The New Worker
The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 8th April 2016
SAJID Javid, the Business Secretary, has been running round like mad going to India to plead with the giant company Tata to go slowly with its process of selling off the last remaining working steel plants in Britain. He has been talking about a “responsible sales process”.
And the big steel unions have also been pleading to Tata not to go for a fire sale to asset strippers, who will cherry pick the lucrative bits and ditch the rest, leading quickly to the complete demise of the whole industry.
Javid has also been considering “nationalising” the company’s pension debt to make the sale of the rest of the enterprise more desirable to the profiteers.
This is a scenario that has happened so many times, including during privatisations of various industries and utilities. Taxpayers have had to subsidise the profiteers by promising to pay the pensions of the workforce whilst the new owner can skip away with the lucrative assets — which include the wealth that the workforce has paid into its collective pension fund.
The one thing Javid — and his master Cameron — will not contemplate is the one thing that needs to happen: the full renationalisation of British Steel. This would save the jobs and the industry, and the taxpayers would get the assets as well as the pension liabilities.
The Government claims it cannot do this because it is against European Union (EU) regulations — and it points to the problems that Belgium has had for trying to bail out its steel industry.
But of course that is the whole point of the EU. It is an undemocratic club of super rich capitalists and their puppet politicians to draw up a set of regulations that will give them an alibi for never doing anything that will benefit the working class.
Thus the regulations stipulate that anything that can be privatised must be privatised and nothing ever, ever, ever must be nationalised unless it is a black hole of toxic debt left behind by company that has screwed up.
This is the regulation that means that banks can be nationalised after collapsing and with mountains of toxic debt and at a phenomenal cost to taxpayers but must be sold off again at a knock-down price the minute they begin to recover.
Then the taxpayers must be castigated as irresponsible squander-bugs and scroungers, and hit with levels of austerity that shorten their lives. Meanwhile the now government-owned toxic debt develops a life of its own and multiplies.
The EU is used as the alibi for the steady privatisation of our NHS and our education systems. Profits can be made out of them; therefore profits must be made out of them.
And when the general public complain, the government of whatever colour can say: “It’s not our fault; it’s an EU regulation.” And then it goes ahead and does what it wanted to do anyway for the benefit of its capitalist bosses.
Governments throughout the EU are doing this — and are about to expand the thieving brigands’ club by signing the TTIP trade and investment partnership with the United States.
This will allow big businesses on both sides of the Atlantic to put a wrecking ball through all wage and labour agreements, planning regulations, health and safety laws, and so on.
The only law will be profit, profit and more profit.
There could hardly be a more compelling reason to vote in the 23rd June referendum for Britain to leave the EU — it will get our government out of that capitalist mutual benefit club and leave no excuse for failing to stop the privatisation of our NHS, state welfare and education. There will be no excuse for failing to renationalise British Steel.
And it will put a big hole in the EU. Other countries in the EU will also be under pressure from their workers to leave. And one of the big pillars of global imperialism will be gone — and the rest wobbling.