Johnson and Sunak U-turn to try to save their skins; we need to fight to save ours!

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1st June 2022

Johnson's government is in a bad way. Sue Gray's report into Downing street parties - finally published last week - officially "proved" (as if needed!) that Johnson lied to parliament and that drinking and carousing took place at Downing Street during lockdowns. Now at least 60% of the population say he should resign...

    Worse, after losing nearly 500 seats in the 5 May local election, polls indicate that Labour would win if a General Election was held tomorrow. It's expected the Lib Dems will win the Tiverton and Honiton by-election in Devon, vacated by that MP who looked at "tractors" on his phone instead of attending to parliamentary business, while it’s likely Labour will win back Wakefield where the disgraced Tory MP Imran Kahn had to stand down. On top of it all, 26 Tory MPs are calling for Johnson to go and letters are flooding in to the 1922 committee asking for a no-confidence vote...

    So Chancellor Rishi Sunak, after refusing to countenance any real measures to help the poor in the face of the unprecedented inflationary crisis, suddenly made a U-turn and announced new emergency measures. Up to £1,200 will be given in financial help for each poor family this year. It's mostly coming from an extra windfall tax on oil and gas companies with the added benefit of higher "normal" taxes from their much higher profits.

    Of course, Sunak denies this is the same "windfall tax" which Labour has been promoting. No, it is a "temporary targeted profits levy" - and he boasts, that at £5bn, it's much more than Labour's figure of £2bn...

    In fact Sunak says £15 billion has miraculously became available to help with energy bills: every household will get a £400 grant, replacing the previous £200 loan; 8 million households on benefits will get a one-off extra £650 (but that won't replace the lost £20/w!); pensioners' Winter Fuel Allowance will go up to £300; 6 million disabled people will get an extra £150. However, most of this will not come through until the autumn, when energy costs will have gone up again...

    Whether Sunak’s U-turn will yield miraculous results for the Tories, as he hopes, is another matter. But anyway, as workers well know, the working class has always had to help itself, through its collective struggles. And for once, in the railways, Royal Mail, the buses and Underground, strikes over wages are on the cards. The next step is to co-ordinate the action...