Vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in the May 2014 local elections
23 April 2014
Posted: 23 April 2014
Anti-cuts candidates standing in the local elections in May are protesting outside Care UK offices in support of striking workers in Doncaster on Thursday. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) will be lobbying Ed Miliband's office in Doncaster as well as holding solidarity protests across the country.
Nurses and care workers at Care UK in Doncaster have taken 20 days of strike action against proposed 35% pay cuts. Care UK took over the service last year, which was previously run by the NHS, and has now torn up the TUPE transfer agreement. Workers are facing pay cuts of £300-£700 a month as well as cuts in holiday and sickness entitlements and enhanced payments for unsociable hours. New staff are being employed on £6.50 an hour.
The workers, members of the trade union Unison, have voted unanimously for a further two week strike next month.
Posted: 17 April 2014
The candidate count for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's challenge in May's local elections has now reached 554, with just a week to go before nominations close. Whatever the final tally is - and the official nomination process is full of pitfalls designed to intimidate working class people from participating in 'politics' - it has been a massive achievement to put such a challenge in place.
And it is a real coalition that has been assembled to make sure the establishment parties don't have it all their own way - of trade unionists, community campaigners, and members of different socialist organisations.
The number of RMT members standing as TUSC council candidates has now reached 54, from the union's assistant general secretary through to regional council officers, branch secretaries, industrial reps and workplace activists.
Posted: 14 April 2014
Today sees the funeral of lifelong Bristol socialist Pat James, who sadly passed away on March 16th at the age of 83.
Pat was one of nine children and was born in the working class community of Easton, Bristol. Her hatred of the capitalist system developed at an early age. She joined the Co-operative youth club which helped form her socialist ideas.
She became very active in the Labour Party and was a staunch supporter of the Labour Party Young Socialists. She was a formidable organiser and at one point became Tony Benn's election agent during the period when he was an MP for Bristol South East.
Posted: 11 April 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has approved a further thirty candidates to stand under the TUSC umbrella in the local council elections taking place on May 22nd.
This brings the total figure up to 506 - with the number of councils with TUSC candidates also increasing, from 80 last week to 85 now. Most importantly, with more applications arriving even since the latest approvals broke the 500 barrier, TUSC is now less than a hundred candidates short of reaching the BBC's threshold for 'fair media coverage' in the official election period.
The full list of the candidates so far, presented in a regional breakdown and including the latest applications agreed, can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/294.pdf.
Posted: 10 April 2014
TUSC chair Dave Nellist was interviewed on BBC2's Daily Politics show on 10 April by programme host Andrew Neil.
Dave said Labour, Liberal Democrats, Tories and UKIP have an "overarching agenda when it comes to austerity".
Dave pointed out that TUSC "will be the sixth largest party when it comes to May's council elections, and the only one with an absolute policy against austerity and against all the effects on local people's services which austerity is bringing". He also explained that TUSC was a project of the late Bob Crow, RMT general secretary.
Posted: 8 April 2014
The number of candidates standing under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) umbrella in May's local council elections has reached 476, after the TUSC national steering committee approved the latest batch of applications.
These candidates are contesting seats in 80 local authorities - so at least half the councils with elections in May will see a challenge to the austerity consensus of the establishment parties.
A full list of the candidates so far, broken down into regions and including the latest applications agreed, can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/293.pdf.
Posted: 3 April 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee met on Wednesday to discuss the latest progress report on the TUSC local elections challenge.
A further 91 applications to stand under the TUSC umbrella were approved, taking the total to 440 TUSC candidates - over one in ten of all the council seats up for election in May.
A full list of the candidates so far, broken down into regions and including the applications agreed on Wednesday, can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/292.pdf.
Posted: 4 April 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has contested two town council by-elections in as many weeks which were marked mainly by the low voter turnout - but which also saw, in that context, decent TUSC scores.
Labour won the March 27th by-election in the South Yorkshire town of Maltby, with 48% of the vote. But just 17% of the 1,800-strong electorate went to the polls. The TUSC candidate, Unison member Gavin Roberts, won a 13% share.
But 17% was almost twice the turnout - at 9.6%! - in the Lydney West by-election on April 2nd, in the Forest of Dean. The seat was won there by the Tories with the TUSC candidate Claude Mickleson, a former treasurer of the National Pensioners Convention, picking up a 21% share of the 138 people who voted.
Posted: 28 March 2014
Two new items of TUSC election campaign material are now available to order.
We've re-printed the old TUSC A6 'Where will your vote go?' postcard to include UKIP as a non-alternative on the ballot paper and, on the reverse, Bob Crow's memorable endorsement of TUSC, "Who else you gonna vote for?".
Posted: 27 March 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) local election challenge has now reached 349 candidates, after another 98 applications to stand under the TUSC umbrella in May's local elections were approved this week by the national steering committee.
The number of councils where TUSC candidates will be fighting seats has now risen to 69, out of the 160 councils with elections in May. There are currently ten councils where TUSC will be standing in at least ten seats, and in Coventry and Portsmouth every seat will be contested, with nine RMT members coming forward as candidates in the later.
A full list of the candidates approved so far, broken down into regions and including this week's applications, can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/289.pdf.
Posted: 26 March 2014
Over 350 people have now put themselves forward to stand as anti-austerity candidates under the common banner of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the local elections on May 22nd.
Congratulations are due to everyone who has been prepared to take such a stand. So far at least 69 councils, out of the 160 with local elections this year, will see a challenge to the establishment parties, and UKIP too.
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.
Posted: 24 March 2014
The Hackney and Islington Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is holding a showing of the film, The Battle of Orgreave, this Saturday. The police assault at Orgreave, which took place 30 years ago this June, was one of the most violent confrontations in the 1984-85 miners' strike.
