The working class has nothing to lose but its chains, but it has a world to win

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
14 May 2013

Yet another storm over the European Union has erupted in the Tory's tea-cup, triggered by the queen's speech. It should come to a head this Wednesday, when MPs vote on a backbencher's amendment to the ritual Commons' motion "welcoming the queen's speech".

Several of Cameron's senior cabinet members, including Theresa May, Michael Gove and Philip Hammond, together with Tory grandees such as Boris Johnson, have already broken ranks with the government's line over the EU - under the pretext that the issue of the "in-out" referendum wasn't mentioned in the queen's speech.

In reality, this phrasemongering has nothing to do with the EU. It's no coincidence that two of Cameron's prominent challengers for the leadership of his party - Theresa May and Boris Johnson - are among the dissidents! Nor is it a coincidence that these ambitious characters choose to make such a vocal stand over an issue which is said to be causing an unprecedented rebellion among Tory backbenchers, with over 100 planning to vote against the government. What an ideal springboard for them!

Back in the real world

Regardless of the considerable noise made by the media over the wrangles taking place in top Tory circles, they have no relevance whatsoever for the working population.

Before the crisis, it wasn't Britain's membership of the EU which caused the wholesale privatisation of industries here, leading to large part of the production industries being starved of investment and eventually reduced to a rump.

Nor was it Britain's membership of the EU which caused the rise of social inequalities together with the parallel explosion of the banks' parasitism - first under Labour, before and after the crisis broke out, and then even more so, under the ConDems.

Of course, politicians of every description, who are all responsible, one way or another, for the social catastrophe caused by the crisis, can be expected to try to pull wool over our eyes. And that's what they're doing with the EU scarecrow.

But the truth of the matter is that within or without the EU, the real problem facing the working class - in Britain as well as in the rest of Europe and, indeed, the rest of the world - is how to resist effectively, the attacks of the bosses. It is how to stop the capitalist classes from pushing larger and larger numbers of our ranks into poverty by making us pay for their crisis.

And beyond that, our problem is how to ensure that such a devastating crisis won't happen again - and that will only be achieved by overthrowing the rule of capitalist profit over society as a whole.

Only one international working class

One thing is certain, though. These vital objectives for the working class cannot and will not be achieved by raising more national barriers in a world which is already strangled by antiquated borders which have long lost any justification.

Probably the most significant feature of the Tories' so-called "rebellion" - which, by the way, also involves a minority of Labour MPs - is the fact that while making such a fuss about the EU, they endorse wholeheartedly the attacks against migrant workers contained in the queen's speech.

The very idea that anyone who comes to work in this country should be deprived of any of the rights that British workers have, is an insult against the entire working class - and should be treated as such. Not only in the name of a principle - which is as old as the working class movement itself - but also because we know how, by weakening one section of workers, the capitalists are merely aiming at weakening the entire working class.

It was by introducing drastic measures against the unemployed - by accusing them of "not looking hard enough" - that Labour's past governments facilitated the explosion of casual labour and the general downgrading of conditions for large sections of the working class.

Likewise, those - ConDems, Ukip or Labour - who claim today that there are too many migrant workers in this country and who plan measures to make their lives even harder, are only paving the way for another turn of the screw against all workers.

The fact that the TUC is maintaining a deafening silence on the issue should deceive noone. Challenging these attacks against migrant workers would mean raising the banner of a united fight of the entire working class against its capitalist exploiters. The TUC won't do it, because this would mean rocking the boat of the profit system. But rocking this boat is vital for our collective future and for the future of society itself!