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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2010

Fighting cuts: A militant stance is what's needed

IAN PAGE, a former Socialist Party councillor in the south London borough of Lewisham wrote a letter (see below), which was printed in the Evening Standard, criticising the reported actions of Labour councillors from the borough who are attempting to wash their hands of any responsibility for cuts in services.

THE LABOUR councillor introducing last week's cuts package in Lewisham blamed an international crisis and the actions of the coalition government.

He didn't mention that the reductions were part of 60 million cuts agreed by a Labour council and mayor back in March under a Labour government.

Aside from high-profile cuts such as library closures, there are many others that will be invisible to the general public but devastating for those concerned: such as the closure of Opening Doors, a service for the long-term unemployed providing them with access to facilities to move them towards employment; cuts to adult social care, and the cancellation of project work to raise aspirations in areas of intergenerational unemployment. The most vulnerable, isolated people are in no position to organise and highlight their plight.

Councillors could use council reserves and "prudential borrowing" to buy time and build a mass campaign in order to bolster their demand for more money from central government. Through such methods Liverpool council successfully won 60 million back from the Thatcher government. When councillors refuse to do this, unions and the community should coordinate strike action and direct action to defend our services.

Ian Page, former Socialist Party councillor, Lewisham.

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In The Socialist 23 November 2010:


Youth Fight for Education

Youth Fight for Education: No cuts, no fees, save EMA!

No to victimisation, defend student protesters!

Defend university access for all!

Universities occupied over fees and cuts


Anti-cuts campaign

Not one job or one service to be cut

Mass organised action can stop cuts

1,000 march in Gloucester against 'scorched earth policy'

Fighting cuts: A militant stance is what's needed

Profiting from the most vulnerable

Government plans are an attack on council tenants

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Firefighters on the march

McCluskey elected Unite general secretary


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland in crisis

Scotland and Wales: Don't accept the 'hand you have been dealt'

Cholera epidemic sparks clashes between Haitians and UN troops

Massive food price hikes spell disaster for poorest people


 

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