With the new government, the bosses’ offensive against our class is accelerating. Unemployment will be 2.7 million by the end of 2011, as 120,000 public and 80,000 private sector jobs are scrapped.
Billions are being cut from public services. VAT is up. Wages will rise, well below every measure of inflation, slashing thousands of most workers’ incomes. University applications are up 20 percent, as young people scramble to avoid higher fees and the dole queue, but one in three — a quarter of a million — will get no place.
All this unless we do something to stop it! With the student protests and talk of massive strikes at Easter, our fightback is beginning. This is what the workers’ and student movements should fight for:
*No cuts to jobs and services! The student revolt shows the way. We need a massive campaign of industrial and political action against the cuts, starting now. The unions should fight to win, not just to protest. Build rank-and-file movements across the unions to hold the leaders — including the “left” ones — to their rhetoric and organise the fight when they won’t.
*Tax the rich! Last year the thousand richest people in Britain increased their wealth by £77 billion. Bank profits were £28 billion. These resources could pay for the jobs and services we need. Start by fighting to seize the huge wealth of the banks!
*Wages that match the cost of living! The unions should calculate their own, realistic inflation figure and demand that wages, pensions and benefits are inflation-proofed. Demand benefits you can live on.
*Jobs for all! Share out the work by reducing the working week to 35 hours — cut profits, not pay. Nationalise firms declaring mass lay offs.
*Free education for all! Fight the fee increase, scrap fees, no graduate tax — a living grant for every student. For student-work unity in action. Fight the NUS leaders, build the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.
*Decent homes for all! Fight the attacks on council housing and Housing Benefit. Demand a mass council house building program.
*Free the unions! Campaign to abolish the anti-union laws, so we can fight with both hands.
*Open the books! Workers need to know what the banks and corporations are up to and where their money is.
*Fight racism and the causes of racism! Unless we fight, it will be the far right that reaps the benefit from the Tories’ attacks. Stop the anti-migrant drive — no one is illegal! Drive the BNP and EDL off the streets! Black and white, British-born and migrant, all religions and none — unite and fight for jobs, homes and services for all.
*Make Labour fight! The unions must demand that Labour promises to reverse the cuts and scrap the anti-union laws, and support workers’ and students’ fightback. Fight for democracy in the Labour Party.
To fight effectively we need to make our guiding aim a struggle to bring down the Coalition and win a workers’ government — a government won and sustained through mass working-class struggle and accountable to workers’ organisations, serving the working class as the Tories and Lib Dems, and New Labour before them, served the bosses.