Posted: 30 June 2015
Around 50 activists from across the region attended a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) North West conference on 27 June, to assess the post-election situation and make plans to build TUSC going forward. Meeting on the same day for their conference, Scottish TUSC sent us a message of solidarity which was well received.
TUSC councillor Kevin Bennett from Warrington introduced the discussion, with the memorable line that "it's like the Tories decided to usurp the tale of Robin Hood, except this time the Sheriff of Nottingham is the hero! And it seems Andy Burnham agrees!" The main theme to emerge from discussion was that TUSC has achieved significant momentum from our landmark election challenge this year, and must keep this up against a backdrop of international crisis, developments in Greece, and the Tories' war on the poor and organised workers while Labour remains in turmoil.
Daren Ireland, the regional organiser of the RMT transport workers' union, one of the constituent organisations of TUSC, outlined the essential organisational steps to take - building finance through standing orders with only ten months until next year's local elections; pushing TUSC in the trade union movement and winning the unions to a position of support for a new mass working-class party; building and strengthening local groups operating on an open and federal basis welcoming all individuals and groups; and standing at least 500 candidates in May 2016 when around 2,200 councillors face election across England.
Posted: 15 May 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee held its first post-election meeting this week. Against the backdrop of a Tory-majority government committed to accelerated austerity, albeit one with the lowest ever share of support amongst the total electorate (24.4%), the need the build on the TUSC campaign to develop a socialist electoral alternative was recognised by all.
The meeting agreed a vote of thanks to all the 748 candidates - and their agents and campaign teams - who contested the elections on May 7th under the TUSC umbrella, polling a combined total of 118,125 votes.
A detailed report of the TUSC results was accepted and is now available, in PDF format, at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/338.pdf
Posted: 9 May 2015
As predicted yesterday, over 100,000 votes were cast for TUSC candidates in Thursday's elections (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17091/08-05-2015/results-still-coming-in-but-tusc-set-to-poll-100000-votes-for-bold-no-cuts-message ). We're currently at 108,416 votes but, with more local council election results to be collected in, we are still not able to give a final tally.
One thing is clear however - TUSC is making a mark in councils across the country, which will be vital in the anti-austerity struggles to come.
Leading the way is Leicester with 4,440 votes cast for TUSC council candidates, just ahead of Coventry on 4,389. While the Leicester rebel councillors Wayne Naylor and Barbara Potter were sadly unable to hold their seats in a contest overshadowed by the general election, the anti-cuts challenge has laid firm roots across the city. Barbara polled 3,028 votes in her stand for the directly-elected city mayor.
Posted: 8 May 2015
With many councils not starting their local elections count until Friday morning, collecting in all the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) results has been a painfully slow task. But, while the figures are far from complete, we can confidently say that over 100,000 votes were cast for TUSC candidates in Thursday's elections.
The best TUSC parliamentary votes were recorded by Dave Nellist in Coventry North West, polling 1,769 votes, and Jenny Sutton in Tottenham, with 1,324 votes. There were also good scores recorded in Bethnal Green & Bow (949 votes), Liverpool Riverside (582), Barnsley Central (573), Walsall North (545), Leigh (542), Leicester East (540), Salford & Eccles (517), and the other Coventry seats, Coventry South (650) and North East (633).
But actually the parliamentary votes are just a small reflection of the support - including electoral support - for TUSC's socialist, anti-austerity message.
Posted: 6 May 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing in 135 parliamentary constituencies today and 619 candidates in the English local council elections. Gathering in the results will be a big job. How and when we plan to report them on this website is explained below. But there are also other things to look out for on election night, as the 2010 election showed.
TUSC was formed just twelve weeks before the 2010 general election, with the aim of providing a common banner for trade unionists, socialists and working class community activists to contest elections. One of the early pioneer candidates was Bill Rawcliffe, who was the RMT senior steward at the Jarvis Rail services company. Bill only decided to stand, after a mass meeting of rail engineering workers, when Jarvis went into administration on March 25th and made 1,200 workers redundant while the Labour government stood by.
Posted: 29 April 2015
The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition held its election manifesto launch on Friday - and got some decent coverage too.
BBC Scotland TV cameras filmed candidates campaigning in Glasgow (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1axZ5-ZWAU ), highlighting TUSC's ¬£10 an hour minimum wage policy but also our stand for the public ownership of the banks, utility companies and major industries such as oil.
The need for public ownership of the major sections of the economy was also the theme of a more extensive interview with Scottish TUSC spokesperson Philip Stott on BBC Radio Scotland's Newsdrive programme (listen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW1tpbbzlS0 ) where TUSC's position in the election as the '100% anti-austerity, 100% socialist' alternative got through.
Posted: 27 April 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has received the following message from David Wallis, Bob Crow's cousin and also a member of the RMT's London Taxi branch:
"I would just like to wish all the TUSC candidates good luck in your campaigns over the next two weeks.
"I have had lots of conversations in my London taxi discussing TUSC and it's been very reassuring that people have listened and taken away what we stand for. I hope that I have been able to turn some heads.
Posted: 23 April 2015
Chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, Dave Nellist, speaking on the BBC's World at One radio programme on the 21 April 2015.
Portsmouth TUSC launch election 2015 video
Posted: 22 April 2015
Posted: 13 April 2015
Nominations for the 2015 elections closed on April 9th with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) having in place 135 parliamentary candidates and 619 candidates contesting seats in the local council elections also taking place on May 7th.
Full contact details of our parliamentary candidates and their local campaigns can be found on our new election website at tusc2015.com/tuscs-general-election-challenge while there is a complete candidates' listing at www.tusc.org.uk/candidate
So it's official. TUSC will have the sixth biggest presence on the ballot papers issued in less than four weeks' time - but you wouldn't know that from any of the establishment media outlets.
