For a Socialist and Workers International Alternative
In Europe, one of the epicentres of the world financial and economic crisis, workers and oppressed face a deepening social war that aims to destroy all the historical conquests of the working class.
The UK is heading in the same direction. The government is on course to destroy public services, benefits and jobs, increasing the burden on and poverty of the poorest and vulnerable.
Their policies include cutting disability benefits to the bone by 2015; privatizing the Post Office and NHS something even Thatcher dared not attempt and putting £40 million of student loans into private hands.
What is planned is a future under the direct control of big business. The world-wide demonstrations that were held on May Day provide an inspiring alternative vision of coordinated international actions against attacks by world capitalism on the working class.
An advance in one part of the world will become an advance for all our struggles but we must add our support and join them.
The fight for justice for workers killed in Bangladesh, support for the international union network in Paris, support for the workers and people’s revolution in Syria is part of our international fight.
We cannot ignore these struggles or we will fail ourselves.
The resistance is growing in Greece with general strikes, in Spain resistance to evictions increases along with the occupation of banks, there are huge demonstrations in Portugal and growing struggles in Italy.
Here the government’s spending review for the next five years shows that more brutal cuts are planned, despite four years of immiserating cuts targeting the working class. Their policy has led to the vicious scapegoating of immigrants, the unemployed, and young people in order to divide the working class and win support for their disgusting policies.
How does the Labour leadership respond? Do they pledge to remove these horrors of a system that is true to Thatcher’s legacy?
Not a bit, they do not make any pledges to reverse the cuts. For them socialism and working class struggle is frightening and has to be stopped.
Since Thatcher’s death many commentaries have been written about her but it was a labour government in 1969 (In Place of Strife) that first attacked trade union rights, however their plans were defeated by the rank and file who were determined to end it.
That movement shook the Labour and the trade union leadership.
It must be shaken again, but to do that we have to rebuild that type of struggle.
The union rank and file and social movement must unify their struggles and put the present union leaders under pressure to lead the struggle and develop a new leadership that wants to fight because the majority of present leaderships do not.
A movement is deepening in the unions. Jerry Hicks stood in the Unite elections for General Secretary against the Len McCluskey.
He received nearly 80,000 votes, nearly 40 per cent of the vote, standing on a platform that would put a leader on an average worker’s wage; opposing the donation of nearly £10 million to the Labour Party whose councils are sacking Unite workers and imposing cuts; and election not appointment of full time officials.
As Labour continues to impose cuts, continue to attack the working class, they should not get support from the unions.
The trade unions must break with this class collaboration. We say fight all cuts, mobilise the unions and social movements and build new leaderships from the rank and file.
Every opportunity to build the confidence and strength of the class has to be taken.
Women and youth
Women are actively participating in the struggles in Europe and North Africa and the Middle East. Their participation and positions of leadership are not accidental. Working women represent half of working class and they suffer dual exploitation and oppression.
Bedroom tax campaigns and some unions are seeing many women come into the fight.
Young people across the world are facing some of the harshest austerity measures and highest levels of unemployment.
Youth who are in employment experience terrible conditions low wages and high levels of precariousness. Capitalism has expropriated the future from young people which is pushing them forward to the forefront of the struggles and the revolutions taking place across the world.
In North Africa and the Middle East there has been an historic wave of revolutions. Currently in Syria an armed people are heroically resisting a genocide that is being perpetrated by president al-Assad.
The Syrian revolution urgently needs the solidarity and support of the world’s working class. Unfortunately, one of the main obstacles to building material and political solidarity for the Syrian revolution is the shameful support of Castro-Chavez and most of the world’s left for the bloody dictator al-Assad.
Urgent need for revolutionary leadership
The global crisis of capitalism means that there is no national solution to the revolution in Syria or the problems we face in the UK. We need to a socialist strategy, an international strategy. Such a strategy has to be fought for and linked to the construction of an international revolutionary leadership. This is the main objective of the ISL and IWL-FI and the reason for its existence.