"A week on, the feedback from the TUC demonstration seems broadly positive. To seasoned marchers, it might have seemed like just another trudge along Embankment – but for many it was their first demonstration, and the sheer weight of numbers carried some exhilaration with it.
And yet, we remember: eight years ago, on those same streets, there were twice the numbers, or more. And what difference did it make? Labour ignored us, the war went ahead. And, if they can, the present government will ignore us in their turn. We know, if we are honest, that orderly demonstrations in central London will not stop the cuts. Such demonstrations pose no threat to the profit or power of the ruling class: and this, we know, is what makes the difference.
Our task now is to sharpen exhilaration with analysis, and ask: what will it really take to stop the cuts?"
Glasgow, like most cities with an industrial history, has experience of workers taking control of industrial disputes by means of workers on the shop floor as opposed to allowing the union officials dictate the line of action. This principle was what gave The Clyde Workers' Committee, CWC, such strength and success. What started as The Labour Withholding Committee, LWC on Clydeside at the beginning of the first world war soon developed in to CWC as the workers realised that the only way that they could guarantee any sort of success was for the workers to dictate the direction and timing and all other aspects of any industrial action. Relying on the established unions with their top officials who are no more than another aspect of industrial management was doomed to fail as compromise is the only game the know.
In saying that, any battle to stop the cuts can only meet with temporary success as the system will inevitable claw any gains back again, at a later date. To end the cuts we have to end the system under which the cuts are deemed necessary. In other words, as long as we have capitalism, the workers will have to struggle to even maintain their standard of living. Under the present system, stopping the cuts this year, just means that there will be another "crisis" and the issue will have to be resolved again.
The workers aims for a decent life free from the fear of deprivation, and the aims of the corporate world for ever increasing profits, are totally and utterly incompatible.