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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 November 2018

Unions and campaigners challenge Southampton cuts inside Labour and out

Fighting to keep open Kentish Road Respite Centre, with anti-cuts councillor Keith Morrell left (on megaphone), photo Southampton Socialist Party, photo Southampton Socialist Party

Fighting to keep open Kentish Road Respite Centre, with anti-cuts councillor Keith Morrell left (on megaphone), photo Southampton Socialist Party, photo Southampton Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Josh Asker, Southampton Socialist Party

The phony unity in Labour has been exposed! Blairite cutting councillors in Southampton have had their proposals to close two care homes opposed overwhelmingly by Labour Party members as well as by council unions Unite and Unison.

Angry workers and residents' families took the opportunity to voice their opposition outside the South East regional Labour conference on 3 November by blocking the road outside of the venue. The union-organised demonstration succeeded in having the current leader of the council removed from the list of speakers at the conference. The demonstration was also supported and joined by campaigners fighting to re-open Kentish road respite centre - a service closed by the previous leader of the council, and now prospective parliamentary candidate, Simon Letts. As Simon gingerly approached the megaphone he was booed by the Kentish Road delegation and made his way into the conference without daring to have a say.

The correct strategy has to be to confront councillors making cuts and to expose them as being responsible for undermining Corbyn's anti-austerity message.

An emergency motion to propose a legal no-cuts budget was moved at Southampton Itchen constituency Labour Party (CLP). The motion won support from trade unionists who played a crucial role in bringing down the previous Tory council administration but who have seen their members continue to lose jobs under Labour.

The motion passed says: "This CLP believes to win the fight against Tory austerity it is necessary to oppose all cuts to local services. Southampton City Council should adopt the call from Unite and Unison to set a legal no-cuts budget."

The leader of the council has emailed all Labour members to remind them that they have no say on the voting of councillors and can only make recommendations. This has to change! Councillors should be held democratically accountable to the anti-austerity Labour membership and the unions. Where they vote for cuts they should be removed from office and replaced with those who will fight!

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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.

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In The Socialist 7 November 2018:


International socialist news and analysis

Worldwide walkout at Google against sexual harassment

Pittsburgh Synagogue shootings: Unite to fight anti-Semitism and far right

Mexico: The movement of 68 and the massacre of Tlatelolco

CWI news in brief


Opinion

Nae Pasaran: a film about working-class solidarity

The Socialist inbox


What we think

Tories out - we need socialism!


News

Labour councils should use 14bn reserves to fight all cuts

University bankruptcy threat - kick the market out of education

Stand up against abuse - justice not racism

Care crisis cashing in


Workplace news

PCS Left Unity: Back Chris Baugh and Marion Lloyd for a fighting, democratic, lay-led union

Arriva Rail North strike hits 34 days of action

Cable workers' Halloween picket line attempts to 'scare' management into talks

Royal Bolton Hospital: Another victory against NHS privatisation

Occupy and demand nationalisation to save Devon shipyard

Unison HE ballot: Anti-union rules block action

Bradford uni strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Hundreds march to save Blackwood leisure centres

Crowds turn out for Corbyn in Rugby

Thousands march against overnight closure of Shropshire A&E

Protesters drive far right out of Liverpool

Unions and campaigners challenge Southampton cuts inside Labour and out

Support the Socialist alternative, subscribe to the Socialist

East London public square threat halted


 

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Related links:

Southampton:

triangleCouncils must use resources now for emergency response

triangleTrade unionists say "defend the right to strike!"

triangleDefend the right to strike! Southampton solidarity meeting

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triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: General Election 2019 rally

Unions:

triangleNew laws: Unions must be on guard against attacks on workers' interests

triangleAs coronavirus crisis intensifies, class antagonisms deepen

triangleThe self-employed need 100% of their income, and now!

Labour:

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triangleGoing viral - Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

Councillors:

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Budget:

triangleCapitalist crisis and Corona: Johnson's budget for the bosses

Labour Party:

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