TUSC candidates' launch in the local news
Liverpool Echo 27-4-14 Hillsborough heckler Roy Dixon to fight against cuts in local elections , photo by Liverpool Echo (Click to enlarge)
The announcement of the biggest left-of-Labour election challenge in 60 years has made the pages of local newspapers at least, since nominations closed on Friday.
Leading the way was the Liverpool Echo with the story that Roy Dixon, who they correctly describe as "the man whose heckle kick-started the process that led to the new Hillsborough inquests", is standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the city's Belle Vale ward (see http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/hillsborough-heckler-roy-dixon-stand-7038201 ).
Roy was the first person to heckle the Culture Secretary Andy Burnham at the twentieth anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster in 2009, which pushed the then Labour government into setting up a fresh review.
Roy is quoted by the Echo as saying that he decided to stand after seeing the impact the bedroom tax and the cuts have had in the Belle Vale ward: "I've done a lot with TUSC over the last few years, especially around the bedroom tax. On this estate people have felt it hard. Now the Childwall Boys Club, that we knew as the 'Boysie' growing up, is closing after 40-odd years".
"What is there left for young people, for the elderly? When that place closes, what's going to happen? I don't believe Labour are a party of the people, of the workers. We're the only alternative totally opposed to cuts and if I was voted in I would be taking a stand against those people making the cuts. Enough is enough".
Grimsby Telegraph 16-4-14 Trade Union and Socialist Coalition unveil candidates who will fight nine seats in North East Lincolnshire, photo by Grimsby Telegraph (Click to enlarge)
The news that TUSC is standing in nine wards out of the 15 up for election to North East Lincolnshire council reached the pages of The Grimsby Telegraph, at http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/Trade-Union-Socialist-Coalition-unveil-candidates/story-20964289-detail/story.html , featuring quotes from the former Labour councillor Malcolm Morland, standing for TUSC in the Sidney Sussex ward.
The Portsmouth News, reporting on TUSC standing candidates in all 14 wards in the city, quoted the former RMT executive council member Sean Hoyle as saying: "Only TUSC candidates have pledged to oppose all cuts to our vital public services. Neither Labour nor UKIP represent an alternative to coalition cuts. We're standing because if working people want an alternative to austerity, we have to do it ourselves" (see http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/local/minority-parties-join-the-fray-as-election-candidates-are-announced-1-6023122 ).
TUSC, standing six candidates for Kirklees council in West Yorkshire, was also mentioned in the Huddersfield Daily Examiner, although the paper's story led with UKIP putting up five candidates for the local council elections in Kirklees "for the first time ever".
And the TUSC-organised protest lobby of Ed Miliband's Doncaster surgery last week in support of the Care UK workers also made it into the South Yorkshire Times, quoting the Doncaster TUSC election agent, Steve Williams, saying: ""If Labour can't show support for NHS workers fighting privatisation and pay cuts, then this shows exactly why we need the socialist alternative of TUSC that will stand up for working class people".
Perhaps the national media, with even The Guardian leading with an unchallenging interview with Nigel Farage on Saturday, might put aside their fixation with UKIP for just one minute and see what else is happening on the ground? Or perhaps not, as it wouldn't fit their agenda of trying to bury the real voices of opposition to the austerity establishment.