by Daphne Liddle

WE HAVE just seen the greatest annual TUC conference in decades, full of fighting talk and growing anger at the cruel and unnecessary programme of cuts that the n is trying to inflict on us all, but most harshly on those who are already suffering hardship and misery.

The leadership of our organised working class is awake, is standing up to the challenge. But it must follow through and deliver the campaign of action — including strikes, marches, lobbies, petitions and solidarity.

There are still one or two ageing union leaders who are talking about moderation and trying to be placatory to the ruling class that is being blatantly vicious and vindictive. They must either wake up or be swept aside.

Governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King’s speech to the TUC, in which he acknowledged that the current financial crisis was caused by the banks and that the workers have good cause to be angry, was a symptom of a frightened and appeasing ruling class. Good; let them be afraid!

He claimed, “We [the banking sector — not the workers] let things slip”, as though they had accidentally broken a vase and were saying, “Oops, sorry, we won’t let it happen again”.

won’t do

That won’t do. The banking crash was not an accident; it is the way capitalism works. All the practices of gambling on futures, playing with hedge funds and speculation deliberately pushing up prices for food, housing and oil that brought the crisis about are still going on as if nothing bad had ever happened — because for them, nothing bad did happen. They continue to pile up the prof its wrought from the rest of the world’s misery like malfunctioning robots that cannot stop themselves.

It is up to our class to pull the plug on them. We must never fall for the line that King is spinning that they’re nice people really and they didn’t mean it.

Right now Oona King, who wants to be the Labour candidate for London Mayor, has said she will help poor Londoners to get mortgages. She had totally forgotten the disaster caused by sub-prime lending in the United States.

She is not promising decent council housing with secure tenancies but a lifetime of debt misery at a time when unemployment is set to soar. The ruling class never learn.

The Con-Dem government knows it is not strong. This is why it is rushing through these horrendous cuts as fast as it can. Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy is already voicing Lib Dem doubts about the cuts; the coalition is shaky.

The ruling class hopes that this government can destroy the unions, wages, pensions and state welfare before it falls and then be succeeded by a right-wing New Labour government that will not reverse these measures. They want to reverse everything the organised working class has ever won.

But they know they are taking a risk. They are hoping that the working class in Britain is too demoralised, too fragmented, too ill-informed and too apathetic to stand up and fight.

But the anger and growing class unity demonstrated at the TUC this year has shaken them. This is why the TUC and all the union leaderships must follow through and deliver the big campaign of action they have promised.

And it is why the next Labour Party leader must not be a New Labour pawn of the ruling class. Diane Abbot is the only candidate not tainted with New Labourism.


When workers see their union leaders taking a strong stand, they will gain confidence — it is a two-way process. The numbers standing up to join the fight will build, especially as the cuts hit their jobs, their pay-packets, their health and their children’s education.

The ruling class will become more vicious in trying to suppress the unions and the workers will become more angry. Bourgeois delusions about “all in this together” will fall away.

We must remember the slogan of George Jacques Danton: “Audacity, more audacity and always audacity!” It was a slogan that Lenin liked a lot.