Inflation and job cuts: let the fat cats pay with their fat profits and dividends!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
25 October 2017

With inflation rising and a likely increase in interest rates next month, our bills - for fuel and groceries, but also for housing costs - will go on increasing over the coming months.
    And this means that average real wages which have already fallen back to their 2006 level - but even further for the low-paid majority -  will go on falling, despite the economy's production per head having grown almost 5% larger.
    But what does this government care?  It seems nothing can stop Theresa May’s ministers from squabbling, plotting and sniping against each other!  Their pantomime over Brexit keeps exposing, day after day, their chronic irresponsibility.
    Meanwhile, we, the working class majority on whose labour these politicians and their capitalist masters thrive, should quietly foot the bill for their Brexit folly?  They must be joking!

Hands off our jobs!

Of course, Brexit was always going to cause chaos, by breaking up the complex maze of economic links built across Europe for almost half a century and disrupting the European-wide division of labour in production.
    Even the dumbest economists knew this.  But this didn't stop the Brexiteers from upping the ante.  To boost their profiles during the fight between rival factions within the Westminster bubble, they lied, boasting that slamming the door on the EU would herald a new era of affluence thanks to "free-trade deals with Britain" that the rest of the world was supposedly queuing up for.
    Except that now, despite the Brexiteers' grandiose promises, the rest of the world is slamming the door on them.
    So they hailed the fall in the pound, boasting that it would boost exports.  But instead, exports have been falling by 2.7% over the past 3 months alone!  And, predictably, workers' jobs are increasingly in the firing line.
    So at Belfast's Bombardier plant, 1,000 jobs are under threat following the decision by May's "special friend", Donald Trump, to slap a 278% duty on parts they make.  So much for the Brexiteers hailing Trump's promise that Britain would be "first in the queue" for a free-trade deal with the US!  Ironically, though, these jobs may now be saved by Airbus - an EU-based company!
    Over a thousand jobs are threatened at the Ford Bridgend and Vauxhall Ellesmere Port plants.  In both cases, of course, we're told that it's due to orders being cancelled.  But Vauxhall's CEO admitted himself, last week, that this was all about the rising cost of importing parts from the EU.
    And, of course, there are the 3,000 job cuts at Monarch airline, whose bankruptcy is directly linked to the fall in the pound.

Let them pay for their politicians' mess!

Judging from the anti-Brexit stance of the big business media mouthpieces and bodies like the CBI, the capitalists are very unhappy about their politicians' delinquent behaviour.  Ironically, though, they are making a killing out of it, nevertheless!
    Because of the cheap pound and because British capital makes most of its profits in euros and dollars, by parasitising the rest of the world, share prices are at a record high in London and so are dividends.  This year alone, in addition to being richer due to rising share prices, British company shareholders will cash in a record £90bn in dividends - a 7% increase over last year and 63% more than before the crisis broke out!
    To put these figures into perspective, this year's dividend payout to a few tens of thousands of shareholders would be enough to repay half of the total credit card debt owed by around 35 million British consumers!
    Of course, it is now obvious that the best option for us, workers, would be for Brexit to be scrapped, lock, stock and barrel.  Not because we should have any illusions in an EU which is just a capitalist profit-boosting device, but because we have nothing to gain and everything to lose from Brexit, from its mess, but also from the poisonous anti-migrant (and, therefore anti-working class) atmosphere it has created.
    But short of that happening, since the capitalists have failed to control the politicians' ineptitude and irresponsible behaviour, it is they who should foot the bill, not us!  After all, it is their politicians, not ours, who made this mess - and they should sort it out!
    Of course, this will only happen if the working class forces the capitalists to pay up.  Brexit or not, this is our best and only option - and one which is well within our reach, provided we use our collective strength in full.