The big picture

WE WILL be marching this Saturday against the austerity measures that are being forced on the working class in Britain by an unrepentant and brutal ruling class that is happy to see living standards for the vast majority of people seriously reduced yet again. Meanwhile for many it is an absolute disaster; they face the loss of jobs, homes and benefits that will plunge them into absolute destitution as the last remains of our precious welfare safety net are destroyed.

This is all so the greedy one per cent can have yet more tax breaks and get even richer.

Along with our living standards our human rights and civil liberties are also being swept away. Poverty takes away our time and energy as we work ever harder for lower wages and pensions and fall deeper into debt as prices rise. It is harder to fight back if you are always tired, if you are sometimes hungry and if you can’t afford fares to go anywhere much.

All the old civilised ways of fighting back — Citizens’ Advice Bureaux, law centres, resource centres and so on are being cut back.

We are left with only one resource — each other.

This is the principle power of socialism — workers’ solidarity. We must come together and support each other as never before. We must support and transform the trade unions into stronger fighting engines to defend our wages, jobs, conditions, pensions.

Sometimes in Britain, a fast fading former imperialist power torn between the coat tails of European and American imperialism, where deep corruption in high places is blatant and unashamed, it seems an impossible struggle. The ruling class media bombard us with mindless soul-rotting trivia and irrelevance and mock traditional working class values.

But if we lift our sights to look at the global picture there is much to restore our morale. The working class of the “developing” world is fighting a titanic struggle for better wages and conditions — and it is winning! In South Africa the successful struggle of the mining workers to raise wages has inspired thousands of other workers there to defy the bosses and demand a decent wage.

In Pakistan railway workers have recently won a significant victory for better wages and conditions and against privatisation after a “Struggle Action Week” of strikes, including hunger strikes. Those railways cross the border with India and so does the struggle.

Indian railways workers are also engaged in a fierce fight for better wages and conditions.

A worldwide Walmart union has arisen, uniting shop workers and transport workers employed by the multinational giant, to challenge its repressive policies everywhere.

International unions across the world are conducting a massive drive for health and safety at work after a terrible fire in a denim jeans factory in Pakistan killed over 300 workers, mainly women.

The struggle is hard and brutal but courage to fight on and fight harder comes from success. And success comes from the unity of hundreds and thousands of people taking action together.

Since our media tell us nothing of any of these struggles it is up to the unions and papers like this one to spread the word and to make workers in Britain aware that they are part of a huge worldwide movement that is fighting hard and winning.

There are struggles going on in all parts of the capitalist world and these are likely to intensify as food prices are set for a sharp rise in coming weeks due to the activities of stock market speculators.

Workers around the world are not going to just accept this. It was rises in food prices that sparked the Arab Spring in Egypt that was led at first by trade unionists.

Since then it has been pushed this way and that by the forces of imperialism desperate to deflect it from its original purpose — to raise the rights and living standards of workers.

But truth keeps breaking through the lies and mystifications of the imperialists — in the form of economic forces, food shortages and the hardships of day-to-day life that are the motive force of our struggle.

The imperialist lies and machinations have nothing to prevail against our united anger and solidarity. They cannot win. And, in time, we cannot lose the fight for world peace and socialism.