TUSC on the March Against Austerity demo
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).
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
Posted: 26 May 2017
In the May 2015 general election the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) stood enough candidates to qualify for a party election broadcast, which was met with wide acclaim - certainly Sandy and Sandra from Gogglebox thought it was great! The four-minute broadcast can be viewed on the TUSC website at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcEMrCTVRdg. It's still worth watching two years on.
But of course things have changed since 2015. Jeremy Corbyn has put radical ideas like free education, opposing wars for oil, taxing the rich and public ownership back on the agenda. And TUSC is not standing candidates in the general election. But we've still done a broadcast! This time explaining why TUSC is fighting for a Corbyn-led government with socialist policies on June 8. Watch it by clicking below.
Posted: 14 May 2017
Following last week's decision by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee not to stand candidates in June's general election (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17366/11-05-2017/tusc-confirms-no-candidates-in-june-and-full-support-for-a-corbyn-led-government-with-socialist-policies), TUSC chair, Dave Nellist, was invited onto the BBC's Sunday Politics show for the Midlands region. Watch the full piece by clicking below.
Posted: 11 May 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee today confirmed that the left-wing alliance will not be standing candidates in the general election.
TUSC, co-founded by the late Bob Crow in 2010, was the sixth-biggest party on the ballot paper in May 2015, with its general election and council candidates polling 118,125 votes. This time, however, TUSC will be working all out to try and get Jeremy Corbyn into Number Ten on June 8th.
The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992 and a former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, said:
Posted: 8 May 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) stood 78 candidates across 24 local authorities in last Thursday's local council elections, as well as candidates for the mayor of Doncaster and the Liverpool City Region Metro-Mayor. Overall the TUSC candidates won a total of 15,407 votes.
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/400.pdf), and will be discussed at the TUSC national steering committee meeting this week.
When Theresa May made her surprise announcement of a general election in the middle of the local election campaign it was obvious that, whatever the TUSC candidates did, this would cut across the council contests.
Posted: 3 May 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has 78 candidates standing in Thursday's local council elections, contesting seats across 24 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales.
TUSC is also standing in two of the mayoral elections taking place on May 4th, with the former Unison national executive member Roger Bannister contesting the new Liverpool City Region 'Metro-Mayor' position and NHS worker Steve Williams standing for the mayor of Doncaster. A full list of all the TUSC candidates can be found at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/398.pdf
The general election, called after the local elections were already under way, has obviously cut across the council contests. Driving the Tories out on June 8th and the election of a Corbyn-led Labour government will clearly create the best conditions to defend local public services. But every TUSC vote on Thursday will be an early declaration of support for Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies - policies that are being attacked relentlessly not just by the Tories but by Labour's right-wing Blairites too.
Posted: 25 April 2017
Steve Williams, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate to become Doncaster's mayor, had to send his apologies to the Chamber of Commerce mayoral hustings at the Chamber's Business conference at the Legacy Centre on Friday 21 April.
Steve is not a politician. He works as a mental health nurse in the NHS. He was rostered to work on Friday and like most workers cannot take time off and so was unable to attend.
However, Steve took up the invite from the Chamber of Commerce to explain his policies for local businesses in a 350 word written statement, policies which TUSC believes would benefit the Doncaster economy, create jobs and raise wages, and stimulate small businesses in the local area. These include refusing to carry out the Tory government imposed cuts in council spending, implementing a ¬£10 an hour minimum wage, a mass council house building programme and inviting small businesses to contribute to his People's Budget.
Posted: 22 April 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national chairperson, Dave Nellist, today welcomed the general election called for June 8th as a chance to drive out the Tory government and reverse their vicious austerity agenda.
Dave, a Labour MP from 1983-1992, urged his former backbench colleague Jeremy Corbyn to fight the election on clear socialist policies, pledging to support him in resisting the efforts of Blairite MPs to water down the anti-austerity platform which won Jeremy his Labour leadership victories.
"According to the annual Sunday Times Rich List survey the wealth of the thousand richest people in Britain has more than doubled since the Tories came to power in 2010", said Dave. "Levying capital gains tax even just on that increased wealth would alone bring in over ¬£80 billion for extra public spending. Austerity is 'working' only for the rich and a new course is needed.
Posted: 14 April 2017
The RMT transport workers' union has made a direct appeal to Steve Rotheram MP, the Labour candidate in the Liverpool City Region 'Metro-Mayor' contest, to guarantee that there will be a second safety-critical crew member aboard every Merseyrail train if he wins the election on May 4th.
Pointing out that "the travelling public are behind our campaign" Mick Cash, the RMT general secretary, said that "now is the ideal moment for Steve to say he is with the disabled passengers, the women travelling alone, the elderly, the young - in fact all sections of the community that use the rail network, who overwhelmingly want a guard on every train" (RMT Press Release, 12th April).
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Metro-Mayor candidate Roger Bannister, a former member of the UNISON national executive council, today welcomed the RMT's call. "Merseyside TUSC has been pursuing Steve Rotheram ever since he was selected as Labour's candidate last Autumn to find out where he stood on the RMT's Save Our Guards campaign", Roger said. "Now, with just three weeks to go to polling day, as the RMT puts it, he really must say which side he is on".
Posted: 11 April 2017
It's been a great first week for Steve Williams' Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaign for the mayor of Doncaster. Steve won the drawing of lots so his election address will appear first in the mayoral booklet that will be posted out to all 220,000 voters. He is currently in the lead in the on-line poll being run by the Doncaster Free Press.
More importantly, Steve is winning support on the ground. The local RMT rail union branch is strongly backing TUSC, and TUSC backed the Northern Rail guards on their strike picket line on Saturday before petitioning in the town centre to Keep Guards on Trains.
As chair of the Doncaster District & Bassetlaw UNISON health branch, Steve has the backing of Care UK workers who three years ago took 90 days strike action against pay cuts and the privatisation of the NHS (see picture above). Now the Doncaster NHS Clinical Commissioning Group has announced more rationing of routine operations and procedures, and this is before the 'Sustainability and Transformation Plans' (STP) cuts are implemented.
Posted: 10 April 2017
There are 78 Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates standing in the local elections taking place on May 4th, contesting elections across 24 local authorities.
In Wales there are 22 council candidates standing this time, contesting seats in five local authorities. In England there are 37 candidates, standing across 13 councils. In addition, TUSC is fielding candidates for the mayor of Doncaster and the new directly-elected mayor of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (the 'Metro-Mayor').
Scottish TUSC, which organises autonomously, is standing 19 candidates, contesting seats across six councils. For further information about the campaign in Scotland e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07889-135-533.
Posted: 1 April 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is on the ballot paper for the inaugural election of the Liverpool City Region directly-elected Mayor (the 'Metro-Mayor').
Roger Bannister, a member of the UNISON national executive council from the formation of the public services' union in 1993 until his retirement this February, will represent TUSC's anti-austerity socialist message in the May 4th contest.
Roger was a Labour Party member from 1970 until his expulsion in 1986 for his role in the struggle of the Liverpool Labour council against Margaret Thatcher's government. He stood as the TUSC candidate for the Mayor of Liverpool council in May 2016, polling 4,950 votes (5.1%), coming in ahead of the Tories in Britain's eighth biggest city.
Posted: 1 April 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is pleased to announce that Steve Williams will be standing as the TUSC candidate for Doncaster Mayor in the May elections.
Steve is the chair of the Doncaster District & Bassetlaw UNISON health branch, with a decades-long record of fighting for the NHS.
Steve says: "I've worked in the NHS for 27 years as a mental health nurse. I see first hand the devastating effects of the cuts on the most vulnerable in society.
Posted: 27 March 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee met on March 22nd to discuss candidates for the local council elections taking place in May.
Twenty-two candidate applications were approved to contest seats across five local authorities in Wales, and 42 candidates - across eleven councils - in England. Details can be found at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/397.pdf.
Scottish TUSC, organising autonomously, has approved 19 candidates to date, fighting seats in six councils. For further details of the campaign in Scotland e-mail email@example.com or call 07889-135-533.
Posted: 6 March 2017
Scottish TUSC activists gathered in Glasgow on February 25th to discuss plans for a 100% anti-austerity, socialist election challenge in May's Scottish local council elections.
A draft manifesto for the elections had been discussed by Scottish TUSC's constituent organisations, the RMT transport workers' union, Socialist Party Scotland, and the Socialist Workers Party, and was agreed by the conference (see below).
The conference heard from a number of trade union speakers from the frontline in the battle against austerity. Dave Semple, a member of the PCS union's DWP Group Executive Committee, speaking in a personal capacity, explained the union's campaign against the mass closures of DWP and HMRC offices and sites. Dave will be a TUSC candidate in Glasgow.
Posted: 1 March 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today added its support to an appeal to Jeremy Corbyn by socialist members of the Irish parliament (Teachta√≠ D√°la - TDs) to use the Brexit negotiations as an opportunity for an international anti-austerity campaign.
The TDs, members of the Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit (AAA-PBP) group in the Irish parliament (D√°il √Čireann), had written to Jeremy Corbyn earlier this year.
They suggested that a proposed European conference hosted by the Labour leader should be used to discuss how to "promote the case for a fundamental recasting of European relationships, encompassing your stated opposition to EU-driven neo-liberalism and austerity and your support for public ownership" (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/396.pdf for the full text).
Posted: 28 February 2017
A well-attended Campaign for a Sheffield Peoples Budget public meeting on Monday sent a clear message to Sheffield's Labour council ahead of their budget setting meeting on Friday 3 March: 'Labour council, grow a backbone. Stand up to Tory cuts!'
Around 40 local trade unionists and community campaigners heard speeches from Clare Goonan (PCS union, Save Eastern Avenue Job Centre); Julie Marsland and Stella Garnham (Unison, Save Hurlfield View); Tim Jones (Sheffield Mental Health Action Group); Chris Rust (trees campaigner); Pete Davies (GMB union at Veolia and Amey); and Neil Carbutt (Fire Brigades Union).
They all explained the effects of Tory government imposed austerity cuts on the most vulnerable people in Sheffield, but were also scathing about the Labour council passing on these cuts without any resistance.
Posted: 27 February 2017
Last week it was revealed that the right-wing Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland had spent ¬£282,000 to pay for a pro-Leave newspaper cover-wrap advert in June's EU referendum - for papers distributed, not in Northern Ireland, but in London and elsewhere in Britain.
This apparently bizarre move seems to have been an attempt by wealthy individuals to intervene in the EU debate while keeping their anonymity - by exploiting the fact that, unlike elsewhere in the UK, political parties in Northern Ireland can receive large donations (of more than ¬£7,500) without details being published by the Electoral Commission.
Under pressure the DUP are now claiming that the money came from the 'Constitutional Research Council', headed by the businessman and former vice-chair of the Scottish Tories, Richard Cook. But not before BBC journalists got it into their heads that TUSC were the mystery funders of the DUP!
Posted: 25 February 2017
The RMT transport workers' union is stepping up its campaign to save the safety critical role of train guards on Britain's railways, the issue that lies behind the long-running dispute on Southern Rail. But it's not just Southern that is putting railway safety at risk.
The Northern Rail franchise awarded last year to the Arriva train operating company includes plans to switch some routes to Driver Only Operation (DOO). And now the RMT is in dispute with Merseyrail, after its failure to provide assurances about the train guards' role when it introduces new rolling stock on the network.
The RMT general secretary Mick Cash has made the union's position on DOO "perfectly clear" to Merseyrail (RMT press release, 2nd February). "We will not agree to any extensions of DOO and will fight to retain the safety critical role of the guard and to keep a guard on the train", he said. On March 7th the RMT will be staging a 9-30am protest in Derby Square, Liverpool to take its campaign to the public.
