Anti-cuts, public services

Editorials - March 1995

Editorial comments on the ongoing influence of Stalinism in the British labour movement, the need for a campaign to defend the welfare state, and calling for justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Click here to download article as pdf.

Click here to download the pdf

Issues and Campaigns: 

Marxist Theory and History: 

Publications: 

Questions and answers on the cuts

Stop the cuts

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Q. The Lib/Tory coalition says that the government just has to make social cuts, in the same way as anyone who has "maxed out" their credit cards needs to cut back. Is that true?

A. No. In the first place, there is nothing impossible about the government continuing with a large budget deficit for a while. Governments can't "run out of money" in the same way that households or businesses can.

The "case" for the cuts is built on lies!

Publications: 

Issues and Campaigns: 

Grenfell: Capitalism kills

Author: 

Gemma Short

Around 1am on Wednesday 13 June a fire tore through 24-storey Grenfell Tower in the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea, killing a currently unknown number of people. Firefighters have told people the number will be in triple figures.

The fire at Grenfell Tower has exposed inequality in housing and exploded the narrative that “we’re all in this together”. The class divide exists. It kills people.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Save Lightburn Hospital!

Author: 

Ann Field

Fifty demonstrators protested outside of Lightburn Hospital in Glasgow on Saturday 17 June to re-launch a campaign to prevent its closure. Lightburn is the last in-patient hospital in Glasgow’s East End. It provides rehabilitative care for elderly people suffering from strokes, dementia, Parkinson’s or similar illnesses. Each year it admits around 450 patients, and deals with 400 new day cases and 3,000 return visits.

Lightburn is the last in-patient hospital in Glasgow’s East End.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Justice for Grenfell!

Author: 

Gemma Short

Late at night on Tuesday 13 June, a fire gutted Grenfell Tower in west London.

It is likely that a large number of people have died: firefighters have told people the number will be in triple figures. Many hundreds of people's lives have been destroyed as their family members, friends, neighbours, and homes have been taken from them.

Our solidarity is with those families and with the emergency service workers who battled to save them whilst witnessing harrowing scenes.

Protests demand justice for the victims of Grenfell and change.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Eastern Avenue Job Centre strike

Author: 

Lotte Jeffries

The first PCS strike day took place at Eastern Avenue Job Centre, Sheffield, on Friday 2nd June. It was a very successful strike and picket line after a colossal 92% vote in favour of strike action in the ballot. The picket was supported by community activists, Momentum and the Labour Party.

The first PCS strike day took place at Eastern Avenue Job Centre, Sheffield, on Friday 2nd June. It was a very successful strike and the picket line was supported by community activists, Momentum and the Labour Party.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Labour: rebuild the welfare state

Author: 

Gemma Short

The welfare state created by the 1945 Labour government was a little bit of the “political economy of the working class” carved out of a still capitalist economy (a phrase Karl Marx first used to describe the victory of the fight for a ten-hour working day).

To some extent the ruling class has been forced to accept a minimal level of state provision. There is a constant battle over what proportion of profits is redirected, over who should receive support, and what sort of support is given. The ruling class has been winning that battle for some time.

The Labour manifesto is a significant shift from decades of neo-liberal consensus where the “political economy of the ruling class”, the rule of the market in every aspect of our lives, has almost destroyed the “political economy of the working class” carved out of capitalism in the shape of the welfare state.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Grow old? Fall sick? Vote Labour!

Author: 

Editorial

The Tories used their general election manifesto to reveal their true callousness. They decided to squeeze more money out of elderly people to pay for social care, and hit less well pensioners by cutting winter fuel payments and ditching the “triple lock” on pensions (introduced in 2011 the triple lock guarantees that the basic state pension will rise by 2.5%, the rate of inflation, or average earnings growth, whichever is largest).

The Tories’ real intention is to open up new markets in the insurance industry for products to cover elder care. With private companies in on the “business of care”, after-death sale of homes will likely be forced.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Publications: 

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

Trade Unions: 

Tories seek mandate to increase cuts, inequality, poverty

Author: 

Martin Thomas

“Mrs May”, writes the Tory-leaning columnist of the Financial Times, Janan Ganesh, “could not survive an election campaign saying so little so often if people paid attention”. Since so many don’t, “the repetition of slogans in lieu of answers carries no cost”. Fraser Nelson, another Tory, comments in the Spectator: “She seems to think that, if you refuse to give the press anything, the public won’t care. Worse, she seems to be right – for now, at least”. May’s purpose, so Nelson writes, is not to “seek a mandate”, but to evade one.

The Daily Mail front page headline on 19 April summed up how Theresa May sees the election serving her Brexit drive: “Crush the saboteurs”. That is, strengthen her position against all who ask questions, raise criticisms, demand information.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Around the world: 

Publications: 

Worse school cuts than Thatcher

Author: 

Patrick Murphy, NUT Executive (personal capacity) and Richard Driver (North London teacher)

The Government’s claim that there is no school funding crisis seems, finally, to be losing all credibility. In December the NUT launched a website which allows anyone in England or Wales to enter their postcode and identify instantly the likely funding losses faced by their local schools in the next three years and how many teachers would need to be removed to meet those cuts.

The far-reaching reform that is needed in schools, to move away from a data-driven state of permanent testing towards teaching and learning with the personal growth and self-fulfilment of students at its heart, demands good levels of funding, paid for by society’s richest.

Issues and Campaigns: 

Trade Unions: 

Publications: 

Pages