Posted: 24 July 2022
One thing is clear from the ferocious 'debates' between the rival factions in the current Tory leadership contest following the resignation of Boris Johnson: whoever wins the 'I am more Thatcherite than you' race, a new programme of austerity attacks on public services is very much on the agenda.
And local councils, responsible for over a fifth of all spending on public services, will be on the frontline again - including Labour-led councils, 125 of them, which alone control budgets of at least £82 billion providing vital services to over 29 million people.
But with the Tories split and in such obvious turmoil, there really should be no excuse for those councils in particular to refuse to go along with new austerity demands and instead act to defend local services and immediately mitigate the cost of living crisis.
Posted: 20 June 2022
The latest meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain steering committee, held on June 15th, saw a detailed discussion begin on plans for the next general election. This must be called no later than December 2024 but recent political developments have shown that it could be a lot earlier than that. And with the consolidation of Tony Blair-style 'New Labour' politics within the Labour Party, the committee agreed, working class voters are once again set to be effectively disenfranchised.
To meet this situation TUSC strongly hopes that, before the election, steps towards a new vehicle for working class political representation will have been taken by more authoritative forces than those currently involved in our coalition - primarily from the trade unions or potentially around Jeremy Corbyn himself standing independently of Labour in the general election.
But it is also possible that such steps might not have been taken in time for the next election and that therefore a TUSC challenge would be necessary. This was the theme of the discussion at the steering committee - hope for more, but prepare for a TUSC challenge - around a briefing document prepared by the TUSC national agent, Clive Heemskerk.
Posted: 8 June 2022
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) directory of the elections taking place in May 2023 has now been published.
This directory, an annual production of TUSC, provides a breakdown of the councils with statutory elections scheduled for the year ahead, the number of councillors up for election, and the current political control in each council listed - a tool for forward planning in the battle to get a socialist, anti-austerity alternative onto the ballot paper. The directory is available as a PDF, by clicking https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/473.pdf
There are 229 councils with elections on Thursday May 4th 2023, with over 7,900 councillors to be elected, a bigger battleground in terms of seats to be contested than in either 2021 or 2022. At the end of the directory there is a brief outline of how you can become a TUSC candidate.
Posted: 31 May 2022
Last month the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) welcomed the Lydney Labour councillor Steve Stockham into our anti-austerity alliance of socialists, trade unionists and working class community campaigners (see https://www.tusc.org.uk/17665/25-04-2022/tusc-welcomes-labour-councillor-as-mood-to-resist-starmers-tory-lite-party-grows).
This month another former Labour councillor, Lynne Cooney, representing the Trinity ward on Louth Town Council in Lincolnshire, has taken the same step, having resigned from the Labour Party in March.
"I have been a Labour councillor for almost three years" Lynne said, in a statement explaining her decision that is being distributed throughout her ward. "I joined Labour under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership because I identified with the need for compassion, for empathy and to support those who needed someone to hear them and help them".
Posted: 12 May 2022
In every year since 2011 that the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has contested elections it has always published the detailed results of every candidate that appeared on the ballot paper under its umbrella. And this year is no different.
A complete report of the TUSC campaign in the council elections, with the full ward results for where there was a TUSC candidate, was approved by the first post-election meeting of the TUSC all-Britain steering committee on Wednesday May 11th and is published here (https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/472.pdf). Just under 30,000 people cast a vote for TUSC on May 5th.
TUSC stood candidates in the English council elections across 53 local authorities, plus three mayoral candidates, and there were candidates in nine councils in Scotland and five authorities in Wales.
Posted: 3 May 2022
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 273 candidates across 69 local authorities in Thursday's council elections.
In addition there are over 40 other candidates standing to the left of Sir Keir Starmer's Tony Blair-style New Labour Party who are also on the ballot paper on May 5th. The full list is available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/471.pdf.
The candidates standing on behalf of TUSC are made up of 229 council candidates contesting seats in 55 local authorities in England (plus three mayoral candidacies); 16 candidates standing as Scottish TUSC in nine authorities in Scotland; and 25 candidates in five authorities in Wales.
Posted: 25 April 2022
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today welcomed Lydney councillor Steve Stockham into the anti-austerity alliance of socialists, trade unionists and working class community campaigners.
Steve, a Labour member of Lydney town council in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, announced his switch to TUSC on Saturday, ripping up his party card as he spoke at a public meeting in Swindon alongside the TUSC all-Britain chairperson and former Labour MP Dave Nellist.
"I've been a Labour supporter and voter for all of my adult life", Steve said in a statement explaining his decision, "and since the mid-1990s was a member for two spells. My activist journey began when I was elected NUS first year rep at college followed by time with the NUJ, NUPE, the Post Office Workers union and UNISON with my final job before retiring".