Posted: 21 February 2017
Last week's meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee approved the first batch of candidates to contest the local elections taking place on Thursday May 4th.
The February 15th meeting was the first steering committee since the TUSC conference in January, which set the parameters for TUSC electoral challenges this year (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17332/05-02-2017/tusc-conference-debates-election-plans-and-anti-cuts-campaigning).
In line with these parameters, none of the TUSC candidates approved at the February 15th meeting are contesting seats in which the Labour candidate came out in support of Jeremy Corbyn in last year's Labour leadership contest.
Posted: 17 February 2017
Leicester City UNISON branch has become the latest local government trade union body to present an alternative No Cuts Budget proposal to its local council.
Like other council union branches that have taken the same stance (see for example http://www.tusc.org.uk/17325/10-01-2017/carmarthenshire-unison-shows-the-way-on-fighting-council-cuts), the report submitted by Leicester UNISON is based on the strategy that the council should use its reserves and borrowing powers to refuse to make cuts today in order to allow it to build support for a campaign to reverse the national cuts to local authority funding.
"In proposing this 'no cuts' budget", they write, "we acknowledge that this would be a one-off budget that could not be repeated in three years' time". But jobs and services could be protected now, buying time to build support for a campaign, including linking with other Labour-controlled councils.
Posted: 17 February 2017
The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is meeting in Glasgow on Saturday 25th February to discuss plans for a 100% anti-austerity, socialist election challenge in May's Scottish local council elections.
Scottish TUSC has written to trade unions, left/socialist organisations, and anti-cuts campaigns seeking to build a coordinated election challenge for this year's council elections. With both the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Scottish Labour acting as delivery mechanisms for Tory austerity, the space for a genuine anti-austerity alternative in Scotland is growing.
The February 25th conference to discuss the elections will hear from leading trade unioinsts in the forefront of fighting cuts in local government as well as speakers from TUSC's core participant organisations: the RMT transport workers' union, Socialist Party Scotland and the Socialist Workers Party.
Posted: 12 February 2017
TUSC's campaign for Labour councillors to refuse to implement the Tories' austerity agenda got an unexpected boost last week with a favourable mention in an article by Matthew Turner on The Independent's website.
Matthew was responding to the revelations of how the government had brought off the opposition to its cuts from Surrey county council (see http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/pmqs-labour-councils-sweetheart-deal-surrey-theresa-may-austerity-a7571156.html).
TUSC has pioneered the idea in its electoral campaigns that councils can use their borrowing powers and reserves to set legal no cuts budgets as a first step to building a mass campaign to force the Tories to retreat and properly fund local government.
Posted: 5 February 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) met in conference last Saturday to discuss its plans for 2017. The main session was a forum under the heading, 'TUSC's role now and the 2017 elections', exploring how TUSC should operate in the welcome new political situation opened up by Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party.
This included the question of whether or not TUSC should stand candidates in the local elections taking place this May, with platform speakers from the three constituent organisations of TUSC - the RMT transport workers' union, the Socialist Party, and the SWP.
Reports of this debate have appeared in The Socialist, at http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/24360/01-02-2017/tusc-to-stand-or-not-to-stand and in Socialist Worker, at https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/44016/TUSC+tackles+the+elephant+in+the+room. A resolution was agreed by the conference (see text below), which will now go to the TUSC national steering committee meeting on February 15th.
Posted: 23 January 2017
The TUSC national steering committee has published detailed guides to the elections taking place on Thursday May 4th, including a timetable and procedures to approve any TUSC candidates there may be in these contests.
There are elections this year for all the 32 Scottish councils, the 22 councils in Wales, and 33 English county councils and unitary authorities. At the same time there will be Mayoral elections for the new combined authorities' so-called 'Metro-Mayors', in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, South Yorkshire, Teesside, the West of England, and the West Midlands.
As usual TUSC has produced a directory of these elections, listing the councils being contested and their current political control, the number of councillors up for election and, in a new feature, a list of the 210 Labour councillors who publically joined the coup attempt against Jeremy Corbyn last summer who are up for re-election this year! The directory is available on our website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/392.pdf.
Posted: 23 January 2017
Pete McLaren has been elected as an Individual Members' representative onto the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee.
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.
Posted: 23 January 2017
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is meeting this Saturday in a conference to discuss its plans for 2017. A conference agenda document is now available on the TUSC website at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/394.pdf
The main session will be a forum under the heading, 'TUSC's role now and the 2017 elections', to explore how TUSC should operate in the welcome new political situation opened up by Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party.
The forum will involve platform speakers from the three constituent organisations of TUSC - the RMT transport workers' union, the Socialist Party and the SWP - with plenty of opportunity for debate from the floor. It will be chaired by Jeremy Corbyn's old parliamentary backbench fellow rebel, Dave Nellist, the former Labour MP (1983-1992), who is now the chairperson of TUSC.
Posted: 10 January 2017
The crisis facing local public services is now so intense that it has become unavoidable news even for the tame establishment media. The flashpoint over Christmas was the situation in the NHS, including the tragic story of two patients waiting for attention in A&E unable to get a bed and literally dying on hospital trolleys.
But part of the reason for the crisis in the NHS is the parallel crisis in adult social care, which is provided by local councils. The years of council cuts - by Tory, Liberal Democrat but Labour councils too - has meant that there are record numbers, of elderly patients in particular, fit enough to be discharged but having to remain in their hospital bed because there is no social care provision to enable them to return to their home safely.
The mantra of all bar a handful of councillors has been, 'there is nothing we can do', 'we have no option' but to pass on Tory government cuts to council funding. But the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has explained that is just not true, councillors can fight back. And now more evidence for our arguments has come from the Carmarthenshire council branch of the public sector workers' union, UNISON, which has produced a 'No cuts' proposal for this year's council budget.
Posted: 26 November 2016
The November meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee agreed the text of a new model letter to local government union branches, following up the letter to Labour councillors agreed last month (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17319/20-10-2016/tusc-agrees-new-appeal-to-labour-councillors-to-join-the-fightback).
The letter to council workers is available as a Word document (at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/388.doc) so it can be adapted by local groups.
Posted: 25 November 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has agreed the agenda for the TUSC conference to be held in London on January 28th.
The main conference session will be a forum under the heading, 'TUSC's role now and the 2017 elections', to explore how TUSC should operate in the welcome new political situation opened up by Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party.
This question has been debated constantly on the TUSC steering committee since Jeremy's first election victory in autumn 2015 and particularly since the defeat of the coup attempt by Labour's right-wing to unseat him this summer. Different positions have been put forward for consideration by the various components of the TUSC steering committee at our October and November meetings and we publish them here (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/387.pdf) as background information for the debate which will continue at the TUSC conference.
Posted: 8 November 2016
As the democratic credentials of 'official politics' are being increasingly questioned, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) recently chalked up a modest victory against establishment efforts to prevent alternative voices from being heard.
In the contests held this May for the directly-elected Mayors of Bristol and Liverpool councils the TUSC candidates suffered what can only be described as political censorship of the election addresses they submitted for inclusion in the Mayoral Election Booklets distributed to every elector.
Now, five months later, after formal complaints to the Returning Officers in the two cities, the national Electoral Commission has conceded that the councils' officers were making their own interpretation of the law when they insisted on amendments to the TUSC election addresses. In other words what happened was indeed an exercise in political censorship.
Posted: 20 October 2016
The first meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee since Jeremy Corbyn's re-election as Labour Party leader took place on October 12.
One of the items discussed was what role TUSC could play in backing up Jeremy's leadership by encouraging Labour councillors to join the resistance to the Tories' continued attacks on local public services, so that Labour can be an anti-austerity party in action as well as words.
The text of a model letter to Labour councillors was agreed, as published below. It is also available as a Word document (Appeal to Labour councillors) for local TUSC groups and anti-cuts campaigners to adapt and use as part of their campaigning around the new round of council budget 'consultations' that will be starting soon.
Posted: 19 October 2016
Following a number of successful meetings held under the banner, Campaign for a Socialist Mersey Mayor, the Merseyside Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is writing to Labour's metro-mayor candidate, the Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram, to propose a joint campaign to save threatened hospitals on Merseyside and to support the RMT transport union against Merseytravel bosses.
The Unison public sector union national executive committee member and the Merseyside TUSC metro-mayoral spokesperson Roger Bannister says:
"Leaked plans show hospitals face merger and closure across Liverpool, and across the Merseyside and Cheshire region.
Posted: 11 October 2016
Warrington Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) made local headlines with their call for the town's council to come out clearly now against any plans for fracking in the area, following the government's recent decision to allow drilling to go ahead in Lancashire.
The Tory minister responsible for that decision, Sajid Javid, visited Warrington last year.
Under the heading, 'Council urged to ban fracking as concerns mount', the Warrington Guardian wrote that "former Fairfield and Howley TUSC councillor Kevin Bennett called on the authority to ban it in Warrington and fight for public ownership of energy, as well as 'mass investment' in green technology.
Posted: 5 October 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) openly supported Jeremy Corbyn's re-election as Labour Party leader. Since TUSC was established in 2010 we have always recognised, in the words of our founding statement, that there were Labour representatives "who share our socialist aspirations" who would be supported by our coalition.
Jeremy Corbyn obviously comes into that category. Equally obviously the Blairite MPs who want to unseat him do not. But that subtlety is lost by the establishment media - deliberately so - as they search for scare stories about 'sinister left-wingers' behind the Corbyn phenomenon.
The latest example is the 'revelation' that the Hillsborough Justice campaigner Shelia Coleman, who introduced Jeremy Corbyn's leader's speech at the recent Labour Party conference, signed the nomination papers for the TUSC candidate in her local Princes' Park ward in this year's Liverpool city council elections.
Posted: 24 September 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) warmly welcomes the decisive re-election of Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour Party leader.
Ex-MP Dave Nellist, a former Labour backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn and now the chair of TUSC, said:
"Jeremy's impressive victory over a concerted effort to take Labour back to the Blair days will give heart to socialists inside and outside the Labour Party.
Posted: 5 September 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is appealing for solidarity with Ibrahim Avcil, who we have learnt has been detained while on holiday in Turkey.
Ibrahim Avcil stood as a TUSC candidate in the 2014 local elections in the North London borough of Haringey. Showing the respect in which he was held in the local community he came in second only behind Labour, polling 14% of the vote in his ward. Now we have to convey that strength of support to the Turkish authorities in protest at his detention.
Published below is a statement by the Solidarity with Ibrahim Avcil Campaign, which gives more details. Letters of protest should be sent to the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs, using the link on their website at http://www.mfa.gov.tr/contact-us.en.mfa
Posted: 25 August 2016
Merseyside Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) have organised a public meeting on Saturday 3rd September to launch a campaign for a socialist Mersey Metro Mayor.
TUSC argues that the newly-created position, to be elected next May, could be a powerful platform to stand up for Merseyside and build a mass anti-austerity struggle that could take on and defeat the Tory government.
The launch of the TUSC campaign follows the recent announcement that members of the Labour Party in Merseyside and Halton voted to select the Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram as Labour's Metro Mayor candidate, over the two right-wing candidates, the current mayor of Liverpool city, Joe Anderson, and the Liverpool Wavertree MP, Luciana Berger.
Posted: 24 August 2016
In June, hundreds of residents living in the Washdyke estate flats in Immingham were shocked to find out that Shoreline, the housing association that North East Lincolnshire council has outsourced social housing to, had drawn up plans to empty and later demolish their town centre homes in a two-phase project.
