Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials, 29 June 2010

Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials
29 June 2010

The Con-Dems' budget on 22 June was always expected to be an all-out attack against working people. But now that the dust has settled, its small print is revealing even more vicious plans against the poorest.

It had already included a proposal for an £11bn cut in the welfare budget. This involved a cut in the real value of all benefits, more punitive rules to reduce the number of claimants and a reduction in the housing benefit paid to the poorest.

But there were hidden cuts as well. Like the good-looking "triple indexation" of the state pension, which conceals the fact that it will actually increase more slowly than the cost of living!

The politics of scape-goating

But far more ominous plans are now beginning to come to light.

In the Commons, Osborne stated repeatedly that if more "savings" could be made on welfare, then cuts could be reduced to well below the announced 25% level in other departments. The media then floated the idea that an additional £13bn welfare cuts might be in the pipeline!

The name of the Con-Dems' game is clear: they are trying to make the poorest and most vulnerable take the blame for the cuts in public jobs and services that they are planning to make anyway. As if all of these public expenditure cuts were not the result of a political choice by a government which is, above all, bent on placating the City!

The same blame game is being played out by Duncan Smith against the jobless. In line with the Tory slogan "Let's cut benefits for those who refuse work", Duncan-Smith now wants to give the jobless "incentives" - meaning compel them - to move to areas where there are jobs. Except that there aren't enough jobs anywhere! And there will be even fewer jobs on offer as a result of this government's criminal cuts!

It is also the very same blame game that the Con-Dems - and Brown before them - have been playing against public sector workers by denouncing the so-called "burden" of their "gold-plated" pensions and other similar nonsense. This, regardless of the fact that for a large part of the public sector, current pension costs are more than covered by workers' contributions. Of course, this would change if the government started cutting hundreds of thousands of jobs as a result of its cuts. But who would be to blame then? Public sector workers, or the Con-Dem job slashers?

The aim of this scape-goating is divide and rule. The last thing these politicians want is for the working class - in the public and private sectors, as well as the unemployed - to realise that they have the same interests and every reason to join forces in a counter-offensive to stop these attacks.

Reading the riot act to them

The madness of it all, is that under the pretext of making up the deficit due to the capitalists' greed, the only source of society's wealth, that is, human labour, "has to" be cut!

Because whatever the capitalists and the politicians may say, they have never created any wealth. All they have ever done is to live as parasites on the wealth created by our work.

Nevertheless, it is our jobs and therefore our labour which they cut. Ironically, by doing so, the capitalists are sawing off the branch on which they sit. Apart from the resulting hardship for the rest of us, more unemployment and a lower income for the working class means a lower tax income for the state and lower consumption for the economy - therefore, more job and expenditure cuts. When will this deadly spiral ever stop?

As worshippers of private profit, the capitalists and their trustees in government are true believers in the capacity of this "market" to "sort itself out". They tell us that bleeding public expenditure dry will buy them enough time for the "market" to find a new lease of life.

But their own experts at the Bank of England are of a different opinion. Their latest report shows that the banking system's alleged return to profit is only due to the state's largesse. And that its level of toxic indebtedness remains at a record high - meaning that any new "market" hiccup could precipitate another crisis.

Can the working class afford to allow such a crazy, irrational system to go on threatening its lifeblood for the sake of preserving the comfortable luxury of a tiny minority? The answer must be a resounding NO!

If cuts need to be made in this society, they should be cuts in the state's welfare for the rich. The entire banking system should be nationalised, so there is just one single bank under the control of the population. And this needs to be done before it blows up in our faces, once again.