Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/648/10660

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2010

1,000 march in Gloucester against 'scorched earth policy'

'HOW WOULD you like your cuts?,' the 'consultations' by Gloucestershire County Council's (GCC) Road Show asked, mainly when working people could not attend. Allegedly, 5,000 people (out of 600,000 living in the county) opted for cuts in youth services and libraries.

Gloucestershire Socialist Party

However, they got a different answer when scores of county employees lobbied a GCC Cabinet meeting on 18 November. Then on 20 November, 1,000 protesters joined a march and rally in Gloucester, organised by Gloucester Districts Trades Council.

The GCC cuts are a scorched earth policy for many services. Scarcely a youth club will remain, library services face 43% cuts, legal aid and trading standards will be ransacked. 1,000 county council jobs will go, plus police officers and firefighters.

Gloucestershire is a rural county so 40% cuts to bus transport and road maintenance will have a dire effect, especially if people need to travel further for other services.

Trade unionists, library staff, youth workers and people eager to save their libraries, youth clubs and centres for the disabled turned out with placards and colourful banners. Trevor Hall, regional organiser for the Unite union, told us: "The crisis is not of our making ... why should we pay? The super-rich must pay their taxes like you and I do. This is just the start... the first of many big protests".

Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communications Workers Union, praised the big response. He said his members are not just facing Tory cuts but Royal Mail is also under renewed threat of privatisation.

He urged us to show the coalition government what we think of it at the ballot box. People around us muttered "too late", we can't wait nearly five years for the next general election.

Fortunately, John McInally, vice-president of the PCS civil servants union, spoke next. Echoing what previous speakers said about the nature of the crisis, he also reminded us that cuts and privatisation had been on Labour's agenda too. Now Labour authorities in Wales threaten to dismiss 10,000 council workers if they refuse new contracts.

John said the government could be defeated but it would require coordinated strike action linked to community initiatives and local anti-cuts unions. His words struck a chord and every point he made was applauded by angry marchers.

All fighting speeches - and there were several - got support. But Parmjit Dhanda, Gloucester's former Labour MP, looked forlorn - it wasn't the weather, he'd got the message. And he's aware that his broken pledge to defend the post offices is not forgotten.

A campaigner from the Forest of Dean spoke. Half of the forest (owned by the state since nationalisation in 1924) is to be sold off and people are livid. Strong local resistance thwarted Thatcher's attempt to privatise the forest in the 1980s, so this campaign will be big and militant.

At a meeting after the rally to discuss how to set up anti-cuts unions, 45 people heard John McInally, Phil Jordan, trades council secretary and firefighters' union regional chair and Sue Powell from Gloucestershire Socialist Party, speak.

Anti-cuts groups are being set up across the county. Gloucester districts trades council must provide effective coordination through the anti-cuts alliance it founded in October. Community action will be crucial in defending youth services and libraries.

Gloucestershire county council leader Mark Hawthorne has an appetite for cuts, clawing even more money back than the county lost through Westminster's local government cuts.

In September the Road Shows were hailed as the "community's chance to meet the challenge". Judging by last week's protests and the mounting campaign in the Forest of Dean, they might soon regret that offer!

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 23 November 2010:


Youth Fight for Education

Youth Fight for Education: No cuts, no fees, save EMA!

No to victimisation, defend student protesters!

Defend university access for all!

Universities occupied over fees and cuts


Anti-cuts campaign

Not one job or one service to be cut

Mass organised action can stop cuts

1,000 march in Gloucester against 'scorched earth policy'

Fighting cuts: A militant stance is what's needed

Profiting from the most vulnerable

Government plans are an attack on council tenants

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Firefighters on the march

McCluskey elected Unite general secretary


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland in crisis

Scotland and Wales: Don't accept the 'hand you have been dealt'

Cholera epidemic sparks clashes between Haitians and UN troops

Massive food price hikes spell disaster for poorest people


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 November 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Gloucester:

triangleGloucester Socialist Party: The questions facing us in 2020

triangleGloucestershire Socialist Party: What can we expect from the new government?

triangleGloucestershire Socialist Party: What does the new American president mean for us?

triangleBristol North East Socialist Party: History of the Labour Party

triangleBristol North East Socialist Party: Summer drink

Cuts:

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

triangleJohnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

triangleSafe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

Council:

triangleHull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleHomes needed to end overcrowding

Youth:

triangle'Roses are red, violets are blue, BP and Shell - we're coming for you'

triangleBuilding Tamil Solidarity with youth and the unions

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

27/5/20

Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

27/5/20

Ferries

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

27/5/20

Schools

Schools aren't safe

27/5/20

Energy

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

27/5/20

Hull

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

27/5/20

Covid

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

25/5/20

Coronavirus

No return to unsafe construction sites

22/5/20

Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

22/5/20

Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts

20/5/20

CWU

Postal workers' action results in double victory for union

20/5/20

NSSN

Organising to fight for workplace safety

20/5/20

Peterborough

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

20/5/20

Covid

Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections

20/5/20

Protest

Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

19/5/20

Hull

Trades council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999