With the 'consultation' period ending later this month, two Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) public meetings have been held to help organise a campaign, each attended by over 30 Washdyke residents.
Chairing the first meeting, the Immingham TUSC candidate in May's local elections, Dave Mitchell, stressed that TUSC wanted to ensure that residents, no matter what their personal preference for or against demolition, should receive personal assurances from Shoreline that the financial package would be without strings and residents would not be re-housed outside of their preferred area.
Posted: 29 July 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) responded to the letter published this week from over 500 Labour councillors backing Owen Smith's leadership challenge by calling on them to 'fight the Tories not Jeremy Corbyn' and actually carry out an anti-austerity policy.
Dave Nellist, TUSC's national chair and a former backbench Labour colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, and a Coventry councillor for 14 years, slammed the anti-Corbyn councillors for sabotaging the Labour leader's anti-austerity message by meekly passing on Tory government cuts to local council jobs and services - and now having the cheek to say they are backing Smith in order to 'stop the damage being done to our communities'!
"Over 11,000 workers are losing their jobs as a result of the collapse of BHS, which MPs have rightly denounced as 'the unacceptable face of capitalism'", said Dave. "But Labour councillors across the country will this year alone sack three times as many workers because they refuse to stand up to the Tories' austerity agenda.
Posted: 21 July 2016
Last week the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee held its first meeting after the EU referendum. The committee discussed a report from the national agent, Clive Heemskerk, on TUSC's EU campaign and political developments in the aftermath of the Leave victory.
Meeting a day after the Labour Party NEC had put in place the timetable for a new leadership election, the steering committee agreed with the argument made in the TUSC report that the challenge to Jeremy Corbyn was "intrinsically linked to the capitalist establishment's attempt to regroup politically after the blow they suffered from the EU referendum result".
Jeremy Corbyn has correctly made the call that 'negotiations on Britain's relationship with the EU cannot be left in Tory hands'. But as the TUSC report argues "the capitalist establishment is saying - and this includes their supporters in the Labour Party - that 'negotiations on Britain's relationship with the EU cannot be left in Jeremy Corbyn's hands'". This is an important reason why they are so determined to unseat him and why they moved when they did.
Posted: 10 July 2016
The organisers of last weekend's Durham Miners' Gala made headlines by withdrawing platform invitations for the annual 'big meeting' to all Labour MPs who have joined the coup against Jeremy Corbyn's leadership. Jeremy himself spoke to great applause to one of the largest trade union gatherings in Europe, organised by the Durham Miners' Association.
Three years ago the late Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT and a co-founder of TUSC, gave a rousing speech at the Gala (see video below), calling for "an alternative party of Labour" after the then Labour leader Ed Miliband had launched a new attack on trade union influence within the party.
In his speech Bob refers to "good friends in the Labour Party like John McDonnell", now the shadow chancellor, and of course Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader changed the political situation compared to when Bob was speaking in 2013. But now a coup is underway to unseat Jeremy, showing that the distinction Bob made between those who fight for socialism within the Labour Party and those who defend capitalism and its policies - and the choice that places before the trade unions - is more pertinent than ever.
Posted: 9 July 2016
Last week's conference of the Rail Maritime and Transport (RMT) workers union - its annual general meeting (AGM), which took place from 26th-30th June - gave resounding support to Jeremy Corbyn in his battle with the Blairite majority of the parliamentary Labour Party.
The AGM welcomed the result of the EU referendum and called for an early general election to dump not just David Cameron but the whole Tory government, arguing that Labour should set the agenda for exit from the EU on the basis of a fight against austerity and privatisation.
Related to this was a general debate on the union's political strategy. The AGM overwhelmingly agreed to continue participating in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), including maintaining the RMT's representation on the TUSC national steering committee.
Posted: 4 July 2016
The Southampton rebel anti-cuts councillors, Don Thomas and Keith Morrell, have denounced the attempted coup against Jeremy Corbyn by the Parliamentary Labour Party, which has now been backed by hundreds of Blairite Labour councillors across the country.
Don and Keith (who sits on the TUSC national steering committee) had welcomed Jeremy's leadership victory last September, in an article printed in the local Southampton Echo. After the Southampton Test Labour MP Alan Whitehead joined the coup by resigning from his position as shadow Energy and Climate Change Minister last week, they sent the following statement to the Echo:
"The overwhelming majority of Labour MPs did not vote for Jeremy Corbyn and made it clear from the very beginning that they were not prepared to respect the hundreds of thousands of people who voted for him and wanted a new kind of anti-austerity Labour Party.
Posted: 3 July 2016
Dave Nellist, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition national chair and former backbench colleague of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, was interviewed on Thursday (30th June) on the Jon Gaunt radio show.
Arguing that the pro-big business wing of the Labour Party had been planning their move for some time - only delaying until the EU referendum was out the way - Dave urges Jeremy to stand firm against the plotters in defence of the anti-austerity policies that got him elected last summer.
You can hear the interview by clicking on https://audioboom.com/boos/4766415-dave-nellist-from-the-tusc-defends-corbyn
Posted: 27 June 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's National Election Agent, Clive Heemskerk, was interviewed on RT News on the Friday evening (24 June) after the EU referendum, discussing the impact of the result on workers and the trade union movement.
Posted: 24 June 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today hailed the 'massive vote of no confidence' in the Tory government expressed by Thursday's EU vote and called for the labour and trade union movement to follow this up by demanding an immediate general election.
TUSC, which has been the sixth-biggest presence on ballot papers in elections for the last four years, campaigned for a leave vote in yesterday's poll.
Dave Nellist, the former Labour MP who is now the chair of TUSC, said: "TUSC opposes the EU as an 'Employers Union', implementing Thatcherism on a continental scale, and we welcome the decisive rejection of it in the referendum.
Posted: 22 June 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is arguing for a leave vote in Thursday's referendum. We stand in the tradition of the late Bob Crow, the RMT transport workers' union leader and one of the co-founders of TUSC, who was well known for his support for international workers' solidarity while opposing the EU as a body that was pushing anti-worker and pro-austerity policies.
TUSC's core policies include the renationalisation of the railways, Royal Mail and other privatised public services, industries and utilities; defending the right to asylum and opposing racist immigration controls; and democratic public ownership of the banks and major companies.
None of these policies are compatible with the EU treaties. So why should we give a vote of confidence to EU institutions and laws which, as Greece shows, would be used to try and block socialist policies?
Posted: 21 June 2016
Monday's Sky TV Q&A with Jeremy Corbyn shows that there is a desire for a serious discussion on the EU referendum that has been generally unmet in the establishment media coverage.
Here was the Labour leader being asked questions by an audience of under-35s which took the debate to a far higher level than the normal 'Boris and Dave' show. 'How would you fulfil your pledge to renationalise the railways if EU competition laws prohibit it?' 'What is the case to remain in an organisation which promotes policies like TTIP which will sustain inequalities?' 'Wouldn't voting to Remain lead to the privatisation of the NHS?' were just some of the issues he had to address.
These are exactly the issues that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has been raising in making the socialist case for exit - not, unfortunately, in a 40-minute show on a major broadcast channel, but in the snatched opportunities that have come our way.
Posted: 20 June 2016
With EU referendum campaigning resumed, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) issued a press statement today asking media organisations to reflect on their role in creating the climate of hate that formed the backdrop to the shocking and horrific murder of Labour MP Jo Cox last Thursday.
The Electoral Commission was also criticised by TUSC, which supports an exit vote, for its decision early in the EU campaign to give political authority to the reactionary Vote Leave organisation, led by Tory Brexiters Boris Johnson, Michael Gove et al, when it was under no legal obligation to grant 'official designation' status - and millions of pounds of public funds - to any campaign group at all.
Dave Nellist, the former Labour MP who is now the chair of TUSC, said: "People are still in shock at the brutal murder of Jo Cox and, with campaigning now resuming for Thursday's ballot, must be hoping for a different kind of debate.
Posted: 17 June 2016
The three constituent organisations of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, and other members and supporters of TUSC, have expressed their shock and horror at the brutal murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.
The Socialist Party released a statement on Thursday evening pointing to the "big-business politicians on both sides of the EU referendum debate [who] have dangerously whipped up racism and anti-migrant feelings", while re-affirming its support, as a component part of TUSC, for an EU exit vote on "a pro-working class, internationalist standpoint" (see http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/23031/16-06-2016/shocking-killing-of-jo-cox).
The Socialist Workers Party posted an article on Friday, saying that it was now clear that Jo Cox's suspected attacker Thomas Mair "had connections with Nazi organisations" and calling for a redoubling of "our campaigning against fascism and racism" (see https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/42926/Racist+hatred+behind+murder+of+Jo+Cox).
Posted: 15 June 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today appealed to shadow chancellor John McDonnell to explicitly repudiate Alistair Darling's support for George Osborne's threat of an emergency austerity budget in the event of a vote to leave the EU.
This followed the appearance by the former Labour chancellor, Lord Darling, in support of George Osborne's scare threat that tax increases and spending cuts of ¬£30bn would have to be rapidly agreed by parliament if an EU exit vote won on June 23rd. Together they produced an 'illustrative' list of new cuts including ¬£2.5bn to the NHS, ¬£1.15bn in education, and cuts of more than 5% from transport and local government.
The TUSC national chair, the former Labour MP Dave Nellist - once a backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn - said: "Jeremy Corbyn, backed by John McDonnell, won the Labour Party leadership election last summer with a clear message that austerity is not necessary but is a political choice. That is true whether Britain remains in the EU or votes to leave and it is welcome that Jeremy said Labour 'would oppose any post-Brexit austerity budget' in today's Prime Minister's Questions.
Posted: 13 June 2016
The capitalist establishment in Britain and internationally are starting to panic about the result of the EU referendum.
They are especially concerned at polling evidence that working class Labour voters, in particular, are reluctant to come out and save the Tory government from what will be a shattering defeat. Now the media focus will be on Labour voters, starting with Gordon Brown's 'relaunch' of the Remain campaign, to try and intimidate them by any means possible from voting Leave.
That's why it is important, in the days that are left before June 23rd, to get the widest hearing possible for the socialist arguments against the 'Employers' Union' that is the EU, with its austerity agenda.
Posted: 2 June 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), which is supporting an exit vote in the EU referendum, today added its voice to the protest over the voting pack issued by Bristol city council for postal voters in June's ballot.
The council has been distributing a how-to-vote guide to postal voters with pictorial instructions that show a pencil hovering over the Remain box on the ballot paper (see below). At the very least the graphic is not a neutral depiction of the mechanics of voting.
A council spokesperson has dismissed the complaints, stating that "the placement of the pen graphic was entirely incidental". But this is not the first instance of political bias by Bristol's election officials, argued TUSC's National Election Agent, Clive Heemskerk. "Bristol council, unfortunately, has form in making political interventions into the democratic process", he said, "which TUSC had first-hand experience of in the city's mayoral election this May".
Posted: 1 June 2016
The Wales TUC has become the latest trade union organisation to come out in support of a fighting strategy that could roll back the attack on local public services.
At the Wales TUC conference last week (24-26 May) a composited motion was unanimously passed calling on Welsh councils - mainly Labour or Plaid Cymru-led - to set no-cuts budgets, using legal measures such as prudential borrowing, use of reserves, and capitalisation.
Taking such a step, the motion went on, "buys time for councils to build a campaign of mass resistance with other councils, the Wales TUC, anti-cuts campaigners and local communities" to force proper government funding of council services. The full text of the composite motion passed is printed below.
