For a workers' voice against capitalism

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
7 April 2014

With local and European elections taking place in less than four weeks, politicians seem unusually reluctant to use the "v" word. That is, to tell voters how they should cast their votes and why. Maybe they think that their credit rating among the electorate has reached such a low point, that any reference to these elections is more likely to cost them votes! And in that, at least, they may well be right!

Of course, this may not be the best time for politicians to raise their electoral profiles. After all, the new expenses scandal caused by culture Minister Maria Miller with her dubious mortgage repayments, which has just been all over newspaper front pages, isn't likely to die down anytime soon! And haven't all the main parties had their share of such scandals in the past? The last thing they want, is to remind voters of that.

Electioneering for the better-offs

This doesn't mean, of course, that there's no electioneering going on. In fact, electioneering has been the politicians' main activity ever since the ConDems came into office. All along, their eyes have been set on the 2015 general election horizon.

Osborne's latest budget, for instance, had "vote Tory" written all over it, just as his last "autumn statement" did. It was aimed at better-off voters and once again, Osborne's message to them was: "look how good we are for you".

In the autumn, his keynote announcement had been the expansion of government schemes designed to boost the profits of the construction industry. They helped the better-offs to buy homes that would be too expensive for most working class households. But these schemes did not help those in need of a roof to find one, and neither were they meant to. However, they certainly fuelled house price and rent inflation for everyone!

This time round, Osborne's headline measure has been his pension reform, supposedly meant to give "choice" to retirees. In fact, it will be a money-spinner - and a hidden state subsidy - to the better-offs who can afford to pay into several pension schemes. But it will do nothing to improve the miserly pensions on which the vast majority of workers have to survive when they retire.

Indeed Osborne has nothing to offer to the vast majority of the electorate. Nevertheless, he did have a go at portraying the Tory party as a "working class party", claiming that his real aim was "full-employment"! But who will buy this? Does he really expect anyone to believe that his millionaires' government has anything to do with the working class? Or that it will provide real jobs to those who need one, when it considers that working a few hours a week on the minimum wage or on "zero-hours" contracts is "being in employment"?

Against big business

In fact, this government has nothing to offer but a series of scape goats.

Osborne's so-called "welfare cap" is designed to blame benefit claimants for the public debt - when it was the banking bailout which created this debt, while the banks are earning billions in interest, from the money they loaned back to the state!

Cameron and Osborne blame EU workers for the dire state of the health service - as if they hadn't been running down the NHS by handing out more and more of its budget to the profit sharks!

Theresa May and Iain Duncan-Smith blame unemployment on migrant workers who are supposedly taking jobs away from British workers. As if unemployment wasn't due to jobs being slashed by the government itself, and by British bosses who, despite sitting on massive piles of cash, refuse to invest in useful production!

Let's make no mistake. The real target of this scapegoating of migrant workers, the poor, the jobless, the disabled, etc.. is the working class as a whole. An injury to one is an injury to all! When one section of workers is under attack, it's the entire working class which is targeted.

But who's standing up against big business and its spokespersons in government? Labour? Of course not! Like Blair and Brown before him, Miliband will be a loyal servant of the City's interests - and he's already proving it by supporting some of the government's most anti-working class demagogy. As to Ukip, it's just the other (ugly) face of Toryism, without its respectable packaging.

This is why there's no stake and no future for the working class in the ballot box. What it needs, is a voice and a party representing its interests against those of the capitalist class - a party whose priority is to prepare the necessary fight back which will allow the working class to stop the bosses' attacks and start regaining the ground lost over the past years of crisis.