Local news coverage round-up
While the national media - with one or two exceptions - continues to consciously ignore TUSC's election campaign, there has been some decent coverage this week in the local press.
TUSC opposition to waste plant covered by Derby Telegraph (Click to enlarge)
The Derby Telegraph led the way with a headline article, 'Derby TUSC election candidates: We'd rip up waste plant contract', highlighting the local TUSC candidates' pledge to do everything possible to stop a waste incinerator plant being built in the Sinfin area of the city (see http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Derby-TUSC-election-candidates-d-rip-waste-plant/story-21085286-detail/story.html )
The Telegraph article also pointed to TUSC's policy of standing "up to cuts by setting a council budget which 'meets the needs of the local community and means the government must make up the shortfall'. In the short-term, the party said it would use council reserves and borrowing to provide any cash needed to keep services". TUSC was attacked for its stance by both the Labour and Liberal Democrat group leaders, showing once again that the establishment parties are fundamentally the same.
TUSC also made the headlines elsewhere in the East Midlands region, with the Lincolnshire Echo (www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk) reporting on the Lincoln TUSC election meeting.
In London, TUSC headlined in the Enfield Advertiser's election coverage (see http://www.enfield-today.co.uk/News.cfm?id=15365&headline=TUSC+sets+out+election+priorities ) with the Ponders End TUSC candidate, Paul Kershaw, extensively quoted. In the borough where the UKIP candidate who made racist comments about Lenny Henry is standing, Paul was quoted attacking UKIP as "trying to pit poor people against each other [while] we are about presenting a real alternative for the 99 per cent".
The 14-candidate strong challenge in this north London borough was also picked up - as 'a big surprise' - by the other local paper, the Enfield Independent (www.enfieldindependent.co.uk), referring to TUSC as 'the new kids on the block'.
This was also the theme of the mention made of TUSC in the Sheffield Telegraph this week (www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk), noting "the emergence of a new left wing party, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which is campaigning against austerity measures and is contesting 21 of Sheffield's 28 wards, almost as many as the Conservatives and UKIP".
Meanwhile, the Liverpool Echo (www.liverpoolecho.co.uk) asked whether "the anti-cuts message of the far left" would be "loud enough to drown out the Labour rallying cry in their traditional strongholds in the north of the city".
Noting that the Liberal Democrats "are fielding only 18 candidates across the 30 seats up for grabs", the Echo argues that "in the more working class wards of the north and east ends of the city, it is Steve Radford's Liberal Party, along with the Trade Union and Socialist Coalition, that is putting up the biggest challenge to Labour and Mayor Anderson". The Liberal Party, the remnants of the old Liberals who refused to merge with the Social Democratic Party in the 1980s, are actually part of the council's budget working group deciding the cuts!
In contrast, Tony Mulhearn is quoted on behalf of TUSC as saying we are "absolutely clear that if our candidates are elected then they will vote against all cuts and use the council as a platform to mobilise massive support and opposition to the coalition".