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TUSC suspends electoral activity: National Steering Committee statement

Posted: 8 November 2018

The November 2018 meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition national steering committee has agreed to suspend all TUSC electoral activity until further notice.

The TUSC name and logos can still be used in campaigning activity by local TUSC groups and the coalition's component organisations, but from now on the legally required certificates of authorisation needed for the TUSC name and emblem to appear on election ballot papers will no longer be issued by the TUSC national election agent.

This decision follows a period of discussion within TUSC around proposals submitted over the summer by the Socialist Party, one of the founding organisations of the coalition, to re-set the role of TUSC three years after the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/425.pdf).

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TUSC annual report on Labour councils - 'How Much Reserves Have They Got?'

Fighting council cuts

Fighting council cuts

Posted: 31 October 2018

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has published its third annual report on the level of reserves held by Labour-led councils across Britain. This is a series started following the September 2015 election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader on an anti-austerity platform.

Presenting a statistical profile of all the 125 Labour-led councils in England, Scotland and Wales, the report reveals "the substantial resources of the local state under the control of the Labour Party" - which, the introduction argues, would make them "a potential counter-power to the Tory government" if councillors were prepared to fight.

The TUSC report, entitled How much reserves have they got?, is available as a downloadable PDF by clicking http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/427.pdf

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TUSC directory of future elections

Posted: 29 October 2018

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) directory of the elections taking place in May 2019 has now been published.

This directory, an annual production of TUSC which has previously been referenced by the House of Commons Library, provides a breakdown of the councils with statutory elections scheduled for the year ahead, the number of councillors up for election, and the current political control in each council listed.

It also includes a list of Labour councillors who signed the Open Letter in support of Owen Smith's leadership coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn in 2016 who are councillors in local authorities with elections next May.

The directory is available as a PDF, by clicking http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/426.pdf


Legal Costs Fund Appeal launched for former Derby TUSC election agent

Posted: 30 August 2018

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has launched an appeal to help meet the legal costs of Chris Fernandez, the local election agent for eight TUSC candidates at the 2016 council elections in Derby, who earlier this year was imprisoned for 'electoral fraud'.

A full account of the case is available at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/413.pdf but in essence Chris was judged guilty of misleading members of the public on the electoral register into signing TUSC candidates' nomination papers in the 2016 local elections. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) argued and won on 12 out of 14 counts that people believed they were signing a petition against the closure of Derby's Moorways swimming pool and not a local election nomination form.

Chris categorically denied setting out to mislead anyone but, before the trial, was put under enormous pressure to admit to something he hadn't done and not contest the case. And now, scandalously, after having serving four months in prison, he has been hit with a bill for £8,847 for exercising his right to protest his innocence. Chris had applied for legal aid but, because he lost the case, he now has to pay a contribution to the costs.

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After three years of Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership, what role should TUSC play now?

Posted: 23 July 2018

This autumn marks the third anniversary of Jeremy Corbyn's stunning victory in the Labour leadership contest that rocked the capitalist establishment.

In the aftermath of the 2015 result the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) recalibrated its activity and has debated continually since then how best to push forward the new possibilities opened for socialist and trade union politics.

This July the Socialist Party, one of the founding organisations of TUSC, submitted a discussion paper to the TUSC national steering committee outlining a number of new proposals it felt were necessary to re-set the role of TUSC for the period ahead. This is now being published in a TUSC Discussion Bulletin by the steering committee for comment and consideration by all TUSC supporters and interested friends. The Discussion Bulletin is available at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/425.pdf

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Local elections 2018: the TUSC results report

Southampton rebel councillor Keith Morrell, re-elected with a thumping majority

Southampton rebel councillor Keith Morrell, re-elected with a thumping majority

Posted: 8 May 2018

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) stood 111 council candidates in 33 authorities in the local elections on May 3rd, contesting 101 wards.

The stand-out result was the victory of TUSC national steering committee member Keith Morrell, one of the three Putting People First group of anti-cuts councillors that sits on Southampton council. The next best score was recorded in Kirklees council's Crosland Moor & Netherton ward, with TUSC winning 701 votes for a 14.2% share. The best performance in a single council was achieved in Waltham Forest, with TUSC polling 2,841 votes across the 12 wards (out of 20) contested there.

A report of the campaign, with details of the full results of every TUSC candidate, has been prepared by the TUSC National Election Agent (see the draft report at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/424.pdf), and will be discussed at the next TUSC national steering committee meeting on May 23rd.

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Grimsby local paper reveals Labour candidate 'tried to defect to the Tories'

Posted: 15 April 2018

The Grimsby Telegraph has revealed that a local councillor they describe as "one of Labour's leading figures" on North East Lincolnshire council tried to defect to the Conservatives in 2016, following Jeremy Corbyn's re-election as Labour leader.