Posted: 8 April 2015
Watch out for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition broadcast on Friday April 17th..... BBC2: 5.55pm... ITV: 6.25pm... BBC1: 6.55pm... Channel4: 7.55pm
The Con-Dem government has inflicted five years of savage austerity on working class people. Unfortunately there is no prospect of this changing beyond the general election, as the leadership of the Labour Party has made it clear that a Labour government would not mean an end to austerity.
Posted: 1 April 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has been approached by the housing workers of Britain's biggest union, the Unite LE1111 branch, to endorse a Manifesto for housing produced by the branch for the forthcoming general election.
At its most recent meeting the TUSC national steering committee gave its full backing to the Manifesto (see www.housingworkers.org.uk/imgs/1424088160.pdf) which is closely based on national Unite policy. It clearly outlines the terrible and escalating housing crisis that exists in Britain today.
In the five years that this government has been in power house prices have risen by 50%, making home ownership increasingly unaffordable for the majority. In London the average age of a first time buyer is now 52! Younger people face a future of expensive private-rented, insecure and often substandard housing.
Posted: 25 March 2015
Posted: 18 March 2015
The Blacklist Support Group has been contacting parliamentary candidates to seek support for their campaign.
At its most recent meeting the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee gave its full backing to the central demand of the campaign for a 'fully independent public inquiry into police collusion in the scandal of blacklisting'.
TUSC also supports the other demands raised by the campaign:
Posted: 13 March 2015
This week's meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee saw the number of parliamentary candidates approved to stand for TUSC in May's general election pass the 120 mark.
At the same time, with four weeks still to go until nominations close, 387 council candidates are now in place to carry TUSC's socialist anti-austerity message in the local elections also taking place on May 7th. A full list of all the TUSC candidates agreed so far can be found at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidate
TUSC's parliamentary candidates have been selected after a process including in most cases an attempt to discuss with the Labour Party candidate their position on a number of key issues before a final decision was made on whether to challenge them. A model letter was agreed by the TUSC national steering committee last year (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17017/11-08-2014/general-election-planning-model-letter-to-labour-candidates-available ) which asked Labour candidates if, for example, they would support an incoming Labour government lifting the public sector pay cap, banning zero hour contracts, and immediately introducing the 'Living Wage' (¬£7.85 an hour, ¬£9.15 in London) as the minimum wage?
Posted: 12 March 2015
Across the country members of 38 Degrees have been contacting TUSC parliamentary candidates to ask their views on various questions. While local TUSC candidates have and will respond individually, the questions 38 Degrees have been asking are, in the view of the TUSC steering committee, very important. For that reason we would like to make our views as a coalition clear.
We would also appeal to all supporters of 38 Degrees and others campaigning on these issues: why not use the elections as a means to further your campaign? TUSC is a coalition which was established in order to enable people like you - trade unionists, campaigners and socialists - to stand against the pro-austerity establishment parties. This May we are aiming to have over 100 parliamentary and 1,000 council candidates standing under our umbrella.
If you would like to take part and stand as a candidate yourself check out the candidates page on the TUSC website (at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidates.php )
Posted: 6 March 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has reached the broadcasting authorities' threshold for 'fair media coverage' in May's general election.
The latest approvals by the TUSC national steering committee take the number of parliamentary candidates to 111. A full list of those agreed so far can be found at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/324.pdf. TUSC will have the sixth biggest presence on the ballot papers in May.
This number of candidates, with more to come, is well over the threshold for a party to receive 'fair media coverage', including a TV broadcast, of standing in one sixth of the seats up for election. Now we will see what the broadcasters mean by 'fair coverage'.
Posted: 4 March 2015
Rebel councillors backed by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) have shown once again that local councils could implement alternative policies to those demanded by the Westminster pro-austerity establishment parties - if only councillors were prepared to fight.
Councils really are in the frontline. The latest government cuts to funding for local authorities announced in December takes the total reduction in central government support to 37% since 2010, according to the National Audit Office.
But it is just not the case that councillors have no option but to sit in the council chamber and meekly vote for cuts to local services, especially just weeks before a general election. The fact is, the Labour and Green councillors who have voted for more cuts in the latest council budget-making meetings have chosen to back austerity.
Posted: 24 February 2015
The latest parliamentary candidates approved by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee have taken TUSC past the threshold to qualify for a party election broadcast in Wales in May's general election.
The broadcasting authorities' criteria for what they call 'fair media coverage', including a TV broadcast, is that a party needs to stand candidates in one sixth of the seats up for election.
With the new candidates approved, headed by the Swansea branch secretary of the RMT transport workers union, Owen Herbert (a previous member of the union's national executive), TUSC will be standing in at least eight of the 40 seats in Wales.
Posted: 13 February 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has today endorsed the Manifesto for Education produced by the largest teachers' union in England and Wales, the National Union of Teachers (NUT). At the same time it was confirmed that four members of the union's national executive committee (NEC) will be standing as TUSC candidates in May's elections.
The Con-Dem Government has damaged children's education. Their determination to open free schools and academies has left a fragmented and divided education system. Their attacks on pay, conditions and pensions have demoralised school staff. Excessive testing and divisive league tables have driven enjoyment out of education for staff and students alike. Children, families and school staff need these damaging policies to be reversed.
Shamefully, the Labour Party has given no indication that it would do so. David Blunkett's policy review made clear that "academies are here to stay". Shadow Education secretary Tristram Hunt has joined the Tories in blaming teachers for the problems caused by cuts, poverty and divisive education policies.
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