15 May 2013
THE RMT transport workers’ union has attacked the mainstream media for only using right-wing voices from the anti-EU side of the debate when in fact it is the working class that are suffering most across Europe as a result of the bankers and business-led austerity measures.
RMT General Secretary and Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Steering Committee member Bob Crow said: “Across Europe, and specifically in Spain and Greece which are at the eye of the storm, it is the working class who are suffering the most as democracy is ripped apart and the EU and the central bank demand cuts to jobs, wages and pensions and wholesale privatisation of public assets.
15 May 2013
SOUTHAMPTON’S TWO ‘rebel councillors’, expelled from the Labour Party last year for refusing to back council cuts, are backing the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate a council by-election on June 13th.
The by-election in Southampton’s Woolston ward was caused by the resignation of the council’s Labour leader, Richard Williams, who quit his seat and dramatically walked out of the council chamber on April 25th.
Now the ‘rebel councillors’, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, have issued the following press statement explaining their support for the TUSC candidate, Sue Atkins
13 May 2013
TRADE UNIONIST and Socialist Coalition candidate Tessa Warrington won a very creditable 165 votes (6.6%) in the Abbey ward council by-election in Leicester on May 9.
Leicester is a city with 52 Labour councillors out of 54 but the council and the Labour directly-elected Mayor have merely passed on the government's cuts.
7 May 2013
THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition is contesting a Southampton by-election caused by the resignation of the council’s Labour leader, Richard Williams, who quit his seat and dramatically walked out of the council chamber on April 25th.
A meeting of Southampton TUSC supporters on Thursday agreed to nominate Sue Atkins, a Labour Party member from 1967 to 1992 and former chair of Southampton UNISON, as a candidate for the subsequent by-election, with the full backing of Southampton ‘rebel councillors’, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas, who were expelled from the Labour Party last year for opposing council cuts.
5 May 2013
One hundred and twenty candidates, standing in 117 wards in 20 councils, contested the English local elections on May 2nd under the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) umbrella. In addition, TUSC stood a candidate in the Doncaster mayoral contest and two candidates in council by-elections that were held on the same day.
Elections took place in 35 English local authorities, to fill 2,362 seats. TUSC stood at least one candidate in twenty councils with elections (60%), contesting 5% of the seats. This contrasts markedly with when these particular seats were previously contested in the four-yearly local elections cycle in 2009, before the formation of TUSC. Then, a year after the financial crisis had broken, there were literally less than a handful of candidates presenting a working class alternative to the pro-austerity consensus.
3 May 2013
AFTER A recount delayed the announcement of the result, the first preference votes for the Mayor of Doncaster election have now been published. The TUSC candidate Mary Jackson polled 1,916 votes (3.1%) coming in sixth place, ahead of one of the ‘parties of government’, the Liberal Democrats – and not too far behind the other, the Conservatives, who polled 4.5%.
Another anti-cuts candidate, Doug Wright, polled 1.3%. Mary and Doug’s combined showing will give confidence to anti-cuts and anti-bedroom tax campaigners in Doncaster.
Mary’s campaign in particular rattled the local Labour Party – with one of Doncaster MPs, of course, being Labour leader Ed Miliband.
3 May 2013
AS WE post this, counting the votes in Thursday’s local elections is still under way in most of the councils where polls took place.
This year there were 2,362 council seats up for election – mainly in Conservative-held county councils – in 35 English local authorities. TUSC stood at least one candidate in 60% of the councils with elections, contesting 120 seats, 5% of the total.
When all the results come in we will post up a comprehensive seat-by-seat report on how the TUSC candidates fared. In the meantime, based on the first 18 results for TUSC candidates in the few councils that counted the ballots overnight, we are posting an ‘early season league table’, listing the votes won by TUSC candidates in percentage order.
1 May 2013
The national demonstration, called by groups including the Stop the War Coalition and War on Want, took place just two days after the UK government had announced that the drones had begun to be operated from the Lincolnshire base rather than operated from Nevada.
Nick Parker, Secretary of Lincoln & District Trades Council, and the TUSC candidate for Lincoln East in Thursday’s county council elections, addressed the closing rally.