Posted: 6 April 2022
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is fielding over 250 candidates in May's local council elections, in England, Scotland and Wales. The full list of candidates, and the seats they are contesting, is available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/469.pdf
Launching the TUSC local election campaign, the TUSC All-Britain chairperson Dave Nellist, a former Labour backbench colleague of Jeremy Corbyn from 1983-1992 and the third place finisher in the recent Birmingham Erdington by-election, said:
"Faced with the biggest drop in living standards in sixty years it's more than time for a fightback -starting in the town hall".
Posted: 14 March 2022
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has now approved over 150 candidates to contest the local council elections in May.
The latest meeting of the TUSC All-Britain steering committee, held on March 9th, agreed further candidates for councils in England and Wales, taking these to a total of 140 across 33 local authorities, and received notice of the 15 candidates, contesting seats in seven authorities in Scotland, that had been separately approved by the autonomous Scottish TUSC steering committee.
The date of the last full meeting to consider candidate applications is March 30th but, as that is just six days before the official deadline to hand in nomination papers to local council electoral services departments, the steering committee agreed a procedure to authorise candidates beforehand.
Posted: 23 February 2022
Last week's meeting of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) steering committee approved the first batch of candidates to contest the local council elections in May - and appealed for further candidates to come forward to build on the momentum created by Dave Nellist's challenge in the Birmingham Erdington by-election on March 3rd.
The February 16th meeting, the first steering committee since the recent TUSC local elections conference, also finalised the TUSC core policy platform for May. Under the title, 'Vote for a socialist recovery from the Covid crisis!', the ten minimum core policies which every council candidate using the TUSC name on the ballot paper will commit to can be found at https://www.tusc.org.uk/17627/22-02-2022/tuscs-core-policy-platform-for-the-may-2022-local-elections.
The first set of candidates for May include executive council members of the UNISON public services union and the National Education Union (NEU), and members of the UNISON Local Government Service Group Executive and the PCS civil servants union Ministry of Justice Group Executive. There are also four former Labour council candidates from the Jeremy Corbyn leadership years, who are now standing as TUSC candidates in May. The full list is available at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/463.pdf
Posted: 13 February 2022
The Scottish council elections will take place on May 5 this year, with every councillor up for election. They come at a crucial time, as the onslaught on the living conditions of the working class grows with rising inflation, rents and mortgage costs, and NI increases - making a mockery of the idea that there will be a 'recovery' for working class communities after Covid.
For local government, and for public services generally, the cuts onslaught continues. Most, if not all, councils are planning to implement further austerity in one form or another. There has never been a more important time to ensure that fighting anti-cuts and socialist candidates stand to offer an alternative.
To that end, the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Scottish TUSC) is organising a conference on Saturday 19 February on Zoom. The aim of the conference is to promote and encourage as wide an anti-cuts, socialist election challenge as possible to the Tory, Labour, Lib Dem, SNP, Green etc mantra of unending cuts.
Posted: 10 February 2022
Speaking on a live Facebook broadcast on Wednesday 9th February, Sharon Graham, general secretary of Unite the Union, suspended the union's funding to the Labour Party whilst the Coventry bin strike against a Labour council continues.
She said: "So let me be very very clear. Until this strike is settled the remaining financial relationship with the Labour Party is now under review. There will be no Labour politician in the Midlands who will get one single penny from my members or any practical support of any kind while this strike is going ahead".
This decision could affect the chances of Labour's candidate in the Erdington by-election, Paulette Hamilton, as the union withdraws all "practical support of any kind".
Posted: 5 February 2022
Thirty prominent trade unionists have today launched a petition in support of Dave Nellist's campaign as the Trade Unionist and Socialist (TUSC) candidate in the Birmingham Erdington parliamentary by-election on March 3rd.
Dave, who was the MP for Coventry South East from 1983 to 1992, was well-known during his time in parliament as a workers' MP on a worker's wage. He only took a skilled worker's wage, as calculated from figures compiled across ten Coventry factories by the engineering workers' union (AUEW, now part of Unite), giving away over half of the MPs' bloated salary - currently £82,000 a year - to trade unionists and working class campaigners.
From his first day as an MP to the end, Dave stood up for workers. His last day in parliament saw him pilot a private member's bill through the House of Commons (initially introduced in the Lords by Baroness Turner) to extend legal protection to union health and safety reps on offshore oil rigs. Nobody can doubt where Dave stands in the struggles of the labour and trade union movement.
Posted: 5 February 2022
The long-standing independent socialist Pete McLaren has been re-elected as the representative of TUSC Individual Members onto the TUSC All-Britain Steering Committee for 2022.
TUSC is a coalition with an all-Britain steering committee comprised of representatives from its constituent organisations alongside leading trade unionists, sitting in a personal capacity. The current constituent organisations are the RMT transport workers' union, formally represented on the steering committee since 2012; the Socialist Party, a co-founder of TUSC in 2010; and Resist, established in 2019 by, amongst others, the ex-Labour MP Chris Williamson.