Posted: 24 May 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition national chair, Dave Nellist, was a panellist on BBC Radio's Any Questions programme last week (20 May), appearing alongside the Tory minister Andrea Leadsom, Blairite Labour MP Emma Reynolds, and the former Tory Party chairman, Chris Patten.
Questions included whether the NHS was sustainable after the news about the deficits incurred by Trusts last year; the Dave v Boris pantomime character of the EU referendum debate; and the vote to retain a men only policy at Muirfield Golf Club. The full 50 minute programme can be heard on BBC iplayer at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07bfzjf But if Chris Patten's golf anecdotes etc don't appeal, you can hear Dave's contributions by clicking below.
Posted: 23 May 2016
Last week three trade unions representing over 120,000 workers - the RMT, ASLEF and the BFAWU Bakers Union - issued a joint statement setting out their case for trade unionists to vote for Leave in the EU referendum. The statement reads:
"Many great figures of the labour moment such as Tony Benn, Michael Foot and Bob Crow were firmly against the EU. Millions of Labour voters oppose the EU and we believe a similar number of trade unionists support withdrawal.
"Whatever the result of the EU referendum the labour and trade union movement will continue to fight against injustice and austerity.
Posted: 19 May 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's national chair, the former Labour MP Dave Nellist, appeared on the BBC's Daily Politics programme (19 May) debating with Frances O'Grady, the general secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), on why workers should vote for EU exit on June 23rd.
Posted: 19 May 2016
The left-wing commentator Paul Mason had a very disappointing article in Tuesday's edition of The Guardian (There is a left-wing case for Brexit - but we can't let Boris Johnson turn Britain into a neo-liberal fantasy island, G2, 17 May).
It started so well. The EU, wrote Paul, "provides the most hospitable ecosystem in the developed world for rentier monopoly corporations, tax-dodging elites and organised crime.
"It has an executive so powerful it could crush the left-wing government of Greece; a legislature so weak that it cannot effectively determine laws or control its own civil service. A judiciary that, in the Laval and Viking judgments, subordinated workers' right to strike to an employer's right to do business freely". What trade unionist or socialist could disagree with that?
Posted: 13 May 2016
This week the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) reported that family members employed by MPs are paid an average of ¬£5,600 a year more than other MPs staff. Once again, it seems, MPs are finding new ways to siphon off public funds into their own pockets but the IPSA won't investigate further because it would be 'too intrusive'.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's National Election Agent, Clive Heemskerk, was interviewed on RT News on May 11th (see below). The issue never made the BBC's broadcast news though, presumably because embarrassing the establishment six weeks before they ask us to give them a vote of confidence in the EU referendum isn't part of the BBC's 'independent remit'.
Posted: 10 May 2016
The final Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) results from Thursday's elections are in. In total 43,309 votes were cast for TUSC candidates, a good showing for a clear 100% anti-austerity message.
The highlight of the campaign was the performance of the UNISON national executive member Roger Bannister, standing on behalf of TUSC for the mayor of Liverpool, who came in fourth ahead of Britain's governing party, with 4,950 votes (a 5.1% share). For the second time, following Tony Mulhearn's result in the 2012 Liverpool mayoral election, TUSC has outpolled the Tories in Britain's eighth biggest city.
A draft report of the full results and analysis (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/380.pdf) has now been produced by the TUSC national election agent, Clive Heemskerk, and will go to next week's meeting of the national steering committee, which will be reviewing the election intervention.
Posted: 7 May 2016
The results of the Bristol mayoral election have been announced and TUSC candidate Tom Baldwin has scored a respectable 1,876 first preference votes, coming in behind the 'big five' parties and the sitting Bristol First mayor, George Ferguson.
This follows yesterday's Liverpool mayoral election results where the TUSC candidate, the Unison national executive member Roger Bannister, polled 4,950 votes (a 5.07% share), over 1,400 votes ahead of the Tories.
TUSC stood for the inaugural Bristol mayoral election in 2012, coming in then with 1,412 votes (in tenth position out of 15 candidates) behind a number of 'independents'. This time Tom comfortably outpolled all the independent candidates.
Posted: 6 May 2016
Despite a fantastic campaign that showed the depths of local support which existed for TUSC's Kevin Bennett, the rebel Warrington councillor has lost by just 76 votes in his bid for re-election in Thursday's local council poll.
The right-wing dominated local Labour group threw everything they had into the campaign against the real opposition voice on the council. Never mind the Tories, TUSC were the enemy to beat!
Kevin duly hammered the Tory candidate in the Fairfield & Howley ward, who polled 332 votes, but his 921 votes - a 30% share - was tantalisingly short of the 997 votes of Labour candidate Peter Carey.
Posted: 6 May 2016
The first results announced of the four Mayoral elections that took place yesterday was for Liverpool - and the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate came in fourth ahead of Britain's governing party!
The TUSC candidate, the Unison national executive member Roger Bannister, polled a very respectable 4,950 votes (a 5.07% share), over 1,400 votes ahead of the Tory party candidate. Roger had already beaten UKIP - despite an almost daily presence in the establishment media to boost them, they were unable to find a candidate for the mayor in Britain's eighth biggest city.
TUSC also stood candidates in 17 of the city's 30 wards, with some very good results achieved. In Belle Vale ward TUSC polled 10.7% and the TUSC candidates in Kirkdale and Norris Green wards won 10.1% and 7.8% respectively.
Posted: 4 May 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has candidates standing in Thursday's elections to the Scottish parliament, the Welsh national assembly, and in sixty English local councils.
TUSC is also contesting two of the three Mayoral elections outside London taking place on May 5th, with Unison national executive member Roger Bannister standing in Liverpool and Tom Baldwin in Bristol.
All TUSC's local election candidates are standing on a policy platform headed, A councillors' revolt could stop the Tory cuts! (see http://tusc.org.uk/policy.php). A full list of the council candidates, broken down into regions, is available at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/375.pdf
Posted: 3 May 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has released the initial dates of a series of public meetings it is hosting in May and June under the heading 'The Socialist Case Against the EU'.
The EU debate has been reduced in the establishment media to a clash between different wings of the Tory party. It's Cameron vs Boris, they say - two old Etonians, with another ex-public schoolboy Nigel Farage in the ring too.
But what about if you're outside the 1% elite? Struggling to get by on low wages, a zero-hour contract maybe, or facing soaring rents and under-funded public services? What are our interests in the debate?
Posted: 28 April 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), one of three EU exit organisations that applied for recognition from the Electoral Commission to be the official Leave campaign, today made an appeal to media workers for fair coverage of the socialist case against the EU in the run-up to the June referendum.
A press release was issued but also, in an attempt to speak directly to journalists and other workers, a number of media workplaces were leafletted by TUSC members.
Explaining the appeal, the ex-Labour MP Dave Nellist who is now the chair of TUSC, said: "What has happened in the couple of weeks since the Electoral Commission chose the reactionary Vote Leave organisation as the 'official' voice of Leave has shown that this Tory-dominated outfit is completely incapable of representing the millions of trade unionists, young people, and working class voters generally, who will vote against the EU on June 23rd.
Posted: 27 April 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has agreed to formally complain to the Returning Officers of Bristol and Liverpool councils for what can only be described as political censorship of the TUSC candidates contesting the Mayoral elections in the two cities on May 5th.
Candidates in Mayoral contests are entitled to have an election address printed in a booklet distributed to every elector. There are rules about the content of the address, that it should not be used for commercial gain or that it must not contain "any material referring to any other candidate".
What the rules don't say, however, is that the candidate cannot refer to "the Tory government's demands for cuts" or state that "Liverpool Labour is slashing our public services"! But those were two of the deletions demanded by the Returning Officers in Bristol and Liverpool.
Posted: 23 April 2016
A former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, the ex-Coventry MP Dave Nellist who is now the chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), appeared on Sky News on the day the Labour leader made his speech (14th April) supporting a Remain vote in June's EU referendum. Click below to see the full interview.
Posted: 21 April 2016
The national steering committee of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), one of three EU exit organisations that applied for recognition from the Electoral Commission to be the official Leave campaign, met yesterday to discuss its response to last week's decision by the Commission to give the Tory-dominated Vote Leave group official designation status.
Ex-Labour MP Dave Nellist, who is now the chair of TUSC, said:
"What has happened since the Electoral Commission designation decision has confirmed our argument that the reactionary Vote Leave organisation is completely incapable of representing the millions of trade unionists, young people, and working class voters generally, who will vote against the EU on June 23rd because they support basic socialist policies of workers' rights, public ownership and opposition to racism and austerity.
Posted: 15 April 2016
"Walk up to any picket line, demo or protest rally in Bristol and you are sure to bump into Tom Baldwin".
This is the opening line of a Bristol Post profile of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate, Tom Baldwin, standing for election as the mayor of Bristol on May 5th.
The favourable profile by the Post political editor, Ian Onions, goes on: "Tom is a committed socialist who deeply believes that power comes from the ground up and it is only by mobilising working people that we will see any real change towards a fairer society.
Posted: 14 April 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's National Election Agent, Clive Heemskerk, is interviewed on RT News (13 April) about the Electoral Commission's decision to choose the Tory-dominated Vote Leave campaign as the official voice of exit in June's referendum.
Posted: 13 April 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), one of three EU exit organisations that applied for recognition from the Electoral Commission to be the official Leave campaign, today accused the Commission of "bowing to political pressure" in giving the Tory-dominated Vote Leave group official designation status.
TUSC had submitted what the BBC called a 'surprise bid' to be the designated Leave campaign in June's EU referendum (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35941945) against the Tory and UKIP dominated exit campaigns, Vote Leave and Grassroots Out - but said it was "not surprised" that the Electoral Commission has gone along with the government's preference for a safe, pro-establishment Leave campaign.
Dave Nellist, the former Labour MP who is now the chair of TUSC, said:
Posted: 11 April 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has announced its candidates standing for elections to the Scottish parliament, the Welsh national assembly, and sixty English local councils on May 5th.
TUSC has been fielding candidates on a 100% anti-austerity platform since its formation in 2010, co-founded by the late general secretary of the RMT transport workers' union, Bob Crow.
Obviously the political situation has changed since then, with Jeremy Corbyn's election last autumn as Labour leader. TUSC has been clear that it would not stand candidates against Labour politicians who have resisted austerity in the Scottish parliament, the Welsh assembly or local council chambers.
Posted: 7 April 2016
The RMT transport workers' union today set out why it will be advising members to vote to leave the EU in the forthcoming referendum.
Announcing six core reasons for RMT members to vote to leave, the union's general secretary Mick Cash said:
"RMT is proud to stand up for the tradition of progressive and socialist opposition to the European Union, an organisation wedded to privatisation, austerity and attacking democracy.
Posted: 5 April 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), one of three EU exit organisations vying for recognition from the Electoral Commission to be the official Leave campaign, today called on the Commission not to award official status to any group that has received funding from individuals or companies named in the 'Panama Papers'.
Last week TUSC submitted what the BBC called a 'surprise bid' to be the designated Leave campaign in June's EU referendum (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35941945) against the Tory and UKIP dominated exit campaigns, Vote Leave and Grassroots Out.
Dave Nellist, a former backbench colleague of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is now the chair of TUSC, said:
Posted: 2 April 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has followed up what the BBC called a 'surprise bid' to be the official Leave campaign in June's EU referendum (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35941945) by challenging the Tory and UKIP dominated exit campaigns - Vote Leave and Grassroots Out - to a public debate on who should be the voice of Leave.
Dave Nellist, a former backbench colleague of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is now the chair of TUSC, said:
"We believe it is vital that working class voters who oppose the EU are not forced to line up behind the reactionary pro-austerity politicians who are being promoted in the mainstream media as the only exit voices.
