Friday, September 26, 2008

Marxism Today

I've just been doing what is normally my least favourite activity, listening to 'The Today Programme' on Radio Four. They just said 'They say a week's a long time in politics. but a few hours are a long time in the global financial markets'. True, and true to their right wing form even Jonathan Sachs, chief rabbi was defending capitalism on Thought for the day, claiming that some school scheme he'd inspired had implemented morality in the stock markets. But it hasn't has it Jonny boy?

Revolutionary socialists, like myself (I wasn't particularly yesterday but people can change) start acting frenetically and happily when global economic apocalyspse comes home to roost. I almost bought the Daily Mail yesterday - a front page headline of a photo with beardie Richard Branson 'IN DEFENCE OF CAPITALISM'. When even the Daily Mail is having headlines like that you it's enough to make you skip along Fleet Street. Capitalism needs defending.

The political system has done nothing but anger me. It's a political system based on a corrupt economic system. Especially now, today. The whole of my adult life I have done virtually nothing else but try to tell people about the perils of privatisation - particularly of social services and health care. When a 'Labour' social services committee implemented cuts to social services, implemented charges for older and disabled people's care - I led a rally of older people to that committee. When a local authority privatised housing benefit services, I led a deputation of people who explained how the most needy were being made homeless. And when the 'Labour' government (ok, Tony Blair and Patricia Hewitt) cut the NHS budget by 15% and tried to privatise it, I led the work and was a founder member of 'Keep Our NHS Public'. I lobbied my MP with another individual - not for my own job but for the thousands of patients and staff members who would lose their services and jobs.

Today I am an employee of a privatised care company - listed on the stock market I believe. I work in Leeds, the company's HQ is in Birmingham. We get paid about £6 per hour. But not paid any travel time. My average monthly salary for a day's work a week is £32. It works out at about £4 an hour - and is actually life saving work. When the markets dictate - as they have done - people are sacrificed for money. Every minute when I care for these people I can see that. My labour is not valued appropriately - as keeping quite old and disabled people alive is not profitable. And when profits go down, companies do not give themselves up for nationalisation because they think they're unethical. No, they make cuts. That means job losses.

This is much, much more major than the Iraq War. This is because already a billion people are starving -the food crisis caused by the bio-fuels nightmare and climate change has overturned 10 years of economic growth. The decrease in demand in the economy from the corrupt, unregulated gambling of billionaires will cause a global economic meltdown. This will affect more people than the Iraq War as it is truly international - more so because of globalisation than the Great depression. What we need is grassroots action. Trade Unions acting with pressure groups and the community. Jobs must be saved. Care and health companies need urgent nationalisation. International Socialism needs to lift its head again and rise to the challenge of uniting green and red all over the world. The Labour Party needs to reinstate Clause 4. Attacks on immigrants must stop. Xenophobia needs to be illegal. Borders need to be brought down so people can move to where the work is. Local government needs to be given proper power and not be allowed to privatise services.

It is not ethical to make profit out of misery, disease and destitution.

Trotsky rocks

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