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Posted on 15 November 2010 at 12:55 GMT

Liverpool lobby of council blocks main road

Liverpool lobby of council: Tony Mulhearn (holding The Socialist), waiting to speak, Daren Ireland, RMT and President of Liverpool TUC, addressing demo , photo by Merseyside Socialist Party

Liverpool lobby of council: Tony Mulhearn (holding The Socialist), waiting to speak, Daren Ireland, RMT and President of Liverpool TUC, addressing demo , photo by Merseyside Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

An anti-cuts lobby of Liverpool city councillors on 10 November - called by Liverpool Trades Union Council - saw 200 workers defying police by blocking the main road outside the town hall in protest against cuts in services and jobs.

Roy Farrar, Merseyside Socialist Party

Tony Mulhearn, one of the 'Liverpool 47' surcharged councillors, spoke to the demonstration, calling on the Labour controlled council to refuse to carry out cuts.

The Liverpool Echo reported him saying: "The people of Liverpool did not elect a Labour council to carry out Tory cuts, they elected it to protect the people of this city.

"They have the choice of doing what we did between 1983 and 1987, to say to the Thatcher government that we are not prepared to cut services in the name of Tory cuts".

Labour councillor and council leader, Joe Anderson, made it clear that they would not defy the Con-Dem government, by claiming: "What is the alternative; to get surcharged, kicked out of office and set an illegal budget? We can't do that".

In a face to face exchange, Tony Mulhearn challenged Joe Anderson to fight the cuts and mobilise opposition as the city council did in the 1980s.

Joe retorted "You have to live in the real world", before entering the council chamber. It does not seem to have occurred to Cllr Anderson and his friends that, unlike the millionaires' government, workers already live in a very real world - and one that will get much worse if the cuts are implemented! Perhaps it's too much to hope that when he learns that councillors can no longer be surcharged, that he may place himself at the head of a mass movement of resistance to cuts!

Liverpool lobby of council: Daren Ireland, RMT and President of Liverpool TUC, addressing demo

Liverpool lobby of council: Daren Ireland, RMT and President of Liverpool TUC, addressing demo   (Click to enlarge)

The Labour motion outlined their pro-cuts approach - it specifically stated: "... Liverpool will not return to the dark days of the 1980s".

This was put to the full council and narrowly carried - with both the Greens and Liberals supporting Labour's cuts policy.

The Lib-Dems, having the 'luxury' of being the opposition party, took the coward's option of abstaining.

Mark Hoskisson, secretary of Liverpool TUC, was able to speak to the councillors inside the town hall: "People out there do not accept these cuts ... We are going to organise to fight them and we say to the council, join with us, don't join in with the coalition's cuts".

This was a relatively small, but effective lobby. It was a warning shot across the bows of the Labour council and the beginning of the building of a mass movement of opposition.

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