Jeremy Deller, the 2004 Turner Prize winner, will introduce the film and there will be a post-film discussion on the theme: Fighting then! Fighting against cuts! Fighting for justice!
Panel guests include: Voice of Youth, a Daymer representative, Mike Simons (working on a film called "Still the enemy within") and Judy Beishon, Hackney TUSC candidate. The event will be chaired by Lesley Woodburn, Islington TUSC candidate.
Posted: 20 March 2014
Three new leaflets are now available to order for use in the TUSC local election campaign.
They are an A4 general introduction to TUSC leaflet, an A5 leaflet concentrating on housing, and an A5 flyer combining an introduction to TUSC with an appeal for donations. Check out the PDFs of the leaflets by clicking the images below.
Posted: 19 March 2014
Another forty applications have been approved this week by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee to be TUSC candidates in May's local elections.
This takes to 251 the number of candidates - so far - joining the TUSC challenge to the pro-austerity consensus of the establishment parties. This is already the biggest trade union and socialist based left of Labour electoral challenge in local elections since the immediate aftermath of world war two.
Candidates will be fighting seats in sixty out of the 160 councils with elections in May - already an impressive spread, and with five weeks left before nominations close. A full list of the candidates approved so far, broken down into regions and including this week's applications, can be found at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/284.pdf.
Posted: 14 March 2014
TUSC national chairperson, Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992, has issued the following tribute to Tony Benn, who so sadly passed away today.
"It is enormously saddening to mark the passing today of Tony Benn, a friend of forty years. He was a towering socialist.
"I first worked with Tony on the 1975 Common Market referendum; hundreds filled the Police Assembly Hall in Coventry to hear him speak, with hundreds more outside. He spoke for me at a 1987 general election rally, and hundreds came again to hear him in Coventry's Methodist Central Hall; as they did five years ago when he came back to do one of his 'fireside chats'.
Posted: 14 March 2014
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition national chair Dave Nellist spoke to BBC Coventry and Warwickshire's Phil Upton about Bob Crow's legacy and his work in TUSC. Listen here.
Posted: 12 March 2014
Bob Crow was a co-founder of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) from its very beginning in the run-up to the 2010 general election.
He sat on the TUSC national steering committee, initially in a personal capacity but, after the decision of the 2012 annual conference of the RMT transport workers union to be officially represented within TUSC, as one of the union's official nominees.
Yet obituaries in the mainstream media have completely ignored his role in TUSC, with the BBC's website typical in stating that "Mr Crow was not a member of any political party when he died".
Posted: 12 March 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee this week approved a further 28 candidates for May's local elections.
Added to the candidate applications agreed at the February 26th steering committee (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16922/03-03-2014/first-batch-of-local-election-candidates-agreed-by-tusc-steering-committee ), there are now 211 TUSC authorised candidates in place for May 22nd, in 49 of the 160 English councils with elections this year.
The steering committee will now be processing candidate applications on a weekly basis, with those approved posted up on the TUSC website at the beginning of each week. The Certificates of Authorisation, which need to be handed in to council Returning Officers with the official nomination papers, will be sent out to agents from the end of March.
Posted: 11 March 2014
The 'rebel two' Southampton city councillors Keith Morrell and Don Thomas have issued the following statement to the local media, joining the tributes being made to Bob Crow.
"News of the death of Bob Crow came as a huge shock to us, as it would have done to so many people who knew and respected him.
"As the leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) he fought tirelessly for his members and for working people in Britain and across the world.
Posted: 11 March 2014
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition supporters will be shocked and saddened to hear that RMT union general secretary Bob Crow has died.
TUSC national chair Dave Nellist said: "Bob Crow was an inspirational union leader who tenaciously defended his members' jobs, pay and conditions - head and shoulders above most other union leaders.
"Bob also recognised, well before most other union leaders, that the overlapping austerity agenda of the big parties meant working people have to start again and build anew.
Posted: 6 March 2014
A brief guide to election law has been produced for Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates and election agents. It is available as a downloadable PDF from the TUSC website here.
This is a summary of election law for May's local council contests, based on the official guidance produced by the Electoral Commission along with some tips and pointers drawn from the previous experience of TUSC election campaigners.
It also includes information on the procedures agreed by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on how to become a TUSC candidate.
Posted: 5 March 2014
Members of the Newham Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) organised a successful protest outside the Labour Party special conference on Saturday 1st March in opposition to the Collins Review proposals being voted on inside the Excel centre in east London.
Protesters had their mouths gagged and held placards saying, "Don't let Labour silence trade unions". A picture of Ed Miliband walking past one of these placards was featured on the BBC website.
The conference was held in Newham, the borough where trade unionist Keir Hardie was originally elected as a West Ham South MP in 1892 before he went on to become the first Labour Party leader.
Posted: 28 February 2014
Almost a year to the day after the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Joe Robinson won a Town Council seat in the ex-mining town of Maltby, in South Yorkshire (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/press080313.php), TUSC has won a second seat, this time in Maltby East.
Joe won his seat with 60% of the vote against his only other opponent, an 'independent' without description on the ballot paper, but was in reality the Labour candidate whom the ruling Labour group on Maltby town council had tried to co-opt when the Maltby North ward vacancy arose.
This time, TUSC candidate Shaun Barratt, a member of the USDAW shopworkers union, was the only person to hand in nomination papers by today's deadline, and was therefore elected unopposed, in a ward where previously Labour had held four out of the five seats. Other than a different version of the Con-Dem's austerity agenda, Labour has nothing to offer workers - this time, not even a candidate!
