Interesting times

A HAPPY New Year to all our readers in a year that is set to provide some big battles as the class struggle deepens in Britain and throughout the world on all fronts.

We ended last year with a magnificent strike by public sector workers in defence of their pensions supported by two million workers. This seriously scared the ruling class and they are fighting back in all their usual dirty ways.

They are using divide and rule tactics to break up the alliance of unions that challenged them with divisive offers and negotiations. And some union leaders seem only too willing to make concessions and compromise with their members’ futures.

The only solution is serious rank and file pressure from beneath. With working class living standards under attack from all directions and millions facing losing pensions, jobs, homes, healthcare and their children’s future, apathy is no longer an option.

Anger is growing but if the unions do not step up and give it direction and structure it will take the form of more rioting, leaving the class weakened by division and having to learn the hard lessons of the need for unity and solidarity all over again. But one way or another that anger will rise.

Labour leader Ed Miliband is under renewed pressure — including from Tony Blair — to break the Labour Party’s links with the unions. The ruling class attacks that link over and over again because they know how crucial it could be in the coming struggle. It is a class strongpoint we must not surrender.

And now we have all the main parties calling for a complete rethink on how welfare is delivered in this country — and blaming the need on an ageing population.

State welfare has worked pretty well up to 2010 and the main cause of the sudden drop is the public spending cuts made by the Con-Dem Coalition. The amount of money needed to restore those services is small compared to the billions of pounds in unpaid taxes that the giant multinational companies have wormed their way out of paying — while pocketing huge personal profits for the one per cent at the top of the system.

Modern production techniques produce vast wealth from moderate amounts of labour. In a sane, socialist world that wealth would be evenly distributed meaning that everyone could enjoy a comfortable living standard without having to work so much — either hours in the week or years in the lifetime. We should all be able to enjoy much more leisure and a long and pleasant retirement.

But the ruling class want all the wealth, leisure and comfort for themselves. On us they inflict long working hours in poor conditions and wonder why we are so often ill. But they don’t want to pay the bill for our healthcare; they just want to abandon us when we are not fit to work.

They want to chain us to an endless night of debt, insecurity and anxiety and wonder why we get mad, in every sense of the word.

They are also preparing to throw us out of our homes on the grounds that the housing benefit bill is too high for taxpayers and they are trying to set one worker against another on this by spreading lies that housing benefit claimants are parasites.

But housing benefit does not end up in tenants’ pockets; it goes to the landlords who are the real parasites. Landlords get that taxpayers’ money every week by doing nothing except being rich enough to own property they do not need to live in. We need to cut rents, not housing benefits.

In the same way workers getting tax credits are not parasites. The parasites are the bosses who do not pay them the value of their work.

As ever, the fight for better wages is at the centre of the class struggle. That money was created by the hard work of our class and it belongs to us by right. It is the bosses who are the parasites and they can go to hell.