Today, what is being increasingly recognised in the movements of the working class and people is that because there is no serious organised political opposition in Westminster to the “austerity” agenda of the cartel party system people have to take matters into their own hands. This necessity is to build an organised Workers’ Opposition out of the resistance that the working class and people are waging. This means that to be political the workers have to take up their own politics. Which means not that they have to support one party or another, but the workers have to fight for their own interests, they have to fight for what is characteristic of their collectives, the public good, the interests of society as against monopoly right which imposes the rights of a handful of individuals, of the financial oligarchy, above all things.
Essentially, this also means the necessity for the working class to affirm and uphold the rights of women as a collective at a time when women are not only bearing the brunt of the anti-social offensive but are more and more engaged in, and increasingly taking a lead in, the resistance of the working class and people. At the centre of this is the necessity to put the question of the rights of all at the centre of all struggles. Whether in the health service with the right to health care, in education with the right to education, in the rights of all regardless of religion, race, and so on, and in the recognition of the claims the people have on their economy and to make the decision in society, this is the case.
Building the Workers’ Opposition is a central question facing women as it is for every other collective of the working class and people. Women are at the centre of the resistance and taking a leading role, especially in the public services and in health and education. At the same time, women are also fighting within the trade unions and other organisations of the people to affirm themselves. They fight for their rights and for the public good under the most difficult circumstances. The class oppression affects them deeply in society with the anarchy and violence and exploitation that is meted out against women in the most barbaric form, which is reflected in the way women are portrayed in the monopoly media and culture which champions the medievalist retrogression and degradation of women in every way. Women face huge obstacles within the working class movement itself to affirm themselves against the influence of this medievalist retrogression imposed by the ruling elite on society. In the health service for example the vast majority who work in the service are women yet the class oppression continues to discriminate against the right of women to participate fully in the health service and society by refusing to fully recognise their right to child care and all their needs for themselves and their families. First to go in the Coalition government’s fraudulent “austerity” and massive cuts to health budgets has been most of the few concessions won over many years for child care and special leave. On top of this, women who fight to take a lead in the struggles at work in the trade unions are subject to the diktat imposed on society by the ruling elite and have obstacles placed in their way by the old consciousness within the working class movement itself that often applies double standards against women who take up leading positions and who make the decisions that affect their lives and those of their members.
Today, women are entering into the battleground of the election by preparing to stand genuine anti-austerity candidates that stand for the rights of all, to defeat the Coalition government and bring about a situation in favour of their rights and interests and of the whole of society. Women making their contribution to building the Workers’ Opposition as a genuine opposition to the cartel party system of government is the way forward in settling scores with the old consciousness, and affirming the collective rights of women in the whole movement. Building the Workers’ Opposition is a powerful front of work at this time!