Britain is struggling under capitalism. Recent reports indicate that the Tory party does not even comprehend the struggles of its core voters. The health service is falling apart. The Tory strategy of living with covid has seen many deaths. Even now, the hospitalisation rate is over two times higher than other European countries, with the inevitable increase in fatalities.
Peter Windeler – ISL/Britain
The crisis over petrol supplies and the collapse of energy companies reflects an inability to think problems out in advance. The right-wing Tory agenda supports crony capitalism, irrespective of the lives that may be lost or the stress of heating bills increasing to unaffordable levels.
In the meantime, the Labour Party seems hopeless and ineffectual. Its weak leader, Kier Starmer, has failed to distance the party from its members by allowing MPs and the big unions to control important policy and leadership issues. At the same time, Starmer wished to hamstring local parties and ensure that MPs were non-accountable to local control.
The signs that all is not right in Britain are there for all to see. The birth rate is declining, British children are the unhappiest in Europe. Poverty is endemic, with over a third of all children living in poverty.
Deep in the hearts of all capitalists is the desire to extract profits from the working class. Capitalism can only survive by extracting surplus value and withholding the full value that a worker creates. In the past, Britain has been able to cosset layers of the working class by exploiting workers abroad, in its colonies and ex-colonies.
Now it is less able to do this so has to start at home. Wages and conditions of life must be constantly lowered. State education is in crisis. The attempt to academise schools (remove them local authority control) has resulted in more working-class pupils being expelled alongside the creation of academy chief executives receiving huge salaries.
The drive to change all schools to academies, disingenuously started by Labour, was a blatant attempt to destroy local education departments and allow big business to profit from schools. The blinkered attitude of the Tory party to destroy state education can be understood if you take into account 65% of the Tory cabinet were privately educated.
The attacks on the working class can be seen in the fact that even before cutting the £20 Universal Credit covid supplement, the same families were £750 worse off over the last 10 years due to social security changes.
In addition, local services are at a breaking point. Total local council spending has shrunk by 20% over the last ten years. A cut of 40% has hit spending on cultural and leisure facilities. Now many local swimming pools and libraries are under imminent threat of closure. As reported in the media, the loss of these places removes a core part of the economic and social fabric of the country.
Things are coming to a head in Britain. With covid cases still high and an increase of school children with the virus increasing by 80% in one week and then passing it on to their parents, the country is sliding into a crisis. As John Edmunds, a member of SAGE (government scientific advisory committee), said, “We’re in trouble…”
It cannot be denied that the country is drifting from one calamity to another. The health service is overwhelmed. Strategic gases such as CO2 are not readily available. But the irony is that the ruling class are comfortable with their state. Their share dividends and property rentals afford them a private education and private hospitals. They do not need public schools, libraries, swimming pools and the NHS. They have their private health, sports clubs and grouse moors. Their children enjoy sports facilities working-class kids can only dream about.
Capitalism can no longer live without a constant social war against all workers. Capitalism is aided and abetted in this war by the cowardly Labour politicians and trade union leaders who peddle the lie that capitalism can be reformed. Capitalism cannot be reformed.
So, in capitalist countries such as Britain, the ruling class must now attack their workers, Brexit or no Brexit. Every day we see the return to the unbridled capitalism of the 19th century. While even recently male life expectancy has declined, the capitalist class will not be satisfied until workers die at 40, just like in Dicken’s time.