Posted: 26 February 2014
Campaigners called for rent controls outside the Landlord and Letting Show at the Barbican on 26 February in a protest organised by Newham and Waltham Forest Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) groups.
With Tory MP and landlord Richard Benyon getting £635,000 from housing benefit in just one year, protesters called for rent caps instead of benefit caps.
Some landlords said it was fair that the 'market decides' rents and that 'everyone needs to make a profit'. Millions of tenants struggling to pay the rent will disagree. One landlord said they needed to have enough money to afford to evict people!
Posted: 25 February 2014
Posted: 24 February 2014
The next meeting of the Merseyside Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) will be on Saturday 1st March 2014 from 10am at The Casa, 29 Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BQ.
Please e-mail any items you wish to be included on the agenda by Thursday 27th February - this will include candidates for the May 22nd local elections.
Merseyside TUSC will be supporting the demonstration at Liverpool Town Hall on Dale Street from 4pm on Wednesday 5th March 2014 as the city council sets yet another budget full of cuts.
Posted: 20 February 2014
The recent Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Local Elections 2014 conference (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16896/03-02-2014/as-labour-moves-to-end-union-links-trade-unionists-and-socialists-plan-biggest-electoral-challenge-for-generations ) heard from Oktay Sahbaz, a representative of the Turkish-Kurdish community group, Day-Mer.
Oktay outlined the campaigning record and socialist roots of Day-Mer and fired a warning at establishment party councillors implementing austerity, "we are coming for you".
Posted: 19 February 2014
Kent trade unionists and parents from the Save Kent Children's Centres campaign marched through the centre of Canterbury on Saturday 15th February in protest at the closure of twelve children's centres by the Tory county council, with a strong presence by supporters of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
Following two previous demonstrations and thousands of names on a petition, Kent county council retreated from its initial proposal of closing 23 children's centres. The protests of parents, underpinned and organised by socialists in the trade unions, forced a backtrack on eleven centres.
In the last week, however, up to 300 staff at the children's centres have been told that they will have to re-apply for their jobs, as opening hours of centres are reduced and the council seeks to strip out resources. These resources include fully qualified teachers at each centre.
Posted: 19 February 2014
TUSC's performance in the recent Sheffield council Arbourthorne ward by-election has been picked up the local press. See http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/local/new-party-to-fight-for-sheffield-seat-1-6443190?WT.mc_id=Outbrain_text&obref=obinsite
A favourable report includes an appeal by the election agent for anti-cuts campaigners, trade unionists and socialists to become candidates "as part of the biggest left of Labour electoral challenge for at least 50 years".
For the local TUSC campaigners' report on the by-election see http://www.tusc.org.uk/16900/08-02-2014/sheffield-kicks-off-tusc-election-year-with-76-percent-by-election-vote
Posted: 18 February 2014
A range of TUSC campaign material - postcards, leaflets, posters and banners - is available to order from the resources page on the TUSC website.
Two TUSC election leaflets are currently available: 'Fight back against the cuts' and 'NHS: public health not private wealth' (see above and below). These are one-side only A4 leaflets which allows for local content to be printed on the reverse.
Posted: 14 February 2014
Southampton rebel councillor Keith Morrell addressed the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Local Elections 2014 conference on the subject of launching the TUSC challenge in May's council elections.
He spoke just as Ed Miliband was announcing the details of what he called 'the most fundamental changes to Labour's structures since its formation'.
Posted: 11 February 2014
Report in Waltham Forest Guardian, 9th February 2014
"Protesters picketed the council's housing office this week in opposition to the so-called bedroom tax.
"Members of the Waltham Forest Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) want the council to defend vulnerable people and low-paid workers against "vicious Tory policies".
Posted: 11 February 2014
The Sunday Mirror carried a stirring article this week on "the brave women who battled to keep Britain's coal mines open" - including an interview with the TUSC candidate in last May's election for the Mayor of Doncaster.
Mary Jackson, who polled over 1,900 votes in the Mayoral contest (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/press030513a.php ), is quoted in the Mirror explaining how "the strike introduced me to politics and changed who I was for ever".
The full article, including a film interview with Mary, is at http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/real-life-stories/brave-women-who-battled-keep-3126222
Posted: 8 February 2014
The only party workers smiling at the Sheffield council Arbourthorne ward by-election count on Thursday 6 February were the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaigners.
TUSC came from nowhere (not having stood in this ward before) to get 204 votes, 7.6%, coming fourth out of seven candidates, a very respectable result.
Though Labour held the seat with just over half the votes cast, their share of vote fell by 10% from the last council election two years ago. UKIP came second but only increased their share on 2012 by 3%, despite two more years of media hype. With a lower turnout their vote actually fell from 544 in 2012 to 482 this time.
Posted: 7 February 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Local Elections 2014 conference held on Saturday February 1st was opened by an official speaker from the RMT transport workers union, executive committee member Mike Sargent.
Click video to see extracts from Mike's speech and opening comments from TUSC chairperson, and former Labour MP, Dave Nellist.
Posted: 7 February 2014
With 625 candidates standing in the May local elections, Chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Dave Nellist tells Afshin Rattansi that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition are the real alternative, not Labour.
The extended interview is the first item in this episode of Russia Today's Going Underground. Click on the video below to watch.
Posted: 3 February 2014
As Ed Miliband was announcing the details of what he called 'the most fundamental changes to Labour's structures since its formation' over 200 trade unionists and socialists were meeting in London to discuss organising the biggest left-of-Labour challenge in local elections since world war two.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Local Elections 2014 conference was opened by RMT executive committee member Mike Sargent, officially representing the transport workers' union, saying that the RMT "has got form" when it comes to fighting for working class political representation.
