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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 May 2014

On the campaign trail with TUSC

Suffering austerity - standing for TUSC

Daniel Sutton-Johanson

I'm standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the Central Southsea ward of Portsmouth City.

Having grown up in South Wales and seeing the effects of the Thatcher period on those around me, I guess you could say my political choices were slowly being defined without me realising. I've always supported what I understood to be socialist principles, but mainly from the sidelines.

When the period of austerity began, my wife and I were severely affected. I'm a carer for my wife, who relies heavily upon Disabled Living Allowance (DLA) to pay her way in life and maintain her independence.

I was working as a coordinator for Sure Start but several of my colleagues and myself were caught up in the "efficiency measures", reducing the service down by a third, and then again six months later, by another third.

Even though David Cameron claimed the budget for Sure Start would not be cut by his government, he failed to mention that its ring fence would be removed. This left local authorities free to cut what they like.

After 12 months of applying for work, I finally secured a job as a manager in the voluntary sector, working with special educational needs children. This lasted only three months due to cuts. Since then I've been caring full time for my wife while saving what I can to re-train as a counsellor/psychotherapist, a profession not recognised by the government as important enough to qualify for any type of loan or subsidy.

In the last four years, we both have seen people affected by a string of unfair and misdirected cost 'saving' measures such as the bedroom tax, caring allowance and council tax benefit cuts. If I'm honest, although I am kept busy, volunteer up to ten hours a week in the community, relying upon benefits for such a long time has been a big challenge practically and emotionally.

The covert privatisation of the NHS and the sell-off of the Royal Mail were the straws that broke the camel's back.

The fact more cuts are still to come to those who had nothing to do with the financial crash of our boom and bust economic model, convinced me to do what I could to help TUSC.

I hope this landmark in TUSC's history will be the beginning of cementing a true alternative to the self-centred, populist political climate which has suffocated and failed the 99%.

I'm proud to be a part of such efforts.

TUSC and students

As a student I experience first-hand the strain that this government's spending cuts and agenda of privatisation has put on our lives.

Expensive, uncapped rents through uncooperative agencies who seem reluctant to carry out any repairs to student housing; jeopardising our grades by having to work part time to make ends meet and a debt that we will still be paying off well into our 40s (if not longer) are only some of the problems that today's students face. TUSC pledges to introduce rent controls, halt marketisation and privatisation and fight for a free education for all, in order to improve our standard of living both now and in the future.

Zoe Brunswick, TUSC candidate in Fallowfield, and University of Manchester student

Lambeth deserves socialist councillors

James Ivens

Lambeth is one of London's most deprived boroughs. But we've shown we're ready to fight.

Lambeth College and the Ritzy Picturehouse are standing up to greedy bosses with strikes. Clapham Fire Station was saved by a large and vibrant local campaign. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) backs the lot. But Lambeth is still blighted by high rent, low pay and gaping cuts to vital services.

Young people and low-paid workers are forced further and further out by obscene rents. But instead of responding to a social housing crisis by building social housing, Labour is selling it off and evicting the tenants! This council has offloaded around 100 million of public housing stock while welcoming luxury developments for the rich.

TUSC wants the council to use its licensing powers to control rents. Private rents should be brought in line with social rents. We also want a massive programme of council house building and renovation.

I would use a council seat as a platform to back trade union struggles. We want a 10 an hour minimum wage with no exceptions. Like all TUSC candidates, I pledge never to vote for a single cut or for privatisation.

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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.
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.

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In The Socialist 14 May 2014:

Vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

For the millions not the billionaires

Fight back at the ballot box on 22 May

Building Labour: when workers first formed own party

Southampton: Showing what's possible

Liverpool City Council 1983-87: "We had a choice"

Why we're standing as TUSC candidates

On the campaign trail with TUSC

Socialist Party news and analysis

Ukip - the establishment's 'anti-establishment' party

Housing evictions - main parties to blame

Gove robs education budget to fund 'Free Schools'

Them & Us

Socialist Party feature

What's socialism got to do with fighting austerity?

International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: The ANC victory, WASP and the EFF

Capitalist politicians can't solve Boko Haram crisis

Ireland: Election campaigns "referendum on austerity"

Socialist Party workplace news

Care UK strike: NHS workers v NHS privatisation

PCS: Re-election of a fighting, socialist leadership

Leadership challenged at Usdaw conference

Brighton: Determined to fight college cuts

Transport workers' international meeting

Workplace news in brief

Fight together for pay rise - Come to NSSN conference

Readers' reviews

TV review: In the Flesh

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fight back to scrap junk jobs

Freedom Riders- action brings victory

Building TUSC, building socialism

Donate to the election appeal!

Why I joined the Socialist Party


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