Arthur Scargill: ‘ Criticism of Tory Policies’ (3)
Not satisfied however with the most vicious anti-union legislation in the world, the Tories are currently introducing new measures which are so draconian they have staggered and brought forth opposition even from some traditional enemies of the trade-union movement. The steps taken against British trade unionism can probably only be compared with those taken against our German comrades by Hitler in the 1930s. If this new Tory legislation is left unchallenged, then civil liberties and human rights in Britain are in danger of being wiped out… As life in Britain becomes harder, as frustrations and tensions rise, the State must bring into play all the elements of its machinery in order to suppress any attempts to throw off its power. The police are used increasingly in paramilitary fashion.
The judiciary use greater ruthlessness against any trade union that attempts to stand by its rules and constitution as the experience of the National Union of Mineworkers over the past four years proves. The courts have dealt just as savagely with the Lambeth and Liverpool councillors who refused to betray the commitments made to their communities. Meanwhile the media, now quite openly under the control of international capitalists such as Murdoch and Maxwell, become even more blatantly the mouthpiece of Tory philosophy.
The British capitalist press can make no claim to either objectivity or integrity, whether through the gutter journalism of the tabloids, or the more restrained style of the so-called ‘quality’ papers; they both play a key role in the daily dissemination of lies and misinformation to the public. This is but an outline of the situation which today faces the British Labour and trade- union movement. The terrible irony about it is that whilst throughout our movement there is general agreement on the ravages of the Tory attack – and agreement that it should be stopped – we have not united in an effective force to combat those ravages and challenge the system which has forced them on to our class.
On the contrary! Rather than uniting to fight our common enemy, our movement has been diverted time and time again by internal attacks: attacks aimed, disgracefully, at the very sections which have fought so bravely to carry out Labour Party and TUC policies by battling to save jobs, industries, communities and services. Margaret Thatcher has been absolutely clear in recognizing her enemy – it is socialism and she has openly declared her intention of wiping it off the British agenda.