The ruling class is weakened and divided.
It faces defeat and opposition on a wide range of fronts, without being granted the privilege of partial attacks, it has instead launched a generalized onslaught.
The weaknesses of this government are apparent for all to see, when faced with amendments of the Welfare bill from the Lords which threatened to make the bill unrecognizable, the Government simply declared "financial privileged", relying upon an ancient convention dating back to the 17th century.
While having brushed aside the objections of the Lords, the vultures are also starting to circle the health reform bill, with plans for the Lib Dems to call for it to be scraped  and the Royal College of GPs voicing its opposition to the bill .
These examples both reflect a massive weakness on the part of the Conservative government, both that it should have to rely on antiquated convention to push its reform programme forward and reflecting the division within the coalition camp on deeply unpopular legislation.
It is important that we make it clear that the austerity measures of which these reforms form part are a class attack.
When the ruling class uses one form of class power, it is important that it is met with another. That's where the role of the centralized working class plays such an important role in opposition to the cuts and austerity measures.
The recent strike actions we have seen on November 30th in relation to attacks on pensions are a partial reflection of a discernible shift towards the centrality of the organised working class as the central locust of resistance to the austerity measures.
However the movement of opposition to the cuts represented by union opposition is not without its weaknesses.
While a combination of pressures on the trade union bureaucracy have led to union leaders playing a key role in calling and mobilising for action, as on N30, at other times sections of the trade union bureaucracy have accepted deals which represent no real change from that which has previously been on offer.
We must now argue for further strike action to act as a central focus and once again restituate the argument around the centrality of further striking action, building the necessary confidence to defeat this government on pensions.
It is important to emphasise in making this argument, we see the fight as being situated around two distinct poles, that of the rank and file and the bureacracy, instead of simply a left and right division. The union bureaucracy, may under presure, at times veer left (as during the June strike action, when it support calls for further action in November) or right (as indicated during the most recent Unison support for the Heads of Agreement) however by starting to create a strong rank and file movement we can develop a challenge to any attempted sell-out on pension by mass pressure from below.
In making this argument it's important that we make it clear exactly what's on stake here. A victory over the pensions attacks, could inspire mass confidence which could transform the political environment, providing a real boost in worker confidence, reversing a trend established since the devastating decline in working class confidence in the 1980s.
This will require an approach that is sees the fight against the attacks on pensions as linked to the broader class attack typified by austerity. In doing so it is vital to situate the action around pensions as part of a wider alternative to austerity, an alternative that reflects an emboldened, confident class ready to meet one form of class power with another.