Posted: 2 April 2016
Audio: Chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, Dave Nellist, speaking on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio 31 March 2016, called for the nationalisation of the steel industry after Tata Steel put the future of thousands of steelworkers' jobs in doubt in Port Talbot, Wales.
Posted: 2 April 2016
Last week saw a decent result for the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the Dundee council Maryfield ward by-election, held on Thursday 31st March.
The seat was retained by the Scottish National Party (SNP) candidate, who polled 1,383 votes, a 49.5% share. This was well ahead of Labour whose vote fell from 1,251 (36%) in the 2012 council elections, the last time the seat was contested, to 634 this time (22.7%).
The TUSC candidate, Stuart Fairweather, won 142 votes (5.1%), coming in fourth ahead of the Greens, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP, all of whom have a higher profile in the establishment media than TUSC.
Posted: 30 March 2016
Last week the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee agreed the text of a formal letter to the Electoral Commission asking them not to choose an 'official' Leave campaign in June's EU referendum.
Under the referendum rules the Commission, an unelected quango, has the power to select one official campaign on each side of the debate, giving that organisation political 'authority' but also millions of pounds of public resources.
The deadline for organisations to apply to be the official campaign is March 31st, with the Electoral Commission making its decision by April 15th. Below is the text of the TUSC letter, sent in the name of the TUSC national agent, Clive Heemskerk, on March 24th.
Posted: 25 March 2016
Warrington's Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) councillor Kevin Bennett has challenged a call by the town's leading Labour Party spokespeople for the council to use public resources to produce an allegedly 'independent, politically neutral analysis' of EU membership ahead of the June referendum.
The leader of the Labour-controlled council, Terry O'Neill, who will be campaigning for a Remain vote in June, was quoted in the local Warrington Guardian as saying "we need to educate people" on the benefits of EU membership, showing how any 'impact assessment' organised by the council would be skewed from the start.
The head of the business group Warrington First backed Labour's call, arguing that "the public are being asked to comment about the future of the economic strategy of the UK" but "without the requisite information available to take a balanced view".
Posted: 14 March 2016
Over 100 candidates have now been approved by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee for the English local council elections taking place on Thursday May 5th. The full list of the candidates agreed so far is at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/369.pdf
But as the candidate numbers grow a battle is looming with the broadcasting authorities over TUSC's right to 'fair media coverage' in this year's elections.
As in previous elections the BBC's Chief Political Advisor, Ric Bailey, acting for all the broadcasting organisations, has set the qualification criteria for allocating a Party Election Broadcast (PEB) as "a party standing candidates in at least one sixth of the seats contested".
Posted: 12 March 2016
Last week's meeting of the PCS civil servants' union national executive committee (NEC) gave a big boost to the campaign under way to stop millions of pounds of public funding being given to Tory and UKIP EU campaigners.
Under the rules of June's EU referendum the Electoral Commission, an unelected quango, has the power to choose who shall be the 'official' Remain and Leave campaigns, giving them political 'authority' but also substantial public resources.
The PCS NEC decided that the union will write to the Electoral Commission calling on them not to designate any group dominated by UKIP, Tory and other pro-austerity and racist establishment politicians and organisations as the official exit campaign.
Posted: 11 March 2016
March 11th marks two years since the passing of Bob Crow, the inspirational general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) workers' union from 2002 until his death.
Bob was also a co-founder of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in 2010, which he saw as an important step towards a new vehicle for working class political representation.
He sat on the TUSC national steering committee, initially in a personal capacity but, after the decision of the 2012 annual general meeting of the RMT to be officially represented within TUSC, as one of the union's official nominees.
Posted: 5 March 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has approved the first batch of candidates for the English local council elections taking place on Thursday May 5th.
TUSC's local election platform this year is headed, Build on Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity call - A councillors' revolt could stop the Tory cuts! (see http://tusc.org.uk/policy.php). It takes into account that Jeremy Corbyn's election as Labour leader on an anti-austerity message has changed the political situation compared to the first five years of TUSC's existence. There will not be TUSC candidates standing against Labour councillors who vote against cuts in the council chamber.
But the big majority of Labour councillors did not support Jeremy Corbyn for leader and still continue to vote for cuts. Any politician who does that shouldn't be surprised if they are challenged by anti-austerity candidates at the ballot box, no matter what party label they wear. We need councillors who will stand up to the Tories, not carry out their policies.
Posted: 2 March 2016
Despite local people lobbying them, viable budget alternatives produced, and a request to delay for a week to think again, Warrington's Labour councillors rushed to agree ¬£20 million of cuts at the council's budget-making meeting on Monday 29th February, with the support of the local Tories.
No cuts needed to be made this year in Warrington, as alternative budget proposals from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) councillor Kevin Bennett proved. But the Labour councillors went ahead anyway.
The budget agreed means devastating cuts. The local YMCA could close for want of ¬£38,000 that is being cut, barely more than the ¬£34,000 the Labour councillors voted to award themselves in extra allowances.
Posted: 26 February 2016
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was questioned by the local media during a visit to Coventry about a recent appeal by the ex-Coventry MP Dave Nellist, the chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), for serious discussions on how to resist the new round of council cuts in May's local elections.
The appeal had been made after TUSC decided not to contest a February council by-election in Coventry's Lower Stoke ward, even though socialist councillors have been elected in the city in the past, including Dave himself (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17165/21-01-2016/dave-nellists-by-election-appeal-to-corbyn-lets-discuss-how-to-fight-the-cuts).
The Coventry Telegraph (26 February) reported that "the Labour Party leader was asked about comments from TUSC chairman Dave Nellist who had told the Telegraph the left-wing party was seeking talks with Mr Corbyn over a potential alliance".
Posted: 22 February 2016
Today's Guardian carried a letter from Dave Nellist, the chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and 27 leading trade unionists at national executive level, calling on the Electoral Commission not to give public resources to Tory and UKIP EU campaigners in the forthcoming EU referendum.
The text of the letter is printed below along with the list of signatories, which include two national union presidents and two national vice-presidents.
TUSC will be arguing for a leave vote in the referendum on June 23rd. We stand on the tradition of the late Bob Crow, the RMT transport workers' union leader, one of the co-founders of TUSC in 2010, who was well known for his support for international workers' solidarity while opposing the EU as an agency of anti-worker and pro-austerity policies.
Posted: 16 February 2016
The Sheffield No-Cuts People's Budget conference held on Saturday 13th February met against the backdrop of proposals from the Labour-controlled city council to make 400 redundancies and ¬£28 million in service cuts at its budget-setting meeting on March 4th.
The conference, initiated by the PCS civil servants' union Sheffield Town Committee, was supported by the local Trades Council, GMB union and People's Assembly as well as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), and was attended by 45 activists from several trade unions and campaigns.
Marion Lloyd (PCS), a Sheffield resident and member of the union's national executive committee, opened the meeting by explaining that the Tory government was moving the Northern Powerhouse to London by closing her BIS (Business, Innovation and Skills) office, costing 250 jobs, on top of 500 jobs going with the closure of the city's tax office.
Posted: 8 February 2016
In early January the UNITE union's National Industrial Sector Committee for Local Government workers agreed a significant resolution calling on Labour-controlled councils to no longer meekly pass on the Tories cuts to local government funding.
Instead, the motion argued, by using reserves and councils' borrowing powers, they should set legal no cuts budgets to buy time to build a mass campaign to force the Tories to retreat and properly fund local government.
Now the Local Government Service Group Executive (SGE) of UNISON, the union representing the majority of local government workers, has made a similar call (see below for the full text).
Posted: 4 February 2016
By Clive Heemskerk, TUSC National Election Agent
The EU referendum campaign is now officially under way. Although the actual date has still to be announced the main rules for how the referendum will be conducted have passed through parliament - including plans to potentially give millions of pounds of public money to Tory and UKIP EU campaigners.
Under the rules the Electoral Commission, an unelected quango, has been given the power to choose who shall be the 'official' Remain and Leave campaigns in the referendum.
Posted: 21 January 2016
The TUSC national steering committee met this week and agreed a timetable and procedures to approve candidates for the English local council elections taking place on Thursday May 5th. It also agreed a Guide for TUSC Candidates and Agents, available as a downloadable PDF at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/359.pdf
The steering committee recognises that the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader on an anti-austerity platform has changed the political situation compared to the first five years of TUSC's existence and that this effects how our coalition will approach the May polls.
Although the big majority of Labour councillors did not support Jeremy for leader, TUSC's local election platform, Build on Jeremy Corbyn's Anti-Austerity Call - A Councillors' Revolt Could Stop the Tory cuts! (see http://tusc.org.uk/policy.php) is clear that "TUSC will work with any Labour councillor who backs the call to refuse to implement the cuts". There will not be TUSC candidates standing against councillors who vote against cuts in the council chamber.
Posted: 21 January 2016
Ex-Coventry MP Dave Nellist, the chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and a former backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn, today appealed to the Labour leader to meet up and seriously discuss how to resist the new round of cuts being made by local councils.
The appeal was made after TUSC decided not to contest a forthcoming council by-election in Coventry's Lower Stoke ward, even though socialist councillors have been elected in the city in the past, including Dave himself.
Dave explained: "When the council by-election was announced early in the new year we were immediately approached by trade unionists and community activists in Lower Stoke asking us if we were going to stand.
Posted: 14 January 2016
The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is meeting on 23rd January under the heading, 'Preparing the 100% anti-austerity and socialist challenge for the Scottish elections'.
Keynote speakers at the opening session include Sean Hoyle, the newly-elected national president of the RMT transport workers' union, and PCS civil servants union vice president Cheryl Gedling (personal capacity).
Scottish TUSC conference - Saturday 23rd January
At the Renfield-St Stephens Centre, Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP
Registration opens at 12.30pm
Posted: 12 January 2016
What can councils do in the face of government cuts to funding for local public services? Actually, they could do a lot to throw back the Tories' austerity agenda - if councillors had the determination to fight.
A new briefing pack has been produced by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) drawing together notes, documents, transcripts of speeches, etc of four cases where rebel councillors showed how it would be possible for councils to fight back and not implement the Tory cuts.
Under the title, Preparing a No Cuts People's Budget, the 43-page pack is available as a downloadable PDF at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/355.pdf
Posted: 7 January 2016
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in Tower Hamlets is hosting a joint meeting with the Tower Hamlets Independent Group, the main opposition group on Tower Hamlets council, to draw up plans for an anti-cuts People's Budget for the East London borough.
The meeting is at 7pm on Thursday 14 January at the Alpha Grove Community Centre, Alpha Grove, E14 8LH (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17155/17-12-2015/tower-hamlets-peoples-budget-meeting).
A PDF of the joint leaflet produced by TUSC and the Tower Hamlets Independent Group can be downloaded at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/352.pdf
Posted: 6 January 2016
The Southampton People's Budget takes place on Saturday 9 January, 2pm
The Meon Suite, James Matthews Building, Guildhall Square, Southampton, SO14 7NN
All welcome, Full Access
Sean Hoyle, RMT National President
Posted: 5 January 2016
Published below is an appeal from Dr Yannis Gourtsoyannis, member of British Medical Association (BMA) Junior Doctors Committee National Executive:
"Junior Doctors across England will be commencing industrial action on Tuesday 12 January. We are opposing this government's attempt to impose an unsafe new contract on the medical profession.
"It is our view that the proposed contract represents an existential danger to the NHS as an institution.
Posted: 11 December 2015
Southampton Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) have launched a consultation for a People's Budget for the city, in contrast to the new round of cuts being proposed by the Labour-led council.
