Today thousands of people will be marching in London for Health, Homes, Jobs and Education in a demonstration called by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity. If you’re on the demo look out for the rs21 stall and pick up a copy of our leaflet, which can also be downloaded here.
The Panama papers show us that the ruling class in every nation – from North Korea to Russia to Iceland to Britain – live in a different world to the rest of us. They tell us that there aren’t enough resources for everyone to have a decent life. That we have to turn on the disabled, the unemployed, the elderly or refugees and fight over the remains of an ever diminishing welfare state.
What do they do when we give over what little we have? They take that money and use it to save the same self-serving banking system that hides their wealth from us, expecting us to accept the privatisation of our NHS, the transformation of our schools into for-profit academies, and the closure of our local libraries.
This is the logic of capitalism – that the poor should be made to suffer while the rich profit. Their wealth exists outside of our democratic control and it will require more than the passing of new laws in order to create a world rooted in justice and equality.
Labour under Jeremy Corbyn is making the right sounds by calling for greater transparency over MPs tax affairs, but we also need to make sure that those in power are squeezed for every penny they have taken from us. That wealth has the potential to transform our society; creating a debt free higher education sector open to everyone, a healthy and well-funded NHS, and to reclaim the housing system by building or buying housing for every council across the UK.
We can’t wait for the next general election to hold the powerful to account. Protesters in Iceland stood their ground against their Prime Minister until he resigned over his own tax affairs, and right now in France the Nuit debout movement is occupying city streets and squares across the country to resist attacks on workers’ rights. So many of us are suffering under this government, but so many of us feel the urge to fight back. Let’s go with that urge and turn our city streets and workplaces into carnivals of resistance.
The only lasting solution to the administration of inequality that the Mossack Fonseca leak brings to light is the organisation of the economy by shared democratic control. This is the radically egalitarian vision of a socialist society governed from below by all of the working people of the world. This is the only way we can fight against the dangers of climate change and war that are threatening all of humanity. We have to create a society where everyone, regardless of race, religion, and gender identity or sexuality has equal access to deciding how we run the world.