"It was our predecessor union, the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, which was the main force in setting up the Labour Party in 1900", he said, "and those early representatives achieved important gains, such as the repeal of the anti-union Taff Vale judgement. But Labour is no longer our party and now we are having to start out again".
Posted: 27 January 2014
In the next month or so local councils will be deciding their budgets for 2014-2015, the last full financial year before the general election.
There is no dispute that councils face a dire financial situation. Even the Tory chair of the Local Government Association, Sir Merrick Cockell, has warned that the current funding levels for local councils "will not see us through for very much longer". Such complaints from a Tory politician are hypocritical but they reflect the real crisis facing local council services.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee discussed at its January meeting what councils could actually do to meet this crisis.
Posted: 27 January 2014
TUSC supporters join the '3 Cosas' workers, cleaners and other ancillary workers at the University of London, who have been fighting for a living wage and better conditions for some time, winning some significant victories. Their 'three Cosas', the theme of the current battle, are sick pay, holidays and pensions.
Posted: 22 January 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) one-day conference on Saturday February 1st is set to be the launch pad for the biggest ever trade union and socialist based left-of-Labour challenge in local council elections.
May 22nd will see contests in England for over 4,000 councillors in local authorities across the country. To get what the BBC calls 'balanced media coverage', parties need to stand in 15% of the seats up for election - that means 625 TUSC candidates. The TUSC conference, at the Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London, WIT 6AQ (11am to 4-30pm), will hear the latest news on reaching that target.
Would you consider standing? Come along to the conference and meet other prospective candidates and TUSC supporters who are building an alternative to the austerity parties in their areas.
Posted: 27 January 2014
The 'rebel councillors' and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee members, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, have denounced Southampton's Labour-controlled council for holding a 'sham consultation' on this year's city council budget rather than organising a mass campaign to save public services.
The following statement was published in the 'In Our View' column in Southampton's local paper:
In Our View
Posted: 23 January 2014
TUSC is promoting the drive for candidates with a coordinated social media campaign on Sunday morning, February 2nd.
Using 'Thunderclap' a short Facebook and Twitter message about the May elections will be sent out from over 100 people's accounts simultaneously, potentially reaching many tens of thousands, providing we get at least 100 supporters signed up - could you be one of them?
All TUSC supporters with Facebook or Twitter accounts are asked to visit http://thndr.it/1dPHpgF and sign up before 11 AM on Sunday February 2nd, and then re-promote via Facebook, Twitter and email.
Posted: 17 January 2014
TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist writes:
I am writing to ask for your help.
Posted: 19 December 2013
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is holding a one-day conference on Saturday February 1st to prepare for our widest ever local elections challenge.
Next May there will be elections in England for over 4,000 councillors in local authorities across the country. To get what the BBC calls 'balanced media coverage', parties need to contest 15% of the seats up for election - that means 625 TUSC candidates. Could you be one of those?
Come along to the conference and meet other prospective candidates and TUSC supporters who are building an alternative to the austerity parties in their areas.
Posted: 14 January 2014
LAST WEEK'S national Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Steering Committee meeting received a full report of how TUSC candidates have performed in council by-elections they have contested during 2013.
The report is now available on the TUSC website: 2013 council by-elections
During the year TUSC candidates stood in 37 local council by-elections. Their mean average share of the vote across those seats was 5.2%.
Posted: 14 January 2014
The next meeting of Merseyside TUSC will take place on Saturday 25th January from 10am at The CASA, 29 Hope Street, Liverpool, L1 9BQ.
Tabled on the meeting agenda is a discussion on fighting the May local council elections.
This will include the drawing up of a provisional candidate list for the various wards and a discussion on raising finance for the election campaign.
Posted: 8 December 2013
Interview with Dave Nellist, BBC website, 13 July 2013, reposted on TUSC website 8 December 2013
As many MPs rush to condemn proposals to give them an 11% pay rise, few have taken the lead of the former member for Coventry South.
From his election in 1983 to his deselection by Labour in 1992, Dave Nellist kept less than half his salary.
Posted: 7 December 2013
TUSC Chair and ex-Labour MP Dave Nellist said "Osborne thinks that austerity is working, but the queues at foodbanks and pay day lenders tell a different story.
"This government of millionaires might think things are improving, but most ordinary working class people are facing a Dickensian future rather than a bright recovery.
"This government of the rich, for the rich, want us to work even longer. It is to be made even harder for unemployed young people to claim meagre benefits. Further massive cuts threaten essential public services and jobs.
Posted: 2 December 2013
We need councillors who fight against the cuts - not pass them on!
Speakers include TUSC national chair Dave Nellist (ex 'Militant' Labour MP for 9 years), amongst others
Borough Arms Hotel
Posted: 2 December 2013
Tuesday December 3rd
7:30pm, Tollcross Youth Centre, Tollcross Road, Glasgow
16 May 2013
RETIRED CONSTRUCTION worker George Tapp, who has stood as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate in council elections in Salford, has been hospitalized after being deliberately knocked down by a car as he took part in a protest against blacklisting at Manchester City football ground on Wednesday.
The 64-year-old sustained two broken legs and a fractured knee cap, and is now recovering at Manchester Royal Infirmary hospital.
Witnesses say the car drove deliberately and at speed into a crowd of protesters who were leafleting at the BAM construction site. BAM paid £38,371.85 to the Consulting Agency, a firm that ran anti-union blacklists, between 1996 and 2009.
15 May 2013
THE RMT transport workers’ union has attacked the mainstream media for only using right-wing voices from the anti-EU side of the debate when in fact it is the working class that are suffering most across Europe as a result of the bankers and business-led austerity measures.
