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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Enough is indeed Enough!

HUGE rallies. Halls packed with students and young workers. Platforms headed by Mick Lynch, the leader of the RMT transport union that is taking on the railway companies and the Tory government head-on over pay, and over 450,000 people signing up to a campaign to fight the cost-of-living crisis.

Under the slogan “It’s time to turn anger into action”, speakers are calling on the labour movement to close ranks and lead the fight-back against the austerity regime.

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has shown his support for the campaign and his followers are already comparing the launch of the ‘Enough is Enough’ campaign to those heady days when hundreds of thousands of people rallied to the Labour banner when Corbyn was at the helm.

Whether this new campaign takes off in the same way remains to be seen.

The RMT has thrown its weight behind the campaign. So has the Communication Workers Union (CWU), whose own battle with Royal Mail, BT and the Post Office began this month. Zara Sultana, the Corbynista Coventry MP, and a number of other prominent Corbyn supporters have also signed up. But no other Labour MP has yet come forward to join her; and Unite and Unison, the giant unions that dominate the TUC, have still to show their hand.

No-one on the left would disagree with Enough’s programme. A rise in the national minimum wage, substantial pay rises for all, increases in pensions and benefits, a return to the pre-April energy price cap, the nationalisation of the energy companies and a massive council house building programme. These are all modest demands we can all agree on – the sort of thing even Gordon Brown could endorse on a rainy day at the Stock Exchange. But we want much more than that.

Past efforts such as the People’s Assembly have petered out because their demands were far too modest to maintain the enthusiasm and commitment needed to sustain a serious campaign to end austerity.

The restoration of the NHS and a standard of living for working people worthy of a country whose economy is still the sixth largest in the world – all these things are possible.

The railways along with the energy and water industries are clearly public services that should naturally be kept in public hands. But we have to campaign for the renationali­sation of the entire public sector that existed in this country until 1979, to use their profits to restore the NHS and the welfare state that we once enjoyed.

Although public ownership can fund much-needed public services it cannot, in itself, lead to socialist advance. Fascist Italy’s public sector was, for instance, second only to that of the Soviet Union before the Second World War. But Mussolini’s “Third Way” couldn’t solve Italy’s unemployment problems. It was only a prop to maintain the power of the land-owners and industrialists who propelled him to power in the first place.

In the imperialist heartlands workers face mass unemployment and economic stagnation. But ending sanctions on Russia, cutting military expenditure and closing all foreign bases would go a long way to reversing decline.

Stop the War and CND do next to nothing these days. So as the guns blaze in Ukraine, we have to build the resistance to the Labour leaders who crawl to the Americans and we must lead the fight-back against the union bureaucrats who defend the Ukrainian fascist regime.

Public ownership is meaningless without a socialist agenda to empower working people and pave the way to revolutionary change. And fighting for peace goes hand-in-hand with that struggle.