Socialist Appeal is the Marxist tendency in Britain, fighting for the socialist transformation of society.
The labour movement needs to lead the fight to drive out this reactionary Tory government. We stand for a genuinely socialist government - one that will not serve the needs of capitalism, but do away with capitalism.
In the immediate term, we need urgent action and bold measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Only clear socialist policies can offer a way forward.
- No trust or confidence in this Tory government and their big business backers!
- Labour must not participate in any national government. No coalition or deals with the Tories!
The bosses and their craven political representatives have shown that they will always prioritise profits over lives. We demand emergency measures to protect workers, and put health before wealth.
- For a fully publicly-owned health service, under workers’ control and management. Abolish private healthcare providers. Reverse all privatisation and outsourcing. All health services must be nationalised without compensation, and integrated into the NHS. Nationalise the pharmaceutical companies, without compensation.
- Reverse the austerity inflicted upon public services. Provide a massive increase in resources to the NHS to meet the needs of the crisis.
- Launch a fully-funded training programme for doctors, nurses, paramedics, medical staff, with decent pay and hours, to increase staffing levels across the board. New hospitals must be urgently built.
- Expropriate all venues being used as emergency hospitals, without compensation, so that they can be used for the needs of the people. Where necessary, hotels and mansions should be requisitioned and converted to care homes, sanatoriums, and shelters for the homeless.
- No to speculation! Democratically-elected consumer committees to be established to check prices and enforce price controls. If the bosses refuse to comply, then the big supermarkets and pharmacies must be nationalised and put under workers’ control.
- All non-essential workplaces to be closed immediately. All remaining workplaces to establish workplace committees, to establish workers’ control and management. These must have the power to ensure the implementation of health and safety measures, and a safe working environment, with social distancing in place and the necessary PPE guaranteed for all.
- Workers sent home should be on full pay for as long as necessary. Those out of work, including the self-employed, should be fully paid by the state.
- The financial resources required for this must not come from increased taxes or more austerity, but through the nationalisation of the banks and finance houses! Rather than a ‘wealth tax’, we call for the expropriation of the monopolies.
- Rather than building up the national debt, the money needed should be obtained entirely from the profits of the bosses. Big businesses are sitting on combined cash reserves of £700 billion - accumulated profits made from the exploitation of the working class. These assets should be expropriated for the public good.
- As mass unemployment takes hold following the epidemic, work should be shared out without any loss of pay, in order to lower the hours of the working day, and provide jobs for all.
- Many small businesses are faced with bankruptcy, with banks resisting any extensions of credit. Many are squeezed not only by the banks, but by the big monopolies. By nationalising the banks we can supply these small businesses with the lifeline of guaranteed low-interest credit and loans.
- If the bosses say they can’t afford to pay for workers’ wages, we say: open up the books! Let the working class and the labour movement see the accounts! If firms plead bankruptcy, they should not be bailed out, but nationalised under workers’ control.
- No to austerity! The working class must not pay for this crisis!
It is clear that the market has failed and capitalism is in a deep crisis. The anarchy of capitalism prevents the planning of society’s resources, in Britain and internationally.
- We therefore stand for the nationalisation of the 100 biggest monopolies, banks, utilities, landlords and so on - under workers’ control and management - and without compensation. On this basis, the economy can be democratically planned in the interests of the majority, and not for the super profits of a few.
- A Socialist Federation of Britain should be linked to a Socialist United States of Europe and a World Socialist Federation, in order to plan resources internationally for the benefit of all. This would put an end to barbarism of capitalism and allow humanity to begin solving the urgent issues of climate change, disease, and poverty that face society and our planet.
Faced with a deepening, global crisis of capitalism, we argue that only a bold socialist programme can solve the problems of the working class.
This programme must include:
- End austerity, reverse the cuts, and provide full funding for the expansion of public services.
- All workers must be guaranteed a decent job and a real living wage, with a weekly income of at least £500.
- On the basis of automation, cut the working week to 20 hours, with no loss of pay. No redundancies; share out the work.
- Put an end to unemployment, homelessness and poverty, which are a product of capitalism.
- Fight for the real emancipation of women; end all forms of discrimination; equal pay for work of equal value. Provide free nurseries and after-school childcare. Defend a woman’s right to choose.
- For a fully-funded and free state education system. Kick the privatisers and profiteers out of education. Abolish student fees and loans and provide full grants for all students.
- For a fully-funded National Health Service, free to all. All privatisations must be reversed. The pharmaceutical companies and private health companies that leech off the NHS must be nationalised under workers’ control.
- For a publically-owned nationally integrated transport system, under the control of workers and passengers.
- For a crash programme to build a million council houses a year. Nationalise the land, building companies and banks to provide the resources to accomplish this aim. Slash rents to no more than 5% of net income.
- End Trident and other weapons of mass destruction. No job losses. Defence contracts to be converted into socially useful projects.
- The retirement age for all workers to be reduced to 55 years, with proper pensions to ensure a decent standard of living for the retired.
- Repeal the Anti-Trade Union laws. Organise the unorganised!
- Scrap Universal Credit and introduce benefits linked to a living wage for all those sick, disabled and unable to work.
- A massive programme of public works to build roads, hospitals, schools, railways, etc.
- Abolish the national debt, which has been paid over and over again.
- End the rule of the billionaire class! The introduction of an Enabling Act by a Labour government so as to bring into public ownership the banks, finance houses and insurance companies to bring the financial sector under control. In addition, to nationalise the commanding heights of the economy – the 150 monopolies that dominate the economy – without compensation to the fat cats, and run under democratic workers’ control and management.
- Support for small businesses and farmers, squeezed and exploited by big business.
- Abolish the relics of privilege and feudalism: the monarchy and the House of Lords. The assets of the parasitic landlord class and aristocracy should be expropriated for the public good.
- Draw up a democratic plan of production overseen by committees of workers, pensioners, students, technicians and others to fulfil the needs of society and protect the environment.
- Establish a Socialist Britain based upon a fraternal Socialist Federation of England, Scotland, and Wales. For a Socialist United Ireland.
- No to a bosses’ Europe! A class appeal to the workers of Europe to establish a Socialist United States of Europe. This will provide a stepping stone to a World Socialist Federation and world socialism. This would end once and for all the miseries of hunger, disease, famine, wars, the ravages of climate change and ethnic conflict.
To accomplish this aim, we need to build a powerful Marxist tendency that can intervene decisively in the movements and events taking place.
The failure of the left Labour leaders to clear out the right-wing careerists and bureaucrats reveals a fundamental weakness. This is a political - as well as an organisational - weakness.
We believe we need a leadership of the movement that is prepared to go all the way: not only to transform the Labour Party, but to fight for the overthrow of capitalism.
The attempt to patch up capitalism is a road to disaster. We, as Marxists, therefore stand for the complete socialist transformation of society, in Britain and internationally.
We are in favour of the democratisation of the Labour and trade union movement and the eradication of careerism at all levels. We therefore support:
- Mandatory reselection ('open selection') for all Labour MPs, and councillors, to place them under the democratic control of the membership.
- All Labour representatives to only take the average wage of a skilled worker, with expenses vetted by rank and file members.
- All union officials to be regularly elected, with the right of immediate recall by the membership. All officials to receive no more than the average wage of a skilled worker.
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