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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 June 2010

Will the councils fight the cuts?

Socialist Party member Nancy Taaffe, who was the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate in last month's general election in Walthamstow, had this letter published in the local press after Labour won back control of Waltham Forest council.

ACROSS EAST London, including Waltham Forest, millions of workers voted Labour, believing this might protect them from the Tory-led public sector massacre now set to take place.

Throughout the election the Socialist Party campaigned on a 'no cuts' platform, explaining that these cuts were being demanded by unelected hedge fund managers and city wolf packs, with politicians repeating ad nauseam that ordinary people should pay for bank bailouts.

In reality Waltham Forest has experienced in-efficiency cut after in-efficiency cut. Failed privatisation experiments such as Ascham Homes and EduAction, abound. We have the dirty contract of Kier [a poorly paying waste and cleaning company which took over many services locally - Eds]. On top of this, the swansong of the previous Lib/Lab pact was to vote through 10 million of budget cuts.

The Socialist Party stands in the tradition of the fighting Liverpool city council, which stood up to Thatcher between 1984 and 1986; which built houses and schools and created jobs in the teeth of a vicious Tory government.

Militant, the forerunner of the Socialist Party, led the magnificent battle against the poll tax that saw 18 million people refuse to pay, defeated the tax and, ultimately, saw the back of Thatcher herself.

Council leader Chris Robbins said we face "exciting but difficult times". Well, this Labour council has a choice - will they slavishly do the bidding of the government, as they did under New Labour, or will they refuse to implement the cuts?

If they choose defiiance, like the socialists in Liverpool, they should set a budget based on real needs in the borough in terms of services, and build a campaign amongst council workers, college lecturers, teachers, school and college students etc, linking up with other boroughs to force the government to increase funding.

The Socialist Party is ready to be part of that campaign. Is the council?

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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 2 June 2010:

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Related links:

Waltham Forest:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building a political voice for the working class

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The poll tax - how a mass movement won

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: China Rising? New world situation, new world order

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Trade unions in the era of Covid and capitalist crises

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Are women being pushed back into the 1950s?

Socialist:

triangleSouth East Wales Socialist Party: World in Crisis - Can capitalism overcome it?

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: The US presidential election

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: How can we change the system?

triangleCardiff West Socialist Party: What's the future for young people?

Walthamstow:

triangleCouncil houses - not private property developers

triangleAvenue of trees saved!

triangleHow working-class tenants beat Gentrification

Council:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleSussex: Hands off Peacehaven schools

Election:

triangleA critical election for Unison general secretary

Labour:

triangleWhy we joined the Socialist Party

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition:

triangleTUSC to stand in elections again against pro-austerity politicians

Socialist Party:

triangleSocialist Party Wales: Capitalism = Crisis, War & Racism

Cuts:

triangleDover: Solidarity with refugees - applause and cheers for socialist ideas to unite working class

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