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(en) Britain, Anarchist Class War Cambridgeshire trouble-making rag FEN TIGER page 11 - Stop the welfare abolition bill + IF ITâS US VERSUS THEM - WHO EXACTLY IS US? by London Class War

Date Mon, 21 Jun 2010 11:37:09 +0300


The Unemployed Workers Union in Cambridge is part of the national Stop Welfare Abolition network and called a public meeting last month to make people aware of a new bill in Parliament. ---- There was a public meeting about the Welfare Reform Bill called by Cambridge UWU on the 15th December, 2009, in Emma nu el United Reform Church, Cambridge. The Welfare Reform Bill will attack many people like the unemployed, the disabled, single parents and carers. But more generally itâs an attack on the British working class. The meeting was a reflection of this fact. ---- There were three speakers who introduced the issue. Scott Bricis, from Cambridge UWU, gave an overview of the Bill and how it would effect us all. ---- Jill Eastland, a local peace activist and UCU union rep, spoke about how the destruction of the welfare system âsocial
safety netâ would particularly harm women
and their kids. Jill also pointed out how
the Welfare Reform Bill was part of a
larger, all out attack on working class
people. Finally Steve Sweeney, from
the National Shop Stewards Network
(NSSN), urged meeting participants
to focus on building a combative
grassroots movement against the Bill
rather than relying on politicians or TUC
bureaucrats. There was then a lively
discussion about how to fight to defend
welfare for all, chaired by Daniel Owen
from Class War Cambridgeshire.

The Welfare Reform Bill will make
unemployed people do rubbish work
for slave wages of less than Â1.70 per
hour up to 40 hours a week in order to
receive their benefits. Single parents and
couples with kids on a low income will
be attacked by the State too - income
support (currently offered for kids under
10) is only going to kids under 7 next
October and then they plan to lower
the age to 3. People with mental health
problems and invisible disabilities will
not be covered by benefits anymore.
Money you are entitled to will not be
given before deductions are made
depending on the services the council
are meant to give you anyway!

Besides the fact that the organised
working class forced the State to give us all
a garantee of welfare and this has been a
historically important victory, the Welfare
Reform Bill will badly effect people in
employment. Wages and conditions will
be reduced as companies see the benefit
of cutting staff and temp employing out of
the work schemes at slave wages (like Â1.70
per hour!). This can smash the trade unions
by reducing membership and organised
power.

Like Maggy Thatcherâs Poll Tax we
can defeat this attack on the working class
if we resist together. And remember, this is
just one front on the ruling classâ class war
offensive. Cuts to public services, raising
the retirement age, taxing working people
to pay for the bankerâs bail out, closing
parents centres in Cambridge, slashing
wages, raising living costs like food and
rent and energy and water bills! Itâs time
we fought back.
To get involved in the UWU campaign to
defend welfare write to UWU c/o Box A, 12
Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 2AD or e-mail
cambs_unemployed@worker.com. There are
regular meetings and an electronic mailing
list.


IF ITâS US VERSUS THEM - WHO EXACTLY IS US? by London Class War

In Class War (Issue 97, Autumn/Winter 2009-10), the notorious Class War Federation
tabloid, London CW wrote about the changing (and unchanging) nature of class in
Britain. Below is a shortened version. . .

Blue collar work has continued to constrict, we have seen the development of
the internet and satellite communications, globalisation has led to many jobs being
exported abroad, whilst the opposite journey has been made by workers filling low paid
jobs or taking up positions in the black economy. Jobs once seen as âprofessionsâ such
as school teachers have lost both some of their status and pay, whilst the concept of a
âcareerâ appears to have been replaced by fixed terms and short term contracts.

Can we just repeat the same old lines about class, and about us and them?

Whatâs Changed?
Well on one level - yes we can! For all the technological changes and labour saving
devices introduced into the workplace, we seem to be working as long and hard as
ever. In fact state penion projections are such that George Osborneâs big idea at the
Conservative Party conference was to raise the retirement age by one year! It appears
the Tories want us to work as hard as ever, but for longer. Bugger that for a game of
soldiers!

Bosses are still bosses. Managers may have a âCall me Sarahâ ethos in many
workplaces, but they are still employed to get as much work out of us as possible for as
little pay as possible. Worse the rise of the database and surveillance society, plus the
pool of un-unionised labour means the worst employers can get away with more than
ever, whilst the trade unions supposedly protecting our pay and conditions trundle
along at the same level - âunfit for purposeâ in management speak.

A class consciousness does still run through society, rather like the words Blackpool
through a stick of seaside rock. When we read of male MPâs cl;aiming for tampax on
their expenses, and others charging us for duck houses or to have their moats cleaned
we know who to hate, and we know it is still us versus them. It is a class war - and the
trouble is - we are losing!
Do As We Say
Class still permeates many debates. Climate change protestors such as Plane Stupid
or Climate Rush seem unable to grasp that however relevant many of the points they
make are, many working class people recoil when asked to consume differently or travel
less by people who are invariably middle class and appear far from used to making too
many sacrifices of their own.

Sometimes class is something we feel, a part of our instinct that is far stronger
than the rational issues climate change raises. With the Conservatives set to win the
2010 general election, it is most likely that the most powerful position in British politics
- Prime Minister - will be held by the 20th man to have attended the same school - Eton.
Even worse, several of the top jobs will be held not just by Eton old boys but by former
members of one exclusive club at Eton - the Bullingdon Club.

We know this is wrong. Conservative strategists such as Steve Hilton, and top Tory
spin doctor Andy Coulson are clearly nervous about this. Surely we can take advantage
of that?
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