In this instalment of Members Voice, Birmingham WPB activist Jess Williams gives an impassioned call to action. British workers need socialism now – not just for ourselves, but for the sake of our children and all future generations.
We cannot expect the Tories nor the Labour party to ever get us out of this mess – we will have to do it by ourselves.
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As ever, Members Voices are the views and opinions of the individual and do not necessarily represent those of the party in general.
We enter the month of October without great hopes for the near future. Last month, even the establishment rag, The Guardian, published a report on child poverty using the case study of a school in Lewisham, South-East London.
The case study identified that there are children who hide from their classmates during lunch breaks with the embarrassment of having nothing to eat. Some children are so famished that they even eat their school erasers, all this in the sixth largest economy in the world!
This is because significant numbers of children in need are excluded from qualifying for free school meals because their parents would need to earn less than £7,500 per year. To live on double this sum on your own in this country during a cost-of-living crisis is near-impossible. The Child Poverty Action group estimates that 800,000 children live in this predicament.
This is not serious policy-making on the part of our government but simply managed decline. They laugh at us whilst they starve our youth just as they once indulged in festive debauchery whilst they placed us under house arrest in the name of protecting public health.
The degree of poverty up and down the country is stretching the capacity of food-banks, charities and mutual aid societies beyond ability as social services get gutted. However, workers are finding new organisations, new weapons to fight the regime of state-sanctioned poverty. Unions and militant community groups are building their capacity to fight back.
The rise of union militancy is necessary to raise the level of consciousness and activity of the working class. However, this is not sufficient to pose a serious challenge to the political establishment. What is needed is a strong workers party to give a militant and unified voice to this growing movement of workers in struggle waging a determined political struggle. Labour has failed this task dismally. We pledge to build the Workers Party of Britain to fulfil this task of historic importance.
It is through this party that we will uphold the demand for free school meals with no means-testing system in place – free school meals for all children without equivocation. If the government refuses this demand, Labour or Tory, we will build our organisation to drive these parasites out of power.