HomeLatest NewsScottish TUSC conference to set plans for Westminster general election

Scottish TUSC conference to set plans for Westminster general election

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The Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Steering Committee has announced its first four candidates to contest seats in the general election in Scotland, in advance of an open conference hosted by Scottish TUSC on June 1st to discuss general election plans.

The Scottish TUSC candidates proposed so far are Brian Smith, standing for the Glasgow South seat; Jim McFarlane (Dundee Central); Chris Sermanni (Rutherglen); and Lucas Grant (for Aberdeen North).  Further details of the candidates and their record of socialist and trade union struggle are included below.

The general election, whenever it takes place, will see the Tories routed, as they deserve to be. But where is the alternative for working-class people?  Labour under Keir Starmer has stampeded to the right and dumped all of Jeremy Corbyn’s left policies.  Meanwhile, the Scottish National Party’s crisis continues – with three leaders in just over a year.  The collapsing support for the SNP is rooted in their implementation of Tory cuts in Scotland for the last 17 years.  They are being exposed as a party not of the working class but of business interests and the capitalist establishment.

Never has there been more of a need to build a mass working-class and socialist alternative to the parties of cuts.  For that reason the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition will be standing candidates in the election as it has done since 2010 when it was formed – with the exception of the 2017 and 2019 general elections when Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader.

Scottish TUSC will be making the case for the trade unions to build a new workers’ party, for socialist policies to tackle the cost of living crisis like the nationalisation of the rip-off energy companies, for an immediate increase in the minimum wage to £15 an hour, for an end to the slaughter in Gaza, and for the abolition of all anti-union laws.

Scottish TUSC also fights for the right of the people of Scotland to decide their own future through a second independence referendum.  It fights for an independent socialist Scotland as part of the struggle for socialism internationally.

For one socialist candidate per constituency

TUSC is aware that other left and socialist parties are or may be planning to stand in the general election in Scotland.  Scottish TUSC is an umbrella coalition open to all who want to see the building of a real alternative for working-class communities, including socialist organisations.

As it has always done, Scottish TUSC will seek to avoid any clashes in local constituencies and hopes to meet and discuss with other groups looking to stand candidates to avoid more than one socialist candidate per constituency.  This could also help to maximise the number of left and socialist candidates in other seats as well.

To that end, all organisations planning to stand in the general election in Scotland are invited to attend the Scottish TUSC conference on June 1st in Glasgow (details below), as well as those who are interested as standing as part of the Scottish TUSC coalition. ■

Planning for the general election in Scotland: a conference hosted by the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Saturday 1st June, 1pm,  at the Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JP

Contact the Scottish TUSC steering committee at [email protected]

The first Scottish TUSC candidates

The Scottish TUSC steering committee is proposing as its first four candidates proven trade union and socialist fighters who live in their constituencies and who have a record of standing previously.

Glasgow South – Brian Smith

Brian Smith was for 15 years until February this year the secretary of the 13,000-strong Glasgow City UNISON branch.  Throughout that time Glasgow City UNISON has been, and continues to be, a living example of what militant trade unionism is all about.  The branch has an exemplary record of leading a whole series of strikes, including the equal pay strike in 2018, in defence of members interests on pay regrading and working conditions as well as in defence of services and against all cuts.

Brian has stood as a socialist candidate in Glasgow South/Cathcart in numerous Westminster and Holyrood elections, including in 2010, 2015 and 2016.  He headed up the Glasgow regional list for TUSC in the 2021 Scottish election.  Brian also stood in the 2011 Holyrood election on a joint list with George Galloway as part of the Coalition Against Cuts.  

Brian lives in Castlemilk in the Glasgow South constituency.

Dundee Central – Jim McFarlane

Jim McFarlane is the branch secretary of Dundee City UNISON and is one of the city’s most well-known trade unionists.  During that time Jim has been to the forefront of opposing all cuts imposed by the administration and has been an active socialist since the Timex strike of 1993.

Jim was the socialist candidate in Dundee West for the Westminster elections in 2010 and 2015 and the Scottish TUSC candidate for Holyrood in 2011, 2016 and 2021.  Jim lives in the Ardler area of the city which is part of the Dundee Central constituency

Rutherglen – Chris Sermanni

Chris Sermanni is the current branch secretary for Glasgow City UNISON and before that was the social work stewards convener.  Alongside Brian Smith and other Glasgow City UNISON activists, Chris has helped to build the branch into a model of fighting trade unionism.

Chris was the Scottish TUSC candidate for the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election in 2023. Chris lives in Cambuslang, part of the Rutherglen constituency.

Aberdeen North – Lucas Grant

Lucas Grant is the Scottish TUSC candidate for Aberdeen North.  Lucas, who is 22-years-old, was brought up in the Northfield area of the city and was the Scottish TUSC candidate for Aberdeen Donside in the Scottish parliament election in 2021 and also stood for the Northfield ward in the council elections in 2022.



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