Behind the Brexit mayhem, it’s our wages, jobs and services they’re targeting!

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14 September 2017

It is exactly ten years today, since Britain’s Northern Rock became the world’s first bank to go belly-up as a result of the financial crisis.
    Of course, it was in the US that the first significant cracks of the crisis appeared.  But Northern Rock showed that, in fact, British Capital was really the most rotten among the pillars of the world’s financial system - so rotten that it was the first to collapse!
    Since that time British fat cats haven’t changed one bit!  Today, just as much as ten years ago, they remain among the most decayed cogs in the world’s profit-making machine.
    Except that, now, on top of the on-going financial crisis they preside over, Brexit is looming.  And of course Brexit has nothing to do with politicians’ deluded boasting of a "bright new future" - and everything to do with helping the same British parasitic fat cats to tighten the noose of capitalist exploitation even further.

What we’ve learnt over the past decade

In this respect, if anything, the past ten years have shown us how much damage these fat cats can do in order to boost their profits.
    Haven’t we, the working class, been made to pay for the hundreds of billions splashed out by politicians of all shades, to bail out these fat cats?  
    Haven’t our wages been going down the drain?  Haven’t many of our jobs been turned into low-paid, insecure non-jobs, often with no regular income, sick pay, pensions or paid holidays?  Haven’t social budgets been so much savaged that the NHS is in a state of chronic collapse?  Hasn’t the housing crisis got so bad that many more households have fallen into the clutches of scrooge private landlords, while the shrinking stock of social housing has slid into a state of catastrophic disrepair?
    And all this, just to allow Britain’s fat cats not only to recover the profits they had lost due to the crisis, but to increase their wealth even more!
    We’ve learnt this lesson the hard way - that the capitalist fat cats will use any pretext to turn the screw of exploitation even more, with the help of their politicians.  And we can rely on them to use the pretext of Brexit, to do just that, once again.
    In this respect, the 1% cap on public sector pay increases should be a warning.  As it turns out, May’s much-heralded "lifting" of this cap is a con.  Only police and prison officers will get a higher increase (but only 2% and 1.7% respectively, and, even then, partly as one-off "bonuses").  But over 4m public sector workers (in the NHS, Education, local and central government, including many low-paid) will remain caught under the 1% cap, thereby taking a real wage cut for the 7th year in a row!
    Yes, Brexit’s "bright new future" looks very much like the past decade’s turn of the screw, but with added Brexit inflation!

Preparing to fight them is the only way

So, why should we tolerate May’s deluded boasting about a "glorious future" after Brexit?  Why should the Brexiteers get away with shoring up their careers by causing mayhem on our backs?  We do not have to put up with any of this!
    Clearly, there’s nothing to expect from MPs.  Their pussy-footing over May’s "Great Repeal Bill" highlighted the futility of parliamentary politics.  MPs will neither make a stand, nor challenge policies.  No, they’re only there to bend over backwards so as not to compromise their cherished parliamentary seats!
    This Bill gives ministers the powers to do what they want, by depriving MPs of any say.  But MPs knew that if May lost the vote, it would trigger a new general election.  So for all the noise about a Tory "rebellion" and Labour opposing May’s "power-grab", many just preferred to hand over all powers to May rather than risk losing their seats!
    So what option remains?  In fact, the only option we, workers, ever had:  to use our collective strength against the Brexiteers’ plans and, above all, the bosses’ turn of the screw that comes with them.
    Some of us may be impressed by the calls for "coordinated strikes" made at TUC conference.  But how many times have we heard such fine words, without any attempt being made to build up a real fight back which had a chance to win?  Of course, this time, for once, Unite’s Len McCluskey threatened to "break the law" on strike ballots should the government fail to lift the 1% cap in the public service.  Well, yes, when pigs fly!  We’ll believe it when we see it.
    And why only in the public service?  All workers, public and private, had their wages cut first by the crisis and now by inflation.  Don’t we all need a substantial wage increase?  Apparently McCluskey doesn’t think so.  Or is it that he doesn’t want to sound like he’s suggesting that workers should unite across all sections and industries, in order to defeat the coming turn of the screw?  Yet isn’t that the only way forward?