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Everything you wanted to know about GE 2024 but were afraid to ask

That the July 4th general election was an historic moment is now a commonplace in media commentary.  But what exactly is ‘historic’ about it is being consciously blurred.

Now the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is publishing a statistical review of the election – The 2024 General Election Fact File – a draft report prepared by the TUSC national election agent Clive Heemskerk for the first post-election meeting of the TUSC all-Britain steering committee taking place on July 17th.

Including the TUSC candidates’ results, after discussion at the steering committee it will be published on the website’s Candidates Page as a public record – as has been TUSC practice for every election we have stood candidates in since 2011.

Vote for No to Cuts, Stop the War candidates on Thursday

The Tories are heading for an historic defeat on Thursday July 4th and no trade unionist, anti-war on Gaza demonstrator, working class community campaigner, climate protester, or socialist activist will be sorry to see them go.

But it is also true that none of those voices will find representation in the Sir Keir Starmer-led Tony Blair-style New Labour government that is set to enter Downing Street on July 5th.

That is why the most important vote that can be cast on Thursday – where it is possible to do so – is for those candidates who could play a part in building a new mass working class political opposition to the new occupants of Number Ten.

And with Jeremy Corbyn standing as an Independent in Islington North, leading a band of anti-war and anti-austerity candidates including those from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), the Workers Party of Britain, and others, there will be the option in many constituencies to do just that. 

The full list of TUSC candidates standing is available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/TUSC-candidates-on-July-4.pdf.

Other candidates

It is true that the challenge to the mainstream capitalist establishment parties has not been as widespread and organised as it could have been... 

Our easy-read manifesto – TUSC’s general election core policies

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition – TUSC for short – is standing forty candidates in the general election on Thursday 4th July.

Here is our easy-read Manifesto designed for learning-disabled or English-Second-Language (ESOL) voters.

Just click: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kCiHzXS7OisTBlIzY73As1DWC-m0sVWWj_t-Q1eV27k/edit?usp=sharing

You can find more information about voting from Mencap by clicking

https://www.mencap.org.uk/help-and-advice/all-about-voting

Not quite the youngest candidate – but a clear alternative for young people

Announcing the final list of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) general election candidates after nominations had officially closed on June 7th, we wrote that they ranged “on the one hand, from the veteran socialist ex-Labour MP Dave Nellist… to probably the youngest candidate on the ballot anywhere in July, the 18-year-old college student Adam Gillman, contesting Reading Central, who is a member of Socialist Students, one of the different organisations that are part of TUSC”.

It was right, it turns out, that we said ‘probably the youngest’.  Since the 2006 law change allowing 18-year olds to stand for parliament, the youngest person to contest a UK parliamentary election had been a Bernadette Sayburn, who was 19 years and 8 months old when she stood as the Green Party candidate in the Cardiff South & Penarth constituency in the 2015 general election.  Adam was born on April 6th 2006 – which will make him 18 years and 88 days old on July 4th – and was set to break that record.

But then the BBC published an online article entitled, Meet five of the youngest election candidates (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/c2qqy2760z7o), which introduced the 18-year old Pedro Da Conceicao.  Citing his mother, an NHS nurse, as an influence on his politics and his call for “more investment in public services”, Pedro is standing as an independent in Ealing Southall.  He was born on April 9th 2006 – three days after Adam! – and we wish him well in his campaign.

In the great scheme of things, of course, it is not important who exactly is the youngest candidate. Far more significant is whether the present economic and political system of capitalism that we live under can offer any young people a future and what the alternative should be.

TUSC candidate condemns Starmer’s ‘divide and rule politics’

Keir Starmer’s comments about Bangladeshis during The Sun readers’ Question the Leaders event this week have been condemned by the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidate Momtaz Khanom, standing for the coalition in the South East England seat of Folkestone & Hythe.

During the discussion at the Sun event on deportations Starmer said: “I’ll make sure that we’ve got planes going off – not to Rwanda, that’s an expensive gimmick – they will go back to the countries where people come from”.  And then, in the same segment: “At the moment people coming from countries like Bangladesh are not being removed, because they’re not being processed”. 

The deputy leader of the Tower Hamlets council Labour group Sabina Akhtar has now resigned in protest, asking why Bangladesh was singled out by Starmer.  Meanwhile the left-wing Labour MP Apsana Begum, who survived attempts by local Starmer supporters to stop her standing for re-election in East London’s Poplar & Limehouse constituency, has called it “totally unacceptable for politicians for any party to use dog whistle racism against Bangladeshis or any other migrant community”.

