United Kingdom: with a new Prime Minister, without a queen

Writes: Julio Santana – ISL, United Kingdom

The passing of Elizabeth II should not cover the serious social issues suffered by the working people, which will worsen with the arrival of Liz Truss to office. Much less, stopping the ongoing demands.

At 96 years old, 70 of which she spend as monarch, Queen Elizabeth II passed away. The main symbol of the decaying colonialist British Empire, invader of the Malvinas Islands and oppressor of the peoples. She was the figurehead of exploitative capitalism and the monarchic, parliamentary and feudal British regime, repressor and enemy of the working class. The new monarch of the Commonwealth will be the Prince of Wales, son of Elizabeth II who will occupy the throne as Charles III, another parasitic pirate. In the following days, we will publish another article with the reactionary history of the Elizabethan reign.

Millionaire protocol before an impoverished working people

The news about Liz Truss taking office was completely overshadowed by the death of the Queen. From the moment of her passing, under the name of Operation London Bridge, a detailed protocol plan has begun to unfold, worthy of Medieval Times. Between the funeral, the tributes and the institutional replacement, the activities will extend for over eleven days. In the midst of an inflation above 10%, unpayable fees and growing sufferings, the execution of the protocol will cost millions of pounds that will come out of the pockets of the impoverished people. Her passing should not deviate the attention of the serious social issued that exist today nor pacify the ongoing struggles. Thus, it is necessary to keep track of what is happening in the United Kingdom, increasingly more in crisis and more tumultuous.

Just an undemocratic change of tenant

After more than two months of by-elections within the Conservative Party, Liz Truss has been proclaimed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. She was elected by less than 200,000 militants of her party, 97% white and 55% over 60 years of age. A brutal anti-democratic aberration of the parliamentary monarchical regime. As we pointed out in our previous article, “A summer of discontent that brings about change”, nothing will change for the working people, even if 10 Downing Street changes its tenant.

Lower taxes…for top earners

The prime minister has already stated that her plan will include tax cuts that, as always, will benefit the highest earners. “When shown calculations that her planned reversal of the recent increase in national insurance would benefit higher earners by around £1,800 a year, and lower earners by around £7, she was asked if this was fair, Truss said, Yes, it is fair.”

Measures against poor people

Inflation is estimated at 13% by the end of the year. The price of electricity and gas is an unaffordable theft that pushes millions of people into misery. Truss also intends to eliminate rights won by the working class. According to a recording, she believes that: “British workers are idlers and need graft (about social aid to the most needy), not like in China where they really work…”

She wants to emulate the “iron lady”.

Everyone here thinks Liz Truss wants to be a new Margaret Thatcher. In July the government voted the law to allow private employment agencies to provide staff to replace workers on strike, introducing scabs by law. There is also bad news for the environment: oil exploitation in the North Sea and the use of fracking for more fossil fuel will be increased. The bourgeois measures will not solve the basic problems that affect the majority of the workers and the people, on the contrary, they will bring more suffering, that is why it is necessary to deepen the struggles to confront them. Those who accompany Truss are as right-wing as she is.

A horrific team

The new Chancellor (Minister of Finance) is Kwasi Kwarteng. He is opposed to reducing VAT, to subsidies for buying a house and to any state intervention. He may well not be opposed to subsidizing big business with everyone’s money. In his opinion there is “a bloated state, high taxes and excessive regulation”. Both he, like Truss, strongly opposed increasing the profit tax on energy companies. (Evening Standard 08/09/ 2022).

On the other hand, Theresse Coffey is the new health minister. She has already blazed a trail against the NHS. After 12 years in government, the Conservatives have destroyed the public health service by seeking to privatize it. They use the old practice of not filling vacancies, so that patients wait for months before being seen. In this way they generate an atmosphere of unrest on which they rely to privatize.  For this reason he has declared that “the nanny state must not continue”. (The Telegraph (7/09/2022)

Wait for the next elections?

The workers have carried out huge strikes against the increase in the cost of living and the defense of jobs. They were great for the number of strikers, for the decision to fight and for the support won among the population. New actions are already being planned. However, there is a problem: the actions are not coordinated. This is not by chance, it is explained by the union relations with the Labor Party, whose organization is not interested in the struggles, but in the next elections. If they wait for an electoral outcome, the Conservatives will do gigantic damage. The social needs cannot wait until the vote, which will not solve anything either. The path is marked by the struggles in the United Kingdom and those growing in Europe.

Down with the monarchy!

Faced with the death of “Her Majesty”, “Supreme Ruler of the Church of England”, there is nothing to grieve over. It is necessary to reaffirm the need to put an end to the feudal and obscurantist monarchy, as well as to the bourgeois institutionality that supports it: Down with the parliamentary monarchical regime! Let the members of the House of Windsor go to work and hand over their wealth accumulated at the expense of the popular effort. With or without the crown, the fundamental tasks are to sustain and deepen the struggle and the trade union and political organization.

Mobilization, general strike and new left alternative The fundamental thing is to surround the striking unions with solidarity, coordinate actions, promote workers’ affiliation, call for a great mobilization of the unions in struggle and all the people and demand that the unions call a general strike so that the capitalists pay for the crisis. It is necessary to confront the Conservative Party in power, without placing any confidence in the Labor Party, which is an active part of the regime. The old bosses’ parties were, are and will be the support of capitalism and of the monarchy. The regroupment of the revolutionary socialists could give impetus to the objective of setting up a new anti-capitalist and socialist left option. That raises the strategy of a workers’ government with a regime of workers’ democracy.