It’s now possible to see that a popular and democratic anti-monopoly alliance, led by the labour movement, can be built. The Morning Star is likely to be at the centre of the Kill the Bill campaign. Now is the time for it to link up with union branches. But also, full support by all Party organisations should be given to the TUC “No to austerity, yes to workers’ rights” national demonstration in Manchester as the Tory Party Conference begins on October 4th – and the ensuing week of People’s Assembly activity. Similarly, we should mobilise our own members for the TUC mass lobby of Parliament on November 2nd. Every member has an MP of some stripe they can write to and ask to meet in the day to give them their concerns. Even Tory MPs! Both days of action– can be building blocks for further action.
The Welfare Bill is the other side of a single coin aiming to weaken the working class movement. We either break the ruling class or we pass under the shadow of the most reactionary laws this country has seen in many, many decades.
There are allies and tool aplenty. The Living Wage Foundation has an online facility to work out who pays it. 64 employers in the West Midlands for example, leaving plenty of targets to embarrass! Bolder or stronger Party branches could select one to campaign against. The launch of PA petitions to start local boycotts might be possible. Plenty of organisations in civil society could be found to support such campaigns. Try it? If your Party branch has tried it and failed then we’ll know the measure of the problem. But I think the mood is there.
Indeed, I doubt we have yet seen the full flowering of the true spirt of the 21st century. Those who passed out water and sweets to refugees in central Europe have shown that humility and compassion are the hallmarks of civilisation. Is there perhaps a decisive shift in public opinion now? I think so, but what are other comrades’ experiences? Is the mood similar to that which has fuelled the most positive aspects of Jeremy Corbyn’s exceptional campaign? Can we extend this sense of humanity to the stark fact that 2,380 people died within a year of DWP fit-for-work assessments?
With campaigners gearing up for a struggle against the Welfare Bill, this is a going to be fight to Kill the Bills, plural. But more than that. The bedrock of the EU has always been the free movement of capital. The onset of neo-liberal strategies has seen the aim of weak unions and low labour costs added to that. All is reliant upon the just-in-time flow of imported raw materials and finished goods. Everything fed by a mechanism of perpetual bloody wars, both internal and interventionist.
In contrast, a growing new humanitarian mood could encompass not only increasing scepticism about the 21st Century EU as the labour movement faces up to the need for a policy that confronts reality but also the feeling of positive solidarity with those dispossessed by the conflicts. A genuine internationalism of spirit should see trades unionists link up with the 90% of the nation whose interests coincide with migrants and asylum seekers to make common cause.
As a Communication Workers Union amendment put it, we have seen the “negative portrayal” of the migration issue to “generate a xenophobic mind-set thus deﬂecting attention away from the EU being redesigned to the detriment of workers”.
There can be no British involvement in any escalation of war in Syria! Full support for a humanitarian and diplomatic approach is only possible. The recent re-energising of the British Peace Assembly could be an important step in the unfolding refreshing of a campaign against imperialist intervention. As thus process unfolds, we need to consider how best to link the growing British anti neo-liberal movement up with the global peace movement.
Whether fleeing persecution focused on their identity, or territory ravaged by imperialist aggression, or even seeking after a better life, modern migrants are posed by the information media in a negative light. Yet our culture, heavily influenced by that of the United States, sees those who rushed to the Americas, or elsewhere, as heroic pioneers, even when that meant killing the locals to steal their land.