The paper reports that Councillor Matthew Brown, who signed an open letter of support for Owen Smith's challenge to Jeremy Corbyn in the 2016 Labour leadership contest, met with Conservative councillors in November that year. The Conservative Group on North East Lincolnshire council decided, however, after discussions amongst themselves, that "we did not want to offer him the opportunity to join us".

Now Councillor Brown is standing for Labour on May 3rd in Grimsby's Yarborough ward, where the other candidates are UKIP, an open Tory, and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's Kieran Barlow, a member of the USDAW shopworkers' union.

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TUSC candidates will put Corbyn's anti-cuts policies into practice in the town halls!

Fighting for No Cuts budgets

Fighting for No Cuts budgets

Posted: 8 April 2018

In a recent Prime Minister's Question Time Jeremy Corbyn lacerated Theresa May over the financial collapse last month of Northamptonshire County Council and the resulting threat to public services there (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-43484836).

Putting her on the spot - was it the responsibility of the Tory councillors' austerity policies in Northamptonshire or Tory austerity policies nationally? - all May could do in the first exchanges was flannel.

But later on she was able to deflect attention from the reality of Tory cuts by attacking the record of right-wing Labour councils in slashing local services. One instance she cited was Birmingham council allowing rubbish to pile up on the streets last summer - while attempting to break a strike against its sacking of 106 bin workers and wage cuts for the rest.

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Mersey TUSC candidates take up the fight to keep the guards on our trains

Posted: 6 April 2018

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has announced that it will be standing candidates in this year's local elections against two members of the Liverpool City Region Transport Authority, responsible for trying to push safety-critical guards off the trains on Merseyrail.

The representatives from Halton and Liverpool councils on the transport committee are seeking re-election as councillors on May 3rd. But this time they will be challenged by TUSC candidates Stephen Armstrong, a Unite union workplace rep, and Ann Walsh, the former chair of the Merseyside Pensioners Association, who are committed to backing the RMT transport union's campaign to keep the guards on the trains.

Merseyrail plans to introduce Driver Only Operation (DOO) on the new stock that will come into service by 2020. The Merseyrail franchise is under the control of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, led by the Labour Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and councillors from Merseyside's six Labour-led councils.

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TUSC conference sets parameters for May election challenge

Posted: 15 February 2018

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has decided that it will put up candidates in this year's local council elections - but not "against consistent public supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-austerity policies".

This was the outcome of the conference held on February 10th which, in a session under the heading 'Building support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the 2018 local elections', supported two resolutions encouraging candidates on a selective basis.

The successful resolution from the Socialist Party (see below), one of the constituent organisations of TUSC, welcomed the 2018 local elections as an opportunity to advance TUSC's "founding goal of building working class socialist political representation, but only if a careful approach is adopted that takes into account the surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn expressed in the 2017 general election".

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'To stand or not to stand' is the question at Saturday's TUSC conference

Posted: 7 February 2018

Saturday's conference of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) will feature a keynote debate on the controversial issue of whether or not socialist anti-austerity candidates should stand in this year's local council elections.

The session under the heading, 'Building support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the 2018 local elections', will discuss two resolutions that have been submitted to the conference calling on TUSC to put up candidates - but not "against consistent public supporters of Jeremy Corbyn and his anti-austerity policies" (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/411.pdf).

The conference will be chaired by Jeremy Corbyn's old parliamentary backbench colleague, Dave Nellist, the former Labour MP (1983-1992), who is now the chairperson of TUSC. All TUSC supporters are welcome and there will be plenty of opportunity to join the debate.

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TUSC conference to discuss Brexit negotiations stance

Posted: 5 February 2018

The February 2018 Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference includes a forum session entitled 'TUSC and the Brexit negotiations'.

Following extensive debate within our coalition, TUSC decided to campaign for a Leave vote in the June 2016 EU referendum. This included a '20-city tour' of public meetings under the heading, 'The Socialist Case Against the EU', and a campaign against the official recognition and public funding of the right-wing dominated Leave organisations.

Not every TUSC member or supporter backed a Leave position in the referendum. We had wide agreement on the neo-liberal and anti-working class character of many EU directives and regulations but this did not necessarily mean agreement on how to vote in a 'yes or no' referendum in the specific conditions in which it was held.

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Survey confirms right-wing councillors a block to Corbyn's anti-cuts message

Posted: 31 January 2018

Last autumn the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee launched a survey to find out how far local Labour councillors were prepared to back Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the 2018-19 council budget-setting process and, in those councils going to the polls this year, in the 2018 local elections.

Now, as TUSC prepares for a conference debate on what it should do in May's elections (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/events), the survey results are in.