30 April 2013
AROUND 220 people attended the Hackney and Islington TUSC screening of Ken Loach's film about the founding of the NHS, The Spirit of 45.
The film brilliantly shows the mood and expectations of the period. Workers were no longer prepared to tolerate the mass unemployment of the thirties and the overcrowded slum housing in the towns and cities.
Labour was elected on a landslide vote. Reflecting the semi-revolutionary attitude of many workers, Labour nationalised some key industries: transport, mines, gas, electricity, water. They were in a state of collapse and capitalism even welcomed the take-over to prop up the ailing system.
27 April 2013
THURSDAY SAW two council by-elections take place in Newcastle, both contested by Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates.
Labour held on to the South Heaton ward with 61% of the vote, with the Green Party keeping hold of their second place position from when this seat was last contested, in May 2012.
The Liberal Democrats remained in third but this time the TUSC candidate Paul Phillips, who stood in South Heaton in 2012, came in fourth ahead of the Tories, with 5.3%. Paul also outpolled a Newcastle First candidate – “UKIP in disguise” – and another independent.
24 April 2013
Some candidates explain who they are and why they are standing on May 2nd.
IN NEXT week’s council elections over five per cent of the seats will have a fighting anti-austerity alternative on the ballot paper. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 120 candidates, in 20 of the 35 councils with elections this year.
In addition there is the TUSC candidate for the mayor of Doncaster, Mary Jackson, and TUSC candidates in two council by-elections taking place on the same day.
23 April 2013
TRADE UNIONIST and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates are standing on 2 May in all the four divisions covering the centre of Stafford and across Staffordshire – in Rugeley, Burton-on-Trent, Leek and Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Last weekend TUSC supporters joined the 50,000-strong march to defend Stafford hospital and to stop the privatisation agenda pursued by the previous Labour government and the Con Dems.
Disability activist Josie Shelley is standing in Stafford North, alongside NHS worker John Barbrook in Stafford South East, local teacher Jim Reading in Stafford Central, and former Stafford Borough Labour councillor Scott Wilson in Stafford West.
18 April 2013
Doncaster has 225,000 voters concentrated in the town and several outlying ex-mining villages. On ‘the day Thatcher died’ we’re in Thorne – everybody knows Mary Jackson, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate for mayor of Doncaster.
She’s lived here for 40 years. The campaign stall is like a poster distribution centre. Message from a supporter Shaun, “done six hours leafleting in Moorends, need more leaflets”. And box of 4,000 dropped off with young Rob, working nights, gonna do a couple of hours flyering each morning after work.
12 April 2013
THE LINCOLN Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is holding a lobby of Lincoln city council's full council meeting on Tuesday 16th April to try to persuade councillors not to evict tenants who are penalised by the Con-Dem government’s new ‘bedroom tax’.
This follows a protest organised by TUSC on Lincoln High Street on Saturday 30th March to coincide with a national day of action against the introduction of the bedroom tax by the government.
The protest saw around 30 protesters gather at Speakers Corner. Those involved had brought homemade placards and even a mattress with ‘Fight the Bedroom Tax’ written on it. TUSC activists appealed to passers-by to sign a petition opposing the bedroom tax.
6 April 2013
TUSC candidate Steve Whatham won a respectable third place in a Knowsley council by-election on Thursday 4th April.
Labour held the Prescot West seat with 44% of the vote and the Lib Dems kept their second place position from last May’s contest. Steve came in with 8.5% of the poll, ahead of both the Tories and the Greens.
The Merseyside borough of Knowsley remains a ‘one-party’ council – all 63 councillors are Labour – but the by-election showed again that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition banner can still be picked up by anti-cuts campaigners to mount a credible working class challenge to the pro-austerity consensus.
4 April 2013
THE Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) campaign for the Mayor of Doncaster election got off to a great start on Tuesday (April 2nd), with sixty people attending a launch meeting addressed by the TUSC candidate Mary Jackson, and Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport workers union.
