New Worker Banner

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

In the bleak mid-winter…

AND IT CERTAINLY will be for the millions struggling to cope in freezing temperatures with astronomical heating bills grossly inflated by the imperialist sanctions on the Russians, who were one of the main suppliers of liquified natural gas to Europe before the war in Ukraine erupted this year. It won’t, however, be so bad for the rich, who’ll still be rocking around the Christmas tree snorting coke and drinking themselves silly over the festive season whilst the rest of us are told to make the best of it, accept “the price of liberty” and blame it all on the unions, and of course, Vladimir Putin.

Celebrating the winter solstice is a tradition that goes back thousands of years – from the Stone Age hunter-gatherers whose lives revolved around the seasons and the Roman Saturnalia when masters served their slaves in orgies of feasting and drinking in a festival in which all the rules of society could temporarily be broken.

Although some of these traditions linger on in today’s orgy of consumer delight we are still supposedly celebrating the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the man who told his followers that it was “easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. But do any of the rich believe it?

The great and the good will make their annual obeisance to the Prince of Peace, whom they claim to worship, on his supposed birthday whilst ignoring His teachings for the rest of the year. The Pharisees in the Established Church will churn out the usual platitudes about the “poor and needy” whilst ignoring the words of their Master who drove the money-changers out of the Temple and told his followers to “go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven”. And hundreds of thousands of people across England, Scotland and Wales will remain homeless – stuck in B&Bs, sleeping in cars and sheds or tents in the street. The festive clichés of the politicians and the princes of the church are meaningless to them.

These people tell us this is the “season of goodwill”, but little of it will be shown to the poor and down-trodden – let alone the unions locked in bitter pay struggles over the Christmas period. A wave of strikes is sweeping the country. That’s why the Tories are squealing and bleating on about new laws to ban strikes to force people to accept pittance pay.

The miserable efforts of the bourgeois media to demonise union leaders as “wreckers” who are “holding the nation to ransom” and “trying to destroy Christmas” have not worked this time round. Public support for the nurses, posties, teachers and railway workers is growing. On the street the craven Starmer leadership faces renewed demands to stand with the striking workers whilst some media gurus have broken ranks to argue for a realistic response to the unions’ demands to end this new winter of discontent and give the Tories a fighting chance at the next general election.

Communists must naturally support all efforts to strengthen working-class organisations and bring them together and build support for all the strikes over the festive season. Now the workers are talking in the only language the employers understand. We must do all that we can to speed the day to victory.