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Volume 53 Number 4, February 4, 2023 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

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On the Slogan "Enough Is Enough"

The slogan: "We Demand Better: Enough Is Enough" was issued by the TUC (Trades Union Congress) in Britain for the "We Demand Better" demonstration on June 18, 2022, which was organised by the TUC. For this demonstration, the following demands were articulated: A real pay rise for every worker - and a real living wage for all; Respect and security for all workers - ban zero hours contracts, ban fire and rehire, decent sick pay now; End racism at work; Tax energy profits to pay our bills; Raise universal credit; Boost union bargaining rights now.

The RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport) union in particular was hailed by the trade union movement as embodying this call, as well as the Fire Brigades Union, and taking the stand, "we refuse to be poor". This was re-emphasised at the Durham Miners Gala, which followed on July 9, when Mick Lynch, the leader of the RMT, put forward that "We're back. The working class is back. We refuse to be meek, we refuse to be humble and we refuse to be poor any more." A feature of the 2022 Gala was that for the first time no MPs were invited to speak or be on the platform, signalling that the "Enough Is Enough" direction was to be a stand of the workers' movement itself, and not something to be achieved through the Labour Party. There was, however, little indication of the future, what the aims of the movement were, apart from the refusal to bear the assault of wages and conditions in the cost-of-living crisis. In that sense, it was a step back from the traditions of the miners' movement that "The Future Is In Your Hands". But it was evident that "Enough is Enough" had touched a nerve.

Following this, the "Enough is Enough!" Campaign was launched formally on August 17, Mick Lynch being the key figure, with the subsidiary slogan of "It's time to turn anger into action" and that "Enough is Enough" is "a campaign to fight the cost of living crisis". It was said that the campaign had been launched by trade unions, community organisations and MPs. The Enough is Enough website set out five demands: A real pay rise; Slash energy bills; End food poverty; Decent homes for all; Tax the rich.

The campaign's website says that it was founded by "trade unions and community organisations determined to push back against the misery forced on millions by rising bills, low wages, food poverty, shoddy housing - and a society run only for a wealthy elite". The campaign does not appear to have membership as such, and you can "join the campaign" through the website and be in receipt of information about events. Its message is: "We can't rely on the establishment to solve our problems. It's up to us in every workplace and every community."

There were a series of rallies which followed, but it is the impact of the slogan which seems to have endured. On October 1 there were a series of demonstrations inspired by "Enough is Enough", as we said, "from Plymouth to Glasgow".

The campaign itself is now focusing on defending the "right to strike", in opposition to the government's Minimum Services Bill. The "Enough Is Enough" website says: "The right to strike is under threat. New legislation proposed by the Tory government intends to override a workers' right to withdraw their labour, forcing them to work against their will. The right to strike is a fundamental democratic right. It underpins our ability to win dignity in the workplace and earn a decent standard of living. It is no accident that this right is under attack at the very moment the public is fighting back against the cost-of-living squeeze. This government is determined to force workers to pay the price for a crisis caused by the greed of the elite yet again. We won't accept it." A petition has attracted over 150,000 signatures.

Petition: https://wesayenough.co.uk/petition/


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