RMT General Secretary and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Steering Committee member Bob Crow said: “Across Europe, and specifically in Spain and Greece which are at the eye of the storm, it is the working class who are suffering the most as democracy is ripped apart and the EU and the central bank demand cuts to jobs, wages and pensions and wholesale privatisation of public assets.
15 May 2013
SOUTHAMPTON’S TWO ‘rebel councillors’, expelled from the Labour Party last year for refusing to back council cuts, are backing the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate a council by-election on June 13th.
The by-election in Southampton’s Woolston ward was caused by the resignation of the council’s Labour leader, Richard Williams, who quit his seat and dramatically walked out of the council chamber on April 25th.
Now the ‘rebel councillors’, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, have issued the following press statement explaining their support for the TUSC candidate, Sue Atkins
13 May 2013
TRADE UNIONIST and Socialist Coalition candidate Tessa Warrington won a very creditable 165 votes (6.6%) in the Abbey ward council by-election in Leicester on May 9.
Leicester is a city with 52 Labour councillors out of 54 but the council and the Labour directly-elected Mayor have merely passed on the government's cuts.
7 May 2013
THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is contesting a Southampton by-election caused by the resignation of the council’s Labour leader, Richard Williams, who quit his seat and dramatically walked out of the council chamber on April 25th.
A meeting of Southampton TUSC supporters on Thursday agreed to nominate Sue Atkins, a Labour Party member from 1967 to 1992 and former chair of Southampton UNISON, as a candidate for the subsequent by-election, with the full backing of Southampton ‘rebel councillors’, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, who were expelled from the Labour Party last year for opposing council cuts.
5 May 2013
One hundred and twenty candidates, standing in 117 wards in 20 councils, contested the English local elections on May 2nd under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) umbrella. In addition, TUSC stood a candidate in the Doncaster mayoral contest and two candidates in council by-elections that were held on the same day.
Elections took place in 35 English local authorities, to fill 2,362 seats. TUSC stood at least one candidate in twenty councils with elections (60%), contesting 5% of the seats. This contrasts markedly with when these particular seats were previously contested in the four-yearly local elections cycle in 2009, before the formation of TUSC. Then, a year after the financial crisis had broken, there were literally less than a handful of candidates presenting a working class alternative to the pro-austerity consensus.
3 May 2013
AFTER A recount delayed the announcement of the result, the first preference votes for the Mayor of Doncaster election have now been published. The TUSC candidate Mary Jackson polled 1,916 votes (3.1%) coming in sixth place, ahead of one of the ‘parties of government’, the Liberal Democrats – and not too far behind the other, the Conservatives, who polled 4.5%.
Another anti-cuts candidate, Doug Wright, polled 1.3%. Mary and Doug’s combined showing will give confidence to anti-cuts and anti-bedroom tax campaigners in Doncaster.
Mary’s campaign in particular rattled the local Labour Party – with one of Doncaster MPs, of course, being Labour leader Ed Miliband.
3 May 2013
AS WE post this, counting the votes in Thursday’s local elections is still under way in most of the councils where polls took place.
This year there were 2,362 council seats up for election – mainly in Conservative-held county councils – in 35 English local authorities. TUSC stood at least one candidate in 60% of the councils with elections, contesting 120 seats, 5% of the total.
When all the results come in we will post up a comprehensive seat-by-seat report on how the TUSC candidates fared. In the meantime, based on the first 18 results for TUSC candidates in the few councils that counted the ballots overnight, we are posting an ‘early season league table’, listing the votes won by TUSC candidates in percentage order.
1 May 2013
The national demonstration, called by groups including the Stop the War Coalition and War on Want, took place just two days after the UK government had announced that the drones had begun to be operated from the Lincolnshire base rather than operated from Nevada.
Nick Parker, Secretary of Lincoln & District Trades Council, and the TUSC candidate for Lincoln East in Thursday’s county council elections, addressed the closing rally.
30 April 2013
AROUND 220 people attended the Hackney and Islington TUSC screening of Ken Loach's film about the founding of the NHS, The Spirit of 45.
The film brilliantly shows the mood and expectations of the period. Workers were no longer prepared to tolerate the mass unemployment of the thirties and the overcrowded slum housing in the towns and cities.
Labour was elected on a landslide vote. Reflecting the semi-revolutionary attitude of many workers, Labour nationalised some key industries: transport, mines, gas, electricity, water. They were in a state of collapse and capitalism even welcomed the take-over to prop up the ailing system.
27 April 2013
THURSDAY SAW two council by-elections take place in Newcastle, both contested by Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates.
Labour held on to the South Heaton ward with 61% of the vote, with the Green Party keeping hold of their second place position from when this seat was last contested, in May 2012.
The Liberal Democrats remained in third but this time the TUSC candidate Paul Phillips, who stood in South Heaton in 2012, came in fourth ahead of the Tories, with 5.3%. Paul also outpolled a Newcastle First candidate – “UKIP in disguise” – and another independent.
24 April 2013
Some candidates explain who they are and why they are standing on May 2nd.
IN NEXT week’s council elections over five per cent of the seats will have a fighting anti-austerity alternative on the ballot paper. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 120 candidates, in 20 of the 35 councils with elections this year.
In addition there is the TUSC candidate for the mayor of Doncaster, Mary Jackson, and TUSC candidates in two council by-elections taking place on the same day.
23 April 2013
TRADE UNIONIST and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates are standing on 2 May in all the four divisions covering the centre of Stafford and across Staffordshire – in Rugeley, Burton-on-Trent, Leek and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Last weekend TUSC supporters joined the 50,000-strong march to defend Stafford hospital and to stop the privatisation agenda pursued by the previous Labour government and the Con Dems.
