The government is on the ropes; who will knock it out?

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
17 May 2023

Brexit - this government's main reason to exist – and privatisation, the watchword for "Conservatism" since the days of Thatcher, were both exposed this week as a great big shower. In fact one could say that the brown stuff is really hitting the fan!

    Royal Mail, so “happily” floated on the stock exchange in 2013 - with great dividends for big shareholders and huge job losses and cuts in conditions for workers - is about to be investigated by Ofcom for missing its letter delivery targets under its Universal Service Obligation for 3 years running. It de-prioritised letters, in order to prioritise more profitable parcels.  We're told this “surprising”(!) exposure of RM’s dereliction of duty was thanks to ”great British democracy"...  a parliamentary select committee which called the CEO and his deputies in for questioning.

    And so?  Will Royal Mail be taken back into public hands and all the lost jobs restored? Because that's the only way post could be delivered properly - and at a human pace, instead of the current frantic dash, often by temps on a minimum wage, since so many regular posties have been sacked! But no.  Ofcom will impose a fine.  CEO Simon Thompson, former NHS "test, track and trace" boss, will be shown the door because of his failure to track and trace our letters.  Back to square one.

    Then there's the railways. Using the excuse of Covid and now strikes, Transport Secretary Harper is covering up rail privatisation's failure.  The DfT can't keep subsidising the profits of private train operators, which it's done to the tune of multiple billions from day 1 of this lethal fiasco. So Harper's new model "Great British Railways” is nothing but a thinly-veiled renationalisation, even though he vigorously protests otherwise.

    And Brexit?  Stellantis, the giant car company, says the "rules of origin" (45% of the value of an electric vehicle must come from the UK or EU from 2024 or a 10% tariff is imposed) mean that it won't be profitable to make electric Vauxhall vans at Ellesmere Port.  The one possible "UK" source of batteries, so-called "British Volt” failed before it even launched.

    So Stellantis wants exemption from the rules till 2027.  But then what?  Ford already decided to exit and BMW's electric Minis will be mostly made in China instead of Oxford.

    To add to Sunak's problems, former frontbench MPs have been attending a "National Conservatism” conference of the loony right, criticising his policies and further discrediting the party - if that were possible!

    All this might be good news for the working class.  But pale blue Labour is waiting in the wings to take over.  So it will be more of the same, under a different name, unless the whole bipartisan system, lock, stock and capitalist barrel is chucked out.  That's why striking alone isn't enough. We need a revolution.