There are no answers to this crisis inside the ballot box: let’s vote with our feet!

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
4 May 2022

Two days before the local, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland elections, Boris Johnson has addressed the Ukrainian parliament.  British journalists explained how he’s the first foreign leader to be given such an “honour”, and that it’s because he has been the best friend of Ukraine since the beginning of the war...

    So it seems Zelensky doesn’t mind that Johnson’s help for Ukraine is aid which kills, and not aid which brings life, i.e., asylum for refugees: his Home Secretary is facing legal challenges for failing to provide timely visas promised to Ukrainian women and children, for the malfunctioning of spare-room schemes and for delays faced by destitute families still in towns under siege, or waiting in shelters in bordering states...

    Never mind that. Johnson announced a further £300 million-worth of arms for Zelensky, claiming it will help end the war - when in fact it’s a sure (and cynical) way to “help” keep this war going to a bitter and deadly end.

    And then he described the war as the “Ukrainian people’s finest hour”, echoing Churchill’s WW2 speech made during the worst butchery the world has ever seen, including mass-bombing of civilians: 85 million, 3% of the earth’s population, perished. Apparently that is something to be proud of!

    In fact this moment - a well-timed distraction from his problems - may well turn out to be Johnson’s “finest hour”, when election results this Thursday show the Tories on a downhill slope. He has proposed nothing credible to alleviate the worst cost of living crisis since the 1930s.

    His ministers with their crooked faces tell the public that if they were to give extra money to people like 77 year-old pensioner Elsie (from ITV’s “Good Morning Britain”, whose gas bill went up from £17 to £85 and who uses her freedom pass to sit on a bus to keep warm), this will cause an out-of-control inflation spiral!

    Yes, if they gave the “heat or eat” public more money, these irresponsible people might spend it on paying (deliberately!) inflated energy bills, or on food at (speculation-induced) higher cost! And so prices would go up even more! Really?  As if inflation was something which just fell from the blue and wasn’t actually a consequence of profit-seeking human beings literally increasing what they charge!

    Yes, indeed, prices, like rents, could be controlled by the Sunaks of this world, if they really wanted to “help” the population.  But they only want to help the rich get richer. Even if they don’t dare say it.

    So oil giant BP is left to hand out its £5bn extra profits to its shareholders.  As for Labour, aka the new Party for Business, its one-off “windfall tax” proposal might irritate Sunak, but it only aims to cut the energy hike by less than 50% (£600): half-cocked as usual!

    Of course the answer to this cost of living crisis isn’t inside a ballot box.  We know that. It is out on the streets, in the fight against the bosses - not just for higher wages and conditions - but to get rid of the whole dangerous, warmongering, anti-working class system.