Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Too busy to post
Socialists are used to working hard to build support for their ideas but the past week has taken things to a new level.
I was up at 4am yesterday to help leaflet the postal workers at the sorting office in Cardiff. We got good support and no wonder: postal workers were facing a vicious assault on the right of their union, the CWU, even to be involved in negoiation! They've won some concessions but management are still out to drive down wages and conditions as low as they can. They just don't get it that the best way to make the postal service more efficient is to kick the profiteering private companies out of the industry, renationalise the sector and run things democratically with the workforce represented in management.
Next we leafletted two of the big council workplaces in Cardiff. Already 350 jobs have been cut and another 650 are predicted to go - 10% of the workforce, leaving those left behind with higher workloads and those who've left with the unappetising prospect of finding another job in the context of the largest number of people not in work since records began.
Then on to the Cardiff University Student Union hustings, where socialist policies beat the policies of job cuts, public service cuts and privatisation pushed by the main parties hands down. I put sitting Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Willott on the spot, asking why is it that her party couldn't find the £3.5 billion needed to abolish tuition fees but supported handing the banks back to the profiteers in the private sector once they've become profitable again. Liberal Democrat leaders ditched their pledge to abolish fees and then backtracked when they realised this would look unpopular. The new line is that they would abolish fees in 6 years, but there's another election between now and then, and there could well be another recession! We can't afford to abolish fees now, claim the Lib Dems, but young people can't afford to wait until it's acceptable to the big business interests the main parties serve - we need an end to fees now! coincidentally, fees could be abolished if the war in Iraq and Afghanistan - costly in lives and money - were ended today. But the Lib Dems don't support bringing the troops home today either...