The capitalists and their politicians must pay for their Brexit mess!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
16 July 2019

By the end of July, Tweedledum Johnson or Tweedledee Hunt will be in Downing Street.  But which one these self-serving millionaires it actually is, will make no difference for the working class!
    And how long will the new tenant of Number 10 even manage to stay?  Since it will mean confronting the reality which both Hunt and Johnson have both been so careful to ignore so far, it may not be for very long.
    Yes, the reality is that it will not matter one inch to the EU whether their threat of "no deal" is on the table or not.  After over 2 years of fractious negotiations turned into farcical in-fighting by the various Tory fractions, why would the EU change its position that there will be no more negotiations around the issue of the withdrawal deal?
    In other words, May's successor will have no option but to push her old deal - and to find a way of getting the Commons to endorse it, as it is - or else risk a cliff-edge exit from the EU, or a cliff-edge exit from power via a no-confidence vote and a general election, if not a combination of both.

Another bailout for big business?

At this stage, the City is worried.  This is why the exchange rate of the pound has resumed its downward slide, as speculators are betting that Brexit will disrupt the British economy.
    The bosses and their experts have long warned of possible economic chaos - especially against the backdrop of the decade-long world economic crisis, which is still on-going.  And of course, they know all too well that a cliff-edge "no deal" Brexit can only be even more damaging for them.
    So today, now that the Brexit saga seems to be coming to a head, the capitalists are taking all the precautions they possibly can, to ensure that they will be compensated for the losses due to the mess generated by Brexit, whichever form it takes.
    This is why Johnson and Hunt promised income tax cuts for the wealthy and additional corporation tax cuts for companies.  These promises were not just aimed at Tory party members.  They were designed to reassure the capitalists that they had nothing to fear from the Brexiteers, who would keep their wallets full whatever happened with Brexit.
    In his usual flippant style, Johnson insisted that even the cost of a "no deal" Brexit would be "vanishingly inexpensive" to business.  But Hunt was more cautious, pledging to set aside a one-off £6bn just to cover the losses that would be expected, in that case, in fishing and farming alone.
    However, behind the scenes, experts were churning out the real sums for official strategists at Chatham House: they estimated that the total compensation for the production industries alone would be £22bn - not as a one-off, but per year!  And the figure for services, which account for 70% of the economy, has still to be estimated.

The only workers' bailout:  fighting back

So, these are the kind of giant sums that the politicians are already preparing themselves to hand over to the capitalists in order to bail them out against the ripples of Brexit.
    And it's not just a Tory government that can be expected to loot public funds in such a bailout, but any government.  Lest we forget, it was Labour which kick-started the banking bailout in 2007 and then paved the way for the austerity policies which were designed to get the working class to foot the bill in full.
    Today, it is this very same process that the capitalist class and its politicians are putting into motion against the working class.  After splashing out tens of billions of pounds to compensate the bosses for their losses, ministers will turn against the working class and use the ballooning public deficit as a pretext to justify cutting social expenditure and running down vital services like the NHS, as they did in the years following the banking crisis.
    Meanwhile, the bosses will turn the screw on jobs and conditions, in order to boost their profits - except that they will tell us that they "have to" because of Brexit.  Exactly as they did after the banking crisis, when they blackmailed workers into agreeing to cuts in jobs and wages, under the pretext of preventing even worse cuts - which they often carried out anyway!  In fact, this is what they are doing in the car industry already, even before Brexit happens!
    The difference with the last banking crisis, however, is that this time round, workers know what to expect and they know what needs to be done in order to stop these attacks.
    There is a choice facing the working class in the coming period.  Either it will let the bosses and their politicians get away with murder under the cover of a post-Brexit bailout, or it will mobilise its colossal collective fighting capacity in order to stop their attacks and make them pay for their mess!