Arthur Scargill: ‘ Criticism of Tory Policies’ (2)

Arthur Scargill: ' Criticism of Tory Policies' (2) :: Arthur Scargill: ' Criticism of Tory Policies' (2)We are indeed facing a deliberate political attack by Britain’s ruling class. A war of attrition is being waged as capitalism, in a condition of acute crisis, lashes out with increasing ferocity to protect itself. The existence of this crisis is now clear for all to see. It has been exposed by the recent collapse of stock markets throughout the capitalist world, triggered off by the slide on Wall Street (which according to experts is the worst slump since 1929). This collapse will in my view lead inevitably to more hardship for the British people, with a massive increase in unemployment and reduced living standards as capitalism seeks once again to make working people pay for its pursuit of profit and power. The Tories have based their savage policies on an ideology called monetarism – it is this philosophy which has led to the virtual destruction of our manufacturing industries and in particular to the devastation of our coal, rail and steel industries.

The steel industry has lost over 150,000 jobs, and the coal and rail industries have lost approximately 100,000 each within a period of eight years. Parts of our nation such as South Wales have been reduced to a lunar landscape as the Tories have systematically butchered our manufacturing and industrial infrastructure… In seeking to win that absolute control which it must have for even limited survival, the State through the Tory Government has introduced twin measures to destroy or render ineffective all those who oppose it.

On the one hand, it has deliberately increased unemployment from just over one million to four and a half million in eight years creating as in the 1930s a situation where thirty to forty people pursue each job vacancy, driven by this emotional blackmail to increasing fear. At the same time it has introduced vicious legal measures designed to render the British trade-union movement completely ineffective. Indeed Margaret Thatcher has made it absolutely clear that she wants to wipe socialism off the agenda of British politics; to achieve this aim the Tories are determined also to wipe effective trade unionism off the industrial agenda. Since 1979, we have seen a whole range of anti-trade-union legislation – all of it designed to dismantle the gains achieved by trade unionists in more than a century of struggle.

Today, the extent of this legislation is such that Britain’s trade-union movement must now be regarded as one of the most oppressed in the world! Tory legislation has removed trade-union immunity, made secondary action including secondary picketing and mass picketing illegal, and rendered all trade unions vulnerable to legal actions which could result in their bankruptcy. Britain’s trade unions have found themselves no longer free to determine their own policies in relation to industrial solidarity action.

1 thought on “Arthur Scargill: ‘ Criticism of Tory Policies’ (2)

  • attrition noun
    the process of gradually destroying your enemy or making them weak by attacking them continuously : 
    a  war of attrition

    to be involved in a war against someone, or a fight against something

    wage war (on somebody/something)
    The police are waging war on drug pushers in the city.
    wage a campaign/struggle/battle etc
    The council has waged a vigorous campaign against the proposal.

    acute adjective
    problem   an acute problem is very serious : 

    The housing shortage is more acute than first thought.

    lash out   phrasal verb
    1 to suddenly speak angrily to someone or criticize someone angrily
    lash out at
    Olson lashed out at the media.

    2 to try to hit someone with a series of violent uncontrolled movements
    lash out at
    She would suddenly lash out at other children.

    ferocity noun
    the state of being extremely violent and severe

    ferocity of
    Detectives were shocked by the ferocity of the attack.

    collapse verb
    if prices, levels etc collapse, they suddenly become much lower : 
    There were fears that property prices would collapse.

    trigger ( also   trigger off ) verb
    to make something happen very quickly, especially a series of events : 

    The assassination triggered off a wave of rioting.
    Certain forms of mental illness can be triggered by food allergies.
    trigger a memory  (= make you suddenly remember something )
    His action  triggered  a massive  response  from the government.

    slump noun
    1 a sudden decrease in prices, sales, profits etc
    slump in
    a slump in car sales

    2a period when there is a reduction in business and many people lose their jobs  OPP  boom : 
    The war was followed by an economic slump.
    a worldwide slump


    monetarism noun
    the belief that the best way to manage a country’s  economy  is for the government to control and limit the amount of money that is available and being used : 
    the monetarism of the 1980s


    devastate verb
    to damage something very badly or completely : 
    The city centre was devastated by the bomb.
    devastation noun

    lunar adjective
    relating to the Moon or to travel to the Moon : 

    studies of the lunar surface
    a lunar eclipse

    landscape noun
    an area of countryside or land of a particular type, used especially when talking about its appearance : 

    the beauty of the New England landscape
    rural/industrial/urban etc landscape

    butcher verb
    to spoil something by working carelessly : 
    That hairdresser really butchered my hair!

    dismantle verb
    to gradually get rid of a system or organization : 
    an election promise to dismantle the existing tax legislation

    oppressed adjective
    a group of people who are oppressed are treated unfairly or cruelly and are prevented from having the same rights as other people have : 
    oppressed minorities
    the oppressed  (= people who are oppressed )

    immunity noun
    the state or right of being protected from particular laws or from unpleasant things
    immunity from
    They were  granted immunity  from prosecution.

    picket verb
    to stand or march in front of a shop, factory, government building etc to protest about something or to stop people from going in during a  strike : 
    Protesters are still picketing outside the White House gates.
    a group of picketing miners

    vulnerable adjective
    a place, thing, or idea that is vulnerable is easy to attack or criticize  OPP  invulnerable

    vulnerable to
    The fort was vulnerable to attack from the north.
    Their theories were badly thought out and very vulnerable to ridicule.

    solidarity noun
    loyalty and general agreement between all the people in a group, or between different groups, because they all have a shared aim : 

    a gesture of solidarity
    an appeal for worker solidarity
    show/express/demonstrate your solidarity (with somebody)
    I come before you today to express my solidarity with the people of New York.

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