TUSC chair Dave Nellist welcomes general election chance to drive out the Tories
* Jeremy Corbyn's former backbench colleague urges 'firm stand on bold socialist policies'
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) national chairperson, Dave Nellist, today welcomed the general election called for June 8th as a chance to drive out the Tory government and reverse their vicious austerity agenda.
Dave, a Labour MP from 1983-1992, urged his former backbench colleague Jeremy Corbyn to fight the election on clear socialist policies, pledging to support him in resisting the efforts of Blairite MPs to water down the anti-austerity platform which won Jeremy his Labour leadership victories.
"According to the annual Sunday Times Rich List survey the wealth of the thousand richest people in Britain has more than doubled since the Tories came to power in 2010", said Dave. "Levying capital gains tax even just on that increased wealth would alone bring in over Â£80 billion for extra public spending. Austerity is 'working' only for the rich and a new course is needed.
"If Jeremy resists the pressure of the pro-capitalist wing of the Labour Party and instead sticks firmly to core socialist policies he could confound the pundits' predictions and win enthusiastic support. That wouldn't stop the Blairites continuing to plot against him - including during the election campaign itself - but it would inspire millions that a different society is possible.
"TUSC was the sixth-biggest party on the ballot paper in the 2015 general election, standing 135 candidates across Britain (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/policy for TUSC's 2015 general election platform). But the political situation has changed since then with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party.
Local election candidates
"TUSC has still continued to contest local elections against right-wing Labour councillors carrying out Tory cuts. We have 80 candidates in this year's elections (see http://www.tusc.org.uk/17354/10-04-2017/local-elections-2017-final-list-of-tusc-candidates) and every vote for TUSC on May 4th will bolster the case for Jeremy Corbyn to stand up against the right.
"Our local election campaigns will also lay the groundwork for building the support Jeremy will need against the capitalist establishment, including the Blairites within the Labour Party, if he does win in June.
"But a general election intervention is different to building a campaign against local Blairite councillors, and in a hastily called snap election especially so.
"So the TUSC steering committee will be discussing in the coming days how best we can take forward our founding aim of helping to create a mass vehicle for working class political representation, in the general election itself and, even more importantly, in the new political situation that will present itself after June 8th".
1. TUSC was co-founded in 2010 by the late Bob Crow, the RMT transport workers' union leader. Along with the RMT, a constituent organisation of TUSC, its national steering committee 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 and independent socialists.
2. TUSC stood 135 candidates in the May 2015 general election, alongside 613 candidates contesting the local elections on the same day, polling a combined total of 118,125 votes. This spread, the sixth-biggest presence on ballot papers across the UK, meant that TUSC qualified for an election broadcast, which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcEMrCTVRdg .
A full account of the 2015 TUSC election results can be found at http://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/338.pdf
For information and further 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