In response, Momtaz says: “I am a candidate for TUSC in Folkestone & Hythe and as a member of the Bangladeshi community, I say to all political parties and their candidates, stop blaming migrants for the crisis in Britain – a crisis of privatisation, low pay and housing shortages, created by the ruthless profit-hungry capitalist system”. 

“Hardworking Bangladeshi people who live in Britain contribute to the communities in which we live.  TUSC is fighting for a mass united struggle – of all working-class people – for fully funded public services, NHS and decent jobs and housing for all.  It is not exploited workers who gain from this ‘race to the bottom’, it’s the bosses!” 

“We are fighting for a socialist world where wealth and resources can be harnessed to meet the needs of the majority through democratic workers’ control and planning”.  ■

TUSC is contesting forty seats in the general election, as part of a wider list of anti-war and anti-austerity candidates taking on the establishment parties – headed by Jeremy Corbyn standing as an independent against Labour in Islington North.  The full list of TUSC candidates can be found at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/TUSC-candidates-on-July-4.pdf

Keep Palestine as an election issue!

As the general election enters its final few days the forty Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates standing across Britain on July 4th are fighting to keep opposition to the war on the Palestinians a key election issue.

In Chorley constituency in North West England a former member of the National Union of Teachers’ national executive committee, Martin Powell-Davies, is conducting a vigorous campaign against the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle. 

The Speaker, who is being supported by all the ‘mainstream’ parties in this election, is notorious for his role in February when he blocked an SNP Commons motion condemning the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people” from being debated in order to avoid embarrassment to Labour’s frontbench.  Martin is determined to make sure that’s not forgotten.

Fighting for a workers’ manifesto – on July 4 and beyond

One of the few time-specified promises in Sir Keir Starmer’s 136-page manifesto unveiled on June 13th appears to be the commitment to “introducing legislation within 100 days” drawing from what it calls ‘Labour’s Plan to Make Work Pay: Delivering a New Deal for Working People’. 

But a reading of that document, published on May 24th, shows it full of talk of ‘reviews’, “comprehensive consultations” with businesses, and references to many areas “of the New Deal [that] will take longer to implement” than others.  Never mind the substance of what’s actually in it.  The whole thing more than justifies the comment of the Unite general secretary Sharon Graham that it “has more holes in it than Swiss cheese”.  And that workers will have to fight every inch of the way for any gains they get.

That fight must include establishing their own mass political vehicle, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) chairperson Dave Nellist will be arguing, alongside an official speaker from Unite, from the platform at the conference of the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) on Saturday 22nd June. 

When the Labour government does present its Employment Rights Bill, its Procurement Bill, and the other non-primary legislative instruments and reviews in the New Deal plan, Dave will say, it will be vital that union pressure to ‘fill the holes’ has its own independent political arm.

The NSSN conference will, as usual, be giving a platform to leaders and rank and file reps from unions involved in industrial disputes to build support and solidarity for their action, including a Port Talbot Tata Steel Unite shop steward Jason Wyatt. 

But this year, with the conference being held just days before the general election, the event has also been opened up to debate what needs to be done politically – on polling day but even more importantly in the battles that will follow.  Speakers have been confirmed from Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace and Justice Project, the Green Party, and TUSC, with George Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain also invited. 

But significantly no Labour spokesperson has agreed to attend – a foreshadowing of how the battlelines will shape up after the coming Tory rout on July 4th.

Maximise the anti-war, no cuts vote – guide for local campaigners

There are a record number of candidates standing in this general election – showing the growing disenchantment with the establishment politicians and their parties.

In addition to the forty candidates standing on behalf of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) on July 4th – the full list of whom can be found at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/TUSC-candidates-on-July-4.pdf – there is a range of other anti-war, anti-austerity independent and smaller party candidates appearing on the ballot paper. 

Local TUSC supporters, and the different organisations participating in our coalition, will want to campaign for many of these candidates, particularly in areas where there is no TUSC candidate standing nearby – while still promoting their own policies and organisations as they do so, and the TUSC central purpose of supporting alternative candidacies which will take forward the process of establishing a new mass vehicle for working class representation after July 4th. 

It is possible to do this.  But there are election rules that must be followed.  Both to avoid bringing the campaign of the candidate you are supporting into a breach of electoral law (potentially invalidating the result); and to avoid local TUSC supporters themselves risking prosecution.

The TUSC all-Britain steering committee has produced a guide, Campaigning For Other Anti-War and No-Cuts Candidates, available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/Guidance-on-Third-Party-campaigning.pdf, that shows how this can be done. 

