From the May 1980 issue of the Socialist Standard
TUC Day of Action — for what?
It should be obvious — capitalism cannot be run in the workers’ interest. The “Day of Action” is saying chuck out the Tories and put Labour back. “Thatcher Out!” and “Stop the Cuts!” are hollow catchwords suggesting futilely that Callaghan and Company back in power will have the answers. Capitalism has not got an acceptable face.
WHAT LABOUR DID IN POWER
What hypocrites Trade Union leaders and Labour MPs are. They claim to be opposed to the anti-working class policies of the Tory government, conveniently forgetting that it was the anti-working class policies of the recently demised Labour government which disillusioned so many workers, putting the Tories in power.
Under Labour: 1.5 million workers were on the unemployed scrapheap because it was not profitable to employ them.
Under Labour: The rich actually got richer - 1% possess more wealth than 80% of the whole population.
Under Labour: Most Trade Union leaders and Labour MPs supported the “social contract” to keep wages down.
Under Labour: Public spending was ruthlessly cut — by 2.8% in 1976-7 and by 6.3% in 1977-8.
Under Labour: The police were used to break strikes and the media was cynicaliy manipulated to inflame public I opinion against strikers.
RETURN OF OLD GANG
Mrs Thatcher and her cronies make no secret where they stand. Unashamedly they uphold the profit system, opposing every measure which threatens the power of the capitalists. Thatcher’s heaven is the free market, where the rich can exploit the workers without too much interference, and where the poor are free to live in poverty and misery.
Booms, slumps, national rivalries and threats of war, are all continual and inevitable features of capitalism. The Tories respond to the present economic crises exactly as did the last Labour government: drastically cutting state spending on education, housing and health, while stepping up expenditure on the armed forces to £1 million per hour of every day.
REVOLUTION OR REFORM
Six Labour governments in over 55 years have not solved a single fundamental working class problem. The capitalist class — a privileged minority — still control the means of producing and distributing wealth. Workers still have to sell their energies to an employer for wages. The essentials of life are still produced primarily for capitalist profit. These are the fundamental features of capitalism, causing the major social ills of today — poverty, insecurity and war. Tackling these problems piecemeal cannot be the answer, it has failed dismally in the past and will fail in the future.
Tweedledee-tweedledum, Tory-Labour roundabout politics have proven bankrupt. Instead the working class must organise knowledgeably, democratically and politically to dispossess the capitalist class of their ownership of wealth, take over the means of production and distribution and convert them into the common property of the whole community.
The Socialist Party of Great Britain rejects reformist policies and advocates social revolution. Capitalism cannot be made to work in the interest of the workers; those who claim otherwise are not realists — they have been wrong every time. Join us in the struggle for world socialism the most worthwhile of causes — abolish wage slavery, establish common ownership and social equality.