A questionnaire has been produced (click http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/351.pdf) for community groups, local trade unions and Southampton residents generally to say what they would like the council to do to improve life in the city.
Respondents are also asked whether they would support Southampton Labour council refusing to carry out further cuts; whether they think the council should use its reserves and borrowing powers to protect jobs and services; and whether they would actively support a campaign to restore government funding to Southampton.
Posted: 4 December 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national chairperson, Dave Nellist, a former Labour backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn in the 1980s, was interviewed on Radio Four's The World Tonight programme about the repercussions of the vote by 66 Labour MPs to support airstrikes in Syria.
Dave responded to the charge that pro-war MPs have been 'bullied' for their position by opposing all personal abuse but making the clear case for the right to deselect Labour MPs, and the need for other far-reaching changes in the Labour Party, for it to carry out Jeremy Corbyn's anti-war and anti-austerity policies.
The interview, broadcast on December 3rd, can be heard by clicking below.
Posted: 30 November 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Fleetwood Town councillor Simon Roberts has been leading the opposition to plans by the Labour-led Lancashire County Council to make further devastating cuts to local public services.
A local paper picked up Simon's support for a protest at the county council's next full meeting on December 17, reporting that the ¬£65 million cuts include "the removal of bus subsidies, funding for the Knott End ferry and Fleetwood Museum, among many others".
In total, it went on, "the latest cuts will cost the equivalent of 367 full-time jobs and include closing 40 libraries, withdrawing funding from five museums, axing of ¬£7.5m bus service subsidies, ¬£2.8m reductions in the highways budget and a major shake-up in the way the council delivers its remaining services and the closure and sale of many council buildings".
Posted: 26 November 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has responded to the Comprehensive Public Spending Review by calling on Labour-controlled councils to come together and resist George Osborne's latest cuts to vital local public services.
Dave Nellist, a former Labour backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn who is now the chair of TUSC, said:
"If Osborne can be forced into a U-turn on his tax credit cuts by the House of Lords he can be made to retreat on his new draconian cuts to local council funding. But it will need a determined fight by Labour councillors".
Posted: 19 November 2015
Leicester is facing severe cuts to its fire services - with the city's Labour councillors accepting the cuts without a fight. The directly-elected Labour Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby, sits alongside a Tory as vice-chair of the local fire authority which is pushing these cuts through.
A sham 'consultation' exercise is currently being carried out to axe fire services by ¬£1.5 million a year. In concrete terms, this represents a one-third reduction in firefighters and the closure of two local fire stations: Leicester Central, the busiest fire station in the city, and Kibworth, which serves a more rural and isolated population.
Response times would be at least doubled and with the fire service unable to provide an effective emergency response in the case of a large fire, lives will ultimately be lost if these cuts go through.
Posted: 19 November 2015
After the recent decision of the Scottish government to restore the right to strike to Scottish Prison Officers, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has received an appeal from the Prison Officers Association (POA) national executive committee member Michael Rolfe to step up the campaign for the same right to be returned to prison staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
TUSC's core policies, the platform on which we fielded candidates at the May general election, included explicit support for action to "reinstate full trade union rights to prison officers" including, of course, the right to strike (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy ).
Michael writes: "Please could you post the following to your page so that people can sign the petition?
Posted: 11 November 2015
Southampton council meets on 18 November in the next round of council budget consultations. Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) supporters will be lobbying the council to defend jobs and services and back Jeremy Corbyn's call to stop cuts.
Services currently under threat include six libraries in the city. Just ¬£250,000 would keep them open and protect librarians' jobs. NHS walk-in services in Bitterne have recently closed, despite a five-year long TUSC campaign. Just ¬£120,000 would fund the nursing staff to re-open services there.
While these essential services suffer, Southampton council has found ¬£2 million to complete its corporate arts centre project, now home to a new Nandos restaurant.
Posted: 29 October 2015
Lincoln Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) made the local media headlines this week when they condemned the city's Tory MP, Karl McCartney, for opposing the abolition of a 5% VAT charge on sanitary products.
The Tory MP, having previously voted to cut the top rate of income tax and corporation tax, was challenged to explain "why he voted to maintain the 5% tax on essential sanitary products, but is happy to vote to cut taxes for big businesses and the wealthiest people in our society".
The full story in the Lincolnshire Echo can be found at http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/Karl-McCartney-criticised-voting-proposals-change/story-28071204-detail/story.html
Posted: 21 October 2015
The call from Warrington TUSC councillor Kevin Bennett for the town's Labour-controlled council to back Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity stance and vote against new cuts to council services has picked up positive coverage in the local media.
Kevin, described as Warrington's 'rebel councillor', points out that he was the only councillor in Warrington who endorsed Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership.
He is then quoted as saying "TUSC believes that in the new situation opened up by Jeremy Corbyn's victory, there really is no reason why Labour councils should not combine together and refuse to implement the Tories' brutal austerity agenda.
Posted: 8 October 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition National Election Agent Clive Heemskerk introduces the debate at the September 26th TUSC conference on TUSC's core policies for the 2016 local elections, and outlines the vital role TUSC can play, building on Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership victory, in helping to organise the resistance to the new round of local council cuts that are coming.
Posted: 8 October 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today announced that it would officially register as an exit campaigner in the forthcoming referendum on EU membership.
TUSC, which stood the sixth largest number of candidates in May's general election (after the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Greens), was co-founded by the late Bob Crow, the RMT transport workers' union leader who was well known for his opposition to the EU as an agency of anti-worker and pro-austerity policies.
Dave Nellist, the former Labour MP who is now the chair of TUSC, said:
Posted: 2 October 2015
The president of the RMT transport workers' union, Peter Pinkney, addresses the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition conference in September 2015.
Posted: 1 October 2015
Last Saturday saw over 200 people assemble in London for the autumn Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference.
The opening session on the role of TUSC in the new situation was introduced by platform speakers from the main constituent organisations of TUSC, headed up by an address from the president of the RMT transport workers' union, Peter Pinkney.
Other sessions agreed TUSC's core policies for the 2016 local elections (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17112/09-09-2015/the-tusc-2016-local-elections-draft-policy-platform) and, in a separate debate, that TUSC would campaign against EU membership in the forthcoming referendum, while guaranteeing the right of TUSC participating organisations, members and candidates to present an alternative position.
Posted: 25 September 2015
Saturday 26 September, 11am to 4.30pm
Student Central, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY
Chaired by the TUSC national chair and former socialist Labour MP, Dave Nellist
Posted: 12 September 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national chairperson Dave Nellist has warmly welcomed Jeremy Corbyn's decisive victory in the Labour leadership contest.
Speaking shortly after the result was announced at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in London, Dave Nellist, a former Labour MP who served in the Commons alongside Jeremy Corbyn in the 1980s, said:
"Jeremy's clear victory will now give a voice to the depth of anti-austerity feeling in Britain. He has clearly inspired huge numbers, particularly young people, with his call for free education, public ownership of rail and energy, and for councils to stand together in opposition to government cuts.
Posted: 15 September 2015
Sky News interviewed Dave Nellist, chair of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on 13 September 2015 the day after socialist Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in a landslide victory for socialist ideas. Sky wanted to know what TUSC's reaction was.
Posted: 9 September 2015
The September meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has revised the agenda for the forthcoming TUSC conference to take account of the tremendous anti-austerity movement that has mobilised around Jeremy Corbyn's Labour leadership bid.
The TUSC conference is taking place on Saturday 26th September at Student Central, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HY, from 11am to 4-30pm.
The opening session, under the title 'The role of TUSC in the new situation', will be a chance to assess what needs to be done, after Jeremy Corbyn's hoped for success, to continue the process of re-building independent working class political representation.
Posted: 9 September 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has agreed a draft statement of core policies for the 2016 local council elections (see below).
First published at the start of the summer, the statement has been updated to take account of the tremendous anti-austerity movement that has mobilised around Jeremy Corbyn's bid for the Labour leadership.
The draft platform will be debated at the TUSC conference being held on September 26th. Local TUSC groups, constituent organisations or individuals who want to move amendments should send them to the TUSC national agent, Clive Heemskerk, at firstname.lastname@example.org, by Friday 18th September to be included in the conference discussion.
Posted: 26 August 2015
Fleetwood town council has voted to oppose controversial plans by the Halite Energy company to build a gas storage facility on the Fylde Coast.
The government Department of Energy and Climate Change has recently granted permission to Hailte to develop a huge underground gas storage scheme in salt caverns at Preesall (Over Wyre), in Lancashire, despite massive public opposition.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Fleetwood town councillor Simon Roberts had organised a protest before the council meeting on August 25, which drew together members of the public including Preesall residents and anti-fracking campaigners.
Posted: 10 August 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today called on media outlets to name the sources for their stories that the Labour Party is being 'infiltrated' by TUSC members.
This follows the revelation that a former South London councillor who stood for TUSC in May was wrongly named in The Times as somebody who had signed up to support Jeremy Corbyn's leadership bid.
Last week The Times named Chris Flood, who stood as a TUSC candidate in the Lewisham Deptford constituency in May, as a new registered Labour supporter.
Posted: 3 August 2015
From The Independent on Sunday, 2nd August:
"If, as many Labour MPs believe, their party isn't having a leadership contest but a troubled convention of ghosts from socialists past, then Dave Nellist is among the haunting elite.
The former MP for Coventry South, now 63, was among those expelled from Labour in the early 1990s because of his links with the group centred around The Militant newspaper.
Posted: 2 August 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Fleetwood town councillor Simon Roberts has added his voice of opposition to a recent government decision to allow a controversial gas storage facility on the Fylde Coast.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has granted the Halite Energy company permission to develop a huge underground gas storage scheme in salt caverns at Preesall (Over Wyre), in Lancashire, despite three rejections of the plan and massive public opposition.
The decision by the DECC to allow Halite to proceed follows last month's rejection by Lancashire county council of bids by the Cuadrilla energy company to test frack on the Flyde and bodes ill for the outcome if Caudrilla appeals.
Posted: 20 July 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee has agreed a draft statement of core policies for the 2016 local council elections, A councillors' revolt could stop the Tory cuts! (see below).
This will now go to the TUSC conference being held on September 26th, where local TUSC groups, constituent organisations or individuals will be able to move amendments to the statement for debate and decision. Amendments should be sent to the TUSC national agent, Clive Heemskerk, at email@example.com, by Friday 18th September to be included in the conference discussion.
The platform, once it has been finalised, is the basis on which any prospective candidate can stand under the TUSC name in the elections taking place next May in 127 English councils.
Posted: 17 July 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has added its voice to mounting opposition against the Conservative government's Trade Union Bill raising the threshold for union strike ballots, and allowing employers to bring in agency staff to break strikes.
The Trade Union Bill, introduced to parliament on Wednesday, 11th July, imposes a minimum 50% turnout in union strike ballots; for public sector strikes to be legal they would need the backing of at least 40% of those eligible to vote.
TUSC national chair, former Labour MP Dave Nellist, said:
Posted: 8 July 2015
The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) meet in conference on June 27th to discuss plans to field the largest possible number of working class fighters as candidates in next May's elections for Scotland's Parliament.
The platform was dominated by those at the sharp end of fighting austerity, including speakers from the Glasgow School Buses campaign; Graham Nelson, a senior shop steward for Unite and a striking hospital porter from Dundee; and Chris Semani, Unison steward and striking Glasgow caseworker.
Another keynote speaker was Gordon Martin, the Scottish organiser of the RMT transport workers' union, whose members at CalMac are also on strike.
Posted: 5 July 2015
The June meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee included a detailed discussion, the first in a series, on how to develop the coalition following the TUSC campaign in May's elections.
