Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Luk√°cs

Monday, October 03, 2011

Towards a mass strike in Britain

The idea that Britain is somehow an island of tranquility and harmony cut off from the wider turmoil in the Eurozone where they have riots and mass strikes and so on has looking increasingly dodgy a hypothesis ever since students gave the Tory HQ at Millback a 'renovation' last November. Since then we have had one of the biggest demonstrations by trade unions in British history in March, a strike by 750,000 lecturers, teachers and civil servants in June, the summer riots and now a marvellous TUC backed demonstration outside Tory Party conference.

Some of the more repeatable of the angry slogans I heard at Sunday's 30,000 strong Manchester 'March for the Alternative' outside Tory party conference were along the lines of 'We are the working class - we have come to kick your arse!' and 'David Cameron - on your bike! November 30 - General Strike!' They give a sense of the potential tidal wave of rage and anger bubbling beneath the surface of Britain at the moment - and hopefully destined to explode into militancy on 30 November.

In the latest Socialist Review, Mark Thomas looks at the distinct possibility of a mass strike in a few weeks in Britain...it is up to socialists and everyone who wants to save the NHS, defend education and public services and pensions to organise over the next few weeks to make that potential fightback the kind of mass strike that can stop the Tory attacks on the welfare state in their tracks - and begin to build the kind of class confidence that can bring down this financially, politically, intellectually and morally bankrupt Con-Dem government.

Some background reading on mass strikes
Rosa Luxemburg The Mass Strike.
Leon Trotsky On Britain [and the British General Strike of 1926].
Tony Cliff, Patterns of mass strike
Martin Smith, 'Britain's Trade Unions: The shape of things to come'

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