Not unexpectedly, but unfortunately, the survey shows that Labour-controlled councils, still under the domination of Blairite right-wing councillors, are continuing to make drastic cuts to local services, jobs and conditions even under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the national party - over half a billion pounds this year in the 21 councils where detailed information has been collected.

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Obituary: Mary Jackson, 1949-2018

Mary Jackson with Bob Crow, at the 2013 Doncaster mayor election launch

Mary Jackson with Bob Crow, at the 2013 Doncaster mayor election launch

Posted: 30 January 2018

Longstanding Doncaster socialist Mary Jackson has sadly died after a year-long battle against cancer. We send condolences to her husband of 50 years John, and their children Michael, Carol and Peter.

Mary became a socialist through her experiences in the 1984 miners' strike, when with her friend she would picket the local pit and got involved in Women Against Pit Closures.

Her other huge influence was reading Robert Tressell's classic novel The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists. Mary kept wishing this book was updated and finally decided to take that job on herself by writing The Great Money Trick, which explains how the workers are robbed by the bosses. Partly autobiographical, this is a wonderful glimpse into working class life in her village, Thorne, where she lived for 50 years.

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Representative for TUSC Individual Members elected to steering committee

Posted: 29 January 2018

Pete McLaren has been elected as an Individual Members' representative onto the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee for 2018.

TUSC is a coalition with a national steering committee comprised of representatives from its constituent organisations alongside leading trade unionists, sitting in a personal capacity.

Other individual members of TUSC, who are not members of a constituent organisation, also have two places on the committee, elected by individual members at the TUSC conference.

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Steering committee sets timetable for February TUSC conference

TUSC conference January 2017

TUSC conference January 2017

Posted: 28 November 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has agreed the agenda and timetable for the TUSC conference to be held in London on February 10th.

The main conference session will be under the heading, 'Building support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the 2018 local elections'.

Platform speakers from the constituent components of the TUSC steering committee, the RMT transport workers' union, the Socialist Party, and the Individual Members' representatives, will introduce the discussion - which will include the controversial question of whether or not socialist anti-austerity candidates should stand in next year's council elections.

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TUSC questionnaire: building on Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity message

Posted: 27 September 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is conducting an autumn survey to find out how far local Labour councillors are preparing to back Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in next year's council budget-setting process.

During the autumn local councils will start to draw up their 2018-2019 spending plans, which they will finally agree at budget-setting meetings in February or March next year. The autumn months will include public consultation events and initial discussions with the local council workers' trade unions.

This is certainly a time to bring into the debate the TUSC policy of 'No Cuts People's Budgets' - of councils using their reserves and borrowing powers to set budgets that don't pass on Tory cuts and using the breathing space provided to demand that central government makes up future shortfalls.

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Unite AGS tells Birmingham Labour councillors, 'stop acting like Tories' in bin dispute

Posted: 22 September 2017

The September 20th meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee sent its full solidarity to the Birmingham bin workers in their increasingly high-profile dispute with the Labour-led council over plans to end safety-critical jobs on its bins service and cut workers' wages.

The workers, members of the Labour-affiliated Unite the Union, recently voted by 92% to 8% to re-affirm their strike mandate. Subsequently the High Court ordered the council to withdraw its redundancy notices, pending a full hearing. Austerity can be beaten back from whatever quarter it comes from, including so-called Labour councillors who so obviously oppose Jeremy Corbyn's anti-cuts stance.

We carry below a video of the speech by Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett moving an emergency motion at the recent TUC conference, which was carried unanimously. If Labour councillors "act like Tories we should treat them like Tories", he said. Who could disagree?


TUSC launches 'How much reserves have councils got?' report in call for anti-cuts action

Councils reserves report

Councils reserves report

Posted: 6 August 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today launched a new report on the level of reserves held by Labour-led councils across Britain, arguing that "the substantial resources of the local state under the control of the Labour Party" could be used to start putting Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into action now, "without waiting for a change of government".

The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992 and a former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, said:

"One of the most outrageous aspects of the Grenfell fire disaster was the fact that Kensington & Chelsea council slashed safety standards to 'save' money while they were sitting on £274 million in usable reserves.

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With no mandate for Tory austerity there should be no more cuts budgets from Labour councils

Posted: 23 June 2017

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee, meeting this week for the first time since the election, has hailed the phenomenal support achieved for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies in the June 8th poll. That support, together with the increase he is receiving post-election, can propel him to victory in the next general election and mean an end to government-led austerity.

TUSC campaigns for another general election to be called as soon as possible. In the meantime, we believe that the level of support for Jeremy Corbyn's policies should be the signal for Labour-led councils to call an immediate halt to cuts to local public services.

The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992 and a former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, said:

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