Greater London Assembly elections May 2012
A call to support anti-cuts candidates
We believe that in next yearís Greater London Assembly elections there must be trade union and socialist candidates who oppose all the cuts being forced through by the Con-Dem government. We cannot support Labourís policy that some cuts are necessary but should be implemented more slowly. We deplore Ed Milibandís criticism of millions of trade union members who are ready to strike over pensions.
The recession is causing untold misery. Already four in ten children (650,000) in London live in poverty, a higher proportion than anywhere else in the UK. Unemployment in the city has passed 400,000 for the first time in 15 years. These cuts, whether implemented more quickly or more slowly, will have a devastating impact on the lives of the vast majority of people who live or work in London.
The most vulnerable will suffer terribly Ė older people, the disabled, the sick and young people. But almost everyone will be affected. Even those with relatively better-paid jobs now face a future of insecurity, with the attacks on pensions.
One in ten workers in London earns less than the poverty threshold. One in six is paid less than the £8.30 living wage. Last year, city bonuses totalled £14 billion.
A handful of millionaires and billionaires can afford their penthouses and palaces but housing for the vast majority of Londoners is an endless nightmare. House prices and rents continue to rise, forcing more and more young people to stay at home. Transport fares are due to rise by 7%.
Privatisation has put millions into the pockets of the company bosses whilst jobs, pay and conditions are attacked. Workers facing a pay freeze in the face of rising prices are forced further into debt or difficult decisions.
We cannot afford these cuts. Everything that makes life tolerable is being destroyed. We need an alternative policy - one that puts ordinary people before bankersí bonuses and big business profits.
Following discussions involving the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition and representatives of our unions in London, we have decided to appeal for your help to ensure that there will be candidates we can support in next yearís GLA elections.
With the expenses scandal and attacks on working-class living standards, is it any wonder that only 26% of voters trust MPs. We want candidates people can trust; who will fight against all cuts and defend the interests of ordinary Londoners.
We ask for your support. Please print and sign this statement (opens as a pdf). We will be calling further meetings to plan our campaign and want you to get involved. We are stronger when we stand together. Together we can make an impact next May.
Yours in solidarity,
Steve Hedley - RMT London organiser
Ian Leahair †- FBU executive member for London
John Reid - RMT Assistant regional secretary, London Transport
Ben Sprung - FBU regional organiser for London
(All in a personal capacity)