EVEN IN the holiday period, around 100 community campaigners and trade union activists attended a North Staffs TUC (NSTUC) public meeting on 18 August to launch an anti-cuts alliance and start a serious fightback against the Con-Dems' savage cuts.
Much anger was expressed at the City Council's own 'cuts coalition cabinet' where Labour cobbled together an unholy alliance with Tories, Lib Dems and Independents to pass on government cuts of £32 million without a whimper of opposition. Stoke council is paying people to walk around the city asking working class people (who will suffer most from the cuts) where they think cuts should be made!
Socialist Party member Andy Bentley, speaking from the platform, said that: "Stoke Socialist Party has already carried out a much more extensive survey. In the last 12 weeks we have held 60 campaigning stalls, spoken to over 4,000 people locally. Over 4,000 people say 'no to cuts', over 4,000 people support a mass campaign to defend jobs and services and over 4,000 people call on the TUC to organise a national demonstration against the cuts!"
Many Labour activists will want to take part in this anti-cuts alliance. But disgracefully, one Labour councillor argued that if Labour had only a few councillors then they could vote against cuts because it wouldn't matter but as they were the largest party then they had to vote for them!
From the platform, Liat Norris from Youth Fight for Jobs, responded: "What an anti-cuts alliance needs is councillors who oppose cuts not just in words but also in deeds - councillors who will join the campaign of opposition and vote against cuts".
Fortunately, the massive opposition which will develop to the Con-Dems' cuts will not rely on the Labour 'machine'. The anti-cuts alliances here and those springing up around the country will be built by those who are prepared to fight against all cuts. Increasingly it will become a question of: "Which side are you on?"