Joining Mary and Bob on the platform were Joe Robinson, the 21-year old newly elected TUSC councillor in Maltby, and Tony Mulhearn, one of the Liverpool 47 councillors who stood up to Thatcher’s government in the 1980s.
Tony stood as a TUSC candidate in last May’s Liverpool Mayoral election, polling 4,792 votes (4.73%) – ahead of the Tories and with double the UKIP vote. Now TUSC has a chance to make an impact in Doncaster, one of whose MPs is Labour leader Ed Miliband.
18 March 2013
WHEN THE VOTES were counted in Camden Town Hall late on Thursday night the winner was the least interesting result. As expected, the Labour candidate romped home, taking just under 60% of the vote in the by-election in Gospel Oak ward.
The more remarkable story of the night was the collapse in the Lib Dem vote and the very creditable result of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), standing in their first election in the ward and indeed the borough of Camden.
The Lib Dems were the largest party on Camden council as recently as 2010. In the borough wide elections that year their three candidates in Gospel Oak ward garnered a combined vote of 20%. Fast forward two years and their vote had melted to 6.2%, putting them behind the Tories and Greens in fourth place.
8 March 2013
IT MIGHT ONLY be Maltby Town Council. It was only a by-election. There’s only 3,000 electors. Only a 16.5% turn-out. And only two candidates.
But you can only beat the opposition put in front of you, and last night Joe Robinson did just that. Standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), young Socialist Party member Joe was elected by 303 votes to 201, taking 60% of votes cast.
His opposition was an ‘independent’ without description on the ballot paper, but in reality the Labour candidate whom the ruling group on Maltby town council had tried to co-opt when a vacancy arose.
From The Socialist newspaper, 7 March 2013
Nick Chaffey, Eastleigh TUSC Election Agent
Underlining the deep economic crisis austerity has brought in cuts to jobs, benefits and living standards, the Eastleigh byelection has left Tory ringmaster Cameron with his big tent in tatters.
While the Lib Dems hung on, Labour were side-stepped into fourth with a huge protest vote emerging for the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip).
5 March 2013
ANTI-CUTS PROTESTERS will hold a lobby of Lincoln City Council's full council meeting tonight to try to persuade councillors of an alternative to proposed cuts.
Lincoln City Council is proposing to cut the uphill bus which connects the High Street and Castle Square, as well as £75,000 from the subsidy for the iconic Drill Hall.
It also proposes to abolish ward budgets for community groups, and the jobs of urban rangers and common wardens. Finally, it plans to charge households £25 for garden waste collection. The City Council has also voted recently to increase council tenants' and garage rents by 3.66%, going up by almost four times as much as benefits and public-sector wage increases.
25 February 2013
RMT Press Release:
WITH LESS than a week to go in the Eastleigh by-election, promoted by the resignation of ConDem criminal Chris Huhne, transport union RMT today blasted a deliberate media blackout of working class candidate Darren Procter, a member of the union’s executive and the candidate of the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).
While the press have been busy boosting the egos and profile of the establishment candidates – a Lib-Dem grandee and council boss, a Palinesque pro-privatisation Tory and a Labour media luvvie – Daz Procter, a ship worker who lives in the real world of cuts to services and attacks on living conditions, has been carefully ignored by the circus that has descended on the Eastleigh seat.
21 February 2013
THE NATIONAL Council of Executives of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT) agreed at its meeting this week to officially back TUSC candidate Darren Procter in the Eastleigh by-election.
In a letter to RMT branches explaining the decision to back Daz, General Secretary Bob Crow said that the union “wished him well in the campaign” and reported that a £1,000 donation would be made from the union’s national political fund.
This is another step in the RMT’s drive to build a vehicle for working class political representation, with the union now officially represented on the TUSC national Steering Committee by Bob Crow, the newly-elected National President, Peter Pinkney, and five Council of Executives members, Daren Ireland, Sean Hoyle, Darren Procter, Steven Skelly and Sean McGowan.
21 February 2013
IN ADDITION to standing a candidate in the Eastleigh parliamentary contest, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is fighting council by-elections in seats in London, Yorkshire and Merseyside in the coming weeks.
