October 18 saw London and Glasgow pay host to large demonstrations for higher pay and against austerity. Read here,  the MORNING STAR editorial - Building the resistance.

THE musical show Urinetown, currently playing to packed houses in London’s West End, is a dystopian vision of a society in which “the privilege to pee” has become the source of massive profits for Caldwell B Cladwell.
Cladwell’s monopoly water company is abetted by a government totally oblivious to the needs of poor working people. When challenged, Cladwell invariably comes back with the need to “think of tomorrow.”
It’s a scenario which could easily be an allegory for Britain today.
Here we have a government which is actively pursuing the interests of the big banks and monopoly corporations, slashing public spending, reducing benefits for the unemployed and disabled, throwing hundreds of thousands out of work, privatising our National Health Service by stealth and holding down public-sector pay — all because of the need to “balance the budget.”
That balanced budget doesn’t seem to extend to stopping tax evasion and avoidance by the super-wealthy, nor to restoring previous higher levels of corporation tax on big business.
It ignores the fact that the average company chief executive now earns 175 times as much as the average worker, who in turn is £50 per week worse off in real terms than in 2008. It’s the longest fall in real wages since records began.
However, as the events of the last week show, there is only so far that you can push people, before they fight back.
The health and Civil Service strikes on Monday and Wednesday, and then Saturday’s marches in London and Glasgow, all focused on the need to eradicate poverty and restore the share of workers’ wages, pensions and benefits in the national income.
Saturday’s demonstrations may not have been as big as earlier marches organised by the TUC but this should not give grounds for despondency in the labour movement nor for satisfaction in government circles.
Saturday was still massive. Furthermore, it was a day not just of protest but of determination to develop and extend industrial action.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady was certainly right when she said that, despite the loss of Bob Crow and Tony Benn in the last year, the trade union movement had found its “fighting spirit.”
There is a rising level of working-class consciousness, as shown by the solidarity expressed on the marches and by the speakers, by the incorporation of broader demands than pay and the presence of large numbers of members of the unions like the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Nursing, not yet affiliated to the TUC.
The ruling class already seems to be getting the jitters. Top people’s paper the Financial Times carried two articles on Saturday, one warning that Chancellor George Osborne’s “cold calculation on tax cuts is also a wild bet” and the other saying that “the working classes deserve respect.”
What was disappointing was the absence of any senior Labour Party figures at the rallies, though this was perhaps not unexpected, given the determination of Ed Miliband and Ed Balls to stick to Tory austerity policies — just not quite as harsh — if Labour wins the next general election.
That’s a policy line which threatens the horror of five more years of Tory rule.
Instead, as Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said, “Britain needs more than a pay rise. It needs a government that fights for working people like the Tories fight for the rich.”
While the immediate objective must be to win the current pay battles, that has to be regarded as a stepping stone to building resistance on a much broader front, developing alliances through the local sections of the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, so that the tide for a government fighting for working people becomes unstoppable.