The bourgeois government can be removed, if:
- The protest actions are united and extended
- The workers' parties unite under a socialist programme
- The trade union movement acts as the vanguard in the struggle for a workers' government
- The youth are mobilized to defend welfare.
In the almost 3 years that the bourgeois government has now been in power, it has made one attack after another on the labour movement. It has introduced a reactionary part-time law (which enables employers to force workers to part-time work), it has introduced big cut-backs to the welfare state, to the hospitals, in the education system, to the day-care centres, and so on. They have also reduced taxes, mainly to the benefit of the rich, while at the same time cutting all sorts of social benefits that are aimed at the economically weakest in society. In short: They have carried out employer-policies!
In this light, the convening of a national meeting of shop stewards on the 28th of August, under the slogan "unions demand a new policy", is an initiative of utmost importance. It was about time that such a meeting was called to discuss the alternative to the bourgeois government. It is a very correct decision on the part of the organizers to invite the three workers' parties, the Social-Democratic Party, The Socialist Peoples' Party and the Unity-list to this meeting. But if we are to create a serious alternative to the bourgeois government, papers and nice resolutions are not enough – what is needed is an extensive campaign for a workers' government on a socialist programme.
Why the bourgeois came to power
First and foremost, it is necessary to consider the following question: why did the bourgeois actually come to power in the first place? If we have a look at the last election campaign, we have no need to have a fine doctorate in order to understand the results: it was extremely clear that the vast majority of ordinary working people of Denmark were fed up with the policies carried out by the previous Social-Democratic government.
Under the Nyrup-government privatisation and outsourcing reached unprecedented levels, which resulted in more pressure on working people, worse service and massive cutbacks. Furthermore, the Nyrup-government illegalised the private sector strike in 1998 to the utter disappointment of thousands of workers, who had voted the Social Democratic Party to power hoping that this party would improve their living conditions. The same year we witnessed once again how the Social-Democratic Party deserted its electorate by breaking its promise to not cut pension benefits. And when the leaders of the Social-Democratic Party even ran their election campaign in 2001 under the slogan "it is going as good as never before", it simply did not coincide with the reality faced by ordinary working class families.
So it was entirely and solely the lack of a real alternative that lead the bourgeois to power – and if we aret to create such an alternative, a new government must not continue the policies adopted by the previous Nyrup-government.
How a new government can remain committed to the demands
Prior to the shop stewards meeting on the 28th August, the organizers, Fagligt Ansvar and LO-storbyerne (Danish TUC in the big cities) have drawn up a proposal for a resolution which will be discussed and eventually voted on at the meeting, while the aim is that this resolution should be a commitment of the three workers' parties. The resolution does contain various demands, for example NO to all privatisation, NO to the outsourcing of public services and NO to all user fees on all welfare services.
There is no doubt that these are absolutely good demands. But it is extremely important to emphasize thatthe only way a new government can remain committed to the demands is through pressure from below.The trade unions must mobilize their members to run an election campaign for a workers' government, and the trade unions must warn a new government that if it do not carry through these demands it will be faced with protests and struggle.
Not a S-R government, but a workers' government
A question of vital importance is which parties will form a new government. The Nyrup-government was a coalition-government between the Social-Democratic Party and The Radicals. The latter party has time and time again been used as an excuse by the top-leaders of the Social-Democratic Party for cutting back on welfare. The Radicals is a small, bourgeois center-party, which will only get votes as long as the workers' parties vacillate. The Radicals has no traditions inside the labour movement and no connections to the trade unions. That is why it is important that The Radicals is not included in a new government. The trade unions must instead push for a new government of the three workers' parties that will not compromise with the bourgeois.
A socialist programme
Most of the demands in the proposed resolution published by the organizers of the meeting are very good and will be important aspects in the rebuilding of the welfare state. But the only way these demands can be carried through is with a clash with the small group of capitalists who own and control the key sections of the Danish economy. Only in that way will the state be able to abolish unemployment and rebuild welfare. You cannot plan what you do not control, and you cannot control what you do not own. That is why a central demand must be the nationalization of the key sections of the Danish economy so that we, through socialist planning, will be able to reduce the working week to 30 hours and thus give jobs to everyone.
The only way by which a new workers' government can carry out reforms that benefit ordinary working people is by challenging the power of the capitalists and by moving forward towards a democratic socialist society!
The trade unions must:
- Start an election campaign for a workers' government on a socialist programme!
- Warn a new workers' government that if the agreed promises are broken, they will face a struggle!
- Appeal for trade unionists to fight for socialist policies inside the Social-Democratic Party, The Socialist Peoples' Party and the Unity-list!
A new government must:
- Revoke and undo all the bourgeois government's cutbacks to the welfare state!
- Stop all privatizations and outsourcing of public services!
- Nationalize the biggest enterprises in Denmark under the democratic control of the workers!
- Reduce the working week to 30 hours, without wage - or staff reduction, as the first step on the way to full employment!
Join SOCIALISTISK STANDPUNKT in the struggle for a workers' government that can meet the needs of the Danish working class!