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From The Socialist newspaper, 26 March 2014

Bristol council: Voting for cuts, voting for careers

Robin Clapp

Bristol council minutes show that in 2013 only one Labour councillor opposed the cuts budget. They don't explain that he did so accidentally, by pressing the wrong electronic button.

This year he mastered the new system and so Labour's support for the 91 million cuts package was unanimous.

Even up to 48 hours before the meeting one or two of them were sidling up to us in the Socialist Party and whispering that the Mayor had 'gone too far' and their leader was 'out of touch'.

They claimed the Labour Group was being corralled into submission by bullying with even the threat of legal actions from a party minder.

Would the worms turn?

Given these particular characters, that was never going to be the most likely outcome.

Threats of subsequent deselection for having defied the whip would no doubt have intimidated some of them. But these days there's also the considerable loss of dosh to consider.

So far better to revert to nodding dog pose and put those lingering principles back into the box where they've been gathering dust for decades.

But then along comes a chance to show they can be after all a rather radical bunch when there's nothing at stake.

Tony Benn

Following the death of former local MP Tony Benn, a book of condolence has been opened by the council.

Hundreds of ordinary Bristolians have already signed, but jostling them out of the way and determined to be caught by the television cameras, are those same Labour councillors who by their recent actions support everything that Benn opposed.

On 22 May the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition will stand against every one of these scoundrels and their Tory, Lib Dem and Green friends with whom they seem to enjoy such banter in the council chamber.

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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.
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In The Socialist 26 March 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

No to junk jobs

Fight for a 10 an hour minimum wage

2014 Budget: More misery for the majority

Killed asylum seeker - victim of racism and privatisation

Pensions: Osborne's 'counter-revolution'

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey: new wave of protests


Socialist Party youth and students

Defaults reveal student debt madness

Jobmatch: yet another fiasco of privatisation

Leeds protest: stop the student loan sell-off

Young people: alienated, not apathetic


Socialist Party workplace news

Probation workers' action can defeat privatisation

Teachers must fight on to stop Gove

Doncaster care workers determined to win

Workplace news in brief


Readers' comments

The great miners' strike 1984-85

Adventures in bedroom tax land


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

A socialist alternative to the austerity parties

Bristol council: Voting for cuts, voting for careers

It's the system that's ill

'Optimistic' Bluebirds protest

Marching against racism

May Day greetings with the Socialist


 

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