Saturday 18th October will see hundreds of thousands of trade unionists, students and youth, pensioners and unemployed, all marching through London and Glasgow as part of the TUC-called day of protest against austerity, cuts in services and for and end to the pushing back of workers pay. Join Socialist Appeal supporters and members of the Marxist Student Federation on the demo to argue that Britain needs a revolution!
Saturday 18th October will see hundreds of thousands of trade unionists, students and youth, pensioners and unemployed, all marching through London as part of the TUC-called day of protest against austerity, cuts in services and for and end to the pushing back of workers pay. A similar protest will take place on the same day in Scotland.
Join Socialist Appeal supporters and members of the Marxist Student Federation (MSF) on the demo to argue that Britain needs a revolution! Members of the Marxist socities from across the UK will be meeting to form an MSF bloc for the march:
Marxist Student Federation bloc on the TUC demo – meet 10.30am at Blackfriars Embankment
The mobilising slogan is ‘Britain needs a pay rise’. When it comes to the millions of workers who have seen their pay frozen or even cut then that is very true.
However, the reverse seems to be the case when it comes to top managers, directors and the rich in general. They have continued to enjoy sizeable pay and bonus rises – no austerity for them. We should not forget our MPs either who are set to get a pay rise of at least 9% because “they need it” we are told. As usual it is one rule for them, another for us.
Of course, “Red” October will not just be about marching on the 18th. Various public sector unions have also taken action this week over the question of pay. With inflation hitting the poorest workers the most, this offer is in reality a pay cut.
Pay has become a critical issue since the onset of the crisis. According to the OECD, real wages have been flat since 2010 across the West. As the Economist of September 6th grimly explains: “Real wages have barely grown at all in America… and have fallen in the euro area. Declines have been particularly sharp in the troubled peripheral economies of the euro zone, such as Portugal and Spain, but real wages have also tumbled in Britain.” The situation is so bad in the UK that one economist in August talked of workers now facing “paymageddon.”
Recovery – what recovery?
Meanwhile the Tory-led Coalition trundles on pretending to us that all is now well. At the same time they are also pushing on with yet more cuts and pay freezes for the workers, meanwhile also promising more tax cuts and payouts for the rich. The so-called economic recovery of Cameron and Osborne is just a sick joke.
Across the capitalist world, economic growth remains pathetic at best – this is called “the new norm” we are now told. In Western Europe, the trend rate of growth is mired at 1% or less. “Albert Edwards, a strategist at Societie Generale, has dubbed these conditions an “ice age” which he predicts will extend across the rich world.” (Economist, 6 September, page 70) Hardly a mood of optimism on the part of the serious economic voices of Capital. Faced with this, what should we do?
Those striking and protesting are angry and want their voices to be heard. However, even with a general election looming next spring, the Tories are not interested in listening, not to all of us anyway. They only listen to the voices of the Stock Exchange and the City of London – they prefer the millionaires to the millions. So the key question that will also be asked this October is: what next?
For a one-day general strike!
What next should be that the TUC takes the struggle to the next level and mobilises for a one-day general strike of all workers. This would send a clear message that the government would find far more difficult to ignore. It would represent a much needed demonstration of the real power of organised labour, of the working class itself. Just calling one march after another is simply not enough.
Action on the political front is also needed. Workers will be looking towards 2015 and the election of a Labour government. Already many in the trade union leadership are, once again, saying, “wait for May 2015, wait for a Labour government.” The question is: what will that Labour government do if elected? Sadly it seems not much.
In truth, the Labour leadership seems set on fighting the general election on a programme of austerity with a smile. This is not the way forward. This is not what people want.
Fight for socialist policies!
The next few years will offer nothing to the mass of ordinary people under this rotten system of capitalism. Far from seeing some sort of recovery we could well face a second recession or worse. Either way the prospect is for an ongoing “ice age” of cuts and pay freezes.
In that sense the issue of the day is not that Britain needs a pay rise but that Britain needs a revolution.
Only the implementation of clear socialist policies can remove the dead weight of big business from our backs. That is the real message to come out of this month of strikes and protests. We call on all those taking action to join us in the fight for socialism.