It includes a model letter to the alternative candidate that you wish to support – that can be adapted to the local situation – but which is the necessary first step before any leaflets can be produced or meetings organised.

Talk of ‘election law’ can “seem a bit daunting”, the guide concludes, “but it shouldn’t be”.  As it says, “the advantage of such arrangements is that organisations supportive but independent of a particular candidate can run their own campaign in an election period – which they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do – but then ‘strike together’ with the alternative candidate at the ballot box”.

“Local TUSC groups and participating organisations in our coalition should be confident to do so, seeking further advice if needs be from the TUSC National Agent”. ■

The TUSC candidates on July 4th

Nominations have closed and it is now confirmed that there will be 40 candidates standing on behalf of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) on July 4th. 

TUSC is a coalition of trade unionists, anti-war protestors, community activists, environmental campaigners – and socialists from different organisations or none – who unite to contest elections around pro-working class, anti-austerity policies.  Our general election platform (at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/TUSC-2024-general-election-core-policies.pdf) is not a full programme for government but rather summarises the minimum policies which voters should know that all TUSC candidates support.

Our goal in standing is to contribute to the process of rebuilding mass political representation for the working class that could seriously challenge for government in the future – not presenting ourselves as the finished product.  But by not leaving the establishment politicians unchallenged, we hope to help develop the self-confidence of the working class that it is an alternative power to the capitalist rulers of society – and that it has the capacity to create and build its own democratic mass workers’ party to realise that power politically.

What the TUSC candidates stand for – and how you can still join them

The general election is on!  And with Jeremy Corbyn standing as an Independent in Islington North, leading a band of anti-war and anti-austerity candidates including those from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

It is true that the challenge to the mainstream capitalist establishment parties is not as widespread and organised as it could have been.  TUSC first systematically discussed the general election nearly two years ago, in June 2022, writing then of our hope that “before the election, steps towards a new vehicle for working class political representation will have been taken by more authoritative forces than those currently involved in our coalition – primarily from the trade unions or potentially around Jeremy Corbyn himself standing independently of Labour in the general election”.

When Labour’s national executive committee confirmed that Jeremy would not be able to be a Labour Party candidate in 2023, TUSC supporters in the RMT transport workers’ union won the support of its annual conference for the RMT to back him if he stood independently (see https://www.tusc.org.uk/19429/05-07-2023/rmt-conference-defies-starmer-and-backs-jeremy-corbyn-to-stand-in-the-next-election/).  But unfortunately this didn’t become the first step to the organisation of a wider campaign against the establishment politicians that it could have been.

Nevertheless there will still be a significant challenge made on July 4th.  And there’s still the chance for others to join it – to donate, to campaign, or as a TUSC candidate! 

To use the TUSC name and emblem on the ballot paper prospective candidates need to accept the coalition’s general election core policies platform, which is printed below.  But, with that provision, TUSC candidates are responsible for their own campaign.  That includes the right, if they wish, to campaign for policies beyond the TUSC core policy platform and promote their own organisation in their campaign material. 

The application form to be a TUSC candidate in July’s general election is available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Application-form-MP.doc  Completed forms must be received by the TUSC National Election Agent – Clive Heemskerk, at [email protected] – by Saturday 1st June.  There’s still time to join the anti-war, anti-austerity trade unionist and socialist challenge! ■

May steering committee gets down to general election business

The first meeting of the all-Britain Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) Steering Committee since May’s local elections saw a gear-change in focus on the organisation of the TUSC general election campaign – in the new political context that the local elections had revealed.

The 2024 local elections once again confirmed TUSC as the best organised and most inclusive election vehicle for trade unionists, working class community campaigners, anti-war protesters and social movement activists.  And socialists from different organisations or none.  This was shown in the information presented in the 2024 TUSC Results Report that was approved at the meeting (available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2024-Results-Report.pdf).   

But this year there was a significant rise in the number of people coming forward as candidates in response to Labour’s stance on the war on the Palestinians who, in many cases having been offered the chance to appear on the ballot paper under the TUSC umbrella – with full control over their own campaign as is the TUSC method – decided not to do so but to use other electoral descriptions, including the ‘Independent’ marker, instead.  And that will be so for the general election too.

How TUSC should proceed in this changed situation – with the certainty now of a wide constellation of alternative candidates standing in the election – was the question the meeting had to address.