The TUSC candidate for the March 14 by-election in the Gospel Oak ward on London’s Camden council is John Reid, the secretary of the London Transport Regional Council of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union (RMT). John is also the chair of his local tenants’ association in the Gospel Oak ward.
The vacancy for the North ward on Maltby Town Council is being contested for TUSC by a 20-year plater/welder Joe Robinson, who was part of the TUSC campaign team in last year’s Rotherham parliamentary by-election.
18 February 2013
LABOUR-CONTROLLED Southampton city council voted for £16m cuts and service charge hikes at its budget-making meeting on February 13 – and refused to even discuss an alternative anti-cuts budget submitted by the two ‘rebel councillors’, Keith Morrell and Don Thomas.
The Rebel Two’s proposals met the legal requirements of a balanced budget at least for the 2013-14 financial year – it was not a ‘deficit budget’. But the council’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) judged it as not being a ‘prudent budget capable of implementation’. Consequently council officers advised the Mayor – an elected Labour councillor – to make a chair’s ruling that the amendment would not be debated at the council’s budget-making meeting and, backed by the Labour group, that’s what he did.
But the no cuts budget could have been debated. Before the meeting Keith and Don wrote to every Labour councillor answering the CFO’s objections and asking the councillors to use the legal power they had to at least allow the amendment to be debated before the public in the council chamber. But it was not to be.
From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2013
It is further evidence to reinforce people's sense that politicians cannot be trusted and that they are completely out of touch with ordinary people.
Barely a household in the Eastleigh constituency will have been unaffected by the vicious cuts that have been carried out by the coalition as jobs have gone at Fords, B&Q and elsewhere.
12 February 2013
THE WALSALL Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), whose candidates stand for election on a platform of refusal to implement any cuts in public spending to pay for the economic crisis.
This week Walsall DLP councilor Pete Smith not only vowed to oppose local cuts of £13 million, and a council tax rise of 1.85%, but he also challenged the 28 Labour councillors on Walsall council to join him and thereby overturn the budget recommendations of Walsall’s minority Tory/Lib-Dem administration.
“I wish to inform the people of Walsall Borough that I will vote against any budget resolution or amendment that includes a combination of £millions of cuts in services, job losses and/or increases in council taxes”, he told the Walsall Express and Star. “Why should the people of Walsall keeping having to pay out more money for ever diminishing services?”
8 February 2013
Darren Procter, secretary of the Southampton Shipping branch of the Rail, Maritime and Transport workers union (RMT) and a member of the union’s national executive committee, will contest the seat made vacant following the resignation of the disgraced Lib-Dem MP, Chris Huhne.
Darren’s candidacy was immediately welcomed by Tim Cutter, the secretary of the Hampshire County Council branch of the public sector workers’ union, Unison, which includes the Eastleigh constituency, as a chance to challenge the pro-austerity consensus of the establishment parties. While the RMT’s Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley appealed for all trade unionists “to get behind this outstanding candidate”.
17 January 2013
ON JANUARY 14, despite freezing conditions and snow-covered roads, seventeen people attended a meeting in Newcastle-Under-Lyme to hear TUSC national chairperson, Dave Nellist, give a talk about the importance of TUSC in this May’s forthcoming elections, and to appeal to those in attendance to consider standing as a candidate in their area.
Dave started by outlining the disillusionment of voters and the fact that there is not a ‘cigarette paper’ between the policies of the three main parties.
He discussed the role that TUSC has to play in opposing these policies, and drew on several examples in history where the labour movement was successful in driving back the austerity measures of the day.
10 January 2013
ON 9 JANUARY, twenty Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition supporters protested at Rotherham Hospital before presenting a 3,000 signature petition to the Foundation Trust governors opposing the drastic cuts they are proposing to local NHS services.
In October, Brian James, then the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, proposed a 'smaller hospital, with substantially fewer beds' and a smaller workforce to save £50m over the next four years.
TUSC made fighting these cuts the main policy of our campaign in the Rotherham parliamentary by-election held in November. We have continued the petition since and last night’s protest was the next step in our campaign. TUSC received widespread media coverage with two local papers, three radio stations and BBC North news reporting on the protest/petition.