Train drivers were out on strike at the time of writing. PM Truss and Co and the dozens of journalists hanging on to every ministerial word on the final day of the party conference couldn’t ignore this: their trains back to London weren’t running. But they certainly didn’t want to mention it, nor discuss the reasons why workers across the whole economy are taking industrial action over their pay and conditions!
Politicians truly live on another planet. Whether from the Truss Party or the Labour Party… now posing as the “real party of business and fiscal responsibility”. Its ratings may be a record 38 points above the Tories (aka ex-party of fiscal responsibility, business, etc., etc.,), but they’re not racing ahead because of enthusiasm for Starmer and Co., but because Truss and her malignant growth coalition are so bad. Especially after Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng crashed the pound and sparked the Bank of England’s new Quantitative Easing spree to try to rescue pensions; not to mention its latest interest rate rise, which has thrown mortgages into crisis!
Nevertheless, after making one minor U-turn on her £43bn tax cuts, Truss got away with claiming that she “acted” to “help people get through winter” with her measures limiting the average household energy bill to £2,500 - “more than any other leader in the EU”! That’s not true, of course. Even France’s Macron limited the rise in cost for households to 4% and then semi-nationalised the energy company, EDF.
Anyway, for Truss to mention the EU isn’t wise. Her sacred economy’s negative growth of 4% is down to leaving it! So “grow, grow, grow”, Truss has a lot to make up for!
To do so, there’s every indication that she won’t increase Universal Credit in line with inflation for the majority of claimants. Home Secretary, Suella Braverman may be a caricature of far-right views (she said it was her "dream” to see a flight deporting migrants to Rwanda by Christmas!), but she’s now a mainstream politician, and calling for cuts to UC for all those who can go out and “get another job”! Indeed, why not twist the knife in the wounds of the 41% on UC who’re working as many hours as they can, juggling kids and/or caring, and who need to resort to food banks?! Then there are the cuts to public services to come... 800 jobs are already going in the Department of Work and Pensions…
However, all these reactionary policies could be rendered harmless, if the working class used the full collective force of the current wave of strikes, to push back against the capitalists and their government. The bosses are all holding out together against paying wages above inflation and revoking their cuts. Yet railway workers, dockers, postal workers, BT engineers, teachers, civil servants, council workers, nurses, doctors - almost every category of worker - is either already taking strike action or preparing to do so. Of course using the “full collective force” of the working class means organising it. That’s the next step.