The March issue of Socialist Voice is out now.
Table of contents:
- Workers continue to pay the price [EMC]
- The passing of a hero
- Austerity hits local services [MA]
- Theft by stealth—the solution of the rich [MA, JA]
- The super-rich dine at our expense [NL]
- Women written out of history [PD]
- Launch of the Peadar O’Donnell Socialist Republican Forum
- Democracy and the crisis—Part 2 [FC]
- Spain swings to the left [TMS]
- Western commentators shocked by their own darling [BG]
- New abusive measure against one of the Cuban Five
- The hunt for truth [RCN]
- Belfast’s working-class troubadour [RH]
- A fantastic sixty minutes of drama [PD]
From the lead article: Workers continue to pay the price
We need to constantly keep to the fore the following question: What is austerity designed to do?
It is for shifting the burden of crisis onto workers and away from capital, through pay cuts, redundancies, and the socialisation of corporate debt where necessary. Austerity is capitalism’s response to the crisis: to recover growth through increased exploitation and provide state-led guarantees to private investment.
Croke Park I and II are an extension of “social partnership.” Mentally, the ICTU still sees things in terms of giving away rights to placate the interests of the bosses.
What was social partnership? It was state-led control of working people to meet the needs of capital: controlled pay, shifting the tax burden to labour, pro-capital legislation, the creation of a ?exible work force, the individualisation and atomisation of workers, the breaking down of social solidarity, with everyone looking after themselves.
Croke Park II is more of the same: a controlled decrease in pay to increase profits for monopolies through pay cuts in the public sector, to knock on into the private sector; the shifting of state expenditure away from labour and the public and to meet the debt of private capital; further job insecurity in the public sector, to drive maximum insecurity and “flexibility” (precarious work) in the private sector.
Essentially it is an agreement for restructuring the working class into a low-wage, highly precarious zone for monopoly capital—particularly American exports into the euro zone. They are solving their crisis by placing the burden on our backs.
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