The only scroungers are the profiteers!

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15 November 2010

Week after week, the Con-Dems have been coming up with yet more so-called "radical reforms", all wrapped up in deliberately provocative language.

These proposals are clearly designed to pander to the prejudices of the Con-Dems' electorate. But above all, they are tailored to meet the wishes of greedy capitalists, who want to take advantage of the crisis to turn the screw on workers and increase their parasitism on public funds.

Whether the Con-Dems will be able to enforce these attacks on the working class, however, is quite another question. At present, they are still testing the water. What they actually do in the end, will depend on how much they feel they can get away with.

The real criminals are the exploiters

Duncan-Smith's scathing attack on what he dares to call the "dependency culture" of the poorest who get state benefits is hypocritical and insulting. As if anyone chooses to be poor - and to barely survive on benefits - for the sake of having an easy life!

If there is a "dependency culture" in this society, it is that of the wealthy who live in luxury, thanks to their parasitism on workers' labour and state handouts!

The jobless and low-paid workers, pensioners, the disabled and the sick, do not choose to be poor - they are forced into poverty by a system driven by the greed of this thin layer of capitalist parasites. A majority of benefit claimants are workers who have been made redundant, or workers paid such low wages that they just cannot make ends meet. They are pushed into poverty by the bosses' profit drive.

But what do the likes of Duncan-Smith care? They are not out to reducing poverty, but to help the bosses to turn the screw even further on the working class.

Hence Duncan-Smith's plan to impose sentences of unpaid "community service" on the jobless, just as the courts do against petty criminals, under threat of losing their benefit.

Calling the jobless "scroungers" or even worse, "criminals", is an old ploy, used by all politicians, including Labour, whose "Flexible New Deal" schemes did just that. Isn't such demagogy music to the ears of the rich, who are infuriated by the idea that billions of pounds of public funds should be "wasted" on the unemployed and the poor?

But who are the criminals here? Aren't they the capitalists who caused the crisis and have been (and are still) shedding jobs? And what about this government which is cold-bloodedly preparing to savage a million public and private jobs with its cuts? More generally, isn't this bankrupt capitalist system responsible for the rise of joblessness and poverty, because of its inability to cater for the needs of the majority of the population?

All together, workers and jobless!

Ultimately, however, these attacks against the jobless are designed to force them off the official unemployment count and into the worst casual jobs, for the greatest benefit of a capitalist class which is crying for labour costs to be slashed.

In these days of crisis, all workers are "unemployed in waiting". And it is in their interest to stand as one, alongside the jobless and the poor who are being targeted by the Con-Dems' attacks. All the more so as, behind these attacks aimed at the poorest, others are coming, which are targeted at workers in employment as well, as is already the case for the planned cuts in benefits for the low-paid.

For instance, there is the government's latest brainwave, called "slivers of time" working. This is inspired by a Tesco scheme: it involves a "market" of working hours across its shops, for which its 340,000 employees can apply. Tesco claims this is designed to allow workers to increase their (inadequate) wages by working the odd extra hour in other shops. In reality, of course, this is aimed at cutting the overall number of employees and, therefore, can only increase unemployment.

Translated into government policy, the jobless would be "encouraged" - meaning compelled - to take so-called "jobs" (and, if possible, several of them) involving as little as 2 hours a week on the minimum wage. No doubt bosses will seize this golden opportunity to fill the gaps left by their mindless job slashing! The only result will be a considerable increase of casual non-jobs, at the expense of both casual and permanent workers.

So, enough is enough. These attacks must be stopped. The first protests called by the unions at the end of October, and the successful students protest on 10 November, must be followed by many others. The voice of discontent needs to get louder and louder and the anger of workers and unemployed needs to be felt, if we are to stop the bosses' offensive.