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Wolves in the city

The wolves are in the city. A new, intensified period of austerity is on its way, driving living standards down and down. The workers are being attacked from every direction and the socialist movement is in disarray. 

The IMF letter to the Greek government lays out capitalism's vision of the future; job losses, wage and pension cuts, mass privatization and public service provision at 19th century levels. A similar letter to the Irish government shows that Ireland is on the slow train to Athens. In the North we have mass unemployment, major cuts job losses representing only the early stages of the austerity programme. 

The Dublin government's promise to resolve the crisis has proved empty. Their only strategy is to obey the troika and plead for more time to pay. It is quite clear that there will be a second bailout and that austerity will continue for over a decade. Labour, elected to soften the Blueshirt offensive, actually spearhead the attacks. The Financial Stability Pact outlaws any reform. The tattered Croke Park Deal is morphing into open season on the public service and David Begg and ICTU are surrendering in advance of any struggle. Reaction has triumphed to such an extent that opinion polls record majority support for an extension of the austerity! 

The battle is far from over. Workers first response has been to hold firmly to traditional leaders in Labour and in the unions. That weapon has broken in their hands. Socialists have followed the workers, restricting themselves to calls for a better capitalism. 

Yet in South Africa the victory of the Marikana workers show that the worm will turn and the workers rise up 

The future holds a massive intensification of the class struggle. Socialists should unite to present the possibility of revolution to the workers.


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