I personally believe we have yet to see the full force of the cuts program from teh tories. We have seen budgets being passed up and down the country in local council chambers by Labour, liberal and tory councillors. All in it together. But as i was returning from the anti cuts protest at the weekend in London urging Labour councillors to join the resistance and vote against cuts i thought to myself this is a very slow burning movement.
Many in the movement are now building up and preparing for march 26 in London where the TUC are holding a march against public sector cuts. I am hoping the confidence that march can give us and the movement will be electrifying. Not in many years have we seen the trades unions in this country rise up and march in big numbers. Even during the poll tax protestsa nd march's in London trades unions never got involved. SO it will be interesting how the TUC respond to the pressure to act. It took a big effort from the likes of the NSSn i'm involved with to force the TUC into action. Argueably we could havea nd should have had something before christmas riding on the momentom that the student movemt and protests have built up.
FOr myself attending march 26th i will be marching against all public sector cuts not just cuts that are too far and too fast as Ed miliband likes to eral off liek a broken record. The working class wont accept cuts from labour either but they dont seem to realise this that labours cuts were estimated to be further than Maggie Tatcher went in the 80's. They would have been equally as devastating to the public sector and jobs and livliehoods as a result.
So why are we not getting more angry ab out all these cuts ?
I personally think just like with TUSC's decision not to stand in teh recent Barnsley central bi-election on a anti cuts banner was right not to as it is a little premature i think the cuts have just been voted on. Its when they are started to be implimented the real anger will come i believe .
Likewise when John Mcdonald called for people attending march 26th that we must ask ourselves do we go home that night or not. urging people to bring their sleeping bags and camp at parliament. I think John is a good socialist and i quite like him but seriously john i think yuor jumping the gun a little with those calls. I think its all a bit premature.
TUC estimates at present upwards of 200,000 people who will be attending the march already 600 coaches have been booked out with over two weeks to go to the march. Numbers on the day could be unpredictable as it really does depend on the weather, people in and around Londons desire to mobilise and get out there to join it and also the publicity it gets. I would hope we could get half a million out any more will be a big bonus i'd say.
But i do think as we progress through this year the anger towards cuts and a anti cuts - no to all cuts narrative will grow and grow. Labour i'm afraid will be left in the dark as their idea of lesser cuts and not as fast will fall on deaf ears as the anti cuts movement grows and labels them same as the tories for being pro cuts.
The public want to see a real alternative to cuts. If any party stood out today and said no more cuts, no to cuts and we have another way they will rocket in popularity i can assure you. Alot of people still are getting by and coping but when the real cuts start to b bite i really think the movement will take off in a b ig way.
The question is are the trades unions and TUC and labour crucially ready for teh anger coming their way when people/workers are calling for action. I mean industrial action.
It seems clear to me that alot of people n the march on the 26th will be there to help labour get re-elected rather than fighting against the cuts. So i do think labour may gain from this movement in a opputunistic way sadly. I just hope people can see them for waht they are that they are also for cuts. Just not as fast or as far apparently.
I think if labour appear to be being over taken by thea nti cuts movement they may try and stiffle it or risk being totally washed over and anger of non action against the cuts may come back to bite them.
Interesting few months ahead with a lot to prepare and build for. This is just the start and we must have a plan of action co-ordinated action to take after the 26th. I think it is looking increasingly likely that will be in teh forms of strikes. But lets not rule out other forms of protest and resistance.
What UK Uncut have been doing must continue and grow highlighting teh role of the banks in all this whilst individual groups should look to occupy council buildings and make them councils for the people. Preventing these cuts being implimented. Its militant but it is what it is going to take i'm afraid as the anger grows.