Thursday, 17 November 2011

A brief comment on the 30th November strike action

This is the first of what I hope to be several posts on the 30th November strikes.  It's actually a comment I posted on the Liverpool Echo website in response to their news piece on the forthcoming strike, the tone of which appears to be largely hostile.  The response to my comment has been hugely and pleasingly positive. 

I'm a private sector worker who is not on strike that day. I will be marching alongside trade unionists in solidarity. The strike might nominally be about pensions, with ministers expecting working people to pay more and work longer for less (and that's for those lucky enough to have a job at all) while they continue to take huge salaries and allow the likes of Tesco, Sainsburys and Poundland to employ young people without paying them a penny for their work, allowing banks to do what they like, allowing corporations to take multi-billion pound profits without paying any tax, and allowing their friends and donors to take over our hospitals and put profit before patients.

It's important that working people very quickly draw a line in the sand and tell the government where to go. There will be classic attempts to divide public and private sector workers from each other over this dispute. Everybody needs to remember that workers will always have more in common with each other than with any politician, and we need to stick together because at the end of the day, it is the workers the government and the boardrooms are expecting to pay dearly for the mess they've made and everybody, public and private sector workers, will suffer at their hands.

I don't want to grow old, or see kids growing up, having to work two or even three jobs just to pay the rent and fuel bills. I don't want a world where illness or injury can mean a lifetime of debt for medical bills for the poorest people. I want a world where ordinary people stick together to fight injustices like that, and to fight for the hard-won gains of past decades, like the NHS, and to make them better. Politicians won't do this for us. They've long been in the pockets of business, so we need to do this ourselves and industrial action like this is a necessary first step. We need to be organized in order to fight for what is ours.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Why I will not wear a poppy, this year or any year

We know politicians are liars and hypocrites and this extends into every sphere of life.  The poppy today is used as a cheap way of paying lip-service to the needless sacrifice of millions of working class service personnel at the altar of empire and capital while sending more working class men and women to fight and die in needless wars in the present and, when they return, making many of them rely on charity while the state that sent them serves the millionaires in the boardrooms. 

The state is perfectly happy to encourage the jingoism that surrounds the idea of the poppy as it perfectly diverts the attention away from the complete lack of any true support offered by the state to the mostly working class men and women who are still sacrificed at the altar of capital and at the whim of politicians of all parties in wars to this day.

The politicians don’t care about the people they regularly send to die. They don’t care about the people they’re killing.  They care about image and they care about capital and the soldiers, sailors and airmen are no different from the rest of the workers in this country.  They do a job for and on behalf of the ruling class, so the politicians and the millionaires can keep their place and keep us in ours.  They are asked to kill and to die on behalf of people who don’t give a shit about them.  So instead of wearing a poppy or saying a prayer to remember the men and women who have so needlessly died, demand that our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers are never sent to kill and to die on behalf of the people who exploit them, the politicians and millionaires.  Demand that no more people die for their privilege. 

No war but class war.