spotCampaigns

spotOrganisations

spotArguments for socialism

spotPeople

spotInternational

spotEvents

spotAround the UK


All keywords


All People subcategories:

BAME

International figures

Labour Party figures

Lefts

Miscellaneous

Nationalists

Other UK politicans

Socialist Party and CWI public figures

Tory figures

Trade union figures

Transport

* Writers and artists


Writers and artists keywords:

Bob Marley (1)

Boris Pilnyak (2)

Charles Dickens (4)

Fela Kuti (1)

George Orwell (7)

Gore Vidal (2)

Gore Vidal (2)

Isaac Babel (2)

Jack Shepherd (1)

Ken Loach (24)

Mark Steel (5)

Marlon Brando (1)

Michael Moore (10)

Paul Robeson (2)

Piketty (2)

Richard Dawkins (3)

Robert Tressell (9)

Rory Bremner (3)

Russell Brand (14)

Upton Sinclair (4)

Woody Guthrie (1)

Zola (2)

Ken Loach


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 805, 2 April 2014: Real jobs for all!

Search site for keywords: TUSC - Cuts - Election - Austerity - Elections - Bob Crow - Ken Loach - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition - Bedroom tax - Council elections

TUSC: No-cuts election challenge grows

Southampton TUSC campaigners get together for canvassing on 22 March, including councillors

Southampton TUSC campaigners get together for canvassing on 22 March, including councillors   (Click to enlarge)

As we go to press the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee is about to approve the 440th candidate for the challenge in May's local elections.

Out of the 160 councils with elections in May, TUSC already has candidates in place in 76. In twelve councils TUSC will be standing in at least ten seats.

In Coventry, Bristol and Portsmouth every seat will be contested, with nine RMT members on the list in the latter.

Fighting these elections is important. Evidence emerges daily of how councils - Labour, Tory, and Lib Dem alike - are acting as local agents of the austerity agenda. TUSC will mean a challenge to these establishment parties - and to Ukip too.

Council cuts of 770 million to adult social care over the past three years mean that 168,000 older people are no longer getting help with essential tasks such as eating, washing and getting dressed, according to Age UK. In many areas youth services are becoming the stuff of memories.

Protests, demonstrations, strike action by council staff - all are vital to try to protect our public services.

But offering a challenge at the ballot box is also part of the struggle. The question now, with weeks to go before nominations close, is how can the broadest and most effective anti-austerity electoral campaign be organised for the May polls?


Will you stand?

We still need to get application forms in quickly to get as close as possible to the broadcasting authorities' 'fair coverage' threshold of 625 candidates.

To apply to be a TUSC local election candidate complete the council candidate authorisation application form available on the Candidates page of the TUSC website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidates.php and email it to:

Clive Heemskerk, the TUSC National Election Agent, at cliveheemskerk@socialistparty.org.uk

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance that stands candidates against all cuts and privatisation.

It involves the RMT transport union, leading members of other unions and socialists including the Socialist Party.

This May TUSC plans to stand hundreds of no-cuts candidates in the council elections against all the austerity parties voting through the destruction of jobs and services. Could you be a candidate?


We still have to fight to be heard

TUSC stall in Derby

TUSC stall in Derby   (Click to enlarge)

To be granted what the broadcasting authorities call 'fair media coverage', 15% of the seats up for election need to be contested by a party registered with the Electoral Commission.

That means, for May's elections, 625 candidates standing under one banner, at least as it appears on the ballot paper. Recent events show this will also need a fight!

The media couldn't ignore the outpouring of grief by working class people at RMT leader Bob Crow's death.

But they developed a line that Bob was 'not political'. A BBC website article by John Moylan stated that, "Mr Crow was not a member of any political party when he died".

A formal complaint was made pointing out that Bob Crow was a co-founder of TUSC and a member of the TUSC steering committee.Two days later it was amended to include a quote from TUSC national chairperson, Dave Nellist.

Then, on 26 March, TUSC received an official reply from the BBC's Complaints department. In a Kafkaesque response they state: "we've looked at some of our articles which don't mention Bob Crow's connection to the TUSC but equally the article [by John Moylan] does".

In other words the only thing they could find to defend their coverage was the very article which we complained about which they had been forced to change.

How can we break the mainstream media's boycott of the anti-austerity socialist alternative? One step is to join the 440 people who have put themselves forward to date and become a TUSC candidate on 22 May.


