A Facelift and Here They Go Again

Valls had to swallow his pride after losing the socialist primary. After all the attacks he had waged against the working class as prime minister, starting with the El Khomri law, this is only deserved. That’s probably the message intended by those who did go and vote against him. But after choosing Hamon, will the SP manage to make us forget that its candidate had participated in the same government as Valls for two years? This might prove difficult.

The old is new again

Hamon presents himself, with a straight face, as the candidate of change. He has built his political career within the SP for 30 years. He accepted and supported anything, including the yearly €40 billion gift to the bosses in the name of competitiveness. Hamon chastises Hollande and Valls for having broken their electoral promises. He hasn’t done a better job holding the promise of 60,000 job hires in education, when he was head of that department. Does he really think we will forget this thanks to his miracle “universal minimum income”?

Yes to the guaranteed minimum income… if it’s €5,000 monthly for everyone!

What is behind Hamon’s proposal? The idea is to give everyone a fixed amount, regardless of their other income or social status.

Some on the right also support this idea. Fillon even started to apply it to his wife, paid €5,000 to do nothing!

Seriously, with this proposal, some are seeing a way to end any kind of social benefits and decrease wages.

Importantly, this shows resignation against high unemployment. Workers do not need charity from the State. They need layoffs and job cuts to stop, and work to be shared among all. This can only be imposed to the bosses through mobilisation. Is Hamon getting ready for such a fight? Of course not.

The Vivarte corporation just announced a plan to layoff 2,000 employees. What does Hamon propose to the newly unemployed? A meager €750 “universal minimum income”… at the end of his presidency, if he’s elected?

The capitalist organisation of society makes no sense at all: on the one hand, those who have jobs must work longer and longer hours; on the other hand, millions of us have no job and barely live out of social benefits. Working hours must be lowered, without wage loss, until there is no more unemployment.

Let’s not be resigned

Hamon isn’t the only one to preach resignation to workers. Le Pen wants us resigned to the bosses always having their ways, while we’re too busy being divided to fight back. Fillon and Macron want us to accept that the very few legal protections against exploitation will disappear. Melanchon wants us to politely keep our place and vote, being happy to send him to Brussels to defend national interests. A policy already tried by Greek voters with Melanchon’s friend Tsipras; nowadays Tsipras himself is setting up austerity plans.

Only the revolutionary far left, represented by Nathalie Arthaud (LO) and Philippe Poutou (NPA) keep saying we have to fight back. They defend necessary measures for the working class: ban layoffs, share the work between all without wage loss, raise minimum wage to €1,700 after tax and increase all wages by at least €300.

Philippe Poutou, candidate for the New Anticapitalist Party, Ford auto worker, defends these measures. He does not play the game of electoral promises and clearly states that all these measures can only be gained through a global mobilisation of the working class.