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HURRICANE OR TSUNAMI? by Rae Samuel

posted 12 Sep 2013, 06:43 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 12 Sep 2013, 06:44 ]
I was thinking that maybe we should start naming budgets after hurricanes since news of their coming tends to leave us dismayed if not downright frightened. Hurricane Larry #2? Who was before him, Hurricane Dooks? Name matters not, since the most affected or rather disaffected are the workers. 
 
At the end of the day the financial weathermen/forecasters decide where we workers/pensioners will be hit, how hard and at best, it seems, we just try to ride out the economic storm. Being a class society where power resides with an elite, the impact is less severe for the ruling class, since shelters are provided in the form of tax breaks and incentives (subsidies by any other names). We, the working and retired poor, have to ‘brakes'. Just look at the kind of profits the local conglomerates declare annually. Ask FCB and Republic Bank workers 
 
Now, since workers cannot vote our way out of this mess, the question is: how do we deal with this organised effort to keep most of us working poor? Let us state right away that all the pre/post budget fora, which some trade unions engage in, along with the exploiting associations, represent what some writers call intellectual masturbation. 
 
So for a week before and a week after, the talk shows are more crowded than the Beetham Highway on a Monday morning. And just as threatening are some labour leaders."Let them move the fuel subsidy nah! You will see." Comrades, premium unleaded went up in 2012. “If dey privatise, all hell…” FCB already underway, TTMF about to go, PLIPDECO, NFM, NHS, VMCOTT, NGC and look at what is happening at the gantries in National Petroleum in Sea Lots. 
 
So no amount of breakfast meetings begins to deal with the issue. Our budget debate needs to begin now and clearly it is a question of political change. Who has the power to decide how our wealth, created through our labour power, is disbursed? Do we really need a Minister of Finance? Why can we not do it ourselves? This is too serious a matter for a small group of individuals whose track or is it crack record sees us holding out against 5% wage offers, 2 and 3 years after the fiscal storms have struck?  

How do we initiate this change? We know proportional representation is just another distraction. Never mind what the leader of a certain political party says. That fellah is truly a biological phenomenon, a worm that walks upright. Charles Darwin would be astounded. 
 
I am suggesting, repetitive Cossabos aside, the Labour movement should refocus and develop a meaningful political agenda. This will require a new thrust and a new leadership in the movement. There are Audi/BMW labour leaders in the movement who will argue that they have earned the right to represent their workers like CEO’s. 
  
Such captains of labour are not affected by removal of subsidies and will not push for meaningful change. So this suggestion is not for them. It is for the younger cadre to step up and dare to struggle and dare to point the way forward. Maybe then the ruling class hurricanes will be replaced by a working class Tsunami.
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