An appeal to anti-austerity campaigners

TUSC candidate Lois Austin speaking outside the Labour Party special conference, 1.3.14

TUSC candidate Lois Austin speaking outside the Labour Party special conference, 1.3.14   (Click to enlarge)

At its meeting on 26 February the TUSC national steering committee agreed to approach other anti-austerity campaigners and parties to ask if they would participate in the TUSC candidate lists - with their full rights preserved - even if just for this round of elections.

At the very least, the TUSC steering committee is committed to avoiding electoral clashes with other anti-austerity forces.

But the opportunity is there to do much more, to break through the media boycott of the positive alternative to austerity.

On 2 March 2014 TUSC wrote to Left Unity regarding collaboration in the local elections. The letter explained that "TUSC is based on agreement on core policies which every prospective candidate is asked to endorse."

The ten core policies include: oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions; refuse to implement the bedroom tax; support all workers' struggles against the cuts, privatisation and the government's policy of making ordinary people pay for the crisis caused by the bankers and the bosses and voting for councils to refuse to implement the cuts.

The letter continues: "On that basis, any Left Unity members who wanted to stand in May would be guaranteed to receive the legally-necessary 'certificate of authorisation' to appear under the TUSC umbrella."

TUSC explains that: "This arrangement would guarantee the rights of Left Unity as an autonomous party.

"Beyond endorsing the core policies, candidates are responsible for their own campaign. The rights of Left Unity members who were authorised as candidates to produce their own material, to promote Left Unity as part of their campaign etc would be fully secured.

"There would obviously be issues to discuss if Left Unity were to accept this proposal. If the broadcast threshold was reached, for example, the organisations involved in the election campaign, now including Left Unity, would need to agree how this 'federal approach' would operate for media appearances, for instance in regard to a party election broadcast. But these could surely be resolved."

On 23 March LU's national secretary Kate Hudson replied regarding the offer of collaboration saying: "In line with our approach and policy discussions on electoral work so far, I don't think it likely that we will take up your offer.

"As you will be aware, we have a national policy conference at the end of this month which will have further discussions about our electoral policy.

"However, following our initial discussion last year, we have no intention of conflicting electorally with TUSC, and following our conference, I am sure that the newly-elected officers would be very pleased to meet with you to discuss this matter further if you would wish to do so."

The TUSC appeal was continued in a letter to the Guardian by national election agent Clive Heemskerk, responding to a comment article by Ken Loach in the Guardian on 28 March.

"Ken Loach is absolutely right to say that 'Labour is part of the problem, not the solution' to the question, 'where is our political fightback' against austerity to come from?

"At the forthcoming local council elections the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), co-founded by Bob Crow and since 2012 officially backed by the RMT union, is organising the biggest left of Labour challenge in such elections since the immediate aftermath of the second world war.

"The recently founded Left Unity group have been invited to participate in this election coalition, joining the anti-bedroom tax campaigners, trade union activists, and members of a number of different socialist organisations who will be standing under the TUSC umbrella in May.

"Possibly, together, we can reach the broadcasting authorities' threshold for 'fair coverage' during the election period.

"This would be a breakthrough for the anti-austerity socialist message, which I'm sure Ken would support."

Even if it proves impossible to agree formal arrangements nationally in the time available, individuals can still apply to appear on the ballot paper with the TUSC name, while promoting other compatible campaigns and organisations as they wish.

The priority really must be to build the most effective challenge to the austerity consensus on 22 May.


Who are Left Unity?

Left Unity was set up in March last year after 10,000 people clicked an online declaration supporting 'Ken Loach's appeal to discuss the formation of a new party' following the release of his film, Spirit of 45, a Guardian article and other media publicity.

But an online appeal and a media profile does not make a party. Just 377 people took part in recent elections for Left Unity's national leadership, conducted through a two-week long online ballot - less than the number of TUSC candidates in May! Seventeen of the 40 regional reps' places on Left Unity's national council have been left unfilled.

When Bob Crow was interviewed last September by Guardian journalist John Harris on the prospect for a new workers' party he was asked about Left Unity. "Well, it's another group of people.

"Good luck to 'em", he replied. But "there needs to be one party speaking on behalf of workers", with the unions central (9 September 2013).

Organisations' rights are protected by the federal, 'umbrella' character of TUSC. Shouldn't Left Unity be part of the coalition?

Donate to the Socialist Party

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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 







Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999