The People’s Assembly Against Austerity is holding a protest march to Downing Street on November 24, the eve of Osborne’s latest Autumn Statement. It should be strongly supported by all those who are opposed to further cuts and falls in living standards imposed by the Tory Government.
The spin after the last election was that the Tories were reasonable (‘One Nation’), that they were popular, and that they were unassailable. It was a many-sided version of the old lie TINA, There Is No Alternative.
The reality is a viciously right-wing government intends to impose just as deep cuts in 2015 as it did in 2010, £37 billion in both cases. The effect will be broadly the same as a weak recovery is depressed and the economy slides back into stagnation. The overwhelming majority will be worse off.
It is also completely untrue that that the Tories and their policies are popular. They gained just 37% of the vote in May election, the second-lowest vote share for any government in history. The previous austerity Coalition saw its vote fall by 14%- the biggest loss for any government in the modern era. The claim that austerity is popular is also pure fiction. A recent YouGov poll showed just 7% in favour of more or deeper cuts of the type that Osborne plans. The vast majority are opposed to more austerity.
The claim that the Tories are strong is equally untrue. They have already been defeated in the House of Lords, Tory MPs have openly criticised the cuts in working tax credits and Osborne is under pressure to backtrack on this issue at least.
All these claims are made in order to blunt any opposition to the Tories. But the huge successes of the June 20 demo and the march outside the Tory Party conference in Manchester shows that the protest movement is strong and growing. With real opposition to the cuts in Parliament too, the Tories will find themselves increasingly weak and isolated.
But further set-backs for the Tories depend on maintaining the momentum of the anti-austerity movement. That’s why everyone should support the march on Downing Street on November 24. The biggest possible turnout sends a clear message: The Tories and their austerity policy can be defeated!
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