Media round-up: local coverage for TUSC candidates and a letter on Russell Brand
The selection of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) prospective candidates for next year's elections has given local TUSC groups opportunities to get some media coverage in their area.
The Portsmouth News covered a 40-strong meeting, with national TUSC chair Dave Nellist in attendance, which announced the selection of candidates to contest the city's two parliamentary constituencies next May (see http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/local/party-picks-two-candidates-for-elections-in-may-1-6363224 ).
The prospective TUSC candidate for Portsmouth North is Jon Woods, president of Portsmouth Trades Council and chair of the council's UNISON branch. Portsmouth South will be fought for TUSC by the former RMT transport workers' union executive committee member, Sean Hoyle.
The paper quoted Sean's comments about the count at this year's local elections: "I was at the election results in May and saw the UKIP councillors embrace the Tory councillors and then the Labour group got involved.
"They all have the same policies and no matter who is in power come May, cuts will continue. If people are fed up with the three established parties, like they should be, they shouldn't vote for UKIP to make a stand. We are against cuts and austerity and we are the only party that wants to stop them". Jon Woods was also quoted, adding: "All the main parties are serving up more cuts but we want to introduce a minimum wage of Â£10 an hour and tax the rich".
Another RMT member, Glen Hart, previously the union's London Transport Regional Council's Black and Ethnic Minorities Officer, has also been selected as the prospective TUSC candidate for Croydon North. Glen's selection was covered in the local news outlet, Inside Croydon (see http://insidecroydon.com/2014/10/22/trades-union-candidate-wants-to-puts-questions-to-miliband/#more-21862 ), the day before Ed Miliband spoke at Croydon's Black and Minority Ethnic Forum.
While election candidates were being discussed elsewhere TUSC also got a mention in the debates being generated by Russell Brand's new book, Revolution, following his comments last year that it's not worth voting.
Under the heading, How to lure Brand's revolutionaries to the polls, the chair of Salford's anti-cuts campaign, Paul Gerrard, answered the establishment's attack on Russell Brand in the letters' page of The Independent.
"Nobody I know is sitting around 'awaiting the revolution'. We're defending services, fighting cuts, striking for a living wage, standing in elections as anti-cuts candidates for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), offering people an alternative. We got ten per cent in Salford last year. If we had PR we'd have a councillor or two". (See http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/letters-how-to-lure-brands-revolutionaries-to-the-polls-9806950.html )
Striking, demonstrating, protesting and the ballot box, are all means to fight back - and using every media opportunity possible to promote the TUSC challenge.