Carry Forward the Struggle against the Austerity Agenda! End Austerity Now!
The struggle against the Cameron government’s austerity agenda is building. We call on all concerned to block this austerity agenda to participate in the demonstrations in London and Glasgow on June 20. Take a stand against austerity! End austerity now!
What the victory of the Conservatives shows is not only that the struggle against the austerity agenda must be intensified. It also shows that a collective consciousness must be built on the necessity to turn things around, to reverse the direction in which the Conservatives are taking society. The victory of Cameron is a hollow victory, in that the Conservatives have no mandate to carry out the austerity agenda. The almost clean sweep of the SNP in Scotland in the Westminster election has demonstrated that the flag of opposition to austerity and the neo-liberal agenda is the flag round which the people are prepared to rally. It must be carried forward!
What are the goals to aim at in carrying forward our resistance to austerity and neo-liberalism? In our opinion, political renewal, empowerment of the people and a new direction for the economy and society are the goals. These are the alternatives to austerity, attacks on the rights of the people, and neo-liberal globalisation.
The Conservatives’ legislative programme needs serious organising work to build effective opposition. On every front, the struggle is to block and reverse the direction in which the Cameron government is taking society. This struggle must be taken forward on the basis of involving working people in participating in the fight. The government is not only ensuring every aspect of society is geared to paying the rich, and causing fundamental economic and social crisis as a result. It is working to try and ensure that working people are excluded from decision-making at every level. This agenda of dictate from the government downwards is one which it is crucial to challenge and organise against.
The Conservative neo-liberal agenda is also one of attempting to negate the collectives of the people from exercising their rights. The people have set their sights on the right to participate in governance, and they cherish the right to have control of their own lives. The austerity agenda promotes fatalism, hopelessness and passivity on these fronts. But the people are getting further organised to actively participate in asserting these rights. In the struggle to reverse the direction in which the government is taking the health service, for example, it is being affirmed that health care is a right. The agenda of privatisation, financial constraints, fragmentation and closures is first and foremost an assault on this basic right and the right of health workers and the community to decide on the direction of the health service. The same is true in the field of education where the people are affirming that education is a right, not a privilege. Similarly in the struggle to realise the principles that a livelihood is a right, that the people have a right to housing, to food, and to building a new society. The government’s legislative programme is a challenge to all these rights.
Demonstrations in Newcastle and Truro
Equally of concern is the government’s agenda to impose the tenets of neo-liberalism and national chauvinism as “British values”. This is of concern to all sections of society. We are supposed to think of affirming the right to conscience as “extremism”, and that to uphold principles of international justice and human rights is “un-British”. It is crucial that working people in opposition uphold the banner of defence of the rights of all. The unity of the people and the exercise of their rights and dignity can only be forged in such a struggle to defend the rights of all.
The Cameron government pushes that Britain must assert its role in the world, by which it means interference, aggression, and being a willing participant in the contention and collusion of the imperialist system of states. The ruling elite has not given up its programme to “make Britain great again”. In opposition, the people have the duty to organise from the base against war and in defence of the sovereignty of nations and peoples. Their goal is for an anti-war government on the soil of Britain, and an end to all the blocs such as NATO and the EU which threaten peace, sovereignty and the fraternal unity of peoples who are fighting to be in control of their own destiny.
These are the challenges facing the movement to bring an end to austerity, bring about a new direction for society, effect democratic renewal and empower the people. Let us meet this challenge!