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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 April 2008

Elections 2008

Manchester Wythenshawe

Building a real alternative

Lynn Worthington

Lynn Worthington

SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE election canvassers are being well received on the doorsteps in Wythenshawe in Manchester. New Labour's policies, stolen from the Tories, have lost their disguise and increasingly many people see us as the alternative locally.

Lynn Worthington, Socialist Alternative candidate for Baguley ward, Manchester

My Labour opponent is sitting councillor Tony Burns. His election leaflet incredibly claims as successes all the failures which turn working-class people against New Labour!

Health service

Burns highlights his board position on the Community and Mental Health Trust, an organisation best known for provoking a strike last year. The same Trust tried to shut the mental health unit at Wythenshawe Hospital. We played a big part in saving the unit.

When cuts or closures were proposed to health and advisory services, Burns kept quiet or voted in favour. We consistently fought all the cuts and closures in the health service, launched the Save Our Baby Unit campaign (which gained huge support), and defended mental health workers taking action to defend democratic rights.


Lynn Worthington (left), on the anti-war protest in Manchester, photo Alison Hill

Lynn Worthington (left), on the anti-war protest in Manchester, photo Alison Hill

The housing transfer from Manchester council to Parkway Green Housing Trust has meant problems for many tenants. Burns sits on the Parkway Green board, and is proud of it! Tenants who had their homes wrecked by subcontractors and are now paying higher rents, are not impressed.

If elected, I will demand a meeting with the councillors and Parkway Green to represent tenants and demand the improvements are carried out swiftly and properly.

The council created a severe crisis by running down council housing for years. They blame the government for under-funding housing, which is true, but when it's a Labour council and a Labour government, what does that say about New Labour's priorities?

Transferring housing to private companies and associations made the situation worse, with properties standing empty for year on year. Privatisation and demolition of social housing around Manchester turned a shortage into chaos.

With the council's help, private developers grabbed public land for expensive private housing. Now only a minority can afford to buy, often with huge mortgages, while many young people are completely priced out of renting or buying.

Home-owners and tenants face a worsening future. That's why we need a socialist councillor, to demand high-quality affordable homes for all, together with accountable and effective maintenance and environmental works.


Burns' claims to have improved the notoriously unreliable bus service would be funny if it wasn't so bad. "Improvements" mean more services timetabled during the day, in return for a £multi-million council tax-payers' subsidy to Stagecoach which then hiked the fares anyway, by up to 10%! New Labour have no intention of reinstating bus routes cut in previous years, or running extra services later.

The only way to ensure frequent, reliable buses at affordable fares is for them to be under public ownership, democratically controlled by elected representatives of passengers and transport workers. We need a socialist councillor to demand a proper transport network, one run in the interests of the travelling public not the profits of transport companies.

A working-class candidate

Burns claims he's "the candidate for you" but that's not many people's impression! People are turning to us because New Labour have turned their backs on them. If you live in Manchester and think it's time we had a socialist voice on the council, ring 07747 332 854 or email

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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.
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  • 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 16 April 2008:

'We're striking against low pay'

Birmingham strike

Editorial: 24 April strikes: step forward in pay battle

Unison witch-hunt

Unison witch-hunt: Defend 'the four'

Stop the witch hunts!

National Shop Stewards Network

Workplace news and analysis

Re-elect a fighting PCS leadership

News in brief

Global food crisis

Global food prices: anger erupts in mass protests

How the other 0.01% live

Socialist Party election campaign

Elections 2008

Health campaigners fight council cuts

Standing up for socialism: candidate list

Campaign for a New Workers Party - conference 2008

Socialist Party feature

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill: why all the controversy?

Socialist Party news and views

Housing crisis: Britain's house of cards

Tax attack hits low paid workers

Water 'regulators' hide real prices

International socialist news and analysis

Rising class struggles across Europe

Italian election: new Berlusconi victory will provoke mass opposition

France 1968: 10 million workers occupied factories

France 1968: month of revolution by Clare Doyle

The radical life of Martin Luther King

Socialist Students

Portsmouth Activists Academy day of debate


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