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Editorial: All together now

25 March 2011

Over the next four years the Tories and the Liberal Democrats want to destroy the welfare state as we know it, writes editor Simon HardyOVER the next four years the Tories and the Liberal Democrats want to destroy the welfare state as we know it. They can’t be allowed to get away with it.
This isn’t just about ideology. These cuts and privatisations are being demanded by the entire capitalist class. The bankers, who got £1.5 trillion in the bailout, want the deficit they made to be filled by the working class through huge cuts.

This view is accepted by all the main parties. Before the election, Brown’s chancellor Alastair Darling said Labour’s cuts would be “deeper and tougher” than Margaret Thatcher’s.
Ed Miliband – though he is speaking on the platform at the TUC’s great 26 March demonstration – has refused to take part in the march. He condemned those like the RMT’s Bob Crow who call for “coordinated strike action and civil disobedience.”
Instead he denounced “irresponsible strikes” – whatever they are – and said strikes “are not the way you change governments. The way you change governments is through the ballot box.” Tell that to the Egyptians!
If we take Miliband’s advice it will condemn us to four years of Tory demolition of the welfare state and the public sector.
We need to match the bosses blow for blow.
Their attack is a political one – it’s about what kind of society we want to live in and whether we allow them to throw our living standards back in to the Dark Ages. It’s legislated for by an illegitimate government that nobody voted for. It’s backed up on the streets and in the workplaces by the police and the courts.
If we play by their rules – of polite lobbying, of begging for concessions – and take the line of least resistance, then we will lose. However well you speak in parliament, however many Labour MPs vote against the government, it will not stop the cuts. Neither will the usual routine of one-day strikes and protests. We have to bring down the government which is implementing these cuts. Nothing less will do.
That is why Workers Power is calling for a general strike. Some people will say it is not possible. To those people we ask: how do you propose to stop the cuts?

The example of the students last year proved that a massive eruption of anger at cuts is possible if it is given leadership. And the revolutions that are sweeping the Middle East show there is a new mood of anger affecting young people all over the world.
We can and we must link all our struggles together and make the country ungovernable for the bosses and their parties. We can bring down the Tories, break their cuts and open a fight for working class power: socialism.
This article appeared as the editorial in Workers Power April 2011 under the title “All together now”
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