Written by Ian Leech and posted 19th October 2010
The so-called phoney war is over. The Demolition Coalition, stuffed full of Tory and Liberal millionaires, have launched an all-out attack on working class people. The spending review, as expected, is going to be an act of utter savagery.
Billions upon billion are to be cut from our public services, jobs, welfare and pensions. In the biggest cut in public spending since the 1920’s any pretence that “we are all in this together” has been blown out of the water.
It’s the poor, the low paid, the working class who are being expected to bear the burden.
The millionaires and billionaires, including the bankers who precipitated the economic crisis, are to be allowed to walk away with barely a scratch.
We’re facing the fight of our lives. Urgent action is needed and it is vital that the trade union movement responds and responds quickly.
Within weeks the Scottish government and councils across Scotland will be preparing cuts budgets that will decimate jobs and services. The attacks on public sector pensions cannot go unanswered either.
The first step is to build a mass demonstration on Saturday in Edinburgh which has been organised by the STUC. All the indications are that this is going to be a huge demonstration.
However following this demo the public sector unions must name the day for a one day general strike across the public sector in Scotland for as early as practicable in 2011. The strikes against the attacks on pensions, jobs and services should also be coordinated across the UK.
There should also be a mass Scotland wide demonstration on that day that would bring tens of thousands onto the streets for a mass protest.
Without a doubt such a move would capture the imagination of millions. It would also give confidence to local communities as well as workers in the private and public sector to organise mass struggle actions the cuts.
The trade unions should demand that the Scottish parliament and local councils set no-cuts needs budgets that protect jobs and services. We demand a return of the money stolen by the ConDem government to bail out the bosses system.
A one day public sector general strike would be the first step and would need to be backed up a coordinated programme of strike action and mass demonstrations.
This could lead to a 24 hour general strike of all workers across Britain that would shake the government to its core.
The most important thing now is to act. If the STUC fails to respond the left unions should organise a council of war to begin the process of preparing strike ballots and organising for coordinated strikes.
The anti-cuts alliances that are springing up across Scotland also need to be built among the unions and local communities.
A national meeting on the 6th November has been called by the Defend Glasgow Services campaign to discuss a Scotland wide anti-cuts network to help coordinate action. We can beat this coalition of the rich. We defeated the Thatcher government over the poll tax through mass organised opposition. We can do the same today. Lets get organised.