TUSC call to John McDonnell - 'Say no to Osborne-Darling's "Brexit cuts" threats'
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today appealed to shadow chancellor John McDonnell to explicitly repudiate Alistair Darling's support for George Osborne's threat of an emergency austerity budget in the event of a vote to leave the EU.
This followed the appearance by the former Labour chancellor, Lord Darling, in support of George Osborne's scare threat that tax increases and spending cuts of ¬£30bn would have to be rapidly agreed by parliament if an EU exit vote won on June 23rd. Together they produced an 'illustrative' list of new cuts including ¬£2.5bn to the NHS, ¬£1.15bn in education, and cuts of more than 5% from transport and local government.
The TUSC national chair, the former Labour MP Dave Nellist - once a backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn - said:
"Jeremy Corbyn, backed by John McDonnell, won the Labour Party leadership election last summer with a clear message that austerity is not necessary but is a political choice. That is true whether Britain remains in the EU or votes to leave and it is welcome that Jeremy said Labour 'would oppose any post-Brexit austerity budget' in today's Prime Minister's Questions.
"But it is still worrying that, although 57 Tory MPs have said they would not support Osborne's emergency budget plans, on Radio 4's Today programme Osborne hinted that such a rebellion would be nullified by Labour and other Conservative MPs joining forces to 'take the necessary measures'.
"Jeremy and John must make it clear: there will be no Labour support for new austerity measures and any so-called 'Labour MP' who says otherwise cannot remain on the Labour benches.
"Ultimately, Brexit on a capitalist basis will produce broadly the same results as Remain on a capitalist basis - continued austerity, attacks on wages and living standards, cuts and privatisation of public services.
"That's why TUSC stands for an economy based on democratic public ownership of the major companies and banks (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy), a vision of a democratic socialist society rooted in Labour's old 'Clause Four'.
"We stand in solidarity with those Labour politicians who fight for a similar position, in or out of the EU.
"But TUSC supports a leave vote, firstly because the EU creates an extra layer of legal obstacles to the labour and trade union movement - against workers' rights and socialist measures generally - and secondly because the referendum gives us a chance to strike a blow at the Tories and the whole capitalist establishment.
"And if a leave vote wins on Thursday week we will work with others in the labour and trade union movement to build a united campaign of working people to oppose cuts and any attempts to create divisions on national lines".
1. TUSC was co-founded in 2010 by the late Bob Crow, the RMT transport workers' union leader who was well known for his opposition to the EU as an agency of anti-worker and pro-austerity policies. Along with the RMT it involves leading trade unionists from the PCS civil servants union, the National Union of Teachers, the Fire Brigades Union, and the Prison Officers Association, together with the Socialist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, and independent socialists.
TUSC stood over 300 council candidates in the local elections on May 5th, including two mayoral candidates. The TUSC mayoral candidate in Liverpool, the UNISON trade union national executive committee member Roger Bannister, came in fourth with nearly 5,000 votes, over 1,400 ahead of the Tories, Britain's governing party, in the country's eighth biggest city.
2. TUSC is campaigning for a leave vote in the EU referendum and was one of three applicants to be the 'official' Leave campaign, arguing that allowing Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage to dominate the exit campaign would "add five percent to the Remain vote" (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17217/19-04-2016/press-release ). TUSC is currently organising a 'twenty-city tour' of meetings on 'The Socialist Case Against the EU' to provide a left-wing alternative to the establishment media narrative that only reactionaries support a leave vote (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/events ).
For information and video clips about TUSC see: www.tusc.org.uk
For interviews and any other information requests, please email: [email protected] or call Clive Heemskerk, the TUSC National Election Agent on 020-8988-8773.
The TUSC national chairperson, the former Labour MP Dave Nellist, can also be contacted on 07970-294237