Disability activist Josie Shelley is standing in Stafford North, alongside NHS worker John Barbrook in Stafford South East, local teacher Jim Reading in Stafford Central, and former Stafford Borough Labour councillor Scott Wilson in Stafford West.
Posted: 23 April 2013
AN ORGANISING meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Wales is taking place on Saturday 27 April at the Holiday Inn in Castle Street, Cardiff. Below is the letter of invitation issued by prominent trade unionists in Wales:
We are all facing unprecedented attacks from the current ConDem government. The legacy of Thatcher is still very visible in Wales from her relentless drive to force down working class living standards and boost the wealth of the rich. The ConDem Government wants to complete the job she began in Wales. It will be fitting in the month of her death that we get organised to build a political alternative to these Tory policies.
18 April 2013
Doncaster has 225,000 voters concentrated in the town and several outlying ex-mining villages. On ‘the day Thatcher died’ we’re in Thorne – everybody knows Mary Jackson, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for mayor of Doncaster.
She’s lived here for 40 years. The campaign stall is like a poster distribution centre. Message from a supporter Shaun, “done six hours leafleting in Moorends, need more leaflets”. And box of 4,000 dropped off with young Rob, working nights, gonna do a couple of hours flyering each morning after work.
12 April 2013
THE LINCOLN Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is holding a lobby of Lincoln city council's full council meeting on Tuesday 16th April to try to persuade councillors not to evict tenants who are penalised by the Con-Dem government’s new ‘bedroom tax’.
This follows a protest organised by TUSC on Lincoln High Street on Saturday 30th March to coincide with a national day of action against the introduction of the bedroom tax by the government.
The protest saw around 30 protesters gather at Speakers Corner. Those involved had brought homemade placards and even a mattress with ‘Fight the Bedroom Tax’ written on it. TUSC activists appealed to passers-by to sign a petition opposing the bedroom tax.
Tuesday 9 April 2013
There are quite a few items in this action packed bulletin so here are some of the headlines:
* TUSC gets 8.5 per cent in Knowsley Council by-election http://www.tusc.org.uk/press060413.php
* If you are an independent socialist then join the Independent Socialist Network in TUSC: http://bit.ly/q8RyiS
* TUSC stands over 120 candidates in May 2nd elections
10 April 2013
FIVE PER cent of the seats in the local council elections will have a fighting anti-austerity alternative on the ballot paper on May 2nd.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 120 candidates, in 20 of the 35 councils with elections this year. In addition there is the TUSC candidate for the mayor of Doncaster, Mary Jackson, and TUSC candidates in two council by-elections taking place on the same day.
This contrasts with when these particular seats were previously contested in the four-yearly local elections cycle. In 2009, for example, a year after the financial crisis broke and when Labour polled just 24% of the vote, there were literally just a handful of candidates presenting a working class alternative to the pro-austerity consensus.
4 April 2013
A TUSC local elections leaflet is now available, for printed copies to be sent out by post or a PDF version – Council election leaflet – that could be copi-printed locally.
On the front there is space to overprint details of local candidates and, on the reverse side, is the TUSC ten-point ‘core policy platform’ for council elections.
6 April 2013
TUSC candidate Steve Whatham won a respectable third place in a Knowsley council by-election on Thursday 4th April.
Labour held the Prescot West seat with 44% of the vote and the Lib Dems kept their second place position from last May’s contest. Steve came in with 8.5% of the poll, ahead of both the Tories and the Greens.
The Merseyside borough of Knowsley remains a ‘one-party’ council – all 63 councillors are Labour – but the by-election showed again that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition banner can still be picked up by anti-cuts campaigners to mount a credible working class challenge to the pro-austerity consensus.
4 April 2013
THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaign for the Mayor of Doncaster election got off to a great start on Tuesday (April 2nd), with sixty people attending a launch meeting addressed by the TUSC candidate Mary Jackson, and Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport workers union.
Joining Mary and Bob on the platform were Joe Robinson, the 21-year old newly elected TUSC councillor in Maltby, and Tony Mulhearn, one of the Liverpool 47 councillors who stood up to Thatcher’s government in the 1980s.
Tony stood as a TUSC candidate in last May’s Liverpool Mayoral election, polling 4,792 votes (4.73%) – ahead of the Tories and with double the UKIP vote. Now TUSC has a chance to make an impact in Doncaster, one of whose MPs is Labour leader Ed Miliband.
TUSC screening Ken Loach’s Spirit of ‘45
Posted: 21 March 2013
A discussion will be chaired by Bev Woodburn and introduced by Helen Riddet, Unison member and health worker (speaking in a personal capacity).
18 March 2013
WHEN THE VOTES were counted in Camden Town Hall late on Thursday night the winner was the least interesting result. As expected, the Labour candidate romped home, taking just under 60% of the vote in the by-election in Gospel Oak ward.
The more remarkable story of the night was the collapse in the Lib Dem vote and the very creditable result of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), standing in their first election in the ward and indeed the borough of Camden.
The Lib Dems were the largest party on Camden council as recently as 2010. In the borough wide elections that year their three candidates in Gospel Oak ward garnered a combined vote of 20%. Fast forward two years and their vote had melted to 6.2%, putting them behind the Tories and Greens in fourth place.
Saturday 10 March 2013
Rebel councillors to stand under TUSC umbrella
This week Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, the ‘rebel two’ councillors in Southampton (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/press180213.php) were invited to speak at a meeting of the RMT’s national executive committee. Their principled stand against the cuts, for which they have been expelled from the Labour Party, was warmly welcomed by the RMT.