Individual members of TUSC who are not members of a constituent organisation, with their own national meetings, also have a place on the committee.
Posted: 27 January 2022
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) today announced that Dave Nellist is to contest the forthcoming Birmingham Erdington parliamentary by-election on behalf of the left-wing alliance. During his time as a Midlands Labour MP from 1983-1992, Dave was a backbench parliamentary colleague of Jeremy Corbyn.
Dave, who was the MP for Coventry South East for nine years and later, for 14 years, a Coventry city councillor for the Socialist Party from 1998 to 2012, was well-known during his time in parliament for only taking an ordinary worker's wage, giving away over half of an MP's bloated salary - currently Â£82,000 pounds a year - to trade unionists and working class campaigners fighting to defend their livelihoods and communities. (See this BBC account from 2013 https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-23289962)
Accepting the TUSC nomination for the Erdington contest, Dave said:
Posted: 26 January 2022
As Keir Starmer's Labour welcomes a Tory MP to the parliamentary party - while confirming Jeremy Corbyn's exclusion from the PLP at its January national executive committee meeting - the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference on Sunday February 6th will hear speakers from Unite the union, currently Labour's biggest affiliate, and the recently disaffiliated BFAWU bakers' union.
The TUSC conference has been convened under the heading, 'Vote for a socialist recovery from the Covid crisis!'. It will be discussing the TUSC intervention in this year's May local elections, with the context being what local councils should be doing to protect working class communities from the establishment politicians' attempts to make us pay for the impacts of Covid.
Unite were invited to speak to explain the extremely significant decision of its recent policy conference to call on "Labour councils to set legal, balanced no cuts needs based budgets" rather than meekly accept the Tories' austerity agenda, and the union's Lead for Local Government, Onay Kasab, has been formally deputised to do so. He will be speaking alongside Ian Hodson, the president of the BFAWU, who will explain the union's historic decision last autumn to disaffiliate from the Labour Party after 119 years of membership.
Posted: 20 December 2021
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has issued an appeal for the widest possible united anti-austerity socialist challenge at the local council elections scheduled for 5th May 2022.
Launching the appeal, the TUSC national chairperson Dave Nellist, a Labour MP from 1983-1992, said: "As every day goes by, it becomes ever clearer that the Labour Party under Sir Keir Starmer will not provide alternative anti-austerity policies to those the Johnson government is seeking to implement to make working class people pay for the effects of the Covid crisis, through cuts in public services, wage freezes, and rising prices and taxes".
"In the polls taking place next May, in which over 6,500 council seats are up for election, while there may be a handful of Labour candidates still defending the anti-austerity policies that Jeremy Corbyn supported, voters in the vast majority of cases will have no choice other than that between different varieties of austerity politicians - unless fighting trade unionists, socialists, and working class community campaigners get together to offer a united, anti-austerity alternative at the ballot box".
Posted: 19 December 2021
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) steering committee has agreed the agenda and timetable for the TUSC 2022 local elections conference to be held on Zoom on Sunday February 6th.
The conference has been convened under the heading, 'Vote for a socialist recovery from the Covid crisis!', starting at 11am to conclude by 1-15pm.
Platform speakers from the constituent components of the TUSC steering committee - the RMT transport workers' union, the Socialist Party, Resist, and the Individual Members' representatives - will introduce the single plenary session.
Posted: 10 December 2021
The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) All-Britain Steering Committee has now published the draft of the core policies TUSC candidates will be committed to fight for in the English local council elections that will take place in May 2022.
TUSC is an electoral coalition, offering the opportunity to trade unionists, community campaigners, socialists and others, to stand candidates under a common anti-austerity banner distinct from the mainstream, capitalist establishment politicians.
Having such an alternative on offer in May's contests, in which over 6,500 council seats will be elected, is even more vital in a situation where the establishment parties are united in seeking to make working class people pay for the effects of the Covid crisis, through cuts in public services, wages freezes, and rising prices and taxes. Local councils are responsible for over one fifth of all public spending.
Posted: 19 November 2021
No one can dispute that local councils have borne the brunt of years of Tory austerity. Or that councils, and the vital local public services that they provide, will once again be in the frontline as the establishment politicians seek to pass on the costs of the Covid crisis to the working class in the months and years ahead.
As local authorities begin discussing their spending plans for 2022-2023, which they will finally agree at budget-setting meetings in February or March, we can already see the scale of the cuts that are being prepared. Manchester city council is talking about an £85 million budget shortfall within the next three years. While Liverpool is planning £19 million cuts next year, including 6% of its current spending on adult social care.
But a new report from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), How Much Reserves Have They Got?, (at https://www.tusc.org.uk/txt/456.pdf) shows that councils actually do have the resources to pass no cuts budgets next year - not as a long-term solution to the funding crisis, but as the first step in a mass campaign for more government funding.
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