Also on the agenda was a plan for a TUSC National Election Fund appeal - with the aim being to meet the costs of election deposits for candidates in the 2016 contests for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Greater London Authority and the three council Mayoral elections taking place next year, in Liverpool, Salford and Bristol.
The meeting confirmed the date of the TUSC conference to discuss the 2016 elections as September 26th, to be held at London's Student Central venue, Malet Street, WC1E (11am to 4-30pm).
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.
Posted: 6 February 2015
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee meet on Wednesday 4th February to approve another round of parliamentary candidates. Including those agreed by the Scottish TUSC steering committee (nine so far), there are now 72 TUSC candidates in place for May's general election.
The candidates approved this week included rebel councillor Kevin Bennett (see www.tusc.org.uk/17054/29-01-2015/enough-is-enough-another-rebel-councillor-links-up-with-tusc-to-fight-austerity), who will now be standing for TUSC in the Warrington South constituency.
Also agreed as candidates were Dave Pitt, the West Midlands regional chair of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), standing in Dudley North; and RMT members Ted Woodley, contesting Birmingham Erdington, and Richard Andrzejak, standing in Chatham and Aylesford. Richard becomes the second RMT member to contest a seat in the north Kent Medway council area. He joins the local RMT branch Young Members Officer Dan Burn who is standing in the Rochester and Strood seat of UKIP MP Mark Reckless - showing in action how the trade unions can offer a working class political challenge to the right-wing party.
Posted: 1 February 2015
This edition of Russia Today's Going Underground, published on youtube on 28 Jan 2015, covered the 'Rise of UK's Syriza' - a reference to the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
This short edit shows presenter Afshin Rattansi's interview with Clive Heemskerk, TUSC's national election agent.
Posted: 29 January 2015
Kevin Bennett, Warrington's rebel Labour councillor, has announced he has reached the end of the road in trying to fight austerity as part of the Labour Party. His announcement was carried in the local Warrington Guardian, under the headline, 'Enough is enough' (see http://bit.ly/1K7nqYn )
Kevin was indefinitely suspended by the council Labour group in April 2013 after voting against the council's cuts budget. A 70-strong lobby of trade unionists and community campaigners took place outside the suspension meeting in support of Kevin's courageous stand.
Kevin explained at the time that "the cuts are hitting my ward badly, I'm getting calls and emails from people asking me to help them but I feel my hands are tied.
Posted: 22 January 2015
Steve Bell's Guardian cartoon on the party leaders' TV election debate row that flared up in the New Year was typically pointed. It depicted the four austerity party leaders in a line - Cameron, Farage, Clegg and Miliband - with the Greens, in a dig at Cameron's previous 'cut the green crap' comments, an unpleasant presence for them all (see gu.com/p/44q9f/tw).
Posted: 14 January 2015
See more details about the conference here
Posted: 29 December 2014
The leader of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), former Coventry MP Dave Nellist, has today called for government intervention to save City Link jobs, saying the company should be nationalised.
The courier firm, City Link, whose headquarters are in Coventry, went into administration on Christmas Day putting thousands of jobs at risk.
Mr Nellist said today:
Posted: 19 December 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee approved another tranche of parliamentary candidates at its December meeting. Along with the seven candidates agreed so far by the Scottish TUSC steering committee, there are now 32 TUSC candidates in place for next May.
The new round of TUSC parliamentary candidates approved included Tony Mulhearn, standing in Liverpool's Riverside constituency. Tony, one of the Liverpool 47 Labour councillors who defied the Thatcher government in the 1980s, polled 4,792 votes for TUSC in Liverpool's mayoral election in 2012, coming in ahead of both the Tories and UKIP. Also contesting a Liverpool parliamentary seat for TUSC is the Unite union convenor for the city council, Dave Walsh, standing in Liverpool Wavertree.
There are two trade union national executive committee (NEC) members in the new candidates' list, with the National Union of Teachers' (NUT) executive member Anne Lemon contesting Bristol North West, and Unison NEC member Jacqui Berry standing in Gillingham and Rainham. This north Kent constituency is next door to the Rochester and Strood seat of UKIP MP Mark Reckless - in May he will be challenged on behalf of TUSC by the local RMT branch Young Members Officer, Dan Burn.
Posted: 8 December 2014
Over 40 people crammed into TUSC's North West regional conference on Saturday 22 November, to map out plans for TUSC over the next year.
Trade unionists, students, community campaigners, socialists and activists from across the region contributed to the discussions.
The former Liverpool Labour city councillor Tony Mulhearn, recently selected to fight Liverpool Riverside at the general election for TUSC, introduced the first discussion. "A madness is infecting politics", said Tony, in the vacuum created by no mass voice for working-class people, and expressed in the rise of UKIP, the return of fraudster minister Laws to political prominence, while unions like the PCS face a massive assault on their basic right to organise.
Posted: 3 December 2014
The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) steering committee is meeting in early December to get down to details on plans for the 2015 Westminster elections. This follows a successful 70-strong conference in November of Scottish TUSC to discuss the way forward following the independence referendum.
Despite the huge working class vote in the referendum for Yes, which was a revolt against austerity and the political establishment, the cuts juggernaut has continued. That's why the conference voted unanimously to stand candidates in the 2015 Westminster elections on an uncompromising anti-cuts platform
In the days running up to the conference a series of shocking reports emerged about the scale of the planned cuts to public services in Scotland.
Posted: 20 November 2014
On the last weekend in October around 60 people gathered to participate in Leicester's first ever People's Budget conference.
The event was organised by Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts - Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor - alongside TUSC. The two councillors left Labour this year to join TUSC's alliance of trade union and anti-cuts groups.
As Barbara told the conference, "Leaving the Labour Party was a big thing. All my family have always voted Labour. They're no longer the party who stick up for ordinary people. We all need to stick together - the People's Budget marks an opportunity to create something new".
Posted: 12 November 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee, meeting this week, has approved the first eight parliamentary candidates for next May's general election.
At the same time, as part of building support for standing a TUSC candidate, more TUSC groups are organising open letters and delegations to challenge their local Labour Party parliamentary candidate on where they stand on key issues, before a decision is made on whether the seat will be part of the TUSC 2015 election campaign.
The first TUSC parliamentary candidates approved include the former Labour MP and TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, who will stand in the Coventry North West constituency presently held by Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson, a multi-millionaire former businessman and one of the wealthiest MPs in the current parliament.
Posted: 30 October 2014
The selection of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) prospective candidates for next year's elections has given local TUSC groups opportunities to get some media coverage in their area.
The Portsmouth News covered a 40-strong meeting, with national TUSC chair Dave Nellist in attendance, which announced the selection of candidates to contest the city's two parliamentary constituencies next May (see http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/local/party-picks-two-candidates-for-elections-in-may-1-6363224 ).
The prospective TUSC candidate for Portsmouth North is Jon Woods, president of Portsmouth Trades Council and chair of the council's UNISON branch. Portsmouth South will be fought for TUSC by the former RMT transport workers' union executive committee member, Sean Hoyle.
Posted: 22 October 2014
Hundreds of low paid Barking and Dagenham council workers facing a ¬£2,000 cut to their annual income protested outside Barking town hall on Tuesday 7 October, reports Pete Mason, who stood as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) local election candidate in the borough back in May.
Joining them were a number of Labour councillors who face suspension from the Labour whip and potential expulsion from the Labour Group if they carry through their declared intention to vote against the proposed cuts at the 1st December full council meeting. Labour took all 51 seats on Barking and Dagenham council (in east London) in May's election.
Refuse collectors parked their dustbin lorries in a long line outside the town hall and hooted their horns. The GMB and Unite members and the protesting councillors then marched into the public gallery, where deputy leader of the council, Dominic Twomey, told the cabinet meeting that the council needs to cut ¬£53 million during the next three years. Some council workers fear losing their homes if their income is cut by ¬£2,000, GMB activists say. The borough already has the highest level of repossessions in London. Further cuts proposed include closing care and homeless centres.
Posted: 6 October 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee, meeting last week, has set an ambitious target for next year's elections - to have a TUSC candidate in one thousand local council wards and one hundred parliamentary constituencies on May 7th 2015.
One thing is clear about the outcome of the 2015 general election. Whichever establishment party or combination of parties wins, they will continue with policies favouring the rich and austerity for the rest of us.
That's why TUSC was set up in 2010, co-founded by the late Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport workers' union. Its purpose is to enable trade unionists, community campaigners and socialists to come together on a common platform to challenge the pro-austerity unity of the establishment parties at the ballot box.
Posted: 29 September 2014
Thanks are due to Ian Martin, one of the writers of the savage political satire The Thick of It, for his recent article in the Guardian from this year's Labour Party conference (see http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/23/ian-martin-labour-conference-thick-of-it ).
Firstly because he uses his piece to explain once again - if not exactly in Malcolm Tucker terms but near enough - just how spineless the alleged 'official opposition' to the Con-Dems have become. But also, in pondering what possible alternatives there might be, for name-checking TUSC and one of our co-founders, in Ian's words, "the late great Bob Crow".
TUSC chair Dave Nellist sent in a letter to the Guardian to let its readers know that TUSC is intending to stand even more widely next May - for both the general and the local elections - than we did this year, when we fielded the biggest-ever left-of-Labour working class electoral challenge for 60 years (see http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/24/labour-conference-message-offers-left-little-hope ).
Posted: 4 September 2014
A recent article by Guardian journalist Aditya Chakrobortty on the efforts of Enfield council to respond to the housing crisis (see http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/sep/01/enfield-experiment-housing-problem-radical-solution ) vindicates the central point of TUSC's policy platform for local council elections - councillors can find ways to resist austerity if they choose to.
Aditya explains the desperate housing situation developing in the north London borough - although not restricted to there! - against the backdrop of an historic underbuild of social housing, the Con-Dems' benefit cuts, and rising private sector rents.
He shows that councils still have powers they could use, if the will is there, to intervene. Enfield, he reports, "has arranged a credit facility of ¬£100m" to bulk-buy homes, in a programme began in March this year. It is introducing a scheme to license private landlords and, "for the first time in 30 years, it is building council homes", with 180 starts this month as the first steps.
Posted: 1 September 2014
Plymouth councillor Alison Casey will be speaking on Wednesday 3rd September at the first of a series of TUSC-hosted meetings across the city to draw up 'A Peoples Charter for Plymouth' as an alternative to the establishment parties' austerity policies.
Alison, a councillor for Moor View ward, will be explaining why she left the Labour Party and how she will now be better able to serve the community as an independent.
Also speaking at the 'Have your Say' public meeting, starting at 7pm at the Estover Youth Centre, Torbridge High School, will be Senior Youth Worker Nathan Cole, who will be talking about Estover Youth Club and the work of the Youth Service. Local community groups like Friends of Miller Way have also been invited to speak about their campaigns and activities.
Posted: 15 August 2014
Local Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) groups haven't had too much time for a summer break this year, with campaigning continuing throughout July and August.
The decision of two city councillors to join with TUSC made the headlines in the Leicester Mercury (see http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/Ex-Labour-councillors-join-anti-cuts-alliance/story-21444308-detail/story.html ). The paper reported that, in linking up with TUSC, Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor "will take a firm stance against further budget reductions and will be pushing for the council to adopt a zero cuts budget in the future".
This provoked a typical reaction from the ruling Labour group that "it would be impossible to halt the cuts to services given reductions in grants from Whitehall". But that was completely different to the great response Barbara and Wayne received from public sector workers when they explained their anti-cuts stand at the July 10th strike Fair Pay Rally in Leicester.
Posted: 9 July 2014
TWO LEICESTER anti-cuts councillors this week agreed to join up with the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the ever-widening fight against the establishment parties and their austerity policies.
Ex-Labour councillors Barbara Potter and Wayne Naylor, who will sit on the council as the Leicester Independent Councillors Against Cuts group, will now be a constituent part of the Leicester TUSC steering committee, alongside the Socialist Party, the SWP and prominent trade unionists in the city.
In a press statement announcing their decision to link up with TUSC, the councillors explained that while they were in the Labour Party they were loyal because they feared the alternative of letting the Tories in. But they were hampered in their aims of defending their local constituents and both now feel that they can do that better outside the Labour Party - and that the time had come to build something new both locally but also on a national level.
Posted: 8 July 2014
As over a million public sector workers were preparing for J10, Michael Gove followed Boris Johnson and other right-wing Tories to demand tighter new rules for strike ballots, which they believe would put an end to virtually all public sector strikes.
The Daily Mail reported that if the Tories win the 2015 general election that a strike could only take place if it was supported by a majority of the entire membership of the union in the sector concerned voting Yes in a postal ballot.
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national chairperson Dave Nellist, who was an opposition member of parliament thirty years ago when Tories Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbit first introduced postal ballot requirements, comments:
Posted: 27 June 2014
THE ANNUAL conference (annual general meeting) of the RMT transport workers' union, meeting this week in Bristol, has voted to continue the union's participation in the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). The following resolution was agreed unanimously by the conference delegates:
"This AGM congratulates all those RMT members who stood in the May 2014 local elections as Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates.
"Thirty-five RMT members stood for TUSC in the London Transport Region with 53 RMT members standing as TUSC candidates overall.
Posted: 25 June 2014
As part of a feature on building an alternative in the aftermath of the local and European elections (see http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-ce7d-There-must-be-more-to-politics-than-this ), the Morning Star this week carried a substantial article on the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition's recent local elections campaign, which we republish below:
The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) put together what it describes as the biggest left electoral challenge to the mainstream parties since the Communist Party in 1950.
It stood 559 candidates in the local elections and received 68,000 votes. It supported Southampton rebel Labour councillors Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, who were expelled from the Labour group for voting against council cuts and presenting an alternative budget.
Posted: 20 June 2014
Four weeks on from May's elections local groups of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) have been using the momentum generated by the election campaign to prepare serious plans for the ten months to polling day 2015.
This date, Thursday May 7th, will not only be the date of the general election but will also see elections for over 7,000 council seats in 279 councils across England.
As the post-election letter sent to TUSC's candidates by the national steering committee argues (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17005/03-06-2014/tusc-steering-committee-sets-out-plans-for-2015-in-letter-to-candidates ) these contests will be as important for the task of building working class political representation as the general election. There will be many trade unionists, community campaigners and working class people generally who will want to see the back of the Con-Dems at Westminster but who at the same time will be prepared to support council candidates - or stand themselves - who will defend local public services against the austerity agenda of whoever the new occupant of No.10 will be. But preparing for the 2015 challenge starts now.
Posted: 3 June 2014
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national steering committee met on May 28th to assess the outcome of the local election campaign and discuss plans for 2015.
TUSC chairperson Dave Nellist opened the meeting by congratulating the TUSC steering committee member Keith Morrell, present with follow rebel councillor Don Thomas, on his decisive victory in Southampton's Coxford ward. It was a message to all Labour councillors who sit in council meetings voting for cuts with a 'heavy heart' - they can refuse to implement the ConDems' austerity agenda, and be re-elected.
The meeting agreed the comprehensive election report presented by the TUSC national election agent, Clive Heemskerk (see www.tusc.org.uk/txt/306.pdf). It then got down to discussing the plans for developing TUSC over the next eleven months.
Posted: 30 May 2014
A COMPREHENSIVE account of the TUSC results from last week's local elections is now available at www.tusc.org.uk/txt/307.pdf
A total of 554 candidates, standing in 507 wards in 86 councils, contested the local council elections on May 22nd under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) umbrella. In addition, TUSC stood candidates in the directly-elected mayoral contests in Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets, and in five by-elections in three councils without scheduled elections this year, that were held on the same day. In total 68,152 votes were cast for these candidates.
Scheduled elections took place in 161 local authorities in England, to fill 4,216 seats in around 3,000 wards. The TUSC challenge, contesting 12% of the seats and 17% of the wards, was greater than anything attempted before in the four-year history of our coalition. In 2011, the first local elections seriously contested by TUSC, we fielded a candidate in 2% of the seats. In 2012 it was 4% and in 2013, when it was mainly county councils which were up for election, TUSC had a candidate in 5% of the seats, 120 in total. This year was on a different scale.
Posted: 27 May 2014
The vote tally for TUSC candidates in last Thursday's local council elections has now passed the 65,000 mark, with just two councils yet to publish their official results (in London and the West Midlands).
In 21 councils TUSC has polled over 1,000 votes. In ten of these, it has been over 2,000. A powerful anti-austerity message has been sent in all these areas.
In previous years we have presented a 'league table' of ward results (see the previous election results links on the Candidates page on the TUSC website, at http://www.tusc.org.uk/candidate ). But this year's challenge has been of a different scale. There are 77 council wards, for example, where TUSC has polled over 5% of the vote.
Posted: 24 May 2014
Even though most of Thursday's local council election results have now, at least, been declared, it is still proving harder than expected to collate together all the results for the 560 TUSC candidates.
But we have now passed the 50,000 vote mark, with TUSC, at this point, scoring more than 1,000 votes in 16 councils.
In Sheffield TUSC's candidates have collectively polled 2,657 votes across the city, with a 10.2% share of the vote in Manor Castle ward and 8.4% in Burngreave ward. In Doncaster TUSC polled 1,556 votes, in Barnsley 1,361, and in Wakefield 1,257.
Posted: 23 May 2014
Southampton 'rebel councillor' and TUSC national steering committee member Keith Morrell has been re-elected to his council seat in Coxford, in a vindication of the bold stand that he, and fellow rebel councillor Don Thomas, made against the Labour council's cuts (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/press180213.php )
Keith has been decisively re-elected with 1,654 votes, a 43% share of the vote. At the last full council elections in Southampton in 2012, Labour won Coxford ward with 1,647 votes. This time Labour dropped to third with 724 votes (19%), as UKIP came in second with 796 votes. The Tories polled 500 votes, and the Lib Dems 168.
Keith said: "This result is a victory for the people of Coxford who fought to save local services and won an important victory to re-open our local swimming pool. It shows what is possible. Other significant results across the city for TUSC candidates show the potential that exists for a new party that stands up for working people, campaigns for jobs and housing, and tackles the growing poverty that affects so many families in the city".
Posted: 23 May 2014
AS WE post this, counting the votes in Thursday's local elections is under way.
This year there were 4,216 council seats up for election in 161 English local authorities. TUSC stood candidates for 560 seats, 13% of the total, and also stood in three of the five contests for directly-elected mayors taking place, in Lewisham, Newham, and Tower Hamlets (the other mayoral contests were in Hackney and Watford).
Around half of the councils with elections this year are counting overnight, with the remaining councils starting their count on Friday morning. As results come in, we will publish them on this website, with the first bulletin expected for mid-morning on Friday. When all the results come in we will post up a comprehensive seat-by-seat report on how the TUSC candidates fared. Watch this space.
Posted: 21 May 2014
With hours to go until the polls open the national media boycott of the biggest left-of-Labour election challenge since world war two continues.
In the local council contests Labour and the Tories are standing in over 4,000 of the 4,216 seats up for election. The Liberal Democrats have fielded just under 3,000 candidates, UKIP over 2,000, and the Green Party 1,875. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has 560 candidates, 13% of the seats.
TUSC's presence on the ballot paper is not as big as the top five but it is indisputably ahead of the rest of the pack, with the next biggest parties being the BNP (106 candidates), the Christian Peoples Alliance (61), the Liberal Party (43), and the English Democrats (31). Yet TUSC's share of media coverage is no way commensurate with the number of candidates we are standing, even compared to these 'others'.
Posted: 21 May 2014
Below a few of the 75 members of UNISON, Britain's biggest public sector union, who are standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in tomorrow's council elections, explain why they have decided to do so. The TUSC candidates include two members of the UNISON national executive. All UNISON members are standing for TUSC in a personal capacity.
"I sit on UNISON's National Executive Council, and am branch secretary of the Knowsley branch in the North West Region. As a public sector trade union activist I see the horrendous effects of ConDem cuts on people's lives, through job cuts, redundancies and cuts in pay and conditions of service. Unfortunately Labour councils do nothing to oppose these cuts, and even victimise Labour councillors who vote against them! It is therefore clear that working people need a new political voice, which is why I support TUSC".
Roger Bannister, TUSC candidate for Kirkdale, Liverpool
Posted: 21 May 2014
On 15 May Sheffield TUSC Walkley ward candidate Chas Lockett took part in a live debate on BBC Radio Sheffield's Rony Robinson Show. You can listen to an extract from the programme where candidates from the Lab-Con-Lib Dem parties and TUSC (and UKIP and the Greens) debate whether councils can resist the cuts.
Click here to listen.
Posted: 21 May 2014
More than one hundred members of Unite, the biggest union affiliated to the Labour Party and Labour's largest donor, are standing for TUSC in Thursday's local council elections. Here some of them explain why:
"I have resigned my membership of the Labour Party as I have no confidence that the party will address the issues facing ordinary working people in this country. The economic strategy outlined by the party has no substantive difference to that of the Conservatives. It is time for a radical change in direction to meet the needs of the majority not the few".
John Peers, Unite rep Mile End hospital, TUSC candidate for Island Gardens, Tower Hamlets
Posted: 20 May 2014
The civil servants' union, the PCS, have been at the forefront of the fight against austerity. Two members of the PCS's leadership, the assistant general secretary Chris Baugh and vice-president John McInally, sit on the TUSC steering committee in a personal capacity. Sixteen PCS activists are standing for TUSC on 22nd May. Here some of them explain why:
"I am standing for TUSC in the local council elections as I believe that working class people deserve the opportunity to vote for a candidate who is willing to stand up for them, and say no to austerity and no to all cuts to public services. I have been involved in the local Save Ealing Hospital A&E campaign by participating in the marches, leafleting the public and gathering signatures for petitions".
Mark Benjamin, PCS Disabled Members Advisory Committee and TUSC candidate for Elthorne, Ealing
Posted: 19 May 2014
Bob Crow, the late general secretary of the RMT transport workers' union, co-founded TUSC and the RMT has officially supported it since 2012. This year an unprecedented number of RMT activists - 53 in total - are standing for TUSC in the local elections. A few of them explain why they are standing to be councillors against cuts:
"I am the RMT Regional Organiser for the North West and as a member of RMT have consistently fought to defend working class people in the workplace, as I will on the council for my ward Princes Park, Liverpool. Our services and communities are being damaged by the austerity policies of the ConDems and Labour. Enough is enough. We have to fight back against cuts and deliver socialist TUSC councillors in the local elections for the working class. That why I'm standing for TUSC".
Daren Ireland, TUSC candidate Princes Park, Liverpool
Posted: 16 May 2014
Thursday saw a global day of action against super-exploitation in the fast food industry. In the US thousands of McDonalds workers joined walk-outs as part of a growing campaign for a $15 an hour minimum wage.
In London over 50 protesters targeted Whitehall McDonalds demanding an end to poverty wages, secure contracts with guaranteed hours, and trade union rights. They appealed to workers inside the store to consider joining the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers' Union (BFAWU), who initiated the Fast Food Rights campaign to fight for better conditions.