They in turn voiced their appreciation of the support they have had from the RMT and from other TUSC supporters. Keith Morrell is up for re-election in May 2014 and, while the rebel two are looking at exactly what name he will use on the ballot paper, Keith is clear that he will be standing with others across the city under the TUSC umbrella.
8 March 2013
IT MIGHT ONLY be Maltby Town Council. It was only a by-election. There’s only 3,000 electors. Only a 16.5% turn-out. And only two candidates.
But you can only beat the opposition put in front of you, and last night Joe Robinson did just that. Standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), young Socialist Party member Joe was elected by 303 votes to 201, taking 60% of votes cast.
His opposition was an ‘independent’ without description on the ballot paper, but in reality the Labour candidate whom the ruling group on Maltby town council had tried to co-opt when a vacancy arose.
From The Socialist newspaper, 7 March 2013
Nick Chaffey, Eastleigh TUSC Election Agent
Underlining the deep economic crisis austerity has brought in cuts to jobs, benefits and living standards, the Eastleigh byelection has left Tory ringmaster Cameron with his big tent in tatters.
While the Lib Dems hung on, Labour were side-stepped into fourth with a huge protest vote emerging for the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip).
5 March 2013
ANTI-CUTS PROTESTERS will hold a lobby of Lincoln City Council's full council meeting tonight to try to persuade councillors of an alternative to proposed cuts.
Lincoln City Council is proposing to cut the uphill bus which connects the High Street and Castle Square, as well as £75,000 from the subsidy for the iconic Drill Hall.
It also proposes to abolish ward budgets for community groups, and the jobs of urban rangers and common wardens. Finally, it plans to charge households £25 for garden waste collection. The City Council has also voted recently to increase council tenants' and garage rents by 3.66%, going up by almost four times as much as benefits and public-sector wage increases.
Posted: 1 March 2013
Wednesday 6th March, 7.30pm, Gospel Oak Primary School, Mansfield Road, London NW3 2JB.
Guest speakers include Bob Crow, General Secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (RMT), and Izzie Counihan from the Counihan-Sanchez Housing Campaign.
25 February 2013
RMT Press Release:
WITH LESS than a week to go in the Eastleigh by-election, promoted by the resignation of ConDem criminal Chris Huhne, transport union RMT today blasted a deliberate media blackout of working class candidate Darren Procter, a member of the union’s executive and the candidate of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
While the press have been busy boosting the egos and profile of the establishment candidates – a Lib-Dem grandee and council boss, a Palinesque pro-privatisation Tory and a Labour media luvvie – Daz Procter, a ship worker who lives in the real world of cuts to services and attacks on living conditions, has been carefully ignored by the circus that has descended on the Eastleigh seat.
21 February 2013
THE NATIONAL Council of Executives of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT) agreed at its meeting this week to officially back TUSC candidate Darren Procter in the Eastleigh by-election.
In a letter to RMT branches explaining the decision to back Daz, General Secretary Bob Crow said that the union “wished him well in the campaign” and reported that a £1,000 donation would be made from the union’s national political fund.
This is another step in the RMT’s drive to build a vehicle for working class political representation, with the union now officially represented on the TUSC national Steering Committee by Bob Crow, the newly-elected National President, Peter Pinkney, and five Council of Executives members, Daren Ireland, Sean Hoyle, Darren Procter, Steven Skelly and Sean McGowan.
21 February 2013
IN ADDITION to standing a candidate in the Eastleigh parliamentary contest, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is fighting council by-elections in seats in London, Yorkshire and Merseyside in the coming weeks.
The TUSC candidate for the March 14 by-election in the Gospel Oak ward on London’s Camden council is John Reid, the secretary of the London Transport Regional Council of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union (RMT). John is also the chair of his local tenants’ association in the Gospel Oak ward.
The vacancy for the North ward on Maltby Town Council is being contested for TUSC by a 20-year plater/welder Joe Robinson (pictured), who was part of the TUSC campaign team in last year’s Rotherham parliamentary by-election.
18 February 2013
LABOUR-CONTROLLED Southampton city council voted for £16m cuts and service charge hikes at its budget-making meeting on February 13 – and refused to even discuss an alternative anti-cuts budget submitted by the two ‘rebel councillors’, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas.
The Rebel Two’s proposals met the legal requirements of a balanced budget at least for the 2013-14 financial year – it was not a ‘deficit budget’. But the council’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) judged it as not being a ‘prudent budget capable of implementation’. Consequently council officers advised the Mayor – an elected Labour councillor – to make a chair’s ruling that the amendment would not be debated at the council’s budget-making meeting and, backed by the Labour group, that’s what he did.
But the no cuts budget could have been debated. Before the meeting Keith and Don wrote to every Labour councillor answering the CFO’s objections and asking the councillors to use the legal power they had to at least allow the amendment to be debated before the public in the council chamber. But it was not to be.
16 February 2013
It is further evidence to reinforce people's sense that politicians cannot be trusted and that they are completely out of touch with ordinary people.
Barely a household in the Eastleigh constituency will have been unaffected by the vicious cuts that have been carried out by the coalition as jobs have gone at Fords, B&Q and elsewhere.
Rally for TUSC in Eastleigh
Posted: 16 February 2013
Tuesday 26 February, 7.30pm
Locomotive Engineers Club, 18 Southampton Rd, Town Centre, Eastleigh SO50 9FJ
Speakers: Daz Procter, RMT Executive, Tim Cutter, Hampshire Unison branch secretary (personal capacity), Dave Nellist, former Labour MP now backing TUSC
Support our campaign! Contact Nick Chaffey 07833 681 910; firstname.lastname@example.org
Hackney and Islington Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Public meeting
Posted: 16 February 2013
Monday 18 February, 7.30pm
Halkevi Centre, 31-33 Dalston Lane, London E8 3DF
Speakers include: Bob Crow, general secretary RMT, and Nancy Taaffe, TUSC candidate in 2012 GLA elections
12 February 2013
THE WALSALL Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), whose candidates stand for election on a platform of refusal to implement any cuts in public spending to pay for the economic crisis.
