Birmingham Communist Party has begun the new year with a campaign highlighting the massive profits which are being made by local bus operator National Express at a time when Birmingham has some of the most deprived communities in the country who can ill afford another increase.
Despite making profits of £92million in just the first six months of 2013, National Express continue to put up the prices across the board for passengers. As a prelude to a sustained campaign comrades began the year with a spot of leafleting and spent the day chatting to passengers in the town center and distributing some leaflets which highlighted the gross extortion which is taking place and the need for working class organisation to oppose it.
In a number of wards in Birmingham official unemployment is well over 10% and illness and diseases such as TB which were for many years nearly eradicated are making a comeback. Social housing is in a dire state; damp, dank, rotted and crowded flats and houses are surrounded on all sides by streets that are plagued by rats, especially in the inner-city areas of Sparkbrook, Balsall Heath, Highgate and Small Heath where the problem is even worse than it is in Handsworth and other deprived working class areas. This is the reality for hundreds of thousands of residents who live in neglected and semi-derelict properties and streets with the connivance of local Labour Party Councillors who continue to push through cuts to services. Spiraling costs of travel are just one further problem and the numbers of youth who are being forced to skip fares and travel on outdated tickets is leading to an increased presence of heavy policing on the bus routes as the old bill step in to help the bus companies enforce their profiteering (yet another example of the police being mainly concerned with protecting the interests of business).
Of course for the “usual suspects” who play the role of the Birmingham “Left” the real issues for workers are making sure the British imperialists invade and slaughter Ba’athists in Syria, and when they’re not spending their week doing that they’re gossiping with other troto-revisionist octogenarians at the trades council. What Birmingham needs is a number of campaigns on issues that affect the working class, led by people not poisoned with the debilitating effects of trotskyism or social democracy. We’ve already got a stinking Labour council and no matter what the Morning Star says we don’t want any more of these “socialist” cuts!
Labour, Tory same old story. Fight the cuts, all the cuts!
Expose and target the robbers and scroungers; National Express, Starbucks, Poundland!