Time for the post-capitalist, production-for-use, commonly-owned, free-access society. Capitalism cannot be reformed. It has to be replaced. It won't come from a party organised in the interests of capital with their plans for the retention of waged slavery. It has to be the work of the people themselves, the conscious act of the vast majority. The Labour Party has never been a socialist party. The new society has to be made by ourselves and we can dissolve all governments 'over' us and elect ourselves to run a commonly owned world.
"The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves. We cannot, therefore, co-operate with people who openly state that the workers are too uneducated to emancipate themselves and must be freed from above by philanthropic big bourgeois and petty bourgeois.’ (1879, Marx and Engels)
In 2014-15 the richest fifth of British earners received 45.5% of all UK income, and the richest tenth received 29%. The top 1% received around an eighth (12.7%) of gross income, and the top 0.1% – around 65,000 people – almost a twentieth (5%). Of course, given the recent revelations about offshore tax affairs revealed in the Panama Papers, it’s likely that this admitted income is considerably understated.
Between July 2012 and June 2014, the most wealthy 20% of households accounted for 62% of all private household wealth, whereas the top 20% of earners received 40% of the total disposable income (as adjusted for the size and composition of the household). As with income, much of the wealth of the richest few is likely to be hidden from view. (Doing that by quintiles is distorting in itself, across that 20% the wealth will be unevenly distributed.)
There is a class war going on, whether you like it or not and the dominant economic parasite capitalist class are winning it.
Big Business or Little England? That's the choice in the referendum the Tory Party has organised to try to settle its internal differences. So, to that extent, it is not the concern of the rest of us. The trouble is that, if things go wrong and there's an unexpected vote to Leave, we risk being collateral damage in the temporary economic and financial crisis that would follow. The nostalgic dreams and rosy future promised by the Leave campaign won't happen. On the other hand, leaving wouldn't be as dramatic a change as the Remain side is suggesting -- it can't be as the British capitalist economy is so intertwined with that of the rest of the EU that it can't withdraw from it. So there'd be a deal with Britain ending up something like Norway. The rest of us won't notice the difference.
Both sides are being criticised for exaggerated and unsubstantiated claims, but what do they expect? The protagonists on both sides are professional politicians used to telling lies and making false promises. They are not going to change their spots just because it's a referendum and not an ordinary election.
British workers should take their cue from French workers and join up in the unions to clobber the capitalist parasite class bastards, regardless of the political hue of the respective governments 'over' us, for eroding welfare, working hours and pension age retirement. Governments exist to manage capitalism in the interests of the economic parasite class. It is time to stop begging slavishly for governments 'over' us to ameliorate our waged slavery by reforms and organise collectively to take the whole world and everything in it and on it into the common ownership and democratic control.
The one small favour the EU referendum debate has done for us is to nail once and for all the lie that there is a "national interest" we all share.
Some businesses depend on exports, some depend on imports, some don't depend on either, but resent any regulation or interference in their business. For them, tariff barriers and trade deals are important. All the business leaders try and convince the rest of us that their interest is our interest that their profits are our jobs. Yet we know that despite years of continued growth (and profitability) our wages are not growing along with their profits. Desperate to persuade us we have a dog in the fight, their hirelings scream about migrants, our fellow workers who move home for work. Yet, study after study shows that migratory workers don't depress wages. It's the bosses who depress wages, and the employers who cause unemployment. A working person in London will always have more in common with a worker from Slovakia or Peru than they ever will have with a British capitalist, or anyone else who wants to divide the world up for profit.