This week Walsall DLP councilor Pete Smith not only vowed to oppose local cuts of £13 million, and a council tax rise of 1.85%, but he also challenged the 28 Labour councillors on Walsall council to join him and thereby overturn the budget recommendations of Walsall’s minority Tory/Lib-Dem administration
“I wish to inform the people of Walsall Borough that I will vote against any budget resolution or amendment that includes a combination of £millions of cuts in services, job losses and/or increases in council taxes”, he told the Walsall Express and Star. “Why should the people of Walsall keeping having to pay out more money for ever diminishing services?”
8 February 2013
Darren Procter, secretary of the Southampton Shipping branch of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union (RMT) and a member of the union’s national executive committee, will contest the seat made vacant following the resignation of the disgraced Lib-Dem MP, Chris Huhne.
Darren’s candidacy was immediately welcomed by Tim Cutter, the secretary of the Hampshire County Council branch of the public sector workers’ union, Unison, which includes the Eastleigh constituency, as a chance to challenge the pro-austerity consensus of the establishment parties. While the RMT’s Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley appealed for all trade unionists “to get behind this outstanding candidate”.
Posted: 7 February 2013
ON MONDAY February 11th Aylesbury Trade Union and Socialist Coalition supporters will be holding a meeting to discuss standing anti-cuts candidates in the forthcoming county council elections.
TUSC candidate Roger Priest stood in local elections in 2011 and this year with the cuts and attacks on working peoples jobs, services and quality of life, there is even more reason to vote for someone who will represent the 99% rather than the 1%.
The meeting is open to all, especially those who are campaigning against cuts and wish to work alongside others as the local county council is implementing massive cuts on the social care budget, at a time when Buckinghamshire’s population is aging.
31 January 2013
Dave explained how he came into politics, selecting the Specials' 'Ghost Town'. Dave concludes by appealing for 400 candidates to stand with TUSC in the forthcoming May county council elections. With 400 TUSC candidates, the BBC would be prepared to give some national coverage to TUSC for the first time.
31 January 2013
GMB members employed by Brighton & Hove City Council are facing massive cuts to their take-home pay following Green Party and Conservative plans to alter their terms and conditions.
Green and Conservative councillors forced through a measure last week which authorised council officers to implement a ‘modernised pay and conditions package’.
Council officers will now enter into negotiations with the recognised unions to seek cuts for allowances under part three of the NJC terms and conditions.
Posted: 22 January 2013
Monday 18 February 2013 7-30pm
Halkevi Centre, Dalston Lane
Speakers: Bob Crow, general secretary of RMT union
Nancy Taaffe TUSC candidate in 2012 GLA elections
Gareth Beeton FBU North East London regional chair
Oktay Shabaz Day-mer Turkish and Kurdish Centre
Plus a Day-mer youth speaker
Posted: 22 January 2013
“How can trade unions defend our NHS?”
Trade unions must speak up for the workers of the NHS, which is the largest single employer in the world. The Con-Dem plans represent a massive attack on those workers, and therefore on the lives of everyone who depends on the NHS for their healthcare. Come and hear from a range of speakers, including Doctors, nurses and cuts campaigners, and bring your own ideas on building a serious campaign to support and defend our NHS.
Wednesday, 30th January 2013 at 7.15pm
Canterbury Christ Church University, Canterbury campus
Meet at Old Sessions House entrance, off Longport
17 January 2013
ON JANUARY 14, despite freezing conditions and snow-covered roads, seventeen people attended a meeting in Newcastle-Under-Lyme to hear TUSC national chairperson, Dave Nellist, give a talk about the importance of TUSC in this May’s forthcoming elections, and to appeal to those in attendance to consider standing as a candidate in their area.
Dave started by outlining the disillusionment of voters and the fact that there is not a ‘cigarette paper’ between the policies of the three main parties.
He discussed the role that TUSC has to play in opposing these policies, and drew on several examples in history where the labour movement was successful in driving back the austerity measures of the day.
Saturday 12 January 2013
May elections – ten weeks until nominations open!
It is only ten weeks before nominations open for the May 2013 local elections – so all TUSC supporters need to get out our ‘Appeal for Candidates’ as far and wide as possible. Printed copies of a four-sided TUSC broadsheet can be ordered from the TUSC website.
10 January 2013
ON 9 JANUARY, twenty Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition supporters protested at Rotherham Hospital before presenting a 3,000 signature petition to the Foundation Trust governors opposing the drastic cuts they are proposing to local NHS services.
In October, Brian James, then the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, proposed a 'smaller hospital, with substantially fewer beds' and a smaller workforce to save £50m over the next four years.
TUSC made fighting these cuts the main policy of our campaign in the Rotherham parliamentary by-election held in November. We have continued the petition since and last night’s protest was the next step in our campaign. TUSC received widespread media coverage with two local papers, three radio stations and BBC North news reporting on the protest/petition.
Posted: 7 January 2013
Brixton Hill byelection public meeting
Monday 14th January 7.30pm
Vida Walsh Centre
2B Saltoun Road
SW2 1EP (by Ritzy cinema)
Waltham Forest TUSC public meeting
Wednesday 23rd January 7.30pm
William Morris Community Centre