Trade-unions, the anti-cuts campaigns, the peace movement and the left are all getting ready to march on Sunday 29 September at the Tory party conference in Manchester. The message is simple: no to austerity, defend the NHS, we should not pay for their crisis.
The Tory chancellor claims that there are signs that the economy is moving out of recession. But what Osborne does not explain is who is paying for this recovery. The gap between the rich and the poor never ceases to increase with bankers earnings are at pre-crisis levels and a drop in earnings for the rest. Households have lost an average of £1,300 since 2010. There are over 50,000 households affected by the bedroom tax. And UNITE the union estimates that there are over 5million workers on zero hour contracts. So there is no recovery for working people, the unemployed and pensioners.
The defeat in Parliament for Government’s motion for war in Syria shows it is increasingly weak and vulnerable. Nobody believes that the NHS is safe in the Tories hands as more and more of its services are privatised.
It is still possible to win the fight against austerity and in defence of public services. That’s why it is important that all of us converge on Manchester to tell the Tories that is time to go!
After the 29th September, we will need to throw our weight behind the unions taking actions in defence of services, jobs and conditions. The NUT and NASUWT members are striking on the 1 and 17 October. The CWU is balloting for action while the government is preparing to privatise Royal Mail. Firefighters have voted overwhelmingly for the FBU to organise industrial action in defence of pensions while 12 fire stations are threatened with closure in London. Even members of the Bakers Union are on strike at Hovis in Wigan against zero-hours contracts.
The call for the demonstration came from the 4,000 strong People’s Assembly in June. It has since been taken up by all the major unions and campaigns. The TUC itself is organising the demonstration. Three special trains from London and scores of coaches around the country will converge on Manchester. Over 50,000 are expected to protest on the day, and all of us need to be part of the fightback.