Workers' Fight workplace bulletin editorials - 19 July 2017

19 July 2017

The Brexit saga is turning into a total farce.  The buffoons on the stage just carry on producing huge volumes of hot air, without any thought as to the impact of their absurd posturing on the real economy or on the conditions of the majority of workers.
    The same Tory politicians whose infighting caused the Brexit shenanigans in the first place, are at it again - but with renewed frenzy.  May’s attempt to put a lid on their rivalries with her snap election was a failure.  So now, she’s the target of their plots.  Her cabinet is split on every issue.  And all she seems able to do, is to admonish her ministers to behave themselves, as if they were 5-year olds.  But to no avail, because she’s just like them.
    And these are the people who dare to tell us that our future should depend on their horse-trading in Brussels?  That their aim is to get the "best deal" for "us"?  Which "us" are they talking about?  Certainly not working class people!
    Ask the Grenfell Tower survivors how they feel about all this politicking, when they’re still waiting for rehousing, over a month after the fire, despite living in a borough which is London’s richest and is full of empty homes!

Beware of the racketeers

The truth is, however, that beyond their rivalries, the Tory "soft" and "hard" Brexiteer factions are really twins, sharing the same fundamental objective - to get us workers to pay for their irresponsible mess.
    May’s promise to regulate "new forms of employment practices" has finally resulted in the publication of yet another report.  But rather than curbing casual employment in all its different varieties, this "Taylor Review" recommends a way to entrench them in law - for instance, renaming some of these workers "dependent contractors".
    A fat lot of good that will do!  While listing the long series of abuses of casual employment by the bosses, this review recommends merely that such workers should have a right to request more stable conditions!  But the bosses are put under no obligation to agree.  It says the government should "do more" to enforce already-existing legislation!
    As if a government which, for years, has been impairing law enforcement by cutting jobs and making it unaffordable for workers to seek redress through employment tribunals, is likely to change its spots and do something for the working class!  It would never risk undermining the bosses’ fat profits!
    Of course, this was all predictable.  Wasn’t Matthew Taylor, the author of this report, an employment adviser to Tony Blair?  As such, he was behind the huge explosion of non-jobs under Blair’s notorious "flexible labour market".  No wonder Taylor fits in so well with the Brexiteers’ plans!  Their real agenda is to boost "competitiveness" so as to make up for British companies losing their free access to the EU market.  And how is that to happen, if not by squeezing even more value out of our labour?
    It’s just the same for the "soft" Brexiteers, like Hammond, who claims that public sector workers are "overpaid"!  But not MPs or ministers, of course!  It’s just another "divide to rule" game - an attempt to drive a wedge between two sections of the working class, the better to turn the screw on both of them!

We can and should have our own say

Whatever happens with Brexit, it will involve a deal between big business and politicians.  It may even involve both Tory and Labour, because that would be the safest way for May (or whoever else, if she gets kicked out) to overcome the chaos caused by Tory factions.  And this is why we cannot and should not expect anything from Corbyn, who has chosen to bend over backwards in order for Labour to be allowed back into office.
    One thing is certain:  the working class won’t be given the right to have a say, unless we take this right for ourselves, through using our collective strength.
    This is why we can’t afford to let the politicians’ divisive policies weaken our ranks.  Whether it is Hammond’s cynical lies about public sector workers’ pay, or the "hard"-Brexiteers’ demagogy against EU workers, we cannot allow any of our sections to be scape-goated and isolated.
    The old motto of the working class movement - "an injury to one is an injury to all" - has never been more relevant.  Whether casual or permanent, public or private, British or foreign, we all form one single class - because, collectively, we produce all the wealth in this society and we’re all exploited by the same profit-greedy bosses.  In the months to come, we will be able to make our voices heard and prevent the capitalists and their politicians from creating further havoc for us - but only if we unite our ranks and use our collective strength, as a class.