Last month a local newspaper in Rotherham published a rant from a
Tory councillor about the causes of the current crisis and Labour’s role
in all this. What he had to say doesn’t matter. What was interesting
was the flurry of letters which appeared a week later in reply. Nearly
all put the blame firmly on the backs of the Tories and their system. A
number also called for Labour to change course politically.
Last month a local newspaper in Rotherham published a rant from a Tory councillor about the causes of the current crisis and Labour’s role in all this. What he had to say doesn’t matter. What was interesting was the flurry of letters which appeared a week later in reply. Nearly all put the blame firmly on the backs of the Tories and their system. A number also called for Labour to change course politically.
One writer even told the readers to visit our website at socialist.net for an alternative agenda for Labour. One letter came in from local Socialist Appeal seller and trade unionist Dave Platt.
He sent it to us as well and we publish it below.
Sir, I read with great amusement Cllr J. Turner’s letter and felt that I must point our a few inaccuracies.
Firstly, when the Tories “left” office 13 years ago the debt on our monthly balance of payments was already running at a loss and in fact Thatcher and her cohorts incurred the first trade deficit this country had seen since the industrial revolution.
Thatcher, an ardent supporter of the economist Milton Friedman, thought that this country didn’t need a manufacturing and mining industry and we could rely on the city to earn our Gross Domestic Product.
She then waged a campaign on the working class – some describe as a civil war – to denude them of a way of life that up until then they had taken as a right.
Stripped of their livelihoods and the dignity that went with it, the estates where they live have turned into ghettos of despair and drugs.
The young, with the opportunity to follow their fathers down the pit or into the steelworks gone, and where once they could make an honest living, are left with nothing but the dole or slave labour on a meaningless job that offers no prospect of getting anywhere, unlike their forebears.
Hatred and envy have flourished on our estates. Is it any wonder that crime and vandalism are a way of life for many of our youth today?
On top of that, we have the tuition fees and loans for any of our youth who even dream of going to university.
The cost to them on completion of a degree would be in the region of £40,000 and the prospect of paying eight per cent interest on the loan. Their lives crippled by an unpayable debt burden is a nation’s shame.
The youth, the old, the sick and the working class in general are going to pay the price of the budget deficit. Many people who once saw themselves as middle class will be ground down into the abyss as the cuts get deeper.
A second point that our Tory makes is the amount we owe. The true figure is £4.8 trillion but he is right in saying we are losing around £120 billion per year.
But let us look at how we got into this position. Firstly the Tories and Blair and Brown embraced Thatcherism wholeheartedly and gave the banks carte blanche authority to do as they pleased.
They destroyed the real capacity to create wealth when they destroyed our manufacturing and mining industries. The bankers gambled, and they gambled with our savings and our pensions, money they didn’t even have and they lost. Now the country is bust.
The third thing of interest is his reference to Iceland. The Icelandic voters appear to be a bit brighter that we are.
They, in their wisdom, have refused their government any mandate to even think about paying off the bankers’ gambling debt and they have threatened to take over themselves if the politicians don’t obey. What a breath of fresh air!
Fourthly he alludes to the unions controlling the Labour Party. If only they did! The party has been hi-jacked and is no longer an alternative to the others. In fact, on some issues they can out–Tory the Tories.
If a socialist Labour Party had been in control during the banking crisis we would have nationalised all the banks and the business houses that run our society and feed off our hard labour. Brown and the Labour Party represent big business and not the people who created it.
We must take back control of the unions and Labour Party, reinstate clause four of its constitution and present a socialist plan of production to the electorate next election.
Lastly, he mentions using the power of your vote at the coming local elections. Try an alternative, he says. Unfortunately, for ordinary working people and youth, there is no alternative.
This country is going third world and in an attempt to protect the interest of the bankers and the upper echelons, we will be paying the price for as long as it takes to change the system.The world is in turmoil due to the inability of capitalism to any longer even provide the basics of life in most parts of the globe. The West is in the middle of a banking and pensions crisis that threatens instability where stability seemed permanent.
Copernicus unlocked the mysteries of the universe, Darwin unlocked the mysteries of evolution and Marx unlocked the mysteries of political economies and capitalism.
All economic system take society forward for so long, he taught, and then hold progress back as they destroy themselves. We are at this stage.
If he was wrong and the others right we have no worries, all will be fine.
My money is on Marx.