Welcome to 2013 and a make-or-break year in the great fight against the Con-Dem coalition of millionaires.
If you thought the Tory toffs' assault on British society was savage then you ain't seen nothing yet. Dole queues may already be growing and soup kitchens doing roaring business, but this is the year when "austerity" really starts to bite.
Council budgets are set to be slashed. Hundreds of thousands of public servants will be shown the way to the jobcentre. Vital benefit payments will be snatched from the hands of the disabled and the penniless. And the hated Health and Social Care Act will effectively destroy the NHS as we know it.
The left and labour movement have only months remaining to defend all that we fought for and won, or see the rewards of decades of struggle looted from us by an illegitimate coalition of spivs, crooks, liars and wealthy idlers.
It's heartening to see new TUC leader Frances O'Grady take office with a stinging attack on the spending cuts and the government's demonisation of Britain's poorest and most vulnerable.
But the first question we would put to Ms O'Grady in her new role is: so what now?
It's a waste of breath to talk of calling on the government to change course. It's been facing such calls from day one and has ignored every single one.
The great TUC demonstration on March 26 2011 didn't stop the cuts. Nor did criticism even from right-wing economists who are increasingly forced to admit the obvious truth that austerity will deepen the recession, not end it.
Nor did mounting hostility even among the Tory faithful in the shires and the right-wing media, who fear the very real prospect of their party being cast into the electoral wilderness for another generation as punishment for this savagery.
If rational argument won't work, and media condemnation won't work, and mass protest won't work, then we need to escalate our fightback.
It is not enough simply to sit back, watch and wait for the return of a Labour government.
That means preparing for something not seen in Britain in the 83-year lifetime of this newspaper - co-ordinated and general strike action.
Doing so is no simple matter.
But despite decades of attacks on trade union rights, experts say that such a strike is still a legal act.
It also still has the power to make governments tremble in their boots.
There is a great deal of work to be done to make it happen. Unions need to identify what they want and what they're capable of, and plan a joint strategy accordingly.
This is precisely what TUC delegates backed at their September Congress.
The detail is a question for trade unions themselves to answer based on a level-headed assessment of the needs of the hour.
But the broader question is not in doubt. We need co-ordinated and general strike to save what is left of our welfare state and lay the foundations for a new, better, socialist society.
And we need it as soon as the labour movement can deliver it.
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