Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/633/10008
A testing 'pudding' for councillors
THE EDITORIAL about united action to stop the cuts (The Socialist 632) was spot on. I am writing on the question of involving Labour councillors in anti-cuts campaigns.
Rob Windsor, Coventry East Branch
Coventry Labour councillors pushed through pay cuts in 1999-2000 as part of a "single status" deal , threatening compulsory redundancy to workers who did not sign the new contracts.
If these councillors came to an anti-cuts event today, saying "Hi, sisters and brothers aren't the Tories rotten - I want to lead your campaign," I would be seriously concerned.
Just as I would if Labour councillors who cut eligibility for social care, voted to sell off all our council housing and voted to shut schools did the same.
In Coventry, every Labour councillor voted for what was then until last May, a Tory controlled council's Medium Term Financial Strategy proposing £72 million in cuts over three years.
And this was all under a Labour government. In our city only the Socialist Party councillors opposed and voted against all of the above.
No-one can stop Labour councillors coming to or speaking at events. A few will have resisted Blairite cuts, but this number is very small. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I propose the following "pudding" for Labour councillors who say they "oppose" cuts, and want a position in anti-cuts campaigns.
Quite simply, they pledge to campaign vigorously within their Labour groups to commit their councils to a 'no cuts' policy and one of campaigning with other councils for government funds to keep services running.
They never vote for cuts and never vote for or support privatisation in any form. Also, they attend protests and support all strikes and call for a levy on councillors to back anti-cuts campaigning.
The test for them will be the period from October to budget setting in around February 2011, as well as any interim cuts proposals.
If they happily eat this particular pudding, they would have some credibility in anti-cuts campaigns. But all most of these people are interested in is getting elected in the hope that the Con-Demolition coalition's antics mask their previous rotten role in cuts and sell offs.
In The Socialist 21 July 2010:
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party workplace analysis
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International socialist news and analysis