Scottish TUSC conference to set plans for Westminster general election

The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Steering Committee has announced its first four candidates to contest seats in the general election in Scotland, in advance of an open conference hosted by Scottish TUSC on June 1st to discuss general election plans.

The Scottish TUSC candidates proposed so far are Brian Smith, standing for the Glasgow South seat; Jim McFarlane (Dundee Central); Chris Sermanni (Rutherglen); and Lucas Grant (for Aberdeen North). 

The general election, whenever it takes place, will see the Tories routed, as they deserve to be. But where is the alternative for working-class people?  Labour under Keir Starmer has stampeded to the right and dumped all of Jeremy Corbyn's left policies.  Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party's crisis continues – with three leaders in just over a year.  The collapsing support for the SNP is rooted in their implementation of Tory cuts in Scotland for the last 17 years.  They are being exposed as a party not of the working class but of business interests and the capitalist establishment.

Scottish TUSC will be making the case for the trade unions to build a new workers' party, for socialist policies to tackle the cost of living crisis like the nationalisation of the rip-off energy companies, for an immediate increase in the minimum wage to £15 an hour, for an end to the slaughter in Gaza, and for the abolition of all anti-union laws.

Scottish TUSC also fights for the right of the people of Scotland to decide their own future through a second independence referendum.  It fights for an independent socialist Scotland as part of the struggle for socialism internationally.

TUSC is aware that other left and socialist parties are or may be planning to stand in the general election in Scotland.  Scottish TUSC is an umbrella coalition open to all who want to see the building of a real alternative for working-class communities, including socialist organisations.

As it has always done, Scottish TUSC will seek to avoid any clashes in local constituencies and hopes to meet and discuss with other groups looking to stand candidates to avoid more than one socialist candidate per constituency.  This could also help to maximise the number of left and socialist candidates in other seats as well.

To that end, all organisations planning to stand in the general election in Scotland are invited to attend the Scottish TUSC conference on June 1st in Glasgow (details below), as well as those who are interested as standing as part of the Scottish TUSC coalition. ■

Planning for the general election in Scotland: a conference hosted by the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Saturday 1st June, 1pm,  at the Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP

Contact the Scottish TUSC steering committee at [email protected]

‘Best campaign since relaunch’, says TUSC results draft report

A draft report of the performance of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in the May local elections is now available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/05/2024-Draft-Results-Report.pdf.

Prepared by the National Election Agent, Clive Heemskerk, it will be debated at the next meeting of the TUSC all-Britain Steering Committee taking place on Wednesday May 15th before a final version is published, continuing the tradition established by TUSC since 2011 – of printing the detailed results of every candidate that appeared on the ballot paper under the coalition’s name – on the basis that no serious political advance can be made without an honest accounting of strengths and weaknesses.

The report does not aim to provide an analysis of the TUSC election campaign in the wider context of the fight for a broader vehicle of working class political representation, as the consolidation of the Labour Party as the political representatives of big business under Keir Starmer continues apace. 

But what report does show, argues Clive, is that the TUSC 2024 election campaign has been the best since the relaunch of the coalition in September 2020, after the hopes raised by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party had led TUSC to suspend its electoral activity.

The highlights of the campaign were the results in Southampton council’s Bevois ward and the Deepdale ward in Preston, with the TUSC candidates’ scores of 32.2% and 31.3% respectively rattling the local Labour Party as our ‘No to cuts! No to war on Gaza!’ message struck home.  Bevois was the safest ward for Labour in Southampton before May 2nd – but not now!

And there were, more modest, gains elsewhere.

Where you can vote for anti-cuts, anti-war candidates on Thursday: updated list

While speculation mounts on whether Rishi Sunak could be forced into a summer poll, Thursday’s local elections across England will give millions of people the opportunity to show what they think about all the establishment politicians, Sunak and Starmer alike.  If you believe that it is time to vote for something different, why not start on May 2nd?

An updated list of all the anti-cuts, anti-war candidates standing on Thursday that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is aware of is available here (https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Final-List.pdf).  They include the candidates appearing on the ballot paper under the TUSC name but also, from page eight, others – standing as independents, or for parties not yet part of the TUSC umbrella – who have been recommended for support for their anti-austerity, anti-war stance. 

Together the 344 council candidates listed here surpass the number of council candidates being fielded by Reform on Thursday, officially occupying the position of the fifth-biggest party in the May elections.  There is an anti-cuts, anti-war option available in 321 wards in those councils with scheduled elections on Thursday, nearly one-in-six.

