Rebel Plymouth councillor speaks at TUSC-organised meeting in Moor View
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.
Plymouth TUSC co-ordinator Alex Moore stresses that this is "not just another consultation exercise. We put people before profit and our council budget would not be based on what the Tory government tell us we can spend but on what the people of Plymouth need. The people in Moor View can be confident that we will adopt their demands for their community into our Charter and we will ask them to help us fight for it in the elections next May!
"From calls for green spaces to skateboard parks, TUSC promises that there will be plenty of time for people to have their say. Everyone is welcome!"
The launch of the 'Peoples Charter' consultation meetings, and the participation of Plymouth's rebel councillor in this anti-cuts initiative, has already made the pages of the local paper (see http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Chance-say-meeting/story-22846233-detail/story.html ). Watch this space for more news.
Back-handed compliment for TUSC from Liverpool mayor
In August the Liverpool council cabinet meet to discuss their plans to close eleven of the city's libraries.
Children's author Alan Gibbons presented a 10,000-signature petition against the closures. Commenting that he didn't want 'the City of Culture to become the City of Philistinism', he said the council needed to go back to the drawing board and added, to applause from the protestors at the meeting, 'why on earth do we have a Labour Party if we don't fight for our people?'
This sentiment was shared by campaigner Ruth Knox and Tony Mulhearn, the TUSC candidate for Liverpool mayor in 2012, who argued that the council needed to stand up to the coalition government. "For the Labour council to proceed in this fashion without any organised opposition at all is frankly unacceptable" he said, to loud applause.
The Labour mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, regurgitated the usual mantra that the level of cuts forced on the council by central government meant there was no alternative but to make "difficult decisions".
But in a back-handed compliment to TUSC he rounded on the Green Party councillor Tom Crone for "opportunistic grandstanding" in opposing the library closures by proposing that the cuts are made 'somewhere else'. At least TUSC has "integrity", he said, which he "respected", because unlike the Greens TUSC had made it clear that it stood for total opposition to all cuts and for a massive campaign to mobilise support. However that was an "impractical" policy, he said, and "the bottom line is that doing nothing is not an option. We've got to make those savings".
But there is no question that the opposition to Anderson's collaboration with government austerity policies is growing deeper and louder and that at some stage it will erupt and move in the direction of TUSC and its socialist alternative.