Report of Activity during 2017 from Pensioners and Retirees in Britain to Quim Boix, Secretary, TUI(P and R).
This year of 2017 for Pensioners and Retirees in Britain has so far been one of struggle. Britain; similar to other European and Worldwide countries continues to suffer from the attacks of the ongoing crisis of Capitalism and its attempt to offload the crisis to workers and Retired peoples.
Following the result of the Referendum of the British people to leave the European Union in 2016, continuing attacks on are being attempted to deny that democratic decision. Cuts to Pensions, Housing, Education, Social Care to name a few of hard won rights are being attempted.
The Conservative Government in May decided to call a quick General Election, due to opinion poles and the recent election results in parts of Europe and elsewhere, thinking “the time was right” to increase its majority in Parliament to facilitate further draconian cuts. The Political Opposition of the British Labour Party during 2015/2016 had suffered losses and divisions, caused mainly by its members of Parliament refusing to accept the overwhelming rank-and-file membership to elect a progressive Leader, so the Government took advantage of this also and called a snap election, and published a draconian manifesto attacking Workers and Pensioners alike. The response from Trade Unions and Pensioners, and also young people was immediate. The Labour Party in turn published a progressive manifesto calling for better housing, improved Pensions, abolition of Student University Fees, the end of Privatisation of Transport, Energy, A new Social Care Consultation Programme, The abolition of Anti-Trade Union legislation etc. The mobilisation of the Trade Unions, Students, the Unemployed and Pensioners and Retired People around this manifesto successfully prevented the Conservative Government obtaining its attempt to make the people pay for the crisis of Capitalism.
The struggle is not yet won of course, but there is a new air of optimism to carry on that struggle. Unity is Strength.