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Salford workers and environmentalists challenge their council
Kevin Corran, a Unison steward, Salford
On 15 January 200 people lobbied Salford council. This demonstration brought together trade unionists, other workers, service users, carers, community activists and environmental activists. They joined forces to oppose the devastating cuts to the public service budget proposed by the council, oppose the creation of a new "Head of Paid Services" on a salary of £150,000, and to support the anti-fracking campaign in Salford.
These three attacks on the people of Salford are directly related to the Con-Dem government`s policy of letting capitalism rip.
They slash and privatise our services, leaving the vulnerable and needy exposed to market forces. They sack their workers, destroying their ability to provide a decent standard of living for their families and undermining their communities. There are over 300 jobs threatened by the cuts, with £24.5 million being cut from the budget.
They hire obscenely paid directors and managers to oversee the carnage. They waste public money on these vanity projects and unnecessary posts - an indication of their remoteness and dislocation from the communities they represent so poorly. They have now lost all credibility with the electorate.
They plunder the local environment for profit, puppets of the multinational energy companies, taking the wealth out of the city and leaving pollution and desolation behind.
Not on our side
All this under the control of a Labour mayor and Labour council, that keeps telling us that they have no option but to force through the cuts. They are collaborating with the enemies of the working class, destroying our education system, health system, public services and our standard of living. Speaker after speaker condemned them for their lack of fight and their inability to lead a fightback against these dreadful attacks on our communities.
If they are unwilling or unable to offer us the leadership and courage to fight against this government, then we need a party that reflects our views and aspirations, a party that will stand up for and protect our communities, a party that will fight for us. A number of speakers at the lobby called for the anti-cuts groups, anti-fracking campaign and community activists to stand in the May local elections against these austerity parties. Candidates for TUSC, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, will stand across Salford in those elections.
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 16 January 2014 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.