planning more to break strikes and destroy trade unions. At the same time, laws against migration and asylum plan to whip-up racism again to divide-and-rule a desperate and hurting working class.
This is class war. Overt, open class war, the bosses seeking to suck the very life out of the vast majority of the population. We have no choice but to fight. We have to strike. And everyone who is not striking have to support the strikes in their own interests. If the unions are broken there is no other social force able to defend those in need.
Visit the picket lines, take cake. But more importantly, donate whatever cash you can to the strike funds. Those on strike do not get paid. Enough is Enough is the current call for mass organisation, calling rallies and protests, ensuring solidarity between everyone who’s demanding social justice.
There has to be social change to place human need over private profit. For survival we have to kick out this Tory government, and keep kicking! We won’t be Trussed!