Thursday, March 01, 2012

Cuts and anti-cuts

A local member leafletted this demonstration yesterday evening outside Brixton Town Hall (or Lambeth Town Hall as it's now called). So, the local public sector trade unionists and SWP paper sellers who were there are aware that we are standing.

This is a not an easy thing to explain to protestors but the fact is that under capitalism there is nothing that can be done to stop the cuts. All that can be achieved is a few concessions here and there and robbing one service to finance another. Of course people should protest at things getting worse but they shouldn't have any illusion that they can stop this. At most they can only slow it down a bit.

Cuts are what the economic laws of capitalism require at the present time and no government can defy this. In fact they have to enforce it, as they did in 1984 when Ted Knight and Lambeth Council did what some of the protestors last night were demanding: refuse to make the cuts. Knight and the others were surcharged and bankrupted and banned for being councillors. The cuts went through.

These sort of protests have been going on since the end of the 1970s, as the reforms brought in in the 50s and 60s have been gradually whittled away (here's what the Socialist Standard said about this in 1993). Which is why most demonstrations these days are not to demand improvements but merely to stop things getting worse.

What this shows is that capitalism is a system that is not geared to meeting people's needs and ought to be replaced by one that is, one based the common ownership and democratic control. We are standing candidates with a view to raising awareness of this.

No comments: