TUSC Against Cuts
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition says:
No to Cuts and Privatisation!
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Vote TUSC on Thursday for a 100% anti-austerity alternative

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

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The Socialist Case Against the EU - first meeting dates of 20-city tour announced

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?

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TUSC appeals to media workers - 'help us get fair coverage in the EU referendum 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.

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'No politics please, it's election time' - TUSC protests at Mayoral booklets censorship

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.

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Dave Nellist on Sky News - 'Jeremy Corbyn's EU stand doesn't convince'

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.

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TUSC calls off legal threat to Electoral Commission but will organise its own leave campaign

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.

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'On every protest you see TUSC candidates' - election campaigns hit the local press

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.

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TUSC on RT News - for a socialist campaign against the EU

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.

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TUSC slams Electoral Commission's 'political decision' to choose Vote Leave as EU exit voice

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:

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TUSC candidates in place for a 100% anti-austerity challenge in May's elections

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.

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RMT transport union sets out six key reasons why it backs a vote to leave the EU

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.

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'Panama Papers' scandal shows why UKIP & Tory EU outers can't be the voice of Leave

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:

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TUSC challenge to UKIP & Tories: 'Let's debate who should be the voice of Leave'

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.

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Dave Nellist calls for the nationalisation of the steel industry

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.

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Good showing for Scottish TUSC in Dundee council by-election

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.

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TUSC sends formal letter to election watchdog, 'don't back UKIP & Tory EU outers'

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.

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TUSC councillor challenges Labour call to use public funds for pro-EU propaganda

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".

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As TUSC candidate numbers grow a battle looms for 'fair media coverage'

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".

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PCS NEC boost for campaign against public funding of UKIP and Tory EU 'outers'

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.

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Remembering Bob Crow, 1961-2014

Bob Crow speaking at TUSC's 2012 London Assembly election campaign launch, photo Paul Mattsson

Bob Crow speaking at TUSC's 2012 London Assembly election campaign launch, photo Paul Mattsson

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.

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