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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 October 2014

Challenging the austerity parties

Sue Atkins, Southampton TUSC candidate, photo Southampton Socialist Party

Sue Atkins, Southampton TUSC candidate, photo Southampton Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Britain needs a pay rise. It also needs a new mass party that stands firmly on the side of working people and their families, argues Dave Nellist, national chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

Dave Nellist, photo Suleyman Civi

Dave Nellist, photo Suleyman Civi   (Click to enlarge)

The Tory-led coalition government has inflicted savage austerity on working class people over the last five years. Whatever combination of establishment parties make up the government after next May's general election, none of them intend to reverse that. May 2015 promises not a change of government, but merely a change of management style.

Such is the overlapping agenda amongst all the main parties now that, when Labour met at its Policy Forum in June, only 14 out of the 198 constituency and trade union delegates could be found to support a call opposing Ed Miliband and Ed Balls' plan to match Tory cuts pound for pound in the first year of the next parliament.

Meanwhile, reactionary Ukip is beginning to successfully harness people's anger, disillusioned by the establishment parties including Labour. But how do we stop that support for Ukip growing?

Working people urgently need a new party, but the one we need is one that is firmly rooted in the communities and organisations of the working class.

We need a party with a programme of socialist answers to working people's problems, not one that misdirects working people's anger towards recent arrivals to these shores.

We need a mass party, for example, that stands for public ownership, not private profit; opposes all cuts and fights for quality public services; would fully nationalise the banks and end tax avoidance by rich corporations and individuals; that would immediately scrap the bedroom tax and zero-hour contracts, build the homes we need to end waiting lists and bring in a 10 an hour minimum wage.


Above all we need a party that does not merely ask how best to impose austerity on behalf of the interests of big business - but challenges the domination of major companies and banks over the economy and believes that, in order to properly plan production and services to meet the needs of all, a democratic socialist society is needed run in the interests of people not millionaires.

TUSC supporting Doncaster Care UK workers

TUSC supporting Doncaster Care UK workers   (Click to enlarge)

In the last four years TUSC has enabled nearly 1,200 trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists to stand as candidates against the establishment parties in a common electoral campaign promoting opposition to austerity and campaigning for a socialist alternative. But we need to up our game.

TUSC is aiming for 1,000 anti-cuts council candidates and 100 anti-austerity parliamentary candidates in the May 2015 elections. This would be the biggest left of Labour challenge for 60 years, and would mean that in over 100 of the largest towns and cities a socialist alternative would be heard.

TUSC does not claim to be the final form of a new political voice for working people. It is, however, by far the best vehicle available at the moment for those trade unionists who recognise the establishment parties offer no answers, and who don't want to see disillusioned and dispirited former Labour voters haemorrhaging down the Ukip blind alley.

Ukip is a danger - but the bigger danger is not challenging the establishment parties and their overlapping agenda of austerity.

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In The Socialist 15 October 2014:

Britain needs a pay rise

Fight for mass action to end cuts and low pay

A socialist world is possible

Mark Serwotka: Building a strong, fighting union

Fight the cuts!

Workers need a new party

How a mass campaign stopped the cuts

Challenging the austerity parties

Barking and Dagenham council at a crossroads

Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories and Labour in crisis after Ukip win

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: Stunning byelection victory for Socialist Party

Obama's strategy to beat IS lies in tatters

Socialist Party workplace news

First NHS pay strike for 30 years

Local government pay: reject offer, reinstate action!

Care UK workers mark 81st strike day

600 St Mungo's housing workers to strike for a week

Recycling workers strike over pay and conditions

Severfields engineers strike against bonus cut

Youth Fight for Jobs

Young workers say: decent jobs now

The myth of 'self-employment'

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

'Political awakening' continues in Scotland

On the road to higher wages

Coventry fans stung by Wasps

Johnson's housing crime scene

Building the Socialist Party

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