There is no money left, itís all gone. At least thatís what you might think after listening to Peter Robinson, Caitriona Ruane, and the parade of capitalist economists and pundits who parrot this nonsense. Yes, we are heading into a deep recession but guess who is expected to pay the cost?
The Government has no problem finding money to bail out bankers, itís only when cash is needed to pay decent wages or to provide modern schools and hospitals that nothing can be found. The attack on pay and pensions is open class struggle by employers and the government against working people.
It may sound old-fashioned to talk of class struggle, but what else do you call it when one class wants to preserve its wealth at the expense of the other class?
We have the highest rise in job losses for 37 years. Now our wonderful power-sharing Executive has decided to share even more job losses between Protestant and Catholic. No sectarianism there, all working people will get an equal chance to experience life on the dole. Their latest news is that 1,700 jobs are to go in the Health Boards.
Minister for Regional Development, Conor Murphy, is presiding over an £11.5 million cut in Translinkís budget. This means that less used but essential rural bus services will be further cut. If you canít afford to run a car, Conor will keep you fit by making you walk miles to work, school and town. Not that Conor, with his huge salary, expenses and free car will ever be forced to walk anywhere.
And his buddy, Education Minister Caitriona Ruane is talking about privatising the school bus service. That will mean lower wages and less union organisation for bus drivers.
The goal of employers and the Executive is to transfer more wealth from working people to the rich. They want wage cuts across the economy. If we donít fight back they will keep coming back to take more out of our pay packets, close down more of our services and give our children a lower standard of living than we had.
The rich are good at looking after their class interests Ė we should take the same attitude. They didnít share the wealth in the Ďgood yearsí, why should we share the pain today?
The UNITE union members working in Calcast in Derry showed that fighting back pays off. When told their jobs were gone, they occupied the plant and forced the bosses to give them each an extra £2,777 in redundancy payments. It shows that we do have real power if we stick together, imagine what could be achieved if we all fight back together.