This impressive stand shows what could be done if all those who want to build a working class alternative to the establishment parties find the means, while respecting their differences, to work together to a common goal.  A lesson for the general election, whenever it is held. ■

Results reporting

Individual results will be published on social media as they come in; and a full report of the campaign, with the detailed results of every TUSC candidate, will be prepared for the next TUSC all-Britain steering committee meeting on Wednesday May 15th.

A draft version will be posted early next week and, after discussion at the steering committee, published on the Candidates Page as a public record – as has been TUSC practice every year since 2011.

The strange case of the disappearing TUSC Against Cuts emblem

Postal voters received their election packs in mid-April.  But in the six wards being contested by Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) candidates in the Hertfordshire borough of Broxbourne they were given ballot papers which were missing the TUSC Against Cuts ‘party emblem’. 

The bold TUSC Against Cuts logo is a clear signifier of the policies TUSC candidates fight for.  It stands out on ballot papers against the Labour rose, the Conservatives’ tree emblem, and the Liberal Democrats’ bird-in-flight symbol.  But not on the original papers prepared in Broxbourne.

Realising its mistake – candidates’ have a legal right to have the emblem of the party they are standing for printed on the ballot paper – the council has sent out replacement postal vote packs and correctly ruled that any of the original ballot papers that are returned will not be counted.  But obviously people apply for postal votes for various reasons, including being away from their home, and some electors will inevitably have lost the chance to vote.

And the question remains.  Why was the TUSC emblem omitted in the first place?  Not just from one candidate’s ballot paper, but from all of the TUSC candidates in Broxbourne, contesting a majority (six) of the borough’s ten wards?  On the other hand, the two UKIP candidates in the borough had their emblem included – out of the grand total of 14 council candidates that UKIP is standing across the whole of England on May 2nd compared to 280 for TUSC. 

Possibly this is an example of how bias in wider society can be reflected in AI programmes!  But more likely, some sentient being at some point made the decision to include the establishment parties’ emblems on the ballot papers (including UKIP), but not the TUSC one.

Where you can vote for stop the cuts, stop the war candidates on May 2

As it becomes ever clearer that a Starmer-led government will not represent the interests of working class people in Britain or internationally, ever-growing numbers are looking at what the alternative should be at the ballot box. 

But while welcome attention is being generated by declarations of prospective general election campaigns and candidacies against the Westminster consensus politicians, the date of that election, of course, is still not known. 

In the meantime however millions of people will have the opportunity to vote in May – in the local elections taking place then.  The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing in nearly one-in-seven of the council wards with scheduled elections this year. 

But we know that there are other candidates who should also be supported who are standing outside of the TUSC coalition umbrella at this stage.  So alongside the TUSC candidates’ list below we are publishing them in a separate list – to together produce the most comprehensive a list as possible of where you can vote for stop the cuts, stop the war candidates on May 2nd! ■  

Stop the cuts! Stop the war on Gaza! The full TUSC candidate list for May 2

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 279 candidates across 55 authorities in May’s elections in England, including a candidate in the directly-elected mayoral contest in Salford and four constituency seats for the London assembly.

Nominations closed on April 5th, and the full list of candidates that made it onto the ballot paper is available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/Final-list-of-candidates.pdf, with the council candidates presented in a regional breakdown.

Two hundred and sixty-eight of the TUSC council candidates are standing in tier one or two local authorities with scheduled elections this year – 49 out of the 107 councils in that category.  There is also one TUSC community councillor listed, seeking re-election in May. The remaining five council candidates are contesting by-elections that have been called to coincide with the May polls.

Overall, 13.8% of the council wards with local elections this year (263 out of 1,904, nearly one-in-seven) will have at least one TUSC candidate on the ballot paper, contesting 10% of the seats available – three times as many as in the 2023 local elections. 

This is a significant achievement for a coalition without any mainstream national media coverage, particularly when compared to the millionaire-funded Reform Party, which has only been able to find 323 council candidates to represent it.

Every TUSC candidate is committed to stand up to the establishment parties, including Reform, who have all shown themselves to be virtually indistinguishable when it comes to representing the interests of working class people – in domestic policy and foreign policy too.  The TUSC core policy platform for our May 2024 council candidates can be found at https://www.tusc.org.uk/20023/13-01-2024/tuscs-core-policy-platform-for-the-may-2024-local-elections-2/

The summary, however, is simple – every one of them will be a stop the cuts, stop the war candidate in the May 2nd polls! ■

There are other candidates who will be taking a similar stance on May 2nd who, while not on this occasion appearing on the ballot paper under the TUSC banner, will be supported by our coalition.  These include the 33 council and one Police and Crime Commissioner candidates standing for the Workers Party of Britain, which has observer status on the TUSC all-Britain steering committee.  Also, amongst the 500 or so ‘Independents’ standing this year, there are a number who could be properly described as anti-cuts and anti-war candidates; headed by Jamie Driscoll – regularly referred to in the establishment media as ‘the last Corbynista in office’ – who is standing to become the Mayor of the new North East Combined Authority.  We are currently collating information on these and will publish as comprehensive a list of alternative candidates as possible in the coming days.

