As a former committed Labour supporter and ex-Care UK worker I am standing for TUSC in Doncaster in the local elections. I was fortunate enough to get back into the NHS recently, but my wife is still employed by private contractor Care UK and is currently on a two-week strike after undertaking 20 days of strike action so far. I was also involved in this action and will continue to support my partner and her comrades.
I was disillusioned with the Labour-controlled council and local Labour MPs who are all in collusion with the Con-Dem government by implementing their cuts. This spurred me to join the Socialist Party and to stand as a candidate.
It's about time that we stood up to defend our NHS, public services and education - all of which are despised by the Tory party.
I went through a similar period in 1982 when working in the steelworks in Sheffield. I was made redundant and was unemployed for nearly three years under the Thatcher government, which went on to decimate the coal industry and the whole infrastructure of our country.
Nearly 30 years on we are seeing what the Tories have wanted to do all along. Having created a culture of fear in the NHS through understaffing and undermining, they are now selling it off to their Tory mates. One of these is John Nash, one of the bosses of Care UK, who has donated substantial amounts of cash to the Tory party.
He was given a peerage, as well as under-priced NHS contracts.
Care UK has, after a 'honeymoon' period, shafted the NHS staff (who were covered by TUPE which should protect their existing contracts) by attacking their terms and conditions in Doncaster Supported Living Services. Three months after the contract that they bid for was awarded to them in preference to the NHS, undercutting by just £80,000, they are now saying they need to save £1.4 million.
It's a lie! They lied about the budget to get the contract and thought they would make an easy buck for their shareholders by attacking the experienced NHS staff they inherited. Well what a shock they've had! Over 90 workers have not signed their contracts and have taken firm strike action.
This is the first time this company has met resistance and it is now spreading nationally. This is the start of a fightback to defend not only pay, but the NHS as we know it, from falling into the hands of privateers.
That's why I am standing for TUSC as the only real alternative to fight this attack on the working class and the vulnerable people we care for.
I am a mother of five living in Brent. I have been fighting attempts to force my family out of Brent since I was made homeless in April 2012 when our benefits were dramatically cut.
I launched the "Housing 4 All" campaign, which calls for the council to adopt a "no evictions due to benefit cuts policy, more council housing at affordable rents and rent controls" among other measures to tackle the housing crisis.
All of this has led me to the conclusion that I need to stand as a TUSC candidate against the current council and its ongoing implementation of government cuts.
I'm not a career politician, but have a wide experience of life. Despite several disabilities I'm a successful parent, manage to paint the occasional portrait, care for my dog and fight for the things I believe in.
As an ex-nurse, and with experiences of the benefit system, I know what's important in life. I am standing as a candidate because I don't want to live in a society where the sick and disabled are killing themselves through fear of Atos. Where people are made destitute and homeless. Where foodbanks are the only growth industry, and the NHS and other vital services are privatised while the creators of the economic recession continue to get rich.
Locally I want to do everything possible to confront politicians with the real effects of their decisions, and be an alternative voice stating no to all cuts.