Britain's “double-dip recession” has extended into the third quarter of 2012, with economic output falling by 0.7 per cent in the second quarter. (In the two preceding quarters it fell by 0.4 and 0.3 per cent.)
In the first half of 2012, service sector output dropped by 0.1 per cent, industrial production by 1.3 per cent and construction output by 5.2 per cent.
Whatever the spin about the negative impact of the Royal Jubilee, the reality is a capitalist crisis made worse by economic policies supposed to solve it.
Are the Tories incompetent? Do we care?
What is certain is that they are more bothered about beating down workers’ living standards and services than about generating economic growth, so that when growth does revive more of it will go to the bosses and the rich.
The lesson for workers should be an even stronger rejection of arguments about cuts being “necessary” for “the economy”.
The facts should embolden labour movement activists to push our unions towards a much stronger anti-cuts fightback, and bring pressure to bear on and in the Labour Party for a shift from its current pro-cuts position.
In place of platitudes like “A future that works” (the slogan of the TUC’s demonstration on 20 October), the labour movement needs a clear and distinctive plan to counterpose to the mess the ruling class is making.
A programme like Syriza’s, with demands like reversing cuts, taxing the rich and taking over the banks, would be a start. And we need to aim for a government that would serve the interests of our class by implementing such a programme.