Friday, 1 July 2011

They are all in it together!"

Well what could you expect from the ‘Tory Daily Telegraph’ but lies; its headlined report on yesterdays historic (Thursday 30 June)  action, put out in the early hours of this morning and taken from a Downing Street source, was that the strike by public sector workers was a “flop” and that the industrial action taken by thousands proved hollow and caused “minimal disruption”. 

So this really begs the question then; and if that being the case, why did the coalition and it’s ministers spend the best part of yesterday and the days leading up-to the strike attacking most fervently the last resort and resolve of three-quarters of a million hardworking and in the case of schoolteachers devoted professionals, and yes, engaged in the learned professions of educating our children.

In capitalist society, governments - all governments - must constantly bring in reforms, because the continuously changing industrial, economic and social situation produced for good or bad dictates this, and of course we all know that the situation currently, is very bad indeed - that workers the world over are now being made to pay for their crisis, a crisis not of our making.

So these reforms, must be as a rule, in line with the overall interests of the owning, profit-making minority, or if you like and I do, a parasitical  class. 

A few examples from the history of reform legislation makes my point and shows how this has operated and still works in the interests not of the majority but that minority.

The 1870 Education Act, supported by both Liberals and Tories in Parliament began the process whereby the basic educational dexterity's were provided by the state for all children regardless of their parents’ means. this was not done, however, with the idea that workers’ children should as of right have a decent education, but to ensure the turning out of more literate, better trained workers for an industrial society that was becoming increasingly complex.

The first modern-style social security legislation was brought in by the Liberals with the introduction of the Old Age Pensions Act of 1908 when pensions started to be paid by the state to some over-seventies. The government was not acting out of compassion for old people suffering in poverty, but was following up a Cabinet paper of December 1906 which pointed out that pensions for the old would mean large savings in poor Law costs.

Then there is the introduction of the ‘welfare state’ in Britain under a Labour government after the second World War who brought in a comprehensive system of free health care, unemployment benefits, state universal pensions and family allowances. But, contrary to fashionable belief, this legislation was not introduced for humane reasons. It resulted from the identification by politicians and industrialists that an all-embracing scheme of social security would be cheaper to run than the existing system, and, above all, that healthier, a more efficient and more contented work force, and therefore cheaper labour force.

William Beveridge, always argued that his proposals would be more economical to administer than any previous methods, and in 1943 Samuel Courtauld, millionaire Tory industrialist, said: “social security of this nature will be about the most profitable long-term investment the country could make. It will not undermine the morale of the nation’s workers. It will ultimately lead to higher efficiency among them and a lowering of production costs.”

Most other employers were apparently of the same opinion, for a poll conducted at the time, indicated that 75 per cent of them agreed that the Beveridge Report should be adopted (Susanna MacGregor, The Politics of Poverty, p21.) 

I could go on and give more examples, when it was in the long term interests of capital to use Parliament and legislation to give concessions only because it was deemed profitable to do so, and then as now, when it is seen as not being cost affective they withdraw it, because it is in the long-term interest of the system of capital and the minority's survival to do so. That’s why Labour has behaved the way they have for the last 13 years in office, and that is why in a great many respects they agree with the actions of the government, but disagree with the speed of cuts, they would be doing the same and propping-up the system of capitalism had they won the general election. Make no mistake Ed Miliband, like Cameron wants to represent capital not workers, that’s why he speaks-out against public sector workers - they the Westminster elite group of politicians, have and always will be - in it together. 

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