We will defeat austerity

by Daphne Liddle

THE CON-DEM Coalition is on ever more shaky ground as it goes forward, riven with internal divisions and heading for economic disaster.

The Tory party conference two weeks ago set a course for conflict with its Liberal Democrat collaborators with a new massive round of cuts in public sector spending, jobs, services, pensions and benefits.

The Lib-Dems have said enough is enough and they cannot support all the coming cuts. But it is doubtful whether Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg would use the party’s powers to bring the Government down, even though such a move is the only thing that could restore a little bit of respectability for the Lib- Dems.

Clegg will probably let his party be wiped out and seek a reward for it by joining the Tories. Meanwhile he is steadily losing the support of his rank-and-file.

And the Tory backbenchers are increasingly divided over proposals to quit the European Union altogether.

There are differences between those who want to leave it permanently and those who want to leave and immediately rejoin under what they see as better terms.

Certainly they all want to curtail workers’ rights even further and are outraged that the RMT union is using the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg to challenge Tory anti-union laws.

The utter incompetence of David Cameron and his Chancellor George Osborne is now shown up as Britain’s economy continues to slow as a result of the cuts that have already happened.

They insist they are focussed only in reducing Government debt — the result of bailing out the failing banks in 2008. But they have no idea how to reduce debt.

For hundreds of years the courts in this country have recognised that when a debtor fails to pay up the bailiffs are allowed to distrain most of that person’s goods — but they leave that person with the tools of their trade because otherwise there is no chance of them ever working off the debt.

When Cameron and Osborne slash away at jobs and services they destroy the country’s chance to work its way out of debt.

Cutting the public sector impacts on the private sector, and on manufacturing.

Those who are made unemployed cannot pay taxes but must instead draw benefits. They cannot go shopping, so shops go bankrupt and when the shops are gone the factories also start to close.

There are so many other ways they could reduce spending without making anyone unemployed or homeless or engaging in their shameful attacks on the disabled and long-term sick.

They could cut the Trident missile system; they could end the bloody war in Afghanistan that has brought nothing but death, destruction and misery to the people of Afghanistan.

If they really want to reduce the benefits bill they could remove billions from housing benefit costs by capping rents, not benefits.

Those benefits go to greedy parasitic private landlords, not the tenants.

They could reduce all rents by investing in the building of hundreds of thousands of desperately needed council homes.

And if they scrapped the “right-to-buy” that investment would give councils a massive permanent income from the rents ad infinitum.

And they could cooperate with other western capitalist governments to impose realistic taxes on the obscenely wealthy fat cats of the banking industry, instead of undermining other governments with competitive tax breaks for the filthy rich.

But of course they are those fat cats. They are the friends, family and school chums of big business fat cats and when they retire from political work they will reap millions from the tax policies they are laying down now.

That is, if we let them get away with it.

They think they have all the power: the anti-union laws; the police, the army, the courts — and some lazy and corrupt stooges in the labour and trade union movement who will undermine our fight. But their cuts are alienating the police, the army and the courts.

And however much they try, the stooges cannot keep holding back our anger because the cuts keep hurting us more and more. We can no longer go home from protest marches and forget about the issues involved because the cuts are hitting us all every day.

We will get organised and mobilised to get rid of this awful system — though it may take time — because we have no choice. And when we come finally together in unity we will be much, much stronger than them.