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Year 2009 No. 46, July 11, 2009 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

125th Durham Miners Gala:

Oppose the Dictate of the Monopolies!
Take up Responsibility for the Fate of Society!

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125thDurham Miners Gala:
Oppose the Dictate of the Monopolies! Take up Responsibility for the Fate of Society!

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125thDurham Miners Gala:

Oppose the Dictate of the Monopolies!
Take up Responsibility for the Fate of Society!

North East Workers & Politics, 125th Durham Miners' Gala Special Issue, July 11, 2009

As workers across the north throng together on Durham Big Meeting and Gala day, it is very fitting on this 25th anniversary year of the 1984-5 miners’ strike that oil refinery workers have taken an important stand against the Total monopoly which was trampling on their rights, just as the miners 25 years ago took a stand against pit closures and the dictate of British Coal and the Thatcher government.

That pride in the dignity of labour which was characteristic of the miners in their heroic and protracted struggle, and which carries on in the traditions of the Gala, represents the consciousness of the workers to oppose the dictate of the monopolies and the governments which serve them. That these monopolies are intent on riding roughshod over the rights of the workers is an issue for the whole of society.

In these circumstances, it is necessary for the workers to declare: it is our economy and we must decide! This is the way out of the crisis! In Britain, with its history of colonialism and lording it over the peoples of the world, it is necessary to emphasise also that the workers, in their internationalism, stand also against the exploitative relations these same monopolies impose on the working people and the masses of other countries. These positive values of the working class are what the Gala celebrates. The Gala at its best embodies that workers have to put their stamp on the whole of society. It is very important that the Gala has always put emphasis on these traditions, and has not succumbed to the efforts of the rich and powerful to wipe out the consciousness of the working class.

The need for the working class to lead society out of the crisis puts a responsibility on the workers to further develop their own consciousness and organisation. It points to the requirement for the workers to give rise to their own worker politicians who oppose the monopoly dictate and become champions of a human-centred society. The independent programme of the working class demands an economy that guarantees the right to a livelihood; it demands an end to the barbaric wars that are so catastrophic for the people; it demands genuine democratic renewal of the archaic political systems and institutions; it demands respect for the natural environment in the interests of human existence; it demands a peaceful social environment in which the national economy is developed not to serve maximum profit but to serve the claims of the people on society. This programme of the working class is summed up by saying: Stop Paying the Rich! Increase Investments in Social Programmes!

With the dominance of power by the monopolies, more is taken out of the economy than is put in. The basis of the so-called solution of big government to the economic crisis is to further pay the rich with the excuse that wealth "trickles down", and to bail out the banks because they are "too big to fail". This is doing nothing to resolve the crisis, but is bailing out the banks’ debts which had been turned into "toxic assets", further enabling them to keep their massive profits robbed from the social wealth at the expense of the jobs and savings of the working people, small businesses and other sections of the people. Instead, a necessary pro-social programme demands not-for-profit banking, credit and insurance under direct public control; it demands public ownership of industries fundamental to the social economy.

To turn this situation around so that it favours the working class and all the oppressed sections of society, the workers must become organised as an effective independent political force in their own right. Worker politicians must champion a new direction for the economy under which it becomes the people who decide, and which turns the tables on the anti-social programme which is sending the economy into deeper and deeper crisis. It is the working class with its worker politicians who can and must save the day. The workers have no choice but to shoulder their responsibility for the fate of society. This is our call to all who are here today participating in this historic 125th Durham Miners Gala.

No to Monopoly Dictate!

No to the Wrecking of the Social Economy!

There Is A Way Out of the Crisis!

Stop Paying the Rich! Increase Investments in Social Programmes!

For a Pro-Social Programme for the National Economy!

North East Workers & Politics is a publication of the Northern Region of RCPB(ML)

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