240 TUSC candidates agreed for May’s local elections – and there’s still time for more!

Two hundred and forty candidates have been approved to stand on behalf of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) in May’s local elections after the latest meeting of the TUSC all-Britain steering committee on March 13th. 

The candidates will be contesting four constituency seats for the Greater London Authority, the directly-elected Salford city mayor, and council wards in 44 first or second-tier local authorities – just over 40% of the 105 local councils with elections this year.

And there’s still time for more trade unionists, anti-cuts community campaigners, stop the war on Gaza protesters, and socialists from different parties or none, to join what will be the biggest working class left-of-Labour challenge to Sir Keir Starmer’s Tory-lite New Labour party in May.   

The final steering committee meeting to approve candidate applications will take place just before Easter, with completed application forms needing to be received by the TUSC National Election Agent – Clive Heemskerk, at [email protected] – by Saturday 23rd March in order to be placed on the agenda.

The application form to be a TUSC council candidate can be downloaded at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2024-Application-form-Cllr.docx (if you are having difficulty opening this link, try copying it into your browser). 

There is also available an explanatory TUSC Guide for Election Candidates and Agents on the resources page, at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/TUSC-Guide-for-Candidates-Agents-2024.pdf and a list of the 105 councils where there are elections in May at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/2024-Elections-Directory.pdf

The TUSC core policies for the local elections, the minimum policy commitments expected from TUSC candidates, can be found at https://www.tusc.org.uk/20023/13-01-2024/tuscs-core-policy-platform-for-the-may-2024-local-elections-2/

The March 13th TUSC steering committee, meeting just two weeks after the Rochdale by-election, discussed a number of other important matters too, including a report on their future plans from a representative of the Workers Party of Britain, who attend committee meetings as observers.  Further reports on the decisions made will be published here soon. 

But in the meantime, the full list of council candidates agreed so far can be found at https://www.tusc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Candidates-list-to-24-03-13.pdf

TUSC backs the ‘Rochdale insurgency’ against establishment politicians

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has announced its support for George Galloway’s ‘insurgent campaign’ against the establishment politicians in next week’s Rochdale by-election.

The TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a former Labour MP backbench colleague of George Galloway from 1987-1992, said:

“On February 29th there is no other choice that trade unionists, socialists, and all those that want to  protest at the slaughter in Gaza, could make in the Rochdale by-election than to vote for George Galloway, the only anti-war, pro-Palestinian, anti-austerity alternative to the establishment parties appearing on the ballot paper”.

“The recent Kingswood and Wellingborough by-elections showed the hatred that exists towards the Tories but there was not enthusiasm for Sir Keir Starmer’s Tory-lite New Labour Mark II party.  That would have been shown in Rochdale too, even if Labour had not withdrawn its support for its own candidate after the official nominations had closed”.

Local election candidates, general election applications, and a model trade union motion

The agenda of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) all-Britain steering committee held on February 14th was a particularly full one.  Agreeing a second round of candidates for the local elections on May 2nd, it took the tally so far to 123 councillor seats to be contested by TUSC, across 21 local authorities.

Already it is clear that this will be by far the biggest working class left-of-Labour challenge to Sir Keir Starmer’s Tory-lite New Labour party at the May local polls.  But the message went out that there is still time to join the coalition of trade unionists, stop the war on Gaza protesters, community campaigners, and socialists from different parties or none, standing together under the TUSC umbrella on the ballot paper.  What is stopping anyone who wants to fight back from taking a stand?

The next steering committee meeting to approve candidate applications will take place on March 13th, with completed application forms needing to be received by the TUSC National Election Agent – Clive Heemskerk, at [email protected] – by Saturday 9th March in order to be placed on the agenda for this meeting.

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TUSC has had hundreds of declarations of support. You can support TUSC as an individual trade unionist or socialist, or apply for your organisation to join TUSC.

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TUSC has no big business sponsorship. TUSC is a coalition for the millions not millionaires. Every donation to TUSC strengthens our fight for a better future.